San Francisco’s Mission Street is undergoing significant transformation in the coming months, but there is skepticism among drivers and bus riders that the changes will be for the better.
As of last Friday, several bus stops along the corridor including those at 15th, 19th, 21st and 23rd streets had vanished. The city will now begin turning one of the lanes in each direction into a bus-only lane, with painting expected to be completed at the end of April. Beginning in March, left turns off of Mission Street will be prohibited, and northbound drivers will be required to turn right off of Mission at 26th, 24th, 22nd and 20th streets.
The response to these changes on social media was swift and angry: “Nooo,” “Horrible,” “This is terrible,” or simply, “Grrrr.”
Others had more specific complaints.
“They got it backwards. You start implementing transit first after you have a transit system,” wrote Daniel Bucko on Facebook.
“Who do we have to vote out of office to make this go away?” wondered Facebook user Gary Siegel.
After the changes were announced, Dave Smith, a Mission resident dedicated to reducing dangerous crashes on South Van Ness Avenue, wrote an incensed letter to the transit authority’s head Ed Reiskin. Now he wrote, even more drivers will be diverted to the notoriously high-injury corridor.
“You, due to your negligence have created an unsafe situation on South Van Ness Ave. and it will only get worse once you limit cars on Mission St.,” Smith wrote. “It makes zero sense to funnel traffic from Mission St., which is commercial, to South Van Ness, which is mainly residential in nature.”…(more)
Why are city officials approving spending money on controversial programs like this? As someone who works late at night pointed out, Mission is not a safe street to walk on in the middle of the night, and he fears for the safety of his co-workers. We have a growing homeless population living on the streets of our city while the SFMTA waste millions of dollars needed to house them. Who indeed do we need to fire to set the priorities straight?