by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog – excerpt
“Save Polk Street” has aimed its parking-first agenda at Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit. A couple dozen speakers protested the project an SFMTA hearing last week, distributing fearmongering flyers [PDF] claiming that removing some parking and banning left turns would “kill small businesses,” back up car traffic, and make the street more dangerous.
The long-delayed Van Ness BRT project was already approved two years ago by the boards of the SFMTA and the SF County Transportation Authority. Last week’s hearing was on specific street changes [PDF], like removing parking for station platforms and pedestrian bulb-outs. No action was taken by the hearing officers, but the street changes are expected to go to the SFMTA Board of Directors for approval in October…
Save Polk Street, a group of car-obsessed merchants, successfully watered down plans for protected bike lanes on Polk in favor of preserving parking. The group has ignored statistics – like SFMTA studies showing that 85 percent of people arrive on Polk without a car, or a count of 4,300 parking spaces within a block of Polk between Union and McAllister Streets. Only 1,900 of those parking spaces are on-street, and on-street spaces along Polk and Van Ness make up a fraction of the total.
Most of the complaints about Van Ness BRT were about removing parking and banning left turns, and claimed that transit doesn’t need the estimated 30 percent speed increase. Some also complained about removing five of 16 bus stops to streamline the route…
The changes at the hearing are expected to be approved at an SFMTA Board hearing on October 7.
Why the Van Ness BRT is bad flyer:
We shall see in November who is the minority when the voters decide whether to continue funding SFMTA projects or stop them from further traffic disruptions, such as the Van Ness BRT, by voting Yes on L: http://www.restorebalance14.org/
Stop the Van Ness BRT. Let your city, state and federal representatives know that you oppose any changes on Van Ness. “Van Ness (and Lombard) are considered part of the Federal and State highway system. They are designated as 101 because they form the official link where 101 ends to where it resumes at the GG Bridge.”