A plan to create two dedicated lanes for fast-moving buses down the middle of Van Ness Avenue is coming before a local planning body for the final green light today.
If the majority of San Francisco County Transportation Authority board members vote in favor of the Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit final environmental impact report, the north-south corridor will get grade-separated bus lanes with traffic lights timed to speed up service in both directions.
The meridian would remain and passengers would board buses on islands in the middle of the avenue. The bus rapid transit lines would replace Muni's often-delayed service while also preventing drivers from turning left off Van Ness between Lombard and Missions streets, with the exception of Broadway.
"Obviously there are some concerns from the public, but I think they've been adequately addressed in the document," said Michael Schwartz, a senior transportation planner with the SFCTA. "So we do anticipate that the project would be approved."
Environmental review for the project is six years in the making. Last spring, the SFCTA, in partnership with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, chose the center-lane design over lanes on the far right or none at all.
A year after that first hurdle, the project's cost has risen to $126 million and its estimated completion date extended to late 2017, with service beginning in 2018.