San Francisco city officials and community members gathered Saturday to mark the opening of the Mansell Streetscape, a multimillion-dollar construction project in McLaren Park.
The project converted two lanes of a busy four-lane roadway into a pedestrian walkway and bicycle path. At a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday, Mayor Ed Lee praised the project and its contribution to the city’s Vision Zero policy, which aims to build safer and more livable streets, according to officials with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. He said:
“The Mansell Streetscape is an example of our commitment to improving the quality-of-life in all our communities. Thanks to the work of our departments and community members supporting Vision Zero this neighborhood is now safer for families who live here and those who commute through here.”
The project was a partnership involving several groups and city agencies, including the parks department, San Francisco Public Works, Walk SF and the Bicycle Coalition.
After two years of planning, the project finally broke ground in January of 2016, parks department officials said.
In addition to the pedestrian and bicycle path, the completed project includes traffic-calming measures such as signage, raised crosswalks, flashing beacons, solar-powered streetlights, bioswales for storm water management, and clearly marked crosswalks for major intersections. The condition of the road used by vehicles was also vastly improved with new paving, according to the parks department.
San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru stressed the importance of having a safe and accessible open recreational space in southeast San Francisco. Nuru said:
“Families from the neighborhoods all around McLaren Park can now bike, jog, walk and feel safe that they’re not sharing the road with a bus or car.”
Parks department officials said that in addition to increasing accessibility and safety for park users, the project connects the Vistacion Valley, Portola and Excelsior neighborhoods together through Mansell Street.
Current connections from Mansell Street to Shelley Drive and other park roads remain intact.
Funding for this project comes from Department of Motor Vehicle vehicle registration fees, gasoline tax revenue, San Francisco’s half-cent sales tax for transportation funds, grants from One Bay Area, and the state’s Urban Greening program, as well as the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond, according to parks department officials.