Community Efforts to Extend Mission Bay Loop Rejected

By Keith Burbank : potreroview – excerpt

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has rejected community calls to extend the Mission Bay Loop (MBL) further south. The issue didn’t even appear on SFMTA’s December meeting agenda, though one Dogpatch resident encouraged the agency’s board to seriously consider the southern option during the public comment period. 

According to SFMTA, the loop will increase service levels to a growing Southside population and “is key to efficient integration of the T-Third Street line with service on the Central Subway.” While community advocates want the loop built, they prefer a different route than the one planned for 18th, 19th and Illinois streets.

The transit agency has contracted Mitchell Engineering to build the loop. Construction could begin as soon as this month. Under its agreement, the company has 240 days to complete the project.

Dogpatch resident Bill Schwartz wants SFMTA to build the loop at the Muni Metro East Facility (MME), located at Illinois and 25th streets. He and other advocates insist that current plans ignore residents of east and south Potrero Hill and Dogpatch, as well as merchants along the 22nd and Third Street business corridors. According to SFMTA, the costs of siting the loop at the MME would be three to four times the current project budget of $6.26 million, principally because such an extension would necessitate the purchase of three two-car trains, at a cost of roughly $20 million…

Potrero Boosters president J.R. Eppler believes that the transit agency is catering to Mission Bay business interests, rather than taking a comprehensive approach that serves Mission Bay as well as more southern neighborhoods. 

The Committee for Re-evaluation of the T-Line Loop, which is composed principally of Dogpatch residents, has filed suit in San Francisco Superior Court alleging that SFMTA failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act when it signed the construction contract with Mitchell Engineering. The Committee argues that the project’s environmental review failed to account for the planned and expected changes to the area from a multitude of proposed developments, including the Warrior’s Arena. 

According to SFMTA’s Julie Kirschbaum, “the lawsuit does not immediately affect the construction.”…

According to advocates, light rail vehicles on a 25th Street loop would cause less traffic congestion after San Francisco Giant’s and Golden State Warriors’ games than the current loop design. Automobile drivers use Third and Illinois streets after Giant’s games to travel south to freeway entrances, they claim. They expect Warrior’s fans to do the same. “So traffic is a big deal for the whole neighborhood,” said Joel Bean, a Committee for Re-evaluation of the T-Line Loop member.

The SFMTA doesn’t plan to hold another community meeting on the project... (more)

The MTA Brain: Is there some kind of trigger that goes off in the MTA Brain that automatically responds “No” to any request from a member of the public for a change in Muni plans? Or is it only a good idea if it was their idea?

People in the Mission want less MTA attention and people in the Bay View want more. Why don’t they just do what the public wants instead of always doing the opposite?

People asked for more lights on the intersections to make pedestrians easier to see at night and we are told they don’t have the money for that. We will need another bond measure to get lights. What they have money for is taking out traffic lanes and parking to increase congestion. No money for the Bay View or street lights.

Details on 2nd Street Protected Bike Lanes, Ped Upgrades Come Into Focus

by Aaron Bialick : sfstreetsblog – excerpt

The plan for raised, parking-protected bike lanes and pedestrian safety improvements on Second Street is shaping up after the Department of Public Works presented new details [PDF] last week…
Despite surveys showing broad support for the proposed improvements, as well as praise for DPW’s extensive community outreach from residents and city officials, discussion at the latest meeting was hijacked by a contingent of residents from a building at 355 Bryant Street who said they were recently caught off guard by the project…
Those residents mostly voiced fears about traffic congestion and problems with loading that they claimed would result from the project. When one man argued that the proposed safety improvements couldn’t be made because car commuters need all four existing traffic lanes to get to and from the Bay Bridge, Olea said the improvements should discourage those drivers from using Second as an alternative to the main motor routes like First and Third Streets…
“Our overall vision is to de-emphasize Second Street as a route to the freeway,” said Olea. “It’s not an arterial.”… (more)

Hill Residents Concerned About Proposed Changes to 22-Fillmore

By Brian Rinker : potreroview.net – excerpt

Many Potrero Hill residents and business owners are skeptical of a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) proposal to reroute the 22-Fillmore bus line from the 18th Street commercial district to 16th Street, from which it would travel north on Third Street toward Mission Bay. “Bus service in general is inadequate in our area,” said Jim Wilkins, Hill resident and Eastern Neighborhoods United Front (ENUF) member. “The move of the 22 bus will further diminish that service.” The plan to reroute the 22-Fillmore is part of the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP), a joint effort by the transportation agency and City Controller which aims to improve Muni services, making transit more reliable, faster and efficient…
Finalizing any plans may take some time. Revising the 22 line has been in the City’s pipeline for decades. In 1998, an environmental impact report for Mission Bay included similar proposals to reroute the 22, expressed concerns about overhead wires, and noted that the proposed plans were similar to those presented in a 1990 report. “Muni has been claiming recently that the 22 rerouting is some sort of transit improvement for the area as part of the Transit Effectiveness Project, when in fact a) it isn’t an improvement, it’s a reduction of service on the Hill, and b) it was in the works long, long before the TEP,” Kelly said. If the City ever reroutes the 22 Kelly hopes that it provides adequate replacement transportation… (more)