Coming Soon: Valencia Streetscape Improvements

Valencia St: Before and After

16th and Valencia: What we currently see and what we can expect (click to enlarge)

The San Francisco Department of Public Works and StreetsBlog brings us news that the Valencia Streetscape Improvements Project is set to kick off this week.  Unlike the proposal from June 2006, Valencia will only be renovated from 15th to 19th this time around.  Okay, we’ll take it.

Construction is expected to last 9 months and will proceed block-by-block.  From the DPW’s factsheet about the project:

A Renewed Valencia Streetscape between 15th and 19th Streets will provide sidewalk improvements on both the east and west sides of Valencia Street. Improvements include: removal of the striped center median, better spaced and more accommodating curbside loading zones for trucks, improved traffic/parking and bicycle lane alignment, sidewalk widening, bulb-outs, pedestrian scale lighting, art elements, bike racks, kiosks, and new street trees. The aim is to provide residents and visitors with safe and easy access to businesses, schools, shopping and regional transit connections, enhancing the sense of place with a unified ribbon of streetscape improvements. (link)

Most importantly, the city expects to install “bicycle oases.”  From StreetsBlog:

One feature of the project will be unfamiliar to most San Franciscans: mid-block bicycle oases. “On the mid-block bulb-outs and a few of the other corner bulb-outs, we’ve actually planned bike oases,” said Opbroek. “There’s an example of this up in Portland, where they’ve done a space on the sidewalk with rows of bike parking.”

If the bicycle plan injunction isn’t lifted before the project is completed, however, there’s a chance the bike oases could be jettisoned. In that case, “they’ll have to be installed at a later date,” said Opbroek. “If for some reason that didn’t happen – I expect that it will, but if it didn’t – that space could also be used for tables and chairs or additional merchants spilling out.” (link)

There better be palm trees.

The plan for Valencia between 15th and 16th (click to enlarge)

The plan for Valencia between 15th and 16th (click to enlarge)

The plan of Valencia Street between 16th and 17th St. (Click to enlarge)

The plan of Valencia Street between 16th and 17th St. (Click to enlarge)

The plan for Valencia between 17th and 18th (click to enlarge)

The plan for Valencia between 17th and 18th (click to enlarge)

The plan for Valencia between 18th and 19th (click to enlarge)

The plan for Valencia between 18th and 19th (click to enlarge)

They are also proposing to transform the bike racks into piece of art.  Here were some concepts.  Badass. (click to enlarge)

They are also proposing to transform the bike racks into pieces of art. Here were some concepts. How badass will it be to lock your dumpster bike up to some dancing skeletons? (click to enlarge)

(StreetsBlog coverage | the DPW’s informational page)

Previously on Mission Mission:

25 Responses to “Coming Soon: Valencia Streetscape Improvements”

  1. TJ says:

    Does anyone know what the deal is w/ the bike plan injunction?

    This came up via google search but it’s pretty old:
    http://sfist.com/2007/12/11/bike_plan_injun.php

    The details as I remember them were along the lines of:
    -city approves awesome bike plan
    -douchebag sites need for EIR, files injunction
    -asshat judge grants injunction

    -profit?

    But where is this all at right now?

  2. Erik says:

    It’s been lifted.

  3. kiya says:

    I find it funny that whoever from the city did those drawings of the blocks was too fucking lazy to actually WALK around and write the businesses down. It’s a minimum FOUR YEARS out of date. haha..

  4. redbearded says:

    I don’t care what the stupid things look like, just put more bike racks out there already!

  5. jimbeam says:

    We will always find a way to complain.

  6. codesmith says:

    The bike plan injunction has not been lifted. The City did the work it needed to do to move the bike plan forward. The people that sued just filed an appeal. The Board of Supes will weigh in and then it should go to the judge. Few months more.

    http://www.sfbike.org/?bikeplan

  7. johnny0 says:

    I freakin’ love the skeletons. (Hmmm, could los bicicleta de los muertos be an underhanded commentary on fixies? How about a little speech bubble saying “el freno… donde es el freno?”)

    Of course, a rack with a bike riding taco would be awesome too. And Mr. Pickle. And RIBITY.

  8. aidan says:

    Looks good, but this will definitely make traffic on Valencia even more of a shitshow than it is now. No more left turn lanes anywhere except for 16th st.

    Sometime recently the traffic lights on Valencia became “anti-synchronized”. That is, traveling either north or south, you hit a red light at every light, no matter what your speed. I’m guessing this was done deliberately to discourage people from driving on Valencia. Pretty frustrating, but yeah I can understand.

    However, I wouldn’t mind this so much if there could be at least one street as an efficient means to travel north/south in the mission. Let’s say… Guerrero or South Van Ness. Synchronize the lights so that traveling at the speed limit (25 mph i think) allows you to hit all greens.

    • zinzin says:

      no one cares about you and your car (or me & mine). cars are an affront to workers, and they cause cancer. cars are a foreshadowing of the horrors to come on the valencia corridor should we, the people, allow them to become anyone’s primary means of transportation. (oh, wait…)

      that said, i’ve found SVN to be relatively zippy between say division & chavez. i usally only have to stop at 1 light.

      also, i think this plan for valencia is fab. i say let em close it down to cars completely. driving on valencia is already a no-win, particularly between those blocks.

    • rachel says:

      The lights on Valencia were re-timed for a 15mph limit I believe. They found that traffic was moving pretty slow most of the time, and also that the timing allowed bicyclists to hit all greens.

      http://sf.streetsblog.org/2009/03/02/valencia-signals-re-timed-to-improve-traffic-flow-and-safety/

      • SFDoggy says:

        15 MPH may be OK in the 16th to 18th st. area but further north it is a doesn’t work very. In any case, I think it is anti-synchronized there. One early morning I was driving north on Valencia without any other traffic; each time my light turned green the light at the next interesection turned red. I think if I drove 7.5 MPH I might have been able to hit the lights.

    • Chris says:

      Slow down South Van as well. That street is over used and is more residential.

  9. chalkman says:

    cab drivers say that SVN is only North/South street in the Mission where the lights are syncronized

    • Chris says:

      And this seems reasonable? Every street calmed exceptone is not a great solution as it forces one street to carry the load of the district.

  10. Bubbles says:

    Has anyone considered the lock-up problems that “artistic” bike racks (re: those featured in this post) may create? I’m thinking specifically of the space between the standard posts of the “staple”-shaped rack. Baskets, pedals, handlebars, etc. may not fit against the “filled” staple shape (e.g., dancing skeletons), making it difficult to properly lock a bike.

    I hope SF checks out the racks in Austin, TX. They are both cute and easy to lock-up more than one bike to:
    http://austinist.com/2008/08/22/downtown_austin_alliance_looking_fo.php

    This is cute, too: http://l.yimg.com/a/p/i/bcst/yahoopurple/4674/73252966.jpg

  11. fatty says:

    i’m guessing this is why they asked all the property owners in the neighborhood to fix their sidewalks all of a sudden….

  12. JP says:

    Not so keen on the glitter sidewalk and ugly low modern metal streetlights. A row of continuous plantings rather than an extra 3ft. of sidewalk width would have been nice. Glad for the bicycle oases if they happen.

  13. [...] Coming Soon: Valencia Streetscape Improvements [...]

  14. Chris says:

    Funny how those who wanted and got traffic slowed on Valencia have o problem suggesting people clog up South VanNess. NIMBYISM ALL THE WAY.

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