SAN FRANCISCO—The Page Street Bikeway Improvements Pilot Project is continuing as planned after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently denied an appeal to investigate the environmental impact of the project.
The year-long pilot project will create a bikeway on Page Street, a physical barrier, between Laguna and Octavia Streets, while creating some forced turns to divert drivers seeking Page Street as a shortcut to U.S. Highway 101. A large amount of traffic has congested the corridor.
The project was approved by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA) Board of Supervisors in November 2019 after five years of planning. The eastbound lane of Page between Octavia and Laguna would close to cars for 12 months.
Attorney Mary Miles and advocate Rob Anderson filed an appeal with the Board of Supervisors to have the pilot’s California Environmental Quality Act exemption thrown out for an environmental impact review. In a six page letter to the board, Miles stated that the car ban would force the traffic to nearby streets that are already overcapacity. She also claims that 36 parking spaces will no longer be available, and that the program will increase pollution because “vehicle idling and residents having to search for parking.”
The board tossed out the appeal with a unanimous vote. The city of San Francisco states that the addition of thousands of new residents is to blame for the increased traffic, and believes the car ban would benefit pedestrians, cyclists, and the students nearby at John Muir Elementary School.
“Page and Haight streets have become feeders to Octavia and Highway 101,” said District 5 San Francisco Board of Supervisor Vallie Brown. “But these are neighborhood streets meant to prioritize people, whether on foot, bike or transit. It’s high time we restore the balance.”
The Page Street project is slated to begin early this year and will be up for review and reconsideration at the end of 2021.