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Press Release - Geary Rapid Project

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Board of Directors of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) this week approved the proposed street changes for legislation for Geary Rapid Project. This civic improvement project is bringing much-needed transit and safety improvements to one of San Francisco’s most-traveled corridors. With more than 54,000 daily customers who rely on the 38 Geary and 38R Geary Rapid, the Geary Rapid Project aims to improve the efficiency of the bus route, while making the corridor safer for people walking.

“This is another investment in our transportation infrastructure that will significantly improve transit reliability along the Geary corridor,” said SFMTA Chairman of the Board, Cheryl Brinkman. “These are the types of projects that not only improve bus operations, but improves safety and accessibility for everyone who walks or rides a bike along the corridor.”

The approved changes are on Geary and O’Farrell between Stanyan and Market streets include a series of improvements aimed to make bus service more reliable and attractive including almost two new miles of transit-only lanes in each direction and nine new bus bulbs. Bus bulbs extend the sidewalk to provide more space at bus stops and decrease delays by allowing buses to remain in the travel lane.

“Bringing rail-like bus service to Geary Boulevard will greatly serve the 54,000 daily customers who travel this busy corridor,“ said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “Geary connects multiple neighborhoods from east to west and is one of the most heavily-used bus corridors west of the Mississippi. This project will also address the serious safety need along the corridor with new signalized crosswalks, enhanced medians and a set of upgrades to improve the experience for people biking across Geary along the north-south biking routes."

Changes also include a host of Vision Zero improvements to address the Geary corridor’s designation as a high-injury corridor, where people walking are eight time more likely to get hit by a car. To address safety, all intersections will be “daylit” by painting red curb at the approach to intersections to increase visibility, pedestrian countdown signals will be added at all locations that do not yet have them, and 18 intersections will receive new pedestrian bulbs. By extending the sidewalk at intersections, pedestrian bulbs increase safety by shortening crossing distances and reducing motor vehicle turning speeds.

Near The Fillmore and Japantown, additional safety improvements were approved to address infrequent and long pedestrian crossing opportunities. Here approved changes include calming traffic by reducing the number of travel lanes from four in each direction to two general travel lanes plus one bus-only lane in each direction. New signalized pedestrian crossings would be provided at Buchanan and Webster streets, and the Steiner bridge would be demolished to make room for upgraded pedestrians crossings on both sides of the street.

Building on years of outreach conducted during the planning and environmental review stages of the project, SFMTA conducted comprehensive public outreach to consult with the public on the project’s detailed design in Spring and Summer 2018 including open houses, mailings, surveys, door-to-door outreach, and over 60 stakeholder meetings. Recent design changes in response to community feedback included retention of the Commonwealth and Stanyan local stops and re-design of the Laguna Rapid inbound bus stop as a bulb instead of an island.

The first set of safety and transit treatments, including bus-only lanes, will begin this fall and are expected to be completed by the end of 2018. Major construction of the Geary Rapid Project will follow and is expected to continue until spring 2021. That work includes water and sewer upgrades, roadway repaving, removal of the Steiner Street pedestrian bridge and major transit and safety improvements, such as bus and pedestrian bulbs.

The Geary Rapid Project is the first of two phases of improvements planned on Geary as a part of the Geary Corridor Bus Rapid Transit project approved by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and the SFMTA in 2017. The second phase of improvements would bring similar transit and safety improvements west of Stanyan to 34th Avenue.

For more Geary Rapid Project details and to sign up for construction updates, please visit sfmta.com/GEARY.