43 Masonic and 44 O'Shaughnessy Transit Improvements (Formerly Temporary Emergency Transit Lanes)
The public hearing for this project took place at the SFMTA Board meeting on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022, where it was approved for permanent implementation.
You can review the staff report here online.
Throughout the course of the pandemic, the SFMTA focused on maintaining a core service network serving essential workers and those who depend on Muni for essential trips. To avoid overcrowding and ensure frequency of service, we began implementing Temporary Emergency Transit Lanes on key routes at locations where traffic bottlenecks occur. Portions of the 43 Masonic 44 O’Shaughnessy routes were chosen for the implementation of these temporary treatments, based on observed travel time improvements and ridership levels.
The 43 Masonic, a key north-south connector in San Francisco, showed up to 25% travel time savings during the shelter-in-place, when there was significantly less car traffic, particularly on Masonic Avenue between Turk and Oak Streets. Another vital cross-town route, the 44 O'Shaughnessy, saw travel time savings of 30%, particularly at two major transit points, the Glen Park BART station and Forest Hill Muni Metro station.
After presenting an initial plan to the SFMTA Board for approval in June 2020, a virtual community meeting was held in September 2020 to gather feedback about the 43 Masonic-44 O’Shaughnessy proposal. Subsequently, based on public input, monitoring of transit speeds and traffic conditions and the experience we had with temporary lanes installed in other parts of the City, our team prioritized implementation of key segments of the project. Those improvements, including transit lanes and left-turn restrictions, were implemented in April 2021. They were presented to the SFMTA Board for permanent implementation and approved on Tuesday, January 18th with one modification -- we did not seek to continue the transit lane eastbound on Woodside Avenue from Ulloa Street to Portola Drive.
Converted the lane closest to the curb to a temporary transit lane:
Presidio Avenue southbound only: Bush to Sutter streets
Masonic Avenue southbound only: Fell to Oak streets
Woodside Avenue eastbound only: Ulloa Street to Portola Drive
During our evaluation, SFMTA staff determined that initial design of the Woodside transit lane was not effective at reducing or maintaining bus travel times. Therefore, staff did not recommend making the Woodside transit lane permanent and will instead explore additional design solutions that could more effectively improve bus travel times at that location.
Bosworth Street westbound only: Lippard to Elk streets
Implemented a “keep clear” zone
Laguna Honda Boulevard eastbound only: at Forest Hill Station
Implemented full-time “no left turn” restrictions
Masonic Avenue both directions: Turk to Haight Streets at intersections that do not have dedicated left turn lanes, in effect during peak hours
Most intersections on Masonic Avenue do not have dedicated left turn lanes, which causes vehicles to frequently make quick lane changes into the right lane to go around vehicles waiting to turn left. These quick lane changes can often impede the movement of buses in the right lane. Implementing full-time left-turn restrictions at these intersections, which is a component of the temporary emergency transit lanes approved project, will reduce these quick lane changes and improve bus speeds and reliability. In addition, since left-turns are a chief cause of vehicle collisions in San Francisco, this should provide a safety benefit for pedestrians, seniors, people on bicycles, and others on this vital stretch.
In summer 2021, we undertook an evaluation of the effectiveness of these changes to determine whether there was support for making them permanent. This included a community survey in addition to technical evaluation metrics.
You can view our on-demand presentation anytime to learn about the evaluation of this project.
Thank you to everyone who attended the Community Meeting on September 16, 2020 or provided comments on the 43 Masonic/44 O’Shaughnessy temporary emergency transit lanes.
Did you miss the meeting? Watch a video of the presentation.