Safety, transit imp­rovements planned for San Bruno Avenue

A stretch of San Bruno Avenue in San Francisco that is known for a high number of senior citizens and low-income residents who rely on Muni will soon have more reliable transit service, transit officials say.

The San Bruno Multimodal Improvement Project includes adding five transit bulb-outs for faster boarding of passengers, bus zone extensions to improve efficiency on Muni buses, and creating a second traffic lane in the morning by adding tow-away zones on San Bruno Avenue approaching Silliman Street and from Silver Avenue toward the Alemany maze to reduce traffic congestion and delays for Muni buses.

Directors of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency approved the $4.1 million project at their regular Tuesday board meeting. Design of the project will start begin this fall and continue through spring of 2017, whith construction starting sometime in later 2017.

Project manager Matt Brill said the changes would reduce travel time by 15 percent on the project’s 1-1/2 mile corridor on San Bruno Avenue from Arleta to Rickard streets.

Muni’s 8-Bayshore, 8AX-Bayshore, 9-San Bruno and 9R-San Bruno together carry an average of 50,000 daily passengers each day, said Brill.

A SFMTA report said the majority of passengers along the corridor are low-income (73 percent) and minorities (82 percent).

Two of the community meetings were held in Cantonese to invite non-English speaking residents to give feedback to the transit agency on the project.

Unreliable Muni service and overcrowded buses were just some of the feedback the transit agency received from the meetings, said Brill.

Other concerns included difficulty of finding parking, narrow streets at crowded transit stops and double parking.

The project will also address pedestrian and bike safety in the corridor.

Since San Bruno Avenue is on The City’s list of high-injury corridors, the plan will add seven pedestrian bulb-outs, intersection daylighting, two rectangular flashing beacons, and a bike lane between Paul Avenue and Mansell Street.

San Bruno Avenue has seen 37 pedestrian injury collisions in the last seven years, according to the transit agency.

Brill said the plan will also add parking meters on the pockets of Woolsey and Wayland streets along the corridor and revise parking meter limits at different locations on San Bruno Avenue to improve parking capacity

Chris Waddling, board chair of Portola Neighborhood Association said he was very excited for the pedestrian improvements because of the high number of senior citizens living in the neighborhood:

“We have a large elderly population in the neighborhood who walk their grandchildren to programs and their safety is greatly at risk at the moment and with these improvements I expect those to be addressed.”

Luke Spray, another member of the neighborhood association, said the changes have been a long time coming for the corridor:

“We’re thrilled to see these things go forward. It’s going to make our neighborhood a little safer, faster buses and all in all a much more pleasant pedestrian experience.”