Muni construction may clog roads next week 

Travelers from Ocean Beach to the Financial District should expect to be inconvenienced next week by a major construction project that will impact as many as 100,000 bicyclists, motorists and transit riders in The City.

Starting at 7 p.m. on May 25, construction crews will begin an 11-day project to improve railways, streetscapes, sidewalks and underground infrastructure at Church Street and Duboce Avenue and also on Carl Street. The effort will disrupt service on two popular light-rail lines as well as several bus routes and one of The City’s main bikeways.

The N-Judah light-rail line will be shut down between Ocean Beach and Van Ness station. Bus shuttles will replace the line — Muni’s busiest — while the NX-Judah Express, a complementary bus service,
continues to run normally.

Meanwhile, the J-Church line will only operate between the Balboa Park station and Church and Market streets.
Transit activist Greg Dewar, who writes a blog called the N-Judah Chronicles, said the shutdown will be a hassle for commuters.

“They’ve done this before on the weekends, but doing it during the week will be a huge inconvenience,” Dewar said.

“The buses just can’t hold as many people or go as fast as the trains.”

Meanwhile, several bus lines will need to be rerouted around the construction work, with the 22-Fillmore slated for a major detour. Other affected buses include the 37-Corbett, the 43-Masonic and the N-Owl, all of which will be rerouted in minor fashions.

Various street closures and parking restrictions also will be in effect during the 11-day event, which could run longer if inclement weather conditions or unforeseen operational problems occur.

Spokesman Paul Rose of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said more details about the detours and parking restrictions will be released next week. When work is under way, the agency plans to deploy electronic message board signs to alert motorists about detours and parking changes.

Finally, the Wiggle, a popular bike route for cyclists traveling between Market Street and the Panhandle, will be partially closed due to the streetscape work. The Steiner-Sanchez bike route also will be closed, as will a connecting path between Market Street and the Wiggle.

“We know that the Wiggle is a major corridor for the huge and growing number of people biking in San Francisco,” said Leah Shahum, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. “We’re working with The City to make sure that the detour signs are clear and that people on bike can safely and easily navigate this detour.”

Ed Reiskin, director of transportation at the SFMTA, urged commuters to change their travel patterns, if possible.

“We ask that everyone allow extra travel time and plan ahead, especially when commuting or going to events,” Reiskin said. “Those who can walk, bike, take an alternative Muni route, grab a taxi or even work from home will help ensure space for those who cannot.”

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

Lines affected by the shutdown project

  • Line                              Daily Boardings
  • J-Church                      16,695
  • N-Judah                       45,252
  • 22-Fillmore                18,892
  • 37-Corbett                    1,789
  • 43-Masonic                12,765
  • N-Owl                                  358

Total Boardings:    95,751

Duration of project:
7 p.m. on May 25 – 5 a.m. on June 4.

Planned improvements

  • New track for smoother Muni ride
  • Curb and ramp upgrades
  • Water and sewer improvements
  • Enhanced boarding areas
  • Overhead wire and pole replacement

Source: SFMTA

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Will Reisman

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