S.F. business owners push back against red transit-only lanes in city

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San Francisco business owners are pushing back against the red lanes used for transit in the city, saying that customers are confused about what they mean and often keep driving instead of stopping and shopping.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the red-painted transit lanes, which are still in the testing phase and were rolled out in 2013, have been frustrating for the merchants whose businesses border them…

But the experiment was supposed to last just two years, and involve periodic progress reports to the California Traffic Control Devices Committee and the Federal Highway Administration. The MTA’s first written report to the state agency, however, was not presented until Dec. 12,” the paper reports.

That long-term testing has been difficult for business owners, including Glenn Urban, who owns a car wash on Geary Boulevard with his brother, on a stretch where red transit-only lanes are now being planned.

“When [customers] see them, they don’t know what to do, so they stay away,” Urban told the paper. He said the Municipal Transportation Agency has “done little research on what this red paint means to businesses.”

A spokesperson for the MTA did not respond to a request for comment Thursday… (more)

The hubris of the SFMTA is enough to make you want to fight them. If you feel that way, there are plenty of things you can do, starting with a letter requesting a one month delay in approving any of the Geary BRT plans until the public and the new supervisors have time to review and comment on it. Do you want to spend $300 million dollars more than you have to? Why? So far none of the projects the SFMTA is busily working on have gotten them the results they anticipated.

Richmond residents and merchants want a chance to try it another, less costly way. See their Sensible Plan for Geary BRT: http://www.sfsensibletransit.org/

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