Muni tweaks routes to speed service

Several transit projects that transit officials say will improve Muni service on several routes like the 29-Sunset and 6-Parnassus have either been completed or are near completion.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency last week completed painting a red-transit only left turn lane for the 29-Sunset on Lincoln Way heading eastbound. The lane was open for service on Oct. 1, according to the transit agency.

Normally, the 29-Sunset, which carries about 18,000 daily riders, would have to go around the area taking the often congested 20th Avenue and Irving Street to make its left turn onto 19th Avenue and finally to Crossover Way.

The SFMTA said riders will save anywhere from two to five minutes of travel time depending on the time of the day and should improve reliability on the 29-Sunset because of the new route alignment.

A new bus stop was also be created on Crossover Way for the 29-Sunset (formerly located at 19th Avenue in Lincoln in front of Shell gas station). It will share the new bus stop with the 28-19th Avenue, 28L and 91-Owl.  The transit agency plans to complete a new bus shelter by Oct. 14.

Another project to improve transit travel on Haight Street is nearly completed. The seven-month project was in collaboration between the SFMTA and the San Francisco Department of Public Works.

Work included repaving the streets on Haight Street between Laguna and Gough streets, replacing sewer and water lines, upgrading traffic signals and creating an eastbound transit-only lane between Laguna and Market streets making that section of Haight Street a two-way street.

This would allow the 6-Parnassus, 71-Haight/Noriega and 71L to continue on Haight Street into Market Street instead of having to make a left turn onto Laguna Street and then a right turn onto Page Street to get on Market Street.

Three inbound stops will discontinue at Laguna and Haight streets, Page Street and Octavia Boulevard and Page and Market streets. The outbound stop at Haight and Octavia Boulevard will also discontinue, according to the SFMTA.

Haight and Gough streets will have a new inbound bus stop.

Minor will continue this week, which includes testing of the new traffic signals. SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said the transit agency plans to complete the project this week.

The two routes have a total average weekday ridership of 21,500. More improvements are on the way for the 71-Haight/Noreiga as transit planners continue to work with the community to refine the proposals.

Proposals to improve the 9-San Bruno will be up for approval at this week’s SFMTA board meeting Tuesday.

Some of proposals including moving bus stops from the near-side to the far-side on Bayshore Boulevard at intersections where traffic signals will give priority to the 9-San Bruno.

This would allow the 9-San Bruno to hold the green light as it approaches the intersection and minimizes the number of stops the bus has to make.

Other proposals include creating transit islands and bulbs where the 9-San Bruno and 9L make the same stops.

SFMTA transit planners also propose to remove a bus stop at 11th and Folsom streets in the inbound and outbound directions.

SFMTA staff plan to also present updates on several other transit projects that are part of Muni Forward — the transit agency’s plan to modernize Muni to make it more reliable.