New SoMa traffic light signals safety for seniors

Community organizers and city officials celebrated a new mid-block signalized crosswalk last Friday that will help provide safe passage for seniors to get to Yerba Buena Gardens.

The new mid-block signal at Folsom and Mabini streets took years to convince The City to install, according to John Elberling, executive director of affordable housing developer TODCO Group.

At the corner of Mabini Street between Third and Fourth streets on Folsom Street is the Mabini Adult Day Health Center, which helps provide services for seniors and the disabled.

SFMTA’s Director of Sustainable Streets Tom Maguire crosses the new signalized crosswalk at Folsom and Mabini streets in San Francisco, Calif., on May 4, 2018.

John Tinloy, program director of the adult day health center, said:

“This new lighted crosswalk will increase safe community access to Yerba Buena park for our participants of the center as well as for the neighborhood residents.”

Seniors with mobility issues will no longer have to walk to Folsom and Fourth streets in order to cross the street, said Tinloy.

Supervisor Jane Kim, dressed as Princess Leia from Star Wars, greets attendees to celebrate a new signalized crosswalk at Folsom and Mabini streets in San Francisco, Calif., on May 4, 2018.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin said he realizes the danger the public had faced for years crossing the intersection without a signalized crosswalk:

“People have been crossing here for many years, if not decades, and they have been doing so with some peril to their safety given the flow of traffic on Folsom.”

Reiskin added that not only will the new crosswalk signal provide better access to Yerba Buena, but it will also provide easier access to the future entrance of the Central Subway transit stop at Fourth and Folsom streets.

Supervisor Jane Kim celebrates a new signalized crosswalk at Folsom and Mabini streets with seniors from the Mabini Adult Day Health Center in San Francisco, Calif., on May 4, 2018.

Supervisor Jane Kim, who represents the South of Market neighborhood, while a crosswalk signal may not seem like a big deal, the new signal will make difference in the neighborhood:

“It seems like a signalized crosswalk is a very small victory or win but it really is part of what completes a neighborhood.”

Jin Die Lin, a member of the adult day health center, said through an interpreter:

“It will be much more easier and accessible for us to go to Yerba Buena Garden to enjoy the activities.”

The cost of signalized intersection was $400,000 and was funded using local Proposition K sales tax, according to Kim’s office.

The project follows another new mid-block crosswalk signal at Howard and Russ streets installed last month on Walk to Work Day.