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Two-Item Tuesday: A Very Ferry Future. Plus Advocates Call BS on ‘Welcoming West Portal Committee’

An Oakland ferry. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Here are two new stories of interest to the safe and livable streets community.

A whole lot more ferry service proposed for the Bay Area

A map of current and future ferry routes. Image: WETA

Many Streetsblog readers no doubt filled out the 2050 Service Vision and Expansion Policy survey on future ferry routes they'd like to see. The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), which operates the San Francisco Bay Ferry services, announced that its staff has "incorporated comments and developed the final 2050 Service Vision and Expansion Policy—including adding more detailed information about emergency response and first/last mile connections." The proposal, if approved, would eventually see ferries running all the way from Antioch to Redwood City and more, as mapped in the above image. Also on the way, perhaps as early as next month, is a WETA-operated ferry service between Jack London Square and western Alameda.

The next WETA Board meeting is Thursday, May 9th at 1 p.m. The Board will review the revised draft Service Vision & Expansion policy and consider adopting it during the meeting. The public is welcome to attend in person at Port of San Francisco, Pier 1, S.F. or virtually.

Advocates call out Supervisor Melgar's betrayal of West Portal safety

After a family of four was wiped out in West Portal last March by a reckless driver, SFMTA was tasked with coming up with a plan to make the area safe. They immediately produced the 'West Portal Station Safety and Community Space Improvements Plan,' which is actually an old plan to keep cars out of this de facto transit plaza. It had long been shelved by merchants more concerned with motoring convenience than preventing their patrons from getting crushed to death.

Unfortunately, Supervisor Myrna Melgar followed the example of her predecessors and buckled under merchant pressure. She agreed to cancel the project and instead formed the "Welcoming West Portal Committee," run by the same merchants who have continued for years to block safety improvements that might in any way inconvenience their driving. Kid Safe came out strongly this week, correctly stating that the new committee "threatens to derail a critical safety project that will benefit thousands of pedestrians and transit riders."

Also from Kid Safe's statement:

Just over a month ago, an entire family was killed by a speeding driver in West Portal. With better designed streets in the neighborhood, this tragedy could have been avoided. We are disappointed in Supervisor Melgar’s call for a delay in the West Portal Station Safety and Community Space Improvements Plan and for a committee to propose alternative safety improvements. It doesn’t take a committee to determine that we need to bring order and simplicity to a chaotic intersection and key transit hub.

Kid Safe goes on to "urge Mayor Breed to immediately direct SFMTA to implement the West Portal Station Safety and Community Space Improvements Plan," the original plan that would physically prevent reckless drivers from using Ulloa to run down more people.

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