San Francisco city leaders on Tuesday morning celebrated the completion of the Polk Streetscape Project — a $26.8 million project that has added several safety improvements to the busy corridor.
During a ribbon-cutting ceremony, city officials, including Mayor London Breed, unveiled the improvements that stretch along the majority of Polk Street, from Beach to McAllister streets.
"With the completion of the Polk Streetscape Project, we are taking a big step forward in making Polk Street safer and more enjoyable for everyone who uses it," Breed said in a statement.
"We will continue to evaluate Polk Street to determine what improvements can be added to help us achieve our safety goals. Moving forward, we must find ways to deliver these types of safety projects faster, which is why I have directed the SFMTA (San Francisco Transportation Municipal Authority) to implement simple, easy-to-use safety improvements as quickly as possible," she said.
In a statement, Ed Reiskin, SFMTA's director of transportation, said, "The Polk Streetscape project is the culmination of many hours and years of dedicated outreach, planning, design and construction efforts.
"Through community input and technical evaluation, the street now includes corridor-wide safety improvements and streetscape amenities. The Polk Streetscape Project improves bicycle, pedestrian and transit rider safety on a notable high injury corridor."
Polk Street, a busy commercial and residential corridor, has some of the highest number of pedestrian and bicycle collisions and was prioritized for that reason. The improvements are set to be completed at the end of this month, Breed's office said.
Improvements include 30 blocks of improved bike lanes and 136 new street trees. Additionally more than 3,800 linear feet of upgraded sewer main and more than 5,700 linear feet of upgraded water main have been added.
Also, 160 curb ramps were installed to bolster accessibility for disabled residents.
Nine intersections received upgraded traffic signals and 81 new streetlights were installed. Thirty-one existing streetlights were refurbished.
The entire stretch of Polk Street also got a resurfaced roadway.
The Fern Street Alley has also been made-over as part of the project, with new plantings and colorful art.