Muni Buses Headed Back to Mission St. Saturday

Construction crews repave Mission Street in phases on the corner of 17th Street.

Construction crews repave Mission Street in phases on the corner of 17th Street.

En Español.

After six months of extensive repairs, the Mission Street renovation is set to finish today, with Muni buses resuming their normal route along Mission Street tomorrow.

The $1.8 million project involved three city agencies and finished on time and within budget, said Department of Public Works (DPW) spokesman Alex Murillo.

The project fixed what Mayor Ed Lee had called “decades of neglect” in a community meeting with Mission residents in July of last year.

“Before, we could have probably rented out Mission Street to NASA so they can practice driving rovers like the moon,” said Phillip Lesser, vice president for governmental affairs of the Mission Merchants Association, a project supporter.

Lesser believes the project had minimal impact on businesses along Mission Street because most of the work went on underground, with surface repaving confined to one month in September.

Parking spots, bus lanes and bike lanes remain largely unchanged, since most of the infrastructure repairs occurred above and below Mission.

“One notable change will be the new bus bulbs at the 24th Street BART plaza and curb ramps along Mission Street,” said Murillo. Bus bulbs are concrete extensions of the sidewalk that allow buses to pick up and drop off passengers without having to pull over.

The DPW worked with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) on Mission between 16th and Cesar Chavez streets.

In October of last year, PG&E replaced aging gas lines with corrosion- and earthquake-resistant pipes underneath Mission Street. The SFPUC replaced existing water mains along Mission Street and the DPW repaved Mission Street between 16th Street and Cesar Chavez.

The rerouting of the 14-Mission, 14L-Mission and 49-Mission/Van Ness Muni buses during the project caused the most disruption, with business along Mission Street claiming a decline in customers and commuters expressing confusion at the new route.

The SFMTA used the rerouting as an opportunity to conduct street and online surveys to assess customer experiences, according to SFMTA transit communications manager Lulu Feliciano.

“I have heard from a few commuters that the route is actually quicker on its temporary route. While the route is quicker on South Van Ness, the extra turns and distance to get to South Van Ness makes the overall trip longer,” said Feliciano.

The SFMTA is also assessing the rerouted performance on South Van Ness to see if there is anything Muni can apply to Mission Street to “reduce congestion and improve reliability,” he said.

Feliciano, who also works for the Transit Effectiveness Project at the SFMTA, has developed proposals to reduce travel times and improve reliability in the heavily trafficked Mission corridor, which serves an average of 60,000 passengers every weekday.

“Like the conditions on South Van Ness, it includes widening lanes, fewer stops and also looking at a dedicated transit lane. We look forward to an ongoing community dialogue about these improvements,” said Feliciano.

But some Muni riders maintain that the temporary route provides a quicker commute. “It’s a lot faster this way,” said 32-year-old Emanuel Vargas, who rides the 14-Mission daily. “I don’t want it to go back to Mission Street because there is so much more traffic.”

Others welcomed the resumption of the older route. “I’m used to the bus on Mission; it’s where I do my shopping and it’s where my friends are,” said Sharron Marsala, a hairstylist from the Mission.

The city isn’t finished with its overhaul of Mission streets. Residents should brace for more projects in January 2013, including the 24th Street sewer and paving project, the Folsom Streetscape Project and the Cesar Chavez Streetscape.

Additional information on each of these projects can be found here.

To take a customer experience survey on the rerouted Muni buses, click here.

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14 Comments

  1. Dave

    We don’t want the buses in South Van Ness riders. They belong in Mission st. If you want the buses to go faster in Mission do what was done in South Van Ness.

    Make the lights timed vehicles cab drive at breakneck speeds and stop onvery other block.

  2. Dave

    Every other block.

  3. Peter

    But they actually belong on South Van Ness for better overall decrease in congestion.

    • Dave

      Nice try… they belong on Mission. The 26 was eliminated from Valencia which is a commercial corridor.

      Now people want the 14 and 49 off of Mission which is a commercial corridor

      If you want them off Mission then put them on Valencia or Folsom.

      South Van Ness say no thanks to such a great offer.

      A lady was run over on South Van Ness last week so we really don’t want multi ton buses ripping through our neighborhood.

      • Ramon

        It is never apropriate to blame a victim. In this case, though, remember that this woman was crossing the street between blocks. This unfortunate accident could have happened anywhere and by any type of vehicle.

    • Stanley

      That’s like saying the hookers belong in Capp st

  4. SFSquee

    Getting the buses back on Mission can’t happen soon enough. It’s been hell having the 14 Mission riders trashing, tagging, and pissing on the buildings next to the temporary stops.

  5. Old Mission Neighbor

    They should just eliminate half the bus stops on Mission.

    • Kim

      I agree. That would speed up service. It was ridiculous to see back to back 14 and 49s on SVN. It was not very efficient.

  6. Carlos

    The buses belong on Mission Street, it is the 14 Mission after all. South Van Ness actually needs less traffic, a bike lane, and safe guards for pedestrians. We need the street to resemble Valencia than a freeway.

    • Old Mission Neighbor

      There is nowhere near enough commercial space on SVN for it to resemble Valencia. Mission St will begin to look more like Valencia in the next few year. The section around 18th-20th already does and the stretch between 20th-22nd is showing signs. SVN will can look like Folsom.

  7. John

    They are still using south van as a shortcut for empty buses. Same noise same speed same story.

  8. Don

    Then why are so many buses still using South Van Ness . Buses are driving down South Van Ness with signage of 14, 24and 49 and garage.

    It would be nice if the stayed on Mission St like they used to before the renovation work was done.

    Speeding through the our neighborhood is not the answer.

  9. Sandy

    1030 pm Sunday and the buses are still using South Van Ness instead of Mission St way more than they were six months ago.

    Total con job by SFMTA acting as if the buses are back to Mission completely. They are using South Van Ness in an alarming dangerous frequency.

Comments are closed.