McAllister Street begins safety makeover

A two-block stretch of McAllister Street will soon see pedestrian improvements in the Civic Center and Tenderloin neighborhoods.

The McAllister Streetscape Project will include street corner bulb-outs, widening of streets, better pedestrian lighting, landscaping between Leavenworth and Larkin streets. A new traffic island will also be constructed on Leavenworth and McAllister to slow down drivers.

The project is part of the San Francisco Transportation Authority’s Tenderloin-Little Saigon Neighborhood Transportation Plan, which recommended several transportation and pedestrian improvements in the Tenderloin neighborhood.

Supervisor Jane Kim and University of California Hastings College of Law Board Chair Carin T. Fujisaki broke ground Thursday at the construction site. The school is on McAllister Street between Hyde and Leavenworth streets.

Kim, who represents the Tenderloin neighborhood, told SFBay that the completion of the Tenderloin-Little Saigon plan is one of her top priorities:

“The McAllister Streetscaping Project, coupled with the completion of the two-way of Eddy and Ellis Streets, will make the Tenderloin safer for our families, seniors and workers.”

The university is paying $640,000 to fund part of project while the rest of funds will come from The City’s vehicle registration fees. The total cost of the project is approximately $2.5 million. Pedestrians will be able to take advantage of these improvements in the summer of 2015.

Just blocks away from the groundbreaking, a City Hall staffer was fatally struck by a motorized cable car in the crosswalk at Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place in front of City Hall.

Priscila “Precy” Moreto, 68, worked in the controller’s office.

Kim said in statement that:

“This is another deeply painful tragedy that could have been avoided.”

The crosswalk, which connects to City Hall and Civic Center Plaza, is heavily used, not just by City Hall workers, but also by tourists and residents.

Kim said she wants the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to prioritize ahead of the scheduled summer 2015 implementation of placing a pedestrian countdown signal at the crosswalk.