How your feedback has shaped the Geary Boulevard Improvement Project
Thank you to the hundreds of people who weighed in on the Geary Boulevard Improvement Project proposals over several rounds of outreach! Your input has made this project one that better serves the many needs of the Richmond community.
Spring 2021: The SFMTA conducted a merchant loading survey via email, phone and door-to-door to help identify where curb space changes, such as new commercial loading zones, additional short-term parking or pickup zones, could improve access for businesses on Geary.
Fall 2021, Outreach Round 1: We held an online open house and asked neighbors about their general priorities for the Geary corridor, such as preference for transit improvements vs. parking availability and proposed bus stop changes. Other outreach included pop-up events on the corridor, meetings with merchants and other stakeholders, mailers, posters and paper surveys distributed through local food pantries.
Winter 2022: Published the Round 1 Outreach Summary detailing what we heard. We used this initial input from community members to draft the detailed project design, which included some project modifications based on feedback.
Spring 2022, Outreach Round 2: Published block-by-block drawings of the draft detailed proposal. A second round of outreach was conducted to seek feedback on this detailed design, including a survey, community meetings, mailers, posters and self-guided open houses hosted at locations on or near Geary Boulevard.
Summer 2022: Published the Round 2 Outreach Summary detailing what we heard.
Winter 2022/23: In response to Round 2 feedback, the project team made additional refinements to the project proposal.
June 2023: Went door-to-door to Geary merchants between 15th and 28th avenues to share information about proposed increase in replacement parking, marketing support for Geary businesses during Quick-Build, and construction impacts and mitigation.
Design changes made in response to community feedback
Bus stop changes
What was Proposed: To improve transit performance for the 38 and 38R Geary lines, several bus stops were proposed to be relocated across the street, to the far side of the intersection.
What We Heard: While the majority of survey respondents indicated support for all of the proposed bus stop changes, some merchants expressed concerns that relocating the 17th and 25th Avenue outbound bus stops to the west side of the intersection could make access to adjacent businesses more difficult and would further reduce parking on these high-activity blocks.
What We Did: Updated the proposal to retain the 38 Geary local 17th Avenue outbound and 38 Geary local/38R Geary Rapid 25th Avenue outbound bus stops in their current locations. We are now proposing to extend the bus zone lengths of these stops to meet Muni standards, thereby making it more likely that buses can pull over curbside to pick up and drop off passengers.
Parking and loading supply
What was Proposed: In order to accommodate transit and safety improvements, the Geary Boulevard Improvement Project includes some reduction in on-street parking supply on Geary Boulevard.
What We Heard: Parking in the Richmond can be difficult and providing customers curbside access to businesses is important.
What We Did: After Outreach Round 1, we proposed three tools to respond to feedback: 1) Reducing the number of parking spaces removed on Geary Boulevard and adding replacement parking on some cross streets near Geary; 2) A new proposal to extend parking meter operation hours to include nights and Sundays to increase parking availability during those times; and 3) Development of a curb plan to modify commercial and passenger loading zones to support businesses. These three tools were shared during outreach Round 2, where further feedback led to modifying the curb plan and dropping the proposal to extend meter hours (more details below).
Evening and Sunday meter expansion
What was Proposed: To increase parking availability for people visiting businesses or making other short-term trips, the project proposed introducing new weekday evening (6-10pm) and Sunday (12-6pm) metering on Geary Boulevard between 14th and 28th avenues.
What We Heard: Stakeholders expressed a variety of concerns with the proposal, including:
A majority of respondents (over 70%) indicated they were probably or definitely opposed to the proposal;
There was concern about the impact that such a policy could have on the relative competitiveness of the Geary merchant corridor as compared to other merchant corridors without extended metering; and
There was concern about the timing of implementing such a policy during a sensitive COVID economic recovery period.
What We Did: Dropped parking meter expansion from the project proposals. While expansion of parking meter hours was dropped from the Geary Boulevard Improvement Project proposals, the SFMTA is planning to extend parking meter hours citywide as a way to sustain Muni service and help address the Agency’s looming budget shortfalls, while creating more parking availability and better serving the many businesses that are open past 6 p.m. and on Sunday. The extended meter hours will be phased in across the City over the course of nearly 18 months, starting in July 2023. The Geary commercial corridor would be among the last locations in the city to have extended metering hours take effect, with Geary (and cross streets) from Masonic Avenue to 7th Avenue in Phase Four and Geary (and cross streets) from 7th Avenue to 28th Avenue in Phase Five out of six phases of implementation, with implementation in these areas not likely to begin until 2024.
What was Proposed: The original proposal included standard safety treatments such as pedestrian bulb-outs, daylighting, center median refuges and additional time for people walking to cross the street.
What We Heard: Several respondents cited the traffic collision rates on Geary and their experiences walking along the corridor and requested additional safety treatments, particularly to improve left-turns.
What We Did: After outreach Round 1, we introduced treatments for left-turns, similar to what was successfully implemented at 3rd and 7th avenues in 2013, where one left-turn is prohibited at each intersection to make the remaining left-turns safer for cars and pedestrians. After Outreach Round 2, we further revised this proposal to adjust the left-turn restrictions at 22nd and 23rd avenues based on feedback received.
Early proposal (left) and revised left-turn restriction proposals (right) at 22nd and 23rd avenues
Business support and construction mitigation
What We Heard: As businesses continue to recover from the pandemic, there were concerns about construction disruption and impacts to Shared Space parklets that would need to be rebuilt to work with the proposed new street design.
What We Did: The SFMTA met with business leaders and individual businesses to continue the conversation. We committed to cover the costs for any modifications needed to Shared Space parklets that are directly impacted by the project. Working with the Office of Economic and Workplace Development (OEWD), we continue to refine the construction mitigation and business support plan, and plan to engage further with local merchants before the project is implemented. (See more under “Information on construction impacts and mitigation" below.)