First splash of transit-only ‘red carpet’ lanes hit Mission Street

The first red paint that will designate Muni-only lanes hit the ground on Mission Street early Monday morning, signaling the start of a dramatic overhaul of the corridor’s traffic.

When finished, these “red carpet” lanes, as they are known, will secure a clear road for the 14-Mission and 49-Van Ness/Mission buses, speeding the ride for 65,000 riders.

Though the transit-only lanes will save just five minutes of travel time per trip, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency estimates that each rider will save 43 hours of travel time each year.

The idea that the red lanes are “painted” is a bit of a misnomer – the lanes are actually created by adhering red thermoplastic to the cement, according to the SFMTA.

At 9 a.m. Monday, a dozen or so workers began spraying adhesive to the cement and laying down red thermoplastic tiles between Cesar Chavez and 30th streets. Once the red rectangles were straightened on the ground, they were superheated by low flames connected to tanks of gas.

“Pending weather, we anticipate this to be complete by early-April,” said Ben Jose, an SFMTA spokesman.

Though sections of the streets may become red as early as March, Jose said it won’t be against the law to drive in the red transit-only lanes until “the signs are posted.”

Transit-only lanes will be installed northbound between Cesar Chavez and 30th streets, and southbound between 14th and Cesar Chavez streets. Under the plan, 13 bus stops will be removed, and one new one created, to speed up Mission Street bus routes.

Some of those bus stops were removed Feb. 13, with more set to be removed by April.

The 10,000 cars that travel Mission Street each day will see new rules too. Left turn restrictions will be set on every intersection on Mission Street, between 14th and Cesar Chavez streets. And between March and April, the SFMTA will also force right turns to divert northbound traffic on 26th, 24th, 22nd, 20th and 16th streets.

In its blog, the SFMTA apologized for the inconvenience of construction.

“We know construction is never fun,” the agency wrote, “but in just a few short months tens of thousands of Mission Street transit riders will have a better Muni ride and thousands of daily Mission visitors will get a safer walk in the neighborhood.”

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez
Published by
Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Recent Posts

Flashy stunts, sketchy story in Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Volta’

At the outset of “Volta,” the Cirque du Soleil show now under the big top in San Francisco, a lively…

53 mins ago

Family members launch GoFundMe for Chinatown woman killed in fatal collision

Family members of a woman killed while crossing the street in San Francisco’s Chinatown earlier this month have launched a…

1 hour ago

San Francisco Dons men’s basketball postpones clash with Arizona State

Friday's University of San Francisco men's basketball game against Arizona State, slated for a 6:00 p.m. tip, has been postponed due…

2 hours ago

SF Preps: San Francisco Section postpones semifinal football games to Saturday due to air quality

The San Francisco Section has officially postponed its two semifinal football games yet again. After having already moved the games…

5 hours ago

Golden State Warriors drop fourth loss of the year as Draymond Green returns

By C.J. Peterson Special to S.F. Examiner Pushing the ball down court on a fast break opportunity in the first…

13 hours ago

The number of missing people in Butte County fire jumps dramatically to 631

The death toll from the devastating Camp fire in Northern California jumped to 63 on Thursday as search crews recovered…

15 hours ago