15-Block Landscaping Project Planned for Busy 19th Avenue in San Francisco

By: Sylvia Ramirez - Mon, 15 Oct 2012 18:13:22 -0800

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) -- Work is underway by the San Francisco Department of Public Works to beautify 19th Avenue and enhance the neighborhood quality of life along one of the City’s busiest transportation corridors, according to a statement released by the city.

Demolition crews have begun scooping concrete out of the 5-foot-wide median, which will be transformed into a patch of green over the coming months.

Overseen by DPW, the 15-block landscaping project runs from Wawona Street to Lincoln Way in the Sunset District and is part of a multi-pronged approach to make 19th Avenue safer and more welcoming.

“The 19th Avenue improvement project not only will improve safety along one of our City’s busiest streets, but it also will beautify and green the entire length of this important thoroughfare,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee.

The median will be planted with drought-tolerant ornamental plants, primarily succulents, to soften the landscape. The project is modeled after the successful median upgrade on Guerrero Street and supports DPW’s commitment to make San Francisco a beautiful, livable, vibrant and sustainable city.

"Right now, about a quarter of San Francisco's public rights-of-way are paved hardscape," said DPW Director Mohammed Nuru. "Part of our mission is to transform the streetscape to improve the urban experience. If we can weave major corridors such as 19th Avenue more into the neighborhood fabric, then we create a more livable and welcoming environment."

As a major north-south roadway with six traffic lanes, 19th Avenue carries more than 85,000 vehicles a day and is part of State Route 1.

To minimize disruptions to the public, the construction team will work on two blocks of 19th Avenue at a time, closing off no more than one lane of traffic in each direction between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Fridays. However, motorists may experience traffic delays. Warning signs will be posted prior to the lane closures. The goal is to complete construction by March at the latest.

The median greening project is part of community-backed efforts to make 19th Avenue safer and more attractive. The City already has upgraded traffic signals and has plans to build pedestrian “bulb-outs” to extend the sidewalk at the intersections to make crossing easier. In 2008, a double-fine zone was established for the 19th Avenue corridor; a year later, the speed was reduced to 30 mph.

“We hope this greening project, coupled with the upgrading of traffic signals and the upcoming public-safety improvements, will provide a positive experience for drivers and pedestrians along 19th Avenue,’’ said District Four Supervisor Carmen Chu, who represents the area.

The 19th Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project falls under DPW’s Great Streets Program that aims to improve the public rights-of-way for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists and to soften the urban landscape with more greening. Among the corridors already improved are Valencia Street, Divisadero Street and Leland Avenue. More information can be found at http://www.sfdpw.org/index.aspx?page=88.

Partnering with DPW on the 19th Avenue project are the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and the California Department of Transportation. The $1.4 million median-improvement project is funded with a combination of federal money, San Francisco General Fund money and Proposition K local sales tax revenue.

DPW is responsible for the care and maintenance of San Francisco’s streets and much of its infrastructure. The department cleans and resurfaces streets; plants and maintains city street trees; designs, constructs and maintains city-owned facilities; inspects streets and sidewalks; constructs curb ramps; removes graffiti from public property; and partners with the diverse neighborhoods in San Francisco to provide stellar cleaning and greening services.

(Copyright 2012 KRON 4, All rights reserved.)
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