Updated Jan 1418: On July 3, 2017 the SF Examiner reported on the SFMTA’s continuing program for placing Muni surface vehicles in transit-only lanes. This is something that has been talked about in San Francisco ever since the City enacted its “Transit First” policy over 40 years ago. Now the SFMTA is actually implementing the policy and in this it has SaveMuni’s strongest support.
Since each section of each street is different, local conditions deserve consideration. That notwithstanding, given the interests of San Francisco at large, the first priority must be on expeditiously getting busloads of people out of heavy traffic congestion, especially during peak driving hours. (In some cases all day lanes are certainly necessary. On other streets bus-only lanes between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. might suffice. If so it would have two distinct advantages over the all day approach. First, it would in most cases eliminate the conflicts between the SFMTA and the affected small businesses. Second, it would greatly reduce enforcement costs.
As the transit service get faster and more reliable, there is certain to be a resulting up-tick in ridership. Are there enough buses? If so, good. If not, SaveMuni can be counted upon to support the augmentation of the Muni fleet as required.
In some places (along portions of Market Street for instance), bicyclists impede the flow of buses, often putting themselves at risk in the process. That shouldn’t happen. Buses packed with riders should take preference over bicyclists, and bicyclists should travel only in places where it is safe to do so.