LOCATION: Intersection of Parker Ave and Caroline Street https://goo.gl/maps/79EJRF9krq32
CONNECTWPB INITIATIVE LEADERS: Jonathan Burgess, Jesse Bailey, Bill Newgent, Greg Weiss, Rick Rose, Joe Roskowski, William Earl
HISTORY: This initiative was birthed through ConnectWPB late 2017 out of frustrations crossing this intersection -- on foot, by bike, and with baby stroller -- namely to visit the weekend special events happening at Elizabeth Ave Station. We were witnessing several hundred people crossing this poorly lit intersection at night to visit this up-and-coming Warehouse District from nearby neighborhoods like Grandview Heights and Flamingo Park.
With no crosswalks, multiple lanes of traffic and limited sight lines, it was clear that this was an accident waiting to happen. With recognition that crossing Parker was only going to become more dangerous as our district’s newly renovated Fire Station No. 4 re-opens at this intersection, along with the increased vehicular traffic heading into Grandview Public Market, our group decided to take action.
Led by local residents and neighborhood association leaders, along with support from landowners in the Warehouse District, a small group of advocates met with City staff to voice our concerns and come up with both short term and long term solutions to safety along this corridor.
UNOFFICIAL UPDATE: March 9, 2018
The City’s consultant has completed their initial concept and staff reviewed it with ConnectWPB’s lead representative for this initiative. The following 3 stages of safety improvements are being proposed
1) Short term (2-3 months): shorten left turn lane southbound on Parker so that it begins south of Caroline St where it's needed to turn into Park Place. That frees up space so the southbound lane can be channelized further east, allowing for enough shoulder on the east side of Parker to put up a pedestrian walkway behind a temporary barrier.
2) Mid-term (6 months): build sidewalk sections along Caroline street and regrade the canal banks to accommodate. Coordinate with SFRTA to find the pedestrian gate in storage from the closure of Boyd St for the Caroline train intersection. Provide additional street lighting on FPL poles.
3) Longer term (2-3 years): full build out of intersection. Currently exploring a mountable roundabout solution but need to study further how it interfaces with the fire station access. In addition to the roundabout, dedicated bike lanes and permanent pedestrian refuge islands are also being explored.
In general, City staff expressed a desire to make these incremental improvements as soon as possible, allocating a portion of their safety dollars towards the project. The longer-term capital improvement would then follow their standard process and once a concept has been advanced, they will come back to the neighborhood stakeholders (including ConnectWPB) to seek additional input.
UNOFFICIAL UPDATE: November 21, 2017
Based on our preliminary meeting, City staff has contracted a consultant to complete the required ‘warrant study’ in order to determine overall turning movements and through trips at this intersection. According to staff, it is required in order to justify allocating monies towards future improvements. There also appears to be discretionary ‘safety’ funds for more immediate improvements. The City’s consultant is working towards an ultimate concept for the intersection before proposing incremental improvements.