Bikeway Proposal Still Drawing Concerns From City College

San Francisco transportation officials tried to assuage City College's concerns over their proposal to remove parking for a bikeway on Frida Kahlo Way.

Stakeholders concerned by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's proposal for Frida Kahlo Way carried handmade signs laying out their concerns in December 2023. | Anne Marie Kristoff/Ingleside Light

Despite an attempt by transit officials to convince the City College of San Francisco community to support a pilot bikeway project on Frida Kahlo Way that would eliminate street parking, the college’s governing board’s concerns lingered.

Jeffrey Tumlin, head of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, and the Frida Kahlo Way Quick Build Project project team presented the proposal at the college’s Board of Trustees March 28 meeting. 

The proposal aims to improve the north-south bike connectivity in the area by installing a protected bikeway on the east side of Frida Kahlo Way continuing on Judson Avenue, west of Foerester Avenue. Additionally, the plans include removing the 43 Masonic transit stop near the main steps of City College and building boarding islands for the remaining Frida Kahlo Way transit stops.

Trustees voted in February to oppose the project unless changes were made that addressed concerns from students and faculty. The college’s Associated Students Council had also opposed the project unless changes were made.

“Unless we can see some further modifications and perhaps more discussion, I’m not inclined to change my vote on the resolution that we passed,” Trustee Anita Martinez said at the meeting.

Martinez added that many City College employees do not live in the city and must drive to the campus from cities such as San Jose and Tracy and as far as Sacramento. She also raised concerns about students living in their vehicles along Frida Kahlo Way.

Tumlin said the neighborhood is rapidly changing as over 1,000 new homes are being built across from the campus and new City College is constructing new buildings.

“In order to accommodate the growth in this part of the city, we have no choice but to make sure that the most geometrically efficient modes of transportation work,” Tumlin said.

District 7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar sent a letter to the Board of Trustees stating that she disagreed with the board’s decision to oppose the project and mentioned that the board had recently passed a climate action plan.

“The Frida Kahlo Way Quick-Build Project would bring City College more in line with these stated goals by providing safer infrastructure for sustainable transit, including biking, transit-only lanes and improved BART connectivity,” Melgar wrote.

Residents in the Sunnyside neighborhood have also sent a letter to trustees supporting the project.

Student Trustee Heather Brandt said she would like to see the transportation agency provide other ways the agency can make it more affordable and easier for City College students to use transit, including free transit for students. Brandt also suggested that the agency and community continue working on where there are disagreements in the proposals.

The presentation showed a potential timeline for the project, which could go before the agency’s Board of Directors for consideration for approval on May 7 with the implementation of the project sometime in the summer if approved. From the fall of 2024 to the summer of 2025, the transportation agency would evaluate the project and make adjustments as needed.

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