West Portal Transit Delay Reduction Pilot
**On Tuesday, May 21, 2019 the SFMTA Board voted to approve the pilot project with all proposed elements. The pilot changes began in early June and will last approximately 6 months. It will be evaluated according to our Data Collection Plan that was revised to incorporate feedback received from stakeholders.**
West Portal Station is a key node in the Muni rail network, where 3 lines (K, L and M) connect to the Twin Peaks Tunnel and the subway running beneath Market Street. Approximately 80,000 customers pass through this station each day. While there have been many upgrades to West Portal over the last 100 years, bottlenecks still persist regularly that can cause delays for Muni customers and detract from the experience of visiting West Portal. Along with planned operational improvements, the SFMTA is proposing new ideas to the area near the portal to improve transit, traffic circulation and pedestrian safety.
The intersection at West Portal is very complex which leads to delays that affect Muni, vehicles and pedestrians. With the goal of improving the intersection, staff studied the area, looked at traffic data trends and analyzed Muni train patterns. Based on that data, SFMTA staff came up with several recommendations and shared them with stakeholder groups including local merchants, neighbors and transit customers. After receiving feedback and some additional ideas, staff made considerable changes to the plans and have now implemented the following changes.
Most of proposed changes at West Portal would be in effect weekday mornings from 6am-10am. The morning commute hours are a key time to keep trains moving efficiently here and throughout the Muni system.
Related Proposed Route Changes to the 48 Quintara
Many Muni customers transfer at West Portal from the 48 Quintara to inbound K, L or M trains. Moving the inbound stop for the 48 Quintara would require that transferring customers only need to cross one street instead of two -- making the intersection safer and reducing conflicts between pedestrians, trains and cars.
Former route for both inbound and outbound routes of the 48 Quintara. Note: The weekend and evening 48 routing uses Wawona to turn around towards the terminal.
The outbound route will stay the same, however the inbound route will shift and the inbound stop at Vicente and West Portal Avenue will be discontinued.
Additional Loading Zone Changes
Map showing changes to parking and loading on Ulloa Street. Note: The 48 route that operates on evenings and weekends will still use Wawona to get to the “Drop-off/layover” location on Ulloa and West Portal.
During the outreach process, staff also heard general concerns related to the lack of commercial loading space in the area for many merchants. In response, SFMTA is proposed extending the commercial loading zone on the south side of Ulloa Street between West Portal and Claremont. This larger zone will allow larger trucks a safer place to load out of traffic. To accommodate the increased commercial loading zone, the existing green (short-term) parking meter would be relocated to the adjacent off-street parking lot. SFMTA staff discussed the proposal with fronting businesses and found them to be receptive to the change.