Ocean Beach Implementation Studies: Multimodal Transportation Analysis

Bjorn Griepenburg, Ocean Beach Project Intern
August 12, 2013

One of two streetcar lines serving Ocean Beach is the N Judah, pictured here crossing 38th Avenue towards its terminus at Judah and La Playa Streets. Photo courtesy of flickr user Anna L Conti

SPUR and its partners kicked off the Multimodal Transportation Analysis on July 26th, making it the second in a series of three implementation studies that will help agencies analyze and move forward with recommendations made in the Ocean Beach Master Plan (OBMP). The OBMP presents a number of recommendations that would have significant transportation implications, most notably the closure of the Great Highway south of Sloat Boulevard and re-routing of traffic via Sloat and Skyline Boulevards. The analysis will include an existing conditions study, design and configuration development based on OBMP recommendations, and transportation modeling.

SPUR has been working closely with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and SF Planning Department to scope this implementation study, which is funded by the California State Coastal Conservancy and National Park Service through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). SPUR is pleased to announce Nelson\Nygaard and AECOM as the consultant team for this project. The two firms were instrumental in the development of the OBMP and bring expertise in transportation planning and engineering, multimodal street and intersection design, landscape design, and transportation modeling. Nelson\Nygaard is the lead consultant and will oversee the design and configuration development, while AECOM will carry out the existing conditions study and transportation modeling. These projects are elaborated upon below:

Existing Conditions Analysis
The existing conditions analysis will collect and present data relevant to OBMP recommendations, utilizing multimodal traffic counts, traffic performance analysis, and circulation conditions. Traffic counts and performance analysis will be conducted at key intersections along the Great Highway and on nearby thoroughfares--such as Sunset Boulevard--to examine the feasibility of OBMP recommendations that would divert traffic.

The analysis will provide a summary of commute and recreational travel patterns, accounting for peak usage demand during rush hour, special events, and favorable weather. This will ultimately inform the design and configuration development process, identifying potential challenges and recommendations related to the implementation of the OBMP. 

Design and Configuration Development
Using the existing conditions findings, conceptual street and intersection configurations will be formulated. Three alternatives will then be selected, with preliminary designs being presented to stakeholders in at least one public workshop in Spring 2014. Design options will focus on OBMP recommendations, including removing the Great Highway south of Sloat Boulevard, the reconfiguration of Sloat Boulevard and intersection modifications, as well as addressing Zoo circulation and access planning, the L-Taraval extension, narrowing the Great Highway between Lincoln and Sloat, and parking supply and management. 

Multimodal Transportation Analysis and Modeling
Next spring, SPUR will work with project partners to select and finalize three design and configuration alternatives for transportation analysis and modeling, which will help the project team identify the challenges, opportunities, and impacts associated with each.

The resulting report, which will be integrated with the SF County Transportation Authority’s citywide transportation model, will be completed according to city technical standards in preparation for eventual review under the California Environmental Quality Act. 

Moving Forward
SPUR will continue to monitor the progress and impacts of ongoing projects near Ocean Beach, including SFMTA’s Livable Streets safety improvements on Sloat Boulevard, SFPUC’s Sunset Boulevard Greenway Project, and DPW’s streetscape improvements and Great Highway repaving project.

Throughout this process, SPUR will coordinate the work of the team and agency partners, assist the project team in coordinating with other ongoing transportation studies along Ocean Beach, continue its public outreach efforts, and steward the Ocean Beach Master Plan vision. Keep an eye on our blog, Facebook, and Twitter for additional updates on OBMP’s Implementation Studies.