San Francisco has some decent public transit, but huge chunks of the city are conspicuously under-served. Right now, for example, The Examiner tells us that only 25 percent of jobs are within walking distance of a subway stop. City officials hope to change that, and as an initial step started a process called "Subway Vision" to determine where residents would most like to see new subway lines. As the map above shows, those asked answered with a resounding "pretty much everywhere" — with Geary Boulevard, 19th Avenue, and Van Ness standing out as clear priorities.
The map, along with other data gathered from online and in-person interviews with over 2,600 residents, was presented yesterday to the Board of Supervisors's Land Use and Transportation Committee. The maps were generated following the passage of Supervisor Scott Wiener’s Subway Master Plan legislation, which tasks the city with continuously working on new subway development.
“In the 1970s, we opened BART and the Market Street Subway,” the Ex quotes Wiener as telling the committee. “Rather than follow those two visionary achievements with continued subway construction, however, we simply patted ourselves on the back and stopped.”
As the idea was to get a feel for what citizens want right now, the above map is considered preliminary. A final version will be completed by the end of the year and presented to the committee sometime thereafter.
The "heat map" is reminiscent of a map from last summer that projected out the "best case" scenario for public transit in the Bay Area by 2050. That map, the Chronicle told us at the time, was "highly optimistic and ignores the bureaucratic red tape and funding issues that will almost certainly block or delay many of these projects."
However, by giving residents a glimpse at what could potentially be the future of San Francisco public transit, it has perhaps inspired them to dream big. And as the map above shows — making it clear that many San Franciscans are united in a dream of better public transit — a little vision can be a powerful thing.