New Red Zone In Effect for Mission Street Bus Traffic



Well, that was fast.

As the transit oracles prophesied, the SFMTA has implemented new routing for the 14 and 49 bus lines along Mission Street, with a new transit-only red lane and consolidated stops to speed up the pace of travel. Be advised:

Heading toward downtown, stops will be removed on Mission at 29th, Fair, Precita, 23rd, 21st, 19th and 15th, and a new stop will be established at Powers. Towards Daly City, stops will be removed at 15th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, Precita, and 29th.

It will be interesting to see what impact this has on the flow of traffic along the Bernal/La Lengua stretch of Mission Street. Personally, I’m already noticing one unfortunate side-effect: Whenever I see the new red lanes, that curbside airport scene from “Airplane!” pops into my head.

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

Big Changes to MUNI Bus Stops Along Mission Street in Bernal Heights


If you tried to catch a bus along Bernal’s stretch of Mission Street over the weekend, you might have noticed some changes. As part of SFMTA”s effort to speed up bus transit along Mission Street, several stops along Bernal’s Mission corridor have been removed from the 14 & 49 bus lines, and even bigger changes are in store for Mission Street north of Cesar Chavez.

Specificially, the inbound 14 and 49 bus stops at 29th Street, Fair, and Precita Avenue have been removed, and a new stop has been created at Powers Avenue. Outbound, the same removals are in place, but the stop at Mission/Valencia remains unchanged. The stop at 30th Street remains in place for both directions. (Additional details provided  below.)

The SFMTA website explains:

We’re changing the number of travel lanes to widen the street, rolling out a new transit-only lane, and much, much more. Let’s walk through it.

Transit-only Lanes

These lanes give Muni its own right-of-way to bypass traffic congestion, reducing delays and improving reliability. Transit-only lanes will be installed on Mission Street traveling southbound between 14th and Cesar Chavez, and both southbound and northbound between Cesar Chavez and 30th.


Rendering of bus-only lanes on Mission @20th St. (Image by SFMTA)

Stop consolidation

This allows Muni customers to travel the same distance in less time. Heading toward downtown, stops will be removed on Mission at 29th, Fair, Precita, 23rd, 21st, 19th and 15th, and a new stop will be established at Powers. Towards Daly City, stops will be removed at 15th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, Precita, and 29th.

Turn restrictions

These reduce delay for through traffic and keep pedestrians safe as they cross the street. Left turn restrictions will be put in place at every intersection on Mission Street between 14th and Cesar Chavez.

Northbound required right turns

Requiring right turns will divert northbound traffic off Mission Street, easing traffic flow along the street and improving local access to Mission Street destinations. Right turns will be required going northbound at 26th, 24th, 22nd, 20th, and 16th. Transit, emergency vehicles, taxis and bicyclists will be exempt from required right turns.

All of these improvements are hitting the street starting this month!

Timing & What’s Happening

This Saturday, February 13, 2016 – Select bus stops removed for the 14 and 49

February 22 – March 7 – Red lanes painted from 30th St to Cesar Chavez

March 7 – early April – Red lanes painted and road re-striped from 14th St to Cesar Chavez

Rolling basis between March and April – Required right turns and left turn restrictions will be implemented block-by-block as the transit-only lanes are striped


  • As the SFMTA paint crew moves through the project area, expect the following during construction hours:
  • Curbside parking and loading will be temporarily unavailable.
  • Muni bus stops may be temporarily re-located to a nearby stop.
  • Through auto traffic will be allowed but alternative routes are encouraged.
  • Signs prior to construction on each block will be posted for all bus stop changes and parking restrictions.

Here’s the Bernal-relevant detail:

Changes to Inbound 14 & 49 service:

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 11.50.21 PM

Changes to Outbound 14 & 49 Service:

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 11.53.55 PM

The Faraday Cortland is a New Electric Bike Named After… Us!



It’s a well-known fact that transportation companies like to name their vehicles after glamorous locations in California.

When Chevrolet needed a name for their rugged all-season SUV, they chose to name it the Tahoe. When Chrysler needed a name for their luxury minivan, they called it the Pacifica. Chevy’s midsize car with affluent aspirations is the Malibu. And when San Francisco’s Faraday electric bicycle company needed a name for their ridiculously stylish (yet eminently practical) new machine, they decided to call it… the Cortland.

Yes! The Faraday Cortland is a new electric bicycle named after Bernal’s very own main street. Adam Vollmer, the founder of Faraday, even confirmed this:

Wow. How sexy is that??

Faraday says the Cortland offers “the perfect balance of style and utility,” which means the new bike is exactly like everyone who lives in Bernal Heights.

Unlike Bernal Heights, the Cortland offers easy access, thanks to a  new step-through frame design. Faraday’s Kickstarter page for preorders outlines some of the ebike’s other highlights:

With the Faraday Cortland, we’ve added an extra 20% of range, more efficient motor, upgraded software, and more. We’ve also made it more comfortable, more fun to ride, and, dare we say, more stylish with the introduction of a step-through frame.

Prices start at $1999 with the Kickstarter campaign discount, and of course we expect you’ll also be able to get a Cortland on Cortland, at Bernal’s much-loved local purveyor of newfangled electric bicycles.

Finally, here’s the promo video for the Cortland, produced in the self-parodying Cortlandia Portlandia style:

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Faraday

Vote Now to Bring Bike-Sharing to Bernal Heights


Neighbor Matte encourages all bike-loving Bernalese to select some Bernal Heights sites for San Francisco’s expanding bike-sharing program. He writes:

SF is getting 4,500 new shared bikes in the next couple years, but right now our closest bike sharing station is at 7th and Townsend.  Far away! SFBike is taking proposals for new locations, and I think either end of Precita Park would be ideal. You can vote for these locations here:

There are also many other Bernal locations that have been proposed, and you can vote for them at the same site.

If you want to find out more, SF Bike is now holding workshops to determine exact locations. District 9’s workshops are on Thursday, January 21st, 6 PM – 7 PM and 7 PM – 8 PM at the Mission Neighborhood Center (362 Capp St).

Competing Petitions Disagree on New Lane Reduction in Bernal Cut


Neighbor Chris from St. Mary’s recently wrote Bernalwood to say:

Wondering what you think about the new San Jose Ave exit on 280. It’s like a pinball machine there now, even on off commute hours. Two exit lanes still exit, but now they merge into 1 within 100 feet, and it’s always backed up way before the underpass so you also have to stop suddenly. I get that the car culture needs to change, but it has to happen subtly. My girlfriend found the person at MTA responsible for the new configuration and let him have it.

It’s true; traffic patterns northbound through the Bernal Cut have changed, and there have been multiple big accidents there as a result. Meanwhile, it seems Neighbor Chris’s concerns are not uncommon, because Streetsblog reports

The redesign of San Jose Avenue took a step forward a month ago when Caltrans removed a traffic lane on a Highway 280 off-ramp leading on to San Jose, a.k.a. the Bernal Cut. The plan is the result of decades of neighborhood advocacy for safer streets, but it is running into opposition from motorists who won’t stand for the road diet.

Supporters and opponents of the project are duking it out with online petitions, both launched a month ago. The opposition’s petition currently has a lead on the supporters’ petition. The SFMTA hasn’t released the results from its survey from last fall.

On the bright side, no matter which side of this issue you agree with, there’s a petition you can sign.

PHOTO: I-280 at San Jose Accident, June 19, 2005, by Neighbor Jeremy Ambers

Where Should Some Bernal Bike-Sharing Stations Go?


Bike-sharing programs are supercool, but why should bike-sharing be confined to downtown? Neighbor Matte calls our attention to an opportunity to create some bicycle-sharing locations right here in Bernal Heights:

 San Francisco is getting 4,500 new shared bikes in the next couple years. Currently, Bernal’s closest station is at 7th and Townsend in SOMA, and I think we should change that.

They’re now accepting proposals for new locations and there’s currently about 13 proposed locations in Bernal up for vote.

As a resident of Santana Rancho, I’m partial to the the two proposed on Precita Park (east endwest end), but there are plenty of great options on Mission and in Cortlandia as well.

I urge Bernal residents to check out the selection process and vote to bring bike sharing to Bernal.


Scooter-Sharing Scheme Is a Brilliant Idea, Executed Not So Thoughtfully


Your Bernalwood editor has been on the receiving end of a steady stream of grumblings about Scoot Networks, the scooter-sharing startup with sharing locations in Bernal Heights. We wrote about Scoot for the first time last August, but since then the company has expanded its reach in Bernal — and the grumblings have expanded with it.

Here’s one from Neighbor Adele:

Are you thinking of offering any more coverage on the ‘Scoot’ fleet taking up street parking issue? I am actually a daily bicycle commuter so I’m not the worlds biggest parking advocate, but I actually get a serious sense of unease and frustration seeing branded scooters from a private fleet blanketing my street (Folsom near Bessie). They are all over, and to be clear, they are taking up all manner of spots. It just feels like another part of the Airbnb-ification of the neighborhood. I don’t see this precedent from car sharing companies. Obviously public entities have a major role in PLANNING the extension of the much more innocuous bicycle shares into new locations. Is it too much to ask for some planning to go into the extension of private, for-profit transit systems into our residential neighborhood?

Like Neighbor Adele, your Bernalwood editor does not require street parking, so I have no personal reason to begrudge Scoot’s presence.

Unlike Neighbor Adele, your Bernalwood editor doesn’t really mind if private companies use public space once in a while. Private companies have contracted to use public space to do all sorts of things since pretty much forever, and so long as these arrangements are properly authorized and generally serve the public interest, then I think that’s fair play.

Yet it’s easy to understand why many Bernal neighbors are frustrated by all those red scooters. Scoot Networks does not have designated parking spaces for its vehicles, and the Bernalese who use Scoot often park their shared scooters in ways that squander precious street parking space. In theory, five or six scooters can easily park in the space occupied by one car, but in practice, when five or six Scoots park haphazardly in spaces that would be a better fit for larger vehicles, neighbors end up with far fewer places to park.

Mostly, it seems that Scoot might work better with dedicated, designated scooter parking spaces. Here on glamorous Precita Avenue, for example, there are lots of odd sidewalk bulbs and short curbs between driveways where cars simply won’t fit. Those would be excellent for designated scooter-only parking. Instead, however, Scoots often park randomly, and often in the most inefficient ways possible.


That seems like a loss for everyone. It obviously stinks for neighbors who end up with fewer places to park close to home. It probably stinks for Scoot customers, who don’t have a designated place to go find their rides. It can’t do much to help Scoot’s brand, because although the company gets good marks from customers, the current parking scheme encourages neighbors to develop the kind of festering resentment that only street-parking issues can generate. And most of all, it doesn’t help rally support for the larger cause of ridesharing, which is a very positive urban transportation alternative in our tech-enabled age.

Bummer for all of us. Scoot is a good thing, but there must be a more elegant way to integrate it into the fabric of the neighborhood.

PHOTOS: Scoots parking badly in Bernal Heights, by Telstar Logistics