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Two-Item Tuesday: Geary in S.F. and Grand in Alameda

Geary rendering from SFMTA before it watered down the project and removed everything that actually made it BRT. Image: SFMTA

Note: GJEL Accident Attorneys regularly sponsors coverage on Streetsblog San Francisco and Streetsblog California. Unless noted in the story, GJEL Accident Attorneys is not consulted for the content or editorial direction of the sponsored content.

There are two upcoming and important hearings that could benefit from advocate input, one on Geary in San Francisco and the other in Alameda on Grand. First, Geary, where merchants are again trying to water down a years-long safety project for improved bus service and safety.

From advocate Cyrus Hall, who reached out to Streetsblog:

We just launched an effort to support an upcoming vote this June at the SFMTA Board on transit-only lanes on Geary between Stanyan and 34th Ave. The background are some D1 merchants are once again trying to stall out the project, as they have been for a decade now. We've heard some rumblings that their pressure campaign was making some Board members nervous, and had reached Mayor Breed's attention.

As such, we're pushing back with a rider campaign, aiming to remind decision makers that over 50 percent of the people moving along Geary do so on the bus, not in cars, and that they deserve fast and safe service. We've put up a website at fastersafergeary.org and we're running an Action Network letter campaign.

More from the action letter FasterSafeGeary has provided:

Improvements east of Stanyan gave us a Geary that is 18 percent faster for the 38/38R, and safer, with an 81 percent drop in excessive speeding. The city has a plan to bring these benefits to the next stretch of Geary, from Stanyan to 34th ave, and we support this!

The San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) Geary Boulevard Improvement Plan includes transit lanes and pedestrian safety improvements. We ask that the SFMTA Board approve the full and timely completion of the project as recommended by SFMTA staff, including the completion of transit lanes in 2023.

Be sure to check out the FasterSaferGeary page and send emails to your electeds to push back against car-brained attempts to further stifle the project.

In Alameda, meanwhile, city staff is doubling down (in a good way) on a safety project on Grand.

Over in the East Bay, Bike Walk Alameda advocate Cyndy Johnsen brought this to Streetsblog's attention: city staff is looking at extending its protected bike lane project on Grand. Streetsblog readers will recall that the original project ran between Encinal and Otis. Staff is now expanding it to run from shore to shore (see map above).

From a post by Johnsen:

Heads up! Staff is rethinking the Grand Street plans. They’re stepping back to look at the project as a whole corridor, from Shore Line all the way to Clement. They’ve just announced community outreach events, where they’ll present ideas and get feedback.

Of course, even the shorter project got the usual push-back from the car-brained who, despite the fact that every house on the street already has off-street parking, believe the city owes them unlimited free on-street private car storage at public expense. From Streetsblog's view, this is a good move by transportation planners with the city: why fight piecemeal battles rather than going all-in for the corridor?

A rendering of legally approved upgrades to Grand Street in Alameda. Image: Fehr & Peers
A rendering of legally approved upgrades to Grand Street in Alameda. Image: Fehr & Peers
A rendering of legally approved upgrades to Grand Street in Alameda. Image: Fehr & Peers

The first meeting with city staff for the extended project is scheduled for Wednesday, May 31, 6-8 p.m., at Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda. There will be a followup meeting on June 31. Be sure to check out the Alameda city page for details and get involved.

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