A Long Term Vision for Transportation

The Richmond deserves a system we can depend on for decades

By Sandra Lee Fewer

Like many Richmond District residents, Susanna Kwan rides Muni to get around the City. And like lots of Muni riders, she’s frustrated. “A lot of days it takes the bus such a long time to come,” Susanna said at a recent gathering our campaign hosted on transportation. “When it works it’s great, but it’s often unreliable.”

Navigating San Francisco has never been more challenging. More people has meant more traffic, over-crowded buses, and greater hazards for cyclists and pedestrians.

Transportation Master Plan
Any serious transportation discussion has to include the proposed Geary Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has proposed the Geary BRT to improve travel times from the Richmond to downtown for the more than 50,000 riders who rely on that route. The plan calls for a dedicated lane with priority traffic lights for the local and rapid Geary buses. The Board of Supervisors will consider the $300-plus-million project in the fall.

I know that the planning for the Geary BRT has been in process for over 10 years and that hundreds of residents have voiced their concerns and input. There are people with strong feelings on both sides of the discussion. I know I am not alone in continuing to have some serious concerns.

I have yet to hear how the Geary BRT fits into a comprehensive upgrade plan, one that would serve our neighborhood in the future and better connect us to the rest of San Francisco. I am concerned about the impact on small businesses and about how the Geary BRT may impact traffic on Clement and Anza. I am also concerned about displacement of our most vulnerable residents as we invest in upgrades to our transportation system.

If I’m elected to be the next District 1 Supervisor in November, I will fight for a Transportation Master Plan that will address the needs of our residents for the next 50 to 100 years. And I will ensure that the SFMTA does outreach in person and online, so that the needs of a wide range of residents are met. I will advocate for our neighborhood, and fight to ensure any future funding for transportation include the needs of Richmond District residents.

Muni Improvements
As District 1 Supervisor, I would call upon the SFMTA to consider more improvements to neighborhood transit services:
Creating a plan to connect the Richmond to other City neighborhoods. Today, a bus ride from the Richmond to the Mission can take as long as an hour, and even longer to Mission Bay where Kaiser is relocating many of its services; 
More buses during off-commute hours, particularly on highly traveled routes; and 
Better Muni service within the Richmond, especially from residential areas to Geary and Clement Streets. More than 20 percent of the Richmond’s residents are seniors and people with disabilities, many of whom rely on buses to take them to shopping and services.

Overall Needs
It is important that we also recognize the needs of cyclists, pedestrians and drivers. Among the improvements I support are:
Protected bicycle lanes, to protect riders from automobile traffic and a greater number of bike racks in the Richmond; 
Investing in strategies to better accommodate pedestrians on sidewalks and at intersections; and
Exploring partnerships with underutilized private parking lots in the neighborhood to alleviate parking issues.

Richmond District residents deserve a transportation infrastructure that works for us– whether we travel by bus, on a bike, on foot, or by car. Our residents and small businesses deserve a system they can depend on for decades to come.

To learn more about my policy priorities as a candidate for District 1 Supervsior, go to www.sandrafewer.com/issues.