The Municipal Transportation Agency (MUNI) is proposing a re-work of transit lines serving the Castro and SF in general. The plan, known as the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP), is the first major overhaul of bus lines since the 70′s when disco and clones ruled the neighborhood.
TEP’s goals-according to the website that’s been up and running for the last few months-is to:
- Reduce travel times on rapid corridors by up to 20 percent.
- Improve transit reliability system wide.
- Reduce overcrowding on buses and trains.
- Enhance vehicle and pedestrian safety.
While no direct lines or MUNI stops inside the heart of the Castro will be altered specifically, areas surrounding it where many who shop, work and play will be. The steep, often hard to get to sloping neighborhoods of Twin Peaks, Eureka Valley, Noe Valley will see the elimination of bus stops and scheduled bus runs. These neighborhoods, according to those who live there, are already under served with less frequent bus runs during non-peak and late-night hours.
Long used bus stops along the 48 and 35 routes are slated for attrition. This will force residents to choose other stops further from home grab the bus. Planners thoughts behind this route modification are that fewer stops will equal quicker service. Two of these routes will also see sections changed, re-routed, end-destinations adjusted, or parts eliminated all together. The plan also includes adding a new bus line running from the packed Tech worker roost of Noe Valley to the 22nd St. CalTrains station in Dogpatch.
The new plan isn’t a done deal. Residents can and should weigh in and do so quickly. The deadline for public comment has been extended until September 17, 2013. You can use the TEP link here to comment.
Castro Community Benefit District (CBD) has proposed using $28K of its funds collected from annual Castro property levy to create a ‘rainbow’ cross walk at one of our iconic neighborhood corners between Harvey Milk Plaza and the newly christened SF historic landmark, Twin Peaks Tavern.
The idea for rainbow-colored cross walks was first proposed by city officials at the Castro street design open house meetings conducted between the City and residents to get input on what the new Castro could look like post-street face-lift. The idea was nixed from the final plan due to cost and needs versus wants of the overall project.
If this happens the Castro will join other heavily Queer populated cities and neighborhoods around the world like West Hollywood in SoCal who have erected similar color bar symbolism within their busy streets.
Some residents are thrilled with the idea while others expressed being “over the rainbow” saying that we already fly the rainbow flag 24/7 at Harvey Milk Plaza including the vertical rainbow flags adorning the poles lining our streets through out the Castro’s main drag.
The CBD is looking for community input. They want to know what people think about the rainbow idea, other ideas that could also be applicable for cross walk honors, or whether any of it’s a good idea. According to EBAR, CBD’s executive director, Andrea Aiello said;
“The Castro Street Design Team will develop a few proposals for possible designs. At least one of the proposals will be some type of rainbow cross walk. The final decision/design selection will include community input. The CBD will work with the design team in managing this process.”
SFMTA would have the final say about colors and the decorative cross walks would be maintained and last for approximately five years. You can message the CBD directly with your feelings on the matter at their Facebook page here.
If approved, painted crosswalks would be installed in the Castro near projected street redesign completion in October of 2014 just in time for the annual Castro Street Fair.