Many Mission district merchants are upset over Muni’s use of red bus-only lanes installed along Mission Street, saying the lanes are costing them business. (Mike Koozmin/2015 S.F. Examiner)

Many Mission district merchants are upset over Muni’s use of red bus-only lanes installed along Mission Street, saying the lanes are costing them business. (Mike Koozmin/2015 S.F. Examiner)

Criticism of bus-only lanes in the Mission contradicted by data

New red bus-only lanes in the Mission district continued to draw ire from some in the community at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors meeting Tuesday.

Critics frequently cited turn changes that stopped car-driving shoppers from frequenting Mission Street.

But the concerns come as the San Francisco Examiner has obtained data from the SFMTA that shows the number of parkers on Mission Street didn’t change immediately following the installation of the red lanes in February.

Data from Mission Street parking meters show the hours of purchased parking on Mission Street ranging from 8,200 hours a week to 9,100 hours a week, from January through the end of February. The lanes were installed beginning Feb. 22.

Yet in March, hours of meter time purchased remained mostly consistent, from 8,194 hours the week of March 14 to 8,334 hours the week of March 21.

Hours dipped the week of March 28, but that was also spring break, which “historically sees less Muni ridership,” SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said.

Parking hours used per space also did not fluctuate much in parking meters after the red lanes were installed. Hours paid per space averaged around 26 or 27 for January and February, and stayed consistent with those numbers through March.

Community members and business owners alike criticized the new red lanes.

“SFMTA’s red carpet bombing of the Mission was a surprise attack and is wholly unwelcome,” Raeleen Valle-Brenes, an activist from the Cultural Action Network told the board.

And locals maintain they have lost business since the red lanes were finished in March.

“We’re losing our clients,” Eden Stein told the SFMTA board. Stein is the proprietor of Secession Art & Design in Bernal Heights, as well as the vice president of the Mission-Bernal Merchants Association.

MissionMuniParkingPaul Rosered lanesSFMTATransit

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