L-TARAVAL RAPID PROJECT UPDATE
On September 20th, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation (SFMTA) Board of Directors approved the L-Taraval Rapid Project, which proposes changes to Taraval Street in order to improve pedestrian safety and transit reliability. The project includes boarding islands, a boarding zone pilot, parking relocation, stop removal and relocation, turn restrictions, transit-only lanes, traffic signals and pedestrian bulbs. For a detailed outline of all changes proposed, please visit www.munforward.com/l/.
Our office will continue to provide relevant updates during pilot evaluation, implementation and construction. Below is a summary of what was approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors.
Pilot programs: There are two elements of the L-Taraval Rapid Project that will be evaluated under a pilot program, and which will be implemented in January 2017.
Boarding Zone Pilot – This is an alternative to physical boarding islands and includes signage and painted advisories on the road. The Boarding Zone Pilot will be implemented at five inbound stops where no riders have been hit and where few people get off the train: 26th, 30th, 32nd, 35th and 40thAve. The Boarding Zone Pilot will be studied for six months and the SFTMA will need to see 90% compliance or they will move forward with installing physical boarding islands. The SFMTA will be working closely with the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) to address enforcement and to increase awareness and education around the pilot program.
Transit-Only Lane – The SFMTA will also pilot the proposed transit-only lane in the center of Taraval Street in January 2017 and will study the effects of traffic on Taraval and side streets. These lanes will consist of wording on the road in white paint, rather than the usual "red carpet" (a full red lane).
We have asked the SFMTA to provide the public with information on the metrics and data associated with both pilot programs, and community members should expect to hear about updates from our office or from the SFMTA.
Early implementation: In order to improve pedestrian safety and transit reliability immediately and before any physical construction takes place, the SFMTA will be consolidating stops along Taraval Street and installing "clear zones" (paint in the place of proposed boarding islands) in January 2017. Residents should expect to see the following stops removed in both inbound and outbound directions: 15th Avenue and 28th Avenue. In the outbound direction only: 22nd Avenue. In the inbound direction only: 24th Avenue. The SFMTA will no longer be removing the following stops: 35th (inbound only), 44th and 46th/Ulloa (inbound & outbound). The stops in both directions at 17th Avenue were also approved for removal, but the SFMTA Board gave staff direction to further review the inbound stop before going forward with removing it.
Perpendicular Parking: The SFMTA Board approved the proposed perpendicular parking to be implemented along Santiago and Ulloa Streets. However, our office has asked SFMTA staff to immediately conduct a parking assessment along Taraval Street to see whether the proposed parking along Santiago and Ulloa Streets are necessary. Pending the parking evaluation on Taraval Street, perpendicular parking may be implemented as soon as 2017 along Santiago and Ulloa Streets, but only in areas not near pilot locations. In areas near pilot locations (which include inbound stops at 26th, 30th, 32nd, 35th and 40th), perpendicular parking would only be implemented if the pilot is unsuccessful. In these areas, perpendicular parking would occur on side streets at the time of construction, which will begin in 2018. Our office will continue to work with SFMTA staff on this proposal and keep residents engaged and informed of any updates.
Construction: Construction of other elements including physical boarding islands, bulb-outs, and traffic signals as well as repaving, track replacement and overhead wire replacement, will all take place beginning in early 2018. Construction is expected to last 18-24 months. The SFMTA will be notifying residents who may be affected by construction and the rerouting of traffic, and will be working closely with our office to minimize the disruption to residents and small businesses.
Additional Safety Measures: The SFMTA has taken suggestions from community members to increase the size of bumper stickers on trains that tell drivers to yield when passengers are boarding/disembarking from the trains. The SFMTA will also be installing flashing LED lights on the rear of trains alerting drivers when train doors are open. We can expect to see these changes take place in January 2017.
Our office would like to thank all of the community members and small businesses who participated and voiced their support and concerns along the way. The safety of our community members is a vital part of this project, and we also hope that transit can become more reliable and efficient for our residents. To stay updated on this project, please visit www.muniforward.com/l/.
Supervisor Katy Tang is the District 4 Supervisor