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Mayor Ed Lee>
Board of Supervisors
Supervisor London Breed (District 5)
Supervisor Mark Farrell (District 2)
Supervisor Eric Mar (District 1)
Ed Reiskin, MTA Director of Transportation
MTA Board
Maria Lombardo, Interim Executive Director, SFCTA
Tilly Chang, Deputy Director of Planning, SFCTA
Metropolitan Transportation Commission


Dear Mayor Lee, Supervisors, Mr. Reiskin, MTA Board members:

I am writing to express my strong opposition to the Masonic Avenue cycle track project. Safety will be reduced, not increased. There will be only two travel lanes in each direction, and only a single lane will be moving whenever Muni buses make stops. Cars will try to pass stopped buses, increasing the danger of collisions. Pedestrians will have to cross the cycle track in order to reach the bus stops, and even in order to cross the street. Emergency response will be slowed by the median strip and the reduction in lanes. The tree-lined median will reduce sightlines for autos, bicycles and pedestrians. The current design increases potential conflicts between motorists and cyclists, especially near the Target. Congestion on Masonic will be increased, especially during rush hour. Traffic will increase on the side streets, causing congestion and conflicts. 32,000 motor vehicles used Masonic daily in 2010, per MTA. They will not vanish into thin air.

Most collisions on Masonic are at the intersections. Safety can be increased by better traffic signal timing. The bicycle signal installed at Masonic/Fell has reduced collisions. The traffic signal planned at Ewing and the pedestrian countdown signal at Turk - both expected to be installed in 2014 and long overdue - are likely to increase safety. So would resurfacing the pavement on Masonic, improved lighting and constructing safe curb ramps.

Seniors, residents, families with small children, blue-collar workers, service providers, visitors, churchgoers, disabled people, employees, students and businesses will suffer hardship due to the loss of all parking spaces on Masonic for two-thirds of a mile. Besides that parking loss, parking has been removed on Fulton and on Central, and a white zone was installed near Wallenberg High School. Moreover, MTA had planned to install parking meters in some residential streets in the neighborhood, only backed off because of neighborhood opposition, and could try to do so in the future. MTA has not provided any evidence that removing all parking on Masonic will increase safety. MTA has no plan to mitigate the hardship caused by the parking loss.

Rather than encouraging cyclists to use one of the busiest streets in San Francisco, they should be encouraged to use the route along nearby Baker Street, a safer route already used by many cyclists that has far fewer motor vehicles, no buses and essentially equivalent terrain. Improvements should be made along this route.

Please listen to the growing outcry against this dangerous, ill-conceived plan, and go back to the drawing board.