I served as a transpiration planner for the National Park Service in San Francisco from 2000 until I retired in 2011. In that capacity, I was the project manager for the EIS for the extension of F-Line service from Fisherman’s Wharf to Fort Mason and also monitored the changes proposed in SFMTA’s TEP program. I attended many community meetings throughout the City to hear comments from residents about the proposed changes in service and routes. At one meeting for the Pacific Heights neighborhood, I heard outraged residents of Pacific Heights who probably have ridden a bus attack MUNI transportation planners about their proposals to extend transit through Pacific Heights to the Marina Green. Yesterday, I attended the Community Meeting on June 18th to hear comments regarding proposed alternatives for extending the 35 Eureka service to Glen Park’s BART station. I live very close to the 35 Eureka line and ride it frequently. I was surprised to see that the demographics and attitudes at the Glen Park meeting were so similar to the meeting In Pacific Heights. It was disappointing to see such a high level of NIMBYism at the meeting from people who live on all of the new proposed routes. Some of the questions suggested that few participants had ever ridden the 35 Eureka. Most were concerned with increased noise and traffic levels on their block; but seemed perfectly happy if the bus went down any other block to get to BART. Many didn’t even know how big the buses were (small-30 feet long among the smallest in MUNI’s fleet) or where they went (Market and Castro crossing 24th street en route). The merchants weren’t much better. While working on the F-Line extension, I learned that the merchants in the Fisherman’s Wharf Business Association were unified in their opposition to bringing the F-Lilne to the Wharf because they were convinced that the loss of parking would ruin their business, make deliveries impossible, etc. Now they act like the extension was their idea and praise the benefits of bringing people to the wharf on transit. Merchants in Glen Park were rigid in their opposition to changing the way deliveries are now made in Glen Park by blocking traffic on Wilder. None seemed to recognize that bus service up Laidley to Bemis and up Addison might make it easier for transit riders to get their purchases and grocery bags up the hill. In time they will see the benefits of expanded transit as the merchants in Fisherman’s Wharf have learned.
One new idea, extending the line down Miguel to Richland to Mission was discussed and lauded by all because it kept it off most of the streets where participants lived. MUNI will have to evaluate this new idea, but, the added operating time will probably add too much operating cost to a line that may not have adequate ridership to justify added costs.
I’ve lived 2 doors from the 35 Eureka line for over 30 years. The new buses are much quieter than the old ones were. I hardly notice them when they pass. It’s a great service. I hope it continues to run. Everyone will adjust to whichever route is chosen. I personally think that having the bus travel in both directions on Chenery would serve more people than an Arlington/Chenery loop; but, I think either would work and that my neighbors should try to embrace this service instead of threading it’s future by displaying the type of opposition that I witnessed at yesterday’s meeting.
With respect to the previous comment, you can not compare Fisherman’s Wharf to GP, very different dynamics. The reason FW merchants have felt good about the transit coming to them is because of the Freeway having been taken down (from which they lost revenue), also FW has preserved their metered parking, along with the many parking edifices that help alleviate cars circling the area for parking.
Now, for GP, there is fewer metered parking in our area compared to other large transit hubs, and yes we are a large transit hub, with Bart, Muni, and freeway access, aside from normal citizen travel. The issues with Wilder St. is not one but many, and paramount to these is SAFETY. The crossing at Wilder and Diamond is pedestrian heavy. A 30 ft or larger bus can not turn without going into opposing traffic, creating major havoc at that intersection, which is just 20 feet or so from Diamond and Chenery. SAFETY has been given a great thought from the merchants by having large trucks unload on Wilder St. so as to keep them off the main streets and letting traffic flow easier. Wilder Street is mixed use, residential with commercial, so the in and out of garages, customer’s parking, deliveries, and pedestrians make this an already a full use street, and to add a bus would not be safe to anyone on that street. So, we are not Fisherman’s Wharf and we are not Pac Heights, we are just small businesses and residents who would like a better alternative. Opposition to the Wilder Street loop, is a valid one, just as your comment, and without judging the people and businesses who live, or make a living, in and around this concern, we should try and find a way.
The intersection of Wilder and Diamond is no more ” pedestrian heavy” than the intersections in the Castro neighborhood where the 35 Eureka line begin; and, we haven’t heard of casualties on the 35 Eureka line from the Castro area. What this argument boils down to is neighbors who live on streets with no bus traffic wanting the traffic to go on anyone else’s street but their own. I live on the 35 Eureka route and the hybrid electric vehicles are not that noisy or as unsafe as the previous commenter believes. It a great service. I hope all this fighting among the residents who live on the proposed routes doesn’t kill the proposal to extend service down to BART. I’ll definitely ride it back up the hill will my purchases form Canyon Market—-those bags are heavy! And Canyon Market, if you’re concerned about deliveries, why don’t you extend you yellow delivery area beyond 1:00 PM when it ends. That should give you ample delivery space.
Discussing safety is different than noise. The Castro intersection you speak of has a wider, more expansive visual scenario than the small intersection of Wilder and Diamond. The reality is that we are Glen Park, and our dynamics are different, for one there is no Freeway access within one block of the Castro intersection, and Bart has only one single entrance, where at Castro there are more on different sides of the street.
Safety first, and that small crossing at Wilder and Diamond is one that is used by many people heading to local market, transit or Public Building, the Library.
The bus would also be making a turn that would probably lead it to opposing lanes, and that is another safety issue.
You obviously haven’t been in the Castro for a while. The streets are now as narrow as Wilder, thanks to a sidewalk widening project that has a been ongoing since March. The Muni Metro station directly behind the 35 stop at Market and Castro is quite comparable to the Bart Station in Glen Park and the volume of traffic on the intersections that the 35 has to traverse on Castro Street and Diamond St, is much higher than anything crossing Wilder or going through our village–especially at night when the Castro is full of pedestrians, cars, taxi’s and pedestrians. The 24 line also shares 35 Eureka’s route through the Castro and again—no safety problems have been reported. If they have not already done so, SFMTA should prepare an intersection analysis of the proposed routes in Glen Park so that we can all see what the volumes and turning movements for cars and pedestrians are along the new routes throughout the day so we can see the facts and stop hearing anecdotal accounts about traffic in Glen Park. This is standard practice for transportation projects. This would give us a basis of comparison with similar routes and neighborhoods in the City. Our situation is not as unique as some think. Every transit agency in the world has to face these issues and solve them.
The 35 Eureka has been going to Glen Park for awhile now, and I’m glad that none of the horrendous safety issues that were predicted happened! Glad the NIMBYs didn’t get their way.
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Twitter account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Google+ account. ( Log Out / Change )
Connecting to %s
Notify me of new posts via email.
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Join 549 other followers