San Francisco's transit agency is rolling out the figurative red carpet for Muni lines on Market Street between Fifth and 12th streets beginning tonight through November in an ongoing effort to signal the transit-only lanes to motorists.
The red-carpet treatment that involves bonding red thermoplastic to existing lanes requires a partial closure on the eastbound transit-only lane on Market Street between Fifth and Mason streets from 10:30 p.m. today to 5 a.m. Saturday. Barring special events, parts of the Market Street stretch of the project will be closed between those hours Fridays and Saturdays to minimize traffic impacts through completion.
"These lanes are already legislated as transit-only lanes," said Kristen Holland, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. "But we had found through the pilot [program] that having a clear indication for this space really helps motorists understand that it's special and different."
Red-colored lanes first appeared in the spring as part of a pilot project on Church Street between 16th Street and Duboce Avenue, designed to improve travel time on J-Church trains and 22-Fillmore buses.
The installation has resulted in strong improvements in transit speed, reliability and the Muni passenger experience, according to transit agency officials, who expect the same for the F-Market and Wharves, 6-Parnassus, 9-San Bruno, 9L-San Bruno Limited, 71-Haight-Noriega and 71L-Haight-Noriega Limited lines.
During the $1.8 million work on Market Street, all buses will operate in the curb lane and use Muni stops along the street, while the F-Market and Wharves line will operate through the installation area. Red lanes have been painted in sections of Third and Geary streets and are near completion on O'Farrell Street.
The red lanes on Market Street are designated for only buses and taxis at all times, unlike on some other corridors where signage will indicate restriction times.