Do you want red transit lanes on Mission Street? Or do you want the city to repaint the streets black as pitch and never look back?
Either way, your big chance to sound off about it is next Monday at the Mission Cultural Center, where city honchos will assemble so that you can let them have it (if you so choose), and possibly shape the future of the hip neighborhood’s roadways.
This is perhaps the only civic controversy in human history over something so seemingly inconsequential as the color of asphalt. But ever since SFMTA turned Muni bus lanes into giant vermilion stripes so glaring that they may be visible from space earlier this year, people have been kvetching.
Nearby business owners blame the inhospitable looking crimson haze for what they say is a decline in sales, and some drivers find that the bus zones make Mission Street appear unapproachable and impassable.
Constituents filled Supervisor David Campos’ Facebook page with messages like "ABOLISH THE TRANSIT AGENCY" (extreme) and "What’s happening to our Mission?" But others have piped up to say that the Mission Street dye job is a practical necessity, and that the city should emphasize mass transit needs over drivers.
SFMTA insists that since the repainting, buses have been faster and more reliable in the corridor and, notably, there’s only been one bus collision in the neighborhood since March. Normally there are a dozen every month.
Presumably sensing that it’s time to put this matter to bed once and for all, the Transit Authority (along with Campos, who, contrary to data, has called the red lanes "better on paper than practice,") announced a new outreach campaign this week, which includes Monday’s 6:00 p.m. hearing at the Cultural Center.
So what do you say, Mission members? Should the streets run red in this time of unrest, or is this a case of fixing something that was never broken?
- Mission Street Improvement Update [SFMTA]
- Neighbors Upset About Transit Lanes [ABC7]
- Transit Riders Show Love For Red [Curbed SF]
- Campos Facebook