Merchants Want More From K Ingleside Transportation Project

Small business owners want the $34 million transportation improvement project to deliver as many fixes as possible.

Merchants Want More From K Ingleside Transportation Project
Passenger get ready to board a K Ingleside train at the Jules-Dorado Terrace boarding island. | File/Ingleside Light

Merchants in Ingleside are making improvement requests and highlighting overlooked areas in the latest proposal of the K Ingleside Rapid Project by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

The $34 million project aims to enhance the reliability and capacity of the K Ingleside light rail line between Junipero Serra Boulevard and Balboa Park BART station. Among the key features are the proposed expansion of four streetcar boarding islands to accommodate two-car trains and traffic safety improvements.

However, merchants have identified areas outside the current proposal that they believe warrant attention and improvements.

"It's an excellent effort so far and it gives the SFMTA the opportunity to fix a lot of mistakes that they've made and help make the community feel its public transit is classy, safe and good," Ocean Ale House co-owner and Ingleside Merchants Association member Miles Escobedo said.

Merchants expressed interest in the transportation agency making upgrades to other transit stop locations such as the Jules-Dorado Terrace and Lee Avenue boarding islands, which are not part of the current project proposal.

They have questioned whether the boarding islands complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act, noting that they seem narrow in design, especially when compared to the new stops on Taraval Street recently built for the L Taraval light rail line.

Public artwork and landscaping around boarding islands and the street were also raised by the merchants group. They want to see if artwork could be a part of the new transit boarding islands.

Additionally, they have requested the installation of new digital NextBus signage for improved passenger information.

Related to traffic safety measures, merchants have pointed to successful features implemented in neighboring Inner Sunset and Outer Sunset neighborhoods, such as the landscaped transit and pedestrian bulb-outs. The northern 1300 block of Ocean Avenue has been suggested by merchants as an ideal location for these safety enhancements because the restaurateurs there welcome the upgrades for the community building factor.

Escobedo, the small business owner, said he wants the neighborhood to have the same quality of amenities the other neighborhoods do.

"It seems like Ocean Avenue has always had to live with less than the northern neighborhoods," Escobedo said. "It seems we get forgotten by city agencies when they're spending our tax dollars."

Merchants have urged the transportation agency to examine sidewalk widening possibilities for the northern 1900 block of Ocean Avenue as well.

Earlier in this summer, the SFMTA engaged the community in seeking feedback on its design proposals through surveys, in-person events, and a self-guided open house at the Ingleside Library.

According to the project timeline, the SFMTA intends to present the final proposal to its Board of Directors sometime this fall.

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