A Right-Turn Traffic Camera on Octavia at Market Would be Better than Nothing

But I don’t think it would make a whole bunch of difference. Get up to speed on this issue here with Tim Redmond.

The fundamental problem we had a few years back has been solved, pretty much. I mean, back in 2006, lots of commuters would make that illegal right turn every morning, it was a Way of Life for many.


Here are the results of the non-scientific traffic survey, the number of vehicles making illegal rights onto the freeway during the morning drive from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM:

2007: 17 per hour

2010: 0 per hour

Would I feel comfortable running this intersection on a bike parallel to a driver? Oh no. I would slow down to avoid any trouble. Just me. (Actually, I try to avoid the whole Wiggle / Octavia thing as there’s a better route, involving the intersection of McAllister and Divisadero, to take back and forth from downtown to the Panhandle anyway.)

IMO, cameras would be great. Why not? Put them in high crime areas as well, why not?

Now, the reason that commuters were making the illegal turns every day was because Octavia Boulevard doesn’t work nearly as well as the old Central Freeway. (Everybody says it wasn’t earthquake-safe but it was, it was retrofitted at great cost, only to be torn a little later.) Octavia Boulevard is like a half-assed Central Freeway that takes congestion off of the freeway and onto the streets. Anyway, due to that congestion at Market, the freeway onramp is always clear. People would have to get into the daily stop and go mess of Octavia in order to legally use the offramp so they would just use Market and make an illegal turn to jump the queue. Octavia sucks.

Oh well. City Bright Michael Yaki had the answer back in the day – it was called “Yaki’s Compromise.” But the landed gentry of Hayes Valley won out and now we’re left with the mess. Oh well. (MY is too polite to come out and say, “I told you so,” but, in fact, he told us so.) 

Dear Michael Yaki – we were wrong and you were right.

Forgive Us.

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2 Responses to “A Right-Turn Traffic Camera on Octavia at Market Would be Better than Nothing”

  1. zyzzyva says:

    I’ve witnessed two cars making this turn in the last two weeks. Not nearly as many as before, but it still happens often enough to be concerned. Also, you’re right; if I was coming from the Panhandle, I’d take Golden Gate. But I live in the Castro, so this isn’t an option.

    A far more egregious problem seems to be motorists blatantly disregarding the forced right turn onto 10th and 6th streets and continuing straight on Market. Per my casual observation, this appears to happen at least once per light sequence.

  2. yogilives says:

    Besides running a read light making an illegal right turn is one of the most dangerous and deadly (to pedestrians!) thing you can do in car, if red light cameras can work elsewhere and they do, we should be using them everywhere we can. Citations and fines deter reckless driving and the more deterrence the safer our roads will be.