I didn’t build this bridge over Geary, I’m not responsible for it. But guess what, SFGov put this bridge in, a while back. And then SFGov decided that removing the bridge was “essential” to the Geary BRT project. (The R in there stands for “Rapid,” as if calling something rapid makes it rapid.)
(The “R” in BRT stands for the same thing the R in the #38R stands for – RAPID, baby! It’s the phrase of the decade. The SFMTA should change its name to the SFRTA, the San Francisco Rapid Transit Agency. And the SFCTA should be called the SFRCRTRA (San Francisco Rapid County Rapid Transit Rapid Authoritah. And that means that a Geary BART spur (which would be more rapider than buses replacing buses) should/would be called Rapid EXTREME or something.)
As with most federal / state-funded pork barrel projects, there are costs and benefits, and there will be winners and losers.
One doc the SFCTA had dissed this bridge 23 times, ’cause the SFCTA thinks it will interfere with the Geary BRT project. And this marketing doc here gets into it a bit.
Well it turns out that this bridge will stick around. Look, about a dozen and a half souls were using it last I saw it:
Anyway, this bridge will slow down the BRT yet they’re still talking about how the “average” #38 round-trip rider will save a half an hour a day. This seems impossible to me. If they said a few #38 riders might save a half hour on some days, well, that’d be more honest, but you can’t expect too much from the SFCTA / SFMTA…
Hey, how many times do you think our SFCTA could possibly insult this pedestrian bridge over Geary at Webster in just one report? Well, 23 times,* by my count. Earlier, it seemed that the destruction of this bridge was vital for the success of the Geary BRT scheme, yet the SFCTA caved and now the bridge has a new lease on life, Geary BRT or no.
On It Goes…
*Mostly having to do with the ADA, but lots of things are grandfathered in, as the SFCTA well knows.
In the Japantown and Fillmore areas, there are closed crosswalks and circuitous pedestrian bridges that are not compliant with accessibility standards for people with disabilities.
In the Japantown area, as depicted in Figure 1-6, some aspects that discourage pedestrian movement and activity include narrow medians and circuitous pedestrian bridges that intimidate some and are not compliant with accessibility standards for people with disabilities.
Spanning Geary Boulevard are two pedestrian bridges at the Webster Street and Steiner Street intersections, where closed crosswalks limit pedestrians‟ ability to cross Geary Boulevard at ground level. These overcrossings are several decades old and, although they provide separation from traffic, are often perceived as an inconvenient way of crossing Geary Boulevard due to the long and indirect ramps, change in elevation required, and some users‟ sense of insecurity. Additionally, the pedestrian overcrossings are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), hindering the mobility of people with disabilities.
Pedestrian bridges at Steiner Street and Webster Street: These two pedestrian overcrossings would be removed, to eliminate conflicts between these structures‟ piers and the proposed bus lanes, as well as to provide new pedestrian crossings at street grade.
Two pedestrian bridges span Geary Boulevard at the Webster Street and Steiner Street intersections. The grade-separated walkways allow pedestrians to cross over Geary Boulevard. These overcrossings are several decades old and are perceived as an inconvenient way of crossing due to the long and indirect ramps, change in elevation required, and some users’ sense of insecurity. Additionally, the pedestrian overcrossings are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) due to their average inclines exceeding the ADA standard of a five percent maximum grade (i.e. a slope increasing in elevation by five feet for every 100 feet in length), which makes wheelchair crossings difficult.
Like I said, this is just 20% of the vitriol our SFCTA spewed upon these two bridges in just one document. I get the feeling these SFCTA people would say just about anything to get nine figures from the Feds. I mean if the Feds would give the SFCTA $100,000,000 to recommend keeping everything on Geary EXACTLY THE SAME FOR THE NEXT TEN YEARS, then I’ll bet the we would have gotten a document what extols the virtues of these bridges.
Anyway, the Webster bridge is staying, that’s the news.
At first I thought the right side showed a stolen metal shopping cart being pushed by a street person, but then I thought it might be a stroller, but then I ENHANCED the image to see it’s a privately-owned folding shopping cart being pushed by I don’t know who.
Of course this isn’t a typical amount of peds you’d expect to find using the crosswalks at this intersection, but perhaps our SFMTA is, once again, being “aspirational.”
And this rendering is a lot better than some we’ve seen in the past, like this urbanist’s fever dream of our already-failed Octavia “Boulevard,” which turned out to be somehow too wide and not wide enough at the same time IRL:
Here’s the latest on this issue, from the SFCTA, below.
If our SFCTA wanted to handle this issue with the least possible effort, then I give it an A+, or a passing grade if we’re grading pass/fail. Another approach would have been to notice another meeting and yada yada.
This project has been on the radar for a long, long time, but I never really paid attention to it until the pedestrian bridges issue came up. If the SFCTA were a person and we took what it said seriously, I’d tell you that our SFCTA is in deep denial on this bridges issue.
(And how much would a BART spur under Geary end up costing, like a billion dollars a mile, like our already-failed Central Subway? Is something like this unreachable pie in the sky? IDK.)
Anyway, here it is:
“To the Participants at the Geary Bus Rapid Transit Project’s November 5, 2015, public comment meeting:
Thank you very much for the time you spent coming to the meeting to learn about the project and for submitting comments on the Draft Environmental Document. Your input is important and appreciated.
Unfortunately, we wish to provide notice that during the meeting, at approximately 7:10 p.m., sign-in sheets with your personal contact information and a few completed comment cards were stolen, at least some of which were later returned by mail anonymously. We sincerely apologize for this incident and have contacted the police about it.
We take your privacy seriously. When we share publicly the comments submitted to us by community members, our policy is to remove any personal contact information. We do not share any personal contact information with third parties, nor do we condone the use of stolen contact information by others. Please let us know if you receive any suspicious communications from anyone who would not normally have access to your phone number or email address. It may help with the investigation of this incident.
Third, in response to these extenuating circumstances, we are extending the public comment period until November 30, 2015, and we encourage you to contact us if you submitted a comment card at the public meeting before 7:10 p.m. and are concerned about whether we received it.
Feel free to contact us to verify your comment’s receipt, or simply submit another comment, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here you go, click here and then Control-F for the phrase pedestrian bridge – 26 mentions you will find.
Can you see anything positive at all mentioned about the bridges of J-Town? Perhaps our SFCTA doesn’t think there are any? Or perhaps it thinks it’s writing an advocacy document and so it feels free to lie? IDK.
There were about a dozen people on the bridge when this photo was taken – they’re hard to spot:
And if these bridges aren’t up to standards, well, then why hasn’t anybody sued us over accessibility? Perhaps they are up to standards?
And oh yes, DEAR SFCTA – YOUR QUICK AND DIRTY GEARY BRT PROJECT AIN’T TOO QUICK, NOW, IS IT?