In advance of the upcoming 10-day transit shutdown that will affect several key San Francisco light-rail and bus routes, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is encouraging transit riders to get around by bicycle or on foot.
Beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, May 25 and ending at about 5 a.m. on Monday, June 4, affected routes — including the N-Judah and J-Church — will be shut down or rerouted to make way for street and San Francisco Municipal Railway improvements.
The shutdown will allow for major work on the Church and Duboce Track and Street Improvement Project and the Carl Street Rail Replacement Project and will provide new track for smoother and more reliable Muni service, according to the SFMTA.
The shutdown will also affect the 22-Fillmore, 37-Corbett, 43-Masonic and N Owl routes.
Buses will run in place of trains on the N-Judah line between Ocean Beach and Van Ness Avenue, although Nx express bus service will be unaffected.
The J-Church line will operate only between Balboa Park and Market and Church streets.
The SFMTA, in addition to providing temporary buses during the closure, has coordinated with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to encourage transportation alternatives.
“Bicycling is a great way to get around and is a superb alternative as we do this critically important work,” SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin said in a statement issued this morning. “We’re asking everyone who can bike, walk or even work from home to ensure space on the Muni shuttle for those who cannot.”
The bicycle coalition is encouraging people to try biking by joining one of several “bike trains” — SFBC-led bicycle convoys — that will collect riders along alternative routes loosely following the N-Judah and J-Church lines on the working days during the closure, May 29 through June 1.
SFBC Executive Director Leah Shahum said the organization hopes the bike trains will encourage more people to commute by bicycle.
“More and more people are discovering how easy, fun and efficient it is to get around San Francisco by bicycle, and the Muni shutdown is a perfect time to start bicycle commuting,” Shahum said.
The bike trains will leave at 8 a.m. from Java Beach, for the N-Judah route, and from the Glen Park BART station, for the J-Church route. More information on the bicycle convoys and on bicycle route options during the closure can be found at www.sfbike.org/transit.
The SFMTA is also advising that people moving through the affected areas allow extra travel time and plan ahead.
In addition to street and bike lane closures and detours, parking restrictions will also be in effect during the construction work.
Additional information on the service impacts can be found at www.sfmta.com/longshutdown.
(Copyright 2012 Bay City News . All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)