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Under pressure, Muni maintains L-Taraval ‘Safeway’ stop

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A inbound L-Taraval passes through Taraval Street and 17th Avenue on Friday, January, 26, 2018, in San Francisco, Calif.

San Francisco Muni riders have gotten their wish to keep a transit stop on the L-Taraval.

Supervisor Norman Yee announced on Friday that he and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency worked out a plan to keep the Taraval Street and 17th Avenue inbound stop, across the street from Safeway.

Yee said in a statement:

“Since 2016, I have consistently advocated to keep the 17th Ave inbound stop and worked closely with the SFMTA staff, Safeway and community stakeholders. I appreciated this opportunity to lead the community effort to save this important stop which so many people rely on to commute and shop for groceries.

Yee added:

“My top priorities remain Vision Zero and maintaining access. I strongly disagreed with the proposal to remove the stop, even on a trial basis.”

By keeping the 17th Avenue inbound stop, the SFMTA will install a boarding island between 16th and 17th avenues that will be wheelchair accessible.

Erica Kato, spokesperson for the SFMTA, said the transit agency will make reliability improvements elsewhere along the transit line:

“To keep the Safeway stop while boosting reliability for transit riders, the new proposal consolidates two lesser used inbound stops: Forest Side Avenue/Ulloa Street and 15th Avenue/Taraval Street. These two stops would be combined into a single new stop on Ulloa Street at 14th Avenue.

Kato added:

“This would require no changes to parking and would be only a minor shift for most nearby residents.”

The removal of the 17th Avenue stop is part of a larger project called the L-Taraval Rapid Project. The SFMTA Board of Directors approved the project in 2016, which not only called for some removal of transit stops, but also installing boarding islands on the remaining transit stops.

Many Muni riders have come out in support of keeping the 17th Avenue inbound stop, including making public comments this month at a SFMTA board meeting.

Directors in 2016 decided to temporary keep the stop to allow staff to gather passenger data on the transit stop. In December last year, directors decided to remove the stop based on the SFMTA staff recommendation.

If the SFMTA had removed the stop, riders would have had to walk down to the next stop at 19th Avenue or walk up to 15th Avenue.

Paula Katz, a resident in the Parkside neighborhood, said it affect seniors and disabled riders who have to carry groceries from Safeway to either walk up or down to the next transit stop.

Now, seniors and disabled riders will not have to as the stop will remain.

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