The inability to walk directly and safely from the Portola to the Alemany Farmers Market has been a vexing problem since the freeway was built in the "car is king" era. Today, as evidenced by the hundreds of pedestrian trips across the median and Alemany itself during breaks in traffic, it's obvious that people want a pedestrian alternative to driving to the market.
A first step to realizing a proper signalized route from the Portola to the Market happens this week as the SFCTA-CAC votes on a request for $100,000 in Neighborhood Transportation Improvement Program funds, which have been allocated to the study by Supervisor Campos.
Last year, the PNA highlighted to Supervisor Campos the need for a safer crossing between the Portola and the Market. The benefits of such a route are many: improved safety for all pedestrians, but especially the elderly; fewer cars trying find parking and blocking roads around the Market; increased revenue for farmers thanks to more people being able to access the Market on foot.
The PNA has also been working to encourage Mayor Lee to include a $100K match in his 2015/16 budget to allow SFCTA staff to also look at bike routes through the area, which could further increase our ability to not only get to the Market, but also make it safer to get to bike lanes that take us from the Portola to Glen Park BART and beyond.
This $100K is just a first step, but with it comes a lot of opportunity to reconnect our neighborhood with those to the north. Residents are welcome to come to Wednesday's SFCTA-CAC meeting at 1455 Market St, 22nd Floor, 6-8pm to express their views on this study. For more information, please check out item 13 at http://www.sfcta.org/citizens-advisory-committee-may-27-2015