Why Doesn’t the Richmond’s Killer Geary Boulevard Have More Traffic Lights?

See this pedestrian in red in the middle of Geary Boulevard in the Richmond District? She just came halfway across from the left and it sure looks like she’s fixing to make it the rest of the way on 22nd Avenue to the southern side of the street.

Let’s say you’re the driver, perhaps in a first person shooter video game or whatever, what do you do here? SFPD Richmond Station Captain Richard Corriea has his troops fired up about traffic safety, so this could be another sting operation using an undercover babushka lady or pink bag mafiosa as bait. Therefore, you gots to yield to let her across. But what happens then?

Click to expand, it’s fun to play along:

What happens then is that inbound traffic in the slow lane (seen on the right) doesn’t stop. Zing, zing, zing they go past. Unseen is the Steven Fowler-type behind you in a BMW (it’s always a BMW, which model does Fowler probably have by the way, M5, M3, X5? something like that) laying on his horn because you, the idiot driver ahead of him, doesn’t know how to drive.

Should you go forward as well? That’s a failure to yield moving violation right there, but by waiting for her are you encouraging her to do something dangerous, like crossing the damn street in the Richmond, the biggest danger, by far, in her life?

On it goes for half a minute, the pedestrian waits for the three-series  behind you to catapult launch around you up the slow lane and then the ped makes it across.

This is insanity. Shouldn’t this be an electronically-controlled intersection with traffic lights instead of just a couple of stop signs for cross traffic? Why aren’t there traffic lights and countdown pedestrain signals for the whole of Geary Boulevard in the Richmond all the way up to Avenue 30 or 40 or something?

Money? We can’t afford it? Geary Boulevard is too wide and too busy for this kind of half-assed, a couple of stop signs are good enough, we’ll repaint those crosswalk lines when we feel like it attitude.

Who will be the next to die?

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5 Responses to “Why Doesn’t the Richmond’s Killer Geary Boulevard Have More Traffic Lights?”

  1. Akit says:

    I don’t personally know why they did not put one on 22nd avenue, but it may come sometime. Would they also put one at 26th avenue as well? They did put a new signal where that Jack in the Box is located.

  2. sfcitizen says:

    I think they should put lights in at every intersection all the way up to the 40’s.

    Some bar owner had the biggest stop sign in the world put in around 4th Ave. and Geary so as to irritate people enough to demand a traffic light. That was a while back.

    Adding signals must be expensive…

  3. cowsaysmeow says:

    As someone with no car who lives right near this very intersection and crosses it frequently, I say no!!!

    There are already stoplights on the vast majority of this strip (Arguello to about 33rd-ish), and they are well-timed. Granted, drivers rarely yield to pedestrians and they damn well should, but generally one can cross the street in a reasonable amount of time because of the timing. Even if one is disabled, the timing of the lights is such that if you’re only halfway across one half of the street by the time the other cars start coming, they’ll see you and stop – if they don’t, it’s because they’re assholes and no number of stoplights is going to change that.

    I can understand the logic of putting ones where there is a lot of in-and-out traffic, such as where the Jack-in-the-Box is (12th?), but at 22nd there’s nothing like that to justify one, and both 23rd and 21st have them. I’d venture to say (and I’ll admit I have a selfish motive here) that it’d make the 38 that much slower, seeing as it stops at nearly every intersection anyway.

    I’m much more in favor of installing countdown signals at the intersections that do have stoplights, and installing blinking crosswalks at the ones that currently don’t.

  4. sfonglongs says:

    I personally think there should be fewer stoplights on Geary. It is a ‘boulevard’. I always boulevard meant an expressway with a center divider. I am likely wrong, but that is what I though. I live near Geary and Jordan/Stanyan. I don’t drive (I take MUNI) and still get annoyed by all of the lights on Geary. The City just put in a new stoplight at Spruce, one block away from one that was already there on Parker. Two lights on two blocks is overkill. The reason I feel they did that is because of the bus stop on Spruce. Is it too difficult for pedestrians to walk one block over to Parker to cross at that intersection with a light.

  5. Yueng says:

    I think this is mostly an enforcement issue. The SFPD ignores pedestrian safety until forced to do otherwise. Geary, Clement, California are very dangerous due to overly aggressive drivers. I routinely see drivers running lights and stop signs. If the police would actually do their jobs, things might be better. I guess they are too busy with more important things, like violating our civil rights….