Keep up with essential planning news and commentary, delivered to your inbox every Monday and Thursday.
San Francisco's Red Transit-Only Lanes Improving Service
For many San Francisco riders, the Muni Metro light rail and buses are often blocked by cars entering their dedicated lane. Previously, only stencils within the lane marked this restriction. However, a three and a half block length of north-south running Church Street carrying both the Muni Metro J-Church and 22-Fillmore lines received a red coat of paint to highlight its transit-only nature.
As reported on by Matt Johnson of Greater Greater Washington, less than two months after this urban intervention, "San Francisco's transit operator, SFMTA, reported that travel times on the 22 and the J were down 5% and on-time performance for those lines had increased 20%," a significant improvement for the daily 15,000 riders of these lines. Indeed, many American cities are following San Francisco and New York's example and painting their transit-only lanes red.
According to Aaron Bialick of StreetsblogSF, seven weeks after this fresh coat, "SFPD and SFMTA parking enforcement officers have handed out 26 citations to drivers so far for violating the transit lanes, according to the SFMTA." Despite the clear demarcations, drivers are still trespassing into the transit-only lanes.