Poll: SF residents split on transit-only ‘red carpet’ lanes

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco remains divided on the “red carpet” transit-only lanes that are appearing throughout The City, according to a new poll conducted for the Chamber of Commerce…

The poll results differ only slightly from last year, despite heated opposition from some Mission District, Taraval Street and Geary Boulevard neighbors, where transit-only lanes have either been installed or may be installed soon.

And those lanes may soon proliferate to 50 other San Francisco streets, according to documents previously obtained by the San Francisco Examiner….

Erick Arguello, president of the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District council, said the poll would have different results if it were conducted in The Mission, where some merchants and residents say the red lanes harm business by discouraging drivers from coming to the area.

“From what I hear on the ground, it’s a very different story,” Arguello said, of the neighborhood. “There’s a lot of resentment in the Mission corridor.”

That resentment was part of what drew 300 marchers in support of the cultural district to rally at SFMTA offices at 1 South Van Ness and at City Hall on Jan. 25, among other concerns.

In a statement, SFMTA spokesperson Erica Kato said the SFMTA is “excited” by the findings from the Chamber poll…

The poll, taken among 500 San Francisco voters in January, also found wide support for other transit projects, except those involving bicycles.

Seventy-eitght percent of those polled supported the extension of the Central Subway, which is still under construction, from Chinatown to Fisherman’s Wharf, while 16 percent were opposed. Seventy-seven percent supported constructing a tunnel to extend Caltrain and high speed rail from Mission Bay to the Transbay Transit Center and 14 percent were opposed.

Bike lanes proved more divisive, however, with 47 percent in support of removing traffic lanes in “various locations around the city” to install bike-only lanes and 46 percent opposed…(more)

We need to treat our streets the way we treat our land use issues with the same public involvement, scrutiny and opportunity to appeal all projects. There is a system that citizens who want a residential parking permit must so through to obtain a permit to park near their homes. 50% of the residents on the block must approve the permits. Why is the SFMTA not making the same requirements of all the private entities they are writing contract agreements with to impinge on our curbs?

At this time when the supervisors are considering changing the SFMTA powers and authorities that the public has been requesting for years, they need to hear from everyone who has been negatively impacted by the process the SFMTA is using to push through projects. Let them know how you feel about the use of your curb space on your block and request a fair system for pubic debate on all changes suggested for your block.

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