San Franciscans for Sensible Transit

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"The future of MUNI BRT Greay Blvd."

"The future of MUNI's BRT Geary Blvd."

Who we are: San Franciscans for Sensible Transit is a pro-transit group of residents, neighborhood associations, and small business associations interested in achieving transit improvements at reasonable cost.  Our group includes, among others, the Planning Association for the Richmond (PAR), the Greater Geary Merchants and Property Owners Association, The San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations, transit experts, and many Richmond District residents.

 

What brought us together: In October 2015, the County Transportation Authority (CTA) and the Municipal Transportation Authority (MUNI) published an environmental impact statement (the EIS/EIR) totaling more than 8,500 pages detailing five alternative possibilities for a bus rapid transit (BRT) system for Geary Boulevard. 

 

MUNI sponsored a “Public Comment Meeting” on November 5th, 2015. Prior to the meeting we were told, we would be able to openly discuss the Geary BRT with our neighbors and MUNI officials.  But MUNI had other ideas: when we arrived at the meeting we and all other attendees were told that we would not be allowed speak our comments or ask questions. We were instructed to put our comments and questions in writing on cards supplied by MUNI. Then we were told to hand the comment cards to MUNI personnel or their consultants.  We were told that someone at the MUNI office would read the cards later. We were horrified at this anti-democratic proceeding.

 

When we carefully analyzed the Geary BRT EIS/EIR we discovered something more troubling than the lack of public input:

 

MUNI, on its website, has forecast that as a result of the red painted transit only lanes on Geary in the Richmond, traffic will be so congested and movement so impaired that drivers will be forced to parallel streets (Clement, Anza, Balboa, California, etc.)  

 

·         In a similar project on Mission Street where MUNI painted red transit-only lanes and restricted car traffic significantly, local merchants have reported business is down substantially. One Mission merchant estimates he has lost 40% of his regular customers. MUNI has told Mission merchants that they will “just have to learn to live with the situation.”

 

·         Geary BRT includes eliminating 25 bus stops between Masonic and 33rd Avenue. This will significantly reduce access to transit for local residents and makes no sense if the goal is to provide better MUNI service.

 

·         The BRT also includes the elimination of 19 left-turn lanes between Masonic and 33rd Avenue. This will destroy Geary Boulevard drivers’ ability to easily access local neighborhoods. Many drivers will be forced to make multiple right turns on to local side streets shifting traffic to residential neighborhoods and causing congestion and safety problems in those neighborhoods.

 

·         The Geary BRT project will include ongoing demolition and construction, tearing up parts of Geary from Masonic to 33rd Avenue through the year 2020.

 

·         MUNI claims the Geary BRT will save 55,000, 38 Geary Bus riders commute time.  When carefully analyzed we have determined that at most only 1000 commuters will save a few minutes daily. This amounts to an outrageous waste of $350 million taxpayer dollars!

 

·         Spending these funds forecloses more necessary transit and other projects including repairing potholes and resolving unsafe street conditions.

 

·         If the Geary BRT projects is allowed to proceed it will do so without real and honest public input or questioning. Public outreach by MUNI has been superficial. All elements of planning have been justified by theoretical transit time reduction without consideration of Transit First goals of quality of life and economic health.

 

·         After paying consultants more than $7 million to create an environmental impact statement of more than 8,000 pages, MUNI bureaucrats refuse to consider the needs of the Richmond residents.

 

·         MUNI is ignoring the common sense approach recommended by the Planning Association for the Richmond and others, which is not to demolish the center median and destroy hundreds of trees and plants, and restrict traffic from two red transit only lanes, but to first employ all other means to improve transit on Geary which include:

1)   Complete and effective synchronization of traffic lights.

2)   Upgrading the system allowing bus drivers to extend the time of green lights.

3)   Adding more buses and tighter scheduling.

 

 

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San Franciscans for Sensible Transit,      P.O. Box 590263,     SF,      C.A.,  94159
phone: 415-562-5327          fax: 415-666-3451        Email
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