ALTERNATIVES SCREENING REPORT

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1 VAN NESS AVENUE BUS RAPID TRANSIT (BRT) ALTERNATIVES SCREENING REPORT Revised Draft, 3/28/08 San Francisco County Transportation Authority

2 1 Introduction The San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) proposes, in cooperation with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), to implement bus rapid transit (BRT) improvements along Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco from Van Ness Avenue at Lombard Street in the north to South Van Ness Avenue at Mission Street in the south. Van Ness Avenue is a major north-south transit corridor that includes 45,000 jobs, 25,000 housing units, and key regional destinations such as the city s Civic Center. The Van Ness Avenue corridor is one of several routes that connect the Golden Gate Bridge and the city s downtown financial and commercial centers. It is part of San Francisco s Transit Priority Network (Figure 1), and has been identified in long range planning studies conducted by the Authority and SFMTA as a top priority route for rapid transit treatments. The 2003 Proposition K Expenditure Plan and the 2004 Figure 1: Transit Priority Network Countywide Transportation Plan (CWTP) identified Van Ness Avenue BRT as part of a strategic investment in a citywide network of rapid transit intended to address, within available resources, the key need identified by the CWTP: declining transit mode share resulting from poor transit travel times, reliability, and productivity. Project Corridor The 2006 Van Ness Avenue BRT Feasibility Study identified the need for and purpose of BRT on Van Ness Avenue, developed conceptual BRT design alternatives, and evaluated initial impacts and benefits. The Feasibility Study found that several BRT configurations are possible for Van Ness and are likely to provide significant benefits with relatively modest impacts, and called for the next phase of project development environmental analysis and preliminary engineering. In March 2007 the Authority initiated preparation of an environmental document and preliminary engineering for the Van Ness Avenue BRT Project. In cooperation with FTA, the Authority is preparing a combined environmental impact statement (EIS under the National Environmental Protection Act) and environmental impact report (EIR under the California Environmental Quality Act. A complete EIS/EIR is required in order to obtain approval of the project and secure funding. San Francisco County Transportation Authority 2

3 2 Purpose of the Scoping Process In September, 2007, the Authority issued a federal Notice of Intent (NOI) and state Notice of Preparation (NOP), initiating the project Scoping Period. The purpose of the Scoping Period is to obtain feedback from the public, partner agencies, and all interested parties on the proposed alternatives (are they adequate for addressing the purpose and need for transit improvements?) and the types of environmental impacts to be analyzed (will all potential environmental effects be considered?). The Authority held formal scoping meetings with the public and federal, state, regional and local agencies during the first week of October The Scoping Summary Report documents the input received during Scoping, focusing on: Public and agency comments on the project Purpose and Need; The range of alternatives recommended for consideration by agency and public participants; and The potential impact types recommended for consideration by agency and public participants. Based on the agency and public input received during the Scoping Period, and based on the Feasibility Study and CWTP analyses and other existing information, the Authority prepared a Screening analysis of the range of alternatives recommended for consideration in the EIR/EIS. Alternatives Screening is intended to result in a limited set of Build alternatives that: Will meet the purpose and need for the project; and Have potential environmental impacts that would require evaluation and disclosure. This report documents the results of the Authority s Alternatives Screening, and documents the set of Build alternatives proposed for analysis in the EIR/EIS. San Francisco County Transportation Authority 3

4 3 Evaluation of Alternatives This section describes the range of project alternatives mentioned by agencies or the public during the Scoping period, and identifies criteria to be used in Screening these alternatives down to a limited set. 3.1 Range of Alternatives The transit alternatives listed in Figure 2 encompass the range of options mentioned by agency and public participants during the Van Ness BRT Scoping Period, Figure 2 identifies key physical features of those alternatives. The list is not intended to capture every possible variation of alternatives, but instead, to capture important physical distinctions. Transit improvements which affect the operating plan only, such as: route restructuring reduced numbers of bus stops higher frequencies limited bus service are not considered distinct alternatives that could be screened out of further consideration; all of these operational refinements will be considered in the EIR/EIS as part of the physical improvements that are carried forward. Each of the alternatives listed in Figure 2 incorporates these operational changes to varying degrees. On their own, operational strategies such as route restructuring, reduced bus stops, higher frequencies, and limited bus service would not contribute sufficiently to the Screening Criteria (discussed in Section 3.2) in the area of benefits. Although added service, improved route structure, and the like may attract small numbers of new riders and improve conditions for some existing riders, these treatments alone do not provide bus priority measures, and therefore do not address the conditions that cause delays and poor reliability. Furthermore, adding additional service (or reducing fares / increasing subsides) would require new or reallocated operating resources. San Francisco County Transportation Authority 4

5 Figure 2. Characteristics of the Range of Van Ness Alternatives Mentioned during Scoping San Francisco County Transportation Authority 5

6 The general characteristics of each alternative are described below: 1. No Project/Baseline/Transportation System Management (TSM) The project Build alternatives recommended for analysis in the EIR/EIS will be compared to a No Project alternative, also known as the Baseline or Transportation Systems Management (TSM) alternative. The No Project / Baseline / TSM alternative includes low cost transit improvements that are expected even in the absence of BRT. The features of the No Project / Baseline / TSM include: Low floor buses that allow for level boarding; and Transit signal priority provided by SFGo traffic signal infrastructure for real time traffic management. TPS treatment that are not planned or expected are not included in the No Project. Examples include route restructuring, proof of payment, and stop consolidations. In addition, costly TPS treatments, such as bus bulbs, are not included in the No Project. 2. Transit preferential street (TPS) treatments, no bus lane would provide the complete suite of TPS features, including transit signal priority, low floor buses / level boarding, proof of payment / all door loading, bus bulbs, and bus stop amenities such as NextMuni, but would not provide a dedicated bus lane. 3. TPS treatments, peak period bus lane would provide the complete suite of TPS features, and in addition, would provide a temporary bus-only lane during the peak periods. The bus lane would not be physically separated from mixed traffic lanes, nor would the pavement in the lane have distinct color. 4. Side Lane BRT with parallel parking would include all TPS features, including bus bulbs and pedestrian corner bulbs, and would provide an all-day dedicated bus lane alongside parallel parking. The bus lane would be colored to reinforce its role as transit only, though cars would be permitted to cross the lane to make right turns or to parallel park. 5. Curb Lane BRT with no parallel parking would convert the parallel parking lane to a dedicated bus lane in each direction. This alternative would require reduction of the landscaped median and would not provide pedestrian bulbouts. A variation on this alternative would seek to provide off-street parking structures to replace the parallel parking. 6. Center Lane BRT, right side boarding / dual medians would convert the center lanes of mixed traffic and the existing center median into a dedicated bus lane in each direction separated from mixed traffic by station platforms and dual landscaped medians. 7. Center Lane BRT, left side boarding / center median would convert the center lanes of mixed traffic to dedicated bus lanes on either side of the existing center median. 8. Surface light rail would convert a lane of mixed traffic in each direction into a dedicated transitway for light rail technology, and would provide the full suite of TPS features. 9. Subway would construct a tunnel beneath Van Ness in which light rail technology would be operated. San Francisco County Transportation Authority 6

7 3.2 Purpose and Need To identify the limited set of Build alternatives that will be analyzed in the EIS/EIR, a number of screening criteria are applied to determine the alternative s ability to meet the purpose of and need for the project. Figure 3 presents the project s Purpose and Need Statement, as developed in the Van Ness Avenue BRT Feasibility Study. The Statement reflects citywide BRT development policies found in the County Transportation Plan and project-level goals and needs identified during the conceptual planning work of the Feasibility Study. San Francisco County Transportation Authority 7

8 Figure 3. Van Ness Avenue BRT Purpose and Need CITYWIDE BRT STRATEGY GOALS In order to: 1. Support the city s growth and development needs by addressing expected transportation system congestion impacts; 2. Stem and reverse the trend toward transit mode share loss within San Francisco affordably and in the near term; and 3. Improve the cost effectiveness and operational efficiency of the City s mature transportation system infrastructure and services; The 2004 San Francisco Countywide Transportation Plan and Prop K transportation sales tax Expenditure Plan call for development of a citywide Bus Rapid Transit Network (defined initially by a core BRT network encompassing Van Ness Avenue, Geary Boulevard and Potrero Avenue) which is intended to: a. Improve transit levels of service for all existing users quickly and cost-effectively; b. Strengthen the citywide network of rapid transit services; c. Raise the cost effectiveness of transit services and operational efficiency of the city s Transit Preferential Streets (TPS) roadway network; and d. Contribute to the urban design, identity, and livability of the BRT corridors as signature TPS streets. VAN NESS BRT STUDY/PROJECT GOALS As part of this citywide BRT strategy, the Van Ness BRT project will address specific needs as identified in the Authority s Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit Study. In order to: 1. Close the performance gap (travel time, wait time and in-vehicle time reliability, crowding, connectivity, and safety) between transit and automobile travel on Van Ness Avenue; 2. Raise the operating efficiency of Van Ness Avenue by increasing person-throughput capacity; and 3. Improve the level of amenity and urban design of Van Ness Avenue as a gateway into the City, and for the benefit of the neighborhoods and land uses adjacent to the street, while 4. Accommodating future mobility needs, The Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit project will improve the safety and operational efficiency of Van Ness in a way that supports the urban environment by: a. Significantly increasing the reliability, speeds, connectivity, and levels of passenger amenity for current local and regional bus transit services on Van Ness; b. Improving pedestrian comfort, amenity and safety along Van Ness; and c. Enhancing the urban design and identity of Van Ness Avenue as a signature Preferential Transit Street and distinctive gateway into San Francisco, while making the street more livable and attractive for local residential, commercial and institutional activities, through landscaping, signage, amenity, and streetscape improvements. d. Furthermore, attainment of these objectives should be balanced by the need to ensure the provision of local transit service, maintain some on-street parking, and accommodate mixed traffic, bicycle and goods movement circulation and access within the corridor. San Francisco County Transportation Authority 8

9 Figure 4 below provides the Screening Criteria, derived from the project Purpose and Need statement. Criteria address both project benefits and project impacts. Figure 4. Screening Criteria for Van Ness Avenue Alternatives Type of Benefit Transit Operations Transit Rider Experience Urban Design Multimodal System Performance Type of Impact Traffic and parking Cost Construction impact Screening Criterion Transit speed and reliability Transit mode share / ridership Out of vehicle: Waiting experience In vehicle: ride quality Pedestrian access and safety Streetscape, landscape, integration with land uses Total person-delay Rapid network identity Time to benefits Traffic circulation (includes diversions, delay) Parking spaces Capital cost Operating cost Duration and intensity of construction San Francisco County Transportation Authority 9

10 3.3 Screening Results The results of the Alternatives Screening are shown in Table 1, which summarizes the performance of each alternative with respect to the Screening Criteria. The results can be considered the assessment of the alternative s ability to meet the project Purpose and Need. An annotated copy of Table 1 is provided as Appendix A. Alternatives are screened out of further environmental analysis if they indicate a fatal flaw or overall low performance: Fatal Flaws. Some alternatives would fail to address one or more screening criteria or would worsen existing conditions; the inability to provide improvement with respect to one or more of the screening criteria is considered a fatal flaw. This situation is graphically depicted in Table 1 with an empty circle, indicating lowest benefit or highest impact. Any alternative which would fail to meet one or more of the screening criteria is dropped from consideration in the EIR/EIS. In other words, only projects which would address all elements of the project Purpose and Need are carried forward. Low Performance. Some alternatives have no fatal flaws, but would provide only slight or modest levels of improvement. This situation is shown graphically in Table 1 with several quarter circles, indicating low benefit or high impact. Projects which do little to advance several screening criteria are eliminated from consideration in the EIR/EIS. In other words, only projects which provide the greatest ability to meet all the aspects of project purpose and need are carried forward. The last column of Table 1 indicates which alternatives are advanced for study in the EIS/EIR. The No Project / Baseline / TSM alternative, which will be implemented in any case, is shown for comparison. Alternatives which are not recommended for EIR/EIS analysis are not necessarily precluded from implementation; in addition, some screened alternatives would likely not require a full EIR/EIS in order to be implemented Alternatives with Fatal Flaws Considered, but Not Recommended 5. Curb Lane BRT, No parallel parking Curb Lane BRT with no parallel parking is not recommended for further analysis in the EIR/EIS. Although this alternative would provide transit benefits, it would worsen pedestrian safety conditions, and would eliminate the 393 parking spaces which also provide drop-off and loading/unloading access to businesses and residences fronting on Van Ness Avenue. This alternative would require the removal of existing pedestrian safety treatments, including curb bulbs and median refuges where left turns are provided, and would preclude any new curb bulbs. It would also increase the number of traffic lanes pedestrians would be exposed to when crossing Van Ness, requiring pedestrians to cross 8 lanes of traffic without a median refuge where left turns are provided. Because the parking lanes themselves are not wide enough to serve as bus lanes, and the width of the sidewalks is fixed, the center landscaped San Francisco County Transportation Authority 10

11 Table 1. SCREENING MATRIX FOR VAN NESS TRANSIT EIR/EIS ALTERNATIVES Transit Operations Transit Rider Experience Urban Design Multimodal System Performance Traffic and Parking Capital and Operating Costs Construction Improve transit speed and reliability Improve transit mode share and ridership Improve waiting experience Improve ride quality Improve pedestrian access and safety Improve Streetscape; landscape; integrate with adjacent land uses Minimize total person-delay Strengthen and highlight the City's network of rapid transit services Time to Benefits Accommodate traffic circulation Provide parallel parking Capital cost Operating and maintenance cost Duration and intensity of construction RECOMMENDATION: Advance Alternative for Further Study? Alternatives 1 No Project/Baseline/TSM* Advance 2 All TPS features except bus lane** All TPS features plus peak period bus lane** Side Lane BRT with parallel parking Advance 5 Curb Lane BRT with no parallel parking Center Lane BRT with right side boarding / dual medians Advance 7 Center Lane BRT with left side boarding / center median Advance 8 Surface Light Rail Subway * No Project/Baseline/TSM includes low floor buses and transit signal priority. Lower Benefit Higher Benefit Higher Impact Lower Impact ** TPS features include low-floor buses, proof of payment and all-door loading, bus bulbs, station enhancements (NextMuni) and transit signal priority San Francisco County Transportation Authority

12 median would be reduced by 3 along its entire length and eliminated altogether where left turn pockets are provided. 8. Surface light rail 9. Subway Surface light rail and subway alternatives are not recommended for further analysis in the EIR/EIS. Rail technology would provide high levels of transit benefits, but with much more significant capital, operating, and construction impacts. Light rail technology costs over $100M per mile, and subway technology over $500M per mile; light rail and subway also have higher operating costs than Muni bus. 1 With $90M in Prop K funds available through 2030 to implement strategic transit expansion projects (by matching federal funds), a subway alternative would exhaust citywide funds on one corridor, and generate a $900M funding gap, half of which would need to be identified locally. Furthermore, because federal transportation funds have lost one-third of their value since the gas tax was last raised in 1993, the FTA is increasingly seeking transportation investments that provide significant benefits for low cost. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is unlikely to agree to fund a rail project on Van Ness when a costeffective alternative like BRT is available Alternatives with Low Performance Considered, but Not Recommended 2. Transit Preferential Street (TPS) treatments, No dedicated bus lane 3. TPS, Peak period bus lane These alternatives are not recommended for further evaluation in the EIR/EIS because the magnitude of expected benefits is low. TPS treatments without a bus lane are expected to provide up to a 17% reduction in travel times, 2 compared to a 30% reduction in travel times provided by BRT treatment. 3 Additionally, without a physically separated bus lane, buses would continue to operate in mixed traffic and experience associated reliability impacts. Of all transit delays, mixed traffic delays have the greatest variability (unreliability). 4 A peak period only bus lane would provide transit travel time and reliability benefits only during the peak period. However, Van Ness transit experiences delays and reliability problems throughout the day; additionally, transit ridership on the Van Ness corridor is strong throughout the day, and not just during the peak periods. 5 1 SFMTA Short Range Transit Plan 2 Van Ness Avenue BRT Feasibility Study; Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 90, Volumes 1 and 2 3 Van Ness Avenue BRT Feasibility Study 4 Van Ness Avenue BRT Feasibility Study 5 Van Ness Avenue BRT Feasibility Study San Francisco County Transportation Authority 11

13 Although TPS alternatives are not recommended for EIR/EIS analysis, they are not precluded, and would not necessarily require a full EIR/EIS in order to be implemented Alternatives Recommended for EIR/EIS 4. Side Lane BRT with parallel parking 6. Center Lane BRT, right side boarding / dual medians 7. Center Lane BRT, left-side boarding / center median The remaining alternatives are recommended for analysis in the EIREIS. THE BRT alternatives have no fatal flaws and perform relatively well across all Screening Criteria, with manageable impacts (such as in the area of traffic circulation). The BRT alternatives would remove buses from operation in mixed traffic, and reduce dwell, signal, and mixed traffic delays, while also adding pedestrian access benefits. These services would provide a distinguishable rapid service which, combined with SFMTA s existing Muni Metro and planned transit priority network improvements, would complete a network of rapid transit service in San Francisco. BRT would cause some traffic diversions, both to parallel streets and to other corridors in the city. These changes in traffic circulation may be mitigated through real-time traffic signal management and traffic calming measures. BRT will also attract some former drivers to transit. Through the EIR/EIS analysis process, the performance and potential impacts of these alternatives will be compared to the future No Project / Baseline / TSM scenario. 3.4 Conclusions Three alternatives are recommended for full environmental analysis in the EIR/EIS: Side Lane BRT with parallel parking; Center Lane BRT with right side boarding / dual medians; and Center Lane BRT with left side boarding / center median. These are the only alternatives with no fatal flaws and relatively high levels of performance across all Screening Criteria. The EIR/EIS analysis will determine any negative environmental impacts and develop mitigation measures to reduce or remove their effects. The performance and potential impacts of these alternatives will be compared to the future No Project / Baseline / TSM scenario. Alternatives which are not recommended for EIR/EIS analysis are not necessarily precluded from implementation. Some alternatives removed through screening would likely not require a full EIR/EIS in order to be implemented. San Francisco County Transportation Authority 12

14 4 Description of Alternatives Carried Forward The purpose of this section is to describe the general characteristics of the No Project / Baseline / TSM alternatives and the three Build alternatives proposed for analysis; it is important to note that a number of design aspects of each alternative have not been determined. Following adoption of the general characteristics of the Build alternatives, the Authority will develop more advanced engineering designs for each alternative, and continue to refine the specific features of each alternative. The EIR/EIS analysis will determine any negative environmental impacts and develop mitigation measures to reduce or remove their effects. The performance and potential impacts of these alternatives will be compared to the future No Project / Baseline / Transportation Systems Management scenarios. 4.1 Description of the No-Project Alternative The Van Ness Avenue BRT Project EIS/EIR will compare the benefits and impacts of the three Build alternatives to two No Project scenarios, one set in a near-term horizon year (2015), and one set in a long-range horizon year (2030). The No Project alternative will include demographic and land use characteristics expected by year 2015, and also include transportation system improvements expected by year Levels of growth in households and jobs in San Francisco and the Van Ness corridor will be determined in a subsequent report; transportation system improvements planned for 2015 will continue to be refined, but are likely to include: SFGo (Traffic signal infrastructure for real time traffic management). SFMTA plans to install new fiber optic traffic signal communications network on Van Ness Avenue, Franklin, and Gough streets, with advanced signal controllers tied into a traffic control operations center. The SFGo system will allow traffic conditions to be monitored and adjusted in real time to actively manage operations and delays. SFgo will also implement transit signal priority. Low-floor Buses. SFMTA is gradually converting its fleet to low-floor buses which will provide relatively level boarding and alighting. Low-floor buses would not require passengers to climb steps to board or exit buses, helping to shorten dwell times, especially for passengers in wheelchairs. Other Corridor Improvements: NextMuni Real Time Passenger Information and Sidewalk/Street Lighting Improvements. SFMTA is installing real-time bus arrival information displays (NextMuni) at major stops with shelters. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) also plans street light replacement and the Department of Public Works (DPW) plans sidewalk landscaping improvements along Van Ness Avenue. Although these measures do not affect transit operations directly, these programs will make stops more convenient, safer and attractive and thereby contribute to increased transit use. This alternative will include demographic and land use characteristics expected by year 2030, an also include transportation system improvements expected by year The specific levels of growth in households and jobs in San Francisco, and the set of transportation system improvements planned to be in place by this horizon year, will be determined in a subsequent report. San Francisco County Transportation Authority 13

15 4.2 Build Alternatives This section describes the known features of the three Build alternatives BRT Features Common to All Build Alternatives Each Build alternative shares the common features of full-featured Bus Rapid Transit described in the Van Ness Avenue BRT Feasibility Study and graphically depicted in Figure 2: Figure 2. Elements of full-featured BRT A. Dedicated Bus Lanes. BRT buses would operate in an exclusive, dedicated bus lane on the street surface. One mixed traffic lane in each direction would be dedicated to BRT vehicles only. The bus lane would be distinguished from mixed traffic lanes by physical separation and/or colored pavement. To reduce conflicts with the bus lane, left turn opportunities for mixed traffic would be reduced in each direction. B. Level Boarding. The No Project / Baseline / TSM scenario includes level boarding; this feature would be preserved in the BRT Build alternatives. C. High-Quality Stops / Stations. BRT would provide fewer stop locations than existing bus service, helping to reduce dwell time delays. Station platforms would be upgraded, providing larger shelters and improved wayfinding and information. D. Streetscape Improvements and Amenities. BRT includes pedestrian safety improvements (corner bulb-outs and median refuge upgrades), as well as increased landscaping. San Francisco County Transportation Authority 14

16 E. Proof of Payment / All-door Boarding / Fare Prepayment. SFMTA expects to implement all-door boarding on Van Ness Avenue in the future, allowing passengers with proof of payment, such as a Fast Pass, to board through any door. All-door boarding will help to reduce dwell times. BRT will provide fare vending machines on station platforms, allowing fare pre-payment for passengers without fast passes. F. Transit Signal Priority. The No Project / Baseline / TSM scenario includes transit signal priority; this feature would be preserved in the BRT Build alternatives Features Not Yet Determined Although many characteristics of the Build alternatives are known, other design characteristics will be developed in the next phase of study, such as: Stop locations Guidance technology Operating plan and route structure Vehicle propulsion technology Golden Gate Transit Operations The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway, and Transportation District operates transit buses along Van Ness Avenue. The BRT Build alternatives will seek to accommodate Golden Gate Transit operations in the dedicated bus lanes. San Francisco County Transportation Authority 15

17 4.3 Side Lane BRT with Parallel Parking This alternative would provide dedicated bus lanes in the rightmost lane of Van Ness Avenue both northbound and southbound, next to the existing lane of parallel parking. The bus lanes, though distinguished by colored pavement, would be permeable to mixed traffic, which would enter the bus lanes to parallel park in the curb lane or make a right turn. BRT stations would be located on the sidewalk and bus bulbs would be established in the curb (parking) lane, eliminating the need for buses to pull in and out of the bus lane to pick up passengers. Figure 4 illustrates both a typical plan view and cross-sectional view of the alternative at a sample location. Figure 5 provides a photorealistic visualization of this typical section. The configuration would change little along the length of Van Ness Avenue. San Francisco County Transportation Authority 16

18 Figure 4. Plan and Section View of Side Lane BRT with Parallel Parking Figure 5. Photosimulation of Side Lane BRT with Parallel Parking San Francisco County Transportation Authority 17

19 4.4 Center Lane BRT, Right Side Boarding / Dual Medians This alternative would convert the existing landscaped median and the two inside traffic lanes, both northbound and southbound, to dedicated bus lanes separated from mixed traffic by dual landscaped medians approximately 4-8 wide in many locations. Station platforms would be located on the right side median, allowing right-side boarding. Figure 6 illustrates both a plan view and a sample cross-sectional view of the alternative. The cross-section of this alternative would vary from block to block depending on the presence of left turn pockets or station platforms. A photorealistic visualization pf this section is shown in Figure 7. San Francisco County Transportation Authority 18

20 Figure 6. Center Lane BRT with Right Side Boarding / Dual Medians 5 Figure 7. Photosimulation of Center Lane BRT with Right Side Boarding / Dual Medians San Francisco County Transportation Authority 19

21 4.5 Center Lane BRT, Left Side Boarding / Center Median This alternative would convert the inside lane of mixed traffic in each direction into a dedicated bus lane operating on the outside of the existing landscaped median. Station platforms would be located on the singe center median, requiring left-side passenger loading and unloading. Bus vehicles serving this route would need doors on the left and right sides of the vehicle to allow service to both the left-side BRT platforms and right-side stops throughout the non-brt portions of the routes. Figure 8 illustrates both a plan view and a sample cross-sectional view of the alternative. The cross-section of this alternative would vary somewhat from block to block depending on the presence of left turn pockets or station platforms. A photorealistic visualization of this section is shown in Figure 9.. San Francisco County Transportation Authority 20

22 Figure 8. Center Lane BRT with Left Side Boarding / Center Median Figure 8: Photosimulation of Center Lane BRT with Left Side Boarding / Center Median San Francisco County Transportation Authority 21

23 Van Ness BRT EIR/EIS Alternatives Improve transit speed and reliability Improve transit mode share and ridership Improve waiting experience Appendix A. SCREENING MATRIX FOR VAN NESS TRANSIT ALTERNATIVES Transit Operations Transit Rider Experience Urban Design Multimodal System Performance Traffic and Parking Capital and Operating Costs Improve ride quality Improve pedestrian access and safety Improve Streetscape; Landscape; Integrate with Adjacent Land Uses Minimize total person-delay Strengthen & Highlight City's Network of Rapid Transit Services Time to Benefits Accommodate traffic circulation Provide parallel parking Capital Cost Operating and Maintenance Cost Duration and Intensity of construction 1 No Project/Baseline/TSM* Advance Construction RECOMMENDATION: Advance Alternative for Further Study? Buses will still experience mixed traffic delays. Minimally distinguishable from current service. No change. No change. Added service increases operating cost, faster trips may reduce costs. 2 All TPS features except bus lane** Buses will still experience some mixed traffic delays. Moderately improved travel times will attract some riders. Additional capacity at bus stops improves waiting experience. Bus bulbs at corners would improve crossing conditions. Corner bulbs improve streetscape. Some construction required. Bus bulbs increase traffic delays slightly. Bus bulbs require some parking removal. Bus bulbs require significant capital funding. Unlikely to generate significant operations savings. Bus bulbs incur construction impact 3 All TPS features plus peak period bus lane** Delays reduced during peak period only Moderately improved travel times will attract some riders during the peak periods. No improvements during non-peak periods. Unlikely to generate significant operations savings. 4 Side Lane BRT with parallel parking Advance Most delays reduced, but turning & parking autos share curb lane. Improved performance attracts riders. Buses move around right turning and parking vehicles. Stations and streetscape improvements enhance urban environment. Noticeably distinguishable from current service. Construction required. Right turning cars use bus lane. Small increase in supply of parallel parking. Will generate operations savings through reduced travel times. Construction impacts similar to street resurfacing / curb bulb installation. 5 Curb Lane BRT with no parallel parking Most delays reduced, but turning autos share curb lane. No increased capacity at bus stops. Buses move around right turning vehicles. No corner bulbs; median width insufficient Reduced landscape median. Center Lane BRT with right side boarding / dual medians Advance Dwell, signal, and mixed traffic delays reduced. Greater performance improvements attract more riders. Increased capacity at bus stops improves experience. Curb bulbs and median Improves as traffic refuges improve conflicts are eliminated. pedestrian conditions. Provides strong, highlighted surface link in network. No change. Some increased driving delays and diversions. Center Lane BRT with left side boarding / center median Advance Parallel parking eliminated. May reduce parking spaces. Small increase in supply of parallel parking. 8 Surface Light Rail Funding gap prevents near term construction May reduce parking spaces. At least $100M per mile; no feasible funding plan. Increased operations and maintenance costs. Longer and more intensive construction impacts. 9 Subway Total grade separation eliminates trafficcaused delays. Unlikely to include curb bulbs and median refuges. Longest time to identify Provides highly funds, plan, design and distinguishable service. construct No change. Increases supply of parallel parking. At least $500M per mile; no feasible funding plan. Significant construction impacts. * No Project/Baseline/TSM includes low floor buses and transit signal priority. Lower Benefit Higher Benefit Higher Impact Lower Impact ** TPS features include low-floor buses, proof of payment and all-door loading, bus bulbs, station enhancements (NextMuni) and transit signal priority San Francisco County Transportation Authority

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