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Polk Streetscape Project

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Polk Street is a thriving neighborhood and commercial corridor that serves an important transportation function for San Francisco. It also has some of the highest pedestrian and bicycle collision rates in the City. On average, one person walking and one person biking are hit by a vehicle each month on Polk Street (122 in a five-year period).

For years, Polk Street has been the site of many traffic-related injuries and the corridor is currently on San Francisco’s Vision Zero High Injury Network. This network represents 12 percent of San Francisco’s surface streets and is where injuries, including severe and fatal injuries, are most concentrated.

San Francisco's Vision Zero policy calls for eliminating traffic-related fatalities by 2024.

The corridor is not only the designated street for the #No. 19 Muni bus line; it also is a preferred north-south bicycle route due to its flatter terrain. Polk Street also is a popular place for people to walk.

The Polk Streetscape Project was designed to enable safe access for all road users of all ages and abilities. Through community input and technical evaluation, the proposed design includes corridor-wide safety improvements and additional streetscape amenities at key locations.

Partnering on the project are San Francisco Public Works, San Francisco Planning Department, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

The Polk Streetscape Project aims to increase safety for people walking and biking on Polk Street, as well as improve the efficiency of transit on the corridor. This project will build on Polk Street's vibrant commercial character by improving safety and transportation choices.

Upcoming improvements on Polk Street between Beach and McAllister streets and nearby alleyways will include repaving, street base repair, sidewalk corner bulb-outs, to shorten the crossing distance, ADA-compliant curb ramp upgrades, Muni bus stop optimization; such as bus stop consolidation or relocation, bus bulb-outs for easier boarding, and left and right turn lanes to improve traffic flow, raised cycle tracks, green bike lanes, sewer replacements, water line replacement, traffic signal upgrades, high visibility crosswalks, better visibility at crosswalks, commercial-loading improvements, landscaping, tree planting, street lighting and alley enhancements to Fern Alley, to enhance the pedestrian and bicyclist experience with the creation of a well-lit plaza atmosphere, widening of the existing sidewalk, decorative asphalt, raised crosswalks, traffic calming measures and planting of palm trees.

To help achieve these improvements, the design necessitates the removal of 106 parking spaces along the Polk Street corridor and 28 spaces on side streets.

Updates on changes of design elements on the Polk Streetscape Project:

SFMTA has recently announced that plans for Polk Street bike lane will be modified from raised to road level.
The previous plan for the Polk Streetscape Project included a raised bike lane, with a two-inch mountable curb, on the northbound side of Polk from McAllister to Pine streets. But in our experiment with different curb designs last year on Market Street, we found that raised bike lanes on commercial streets like Polk should have a parking-protected configuration, with a lane of car parking and loading zones between the bike lane and the roadway, to prevent drivers from parking in the bikeway.
 
Making room for that parking lane on Polk would require major changes to the plan already under construction. To make the bike lane safer without a major delay, the northbound bike lane will no longer be raised but will be built at road level with plastic safe-hit posts and a painted buffer zone to separate it from the traffic lanes.
 
For more information, visit www.sfmta.com.
 
Crosswalk design at Polk and Green streets will be modified to reflect SFMTA crosswalk guidelines and to meet budget constraints.
Crosswalks along Polk Street are marked using continental striping. The SFMTA adopted continental crosswalk striping as the citywide standard in May 2014. The proposed decorative crosswalk shown at Polk and Green by the City in March 2014 during the community outreach phase of the project will not be used. The high visibility continental crosswalk markings help advance our goal to make Polk Street safer for everyone. We apologize for not notifying the community sooner. 
 
Please be assured that other key safety improvements will be implemented along Polk Street. The City is building on Polk Street's vibrant commercial character by investing in new lighting, landscaping, repaving, installation of a protected bike lane, sidewalk bulb-outs, traffic signal upgrades, pedestrian countdown signals and ADA curb ramp upgrades. 
 

Location

Polk Street from McAllister Street to Beach Street 
Redwood Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Elm Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Willow Street, Polk Street to Larkin Street
Olive Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Alice B. Toklas Place, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Hemlock Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Fern Street, Polk Street to Larkin Street Alleyway Improvement
Austin Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Frank Norris Street, Polk Street to Larkin Street
Chestnut Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
North Point Street, Van Ness Avenue to Larkin Street

Visit bit.ly/PolkStreetscapeMap for additional details about the project. 


Project and Construction Schedule

Completed Phases:
Community outreach and planning phase: August 2012 - March 2014
Environmental review: September 2014 - January 2015
Engineering public hearing: January 30, 2015
SFMTA Board of Director approvals: March 3, 2015
Detailed Design: Spring 2015 - Winter 2015/2016

Upcoming Phases: 
Construction: October 2016 - 2018

Traffic Striping: Polk Street Final Traffic Striping Plan

Construction Sequence 

The Polk Streetscape Project is anticipated to be completed in six segments. Please note that the following construction durations for each segment are approximate estimates and are subject to change. The projected construction schedule is as follows*: 

Segment 5: October 2016 - September 2017
Segment 4: November 2016 - November 2017
Segment 3: August 2017 - April 2018
Segment 2: September 2017 - June 2018
Segment 1: March 2018 - July 2018
Segment 6: May 2018 - August 2018

*Please note that the construction schedule is subject to change due to rain, equipment breakdown, and/or unforeseen field conditions. Please see posted "No Parking" barricade signs for exact parking restrictions. Parking restrictions may vary per block. 

Polk Streetscape Project Construction Activity Update:

02/06/18: Crews will continue with sewer work on Austin Street. Crews will begin ADA curb ramp work at the NE corner of Polk and Clay and the SE corner of Polk and Bush. Crews will also continue bus pad installation work at Polk and Washington (IB) and at Polk and Sacramento (OB). The week of February 12, 2018, crews will perform catch basin work at the SW and NW corners of Polk and Sutter as well as hydrant work at the SW corner of Polk and Sutter. Bus pads will continue to cure at Washington and Sacramento. Crews will begin ADA curb ramp work at the SE corner of Polk and Sacramento and the NW corner of Polk and Clay. Crews will also begin ADA curb ramp work at the NE and SW corners of Polk and Post. For the week of February 19, 2018, crews DO NOT anticipate working Monday, February 19, 2018 in observance of Presidents Day. Crews will resume work on Tuesday, February 20, 2018. Crews will resume sewer work on Austin Street. Crews will begin installation of ADA curb ramps at the NE corner of Polk and Sacramento and the SW corner of Polk and Bush.  Bus pad installation work will also begin at the NE corner of Polk and Post and the SW corner of Polk at Sutter.

01/25/18: Crews completed tree removal activity on Polk Street in anticipation for upcoming tree planting activity, which is anticipated to begin in the next few weeks. Crews completed water work on Hemlock between Polk and Van Ness and at the intersection of Polk and Geary. Street base work between Bay and Jackson was also completed in anticipation of upcoming paving activity. Crews also began street light conduit and foundation work at Polk and Broadway, Washington, Clay and Sacramento streets. 

Crews will begin working on ADA curb ramps at the NW corner of Polk and Pacific and NW corner of Polk and Clay. Crews will also begin bus pad installation work at Polk and Washington (OB), Sacramento (IB) and Pine (OB). San Francisco Water Department crews will also be on site to complete service connection work at Polk and Hemlock and Polk and Geary. Crews will continue street light conduit and foundation work between Clay and Sacramento. Crews will begin street light pole installation work on Polk at Union, Washington, Clay streets, as well as begin traffic signal work at Polk and Pine and Polk and Bush. 

The San Francisco Water Department will perform night work on Thursday, January 25th between the hours of 11:55 PM to 4:00 AM to connect new water service at the intersection of Van Ness and Hemlock. Please note that although work is scheduled to occur until 4:00 AM, crews may finish connection work sooner. This work is being done at night to accommodate the needs of neighborhood businesses which are affected by the temporary interruption of water service. There may be noticeable noise, vibration, dust, and traffic restrictions in the work area. To report any water related issues or concerns, visit www.sfwater.org/nightshift or call 3-1-1 or 415-550-4956. 

Crews anticipate paving activity to occur on Polk Street between Bay and Jackson streets in late January or early February 2018. Crews my pave between three to nine blocks at a time, starting at Bay and working south. Crews will post all blocks being worked on to allow for roadway preporation work and open up temporary parking spaces as crews move through to complete required work and spaces become available. Additional paving details will be announced soon. 
 

01.08.18: Tree removal activity began on Monday, 01/08/18 and will continue over the next few days. (For a list of general tree removal locations, please see below.) Pending suitable weather conditions, crews will continue with water work on Hemlock Street between Polk and Van Ness. Crews will also continue to work on street base work between Bay and Jackson streets and will install ADA curb ramps at the NE and SW corner of Polk and Clay. Water work will also be performed at the intersection of Polk and Geary. Electrical crews will install streetlight conduits at Polk and Broadway. 

The week of January 15, crews WILL be working on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 15, 2018 and will continue with water work on Hemlock Street between Polk and Van Ness, street base work between Bay and Jackson, water work at the intersection of Polk and Geary and crews will wrap up curb ramp work at the NE and SW corners of Polk and Clay. Crews will begin curb ramp work at the SW corner of Polk and California, water hydrant work at Polk and Sutter and will begin curb ramp work at the NE corner of Polk and Pacific and the SW corner of Polk and Washington. PG&E will conduct work on Polk at Pacific and at Pine. Electrical crews will complete streetlight conduit work at Polk and Broadway and begin streetlight, conduit and foundation work at the intersections of Polk and Washington, Clay and Sacramento.

The week of January 22, crews will continue curb ramp work on Polk Street at the NE corner of Pacific and the SW corner of Washington and will begin curb ramp installation work at the NE and SE corners of Polk and Pine. Crews will also begin bus pad installation work at Washington (outbound), Sacramento (inbound) and Pine (outbound). Crews also anticipate paving activity to begin this week between Bay and Jackson streets. Electrical crews will continue to install streetlight conduits and foundations on Polk between Clay and Sacramento. 

12.18.17Crews have completed sewer main installation work on Polk from Union to Filbert. Crews also completed culvert installation work at Polk and Francisco and at Polk and Chestnut. and have completed curb ramps at the SW and NE corners of Polk and Lombard and the SW and NE corners of Polk and Greenwich. Crews will continue with water work on Hemlock Street between Polk and Van Ness. Sewer main installation work on Polk at Olive and Austin is anticipated to begin starting the end of January. Crew will continue with curb ramp installation work at the intersections of Polk and Greenwich and Polk and Francisco. Crews will NOT be working the week of December 25 and will NOT be working on January 1, 2018. Crews will resume work on Polk Street in segments 4, 3 and 2 on January 2, 2018. 

Upcoming tree removal and planting activity:
Crews will begin tree removal activity in segments 4, 3 and 2, Polk Street between Union and Ellis, starting on January 8, 2018. In total, 25 trees will be removed and 148 new trees will be planted on Polk street, between Union and Golden Gate Avenue. Tree planing will begin in segments 4 and 3, Polk between Union and Pine streets, with tree planting in segments 2, 1 and 6 to follow. Tree removal activity is anticipated to take approximately 3-4 days with some parking restrictions to be expected near tree removal/planting locations. Restricted parking spots will be opened up once tree removal/planting activity is completed at each location.
 
Tree removal locations: 
Polk and Eddy SW corner
Polk and Willow NW corner
Polk and Fern NE corner
Polk and Fern SE corner
Polk between Sacramento & Clay
Polk and Clay SW corner
Polk and Clay NW corner
Polk between Clay & Washington
Polk and Washington SE corner
Polk and Jackson NE corner
Polk between Jackson & Pacific
Polk between Pacific & Broadway
Polk and Broadway NW corner
Polk between Broadway & Vallejo
Polk between Bonita & Green
Polk between Green & Union
 
Upcoming paving activity: 
Crews anticipate paving activity to occur on Polk Street between Bay and Jackson streets in mid-to-late January 2018. Crews will work on up to three blocks at a time, starting at Bay and working south. Paving is anticipated to take approximately 2 days per block*. Crews will first begin with grinding activity one day, followed by full roadway paving and temporary traffic striping the next. Once paving work is complete, Public Works will inspect the newly paved road and once approved, final traffic striping will be applied and curbs will be painted by SFMTA. Full parking restrictions are to be expected on blocks actively being worked on during paving activity.

12.01.17: Crews have demobilized from the majority of Polk Street south of Filbert Street in observance of the Holiday Moratorium. Crews will continue to work on Polk Street at the intersection of and north of Filbert Street and in some alleyways south of Filbert. This past week, crews have worked on water main installation work on Hemlock in segment 2, bus pad installation work at the SE corner of Polk and Lombard and curb ramp installation work at the intersections of Polk and Lombard and Polk and Filbert. Work will resume on Polk Street south of Filbert Street on January 2, 2018. Crews anticipate working at the intersection of Polk and Union the weekends of December 2 and December 9, 2017 to complete sewer main installation work. 

Week of December 04, 2017 crews will continue with water main installation work on Hemlock Street between Polk and Van Ness. Crews will begin culvert installation work at the intersection of Polk and Francisco and Polk and Chestnut streets. Crew will continue with curb ramp installation work at the intersections of Polk and Lombard and begin installation work at the intersection of Polk and Greenwich. Week of December 11, 2017 crews will continue with water main installation work on Hemlock Street between Polk and Van Ness, culvert installation work at the intersection of Polk and Chestnut Street and curb ramp installation work at the intersections of Polk and Lombard and begin installation work at the intersection of Polk and Greenwich. Crews will also begin sewer main installation work on Austin and Olive alleyways and curb ramp work at the intersection of Polk and Francisco. 

Construction Update Archive

(08/2017-11/2017)

(02/2017-07/2017)

(08/2016-01/2017)

Construction Cost / Funding

Approximately $18,000,000
This project was made possible in part by Proposition K Sales Tax dollars provided by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

This project is also partially funded by: 
2011 Road Paving and Street Safety Bond (Prop B)
2014 Transportation and Road Improvement Bond (Prop A)
Proposition K - Your Sales Tax Dollars at Work
PUC Wastewater Bond Fund
PUC Water Enterprise Bond Fund
SFMTA Revenue Bond
Lower Polk Neighbors
Lower Polk Community Benefit District

Additional Information

More information on the Polk Streetscape Project can be found on the following partner websites:
Municipal Transportation Agency
SF Planning

Related Projects: 
Van Ness Improvement Project
19-Polk Bus Stop Changes

Polk Street Traffic Signal Upgrade Project 

The Polk Street Traffic Signal Upgrade Project began construction in January 2017 and has completed installation of new traffic signals at nine intersections along Polk Street from Union to Post streets. 

Intersections include: Union, Broadway, Pacific, Jackson, Washington, Clay, Sacramento, California, Post

Archived Construction Updates

(01/2017-07/2017)
 

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Streets & Streetscapes
STATUS In Progress
Location
Polk Street, from McAllister St. to Beach St.
Start Date August 2016
Completion Date December 2018
Budget
$18,000,000
Project Manager
David Froehlich
Project Team
Contact
Coma Te
Phone
(415) 558-5283