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Loading Zone Pilot Results and Additional Proposals for Taraval

Friday, November 17, 2017 - 6:15pm
Neighborhoods Affected 
Route(s) Affected 

Additional Taraval Street Proposals Going to SFMTA Board

Most of the project proposals for the L Taraval were approved in September 2016 and early improvements were installed in April 2017. The full project construction is set to begin in summer 2018 and includes new tracks that will reduce vibration, improvements to the overhead wires for trains that will reduce breakdowns, new boarding islands, new traffic signals, water and sewer upgrades, new trees and landscaping as well as street repaving.

The current proposals seeking approval are stop removals at 17th (inbound), 35th (inbound) and 44th avenues (both directions) as well as adding unmetered, time-limited parking to certain sections of Taraval.

After evaluation and community feedback, these additional proposals will go before the SFMTA Board of Directors on Tuesday, December 5 at 1:00 p.m. in City Hall room 400. Everyone is welcome to provide comment on the proposals at the meeting or submit them via email to LTaravalRapid@sfmta.com

Six Month Passenger Loading Zone Pilot Final Results

In the last five years, 22 people were hit getting on and off L Taraval trains where there were no boarding islands. To address this safety issue, a community-driven effort was launched to test whether measures including new street markings, signs and flashing lights on trains would get drivers to stop safely and legally for customers boarding Muni trains on Taraval.

Over the past six months, a loading zone pilot was evaluated at the inbound stops at 26th, 30th, 32nd, 35th and 40th avenues. If successful, the pilot would preserve parking spaces at these five stops. If the measures failed to increase the share of drivers who stop for loading trains to 90 percent, or if anyone was injured at a pilot location, boarding islands would be installed at each location. Boarding islands are a critical safety improvement feature that provide a safe zone for passengers to get on and off the train.

Since April, data has been collected about how these changes have impacted the share of drivers who stop behind stopped trains. For the final evaluation, each instance where a stopped train interacted with a vehicle was noted and tracked based on whether or not cars stopped behind the train, as required by law.

After months of data collection and many hours of reviewing on-site videos, the results are in. The compliance rate rose slightly, to 74 percent, up from 72 percent prior to changes. Since these measures failed to increase the share of drivers who stop to the 90 percent target rate, boarding islands will be installed at the pilot locations. In total, 36 total parking spaces will be removed as a result.

Stop Removals

Based on ridership data, input from residents, merchants and riders, SFMTA’s stop spacing policy and video analysis, the following changes are being proposed to train stops:

  • 44th Avenue stops (in both directions): Clear zones were added in April as an interim safety measure pending building boarding islands to improve safety there. SFMTA now recommends removing the stops to improve transit reliability. This will restore 12 parking spaces.
  • 35th stop (inbound): This stop needs to either be upgraded with a boarding island or removed after it was a part of the unsuccessful six month boarding zone pilot program described above. Staff recommends removing the stop due to its close proximity to the Sunset Boulevard stop and the fact that it is not possible to build a full boarding island at this location. This will also preserve parking.
  • 17th Avenue stop (inbound): When the SFMTA Board approved removing this stop in September 2016 they asked that staff review the stop further before removing it since it is the closest stop to Safeway. After additional analysis, staff recommends removing the stop. If the SFMTA Board approves this recommendation, no parking would be removed. The SFMTA Board may vote instead to keep the stop, adding a boarding island that would require removing 11 parking spaces.

Parking time limit changes

Time limits are proposed to be added to many parking spaces on Taraval Street that currently have none. Parking spaces without time limits on Taraval have very little turnover and are full most of the day, which means that fewer customers can park in these spaces to visit local merchants. The proposed time limits would be in effect Monday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Unmetered time limits are proposed for on the following blocks:

  • 2 hour time limit: Taraval Street between 33rd and 36th avenues
  • 4 hour time limit: Taraval Street between 43rd and 47th avenues

To restore one parking space that was removed for a clear zone, a green zone metered parking space is proposed on the north side of Taraval Street at 25th Avenue heading towards 26th Street. The time limit will be in effect Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

For more details on each of the proposals and instructions to provide your comments to the project team or SFMTA Board, visit www.sfmta.com/Lrapid or email LTaravalRapid@sfmta.com