As was reported here on June 22, SFMTA was considering a plan to create bus-only lanes along major transit corridors in the city. They are anticipating increased traffic as the city gradually opens up from the Covid-19 pandemic and the need increases for essential workers to reach their jobs more reliably and efficiently.
The O’Shaunessy/Bosworth corridor is among eight thoroughfares that serve five critical bus lines, including the 43 and 44, that the city has designated to alleviate the expected congestion of private vehicles. The bus-only lane will be activated on Woodside and an 800-foot stretch of upper O’Shaunessy at the School of the Arts. It will resume on Bosworth between Elk and Diamond.
SFMTA’s thinking can be summed up in this statement they made: “We don’t have a crystal ball to see into San Francisco’s future, but one thing is clear: a citywide economic recovery is dependent in large part on a transportation recovery. And while we work to come back from one crisis, we’re looking to avert another—traffic gridlock.”
When this plan was announced, there were many comments on social media. The majority were negative, citing increased rather than decreased traffic congestion. Many thought the plan was just unworkable and would cause traffic gridlock without the hoped-for increase in public transit ridership. Others were more willing to give the plan a chance, in hopes that buses would be sped up along their routes and people would then opt for transit over congestion caused by private vehicles.
In late summer both theories will be put to the test, as SFMTA approved the bus-only plan last Tuesday, June 30.
The Glen Park Association weighed in before the SFMTA vote, questioning the process by which the agency gathered data and made its decisions about the bus-only lanes, as well as asking how the plan, once implemented, will be evaluated for its results. The GPA also asked the SFMTA to do better outreach to the community in advance of implementing its plans.
The citywide plan is explained, with links to other sources of information, here.