Safer San Jose Avenue Advocates Fend Off Attacks From Angry Motorists

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

The redesign of San Jose Avenue took a step forward a month ago when Caltrans removed a traffic lane on a Highway 280 off-ramp leading on to San Jose, a.k.a. the Bernal Cut. The plan is the result of decades of neighborhood advocacy for safer streets, but it is running into opposition from motorists who won’t stand for the road diet.

Supporters and opponents of the project are duking it out with online petitions, both launched a month ago. The opposition’s petition currently has a lead on the supporters’ petition. The SFMTA hasn’t released the results from its survey from last fall.

“There is a contingency of drivers that is working against this plan and are very active on NextDoor and talking to their supervisors,” said neighbor Collin Martin. They “seem to accept no alternatives to making this avenue safer and more sane for cyclists and pedestrians.”…

Collins said Caltrans could have done a better job implementing the ramp lane removal, “as it is causing sudden stops” that may contribute to “part of the backlash.”

“The exit should just be one lane and not two merging into one on a curve in short distance,” he said. “This is almost certainly what caused the surge in support to the petition against the road diet.”

The opposition petition calls on city officials to “stop the destruction of effective traffic flow on 280N and San Jose Ave.” The creator, Dave Wang, claims that removing the third lane on San Jose has “caused traffic standstill,” and features a Streetsblog photo of car traffic on Highway 101 in Belmont…

The petition also says that “the SFMTA has provided no data to indicate this corridor is more unsafe than others.”…

While a petition tally shouldn’t be the deciding factor in whether to make streets safer, a show of support can stiffen the spines of decision makers and lead them to move forward with improvements. …(more)

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