N-Judah to be Replaced by Buses for April Road Work

By Jonathan Farrell

In an effort to fully accommodate the final phase of the Inner Sunset Streetscape Improvement Project, shuttle buses will substitute for the N-Judah line between Ocean Beach and Carl and Cole streets starting on April 13 and continuing for approximately two weeks. San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (Muni) officials said that the bus substitution is required in order to complete paving work on Irving Street between Arguello Boulevard and Ninth Avenue.

DSC01645SF Public Works said paving will occur on the streets and the Muni trackways between Arguello and Ninth Avenue and on Ninth Avenue between Irving and Judah streets. Work hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. Work will be suspended on April 20 to accommodate Easter Sunday.

Sunset residents traveling downtown are encouraged to allow extra travel time for their trips or consider taking alternate Muni routes, such as the NX-Judah Express, 6-Haight/Parnassus, 7-Haight/Noriega and 7X-Noriega Express. Riders in the Inner Sunset area can also take the 43-Masonic or 44-O’Shaughnessy routes to Forest Hill station and transfer to Muni Metro lines for downtown travel. L-Taraval service is also available to connect downtown and the Sunset.

Bus service will begin on  April 13 at 4:30 a.m. and will continue during regular service hours until construction is completed. Bus shuttles will follow the regular N-Judah line except for segments along Frederick Street and Lincoln Way.


Bus staging areas in Cole Valley will be on the east side of Cole Street between Carl and Frederick streets and on the north side of Carl Street, fronting Richard Gamble Memorial Park (between Carl and Clayton). Buses will also be staged at the existing N-Judah rail turn-around at Ocean Beach.

Due to the need for additional bus operators during this time, Muni riders may experience moderate service gaps on at least five Muni bus routes, including the 38-Geary.

Muni officials apologized for the inconvenience and urged residents to keep in mind the larger goal in focus. The Inner Sunset Streetscape Improvement Project that began in 2017 is nearly completed. It is only one of 15 “streetscape” improvements in the works throughout the City. 

The Inner Sunset Streetscape Project costs are covered by a 2011 road repaving and repair bond that was estimated at $368 million. The report of the estimates and details were officially mapped out back in 2009. The public was alerted through community meetings, like the one held back in 2015 at the SF County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park at Lincoln Way and Ninth Avenue.  

DSC01693Despite Muni and DPW’s optimistic view of the endeavor, merchants and shop owners along the Irving corridor have complained about construction disrupting the flow of customers, a lack of available parking, etc. 

After more than two years of collaboration between city agencies and community partners, the project entails improving areas around Muni stations in the Inner Sunset and Cole Valley. The planned result is improved N-Judah service, a more beautiful neighborhood and safer streets that are more livable, vibrant and sustainable, according to Muni.

After the street paving, the project will reach a major milestone with only minor landscaping and sidewalk improvements left that will continue until the completion date expected in August.

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