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Van Ness Transit Plans Solidify

The final environmental impact statement/report has been issued by the SFMTA for the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit project. The project, which seeks to speed up transit times for the 47 and 49 bus lines, is also expected by the agency to decrease operating costs.

The environmental studies were based on what’s called the “locally preferred alternative,” which includes a dedicated center bus lane on Van Ness Avenue (separated from the rest of the traffic); “high quality” stations and bus shelters with level or near-level boarding to reduce the time it takes to board and unboard travellers; changes to traffic signals to reduce signal delays for transit vehicles; new low-floor buses using standard right-side doors; changes to spacing to reduce the amount of time buses are stopped; and — perhaps most notable on a street where making a left turn is already difficult — elimination of all left turns along Van Ness except at Lombard Street northbound and Broadway southbound.

The plan next heads to a Sept. 3 approval by the Van Ness BRT Citizen’s Advisory Committee (5 p.m., 1455 Market St.), followed by local board and federal transportation approvals. Members of the public can review the plans and reports at www.vannessbrt.org.

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