Red MUNI-only lanes coming to Church Street
A three-block stretch of Church Street will become part of an experiment to expedite service on two of San Francisco’s busiest and chronically late transit lines.
The city’s Municipal Transportation Agency will convert the two center lanes of traffic — one in each direction — of Church St. between Duboce Ave. and 16th St. for use exclusively by MUNI vehicles and taxis 24 hours a day.
The pilot program will call for the lanes to be painted red to make them more visible to motorists who might otherwise drive in them and risk being ticketed for entering the transit-only lanes.
Transportation planners believe the new lanes through one of the most congested corridors in San Francisco will speed service up on MUNI’s J-Church and 22-Fillmore, two of the city’s worst performing routes for on-time performance. Congestion from double-parked motorists, cars making left turns and long waits for green lights to cross the Market Street intersection have turned the three-block stretch into a time consuming ordeal for riders.
MTA officials said the new transit-only lanes should alleviate some of the delays by giving buses and streetcars an exclusive right-of-way past the congestion and limiting left turns at 15th and 16th Sts. between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Planners said if the project proves to be successful, they’ll roll out more colorized transit-only lanes throughout other congested corridors as part of the agency’s Transit Effectiveness Project — a comprehensive study conducted in 2008 to improve MUNI.
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