Businesses fear L-Taraval train improvements will hurt local parking

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

Taraval Street is a slice of the past, local merchants say.

Like a “Pleasantville” of San Francisco, the sleepy corridor is dotted by single family homes, actual families in those homes, small businesses and most of all — drivers.

Lots of drivers.

“Any retail space needs someone to park there,” Yumi Sam, president of the People of Parkside merchant association told the San Francisco Examiner. Without cars, “they’ll lose business.”

Now Sam, who also works for Allstate Insurance, and other merchants say that driving is imperiled by proposed improvements to Muni’s L-Taraval train.

Those merchants plan to argue against those changes at a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency open house on Wednesday, where the agency will solicit feedback from the neighborhood.

Sam said her organization has a petition with more than 200 signatures in opposition to the transit tweaks.

SFMTA’s planned enhancements for the L revolve around safety, the agency said. The L-Taraval train is a vital commuter link between the residential Sunset neighborhood and downtown, ferrying 29,000 riders a day…

And to speed up the L, SFMTA will create dedicated transit-only lanes, eliminate and move some train stops, and replace train tracks, worn overhead wires and trolley poles.

Those changes may lead to a potential three minutes saved on each L trip. But some neighbors are riled, despite the time savings…

“It will take many of them more than two to three minutes to walk to a farther L stop,” she said, “and they’ll be forced to walk farther in the rain, the cold and at night in the dark.”…

The L-Taraval open house is Feb. 17 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Dianne Feinstein Elementary, 2550 25th Ave… (more)