Have you ever ridden the 47 or 49 during rush hour when every bus that comes by is really crowded? Ok, who are we kidding. Have you ever ridden the 47 or 49 anytime when it’s crowded?
Then you might be frustrated with how packed the busses get, how they can bunch together, and how slow they move with traffic on Van Ness.
(Do I get on this 49 because it’s bigger and I won’t be squished as much or do I jump on the 47 because it moves faster since it’s not attached to a cable?)
If you haven’t heard yet, there’s a plan to make serious changes to the flow of traffic. Let’s talk about what’s being proposed.
Referred to as the Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project, a team of people from the SF County Transportation Authority (Authority) and SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) have prepared a recommendation to make changes to median of the Van Ness corridor.
There are four proposed plans that affect Van Ness between Mission & Lombard. According to the BRT website, no matter which one is chosen, all BRT proposals include the following features:
-DEDICATED BUS LANE separated from regular traffic to improve transit performance
-ALL-DOOR, LEVEL BOARDING, AND PROOF OF PAYMENT to allow buses to pick up and drop off passengers more quickly
-HIGH QUALITY SHELTERS including protection from the elements and comfortable seating
-PEDESTRIAN SAFETY ENHANCEMENTS including reduced crossing distances on streets where BRT stations exist and large platforms for waiting passengers
-TRANSIT SIGNAL PRIORITY with traffic signals recognizing an approaching BRT vehicle and extending the green light when it is safe to do so
-TRAFFIC SIGNAL OPTIMIZATION, a data-driven approach to timing all traffic lights in the corridor
Out of the four proposed plans, the project team is recommending a hybrid version of Plans #3 and #4.
The hybrid proposal says that “BRT lanes would flank the center median except at stations where the BRT vehicles would transition to the center of the roadway and be protected by right side boarding platforms.”
If you’ve ever been on the T or N near AT&T Park, the experience should be somewhat similar to that.
Where are they in the process now?
The hybrid proposal is being presented to multiple entities this month with hopes of being approved by this Fall, and construction could begin as soon as 2015.
Like the ideas being proposed or think it’s good the way it is?