Board to hear complaints on Muni hub 

A Muni supervisor who illegally held a parking spot, buses that put pedestrians and drivers at risk, traffic congestion and double-parked buses top the list of complaints of residents and commuters at a major San Francisco transit hub.

Residents of the Fontana Apartments — two large towers at the intersection of North Point Street and Van Ness Avenue — went to their San Francisco supervisor with complaints that the building’s driveway was being blocked and streets clogged with double-parked buses.

The intersection includes stops for the 10, 30, 47 and 49 lines, and allows drivers the chance to park their buses and take a break if scheduled. Because of that, buses tend to stack up, causing congestion that irks nearby residents and commuters alike. Apartment residents complained that a San Francisco Municipal Railway supervisor was using police barricades to reserve a parking place overnight for his car, and that idling buses clogged the northern Van Ness cul-de-sac and spewed pollution into the air, according to the office of Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, who placed the grievances on the agenda of the Board of Supervisors’ City Operations and Neighborhood Services committee meeting today.

In particular, Alioto-Pier said, residents complained about double-parked buses. "It’s my understanding that MTA (which administers Muni) has toldits drivers not to do that, but that message may have not gotten to everyone," she said.

"This [meeting] is a way of everyone coming together and discussing it and airing their grievances," Alioto-Pier said Friday. She said the residents had previously worked with Muni and her office, and that Muni had been "receptive," by repositioning a bus layover stop away from the driveway and spacing out other stops to reduce congestion. She also said the Muni supervisor has stopped using the police barricade now that a nearby parking place has been reserved.

MTA spokeswoman Maggie Lynch declined to comment Friday, saying, "Out of respect for the Board of Supervisors and the hearing process, we're going to respond to these questions at the hearing [today]."

Meg Dixon, of Hayes Valley, works at the North Point Center at Bay and Mason streets, and has been commuting via bus for a year and a half. "The buses tend to idle a lot in the afternoon," she said Friday. "Sometimes the bus lines come in packs at three or four at a time, and then they don’t come again for a half-hour."

In addition to the congestion, residents complained that the heavy bus traffic has damaged the pavement. They requested new asphalt and the striping of new parking places. Department of Public Works spokeswoman Christine Falvey said North Point Street, as well as Van Ness Avenue north of Lombard Street, are due to be repaved later this year. Restriping of parking places might happen before the repaving, Alioto-Pier said. The possibility and priority of that re-striping will be one of the issues discussed today.

E-mail Adam Martin at amartin@examiner.com.

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