The San Francisco Transportation Agency will test the removal of an L-Taraval stop at 17th Avenue despite ongoing protests from neighbors, The Examiner reports.
The removal is part of the $90 Million L-Taraval Rapid Project on the busy corridor leading from the West Portal Station to the San Francisco Zoo. One of the project's goals is to enhance safety for people boarding and disembarking Muni.
According to SFMTA data, 22 people were hit in the last five years while they were getting on and off L-Taraval trains when there were no boarding islands installed.
"You had many residents up and down Taraval begging you to keep [the stop]," Paula Katz said on Tuesday during SFMTA's Board of Directors meeting. "We ask you to please re-agenda this issue and reconsider your decision."
Katz also added that the inbound 17th Avenue stop is critically needed for those who want to get their grocery shopping done at Safeway. The stop removal was not on Tuesday's meeting agenda, but neighbors spoke up when the board asked for public comments.
SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose told that The Examiner that the stop will be removed from February to May, with a final vote to permanently remove it anticipated this summer. The board advised to remove the stop on the trial basis at the beginning of last December.
Another resident, who lives on 17th Avenue, noted during Tuesday's meeting that it is likely that because of the inconvenience and safety concerns of crossing 19th Avenue, where the nearest stop will be, many riders will instead make arrangements to get downtown and do their food shopping there.
Katz added that the board's biggest reason to temporarily remove the stop seemed to be to speed up trains by 20 or 30 seconds. "What the board did not really discuss is the best way to speed up the L is [to] fix the delays of up to 20 minutes at West Portal and in the Twin Peaks Tunnel," she said.
As we reported, The SFMTA released final results of a six-month boarding zone pilot last November, which took place at inbound stops at 26th, 30th, 32nd, 35th and 40th avenues and included improved signage, flashing lights and painted lane markings to alert drivers.
After this pilot failed, the SFMTA announced that they will install boarding islands and remove 36 parking spaces along the L-Taraval corridor. According to SFMTA's website, construction is set to start this summer, with a final completion in 2020.
In September 2016, the board had already unanimously approved changes the agency had sought for the corridor. However, the board also wanted further studies conducted before approving certain stop removals, including the stop across the street from Safeway.
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