Van Ness lanes remove trees, hurt Union Street shopping

By John Zipperer: marinatimes – excerpt

The construction on Van Ness Avenue intended to improve mass transit and safety has irked neighborhood businesses and residents.

Beginning on Dec. 19, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) began removing the overhead electric system for buses on Van Ness between Market and McAllister Streets. Through the end of the month, SFMTA closed off a lane in each direction between Jackson and Greenwich streets, began moving median trees, and working on different sections of the street.

Union Street merchants were upset at the closure of left-turn lanes from Van Ness onto Union, occurring just a couple weeks before Christmas and right in the middle of holiday shopping. The Union Street Association complained that “Business traffic is down, and this is one of the main reasons why,” and it urged merchants to contact city officials for help. Meanwhile, local residents expressed concern about the loss of the meridian trees on Van Ness… (more)


2 thoughts on “Van Ness lanes remove trees, hurt Union Street shopping

  1. They’re worried about trees and union street businesses. That’s nice. They have no idea that this plan will also effect Polk and all other side streets.. Removing parking adding bulbouts. They also have no idea what so ever that this crappy plan will eventually move on to Lombard street. If I’m not mistaken I believe they have already started with the bulb out phase of Lombard. Not sure haven’t been on that street for a while. In any case Lombard street will be squeezed into 2 lanes both directions as well which will the effect chestnutstreet.


    • I think this is in reference to the fact that some people access North Beach via Union Street, or used to. Of course now there will be a lot more people turning left onto Broadway and that is sure to block more traffic on Van Ness taking the same turn instead of taking different, less crowded options. This is classic SFMTA style street planning. They want to force you to drive the way they want you to drive instead of allowing you the pleasure of driving the way you prefer. They want to force you to drive the way they force people taking the Muni into more crowded, standing-room-only public buses. Sound familiar? This is what you get when you allow people to “experiment” with your city. If you don’t like it. Make sure to let the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors know how you feel. If you can, boycott the city services that supply the money they are using to push us around.


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