SAN FRANCISCO — How can the design of the new Buchanan/Geary pedestrian median enhance the identity of Japantown and the Western Addition?
That will be the topic of a community meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the Union Bank Community Room (East Mall of Japan Center), 1675 Post St. in San Francisco Japantown.
Learn about the Geary Bus Rapid Transit Project’s future crosswalk planned for Geary at Buchanan and provide input on enhancements to the pedestrian median design that will elevate its distinctive cultural and place-based identity.
Because of redevelopment in the 1960s and ’70s, Japantown and the Western Addition were separated by a physical barrier — Geary Boulevard, which was turned into a multi-lane expressway. Currently, the only ways to get from one side to the other are a crosswalk at Geary and Laguna and a pedestrian bridge at Geary and Webster.
A study found that in four hours, 18 percent of pedestrians at Webster crossed illegally at street level instead of using the bridge, and that there have been two fatalities at that intersection since 2008. Some pedestrians risk their lives by running across Geary at the midpoint between Laguna and Webster, where Buchanan Street used to be.
The proposed improvements would reduce lanes on Geary to “calm traffic and proritize transit,” create a new mid-block crossing at Buchanan/Peace Plaza with a signal and upgraded median, remove pedestrian overcrossings at Webster and Steiner, and open surface-level crosswalks at those intersections.
For more information, visit www.japantowntaskforce.org.