More bad intersections near transit.

After doing a lot of research on Millbrae and El Camino near the BART station, I thought I would look around at other transit stations to see if the nearby intersections are pedestrian friendly. The assumption is that these intersection should be really nice to walk and safe. I’ve found that this is to the contrary.

Part of the reason I studied Millbrae Station for my thesis is because its so perfectly terrible to walk or ride to. Surrounded by 7-8 lane freeway like streets, its really difficult to access on foot or by bike. Yet, downtown Millbrae is only a short 10 minute walk and thus lots of folks could walk there. But most do not.

So here’s the 4th and King Caltrain transit station in San Francisco. Tons of folks commute to and from Silicon Valley and the SF Peninsula on Caltrain and many of those folks transfer to Muni after they get off the train. The intersections are very busy with pedestrians, bikes, cars and light rail vehicles (T-3rd street Line).

Here is an image of the intersection at 4th and King Streets with crossing distances.

4th and King Streets

4th and King Streets

The crossing distances over 4th street are not too far (72′ and 97′), but King street is almost as far as Millbrae Ave. Most of that distance is because of the T-Third Street light rail. The major problem is the traffic on King street is either getting on or off HWY 280 thus they are in the worst mind set, “I’ve gotta get on the freeway. What are these people doing in the middle of my street?” Private auto drivers do not expect to see people walking and are often in a very, very, very big hurry. Not a good combination.

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