Supported by neighbors but criticized for their impact on The City’s tourism industry, new restrictions on tour buses around Alamo Square take effect today.
The Alamo Square Neighborhood Association called the already noticeable drop-off in shuttles visiting the area for its famous Painted Ladies Victorian homes — resulting from approved parking restrictions — “significant and delightful.”
“Basically right after the hearing, we didn’t really see them much after that,” said John Dallas, a board member with the association. “I’ve noticed that there’s been quite a few tourists, just not tour buses.”
A Nov. 19 vote by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board prohibited commercial passenger vehicles with more than nine seats north of Fell Street, east of Divisadero Street, south of Golden Gate Avenue and west of Webster Street.
Signs reading “tour buses and vans (seating capacity 8 or more passengers) prohibited” have been installed on all streets in the area. A five-minute tour bus loading zone on the north side of Fell Street east of Pierce Street replaces a loading zone on the north side of Fell west of Divisadero. The violation fine is $100.
“We’ve been working with tour bus companies and the community to make sure everyone had enough information as we implement the new plan,” SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said.
While residents around the neighborhood complained of noise and pedestrian safety issues caused by tour buses, those in tourism — San Francisco’s top industry — saw the restrictions as a blow to their business.
“I really hope it encourages people to come and take walking tours,” said Felecia Faulkner, 55, who has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years. “Discouraging tourism was not the point of this.”