San Jose Avenue changes

The GPA transportation committee has been pressing hard on SFMTA to keep the neighborhood updated on the various projects affecting us and to hold the agency accountable in terms of deadlines and promises. See Hilary Schiraldi’s April 30 post regarding the last meeting with them, and another is coming up. We’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, here’s an update on the San Jose Avenue changes, sent from

Damon R. Curtis, PE

Construction & Design Services Engineer

Livable Streets – Community Projects

Dear neighbors,

Thanks for your continued interest in the San Jose Avenue and I-280 Off-Ramp Road Diet Pilot Project.  The SFMTA has been working with Caltrans on measures to reduce speeding on San Jose Avenue and we have some new information to share.

Phase I of the pilot project reduced the number of travel lanes and provided a safer and more comfortable bikeway design in the hopes of reducing speeding on San Jose Avenue.  These changes did not bring about the desired 15mph speed reduction along the corridor and we will be moving forward with Phase II beginning on June 2.

Phase II includes merging the two lanes of the I-280 off-ramp into a single lane upstream of the existing I-280 tunnel.  Phase II construction will take place on June 2-3 and we will once again be collecting speed data to understand the impacts of these changes.

Thank you for your continued interest in the project.  We will keep you updated as this project moves forward.


Sustainable Streets Division

One South Van Ness Ave, 7th Floor
San Francisco, California 94103-5417

T:415.701.4674 | C:510.708.6911 | F:415.701.4343 |


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5 responses to “San Jose Avenue changes

  1. Judy Einzig

    GPA: I have sent this message to Damon Curtis of the MTA (see below). I hope you will consider doing the same. Here’s my message to him:


    Your plan to merge 2 lanes into 1 on the I-280 exit seems guaranteed to end up with a backup of traffic on the right lane of highway 280, backing up and stopping traffic behind it ON 280 (just as it does with the previous exit). It’s a traffic hazard for traffic on 280.

    I hope you will consider the option of moving the bicycle lane from San Jose Avenue to another street and restoring the 3 lanes to the 280 exit/San Jose Avenue. It has been a nightmare driving there since you put it in. Bicycles could go over Arlington or Chenery without such a disastrous effect on a highway exit.

    Your attempt to get a highway exit to immediately adapt to city speed limits is destined to failure. Please consider this solution. It would be a blessing to get rid of the mess you created with this experiment, well-intentioned though you may be.

    Thank you.

    With best regards, Judy Einzig

    • Jamey

      Cyclist friends of mine find San Jose Avenue an unpleasant experience next to hundreds of stopped cars, increasing greenhouse gases. They use Chenery instead.

  2. Jon

    I agree with Judy. This change has been a disaster for those of us who use this commute to get to work each day. Narrowing this stretch further to only 1 lane is just beyond the pale and will create a backup during commute that will likely extend well onto 280 itself. I am sorry, but this corridor was never designed for bicycles, and certainly not for foot traffic…there are no businesses whatsoever located on this stretch so what is the point? I can live maybe with the bike lane as is, but narrowing this to 1 lane is just plane stupid and destined for failure.

    I do hope you will be gathering data on the resultant backup in addition to the precious “speed” data, and that when and if (as is very likely), the former detrimental effects on traffic outweighs the latter, that this change is very quickly reversed. And in the meantime, what an unfortunate waste of tax payer dollars for something that should have been obvious from the start.

  3. Jamey

    Merging 10-mph bikes with a freeway offramp and railroad corridor is incompatible and dangerous. Slower speed side streets are more compatible and inviting for cyclists.

    Damon Curtis from SFMTA provided stats on usage:
    Vehicle traffic has increased from 26,322 daily to 29,998.
    Bike traffic has increased from 174 daily to 233 daily.

    So, 33% of capacity is used by 233, versus 30,000 for the rest, including high-capacity company shuttles, delayed an additional 10 minutes.

    Personally, I have nearly been rear-ended twice by exiting freeway traffic forced to stop before the tunnel. I strongly recommend all drivers put on their hazard flashers as they exit from I-280 to alert other drivers to prepare to stop completely.

  4. ndp

    Yeah, as a frequent cyclist and occasional driver, in this case it seems overall better for safety to route bikes to quieter streets. I’d use Chenery or Arlington long before considering San Jose, especially with my kids. Arlington feels much safer and is certainly more pleasant. I choose 26th over Cesar Chavez for the same reason.
    In my car, I’ve also had the unpleasant experience of hitting the slow San Jose traffic. After just one experience, I learned to loop around through Bernal Heights (which more will discover), only to cause more traffic on quiet, residential (and bike-able!) streets. Obviously this is not the desired outcome. What is the alternative for these 1000s of cars? Sitting in traffic?

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