Octavia Boulevard Is Devouring Upper Market
|Let them wait in the traffic they created, for heaven's sake.|
Octavia Boulevard was created as a cutting-edge urban design alternative to the freeway overpass that used to connect traffic from Highway 101 to Fell Street. Legendary urban planner Allan Jacobs sold the project as San Francisco's Champs Élysées. But in reality, dumping an extraordinarily wide freeway onramp into a dense section of downtown without slowing drivers down has been kinda disastrous.
The confusing, faux-Parisian grid has perplexed motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, and anyone else passing through.
"What they've done with the lights is bias [toward] the Market and Octavia intersection in favor of Octavia. People traveling outbound on Market get a relatively short amount of time to cross while those on Octavia and those turning left onto Octavia from inbound Market are treated like royalty, IMO," Herd wrote in an e-mail. "Oh, yes, Octavia "works" but at the expense of Market, Haight, Page, Oak, and Fell [streets]."
A real solution would be to acknowledge that Market Street at Octavia, just blocks from the Castro neighborhood, is a pedestrian area in need of aggressive traffic calming. Rather than terrorizing locals, freeway motorists should be made to bide their time behind traffic lights.
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