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SFMTA Breaks Ground for Van Ness Project; City's First BRT, Upgrading Historic Infrastructure

The city of San Francisco recently broke ground on the Van Ness Improvement Project, a major civic-improvement project that will revitalize and rehabilitate one of the city’s main corridors and feature the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s first BRT line.

SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin said the project is “essential to reshaping how San Franciscans get around the city efficiently. Van Ness will benefit from better transit, strengthened infrastructure and safer streets for all.”

Mayor Edwin L. Lee called the effort “a significant step forward in making transit faster and more reliable on Van Ness Avenue,” adding, “When this project is completed, everyone can enjoy a safer, better Van Ness Avenue.”

BRT features on Van Ness will include dedicated center-running lanes, boarding stations and safety enhancements for pedestrians, including sidewalk extensions, protected median refuges, high-­visibility crosswalks and audible countdown signals. SFMTA expects these improvements to reduce transit travel times by up to one-third and increase reliability and service for the several routes that will be incorporated into BRT.

The three-year project will overhaul two miles of the street. In addition to the transportation upgrades, the project includes replacing 1800s-era water and sewer lines, installing new streetlights and sidewalk lighting, planting landscaping and rain gardens and repaving the street.

SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin addressed crowds at ground-breaking ceremonies for the Van Ness BRT project.
Photo courtesy of SFMTA Photo Dept.

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