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Public Safety Information for the Van Ness BRT corridor

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Van Ness Avenue is one of San Francisco's busiest and widest streets. The Van Ness Improvement Project includes several improvements aimed at improving transportation safety. Here is some information to keep in mind for safe travels on the Van Ness BRT corridor on Van Ness Avenue between Lombard and Mission streets:

If you are walking

  • People who walk should check traffic in both directions when crossing the streets and only cross when the WALK signal is illuminated.
  • Countdown signals indicate how much time you have to cross.
  • Median refuges in the center of Van Ness intersections create a place for you to wait if you do not have enough time to cross.
  • Bulb outs reduce distances to cross the street and improve visibility for people walking and driving to see each other better.
  • For safety, people should avoid walking or standing on the landscaped medians.

If you are taking Muni or Golden Gate Transit

  • Buses in the center-running transit lanes will move quicker since they don’t have to move through traffic and have their own lanes.
  • Check traffic before crossing the street to the boarding platforms.
  • People riding the bus must use the boarding platform to board the bus.

If you are biking, or using another personal mobility device like a scooter or skateboard

  • Bicyclists, scooters, skateboarders, etc. may not travel in the transit lanes and it is a danger to do so.
  • Polk Street, one block east of Van Ness Avenue, has bicycling infrastructure and less traffic that makes it a better option for traveling north-south in the area.

If you are driving

  • Private vehicles are not allowed into the red transit lanes – they are for buses and emergency vehicles only. 
  • Transit bar signals (pictured right) are for buses, not for cars.
  • Drivers cannot make left turns on the corridor (except northbound at Van Ness Avenue and Lombard and southbound at Van Ness and Broadway)—doing so is illegal, dangerous and backs up traffic. Those who turn left from Van Ness Avenue are crossing two active transit lanes, one traveling in each direction—very dangerous. More than 300 people are injured by left-turning drivers every year in San Francisco. In 2019, 40% of traffic deaths in San Francisco occurred when drivers making left turns hit pedestrians – mostly people using crosswalks who weren't seen by drivers until it was too late.
  • Van Ness Avenue is part of San Francisco’s high injury network: 13% of San Francisco streets responsible for 75% of our severe and fatal crashes. Please drive with care.