Noe Valley Voice July-August 2012

Idea to Drop J-Stop at 30th Street a Non-Starter

Neighbors Find Holes in Muni Plan to Speed Up Line

By Heather World

Upper Noe Neighbors had Muni on the rails over a proposal to remove the northbound 30th Street J-Church stop, an idea floated by transit planners at the association’s June meeting.

The train currently stops four times—at two stop signs and two Muni stops—between 30th and Church and 29th and Church—a distance of two blocks. Taking out one transit stop in that short distance—the one on Church Street near Café XO—is part of a package of proposals designed to speed up the line, said two traffic engineers from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which runs Muni.

While most of the three dozen neighbors who attended the meeting seemed to agree the train was slow, many objected to the idea of losing a Muni stop. They also wondered why planners couldn’t push the train stop back around the corner onto 30th Street, which already has a stop sign and a stop for the 24-Divisadero.

“Nobody liked the idea of removing the stop at 30th,” said Denise Dunné, a 30-year Noe Valley resident who lives on 27th Street. “Everybody thinks it should be at the same stop as the 24.”

If the Church and 30th stop were removed, people heading downtown would then have to board the J at either Dolores or 29th Street.

Planners also have proposed eliminating the J-Church stop at Liberty Street. But stop removal is just one of several measures suggested by the agency’s Transit Effectiveness Project, the first major overhaul of the city’s transportation system in 25 years.

The four-way stop signs at 25th, 26th, Cesar Chavez, and Day streets could be replaced with traffic signals or other traffic-calming measures, the study recommends. To increase pedestrian safety, sidewalk extensions and passenger bulbs might be installed at 22nd, Clipper, and 27th streets. (See J-Church Proposals, Transit Effectiveness Project, at

Other proposals include cracking down on double-parked vehicles and designating transit-only lanes.

The J-Church carries more than 14,000 passengers on an average workday. The time to ride the four-mile stretch between Balboa Park Station and Church and Duboce Avenue could drop by 12 percent if the recommendations are adopted, engineers estimated. That translates to about three minutes.

Planners stressed that the proposals were still in the early stages and were being aired at community meetings to get feedback from local residents.

Said Dunné, “If we want service in our neighborhood, people need to take an hour and voice their opinions.”