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$18 Million Redesign Makes Masonic Avenue Safer, Prettier

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Yesterday the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board unanimously approved plans to modify a stretch of Masonic Avenue between Fell Street and Geary Boulevard into a more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly boulevard. The Masonic Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project aims to improve safety for pedestrians and bicycles, and improve operation of Muni buses by establishing boarding areas directly adjacent to the bus lane. In the plan, all 167 street parking spots on both sides of the street will be removed (always a sticky issue) and a landscaped median and other greening and lighting improvements added, with widened sections of sidewalks for pedestrians and bus riders. The stretch of Masonic is notoriously gnarly after two fatal accidents in the past two years, one of a pedestrian and the other a biker. At yesterday's hearing, unsurprisingly a few people spoke out against the removal of the parking spots, including business owners who were concerned about lack of parking for customers. Apparently an SFMTA area parking study showed immediate residents don't appear to use the parking on Masonic Avenue. The traffic modifications were unanimously approved after five years of community meetings with residents, neighborhood groups, local representatives, and Walk SF and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. The whole $18 million needed for the redesign isn't locked down yet, but as the SFMTA works on getting transit and regional grants to fund the project, the plan will trickle forward in phases over about 2 years. Now that the plan is approved, the agency can get crackin on specific designs.
· SFMTA Approves $18 Million Masonic Avenue Redesign [SF Appeal]
· Masonic Avenue traffic modifications [SF MTA]
· Masonic Avenue streetscape presentation [SF MTA]
· Parking Out, Parklets In for Potential Masonic Ave Redesign [Curbed SF]