New Muni-Only Lanes Streamline Buses on Haight, Lincoln at 19th Avenue
Muni riders have just gotten some sweet new transit-only lanes to speed up their commutes. Red paint is on the ground for two new bus lanes: One at Lincoln Way and 19th Avenue, and another on the east end of Haight Street.
A new left-turn lane, exclusively for Muni buses, went into operation this week at Lincoln and 19th, streamlining the ride for commuters on the 29-Sunset. The new lane and traffic signal mean that northbound 29 buses no longer must endure a car-clogged detour onto 20th Avenue and Irving Street. The block-long detour typically took anywhere from three to seven minutes, according to the SFMTA.
The re-route required a new bus stop inside Golden Gate Park, replacing the former stop where buses would load on the other side of Lincoln, before crossing the intersection. A new sidewalk and waiting area have been built, and the SFMTA says a shelter will be added as well. In the meantime, temporary signs explain the change.
The new stop, which is also now used by buses on the 28-19th Avenue and 28-Limited lines, provides an extended curb so that buses can load in the traffic lane. That speeds up buses, since they no longer have to pull out of traffic only to merge back in. The SFMTA does plan to replicate the new configuration by adding bus bulb-outs at other stops along 19th.
The new left-turn traffic signal is only activated when it detects a bus approaching the intersection, and the signal phase lasts only a few seconds so that other motorists can’t use it.
This isn’t the only new bus-only lane that Muni riders will get this month. Down at the east end of Haight, a red Muni-only lane is going in right now on the two easternmost blocks, which will streamline trips for the 6-Parnassus and 71-Haight/Noriega (which also runs through Lincoln and 19th). Similar to the 29-Sunset’s lane, the Haight bus lane will alleviate riders’ headaches by allowing Muni to bypass drivers waiting to turn right onto Octavia Boulevard (and from there to the Central Freeway), combined with a contra-flow bus lane that eliminates a one-block detour on to Page Street.
As Hoodline reported, the red paint on Haight is on the ground, and that project is expected to be completed next week.