Major makeover for Daly City intersection

The busiest bus stop in the SamTrans system — and one of Daly City’s biggest intersections — is about to get a major overhaul.

Council members have given the OK to seek construction bids for a series of long-planned improvements to the area around Mission Street and John Daly Boulevard, a major transit hub for commuters that is home to the Daly City BART station and the John Daly Library, as well as a Muni stop. Around 600 to 800 people a day catch a SamTrans bus from the service area, making it the busiest in the system.

The $2.7 million project includes a slew of pedestrian safety improvements along with a new transit plaza and wind-screened bus shelter at the intersection. On days when the fog cooperates, the plaza’s location will also provide a great view.

“It’s all downhill from there. You can look right down until you see the other end of John Daly,” said Public Works Director John Fuller. “Right over the edge of the bluff is the ocean. I’m sure once we get the plaza built it’ll be a place where people are probably going to hang out.”

Virginia Gacula, 19, said the upgrades make sense because bus lines at the intersection are busy in the mornings, especially since school is back in session.

“I know a lot of people who don’t drive and use this bus stop,” said Gacula, a Daly City resident who catches the bus to her job at Old Navy in San Bruno.

Gacula said she is looking forward to a more weather-resistant bus shelter. “When it rains, what do you do?” she said, gesturing at the current bus canopy.

In addition to the plaza, the plans call for pedestrian improvements along Mission Street down to Parkview Avenue, including new landscaping, a new crosswalk across Mission Street, sidewalk bulb-outs at intersections, upgraded lighting, wider sidewalks and other new bus shelters.

Since April 2009, there have been nine traffic accidents near the top of the hill area, two of them involving cars colliding with pedestrians, according to Sgt. David Mackriss of Daly City police.

Fuller said city officials are waiting for one final approval for a portion of the funding that comes from the federal government before formally advertising the project. Officials hope to begin construction in March and be finished by December 2011.

Funding includes $2.3 million from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the City/County Association of Governments, plus another $700,000 from SamTrans earmarked for the “Grand Boulevard” initiative to spruce up El Camino Real. The city is also planning to do some $750,000 in water-main improvements while the street is torn up.

Working with Caltrans to get approvals has slowed the process, but officials hope transit riders will soon be enjoying the improvements. “It’s been in the works for a long time,” Fuller said.

Transit connections

There are a number of transit lines that run near John Daly Boulevard and Mission Street, including at the nearby BART station:

Muni: 14, 14L, 14X, 28, 28L, 54
SamTrans: 110, 120, 121, 130, 390
BART: Richmond, Pittsburg/Bay Point, Dublin/Pleasanton and Fremont lines

Sources: Muni, SamTrans, BART

sbishop@sfexaminer.com

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