Muni Tries to Speed Up Slow Buses

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The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is hosting a workshop tonight at the Women’s Building to get residents’ input on proposed travel time reduction measures for the 14-Mission and 22-Fillmore buses.

The 14-Mission is the city’s third-busiest Muni line. It is also one of the slowest, with the average speed topping out at 6 miles per hour.

That’s because the bus has about 50 stops each way on its 7.5-mile journey, which translates to a stop every block or two, according to SFMTA. It’s also constantly delayed by double-parked cars and cars turning right. The bus doesn’t even fit the lane — a lane on Mission between Duboce and Cesar Chavez is 9 feet wide, while the bus is 10.5 feet wide, including the mirror.

SFMTA understands that slow and unreliable service leads to unhappy riders, which is why it is developing a series of proposals to speed up Muni, said Julie Kirschbaum, a service planning manager with the agency.

SFMTA has identified eight heavily used lines that it wants to free up from traffic, including the 14-Mission and the 22-Fillmore. To accomplish that they are considering steps like reconfiguring the road, designating a lane for right turns at key intersections, and eliminating some bus stops.

Some changes will be implemented citywide, like removing some bus stops and allowing all-door boarding, but others are specific to the heavily used Muni lines.

Mission Loc@l has obtained a list of the proposals to be considered at tonight’s workshop.

14-Mission

Road reconfigurations from Duboce Avenue to Randall Street.
Option one: Create wider travel lanes through peak-hour tow-away.
Option two: create transit-only lanes through parking removal.
Option three: Create transit-only lanes through lane reduction.

Create right-turn pockets at 26 Mission Street intersections, from 14th to Italy streets.

Implement left-turn restrictions (extend hours to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) northbound and southbound lanes at 13 intersections on Mission street, from 14th to Cesar Chavez (except 16th Street).

Convert four-way stop intersections into two-way stops at: Remove transit stops at: 
Mission and 15th streets
Mission and 19th streets
Mission and 21st streets
Mission Street and Precita Avenue
Mission and 29th streets

Add new bus bulbs at Mission and 16th streets.

Remove bus bulbs at Mission and 22nd.

22-Fillmore 

Create center-running transit-only lanes through lane conversions (from 3rd to Bryant streets).

Create peak-period curbside transit-only lanes through lane conversion and parking removal (from Bryant to Church streets).

Remove bus stops in the Mission.

The meeting will be held at the Women’s Building, 3543 18th St., starting at 6 p.m.

Correction: a previous article incorrectly stated that some intersections would be converted from four way stop intersections into two way stops. Actually those intersections will remain signaled, the SFMTA’s proposal calls for the removal of transit stops at those intersections.

10 Comments

  1. Luv2smyl

    Why can’t 14 mission bus route permanently move to south van ness?

    • nativa

      That simplistic idea could never work nearly as well as the experts’s choices of removing parking, reducing lanes, planting parklets, adding 2 more bike lanes, painting lines that would be sensitive to the neighborhood, starting a task force, and providing on-site first aid kiosks at 15th, 19th, 21st and Precita for the smooshed blobs who tried to cross those now unprotected intersections which also reduce our carbon footprint while taking those pesky cars off our streets. Oh please…

      • The 14 and 14L buses run on Mission Street because this is where most passengers origins and destinations are in this area. Mission Street is a major commercial corridor with the 16th and 24th Street BART stations acting as major hubs.

        The buses are scheduled to return to Mission Street after the repaving project is complete.

        With regard to 15th, 19th, 21st, and Precita streets, the blog has since been corrected to indicate that those intersections are signalized and will remain so throughout the project.

        For more information on the travel time reduction proposals, please visit our website at http://www.sfmta.com/tep or tweet to @MuniRapid!

  2. Chris

    The buses should not be moved to South Van as it is a residential st. Mission St is commercial and a better fit for the bus volume. Frankly the notion of adding no left turn signs on Mission will increase traffic on South Van and this is a street that needs calming asap.

  3. Valenchia

    Of all the suggestions, creating right turn lanes is probably the most sensible.

    Turning currently signaled 4 stops into 2 way stops would be a disaster. It is already difficult to cross Mission; this proposal would just push lots of traffic onto 20th, 22nd and 23rd; which are quite congested.

    One possibility would be to remove parking and widen lanes, but that would require replacing the street parking with off-street parking. And the City hates parking lots/ garages, so they would never consider that.

    • Mario Tanev

      Valenchia,

      What are you talking about? The city loves garages, in fact the garages are under-utilized, because street parking is under-priced. There are enough garages in the city, and if the city starts charging market price for on-street parking, garages will be more competitive.

  4. wc1

    The city needs to go through all bus routes and remove stops. Some lines have stops on almost every block.

  5. Michael

    I constantly see 2 or 3 buses on the 22 line that are one after the other. Who schedules these things? The first one is full, the second and third are pretty empty.

    Why not make sure buses are at least spaced out properly by having a bus pause at a stop for a few mins until the bus ahead reaches a sensible distance? The buses already have GPS (at least according to nextbus.com).

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