Two-way access on the east end of McAllister Street has been restored for Muni buses, bicycles, and commercial vehicles, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) announced last week.
The conversion, completed last Thursday, provides a more direct route to Market Street for the 5-Fulton Muni line, which has long been forced to detour off McAllister at Hyde Street. The bus line is expected to save three minutes on inbound trips for its nearly 16,000 annual riders and save the SFMTA an estimated $200,000 per year, the agency said.
“For folks that are riding the 5, it will really help with quicker trips and reliability and make sure that buses are more evenly spaced apart,” said San Francisco Transit Riders Union spokesperson Robert Boden. “One of our members rides it on a daily basis and she mentioned that sometimes that turn onto Market Street can be very difficult for drivers, and there were times when the trolley buses would become disconnected from the wires.”
Under the reconfiguration, three one-way lanes were converted to one through lane in each direction, bringing calmer and more inviting conditions for people walking and biking on the two blocks between Market and Hyde Streets.
McAllister, which serves as a relatively flat and direct link between the Civic Center and NoPa areas, is a popular route for bicycle commuters. The SFMTA painted sharrows in the westbound direction to connect with those installed in June.
Private automobiles are still prohibited from using McAllister as an eastbound through route. However, drivers can access street parking and drop-off zones in front of the Renoir Hotel from the end of 7th Street, also known as Charles J. Brenham Place, which was also converted to a two-way block. Private auto and delivery drivers are required to make a right turn onto Market Street at the east end of McAllister.
Two-waying McAllister was recommended in the SFMTA’sTransit Effectiveness Project as a way to improve bus service. The overhead wires were installed as part of the Capital Investment Program, which “includes the rehabilitation of the aging trolley bus Overhead Contact System in various parts of the city.”
The new overhead wires on McAllister are currently being tested, and SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said the 5-Fulton route change will take effect sometime this month.