Geary Boulevard Improvement Project: May 2023 update
SFMTA Board of Directors hearing
Now that the final project design is complete, the Geary Boulevard Improvement Project is planned to go before the SFMTA Board of Directors for approval. The Board will be asked to decide whether to:
- Approve the project and implement all Quick-Build improvements, including transit lanes, around fall 2023 as recommended by staff; or
- Approve the project, but direct staff to delay some transit lane installation until the start of SFPUC water and sewer construction around 2025.
Please note that due to scheduling issues, the hearing has been postponed until no sooner than the June 20 meeting. More information will be shared about how to provide comments when the date has been confirmed.
What are the parking impacts of the Geary Boulevard Improvement Project?
We have received many inquiries about the project’s parking impacts. The Geary project team has studied every option to retain parking and has reduced net parking loss from earlier phases of the project design by one-fifth. That means there would be a less than a 2% reduction in area-wide parking supply within one block of the project area or an average of 1.4 fewer parking spaces per block.
Parking loss is a trade-off for better bus service and safer streets. On this portion of Geary, one person walking is injured in a traffic collision every month on average. And improvements are long overdue for the approximately 36,000 people who ride the 38 Geary lines every day.
Project elements that contribute to parking loss are primarily:
- Installing pedestrian bulb-outs at some intersections and daylighting at all intersections to improve safety for people walking.
- Extending side-running transit lanes on Geary into the Central Richmond where there is currently a gap. To provide room for a transit lane, angled parking would be converted to parallel between 28th and 15th avenues.
- Lengthening substandard bus stops so 60-foot buses can pull up to the curb to serve passengers. Busy 38R Rapid stops would be lengthened to allow two buses to load at a time, with new bus bulb-outs installed.
The current design represents a 12% reduction to parking on Geary Boulevard, about a third of which would be offset with 22 new angled parking spaces on cross streets, decreasing the net reduction of parking to 48 spaces total or about 1.4 parking spaces per block.
As a comparison to help better understand the impacts, the 48 net parking spaces that would be reduced by the project is less than the 52 spaces occupied by Shared Space parklets in the project area during the early COVID peak. As some business owners have decided to remove their parklets, 30 parking spaces have opened up in recent months and it is estimated that another 7-11 parking spaces will be restored by fall 2023.
Have questions about the project proposals or a group you’d like us to present to? Contact us at ImproveGeary@SFMTA.com or 415.646.2300.