Mission locals grill MTA over red lanes, but the red remains

By : curbed – excerpt

Minor changes approved, but scarlet streets here to stay

The red lanes are staying on the Mission, and some residents are absolutely furious.

A summer’s worth of outreach, research, and reconsideration yielded a few small changes to the program, presented at a Tuesday meeting of the SFMTA board. (Yes, that was the same meeting with the angry church median parking debate. It was a really contentious week at SFMTA, all told.)

A couple of the reviled forced right turns (at 22nd and 26th) will probably go, and the agency promised further tweaks like additional bulbouts.

But for the most part, transit planners and board members defended the rage-provoking project. Planner Matt Brill told the board that the city’s outreach revealed mostly positive feedback on the program and that the 14 Mission bus line (which carries 65,000 people a day, according to Brill) is moving faster and suffering a third as many accidents.

Then the meeting opened up to public comment, and neighbors let them have it.

While some commenters defended the program, noting the benefit to public transit, most of the feedback ranged from angry to downright offended. Phrases like “gentrification on steroids,” “the Valencia-ization of Mission Street,” and even “ethnic cleansing of the Mission” flew from the podium.

“Congratulations, you’ve done a great job killing businesses on Mission Street, just like you’ve done in the Castro,” one woman said.

Groups like the Mission Economic Development Agency testified that businesses are closing and workers are being laid off ever since the red lanes went in last spring. Merchants allege that the forced turns have made it impossible to find parking, and that the lanes create a hostile “psychological barrier” (the term the MTA itself uses) that scare off customers.

The economic cost to the city is simply not worth gaining a few extra minutes on the 14 Mission’s schedule, say protestors… (more)

SFMTA approves changes to Mission Street transit improvements in response to merchant complaints


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