UPDATE 1/18/11: Good news! Per Bryan Goebel of Streetsblog: “The SFMTA Board unanimously approved this proposal at its meeting this afternoon. Only one person testified against it. One member of the board, Bruce Oka, called it a “no brainer.”” Yay! Thanks to everyone who spoke up.
As reported today by Streetsblog and The N Judah Chronicles, there will be a hearing on Tuesday, January 18th, at 1 PM in Room 400 at City Hall for the proposed transit bulbs on Carl St (at Stanyan & Cole).
The much needed sidewalk extensions at these heavily used stops will finally provide a dignified way for riders to board/de-board N-Judah trains without having to squeeze between parked cars, and should also reduce conflict between trains and autos.
Although very popular overall, the proposal is opposed by a few merchants & residents who are upset at the loss of a handful of parking spaces.
What those in opposition fail to realize (or decide to ignore) is the fact that there are a substantial amount of people living in this neighborhood that regularly use those stops, and that removing some parking spaces, although slightly inconvenient for a few drivers, will greatly benefit thousands of riders & pedestrians.
The argument that removing the parking spaces will hurt local business is especially ridiculous. The majority of people that patronize Cole Valley stores, including myself, live in the neighborhood and get to said stores via foot or bike, not to mention all the people from other neighborhoods that get to Cole Valley via transit.
If those opposed to the proposal really want to improve the parking situation in Cole Valley, they ought to support the expansion of the SF Park demand-based parking meter program to Cole St, between Frederick & Parnassus. They should also support extending meters to evenings and Sundays, as doing so increases parking space turnover, which increases automobile access to local businesses.
The proposal is more than fair to drivers (two of the three bulbs don’t even run the full length of the trains) and a small, but necessary improvement on the long road to making SF a truly Transit First city.
If you’re not able to make it to the meeting next Tuesday, you can e-mail your comments to the SFMTA board at firstname.lastname@example.org.