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1 California Temporary Emergency Transit Lanes

Project Introduction
Update: In response to community feedback, we have made revisions to this proposal (see below) which will be considered at the SFMTA Board Meeting on April 20, 2021. For additional information on what we heard and what we did in response to recent project outreach, please refer to the Outreach Summary.

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 are proposed along segments of California, Clay and Sacramento streets:

  • On California Street between Steiner and Presidio streets, temporary emergency transit lanes would replace the curbside travel lane. Lanes would be 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 would 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 would convert the existing 7am-7pm transit lane to a full time transit lane, eliminating these spaces as part-time parking spaces.

Temporary transit lanes would be 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.

On California Street

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

*Update as of 2/3/21: The project proposal has been 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 proposed 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. The travel lane nearest to the curb would be converted to a 24/7 transit lane on each side of the street. Parking would be retained.

Based on outreach to the community and the feedback we received, the original proposal for Sacramento and Clay streets has been revised.

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 Powell and Kearny: expand towaway hours to 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
    • Between Larkin and Mason: expand towaway hours to 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
    • Between Franklin to Larkin: add 24/7 transit lane
  • 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 Mason is orange line with the caption "Existing: 3:30-7pm. Proposed 3-7pm"   Sacramento Street from Mason to Powell is blue line   Sacramento Street from Powell 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 proposed 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

    The 1 California temporary emergency transit lanes proposal is planned to be brought before the SFMTA Board of Directors for consideration on Tuesday, April 20. Please join us to learn more about the revised proposal and provide feedback.

    Tuesday, April 20, 2021, 1 p.m.
    View Board meeting details (meeting materials will be available about one week before the meeting)
    To make public comment, join by phone at 888.808.6929 / Access code: 9961164#

    All comments will be entered into the public record and considered when a determination is made after the hearing. Comments can also be provided before the meeting by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 19 by:

    • Emailing: MTABoard@SFMTA.com
    • Calling: 415.646.4470
    • Or in writing to: Board of Directors, One South Van Ness, 7th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103

    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.

    If implemented, the project will be evaluated. 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.

    Provide feedback on how we evaluate temporary emergency transit lanes

    Following approval of a project corridor, SFMTA’s Temporary Emergency Transit Lanes will be evaluated once they are installed. Evaluation criteria provided by the community will be used along with metrics that the SFMTA has established. Please take our short survey to provide your input. 

    街道改造工程獲得批准后,交通局的臨時緊急公交車道一旦實施,將接受評估。評估標準將由社區提供,並將用於交通局起草的問卷表格。請參加這個簡短的問卷調查,提供您的建議。

    Depues de que se aprueba un corredor de proyecto, los carriles de tránsito de emergencia temporarios de SFMTA serán evaluados una vez que estén instalados. Los criterios de evaluación proporcionados por la comunidad se utilizarán junto a las métricas que ha establecido la SFMTA. Por favor, responda a esta breve encuesta para brindar su opinión.

    Contact Information
    Amy Fowler / Jonathan Streeter
    415.646.2350