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Better Bus Service, Fewer Parking Spots, Coming to Potrero Hill

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The San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) will alter its 22 Fillmore route and field the 55 Dogpatch next year, triggering significant reductions in parking access on Potrero Hill.  More than a dozen spaces will be eliminated to make room for new bus stops and provide adequate turning areas at corners.  

As a result of the new 55 Dogpatch, three spaces will be removed at the intersection of 22nd and Pennsylvania streets; one space each will be lost at the 22nd and Minnesota streets juncture and the 20th and Tennessee streets node. The 20th and Pennsylvania streets intersection will lose two spaces; the crossing at 20th and Missouri will forgo nine, though two will be relocated to the end of the block where 20th meets Texas Street.

The new 55 route is designed to connect the 18th and 20th streets business corridors with the 22nd Street Caltrain Station and new Dogpatch and Hill commercial and residential complexes, all while traversing steep hills.

The plan is to implement route revisions by mid-2020, after completion of the 16th Street Improvement project. At a public hearing held in June residents and merchants expressed concerns about the adverse consequences of parking losses at 20th and Missouri, the most heavily impacted part of the affected area. 

 “We are very concerned about losing additional parking on 20th street,” said Samantha Zuvella, who works at The Good Life Grocery, at the meeting. “We do not have a parking lot for our customers and losing an additional nine parking spots that directly surround our storefront may be very bad for our customer count and sales due to customers no longer being able to find convenient parking within walking distance to our store. We also receive deliveries from large trucks all week long and throughout several hours of the day. Trucks double-park, and neighbors and customers battle for parking, with a pre-school on one corner and an elementary school on the other.  It just doesn’t seem safe to add busses to all of the commotion that is already [on] 20th Street.”

 SFMTA will conduct an assessment this month, after the start of the school year, to get a better sense of what the intersection is like when the nearby educational facilities—Little LYNC Preschool and Family Center and Daniel Webster Elementary School—are fully operational.

“Parking is terrible,” said Stephanie Sheehan, parish secretary for Saint Teresa of Avila, located at 1490 19th Street.  “It used to be good before Mission Bay was developed and people started parking here to go there.  I see them in their hospital scrubs, so I know it’s a real thing,” she added, referencing a common complaint of area residents and business owners that the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center in Mission Bay and San Francisco General Hospital draw commuters from outside the City, who use the Hill as a park ‘n ride, leaving their vehicles in the neighborhood and walking or catching public transit to their jobs.

“I have only two spaces in front for customers to park for five or ten minutes,” said Marian, an employee at Thinkers Cafe, at 1631 20th Street.

Although four spaces will be lost in the vicinity of the 20th and Connecticut streets intersection, the Potrero Branch of the San Francisco Public Library, at 1616 20th Street between Connecticut and Arkansas streets, will be better served by the 55 Dogpatch route, which’ll stop within just a half-block of the library when it turns onto 20th Street at Connecticut. The current 22 Fillmore route stops at Connecticut and 18th streets; its new route will travel east on 16th street to take advantage of the transit-only lane and turn north on Third street

Implementation of the new routes will follow the planned spring 2020 completion of Phase 1 of SFMTA’s two-phase 16th Street Improvement Project, which’ll create transit-only lanes, bus shelters, traffic islands, and traffic and pedestrian signals, part of Muni Forward, an initiative that aims to improve public transit safety, reliability, and comfort.  Phase 1 is progressing eastward along 16th Street from Potrero to Third. Phase 2, along 16th from Church to Potrero, will start this fall.

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