24 Divisadero Temporary Emergency Transit Lanes
As traffic congestion returns, the SFMTA is working to protect San Franciscans who continue to rely on Muni to get to work and essential appointments during this pandemic. If just a fraction of the people riding transit before the crisis begin driving alone, traffic congestion will be so severe that it could paralyze the city’s economic recovery. Without action, transit-dependent San Franciscans will bear the costs of traffic congestion, like an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 on slower, more crowded buses. The 24 Divisadero provides critical north-south transit service for essential workers, seniors, the disabled, and others without access to private vehicles for essential trips as well as serving neighborhoods with high percentages of people of color and low-income households.
Along with other key locations across the city, chosen based on current ridership and travel time data, the SFMTA is proposing temporary emergency transit lanes on segments of the 24 Divisadero route to keep buses out of traffic and reduce crowding and travel times. The 24 Divisadero traveled up to 30% faster in the early weeks of the city’s Shelter in Place order, demonstrating how much congestion normally affects the line. By reducing delay from congestion, Muni can use its limited resources to provide more frequent service and pick up more passengers with the same number of buses.
Map of proposed project area
Customers entering and exiting the 24 Divisadero
Implementation and Sunset Date
If approved by the City Traffic Engineer following the hearing, the temporary emergency transit priority treatments would be installed in 2021. Transit lanes would be striped only with white paint and “Bus/Taxi Only” stenciling and signage, making them easily reversable. No red color is proposed as part of these temporary installations. 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.
Outreach and Evaluation
The urgent nature of this emergency calls for putting temporary measures into place, directly on the street. This accelerated approach allows the city to respond quickly to protect public health and support economic recovery while we work with the community to evaluate and make adjustments to the temporary transit lanes in real time. Pending approval, 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 adjusting the emergency transit treatments 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.
JP Streeter, Public Information Officer