Those red bus-only lanes on Mission: hot or not?

red bus lane mission muni diaries burrito justice

Mission hangers-about are familiar with those hard-to-miss red bus lanes on Mission Street. Some of those people, including local business owners and Supervisor David Campos, say they’re annoying and are looking to walk back their implementation.

The lanes were part of the Mission Street Improvement Project, which established bus-only lanes on Mission Street from 14th Street to 30th Street.

Small business owners and Supervisor Campos claim that the bus-only lanes are hurting the bottom line, but can anyone really accurately estimate how much businesses were hurt by transit options? As Streetsblog points out:

Studies show that businesses tend to get it wrong about how many customers arrive by car. Regardless, figuring how it impacts bottom lines on Mission would be difficult. A sampling of businesses would have to offer their books for an audit. And then if sales receipts really went down from this time last year, it would have to be compared to businesses a few blocks away, to make sure it’s not a reflection of the regional economy.

Business owners interviewed by Streetsblog, however, point to the bus lanes as the reason for decline. In terms of estimating how much business comes from car-drivers versus Muni riders, SFMTA says that Mission street carries  over 65,000 Muni riders each day, and about 8,000 cars travel along Mission street. In addition to looking like our very own Muni red carpet — “14! 14, what are you wearing!?” — an SFMTA press release says the bus-only lanes have, thus far, improved travel-time reliability and reduced collisions.

But as Campos said in the release, “I want to make sure that the project works for everyone and takes into account the unique aspects of the Mission.”

To be fair, governing by 100-percent consensus is San Francisco’s favorite tune, and you will not take that away from those elected to govern, by god!

Bus-only lanes: Hot or not?

Photo by Burrito Justice

4 comments

  • A Vuncular

    Excellent! Faster service. Private cars have no constitutional rights.

  • Sam Foster

    So hot, can’t wait until all the major bus corridors have these!

  • Lee Most

    As a bus rider, I’m annoyed by how bumpy the red lanes are. When the bus is on those red areas, it bounces, shakes, and vibrates so much that I can’t hear music in my headphones, can’t write messages on my phone, and can’t read a book.

    As a driver, it’s frustrating to have to drive 11 blocks to get to the opposite side of the street due to all the no left turn and forced right turn signs. I dropped my wife and daughter in front of a store on Mission Street, saw a parking space across the street and it took me fifteen minutes of driving just to get there without making an illegal turn. Of course the space was gone by then, and as I drove around for another fifteen minutes looking for a parking space, they called and said they were done, and I had to drive around 2 more blocks to get back in front of the store to pick them up. There should be a sign with a map and directions at each corner showing how to get to where we used to get by making a left turn or going straight ahead!

  • D.

    All you have to do is take a look at how well the red lanes are doing on downtown Geary st. to see how this is just another fuck up from SFMTA.

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