The City to Seek Your Vision for the Future of SF’s Subway LinesAugust 10, 2016
Dedicated to supporting a city-wide effort to consolidate and coordinate all transportation-related planning efforts and the development of an overarching 50-year vision for the future of transportation in San Francisco, the City is about to launch the first iteration of its “Connect SF” website.
And having mapped San Francisco’s projected population and job centers for background, which we’ve roughly mashed-up in the gallery above, the City will soon be soliciting your ideas for where the next subway lines and connectors should be built in San Francisco, the visioning tool for which isn’t yet live.
The Connect SF team plans to compile all the “Subway Visions” submitted before September 2nd (feel free to take a screen-grab and send them our way as well), present a summary of the visions at a series of Community Collaboration meetings, and consider them as part of their analysis of recommended routes.
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
We need a connection between Noe Valley/Mission and Mission Bay. We have an east/west problem that is only served by Chariot today. The J to the T is a joke.
I see west-east connections being a big theme. Geary through to FiDi, mission bay to mission and out to sunset, park merced to viz valley/caltrain.
There will be a dedicated bus lane on 16th street to connect Mission to Mission Bay:
You’re right that east/west transit is horrible but the merchants blocking Geary BRT have been successful slowing things down.
The merchants blocking of BRT on Geary is a perfect example of SF’s dysfunction. What the city _should_ say is “yes, I know you oppose it. Too bad. It’s happening anyway.” They’re only successful at blocking because the city lets them. How long have we been talking about it? 10+ years?
No, what should happen is a Geary subway. Shunting the busses to the middle of Geary means passengers crossing traffic to board a bus (often, I’m sure, sprinting across traffic when they see a bus coming), plus ripping out the green medians. All while the busses are still beholden to traffic lights, accidents, and the like. BRT is a dumb waste of money, which even the best projections show will do little to actually improve transit.
And BRT on 16th? That street’s a parking lot on a good day. How are they proposing to *add* BRT? They only dysfunction I see here is SFMTA.
The only reason to go with BRT on Geary is that it’s supposed cheap and quick to implement (Mexico City did it start to finish in a matter of months). Given that it’s taken SF 10+ years and probably millions in PR and dealing with impending law suits, there’s really no upside.
A Geary Subway is decades (if ever) and Billion$ off. BRT promises enough improvement to warrant the expense and hassle on at least an interim basis.
I’m reading “cheap”, “quick” and “interim.” Glad to see that people are willing to settle for an expensive and delayed Band-Aid approach when it will do very little (and I’m being extremely generous here) to address ongoing transit issues or provide a real solution for the future.
Face it Mark, you just love to play with trains.
The most recent Geary BRT proposal by SFMTA removes 300 parking spaces, removes left-turn lanes off Geary, and removes the Steiner Street pedestrian bridge in Japantown. All while putting bus riders into the middle of a very busy boulevard, for (at best) a few minutes’ time savings.
BRT on 16th is a joke. The City is making 16th narrower with fewer traffic lanes. The buses will crawl.
a subway down geary is desperately needed. BRT on Geary is a joke and should never happen. BRT will just further congest the streets by taking away lanes. if we want to ease congestion and allow the city not to be in permanent gridlock, we need to go underground. Save the BRT money for the bigger project
“Relieving congestion” and improving public transit are, in the end, at cross-purposes.
No, Orland, I love to ride trains, especially when they take riders from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible.
I don’t get your “sprinting across traffic” comment. If I want to catch a bus going up or down Van Ness and I’m on the other side of the street, I already have to sprint across 6 lanes of traffic. Reducing that to two lanes would be ideal.
In any case, I don’t expect to see a geary subway in my lifetime and I’m in my 20s.
I’m with you on the east-west transit needs. The ideal would be an underground line from, say, 16th/Market to Mission Bay. But that’s a dream.
Well they’ve got one thing right — BRT is BS that won’t solve anything. Look at the Van Ness BRT plan — even MTA admits that one will save a measly seven minutes from the trip from Lombard to Mission. Why bother? The savings only comes from eliminating three stops by the way. We could just create a decent express bus line out of the 38R, AX and BX. We’re already halfway there but suffers from gaps. That would solve more problems than BRT will without ANY construction.
BRT is a waste of time, money, and disruption that should be spent tunneling for a subway.
Absolutely. And because of hills – a tunnel is the best solution.
SF needs 4 new subway lines:
1. Geary from Market to 43rd or 48th
2. Divisadero/Castro from Marina Blvd to Glen Park BART
3. Extend Central subway north to Fisherman’s Wharf and south to 3rd and Channel to join up with Downtown Connector and T line.
4. Downtown Connector from Transbay Terminal to Chavez/3rd (4 tracks – two for Caltrain/High Speed and two for Central Subway/T Line)
The central subway is the T line, it will connect all the way down to Visitacion Valley… Agreed it should go further north though.
Great, where is the $20 + billion dollars it will take to do this coming from? A magic money tree?
Valid question, but the same can be said for any infrastructure upgrades, like roads, sewers, bridges, etc. They all require money, lots of it. Rather than complaining out of the gate about how expensive it’s going to be, the focus should be on the cost/benefit analysis of these ideas to determine which are actually feasible and can help solve the transportation problem.
Borrow it, at nearly negative real interest rates?
This. It’s almost literally criminal (and I *do* mean that in a literal sense!) that we aren’t building infrastructure all over this city / state / country. We can build it today, and pay for it 20 years from now at virtually the same price. This is an historic moment, with interest rates not seen in *centuries* – while we have a need to engage in some focused economic stimulation. It’s galling that no one is taking advantage of the unique lineup of these factors.
We can start by reducing the city’s overall spending (not including subway construction) from the current $9.6Bn/year level to the $5Bn it was in 2004. There’s $4Bn a year to start. Can we get a 5-year loan on this $20B?
Don’t the 55-16th Street or 48-Quintara/24th do exactly this?
the should make a circle around all of san francisco; like the yamenote line around tokyo.
SF is teeny tiny compared to Tokyo. You could make a case for a circle line around the bay area though. Once BART reaches downtown San Jose the loop will be complete. But you’ll have to transfer in SJ and Millbrae to switch between Caltrain and BART.
Regardless of it being 7×7 you still have to move around more than 800,000 residents (potential), not including those from the rest of the region. A complete Bay Area ring is a great idea, but when local transit takes forever or doesn’t properly connect to the ring then it’s not effective at all.
Subway systems around the world shown at the same scale.
Tokyo has a lot of lines, but is extremely compact, geographically. San Francisco has just a couple lines, but is much more spread out.
Very cool link. Thanks! It’s shameful how little of BART is actually within SF.
Is that map just Tokyo’s subway lines? There’s also an extensive conventional rail network (which includes the circular Yamanote) that reaches a lot further than the subway.
SF is much smaller. Think Ringstrasse in Vienna.
Still the most comprehensive approach to a solution I’ve seen: The M-Market proposal
dude, this guy is a visionary!
Agreed! This is by far the most realistic approach for near-term improvements. Adding a 30th & Mission BART station would also be a big boon.
This was studied in great detail in the early 2000s. It’s possible, but not easy. The biggest challenge: the segment up the hill to Glen Park from 24th is on of the steepest segments of the BART system, and the area for the station has an existing track grade of 3.1%. The steepest allowed at a station is 1%. Therefore, adding a station there would require reconfiguring and vertically realigning a surprisingly large segment of the right-of-way.
THIS. Can whoever made this proposal just run the whole thing? It’s genius and the most well thought out and functional proposal I’ve seen.
I’ve seen this before, but one of the major problems is that service in the western part of the city is slow, slow, slow. Removing the K/L/M from the Market St. subway will speed up service between WP and downtown, but rerouting the surface lines west of WP still doesn’t improve efficiency or speed, especially if the L line continues to stop every two blocks for 2 miles.
I ride the L every day and it sucks most of the time. One of the least expensive solutions would be to run an express bus from the Zoo to WP, stopping at only a handful of locations (e.g., Sunset, 30th, 24th, 19th), during morning and evening rush. Expand on that by extending it to 24th/Mission BART with stops at Portola, 24th/Castro, 24th/Church and 24th/Mission along the 48 route thereby creating a similar crosstown express like the Nx.
How would removing K/L/M from the Market St. subway speed up service from WP to downtown?
By creating a Market St. shuttle that runs between West Portal and either Embarcadero or 4th/King stations, all of which can handle 3-car trains, you eliminate the need for 5 surface lines fighting to get into the tunnel at various points.
“Shuttle” does the concept a disservice. More like backbone of SF transit.
While in Philly a couple years ago for a Giants series, I used the Broad Street Line between my downtown hotel and the ballpark. Straight shot, back-and-forth. Best damn transit service I ever experienced in this country. That’s what the M-Market could be for the City
I rode the same line to a Phillies game last month. It is indeed a straight shot, but (1) it’s a heavy rail line that carries more people and (2) it’s all underground in a dedicated tunnel just for that line.
@Mark Both of which only underscore PRECISELY why the visionary M-Market Subway plan should have been implemented when first proposed.
As a self-contained closed straight shot all underground from Embarcadero to West Portal. As such, I’m sure heavier cars could have been designed to carry more people once they were taken off City streets and out of the neighborhoods.
Unfortunately, that optimal use of the existing infrastructure is no longer possible with the order of the cars to begin delivery replacing the Breda fleet. Instead, our “subway” cars will be trundling around in vehicular traffic meandering through neighborhood streets encountering all sort of obstacles and delays. No way to run a railway!
L-Taraval should be extended up Sloat Blvd. back to St. Francis Circle, and west portal, this has been relayed due to the growth and Sloat blvd. project going up currently.
They need to up-speed the 19th Ave line as well, as they are ignoring the link to Daly City BART, either along Sunset Blvd. out past westside of Stonestown and Parkmerced, back up Brotherhood Way, or back around to Daly City and John Daly Blvd. retail. possibly out to pacifica! (consider it “bi-county” improvements and get Daly City and Pacifica to “pitch-in”…
The M-Line extension should be done along 19th not in Parkmerced, they need to consider the shortest distance and quickest route, which must include the brotherhood way interchange 1952 constructed, Alemany Fly-Over and I-280 interchange. An aireal line would be done quicker, but the neighbors on the east side of 19th keep complaining about the impacts visually, even though it could be done with undergrounding of traffic, and a new lineal parkway on the west-side of SF for bikes and pedestrians…
Imagine more Demand more, and don’t let the current planning “negotiations” ruin the ability to link mass transit adequately… 🙂
As nice as this looks, the cost estimates included are for cut-and-cover instead of tunneling, which almost certainly would not be approved. And they seem to have very unrealistic allowances for the cost of building underground stations. The real budget for the full vision would likely be in the tens of billions of $.
What is “cut and cover”? And where can one find the cost estimates you mention?
Cut and cover is when you dig a giant trench, build a subway tube inside, and then cover it up. It’s far more disruptive than tunneling of course, but is a lot cheaper.
Like what was done on Market Street a half century ago form which it has yet to fully recover.
And W(hy)TF should people get to whine and block a temporary cut-and-cover inconvenience, and thereby impede long-term improvements and benefits. “The City that Knows How [To Stop Any Progress, By Any Means Necessary]”
When cut/cover construction takes years and years to complete, displacing both residents and businesses. Sure, the transit gain is great, but the construction process really does a number to those in its path.
Uh, because when they used cut-and-cover to build BART down Market St it disrupted many businesses out-of-business and induced a steep decline of the mid-Market area. No way are they going to gut Geary for a year or two to dig a tunnel.
Besides, the tunnels are the (relatively) cheap part of a subway. The entire tunnel for the Central Subway cost about the average of one of the underground stations. That’s where the real money battle will be, eg no $$$ for a North Beach station.
FWIW, the current plan for extending Caltrain to the Transbay is to cut-and-cover Townsend St from 4th to 3rd before tunneling a curved section under existing buildings to Brannan and 2nd and then under Rincon Hill. Townsend gets no respect.
How long have they been building the Stockton Street portion of the Subway? And that is not even complete cut and cover.
I remember the Market Street build out of BART as a child. When they started, Market Street was a vibrant shopping corridor, extending well into what is now the worst of mid-market. By the time they finished, those businesses were all dead and gone and Serramonte, Tanforan, and the Marin shopping malls were alive an kicking.
Some people attribute the decline of mid-Market and Mission to the decade long cut-and-cover BART dig in the 60s. A ten-year construction project might be temporary, but long-term benefits must be balanced with long-term damage, too.
When the CalTrain extension to the Transbay Terminal is built, it will be a partial cut/cover effort. If I remember correctly, it will be from 4th/King down Townsend until it makes the turn up 2nd.
STILL, converting Muni-Metro to a self-contained Market Street Subway is a must-do.
Similarly, getting the T-Third (née K) off the Embarcadero and out of Market should vastly improve service to the future burgeoning SE neighborhoods.
my questions are how the connecting trains would share the single platforms with the “M” trains, and whether there are turnaround tracks at the stations where the spur lines would connect to the Market tunnel. You can’t just put the trains in reverse and head back out. I don’t think the “visionary” proposal is as easy to implement as he suggests.
Hardly insurmountable. Turn-back procedures as currently employed at the stubend of Embarcadero would suffice.
The 19th Avenue subway proposed by the MTA would do something like this, and the M train would run entirely in a tunnel like the video proposes.
It makes too much sense for that to ever happen.
wow, that really is brilliant! yes yes yes!
There is so much “smart” here. If we integrate BART and (our soon-upgraded) Caltrain into the network, and make the transfer/fare process easy, that frees up a line or two to connect to another part of town that needs connection. For example: the current K line going up into the Mission is redundant, since BART covers that corridor. Sending the purple line down Geneva to Bayshore will connect the Bayview (a terribly isolated part of town) to the network, support the new development at the Shipyard/candlestick/Vis Valley/India Basin, and give Peninsula transit riders a true gateway.
I think you meant the J, not K, going up into the Mission. BART is a regional rail solution and has few stations in SF. The J offers local service.
The ‘Subway Expansion Project’ proposes an underground extension all the way from West Portal to Park Merced. This accomplishes a central portion of the M proposal. SFMTA’s Rail Capacity Strategy identifies this project as a Tier 1 priority among long-term investments and estimates the extension cost at $3B. The Rail Capacity Strategy also describes some of the other lines suggested by commenters, such as East West LRT between Market/Church and Mission Bay.
Undergrounding the M line west of WP is a complete and total waste of money. It will save maybe a couple minutes of travel time at the most and generate very few new riders (with or without the Park Merced development). First, St. Francis Circle doesn’t have enough demand to justify an underground station. Also, without the M connecting to BART at Daly City it still doesn’t provide a link to a major Bay Area rail system, nor does the proposal address any future BART under 19th Ave. (Once again, transit agencies not in sync.) Finally, the proposal claims that 4-car trains will be running. Sorry, unless you expand the Forest Hill, Castro and Church St. stations, the best you can achieve is a 3-car configuration.
Agree that it makes sense to continue to BART at Daly City; don’t stop at Park Merced. While at it, redevelop Stonestown as a huge mixed-use development. The capacity strategy mentions 4-car capacity at Forest Hill and West Portal. Where money is no object lots of projects make sense. I’m at least encouraged that the planners are starting to think big. Get the ideas on the table and prioritize them by need and cost.
If projects were actually started and completed by need and priority, versus political gain and greed, the CS would actually go somewhere other than Chinatown, there would be a subway traversing the west side of the city connecting to BART in DC, and a second BART tube would be running and shuttling riders to underserved areas of the region.
Subway line down Geary / Richmond is really the only reasonable answer at this point
I’d like to see people seriously consider an elevated line down Geary, maybe having the elevated portion start past Fillmore.
I know, I know, San Franciscans are allergic for some reason to visually complicated appearances, and so a lot of people will just reject the idea immediately for purely aesthetic reasons. But that is silly when the massive savings in construction time and cost could make it a much more realistic possibility than a subway.
It doesn’t have to have the old 19th century steel girder appearance of the Chicago L either. There are many cities around the country with nice modern elevated rail lines. Miami and Las Vegas, just to name two. Running down the Geary median, it could resemble the SFO tram, or the Oakland airport Bart connector (which was only half a billion dollars for a three mile line, by the way).
A subway would take decades just to even start digging the tunnel, but an elevated line I might even be able to ride in my own lifetime.
Yes, but there’s the problem of topography: Geary isn’t level, or at a constant grade, or anything close to what a rail line would need to have; you’d have the line at a reasonable elevation (20′ or so) then much too high (75-100′ or whatever) a few blocks away.
I’m not proposing a roller coaster here, Notcom.
Obviously it would be best to run some short tunnels in the hilly sections between Cathedral Hill and Anza Vista, but Geary is pretty flat West of Masonic.
I’m talking about cost savings here, and trying to point out that a rapid grade-separated rail line down Geary might never happen if it has to cost $10 billion and take 25 years. Instead, for what some might consider to be an aesthetically inferior design at closer to $4 billion and 10 years, we might actually be able to get it.
Nevertheless, a tunnel is the easier sell – if you can’t convince the Geary merchants to build a tunnel, you think you’ll convince them to build an overhead system?
Plus, @Notcom’s comments about topography are valid – the hill over Masonic would be quite the viaduct indeed. I think it should be tunneled *until* Masonic, and then from there (or Arguello, whatever) it could just be a cheap surface line anyway, because at that point you’re past the big bottlenecks. IMHO, the biggest problems with transit from the Richmond is the distance from ~Fillmore to Market. That whole section through Polk Gulch and the Tenderloin is incredibly slow; that’s what most needs to be tunneled. As I’ve said here before, I’d even support a *bus* tunnel (and thereby retaining busses on Geary, instead of light rail), if that were the only option… even that would be far better than red-painted “BRT” that’s still beholden to all the stoplights, cross-traffic, and frequent surface stops.
The only real hill it would have to traverse is the one around Presidio/Masonic, and it seems reasonable to me to reuse the existing tunnel for that. It’s what Geary BRT had originally planned to do anyways.
What about Cathedral Hill, and Nob Hill/Tenderloin? (I *refuse* to say Tendernob!) If your plan doesn’t include bypassing those areas by tunnel (or overhead), then per my note above, you’re still absorbing one of the biggest parts of the delay. And if you’re going to tunnel in those areas, then just finish tunneling the short little rest of the way to Masonic and come above ground there.
Why is the Central Subway missing from this map?
The City’s version and visioning tool is based on Google Maps, which only includes operational stations. We have since updated our graphic above to include the future Central Subway stops.
Unless the city is committed to building higher density housing in more places, which has not been the standard, the business case for subways are limited. And why the city needs input from the public is beyond my comprehension. Can’t they come up with a few proposals and solicit input on those? Seems like a waste of cycles. Clearly any development should be factored against feasibility of building a tunnel system under existing infrastructure. And the hilly topography of SF makes for complicated exit points.
I guess its too much to ask for the transbay terminal to serve as a transit hub?
Personally, I’d like to see the Njdah completely buried.
Connect Soma/Transbay out Geary all the way to Ocean Beach.
A proper line to serve warriors, giants and the embarcadero through fishermans wharf, fort mason, palace of fine arts, presidio, GGB. Even better would be to connect over to marin and out to san rafel. They should close the GGB to tourist parking as its creating significant bottlenecks. Having stops at GGB would help.
Many different options to connect the southwest options of the city to downtown. But again, if we’re not going to build more density I’m not sure its worth it.
We should make all people pay for the muni. End the subsidies.
Muni for the most part is gross in SF, with people who don’t pay, pee on the seat (leaving some questionable fluid behind), leave their trash, pick-pocket & carry knives. Yup, I’ve see it.
I prefer to drive a couple of mile to work than deal w/ the horrid conditions of SF public transport.
Also, Eliminate the #14 until the people on that bus know how to behave them selves. That must be the most disgusting line in the City.
Or how about just having bus drivers actually enforce the fare? So many people board the buses, tap their Clipper card, get two beeps, and the bus driver couldn’t care less. And then we wonder why Muni is underfunded. If fare enforcement isn’t a part of Muni bus driver’s job, MAKE it a part of their job, just like it is EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD.
Oh boo hoo, I forgot to fill my Clipper card. Screw you, get off the bus. I’m tired of subsidizing your bus ride. Pay your share.
I think there’s middle ground between allowing vandalism from bad apples while still allowing low-income individuals free/discounted access to MUNI. Just track who has subsidized access and have the power to revoke it if they’re caught defacing public property.
No useful transit system should be dependent upon fares. How about we make all thoroughfares within the City toll roads?
Like it or not, fares are a good portion of Muni’s budget. About 20% actually. Are you saying we should all stop paying fares and suddenly let Muni deal with a 20% reduction in income?
Either have a fare and enforce it so it’s fair for everybody. Or don’t have a fare, and increase funding through taxation. But this bullcrap wishy-washy, “oh, it’s just one person” or “oh, we’ll let it slide this time cause you’re nice” only harms the system, is unfair, and adds to the perception that anything goes on Muni. It all adds up.
I rode the cable car once and the transit worker asked for my fare. I handed him my Clipper card. And he smiled, put up his hand, and said, “ok, thanks” and didn’t even scan it. What kills me is that he actually thought he was like this amazing Good Samaritan. No, scan my card. You’re going me a favor as an individual, but you’re working against the greater good. And you can’t rely upon people self-policing. Not everybody in society behaves as they should. I’m so tired of the stupidity and naivete in this town…
This, 100%. In four years of riding Muni, I think I’ve had fares checked three times – two of them on the underground, years ago; and just once on a bus – and that was a line serving a ‘poor’ area (the 5-Fulton, as it passed through the Tenderloin). No profiling here folks! Move along!
Just look at the map and how pathetic it is. People can fantasize all they want about having subways criss-crossing the entire planet, but just look at how backward (yes, backward) SF transit is.
Overlay a map from 1940 and you will see a vast network of streetcar lines, many of which could have been placed underground in subways. But that didn’t happen. Most were removed and replaced with the current mess of bus lines we have today.
The original BART plan included a line out to West Portal as well as under Geary. But those didn’t happen either. The Geary line was nixed and MUNI Metro took over the proposed extension to West Portal. In fact, the only reason why the K/L/M lines exist today is because of the Twin Peaks tunnel. However, no upgrades on any of those lines west of the portal have been implemented in the past 40 years.
Given that people are fighting to keep “streetcar” stops on the L just goes to show you that progress is not in the cards. If there is so much opposition to removing a handful of stops on Taraval, good luck getting support for a rail line built under 19th Ave.
All these excitement aside, I think the most important step to take in the short term is to adopt a clear guideline on stop spacing and automatically shutdown all those walking one block is a hardship arguments.
Tell that to the opponents of the L-Taraval improvement plan.
This is insane. That’s there should be leadership to deal with this non-sense once and for all.
Sounds like by “leadership” you’re describing a benign dictator to deal with the fools.
It would be much quicker if people could just walk a couple of blocks. It takes me 3X as long to drive 2 miles as it does to take the bus 2 miles.
In 20mins, I can get coffee and save myself 40 mins, both directions. For that I’d gladly pay for parking.
there should be an express subway (no stops in between) from my house to my office and from my house to my favorite bar. everyone else can walk or drive.
All i know is we begin the expand transit services to new areas, density better follow. It should be an absolute requirement that new/or improved transit leads to density w/in close proximity to the stations. We need to avoid another mess like the mission, w/ multiple BART stops and hardly any density to speak of.
The Mission is hardly a mess (in terms of riders using the 16th and 24th St. stations which are nearly a mile apart). Density doesn’t necessarily have to mean high rises. Much of the city east of Van Ness is considered high density (# of people/sq mile) and a good portion is low/mid rise construction. What raises eyebrows is BART’s continued expansion in the suburbs, building huge park/ride stations several miles apart from each other.
Simple solution would be to work and drink from home.
That’s what I do.
What happened to the extension of the E-line/F-line through the existing unused rail tunnel to Fort Mason? The EIS is done and certified…the only shovel-ready project on the map. The housing/jobs density map erroneously show Fort Mason as “green”. In fact, Fort Mason has 1,200,000 visitors a year, and that whole sector of the city has no direct Muni connection to downtown for visitors and residents alike.
Anecdotally, I was told about a year ago by a docent for a Market Street Railway event that it is tied up in litigation (or the threat of it) fostered by Marina folks.
I’d like to think the solution is to simply terminate the E Line at Ft. Mason in the hopes that there won’t be enough opposition from nearby Marina residents.
Yes – though I’d personally like to see it go to the Marina (and personally think opposition to that is stupid), I’m sure they could engineer a railhead in Fort Mason that would make it prohibitively expensive to change in the future … i.e., lock in the termination by dint of cost of future extension.
That IS what they’re objecting to. Sj seems to be anticipating that the real basis of the objection is fear that it would ultimately be extended down Marina Blvd. and out to the Presidio. I’m not so sure they just don’t want it into Fort Mason period.
A recent somewhat encouraging update on the status of the effort to extend the E-line to Fort Mason: Support for Fort Mason Extension
@Orland, thanks for the link. I left a comment on that site that the plan should include support for multi-car LRT as well as the historic cars to improve current capacity issues. You would think it would be obvious that this would be supported, but you never know…
This is the first I’ve seen of the M Line proposal. At first glance it looks great. Must look at it more carefully. Additionally, I’d like to see at MUNI Metro station at Laguna. The distance from Van Ness to Church is too great.
Too expensive to build a station at Laguna and even if the Mid-Market development plans continue to aim building higher and higher I can’t imagine there would be enough demand for a station there. When you’re dealing with an underground station, infill is tough especially if there were no provisions in the original design for a future station. That’s yet another shortfall of the Central Subway…no provision for a platform at the Union Square station for a future Geary line. That alone tells you the transit planners have zero interest in an underground Geary line.
Of course I’m fantasizing a bit, ignoring cost, but I suspect that station location was probably not considered in the ’60’s because it was a run-down low-density area. All the new housing today changes that equation.
Did I mention I like to micro-manage?
A BART station at 30th/Mission would be great as well.
I agree that there’s a pretty large gap between Van Ness and Church, but it’s also probably non-trivial to have a station there. There’s a big hill going up towards Dolores, and I’d guess that the subway’s slope there is steeper than the slop that would be allowed at a station (this is the chief design constraint for a 30th St BART station). Plus, the outbound track rises over the the inbound track a bit southwest of that point; you might have to design a station without a mezzanine. Given these constraints, you might have to reconstruct a large part of the subway (including maybe Church Station) to fit in a station in acceptable grade at Octavia / Laguna.
Another solution is just to move the Church Street platforms and entrances east a little bit (perhaps in conjunction with putting the J underground to the park, at a minimum) – it frustrates me that the Church platforms are almost a block west of Church (from an underground perspective) – too close to Castro.
Now that’s a big expense. Can’t move the platforms further east because the N/J connection which is two different levels. If we’re talking investing big $$$ in improvements, my suggestion would be to remove the J completely from the Market St. tunnel. Run it under Church between Dolores Park and Duboce (connecting platform with the existing Church/Market station) and keep going north under Fillmore to the Marina. Create a N-S line that would be faster than the 22, which is a heavily used bus line. Possible stations at Haight, McAllister, Geary, Sacramento, Union then to the Presidio. Keep the N where it is (surfacing at Duboce), but with an additional entrance on the north end of the new J platform near Duboce it will be an easy transfer. While you’re at it, tear down the Safeway complex and build something deserving of a location at a major transit hub.
Virtually no rail in most of the densest parts of San Francisco north of market. Nothing in Northbeach, nob hill, russian hill, marina, fillmore, cow hollow
They’ll eventually be served by the Central Subway expansion to Fisherman’s Wharf and North Beach. A subway stop at Columbus/Union would be easily accessible for Russian Hill/Cow Hollow/Pac Heights residents while a Fisherman’s Wharf station would be accessible for those closer to the Marina waterfront.
Columbus/Union easily accessible to people in Cow Hollow/Pac Heights? How?
Simple. They take an Uber halfway across town to Columbus and Union.
Somebody needs a lesson in SF neighborhood geography.
Because Uber is the solution to everything.
yup – referencing Uber is a new Godwin’s Law for me – once I see someone proposing that anyone (the poor, the elderly on fixed incomes, etc.) should “just use Uber”, I discount everything else that that person is trying to say.
Wasn’t he being sarcastic?
The 45 route can get you from Cow Hollow to Columbus/Union in 10-15 minutes depending on where you are in Cow Hollow. Given that the subway takes about 10 minutes to go from north beach to Caltrain, that’s a big improvement for folks living in that side of town where it takes 35-45 minutes to get to Caltrain during rush hour.
Wouldn’t be nice if the city planners actually had a plan ready in their back pocket to present for federal funding if US infrastructure improvements really becomes a (the) key topic pre/post election…
Maybe they should commission a study to study why they don’t already have a plan…
Good point. Both presidential candidates are talking about doing a big bi-partisan infrastructure bill.
The last time that happened, with the 2008-09 stimulus, we were lucky to already have several shovel-ready projects here in the Bay Area.
Maybe we can have the same thing happen again?
Aren’t we paying millions of dollars per year in combined salaries for City planners, and shouldn’t they know exactly where the subways are needed most? Next thing you know they will start a GoFundMe page to raise money for the project. As an aside, I’d like to see them build a freeway tunnel under 19th Ave before any more subways.
The sad thing is that they do know where transit is needed. MUNI did a big study like ten years ago about how to change its routes because our population density has changed. Very, very few of them were implemented, because as soon as you threaten to move a MUNI stop, people line up at a Board of Supervisors meeting and say how taking away their MUNI stop (even if another one is put in a block away) is inhumane. So the Supes and the Mayor chickened out and nothing was done.
Of course. You can read up on transportation planning principals easily or just take a trip to mid-sized German, Swiss and Japanese cities to see how it is done correctly. I read cities in Latin America are doing BRT way better than our feeble protracted attempts . We just have a political problem and our agencies are run by political people and not engineers
what’s the average speed of MUNI – 8mph? if things are that slow, then why not just install high-speed moving sidewalks everywhere. No waiting for a bus, and you can stand or walk. And you can put them pretty much anywhere, though intersections may require they be built at least partially underground.
8 MPH? What line are you riding?
I believe that’s correct, the published average speed of Muni lines is about 8 mph.
And MUNI also publishes a great on-time performance and other misleading and incorrect data…
8 mph is too fast. I live 3 miles from last cal and geary stop and both take 40 minutes. more like 5 MPH
And enough with these “50 year visions” when we all know that transit agencies and city planners have failed repeatedly with 10 and 20 year visions. Just look at the map. Proof enough.
I’d settle for functioning escalators.
UPDATE: The City has just disabled the direct link the subway line visioning tool and initiative we revealed above, we’ll let you know when it’s officially back online.
The hilarity about all of this is that when the MTA asks for public input, it’s only for appearances. They don’t want our input, they (think they) don’t need our input, and they won’t actually consider public input, because they know best. Even though most of them don’t even live here.
can we please outsource this to Google X where there are competent people?
We should outsource system design to Germany and let the Japanese (or Chinese) build the system.
Neither live here nor ride public transit.
there is no such thing as a single public input. maybe you are just not getting your way but others are
even simpler: get a job that requires drinking at home
I lived for awhile in the Richmond section of the City. A subway line beneath Geary Blvd to say The Seal Rock Inn is needed.
Is the website not working for anyone else?
See our UPDATE above.
Any new grade-separated transit lines, whether underground or elevated, need to be fast, high-capacity heavy-rail like Bart, *not* slow, short light-rail trolleys.
They are similar in cost to build the separated rail infrastructure, but an order of magnitude of difference in terms of capacity, commute savings, and convenience.
SF needs new Tram/Subway lines:
1. Geary from Market to The Beach
2. Divisadero/Castro from Marina Blvd to Glen Park BART
3. Extend the Embarcadero line through the old tunnel out to the marina to the entrance to the Presidio/Crissey Field
4. Extend Central subway north to Fisherman’s Wharf and south to 3rd/16th – connect with 3rd street line.
5. Transbay Terminal to Chavez/3rd then to Stonestown – (multi tracks – for Caltrain/High Speed and for Central Subway/T Line)
6. Build that High Speed Rail!!!!
Subway costs more especially in engineering and consultants, look at big-hero 6 movie, and image of SF, go via air/water, saves more money, and can be completed faster… at less cost…
You’re right Aaron, let’s bring back canals.
actually had one in planning (chrissy field) you run a bermed hill as a spine with light rail above, deals with sea-level rise, water generated energy with dykes and canals, and new housing and shops on the southern edge out to the golden gate bridge… I have some older models of the concept from ways back…
and did you buy the mules to do the towing?
your quite unimaginative, canals were on the south side, bermed hill had the light rail on the top out to the GG Bridge and Ft. providing public access and new development potential, instead we have now a freeway for marin, and some recent plays at bridging that for public access. Cars before people, its the American way… unfortunately….
best to send me your email, I have an older slide somewhere of the design and model and concept. worked well, and dealt with sea-water rise, transit, housing and public space all in one solution…. not many designs can tout that benefit….
I can’t see SF needing any subway that is not regional. A modern S bahn service for Caltrain that comes to TransBay, start planning for another BART crossing and that is huge generational projects
Otherwise the focus should be on BRT, transit only lanes for buses and some surface low floor LRT on Market and the Embarcedero in transit only lanes
Yes, those transit-only lanes on Geary really move things along at a fast clip. Low floor LRT on Market? Market is for the historic streetcars.
Yes transit only lanes without cars where possible
Why should Market be for PCCs only. Makes no sense.
PCCs will limit the speed the faster LRTs can run at…already happens with busses and trolleys.
The problem is SF could use the capacity and redundant service to the subway on Market and along the Embarcadero . I mean the PCCs are cute and all we need to move lots of people like they do in modern mid-sized European cities. Don’t PCCs mix with LRT on the E line?
I’m just saying that the current situation is PCCs run on Market St. which we all know takes triple the time to get from the Castro to the Embarcadero than a train in the tunnel. It’s come in handy, though, during MUNI Meltdowns, but having LRVs running on Market St. in mixed traffic stopping every block is painful to even think about as a daily MUNI rider.
There is mixed cross street traffic but Market street had transit lanes. There is signal preemption and other treatments that could speed up surface transit on Market. It is done all over the world but SF acts as if these things are impossible. Cars would have to just wait a bit longer
Cars, buses, trains, vintage streetcars, bikes, etc…all would have to wait longer. The Market St. subway was built to improve speed and efficiency by taking trains off the street. We should really focus on improving conditions within the subway by adding longer train sets that can move more riders than reverting to the way it was. I cannot envision 2-car Breda sets lumbering down Market St. in mixed traffic.
PCCs do mix with LRT on the E line, but they operate in their own ROW along the Embarcadero.
PCCs only mix with LRTs on the section of E/N/(and for now, T) line with the CalTrain, 2nd St, Brannan St, & Folsom/Harrison St. stops. And its kind of a pain in the backside, not due to speeds (to me both PCCs and LRTs seem to travel at roughly the same speeds on this section of the line) but due to the design of the cars. The PCCs require entry/exit on the street level side of the stop, while the LRT require entry/exit on the (opposite) elevated side of the stop. I’ve seen confusion and scrambling at these stops depending on which car is approaching, especially with tourists.
And of course, during tourist season, by the time the E PCC arrives at the Ferry Building from CalTrain, its sardine time. A reason I believe the PCCs should be relegated to Market only (where higher capacity LRT and BART are right below them) and the E converted to LRT – extra capacity and elimination of boarding issues.
My suggestion was for low floor light LRT like the you see in most of the world not Bredas
SF isn’t like the rest of the world, as we all know. MUNI won’t invest in two types of LRVs. Even if it did, you’d still have to build some kind of raised, protected surface all down Market St…basically, extending the low platforms that are currently in place.
@Zig, I was thinking the same thing, since the Bredas obviously can lower their stairs at these stops and board on the same side as the PCCs. The only issue is that the street level stops probably won’t support the double-car lengths of the N (and as I proposed a double car E).
In my mind, for this specific issue, it would be easier all the way around (capacity & entry/exit) to simply change the E line to Breda and just like other lines, once the Breda E gets past the Folsom/Harrison elevated stop heading north, simply lower the stairs and change entry/exit from the left of the car to the right.
BRT already is a cluster-f… If you add the shuttles, googlebus routes, etc. and jam pack them around transit hubs like balboa park station, and 19th ave, and we don’t go anywhere… BRT does not solve the mass-transit needs, LRV service is the right step, the BRT is like a trip-up…
Wonderful dialogue here! Obviously the first step is for all of the Bay Area media to come together for a 1-3 year investigation of our options.
First, give me a north/south line down 19th Avenue. Conventional 4 track wide local/express configuration. Local stations every few blocks along 19th, those blocks are long. Express stations at Taraval, Noriega, Judah, and Geary.
Now, here’s the kicker: local tracks run Muni trains. Express tracks run Bart if we can connect this to another 4 track line down Geary (with express Bart trains continuing through a second TransBay Tube). Until then, they run Muni trains. This isn’t impossible; dual gauge track exists.
I’m certain down with dual gauge if it means that BART and conventional rail can be expanded in ways that make sense. Living in the Sunset, I’m well versed with traffic and transit issues on 19th Ave and have always supported a BART line under 19th Ave to Daly City, as well as undergrounding the portion of the M along 19th Ave. (to create one shared station at Stonestown and another station at either SFSU or Park Merced). The current proposal for spending $3B to underground the M does not include any provision (or mention) of a BART line under 19th. Once again, agencies aren’t working with each to plan locally and regionally.
With BART connecting downtown with Geary and 19th Ave, combined with enhanced rapid/local bus along 19th Ave, and key transit connections to existing light rail at Judah, Taraval and Stonestown, getting around this part of town, as well as points outside of SF proper, will be much, much better.
this. (y) do it. If designed right a four track muni tunnel could later be converted to BART with some effort to shave the platform edges. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they use different platform heights though, so dual gauge track might be out. The conversion would be permanent and might require adjustment to the rail gauge and height.
If billions are going to be spent then do it right the first time and forget about converting later. We all know “later” means “never.” We can’t even get BRT on Geary which is supposed to be “rail ready.” Demand is already “rail ready” and it’s precursor is still years away from seeing the light of day.
I’d agree that a major con for dual gauge would be the platform height differences, but regardless, the shared 19th Ave stations (we’re talking 1, maybe 2 shared stations) could consist of 2 island platforms (like MacArthur BART) or a stacked station like those in the Market St. subway.
Another huge benefit of the western SF BART line is that it would relieve pressure on the Market St. subway as many riders in this area of the city could use it to get downtown via bus or MUNI light rail connections. Use MUNI as a feeder system.
James Fang presented the “bart-to-the-beach” concept, problem was it was along Fulton line, and included 5 stops on the route. They need to cut the stops and increase the distance and loop it southbound or northbound to get people to other areas quicker…
19th Ave needs to address Brotherhood Way, Alemany Fly-Over and I-280, parkmerced project and SFSU-CSU masterplans ignored the real issue of getting to Daly City BART… Until that happens log-jams are all we will see on the west side of SF, you have to look at Sunset Blvd. Sloat Blvd. and a connector outside of 19th possibly along Brotherhood or out Sunset Blvd. Lakeshore route to Daly City Top of the Hill or out to Pacifica..
East Side, you need to look seriously as a pendulum from east to west, along the Geneva Harney corridor, and upgrade it sooner and not later to light rail vehicles, to link the BVHP, Candlestick, Schlage, Sunnydale, and Cow Palace up to Balboa Park Station, or your gridlock on the eastside only worsens… HSR and Caltrains will link up there, so secondary systems that funnel east to west, around cargo way, and india basin route will help the new developments access public transit directly.
This should all be done in 20 years, not the 40-100 it will take…
Which means taxation of the developments and not give-aways, like what is being proposed out at Candlestick by lennar…
Enforce the fares on every line and enforce it consistently. And stop having the bus drivers turn a blind eye to fare evasion. Fare evasion is a crime! Treat it as such!!! Eventually, more people will get the message and pay their fair share.
UPDATE: The link to the city’s “Subway Visioning” tool is once again (unofficially) live along with the Connect SF website.
UPDATE: The results have been (heat) mapped: Where San Franciscans Most Want New Subway Lines
Comments are closed.