San Francisco’s Transit Planning Process Threatens Market Street’s Revival

Randy Shawbyline‚ Feb. 11‚ 2013

When Kieran Farr recently resigned from the Geary Street BRT Advisory Committee, he stated, “what I’ve seen in the past 6 years has been a severe disappointment during which I have lost trust in America’s regulatory framework to enact effective transit improvements.” Farr acted after planners announced that Bus Rapid Transit on Geary--- a decade old idea set to be implemented in 2012---has been pushed back to 2020. But as Farr also noted, delay in implementing transit projects is less a national problem than a San Francisco one. The Geary BRT experience shows how the city’s seemingly endless transit and community planning processes discourage rather than foster public participation. Now the challenge is for the city to avoid similar diversions and delays in transit plans for Central Market, especially as “new ideas” have emerged that threaten the community consensus for the area.