Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Geary BRT thoughts

Having recently traveled on the #38 Geary line from its starting point at Cabrillo and la Playa by the ocean, I have to admit my opinion of the efficiency of that Muni line failed to take into account the traffic lights on that end of the line. After the #38 turns onto Geary at 33rd Avenue, I counted stoplights---not just stop signs---at 31st Avenue, 30th Avenue, 29th Avenue, 28th Avenue, 27th Avenue, 25th Avenue, 24th Avenue, 23rd Avenue, 21st Avenue, 20th Avenue, 19th Avenue, 18th Avenue, 17th Avenue, 16th Avenue, Park Presidio, 12th Avenue, 11th Avenue, 10th Avenue, 9th Avenue, 8th Avenue, 7th Avenue, 6th Avenue, 5th Avenue, 4th Avenue, 3rd Avenue, Second Avenue, Arguello, Stanyan, Parker, Spruce, Collins, and Masonic.

That is, there are stoplights at almost every intersection on that part of the #38 line. Since I usually take the #38 only between Masonic and downtown or Divisadero and downtown, I didn't understand that the worst part of the line is back where it begins, at 33rd and Geary.

The question about the proposed Geary bus rapid transit is whether spending more than $200 million for a fix is the best way to go. Why not instead simply install the technology to allow Muni drivers on the #38 to manipulate stoplights in their favor? That won't be cheap, but surely it would be more cost-effective than the grandiose BRT proposal.

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