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Red MUNI-only lanes coming to Church Street

By Beat News Service November 15, 2012 3 Comments Print Share

Two center lanes of Church St. will be converted to transit-only lanes as part of a pilot project to speed MUNI service. (Courtesy SFMTA)

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.

Courtesy SFMTA

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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  • justin said:

    “giving buses and streetcars an exclusive right-of-way past the congestion”

    that would require:

    1) drivers that respect the transit-only lanes


    2) police enforcement of the transit-only lanes

    we have neither of those now, and I’m skeptical that painting the lanes red will change any of that. I appreciate the effort, though, and hope that if they make these widespread and convince drivers that they WILL get a ticket if they drive in them, it will help. I feel like signal priority would make a much bigger impact.

  • Sprague said:

    This is an exciting and important improvement that will benefit thousands of Muni passengers every day. Signal priority, most especially on Church at 15th Street, is also needed to really allow Muni to operate faster and more efficient service.

  • Jamey Frank said:

    Are you people OUT OF YOUR MINDS?!
    This is another solution in search of a problem, which is now being created. I live on the 300 block of Church Street, and now his has really gotten personal, and I’m sick and tired of the Nanny mentality that we should be PUNISHED out of cars.
    Guys, I take transit ever time I can, but sometime I’m sorry but I have to drive. Why are you making life so painful for us longtime San Francisco residents?
    I’m going to start a campaign to:
    • Sue the city for smog-causing traffic jams, created by lane closures city wide
    • In crease bike traffic control officers to enforce dangerous cyclists
    • Abolish the SFMTA and make it an elected office
    • Establish a take-one/make-one parking space law.
    This is not Europe. Tyrannical Victims of San Francisco cannot continue to ruin the lives of all of us by creating traffic jams, but offering no improvements to infrastructure or quality of life.
    –Jamey Frank
    300 Block Church Street.