Proposed Van Ness BRT Design Would Combine the Best of Both Options

Image: SFCTA

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).

Check out more details on the proposal from the SF ExaminerTransbay Blog, and in this SFCTA Powerpoint presentation [PDF].

Streetsblog readers had a lot to say about the two options presented last time around — what do you think of this hybrid design?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

What’s the Best Design for Van Ness BRT?

|
After years of delay, the 2016 target date for the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit project seems more tangible than ever. The San Francisco County Transportation Authority recently released its draft environmental impact report and will select one of several proposed design alternatives in the spring. The SFCTA is asking for public input on the different […]

Options for Geary BRT Come Into Focus

|
Just after San Francisco approved a preferred design for its first Bus Rapid Transit route on Van Ness Avenue, the SF County Transportation Authority showcased the latest conceptual proposals for a companion BRT project on Geary Boulevard. Geary BRT, which has been fraught with delays over the years, is expected to bring relief to riders on Muni’s […]

The Future of Van Ness Avenue is a Full-Feature BRT Route

|
Van Ness BRT at City Hall, Alternative 5: center-center median option. With overwhelming approval for the Proposition K half-cent transportation sales tax in 2003, San Franciscans  signaled they not only wanted to maintain a state of good repair and operational solvency for their transit system, they were willing to dedicate more than 25 percent of […]

Bay Area’s First BRT System Coming to the East Bay By 2016

|
Transit riders in the East Bay will get a boost in 2016 with the arrival of the region’s first Bus Rapid Transit corridor, connecting San Leandro and Oakland. The project recently reached a major milestone with the release of its final environmental impact report (EIR). AC Transit will begin fielding public feedback on the EIR […]

Geary BRT Plan Watered Down to Appease Parking-Obsessed Merchants

|
Update: This plan may not be “watered down” after all. See our follow-up report here. Planners are touting a new proposed configuration for Geary Bus Rapid Transit that would forgo bus passing lanes in order to preserve car parking to appease merchants. Separated, center-median bus lanes would be retained, and project backers hope the changes […]