Geary BRT is an expensive pledge to the past

By David Hirtz : sfexaminer – excerpt

Transit planners have been at work for many years to come up with a plan to improve bus service for all of Geary Boulevard, but let’s just talk about the 2.2-mile western portion from Masonic Avenue to 27th Avenue. Planners envision the median there with more than 100 trees replaced by two, red-painted central bus-only lanes for 24 hours a day. Riders would board from narrow platforms in the middle of the roadway, between the bus lanes and other traffic.

Riders are now are accustomed to two levels of service: the infrequently stopping Rapid, and the Local that makes stops every two blocks or so. With only one lane for buses, there will be just one quality of service: Local, as all buses will back up behind the slowest moving one. But Local service will have fewer stops, as statistically that will reduce rider times — even if you have to walk farther to find one.

That certainly won’t save you any rider time if you like the Rapid…

A public-spirited citizens group offered comment to Muni and officials with the San Francisco County Transportation Authority on this project and were summarily dismissed. They then founded San Franciscans for Sensible Transit to advocate for transit issues all over San Francisco. After much study, they support a number of improvements — more buses, better schedules, holding green lights for buses, street paving and others — at a cost of $50 million as a more sensible idea. See what you can get for these proven steps, they say. Their cost-benefit comparisons are on the website of both the Muni-favored version, called the Hybrid, and the Sensible Transit concept…

Our Transit First Policy first requires that all transportation projects ensure the quality of life and economic health of the community. No studies of economic health were done for the planners, who dismiss concerns about quality of life as well. The potential loss of many small businesses and their jobs is also ignored.
A representative of Mayor Ed Lee told Sensible Transit that we already have too much retail at street level…

The SFCTA meets to vote on the project on Jan. 5 at 2 p.m. at room 250 at City Hall. This is the time to find your feet and your voice or prepare to live with a very unfortunate outcome.

David Hirtz is president of San Franciscans for Sensible Transit and a resident of the Richmond neighborhood for 35 years… (more)

Do read the entire article and comment if you can. Letters and your presence at the SFCTA Meeting are appreciated. Sample letter is here:

Ask the supervisors what they would prefer to spend the $300 million dollars on. Each of them probably has better ideas than destroying more trees and businesses on Geary. Only the SFMTA and their contractors stand to benefit from this nightmare, that already has the makings of a number of lawsuits, starting with the insistence on fast-tricking it, ignoring the 30 days minimum for public review and response to the EIR. Sample letter here:


2 thoughts on “Geary BRT is an expensive pledge to the past

  1. We Laguna Street neighbors plan to attend the meeting at City Hall, but ALSO the meeting with the Community Advisory Committee.

    Info below is FROM:

    Attend the Geary BRT Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) on Jan. 4, 2017, 6 p.m., San Francisco County Transportation Authority Office, 1455 Market Street, 22nd floor. The Geary CAC will consider recommending project approval.
    Attend the Transportation Authority Board Hearing on Jan. 5, 2017, San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 250. 2 p.m. The Transportation Authority Board will hold a hearing to consider approving the project and the Final Environmental Impact Report.


    • Thanks for helping spread the news. For a look at what the SFMTA has in store for Geary, just look at the mess they made of Mission and are raining down on Van Ness now. They deploy Complete Streets projects like tanks mowing down and displacing whole neighborhoods one street at a time. They use money like a sword, and after losing the sales tax war, they are raising bus fares and parking rates to pay for their demoralizing projects until we stop them.

      We need a cheaper alternative and we need a chance to prove them wrong. That is what we want from the Board of Supervisors. A chance to prove there is a better cheaper way to fix the Muni. We need to stop the Hybrid Geary BRT project the way we stopped the Affordable Housing Bogus Plan. We need to quit spending money on the streets and spend it on people instead. Tell your supervisor what you would rather spend $300 million dollars on in 2017.


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