‘World-Class’ Cesar Chavez Improvements Are A Go!

It’s been a long time coming, and now it’s going to be reality. Streetsblog reports:

A long-awaited blueprint to significantly improve safety and livability conditions on Cesar Chavez Street was approved by SFMTA Board today, culminating nearly a decade of community input and planning.

“This is the final step for approval of this really great project,” said Marc Caswell, program director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. “This project has been in the works for years, and watching the Department of Public Works, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the SFMTA, and everybody at the Planning Department come together to build this world-class project was really inspiring and a great example for how future projects should come together.”

I can’t wait! Read on.


Imagine A New Cesar Chavez

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40 Comments on “‘World-Class’ Cesar Chavez Improvements Are A Go!”

  1. world class my ass Says:

    Hooray for more congestion and gridlock!

  2. SCUM Says:

    This has to be one of the dumbest ideas I have ever heard on so many levels.

  3. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable Says:

    Nice start. Pretty much anything would be an improvement over Cesar Chavez today.

  4. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable Says:

    as an aside: Sure are a lot of whiny people in the comments for that article on streetsblog.

    • MrEricSir Says:

      That’s because SFGate sends Streetsblog a lot of their traffic, so you get the usual trolling carpetbaggers and NIMBYs who read that rag coming to bitch.

      • SFDoggy Says:

        No the whining on Streets-blog is quite different; These guys are all upset that CC is being re-designed and they are still allowing cars on it. They think that it should be designed as some sort of bike centric boulevard. Apparently they don’t realize that drivers need to get on 101 but cyclists, not so much.

        Anyway, say hello to massive traffic congestion.

      • MrEricSir Says:

        Both “sides” are missing the point that Chavez street is a residential street. The people who live there should have say in what happens to the street, not the commuters coming in from Sunnyvale or whatever.

      • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable Says:

        Eric: I’m not sure about that. I mean, sure, they should have *A* say, but not the *ONLY* say. Otherwise you end up in a NIMBY quagmire.

    • moderniste Says:

      No kidding!! I remember back when the Central Freeway was coming down and Octavia Street was being rebuilt, the hyper-emotional whining and NIMBYing–you’d think someone’s dog had died. And now, after all those freakouts, most agree that Octavia St. and Hayes Valley have been much improved.

  5. SimonSays Says:

    Oh so they’re upgrading the street for the day laborers? So thoughtful! God forbid Pedro gets hit by a bike! He’ll also be WAY more comfortable flagging down cars and trucks! SF FTW!

  6. kb Says:

    can anyone tell if cars will be able to make left turns?

    I hope not…

  7. Jay Says:

    First and foremost, the city shouldn’t be spending this $$ when there are many higher priorities for this budget year. For example, try paving the roads in the Mission first. Or funding services for the homeless. You know, projects that benefit everyone, instead of a self-entitled minority. Longer term, this is going to negatively impact thousands of people that use Chavez to get to their jobs, both during the multi-year construction and after when the lanes are reduced from 6 to 4.

    If bicyclists don’t like Chavez, there’s always 26th st. They have options – autos do not. There’s a good reason Chavez is a busy thoroughfare – it’s the only stretch of road connecting the Castro, Diamond Heights, Mission, Bernal Heights, Noe Valley and Glen Park neighborhoods to the highway! Making life difficult for working families while making them pay for it only adds insult to injury.

    • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable Says:

      How do you figure that people don’t have a choice besides Cesar Chavez? Maybe you don’t WANT to drive down 26th street, but you can (at least as far as Hampshire). Or Cortland. Convenient? Not one bit. Fast? Oh god, no. But possible? Yes.

      Improving Cesar Chavez in this manner, even at the cost of the construction delays, is a very worthwhile goal, and better NOW than LATER.

      • Jay Says:

        So you think this extra traffic should go down side streets to get to the highway? That would (will be) a disaster for autos, ped and bikes alike. And the primary issue isn’t construction delays, it’s the reduced lanes. That traffic isn’t going away. Plans like this have already been implemented in Portland and Seattle and have been miserable failures. We should save this money and spend in more worthwhile ventures that benefit all.

      • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable Says:

        Ahh, I see what you’re saying. However, I must strenuously disagree. I think that the narrowing of Cesar Chavez from six lanes is a completely reasonable price to be paid for transforming it from the bleak quasi-freeway it is now into something more attractive and friendly to peds/bikers & drivers alike.

        The only aspect of this that I am uncomfortable with is the lack of increased funding for public transport. I am all in favor of making it more difficult to drive, however that MUST be accompanied by renewed focus on, and funding for, public transport.

    • Wondering Says:

      I ride my bike on Cesar Chavez to get to third st. everyday for work from mission st. There is no way that I could get there on 26th st. So as a bicyclist, Cesar Chavez is the best and pretty much only option for me. I would love to see it become a little less dangerous for my daily commute.

  8. Jay Says:

    To Herr Doktor – my point is that we NEED a quasi-freeway. Thousands of us need it everyday. It certainly doesn’t have to be bleak, but by keeping the autos to a single efficient artery to get them to the highways, you’re going to free up space for bikes and peds elsewhere. If you don’t, you’re going to bigger problems and that’s going to be the result of this plan.

  9. SCUM Says:

    A lot of commerce coming into the city uses Army St.

  10. sfnola Says:

    First off, as anyone who drives on CC knows, the left lane as it is is mostly a disaster. Making a left is difficult, and if any car is making a left, traffic backs up in that lane miserably. If you read the plan, they are putting in dedicated left-hand turn lanes where the median ends at each cross street. So while one full lane is reduced, the net effect on traffic may actually be improved, as you won’t have cars ducking in and out of the left lane dangerously and backing up traffic.

    And to say we “need” a quasi-freeway is just ridiculous. If you’ve ever tried to cross CC on foot you know its beyond dangerous. Sorry your ride from Noe to 101 may take 1-2 minutes longer, but it’d be nice to be able to cross CC without taking my life in my hands. I’m sure the merchants on Mission south of CC would agree.

    • bike pedants are tiresome Says:

      “Sorry your ride from Noe to 101 may take 1-2 minutes longer, but it’d be nice to be able to cross CC without taking my life in my hands.”

      It’s funny how proponents of this project always have to inject their not so thinly veiled take on classism into the dialogue. In reality, people from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds use Cesar Chavez to get to 101. Sorry to burst your bubble.

      • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable Says:

        Nothin’ to do with bikes. I’ve never ridden a bike down Chavez in my life, nor am I likely to start even once these half-assed bike lanes are in place.

        I still think that this project is a great idea.

    • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable Says:

      Yeah. What sfnola said.

    • Jay Says:

      Yeah, we do need a large artery to get thousands of folks to the highway everyday. And it’s going to increase the time a lot more than “1-2 minutes” (nice made up statistic). As for crossing CC as being dangerous, there are a lot of other options to make it safer, especially for $6M. Hell, we could install pedestrian bridges for that much and speed up traffic there even more! I vote for that.

      • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable Says:

        Pretty sure we’re not going to come to a consensus on this, since my point of view is that slowing traffic down, and even getting more cars off the streets is, though not the goal, it IS an added bonus.

      • Michael Says:

        Getting people to their jobs on the Peninsula from the Mission/Noe by car just isn’t really a priority. Having a street that isn’t a mess to live by or walk along is in line with the vast majority of San Franciscans’ priorities.

  11. stiiv Says:

    I cross CC to get to Precita park and I gotta say, I don’t see functioning anything going on there. The businesses suck because no one wants to be near that disaster. Crossing the damn thing sucks. Biking along it above Mission sucks and it *is* a low elevation way to get to parts of Church so biking is totally reasonable. Hell, I even hate driving it and if it isn’t good for driving, what the hell is it good for?

    If you’ve got a job in Sunnyvale and you have to drive. Well, erm, I hate to say this, but maybe you should move down there. That’s kind of a long way.

    • bike pedants are tiresome Says:

      “If you’ve got a job in Sunnyvale and you have to drive. Well, erm, I hate to say this, but maybe you should move down there. That’s kind of a long way.”

      An all too typical remark from the bike community. To them, somehow anyone who works outside city limits is some kind of evil-doer and not worthy of living in the City. I mean who the fuck are you to tell people where to live? As if people who work down on the peninsula actually enjoy commuting down there. In this economy, you take a job wherever you can find it. I guess it’s different for bicyclists. Must be nice!

      • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable Says:

        No, if you’ve got a job in Sunnyvale, and you don’t like the traffic, you should be taking Public transportation. That’s what it’s there for.

      • bike pedants are tiresome Says:

        Fair enough, but why would you do that when it’s cheaper and faster, despite the traffic, to drive?

      • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable Says:

        Then by all means drive, but then don’t complain about the traffic when there are totally reasonable alternatives.

      • bike pedants are tiresome Says:

        I don’t think I was really complaining about the traffic as much as the bike snobs, but whatever.

      • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable Says:

        Sorry, I didn’t mean to single you, personally, out. I was saying more, “if one wants to drive, despite the traffic, then by all means, go ahead. But then one shouldn’t complain about the traffic.” more or less, but that just sounds weird and clunky when expressed explicitly like that.

      • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable Says:

        And, for the record, bike pedants ARE tiresome.

      • Michael Says:

        San Francisco has learned its lesson from Octavia and the Embarcadero: it doesn’t make sense to sacrifice the quality of city life in order to accommodate motorists to/from the Peninsula. It’s rough that your job is on the Peninsula, but as long as employers get the message that their workers are willing to drive from just about anywhere, then they’ll choose to locate down there instead of the city. Projects like this reduce the ability for people to make that trip, thus increasing pressure on employers to rethink that model.

      • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable Says:

        I can’t make out whether that is a PRO-Octavia/Embarcadero or ANTI-Octavia/Embarcadero sentiment. I think that the Octavia and Embarcadero rejuvenations have been wonderful.

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