Mission Businesses Tussle with Transit Advocates over Bus Lanes

by : sf.streetsblog -excerpt

SFMTA’s newly painted transit lanes on Mission are raising the ire of many.

Businesses in the Mission are complaining to Supervisor David Campos about the new “Red Carpet” painted transit lanes. And there’s already talk about taking them out. The San Francisco Transit Riders Union (SFTRU) reacted in an email blast last week:…

This is what Campos had to say about the lanes on his Facebook page:
While I understand the intention was to enhance the commute of 65,000 transit riders, the changes look better on paper than in practice. I have heard from many of you–car commuters frustrated by traffic jams that stretch multiple blocks…That’s why I’m calling on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to make a radical shift in the program. We look forward to announcing a solution shortly. In the meanwhile, please email your concerns to the SFMTA: matthew.brill@sfmta.com

The SFTRU is pretty peeved that Campos is even suggesting undoing the results of all their hard work. They’ve set up a web page, letting transit-supporters know how to stop this roll back. As the SFTRU put its outrage:…

Studies show that businesses tend to get it wrong about how many customers arrive by car…

We can see the author knows little about running a business. The number of customers arriving has nothing to do with actual sales and the bottom line. Many people shop on the street who purchase online now, especially if they can’t park near the store they intend to purchase from.

Perhaps one has to run a small business to fully appreciate the reasons for the complaints…

That said, Trevino bikes to work and she also complained about the lack of bike lanes. “It’s not safe,” she said, opining that the bus lanes made it even worse for cycling. “I’m afraid I’ll get hit by a bus.”…

Streetsblog is on the record for not approving of how this lane was set up, principally because of how cyclists were basically given nowhere to ride. The confusion that motorists experience about where to turn and where to go straight, might also be less acute if the transit-only lanes were in the center with boarding islands. Part of the driver confusion no doubt stems from flipping the transit-only lane back and forth from right to center, depending on the stretch of Mission, to allow cars to make right turns. If the cars were driving to the right of the transit lane all the time, as they do on stretches of Market and elsewhere, it might be less of a mess at intersections. That said, the markings could be much clearer, as the SFTRU pointed out in an email to Streetsblog.

Why are turn signs at Mission & 24th invisible? Why no ped priority walk signal?

Either way, no matter what SFMTA does, motorists will get grumpy when they lose lanes–that’s why going in with all the incremental half-measures and compromises seems so futile. Compromise results in blowback. Doing it right the first time results in blowback. Let’s save the compromises for later.

The SFTRU, meanwhile, has set up the hashtag  to get pro-transit people talking… (more)

The Mission is in a crisis. People are losing their homes, jobs, and lives. Walking, sitting or standing may considered “lingering”. The red lanes are an insulting intrusion into our lives.

 

 

 

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