M Ocean View Light Rail Line Upgrade Project Approval Delayed

The transportation agency will likely seek approval of the project aimed at speeding up transit travel times next year.

A streetcar is stopped in front of a boarding island.
The M Ocean View light rail vehicle stops on San Jose Avenue at Lakeview Street. File Photo/Ingleside Light

A project aiming to improve safety and transit travel speeds along the M Ocean View streetcar route is advancing through the planning process, but not as originally planned.

The M Ocean View Transit and Safety Project's will be on the agenda at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors meeting on Nov. 21. However, no vote will be taken.

The transportation agency had sent an email on Nov. 7 detailing the project’s status and that the board will consider the proposal at the Nov. 21 board meeting but notified the public on Wednesday that the item will only be informational and the board will now likely make a decision about the project in January 2024.

The email said that the extra time will allow for more time for the public to comment on the project and for staff to review and respond to comments.

The project proposes to extend boarding islands or adding transit bulbs for passengers to safely get on and off the M, install a transit lane and add pedestrian bulb-outs. Additionally, the proposal recommends adding stop signs at uncontrolled intersections and converting intersections with stop signs to traffic lights.

In drawings released this month, transit bulbs, which extend the parts of the sidewalk to at least have the first train doors meet passengers, are proposed at Randolph and Arch streets, Randolph and Bright streets and Broad Street and Capitol Avenue.

Extensions of existing transit islands are proposed at San Jose Avenue and Farallones Street and San Jose Avenue and Lakeview Street.

Transportation agency staff are proposing transit boarding islands accessible for wheelchair users at San Jose and Geneva avenues (inbound) and at San Jose and Niagara avenues (outbound). Additionally, there is a proposal to add a new accessible transit boarding island stop at 19th Avenue and Sargent Street.

The proposal to install transit bulbs and upgrade transit boarding islands was estimated to require the removal of over 70 parking spaces, which drew concerns from residents and the community. The current number is less, according to officials.

Transit boarding islands are not the only improvements planned for the M-Line. Staff propose installing a transit-only lane on San Jose Avenue between Niagara Avenue and Broad Street that would reduce general traffic to one lane. The transportation agency said it would help reduce the speeding of vehicles and improve reliability on the M.

The public can view the latest proposed drawings on the SFMTA’s website, which will also be shared at the board meeting.

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