Diamond/Bosworth intersection concerns

The Glen Park Association Board shares the many concerns we’ve heard about the Diamond and Bosworth intersection rebuilding, particularly about signal plans and pedestrian crossings. Toward that end, the GPA Transportation Committee, GPA president Michael Rice, Ric Lopez, president of the Glen Park Merchants Association, and several other community members met with staff from the SFMTA and Planning Department on April 27, focusing on how the current construction project aligns with the larger Glen Park Community Plan, how community input was considered, and what the next steps would be after construction and restriping are finished.

We met with Public Information Officer Kelley McCoy, SFMTA Project Manager David Greenaway, and Amnon Ben-Pazi of the Planning Department. (Unfortunately, SFMTA’s traffic engineer wasn’t available to answer questions as promised.) At the meeting, we presented questions on how SFMTA communicated information and plans with the neighborhood. We also summarized points from the Glen Park Community Plan, other reports, and contract documents for the Diamond/Bosworth construction that all referred to left-turn signals. SFMTA staff explained that they are not including left-turn signals on Diamond Street at this time because they prefer to make changes incrementally, rather than making several changes at once. The rebuilt intersection will have left-turn lanes at all four approaches. Traffic patterns will change at that point. They claim this helps them study the effects of changes and make better operational changes going forward. They stated that the wiring and signal-control hardware now being installed will allow easy later installation of left-turn signals, if that proceeds.

We also discussed pedestrian crossing patterns. Greenaway noted that the ‘scramble’ idea was reconsidered and dropped because the dimension of the intersection with two-way traffic would make the scramble a long delay for traffic. SFMTA will look at pedestrian signal phase timing, to consider pedestrian safety as well as traffic turning patterns.

They assured the Committee that SFMTA studies traffic and pedestrian patterns immediately after construction is finished, potentially making further changes in the following six weeks. In particular, Project Manager Greenaway assured us that they will study adding left-turn signals on Diamond Street and adding an all-pedestrian phase to the signal timing. He also committed to meeting with the Transportation Committee again before the construction work is finished, and making sure the SFMTA traffic engineer is available to answer questions.

Michael Rice
GPA President

Hilary Schiraldi
GPA Transportation Committee Member

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Diamond/Bosworth intersection concerns

  1. Gary Pike

    One change that doesn’t seem to have been addresses is the removal of bus turnouts – it looks like ever time a bus, whether it be MUNI or private corporate bus stops at any corner of the Diamond and Bosworth intersection one crucial lane of through traffic will be completely blocked – how does this make sense in our traffic impacted neighborhood. It seems that traffic flow will be continuously impeded by buses picking up and dropping off passengers leading to backups worse than those seen during construction.

  2. Mark Keenan

    I completely agree, Gary. Even IF the city of SF is trying to make it more difficult for automobiles to exist, there will always be exponentially more vehicles as the City continues to grow. I believe the SFTMA, and MUNI are making buses a priority in heavily trafficked areas because MUNI is tired of having to merge into traffic. As simple as that sounds, I believe it was a huge factor in the decision to cut out pull-out areas for the buses. None of the engineers or City planners live in the Glen Park neighborhood, so they will not be impacted by the possible mess to come. Regardless of the traffic surveys or the traffic-flow estimates they have concluded with, this design for traffic flow is not going to be safe for pedestrians, automobile drivers, or MUNI drives (Yes, private buses, too). MUNI wanted to simply be able to hog a lane so they can continue straight after they pick up passengers, in the robotic, thoughtless approach MUNI tends to adhere. The City thinks that by making buses a priority, more people will use them – Regardless of the current existing automobile traffic, this will not happen. Commuters driving automobiles will not start taking buses because they want to avoid the congestion of the Diamond/Bosworth intersection. Instead, they are more than likely to avoid the intersection altogether (as much as they can), and take any of the side streets neighboring the clog (Which would be anywhere West to North of the intersection and much of Arlington st.). And to make up for the time lost, they will not be following the speed limit. The Diamond/Bosworth intersection will be close to double the amount of clogging there already is. During commute times, it will be even worse. I am a resident of the Glen Park Community and I want to be optimistic about the new, “prettier” design the City is going to implement. Quite possibly, instead of being frustrated at all of the traffic from the intersection, people won’t even being paying attention since they’ll be in “awe” of the new aesthetics. Maybe that was the City’s plan all along.

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