In 2012, the San Francisco Planning Department published the Cesar Chavez East Community Design Plan, which includes safety improvement recommendations for the Bayshore/Cesar Chavez/Potrero intersection (also known as the "Hairball"). In the project area, Cesar Chavez Street, Bayshore Boulevard and Potrero Avenue change from city streets to a complex arrangement of bridges and ramps linking the three streets with Highway 101. While limited in some respects, the pedestrian and bicycle circulation network allows connections between Cesar Chavez Street, Bayshore Boulevard and Potrero Avenue that are not possible by vehicle.
In fall 2015, the SFMTA and San Francisco Public Works (Public Works) received $100,000 in Neighborhood Transportation Improvement Program Prop K funds to develop recommendations for safety improvements at five of the prioritized segments, Segments F and G at the western entry to the Hairball, and Segments M, N, and O at the southeastern entry to the Hairball. With some improvements, the Hairball intersection has the potential to provide a high level of connectivity to non-motorized users within the framework of the existing highly complex intersection structure. Please see the project's Prop K Allocation Request Form for more information.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND BENEFITS
The major goal of this project is to make key portions of the Hairball paths safer and easier to use for pedestrians and bicyclists, with the intent to build on these changes to implement improvements in the remaining segments of the Hairball. The project also aims to support citywide efforts such as WalkFirst, Vision Zero, and the SFMTA 2012 Bicycle Strategy to im¬prove non-motorized safety and mobility in San Francisco.
In November 2016, SFMTA finalized preliminary designs for several safety improvement recommendations. Download the complete report "Bayshore Boulevard/Cesar Chavez Street/ Potrero Avenue Intersection (The Hairball): Key Segment Improvements" (6.33 MB PDF). This report presents project goals, existing conditions, key issues, and preliminary designs for these five key segments as well as a conceptual lighting plan for the entire Hairball area. The report also outlines an implementation strategy for moving the project forward through construction.
Issues considered in the preliminary designs and safety recommendations for the key segments include:
- The western segments (Segments F and G) are generally too narrow to support shared uses, are steep in some areas, and have insufficient vertical clearance and low visibility at the highway overpass. This creates conflict for pedestrians and cyclists using the pathway, especially if going in opposite directions. The area also experience drainage issues and water accumulation.
- The eastern segments (Segments M, N, and O) are all in close proximity to the 101 highway and other major arterials, placing pedestrians and cyclists adjacent to vehicles moving at high speeds.
- Lighting is an important factor in perceived and actual personal safety, and many users of the intersection consider the lighting of pedestrian and cycling paths inadequate.
Preliminary designs for the five key segments are described below:
- Preliminary designs for Segments F and G at the western entrance to the Hairball aim to create a wider, regraded path with adequate clearance at the highway overpass.
- Preliminary designs for Segments M, N, and O at the southeastern entrance to the Hairball were separated into to two categories, near-term improvements and the full proposed project. SFMTA staff proposes a set of paint-only improvements that can be implemented in the near term following environmental clearance and agency approvals of the changes. The longer term hardscape changes included in the proposed project will take longer to implement and require coordination with partner agencies to address major changes on northbound Bayshore Boulevard.
- Public Works developed a conceptual lighting plan for the interchange area that addresses the specific needs of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists based on current guidelines and standards.
- Some spot improvements for the Hairball area are planned for implementation in 2016. These include a series of wayfinding signs and improvements to the western driveway entrance.
Due to a limited budget and the previous out¬reach efforts of the Cesar Chavez East Design Plan, outreach for the preliminary designs focused on gathering feedback from the main stakeholders for the project including staff from District 10, District 9, the Bicycle and Pedes¬trian group of Caltrans District 4, and the San Francisco Bike Coalition. SFMTA coordinated two stakeholder walkthroughs of the site to gather feedback prior to developing the draft preliminary designs. Individual briefings were then conducted with the stakeholders as well as the SFMTA Bicycle Advisory Committee to gain feedback on the preliminary designs. The draft conceptual designs in Section 6 were then shared with the stakeholders. Additional outreach will be conducted in later phases of the project.