Geary Rapid Project gets underway

By Michael Toren : sfchronicle – excerpt

Construction began this week on the first phase of the Geary Rapid Project, intended to bring safety improvements and more reliable bus service along Geary Boulevard and O’Farrell Street, officials with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said Tuesday.

The first set of improvements includes almost two new miles of transit-only lanes in each direction on most blocks between Stanyan and Gough streets, and new bicycle markings to help bicyclists cross Geary Boulevard at Webster, Steiner, and Masonic streets… (more)

Castro sidewalk construction hurting neighborhood businesses

By David Stevenson : ktvu – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO —  A plan to widen sidewalks in San Francisco’s Castro District is putting a financial squeeze on some merchants there because of reduced foot traffic and limited parking. 

Construction crews in the neighborhood are more than doubling the size of sidewalks on two blocks of Castro Street.

The goal is to make the district more pedestrian friendly, especially in time for gay pride weekend in June when an additional one million people are expected to flood the city.

Castro Street merchants on Friday told KTVU they appreciate the work being done by the city and construction crews but said many tourists and residents are now avoiding the area.

Gyro Xpress owner Koch Salgut said sales have dropped 60 percent since March when the construction narrowed the sidewalks and made street parking disappear… (more)

Any guesses as to how many of these businesses will survive after the rents go up in the neighborhood? Slowing down a major thoroughfare through a dense neighborhood will slow down response times for emergency vehicles as well.

Long-awaited bike plan on Fell-Oak up for Board approval

By: Will Reisman : sfexaminer – excerpt

A long-awaited plan to add separated bike lanes to busy sections of Oak and Fell streets is up for approval Tuesday.
The three-block stretch on both Fell and Oak between Scott and Baker streets is a vital east-west route for cyclists, but many are afraid to ride on the segment because there is virtually no separation between bikes and fast-moving cars, said Leah Shahum of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which oversees bike operations in The City, has proposed adding cycle tracks — elevated pathways separated from street traffic — on the three-block stretch of both Fell and Oak…
On Tuesday, the SFMTA’s board of directors will vote on the project. If approved, the bikeways and crosswalk enhancements could be in place by the end of the year, with the rest of the work being completed in 2013, said SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose. The project will cost $1.26 million, with most of the funding coming from a recently passed street improvement bond…  (more)

Beautification to slow 19th Avenue down
By Marisa Lagos – excerpt
…The concrete jungle that is 19th Avenue will soon be a little greener – and, city officials are hoping, a bit safer for pedestrians and drivers.
In the meantime, however, drivers should expect delays as construction crews work to landscape 15 blocks of the westside thoroughfare’s median, from Wawona Street up to Lincoln Way… (more)