SFMTA Board Votes on L Taraval Proposals
After months of community input, studies and surveys, the SFMTA Board met on December 5th to vote on a few remaining elements of the L Taraval Rapid Project. At this meeting, they also received a report on final results of the 6-month boarding zone pilot program.
The pilot, which was developed in collaboration with local residents and merchants, did not substantially improve safety for passengers getting on and off of L Taraval trains. For that reason, the board reaffirmed their support for installing boarding islands at all stops Taraval Street.
Another report showed that the painted clear zones installed designed to give a safe place for riders to step off the train have improved safety for riders. Based on previous year averages, 2-3 passengers would have been expected to be hit getting on or off the train since April 1, when the clear zones were installed. However, since the installation of these zones, there have been no reported incidents of passengers being struck.
Additional decisions included:
17th Avenue (Inbound) - The Board affirmed the removal of the 17th Avenue inbound stop on a trial basis to provide more balanced stop spacing, increase overall efficiency and reliability of the L Taraval and preserve parking for local merchants. The stop will be removed in early 2018 and Muni customers will be able to use nearby stops at 15th and 19th Avenues. The board came to this decision after reviewing a report that they had requested when they initially approved the stop’s removal, listening to public comments and a robust discussion. Staff will report back to the board at a later date to share results on how the removal is impacting transit riders.
35th Avenue (Inbound) - The Board voted to remove the stop based on the failure of the boarding zone pilot and the fact that a full boarding island cannot be built at the location due to a track crossover. They cited safety and the close spacing to nearby stops as the main reasons for removal.
44th Avenue (both directions) - The Board decided to keep this stop in both directions and affirmed their support for boarding islands. They asked staff to return at a later date to present additional details on any potential impacts on transit reliability if the stop is retained. Clear zones for safety will remain at this stop prior to construction on Taraval that is anticipated to begin in summer 2018.
Time Limited Parking - Time limits aimed at helping increase access for local merchants were proposed for Taraval Street between 33rd and 36th avenues (2 hour limit) and Taraval Street between 43rd and 47th avenues (4 hour limit). The board was set to vote on these limits, but due to procedural issues they will need to revisit this proposal in early 2018 at another meeting. We will share an update about the timing of that meeting once available.