SoMa residents lead charge against dangerous crossings 

When Katy Liddell approaches the South of Market area intersection of Folsom and Main streets, she purposely avoids crossing Main from the north side of Folsom because of the danger for pedestrians.

That hazard has now been increased, she said, with the addition of a second left-turn lane from Folsom onto Main.

“It’s a really bad idea,” she said.

Liddell said the main issue is that when a pedestrian is crossing there, they have to constantly look over their shoulder to see if a car is coming from Folsom Street, even though cars are supposed to yield.

“But it doesn’t always happen,” she said. “People speed around that corner.”

Liddell, a resident of SoMa for the past 15 years and a board member of pedetrian advocacy group Walk San Francisco, said the entire neighborhood presents pedestrian-safety issues. She said an accident involving a pedestrian happens almost every week.

There was even a death in December 2004.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman Paul Rose said the second left-turn lane is not new. He said the lane existed before the construction of the temporary Transbay Terminal, which is located at Howard and Main streets. The lane was repainted recently.

The temporary terminal will be used for the next seven years.

Rose said the SFMTA is working to alleviate the concerns of neighbors and come up with a solution.

“We’re absolutely aware of pedestrian safety in any project,” he said. “Because this temporary Transbay, changes are new, we’re continuously making adjustments.”

Jamie Whitaker, president of the Rincon Hill Neighborhood Association, said he plans to bring the issue to the next board meeting in August.

“The main appeal for people to move here is to be able to walk to work,” he said. “This puts pedestrians in danger.

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