Big changes have arrived at one of the busiest corridors in San Francisco.
Lane configuration began Friday night and will set the stage for the Van Ness Improvement Project, which is slated to run through 2019. Changes begin at the left turns on Broadway and Van Ness Avenue, officials said.
Once the $316 million project has been completed, buses will be able to roll down the center of the street. The hope is that traffic and safety will improve, but in the interim, drivers can expect delays.
“The Van Ness Improvement Project goes with the Bus Rapid Transit, which puts the buses in the middle of the roadway,” said Paul Rose with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority.
But for the next three years, people are concerned about the additional construction in an area where there is already too much construction.
“We make do, but it’s really rough doing deliveries,” said Dusty Hamlin.
When Hamlin saw the flashing sign about the improvement project on Friday, he was forced to take a deep breath.
“I was like, ‘Man, another construction zone!'” he said.
In the coming week, the median will be removed, lanes will be reduced and some left turns will be restricted, with the goal of making Van Ness Avenue safer.
“A lot of the collisions that do take place in San Francisco are due to left turns between car and pedestrians,” Rose said.
San Francisco resident Sam Anderson isn't too fond of that specific traffic change.
"It's just going to be a real inconvenience (Sunday) morning when I need to drive and make a left," he said.
For the next three years, the SFMTA is urging drivers to use alternate routes.
Matt Miller, who was hit by a car 13 years ago, said he supports the imminent changes.
“If something in this city can be invested in for pedestrians, people with disabilities who rely on these services, then it is worth a little inconvenience,” he said.