Muni K & M Line Changes – Rebutting the MTA’s Plan

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The SFMTA has been developing plans for the K and M Lines for many months.  Here is an alternative plan which, we think makes more sense:

Southwest of 15th Avenue, the K and M tracks would descend into subway and pass under the St. Francis Circle Intersection. Northeast of 15th Avenue the tracks would be unchanged.

After passing under St. Francis Circle the K-Line tracks would ascend to the surface in the median of Junipero Serra to join the existing tracks.

After passing under St. Francis Circle the M-Line tracks would remain depressed under Ocean Avenue and the northbound lanes of 19th Avenue, and then ascend to the surface in the median of 19th to join the existing tracks. (Or, if the SFMTA went ahead with proposals to eliminate the Winton stop, the line could remain in subway)

Just north of Holloway Avenue the tracks would descend (or extend) into a new Holloway subway station.  The new subway station would be easily and safely accessible from both sides of 19th Avenue via wide and well-lighted subgrade pedestrian walkways.

Plenty of bicycle storage would be provided.

South of Holloway the M-Line tracks would remain in subway. After passing under the 19th/Junipero Serra intersection the tracks would ascend to grade just south of Sargent Street to join the existing tracks.  A new subway station could….if necessary….be constructed between Junipero Serra and Sargent Street

The M-Line terminal would remain at Balboa Park.

Previous SFMTA plans to build a subway, a subway station and an underground train storage yard in the eastern part of privately-owned Parkmerced would be dropped, thereby cutting the costs of the project by hundreds of millions of dollars.  An inexpensive or perhaps free shuttle bus service would provide good connections between the Holloway subway station, SF State University and all parts of Parkmerced.  Any necessary shuttle bus financing would come jointly from the SFMTA, the Parkmerced developer and S.F. State University.

This change to the SFMTA’s plan would avoid the need to truncate the M-Line service at Parkmerced. Current M-Line service to the Ocean View and Merced Heights neighborhoods would therefore be maintained.

The plan to run four-car trains to the end of the M-Line should also be dropped. Running four-car trains (at roughly $5 million a car) to the ends of lines when only one or two cars are needed would be a very poor use of scarce Muni capital.

SaveMuni believes that the above-described changes would better serve southwest San Francisco and yet be cost-effective, especially if better and more regular surface operations allowed K, M and L trains to be efficiently joined into longer trains at the West Portal.

Gerald Cauthen,
For SaveMuni

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