Traffic signs ready to roll in Hayes Valley 

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New variable-message signs are set to be installed on Gough and Franklin streets, more than two years after neighbors rejected similar digital boards near the Panhandle.

The digital signs will alert motorists to available parking spaces at local garages, warn drivers of nearby accidents and caution speeders to slow down for pedestrians and cyclists, said spokesman Paul Rose of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which manages traffic in The City.

The signs have created controversy in the past. In 2009, community groups in the Panhandle came out strongly against digital boards on Oak and Fell streets. Neighbors said the signs were ugly, unnecessary and would induce motorists to travel faster due to the highwaylike nature of their design. They were never installed.

In Hayes Valley, residents have expressed similar concerns. The Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association wrote to the SFMTA in October, saying the group had reservations that the signs would encourage driving, not public transit. Also, they would clash with the historic aesthetic of the area and block views of local businesses, such as SF Jazz.

That led the SFMTA to tweak its original proposal to feature smaller message boards at different locations. The sign on Gough Street will be placed near the intersection with Turk Street and will stand 10 to 12 feet above street level. The Franklin Street sign will be placed just north of Linden Street, away from SF Jazz.

Today an engineering committee will vote on whether to recommend the installation of the signs. If recommended, they will go for final authorization at a later date.

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Will Reisman

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