Planners have settled on a design for San Francisco’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route on Van Ness Avenue. The result is a plan that combines the benefits of both proposed center-running options to keep construction costs relatively low while allowing Muni flexible use of its bus fleet to serve the line.
In this design, buses would run along either side of a center median, but converge near intersections to load at right-side boarding platforms. That should assuage concerns from Muni management about requiring special buses for the route with doors on both sides to load passengers on a left-side median. It would also forego the expense and disruption of removing the existing planted median while mitigating safety concerns about buses passing each other within a pair of enclosed lanes. The plan would also likely include slightly raised bus lanes and will ban all but one left turn along the corridor between Mission and Lombard Streets.
Some more analysis and planning needs to be done before the final environmental impact report is presented in September and approved by the end of the year, but SF County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) planner Michael Schwartz said the environmental impacts should “fall within the bookends of what’s already been analyzed.”
The line is expected to be up and running in 2016 (here’s why it’s taken so long).
Streetsblog readers had a lot to say about the two options presented last time around — what do you think of this hybrid design?