The Brand-New Traffic Circles of Euclid Avenue – Going in Right Now – Hey, How Come the SFMTA No Longer Allows Neighbors to Vote on These “Improvements?”

Well, last part first. Our SFMTA used to allow residents living near the sites of proposed traffic circles to have a little mini-election. The problem with that was that the SFMTA got its ass handed to it when all the “trial” circles it had just installed on Page and Waller got voted down, by like a three to one ratio, in five separate votes.

Guess what, the SFMTA Project Manager, the Lord of these rings, whose job it was to push this unwanted project through, was “sad” due to this result.

Anyway, flash forward to 2017 and now some neighbors in Jordan Park are finally just encountering construction of these ring things, and man are they pissed. They’re calling 311 to register their vote (in a different, less effective way).

Here it is, as laid out in October 2017:

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And here’s how things look today:

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Euclidian geometry:

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I guess the idea these days is that residents are supposed to petition the SFMTA for changes in their area, but this looks like a so-called “area-wide” traffic clamming (I just can’t myself to use the actual Orwellian word that’s popular these days, you know the one for sometimes unpopular projects) project to me, as opposed to being a “block by block” project.

I don’t get it man.

But I’ll let the SFMTA explain, as seen live on their site today. What do you make of this, Gentle Reader?


Previously, the SFMTA used to consider traffic calming from an “area-wide” perspective. The area-wide process was developed as a way to look at multiple locations in the same neighborhood together, to consider traffic calming from a community perspective. The boundaries of area-wide projects were drawn to incorporate all residential streets between arterials, major collectors, and/or commercial streets. However, the process was viewed by SFTMA staff and residents as being time-consuming and resulting in unpredictable construction timelines. Often times, the more complex and expensive measures recommended through an area-wide planning process were not constructed, and the long timeline often resulted in changing community priorities that weren’t reflected in the area-wide traffic calming plan. Finally, due to the fact that the area-wide approach to traffic calming tended to involve only the most dedicated members of a community, many believed that the area-wide process did not necessarily reflect the views and concerns of all neighbors.

A resident-driven, block-by-block approach to traffic calming that relies on a data-driven approach ensures that resources are allocated to those streets in which demonstrated speeding and traffic-related concerns exist, and where there is broad resident acceptance for traffic calming.”

So I really don’t get what the SFMTA is saying here, what with the passive voice and the lack of examples given. What kind of people are “the most dedicated members of a community?” Is that an insult? A compliment? IDK.

Hey, are they going to take out some of the stop signs on Euclid? IDK.*

Anyway, there you have it.

*That was the problem with the circles on Page, for example – the taking out the stops signs part. You could hear a car coming from a block away. As a pedestrian, it was paralyzing, ’cause you didn’t know what the driver would do. Like would the driver do a California stop and proceed cautiously, or simply treat the circle like a chicane and come through at 25 MPH?** So I’d just wait until I couldn’t hear any cars coming from a block away in both directions and only then cross over Page. I much prefered the regular four way stops. (And I think the whole idea was so that bike riders wouldn’t have to worry about getting tickets for blowing stop signs.)

**Oh, I just came across this, in the less ideological part of the Streetsblog, you know, in the Comments section: “As a pedestrian, the Page/Waller circles were ‘unsuccessful’ because I defacto had to yield to cars. As a car driver, the things were frickin great because I didn’t have to stop and could blast through at 25MPH. /s Are you actually out-and-about in this city, or are you just reading about it in Dutch traffic manuals?

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5 Responses to “The Brand-New Traffic Circles of Euclid Avenue – Going in Right Now – Hey, How Come the SFMTA No Longer Allows Neighbors to Vote on These “Improvements?””

  1. sebra leaves says:

    If you don’t like this sort of street treatment be sure to support the proposed Charter Amendment to split the SFMTA and give the Board of Supervisors last say on the street and traffic alterations. Let you supervisor know how you feel about these matters.

  2. A concerned neighbor says:

    I’m concerned that these so called “improvements” will make it hard for me to
    drive at 50 miles an hour when I’m in a rush to get somewhere
    or when I want to just drive really fast because it’s just fun and
    maybe I’ve had a couple of drinks and want to blow off
    some steam.

  3. sfcitizen says:

    I’m thinking that all the intersections but two have stop signs now, so the ppl driving for fun have found other places to go.

    Maybe a Tesla in ludicrous mode could get up to 50 betwixt the stop signs, but there’s not too many of those.

    Are they going to take out the stop signs on the traffic circled streets? IDK. Ppl are already driving as if the stops are gone…

    The SFMTA uses the term “improvements” to describe almost all the changes it makes – that’s a high bar to set, for even a competent transit agency much less…

    Nice chatting w/ you, SFMTA. Enjoy your yet-to-be-funded pension.

  4. Quantum Leepe says:

    If you didn’t grow up in New England or the UK, you don’t know how to navigate the “rotaries.”

  5. Euclid Resident says:

    This project has done absolutely nothing to prevent the problem of traffic zooming up and down the hill over the speed limit. However it does prevent residents like me from turning left ino our own garages.

    What works? Suburban communities installed more stop signs and speed limit signs, and issued speeding tickets either directly or through camera traps. And yet for some reason, in San Francisco we repeatedly hear that “Stop signs aren’t the answer.” They may not be the answer to everything but they stop speeding traffic if they’re enforced.

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