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N-Judah Transit Bulb Proposal To Go Before SFMTA Board Next Week

5:01 PM PST on January 12, 2011

This new rendering shows 9-foot sidewalks instead of the previous 5-foot ones. Image: SF Planning Department, City Design Group

A proposal [pdf] to significantly improve sidewalk conditions for N-Judah riders in Cole Valley is headed to the SFMTA Board for approval with some modifications. As we wrote in November, the current sidewalks on Carl Street at Cole and Stanyan can't accommodate the thousands of passengers who use the stops daily, so riders waiting for trains often stand in the street, and are forced to weave through parked cars to board.

The proposal has been revised and would extend the sidewalks by 9 feet on all three proposed transit bulbs on Carl Street (see the photo below the break), which "allows seamless boarding of trains."  On the southwest side of Carl and Cole, the inbound bulb would stretch for 113 feet instead of the original 165 feet. The entire length of a two-car train is about 150 feet.

The SFMTA said it reduced the length of the longer inbound bulb to alleviate concerns about the loss of parking, which will translate into giving back one parking space. As it stands now, four parking spaces on that section would be removed, and the proposal itself would allow for the removal of a total of eight spaces on Carl. Some neighbors remain concerned about removing those spaces and continue to oppose the plan.

Overall, though, the SFMTA said there is a lot of support for the proposal, and in an email to Streetsblog, outlined some of the many benefits:

Installing these transit bulbs will improve conditions for the nearly 6,000 daily passengers that use these transit stops by eliminating the need for passengers to weave between tightly-parked cars as they get on and off of N Judah trains.  They will also improve pedestrian visibility at the intersections, provide the train operators a clear view of boarding and alighting customers, and reduce train dwell times by encouraging passengers to board through all doors.  Furthermore, they will eliminate conflicts between trains and parked cars, particularly at the outbound stop on the northeast corner of the Carl/Cole intersection, where the N Judah tracks curve and illegally parked cars have caused numerous delays and several side-swipe collisions.

The proposal will go before the SFMTA Board for approval next Tuesday, January 18th, at 1 p.m. in Room 400 at City Hall. If you support the proposal, you're encouraged to write the board at and tell them so.

The proposal has been modified to include 9-foot sidewalks in both directions. Image: SFMTA

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