Construction on a final series of pedestrian safety and infrastructure improvements near the Balboa Park BART station will begin on Friday, resulting in temporary stop changes for two bus routes, street closures, weekend closures of a northbound freeway on-ramp, and more.
In a blog post published Wednesday, Muni announced temporary changes to the 29 and 49 bus lines for the duration of the month-long construction project, which is focused on the Ocean Avenue and Highway 280 area.
Most notably, the 29 and 49 bus lines will be redirected from Ocean Avenue to San Jose and Geneva avenues for the duration of the construction. Three bus stops on Ocean Avenue—at Howth, Balboa Park BART, and Highway 280—will be moved.
In addition to the bus changes, eastbound Ocean Avenue will be closed to car traffic during construction. Westbound car traffic will remain unrestricted.
The northbound Highway 280 on-ramp will also be closed on weekends. It will remain open on weekdays.
The construction, which will include adding street lighting for pedestrians, restoring pavement, replacing Muni tracks and improving traffic signals and curb ramps along Ocean Avenue, is the concluding segment of the Balboa Park Station Area and Plaza Improvements, a series of infrastructure and safety projects that were originally slated to be completed in October.
The improvements are part of the Balboa Station Area Plan, a document approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2009 that outlines the planning needs and constraints of the neighborhoods surrounding the Balboa Park station, which acts as a termination point for the J, K and M Muni lines, serves several bus lines, and is located near freeway access ramps.
A study of the station’s transit capacity and engineering potential in October 2012 concluded that Balboa Station has a much higher rate of transit riders than other BART stations, and needed to boost its safety measures for pedestrians entering or exiting the station.
Despite heavy car traffic in the area, 46 percent of Balboa Park Station users accessed the station by transit, compared to a 15 percent system-wide average, according to the 2012 engineering study. 30 percent of Balboa Station patrons walked to the station, about the same as the systemwide average.
"With such a busy and multi-faceted hub of transportation activity, [the improvement project] aims to improve the safety and accessibility for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and intermodal travelers, in addition to some streetscape improvements and maintenance upgrades," a summary of the improvement project notes.
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