SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation & Park Department is thrilled to celebrate the opening of the Mansell Streetscape, after a $7 million project to convert two busy lanes of vehicle traffic to permanent pedestrian and bicycle only pathways in McLaren Park. This type of project is a first for San Francisco. This project was a partnership between SF Rec & Park, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, San Francisco Public Works, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, as well as community groups including the McLaren Park Collaborative, Walk SF, and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. Funding for this project comes from DMV vehicle registration fees, gasoline tax revenue, the City’s half-cent sales tax for transportation funds, grants from One Bay Area and the State’s Urban Greening program, and the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond. City officials and community members came together today to cut a ribbon, play outside, and bike around on the new streetscape.
“Our neighborhoods are our greatest source of pride in San Francisco,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “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.”
According to the 2010 McLaren Needs Assessment Report, pedestrian, transit and bike safety improvements to Mansell were top priorities for the surrounding community. And after two years of community planning, the improvement project broke ground in January 2016.
“This is a project that prioritizes pedestrian and cyclist safety, which our constituents deserve,” said District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen. “It is a transformative project that will build stronger connections between neighborhoods that utilize Mansell Street and border McLaren Park.”
In addition to taking a four lane road, separated by a median, and transforming it into two lanes of vehicular traffic and a two lane bike and pedestrian pathway, the project included additional traffic calming measures including 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 vastly improved with new paving — pedestrians and bicyclists now have a dedicated and safe route through McLaren Park.
“I’m thrilled to be here today to see the results of a robust community planning process between local residents and the city,” said District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “I’m excited that this project will provide safer access to the park, which is the second largest park in the city and a treasure for the southeastern part of San Francisco.”
This project increases accessibility and safety for park users to reduce vehicular speeds on the street. In addition, the project connects Vistacion Valley, Portola and Excelsior neighborhoods together through Mansell Street. Current connections from Mansell Street to Shelley Drive and other park roads remain intact.
“McLaren Park is District 11’s backyard. The area is enjoyed by dog walkers, hikers, bird watchers, bike riders, and kids in playgrounds. This new Mansell Streetscape is the result of our neighbors advocacy efforts and solid collaboration between San Francisco Recreation and Parks.” said District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai. “I look forward to riding bikes with my kids on this new, safe and family friendly corridor.”
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA), as well as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), coordinated funding and grants to make this project possible. The SFCTA directed 2010’s Prop AA (DMV registration fees) and 2003’s Prop K (half-cent for transportation funds) to this project.
“This corner of the City has long lacked strong connections to the rest of San Francisco,” said SFCTA Chair and District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin. “I want to appreciate the years of work that have gone into identifying funding and a design to make Mansell Streetscape a complete neighborhood project with safety improvements, including the leadership of former SFCTA Chair and District 11 Supervisor, John Avalos, who long championed this effort. I hope we can continue to prioritize equity in our transportation investments across the city, and look forward to seeing infrastructure tailored to neighborhood needs.”
SF Rec & Park is investing more than $10 million in overall improvements to McLaren Park made possible by the voter-supported 2012 Clean & Safe Neighborhood Park Bond, some of which supported the Mansell Streetscape project. Other projects include, the renovation of the McLaren Community Garden, the addition of a Bike Skills Park, improvements to the beloved Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, and improvements to the group picnic area and playground, in addition to paving and various trail projects. Additional park identification and way-finding signage will be installed later this year. To learn more about improvements in McLaren Park, visit: http://bit.ly/MCLARENPARKPROJECT.
“These improvements to Mansell Street, as well as other areas of McLaren Park, are part of Rec & Park’s overall efforts to improve green and open spaces in San Francisco’s disadvantaged communities,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec & Park General Manager. “I want to thank the community and all of the city agencies who helped make this recreational path a fun and safe passageway.”
Public Works co-managed the community planning process, designed the new amenities and managed the project through construction. They implemented the plan to make Mansell safer, sustainable and more fun for pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and all users of McLaren Park.
“McLaren Park is the Golden Gate Park of the Southeast – our largest open space – and the improvements on Mansell open the doors to the wealth of opportunities that exist in the park,” said San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. “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.”
“The community has spoken, and it became clear that safer, more accessible improvements were a top priority for families in the area,” said SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin. “This project is a first of its kind, and will vastly enhance the experience for all users of the Mansell Streetscape.”
“Park volunteers have advocated for years to bring this dream to reality,” said Linda Litehiser of the McLaren Park Collaborative. “Finally young families with babies in strollers, folks using wheelchairs and bike riders – (from little kids with training wheels, to accomplished cyclists) can all enjoy true accessibility to McLaren Park.”
“The Mansell Street People Path dramatically improves community access to San Francisco’s second-largest park for families in the Excelsior, Portola, Visitacion Valley and other neighboring communities,” said Brian Wiedenmeier, executive director of the SF Bicycle Coalition. “This opens a new era for how San Franciscans enjoy McLaren Park.”
“On behalf of Walk SF and our members, we commend the City for the improvements made to Mansell and McLaren Park,” said Nicole Ferrara, Executive Director of Walk SF. “These are exactly the types of transformative projects that will help the City achieve their Vision Zero goal while simultaneously promoting community health and environmental sustainability. We’re eager to see this comprehensive approach applied to projects coming up this year, including Folsom/Howard and Page Street.”