By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt (includes map)
Muni is about to paint the town red.
If we don’t stop them!
Muni’s latest experiment, the “red carpet” transit-only lanes has split San Franciscans’ opinions, but now the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is contemplating at least 50 new streets to play host to the transit lanes.
Bus riders and numerous studies say they’re a boon to transit, speeding up the previously molasses-slow buses and trains during commute hours. An alliance of homeowners and merchants, however, decry the lanes for making traveling by car more difficult, potentially driving away customers from mom and pop shops.
Love them or hate them, however, newly granted federal approval will now allow Muni’s red lanes to sprout all across The City, the San Francisco Examiner has learned.
A list of “Potential Future Red Lanes” provided to the Federal Highway Administration as part of the lane approval process, which was obtained by the Examiner, show nearly 50 new proposed sites for red lanes…
“Red Transit Lanes are still an experimental device,” Doug Hecox, a spokesperson for the administration, wrote to the Examiner in an email, and added that soon may change.
The National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices has a technical committee that determines new street markings — yellow cannot be used in pavement coloring, for example, but purple is allowed in lanes for electronic toll collection.
So San Francisco may pave the way for the legalization of red… (more)
Stop the spread of Red! We Need Your Voice to Remove The Red Carpet Mess on Mission Street and stop the spread to other streets like the Geary BRT.
Write a letter: Government Transportation Contacts
Sign the petition: redcarpetmess.org
Join SF for Sensible Transit
Sign the petition to Stop the Red Carpet Mess
Roberto Hernandez, a San Francisco native and long-time Mission District advocate sometimes referred to as the “Mayor of the Mission,” said he was shocked to hear the Muni red lanes are still classified as an “experiment.”
“They never told us this was an ‘experiment,’ never,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez and the community conducted a survey of businesses last year, whose owners said they saw a significant drop in visits from drivers after turn restrictions were enacted alongside the red lanes, threatening the existence of businesses there.
Hernandez also joined a group of neighbors and merchants from Taraval Street and Geary Boulevard who are pushing back against the creation of red transit lanes. The group visited Sacramento late last year to protest the lanes.
The SFMTA spent millions of dollars, Hernandez said, “to make the buses go two minutes faster. That’s all they got. Two minutes faster.”
Hyden from the Transit Riders said that’s a common complaint, but she feels the two-minute benefit is worth more than it sounds because the experience of riding the bus “feels” faster.
“You’ll hear from people that the amount of time saved is not worth it,” she said. “[But] when asked how much time riders thought they saved, people are claiming 10 minutes.”… (more)