Lombard Street and not just the famous twisty part is in store for some changes designed to improve pedestrian safety. The SFMTA intended to vote today, reports the Chronicle, on whether or not to pull parking spaces, widen the sidewalk, and build bus boarding areas on the stretch between Francisco and Franklin Streets. For all you tourists at heart out there, fear not — these changes will not impact the famously crooked stretch of the street.
In an email to SFist, SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose confirmed that the board voted this afternoon unanimously in favor of the plan. According to the Chron, work should start this summer and last roughly two years. In documents detailing the proposal, the agency notes the roughly 13-block stretch is a "high-injury corridor" something that has prompted calls for total closure of the crookedest portion of the street.
"The pedestrian collision rate is 27 collision injuries per mile [on Lombard] as compared to the citywide rate of about 4 pedestrian collision injuries per mile," observes the SFMTA report. "Further, the vehicle collision injury rate is 91 per mile as compared to a citywide rate of about 12 vehicle collision injuries per mile. As a first step to make Lombard great, in coordination with utility upgrades and repaving, safety treatments are proposed to ensure residents and visitors-whether walking, driving, biking or taking transit — can travel along and across Lombard safely."
SFMTA has said that the plan will disappear 46 parking spots, however with the substantial expected improvements to pedestrian safety ("[the] installation of a high-visibility crosswalk has been shown to decrease crashes by 37%," notes SFMTA), it should be difficult for even the most car-friendly advocates to get upset by the changes.