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tv   [untitled]    October 24, 2011 4:00am-4:30am PDT

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stop eastbound between buchanan and hai streetght and van ness and market street. it would be at a very dangerous intersection. the proposal would funnel all muni-bound pedestrian traffic from the hayes valley into this dangerous intersection. this is an ill-conceived and poorly planned project. it is a waste of taxpayers' dollars. millions of dollars. i truly believe that the m.t.a. board needs to be the voice of reason and vote no on this project. director nolan: thank you, sir. next speaker. >> good afternoon, members of the board and chairman. i am its business owner. -- i am a business owner. and you're sort a longtime resident of san francisco, going on 35 years. i do not have a car.
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i take my bike everywhere and i have a clipper card in my pocket. i am concerned about the project because i do think it draws an unfair burden of traffic on to haight street. the activity of --, with which i am very familiar, has created a lot of traffic -- the octavia project. i think adding additional bus traffic and an additional lane both west and east bound is going to be even more confusing for the amount of people that come into the city using that exit. it also takes away metered parking. i know that the plan has a net increase of two parking spaces. it could be three. but that is not on our street. that is somewhere else. right now, where do i stop to unload my groceries without being in an opposite direction of oncoming traffic for a bus? they eliminate every single bit of parking on the south side of the street.
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the businesses -- 100% of the businesses on those blocks are in opposition of this. even more important to that, i posted a flier on the corner and had 120 of my neighbors stop by my front door and knock on it to say they would like to sign the petition so that the board of mta knows that we do not support this. we have tried to engage the folks at mta, and they have been very good about this, but the grants for the project is limited. it is very limited in scope. we want to work on it. we are not opposed to two-wide bus traffic, but the way the plan as outlined does not solve those plans. what we are asking again is a little more reason about why things are done this way or maybe even the community involvement. i heard someone say -- and i will finish up, i promise -- i heard a very good friend of mine say the other day that a well thought out plan of a bad idea is still a bad idea. in this case, it kind of is.
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we want to support mta and the project, but we want to do it in a way that is right for all of us that have to live and work here. thank you. >> [reading names] >> good afternoon. thank you, board members, for listening to all of us. i am here representing jews for jesus. we have property, and we will be impact on two blocks that will be impacted by the change. we are in opposition to the plan. for any number of reasons. i have submitted an e-mail to the board outlining two and a half pages of opposition. our primary concern has to do with the safety at octavia and
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haight street. we think the impact at both in the sections will decrease safety. we think it is going to increase congestion at both intersections. we are also concerned about the loss of parking. we think that is going to adversely affect our neighbors across the street, and we are deeply concerned for them. we are not opposed to change. we just think the plan is still- conceived and has been from the beginning. we would like to see it continue at the best at this point and have more things looked at. the intersection at golf and haight it will be negatively impacted.
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-- and market will be negatively impacted. >> good afternoon. i am a resident in the first block of haight. i would like to state again my opposition to this plan. i live with my family, but i was raised in the house and our families are the property there for almost 60 years. to funnel more traffic and commuters and chaos into the immediate area is a dangerous prospect for anyone. our streets are dangerous. octavia boulevard, market street, golf street -- they are all filled with, you know, commuters and, you know, our
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share of really dangerous accidents. when accidents happen in our neighborhood, they are of a monumental danger. someone died just in july in our neighborhood, due to the traffic in our area. i want to say that we are in opposition because -- only since april have the neighbors in our area been involved in the talks. i sense that -- i think that saying that the neighborhood association and special interest groups are on board with this plan is to disregard the people that live and work in this area. we are the ones that will bear the brunt of all the chaos of traffic running a bus down our
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block. i live on the south side of the block where they are going to remove all of the parking. what do i do when i cannot even let my family out in front of our own house or unload my groceries? i think it is a poorly conceived plan, and i thank you for your time, yet again. >> i am surprised you said windy because my friends call me when the because they do not think i will ever grow up. i live in the neighborhood. at every meeting, i have said that there will be blood on your hands. that is because this is a wrong idea that has funding already approved for it. i am a bicyclist. i am a pedestrian. i live in the neighborhood, and
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i know this is a bad idea. for 27 years that i have lived in san francisco, the buses have never had a problem turning on page street and laguna. the only reason there are costs -- the only reason there are time costs that will be shaved off of the changes that you are proposing is because you are taking four stocks offer of this line. in addition to that, you are serving less people in the community. we have group housing because of the central freeway coming down. they are bringing even more people into our neighborhood. and you are removing in a southerly fashion the bus route by a blocked. there are not only disabled, elderly, getting elderly, and regular people in our neighborhood.
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please reconsider this plan. do not go forth. keep the bus on page. do not make haight street two ways on this block. you will not see an increase except only in dangerous and litigate behavior by the people that are injured by your actions. thank you. >> ms. riley? nope. charles. followed by barry toronto and then tom. >> good afternoon. i have lived in the neighborhood we're talking about now for 11 years, and i appreciate the opportunity to tell you that the
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reason why i believe the project should not go forward. i understand that there is a hope held out -- in the "exam and a" today, one of the writers wrote that this would save one or three minutes of time, and as mentioned, we do not believe that is even close to being accurate, and most of the benefits that would be perceived would come about by making some immediate changes right now. i just looked at what is being proposed, and i believe that it is not right and not fair for the neighborhoods. i am will not dwell on the past and previous meetings that have been held, but i want to talk about what is being proposed. in order to try to get bus traffic through an area that is now being overwhelmed by traffic in the morning due to the freeway coming down in the on ramp to 101, they're talking about two things. one, they're talking about putting a bus ride down the middle of the street. there is no other part of the street that has that with the
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exception of one block away with the extension is. imagine to lanes which a bus -- lay in a switch a bus between two lands of cars. can it be done? yes. can it be done safely? i do not believe you can have cars going by on either side with traffic going in a bus in the middle. it seems like a relief or way of doing it. as bad as it is, they're talking about making it look like a landing strip with a rather large red striking down the center. they are also talking about removing all the parking from the right side of hai streetsg. ht imagine the poor people living on that side. there's no chance that they will be able to do this. this really goes against the ideas that are promoted by things like the better neighborhood, the level san francisco, so i just ask you --
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please do not put this forward. please do not allow two-way traffic on haight street. >> good afternoon. i can specifically for this agenda item. it leaves out taxes. why can tax is not use these lands? my history of the area is i had a girlfriend lived in the area about 21 years ago. we used to take the 71 at page and laguna and they had a nice little coffee shop there, and i used to take her there, so you're so familiar with the area, more intimately than just being a cabdriver. the issue is that haight streak is a lot steeper than page.
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you are dealing with some steeper slope issues, if i'm not mistaken, right? the thing is that -- my question is why these people's concerns were not addressed or dealt with, or were they in your staffing reports, these concerns, about these issues when you've got this information -- why i did not hear about this? these are legitimate concerns that should have been dealt with in public comment. i think you should go back to the drawing board and ask for your traffic engineers to give you responses to these people's questions or justifications for making these types of changes. yes, taxis should be able to use this. transit first. it will help get better cab service by having the ability to use these transit lanes as well. but at the same time, did somebody asked all these people? i support it because i got
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something that it would be a great project, but at the same time, you have to answer these people's questions. that is all i have to say. thank you. >> good afternoon, executive director of livable cities. i want to speak on behalf of both our organizations and urge you to adopt this plan. we have been following this plan in its various iterations for a long time. it is been through a few iterations, and we think it is a real balanced, complete street project. we have a complete street campaign, and we want the balance tipped back towards walking, cycling, and transit in sustainable modes peart it will have the benefits to transit. it is very much in the benefit of the 20,000 riders who use this bus line every day. you will see it save time.
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you will see a trip that is shorter and more reliable. those ugly landing strips are that color that we want to see to really let people know. the transplants are not very visible, so this is a great pilot for that. there is a lot of pedestrian safety improvements that will go in. it is one of the most dangerous in the city, so there is a lot of curved extensions to short crossing distances. there's a lot of crosswalk work, etc., that is going to happen as part of the proposal. we think it is a balanced proposal, a good proposal. i have to say, i always hate to see another lane added. what i would hope this that this project is evaluated, and if the buses are moving through, if everything is working, you can take away that extra lane. you can go back to two lanes. adding there has been an abundance of caution, and it is
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probably reasonable on the part of your staff. but if those lands are not necessary, they can always be removed. but we hope that you will go forward and approve this today and get this project moving. it has been a long time coming. >> good afternoon, directors. i am executive director of walk san francisco. i echo a lot of the points made for a livable cities. it has got a lot of improvements for pedestrians to make the confluence of some very dangerous streets a lot safer, crossing distances shorter, sidewalks wider. i also agree that it is too bad that in the process of working with the community and dealing with a lot of the concerns that the street has effectively been widened by taking a parking lane
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and changing it into a traffic lane. but walk san francisco does support this because of all the pedestrian safety improvements, the walk ability improvements, and also the increase in efficiency for muni, which will help a lot of people. i also just wanted to add that i wanted to thank you for all of the school zones, which just went in under the consent calendar. it has been a pleasure to institute this 15 mile an hour safety zones around 200 schools, and you're so glad that that is moving forward so quickly. so thank you.
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>> good afternoon. i speak on behalf of a group of residents and business owners. what i have on the projector is an illustration of what the residents are concerned about. this is the gulf and market junction that has nine separate traffic goes through it. it is at the nexus of four major thoroughfares. as a result of that, the junction is one of the most dangerous in the cities. this is data from the mta website, from the planning department. it shows the accident rate at that juncture. it is one of the most traffic and most dangerous in the city. the statistics i think you guys all know that that junction was rated a few years ago the most dangerous in the city. it is today as of may 2011 raid
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of the most dangerous -- actually, both those judges of octavia and golf are rated the most dangerous bicycle junctions in the city -- both of those junctions. we have great concerns about what they are planning to do, which is essentially take those nine traffic flows and run a bus through that junction as an additional flow. we think that is dangerous. it is going to attract more pedestrians and cyclists to the area, not less. they are going to meet that group of traffic coming into the city. we do think that also, this will create significant legal exposure for mta because you are proposing to move forward with a project despite very clear public objection on the basis of safety. this is the way the junction is measured. it is very dangerous, and it does not make sense to run a bus line through it.
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i have worked for planning before. very dense area. you do not run buses through a very busy area. last point i'll make is if you do the traffic calculations, which i have done and filed this with the board, you will find that because of the 18 bus crossings, it is assumptions from the mta, you will find that that dedicated bus line stops traffic 18 times an hour. if you do the calculation, you realize that it creates an effective back up because you are clocking traffic on a very busy intersection. the length of the back up as 0.6 miles, which is roughly the equivalent down here at 10 city blocks, so that is not going to solve an improvement in rejecting the department has not
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considered the effect of order and you guys should take a look at the calculations and please, please, stop this madness. thanks. >> wanted to just follow up on my testimony from previous hearings that we did ask for a few additions to the plan be made because of the concerns around the neighbors, which were around assurances and future evaluation of the safety and decongestant around the area if this plan moves forward. i do just want to thank mr. ,
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ye-- ye who wrote a letter to us asking that we consider this and make for the considerations in the future. thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i am about a 20-year resident of the neighborhood. i live near page and octavia. every morning, when i walk my dog in the morning, about 8:30 in morning, i see the traffic backed up on page street. i see buses full of people writing that are waiting in line for minutes every single day. this is an improvement that is a long time coming. it was called for in the market
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octavia plan. it has been studied by the mta. i think it is a really good solution. i applaud staff for taking into consideration a lot of the neighbors' concerns, and i think the current plan addresses a lot of those concerns very creatively. i think it is time to move forward with the spirit the 20,000 passengers that ride this line every day are really waiting for some help. i appreciate your concern, and i hope that you support this. thank you. >> director, you want to talk about this? >> yes, let me just say that i appreciate all the commons. i want to just make sure that the board understands there has been quite a bit of public process, quite a bit of planning and analysis with regard to
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transit impact, traffic impact, safety. i think that some of the documentation we have provided and questions you have or answers we can provide to any questions you have can address that. i will ask the lead of the project to step forward. she will be happy to provide you with any information you need an answer any questions. >> i am leading this project through the planning process. good afternoon. i would like to go over some of the primary aspects to explain how we are addressing some of the concerns of the community. the main objective is to improve transit reliability for the 20,000 customers riding the buses.
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but it is a complete project that does that benefits for all users and it is in line with the transit effective this project and the market octavia plan. the initial proposal was developed and shared a community meetings held in 2007 and 2008. in 2010, it was awarded a transportation for a livable cities grant. we then took the proposal as it was shipped at that point to a public hearing in april. we heard about a number of concerns from the community. since then, we spent the summer reshaping the proposal. we had a community meeting in may and in june and some other smaller meetings with neighborhood groups to ensure that we were hearing the concerns of the community. i would like to use the overhead if i could. these are the existing routes.
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because the block that is circled in red is one way away from market street, we are unable to run transit, so we have the six and the 71 existing routes. as has been noted, there are traffic congestion is that occur daily on page street pier also, there are two additional turns that would not be necessary if we were able to go directly down haight street. this is an existing proposal. there is one traffic lane in each direction. and what we are proposing to do is to add a landing strip, also
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known as a transit only lane, down the middle of the street. this would be used -- we are proposing to use a red-colored treatment on this lane as a pilot. it is used internationally on transit-only lands. london has had them for many years. new york city is certainly piloting it. we think that this treatment would emphasize that this is a facility that is only for transit and would help us free the buses from the congested approaching a octavia boulevard. what i would like to know about this is that we did modify the proposal for the blog based on community concerns. originally, this was going to be a lame for me and left turns only. because of the concerns we have heard about the left turn adding more congested on the plot and resulting in extra delays, we removed that left turn as a response to the concerns we heard from the community.
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this is the existing configuration. this two traffic lanes, both going westbound. what is left turn lane. one is a thru lane. -- one is a left turn lane. what we are proposing to do is to continue that read transit only land on the south side of the street. we are proposing to remove all of the parking on the south side of the street. i would note that that change was made in response to concerns from the community. when we went to the public hearing in april, we had maintained the parking on the south side of the street, but that meant we had to allow right turns off of northbound octavia. that was because we needed cars to be able to access those parking spaces that were there. through the community process, we determined that it was -- if we removed these parking spaces, we could make that really a
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muni-only lanes of the only traffic that would be allowed to travel east down would be those 10 to 12 buses currently scheduled per hour. it goes to 18 buses per hour if we have the proposed frequency increases. the only users of this lane would be those muni buses. there would be no additional traffic. parking is a major concern, and i will get to that in a moment. we hear a lot of concerns about the intersection at market, golf, and haight streets. we have proposed many improvements. we are adding pedestrian signals for the two crosswalks. we are straitening two of the crosswalks that currently do not


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