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1 California Temporary Emergency Transit Lanes

SFMTA.com/TempLanes1Cal
Project Introduction
Update: In response to community feedback, we made revisions to the final project proposal, which was approved at the SFMTA Board Meeting on April 20, 2021. Installation of temporary transit lanes was completed in June 2021. Now that transit lanes have been installed, we're evaluating how well they are working, including a community survey.
The community survey is now closed. The results of the survey and complete transit lanes evaluation will be posted here. Please continue to check this webpage for updates, or sign up to receive email or text notifications.

The SFMTA is working to protect essential workers and transit-dependent San Franciscans who rely on Muni to get to work and essential appointments. During the initial days of shelter-in-place, the 1 California saw significantly faster travel times east of Arguello Boulevard compared to pre-pandemic. But with traffic now returning, average speeds along the 1 California corridor have decreased, slowing bus travel times and contributing to crowding. 

In fall of 2020, increases in traffic were correlated with a spike in the number of bus trips that were crowded, with as many as 20% of trips being crowded around this time period. The 1 California line was among the top ten Muni lines that received the most pass-up complaints during this time period. In January 2021, SFMTA introduced additional service on the 1-California that has mitigated some of these crowding and pass-ups issues. An anticipated increase in vehicle travel as economic reopening continues risks the potential to again exacerbate crowding and pass-ups on this line.

In order to protect people who rely on transit from increased exposure to COVID-19 on slow or crowded buses, we need to act quickly to move more people, even though we have fewer resources. 

The 1 California serves the Chinatown neighborhood–one of San Francisco's neighborhoods with high percentages of people of color and low-income households. In addition, 65% of Chinatown and Nob Hill households do not own a car, more than twice as many as the citywide average of 31% with no car.  

Installing temporary emergency transit lanes on segments of the corridor will help keep the 1 California moving, reducing crowding and travel times for people who depend on transit to get around the city. When buses aren’t competing with traffic, they can complete routes more quickly, providing more frequent service and greater capacity with the same number of buses. This is especially important at a time when buses can only carry a third of the passengers as before the health crisis and while the SFMTA is facing a major revenue shortfall.

Learn more about the Temporary Emergency Transit Lanes program.


Temporary Emergency Transit Lanes Details

Map of 1-California route. Route on California from Presidio to Steiner is highlighted in orange. Route on Clay from Van Ness to Leaven worth is highlighted in orange. Route on Clay from Jones to Taylor is highlighted in orange. Route on Clay from Jones to Grant is highlighted in orange. Route on Sacramento from Franklin to Kearny is highlighted in orange. Route on Sacramento from Montgomery to Post is highlighted in orange

 

Temporary emergency transit lanes were approved in April 2021 and installed along segments of California, Clay and Sacramento streets:

  • On California Street between Steiner and Presidio streets, temporary emergency transit lanes replace the curbside travel lane. Lanes are in effect at all times. All on-street parking would be retained.
  • On designated segments of Clay and Sacramento streets between Franklin and Kearny streets, temporary emergency transit lanes introduce new parking restrictions in the right-hand curbside parking lane during the hours the transit lane is in effect.
  • On Sacramento between Leidesdorff and Front streets, temporary emergency transit lanes convert the existing 7am-7pm transit lane to a full time transit lane, eliminating these spaces as part-time parking spaces.

Temporary transit lanes are striped only with white paint and identified with “Bus/Taxi Only” stenciling and signage, making them easily reversable. No red color is proposed as part of these temporary installations. Cars are still allowed to enter transit lanes to make right turns and access parking. Temporary emergency transit lanes will automatically be removed within 120 days after the emergency order is lifted, unless there is a public process to make a temporary emergency transit lane permanent.

Tow-Away Zones in Effect on Clay and Sacramento Streets

Tow away on Clay: 7 to 10am and 3 to 7pm from Larkin to Leavenworth, and between Jones and Taylor. 7 to 9am and 3 to 6pm from Mason to Montgomery. Tow away on Sacramento: 3 to 7 pm between Larkin and Stockton. 7 to 9am and 3 to 7pm between Stockton and Kearny. 7am to 7 p.m. between Kearny and Leidesdorff. 24/7 from Leidesdorff to Front.

On California Street

  • Presidio Avenue* to Steiner Street: add 24/7 (all hours) transit lane

*Update as of 2/3/21: The project proposal was revised to remove the proposed transit lane on California Street between Arguello and Presidio. This change in scope is as a result of design work revealing inadequate roadway width for a transit lane in this segment.

Project proposal on the western corridor of the 1 California service route.

Map of 1 California temporary transit lanes from Steiner to Presidio streets.

Cross-section diagram showing conversion of the curbside travel lane to a bus lane on California Street between Presidio and Steiner.

Cross-section showing street configuration of California Street between Presidio Avenue and Steiner Street, with the travel lane nearest to the curb converted to a 24/7 transit lane on each side of the street. Parking is retained.

Based on outreach to the community and the feedback we received, the original proposal for Sacramento and Clay streets was revised to the following:

On Clay Street

  • Morning AM Hours:
    • Between Powell and Sansome: no changes to existing towaway hours
    • Between Larkin and Leavenworth, Jones and Taylor, Mason and Powell: establish towaway hours from 7:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m
  • Evening PM Hours:
    • Between Grant and Front: no changes to existing towaway hours
    • Between Grant and Powell: add 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. towaway
    • Between Powell and Mason: add 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. towaway
    • Between Jones and Taylor: add 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. towaway
    • Between Larkin and Leavenworth: add 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. towaway
    • Between Larkin and Van Ness: add 24/7 (all hours) transit lane

On Sacramento Street

  • Morning AM Hours:
    • Between Leidesdorff and Front: add 24/7 towaway (all hours)
    • Between Kearny and Leidesdorff: no changes to existing towaway hours
    • Between Larkin and Kearny: no changes to existing towaway hours
    • Between Franklin to Larkin: add 24/7 transit lane
  • Evening PM Hours:
    • Between Leidesdorff and Front: establish 24/7 towaway (all hours)
    • Between Larkin and Kearny: expand towaway hours to 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
    • Between Franklin to Larkin: add 24/7 transit lanes

Overview of tow-away changes as a result of this project

Map of project area. Top left corner legend: dark orange line equals "New Bus Lane and Parking Restrictions"; dotted dark orange line equals "New Bus Lane (No Parking Removed), orange line equals "Bus Lane Hours Added"; blue line equals "Existing Bus Lane (No Change).   Clay Street from Van Ness to Larkin is dotted dark orange line with the caption "Existing: No Bus Lane. Proposed 24/7"   Clay Street from Larkin to Leavenworth is dark orange line with the caption "Existing: No Bus Lane. Proposed: 7-10am, 3-7pm)   Clay Street from Leavenworth to Jones is marked with "1"   Clay Street from Jones to Taylor is dark orange line with the caption "Existing: No Bus Lane. Proposed: 7-10am, 3-7pm)   Clay Street from Taylor to Mason is marked with "1"   Clay Street from Mason to Powell is dark orange line with the caption "Existing: No Bus Lane. Proposed: 7-10am, 3-7pm)   Clay Street from Powell to Grant is orange line market with "2" and the caption: Existing 7-9am. Proposed: begin strikethrough "7-10am" end strikethrough; 7-9am; begin strikethrough "3-7pm" end strikethrough; 3-6pm   Clay Street from Grant to Montgomery is blue line with the caption "Existing 7-9am, 3-6pm. Proposed: begin strikethrough "7-10am" end strikethrough, begin strikethrough "3-7pm" end strikethrough, Keep existing"   Clay Street from Montgomery to Leidesdorff is blue line with the caption "Existing 5-9am, 3-6pm. Proposed: begin strikethrough "5-10am" end strikethrough, begin strikethrough "3-7pm" end strikethrough, Keep existing"   Clay Street from Leidesdorff to Front is blue line.      Sacramento Street from Franklin to Larkin is dotted dark orange line with the caption "Existing: No Bus Lane. Proposed 24/7"   Sacramento Street from Larkin to Leroy Place is orange line with the caption "Existing: 3:30-7pm. Proposed: 3-7pm"   Sacramento Street from Leroy Place to Jones is orange line with the caption "Existing: 3:30-6pm. Proposed: 3-7pm"   Sacramento Street from Jones to Stockton is orange line with the caption "Existing: 3:30-7pm. Proposed 3-7pm"   Sacramento Street from Stockton to Grant is orange line with the caption "Existing 3:30-7pm; Proposed begin strikethrough "7-10am" end strikethrough, 7-9am, 3-7pm"   Sacramento from Grant to Kearny is orange line with the caption "Existing 7-9 am,3:30-7pm; Proposed begin strikethrough "7-10am" end strikethrough, 7-9am, 3-7pm"   Sacramento from Kearny to Montgomery is blue line   Sacramento from Montgomery to Front is orange line with the caption "Existing: 7am-7pm. Proposed: 24/7   Sacramento from Front to Drumm is blue line.   Bottom right hand corner legend: (1) equals "The Leavenworth-Jones and Taylor-Mason blocks of Clay Street have been removed from the proposal"; (2) equals "loading zones at Chinatown Community Childcare Center and Clay Medical Center will be retained"

Map of parking changes and transit lanes for the eastern corridor.
 

Proposed cross section changes on Sacramento and Clay Street between Larkin and Franklin Street.Cross-section showing street configuration of Clay and Sacramento streets between Franklin and Larkin streets. The travel lane next to the right-hand curb would be converted to a 24/7 transit lane. Parking would be retained.

Cross-section showing street configuration for streets east of Larkin. Parking is retained on both sides of the street when bus lanes are not in effect. Cross-section showing street configuration for streets east of Larkin. Parking is retained on both sides of the street when bus lanes are not in effect.

Cross-section showing street configuration for streets east of Larkin. The curbside parking lane becomes a transit lane when bus lanes are in effect. Cross-section showing street configuration for streets east of Larkin. The curbside parking lane becomes a transit lane when bus lanes are in effect.


Project Timeline 
Fall/Winter 2020/21
Initial Outreach + Community Meetings
Pending
Spring 2021
SFMTA Board Hearing + Implementation
Pending
Summer 2021
Evaluation + Implement Changes As Needed
Pending
Bus Routes and Rail Lines

SFMTA Board of Directors Hearing on April 20, 2021

The 1 California temporary emergency transit lanes proposal was brought before the SFMTA Board of Directors for consideration on Tuesday, April 20 and approved for implementation.

You can view the April 20 Board meeting details and watch a recording on the SFGovTV website.

 


Outreach and Evaluation 

We conducted extensive outreach during the winter 2020/21 to seek input on the proposed transit improvements. Outreach included a mailer sent to properties near the project area, email and text updates, posters along the corridor, meetings with local stakeholders, feedback by phone and email and two communitywide virtual meetings. In response to this feedback, and in recognition of the limited street space in this area, the proposal has been revised. Learn more about what we heard and what we did in response to recent outreach.

Following approval and installation, the temporary emergency transit lanes will be evaluated. Evaluation criteria provided by the community will be used along with metrics that the SFMTA has established. Areas of evaluation will include, but are not limited to:

  • Health and safety benefits
  • Economic health
  • Neighborhood impacts and equity
  • Transit performance
  • Traffic safety

Community-based organizations, stakeholders and neighbors will be involved in shaping the framework and process for evaluating and making any needed adjustments to the temporary emergency transit lanes in real time. Based on public feedback and ongoing, on-the-ground data monitoring of the temporary transit lanes, we can tweak—or even remove lanes—to meet the needs of the community and Muni customers. Both qualitative and quantitative data will be collected after implementation and will inform any changes needed to the transit lanes and whether permanent approval of the lanes should be pursued.

 

Contact Information
Amy Fowler / Jonathan Streeter
415.646.2350