SFMTA Board Unanimously Approves Controversial Frida Kahlo Way Quick-Build Project

St. Francis of the Guns overlooks Frida Kahlo Way and the Upper Resevior parking lot on May 16, 2024. Photo by Seamus Geoghegan/The Guardsman

By Jeremy Zhu

The Quick-Build project along Frida Kahlo Way at City College’s Ocean Campus is set to begin construction this summer.

An article by The San Francisco Standard said the board of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) voted to approve the Frida Kahlo Quick-Build Project unanimously. The project intends to add protection to the existing bike lane by widening it, as well as shifting bus stops towards Judson Avenue. It will also result in the loss of 29 parking spots.

City College is also planning to remove 1,800 or roughly 60% of its own parking spots to make way for 1,100 units of housing, and a Performing Arts Center to be built in the Balboa Reservoir Lot.

The college has listed requests for proposals to construct parking structures to mitigate the losses.

Cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers all mingle on Frida Kahlo Way on May 16, 2024. SFMTA plans to widen bikelanes as well as remove 29 parking spaces from the avenue that splits City College’s Ocean campus this summer. Photo by Seamus Geoghegan/The Guardsman

The controversy is one of many conflicts of interest between city officials wanting to modify streets for cyclists and pedestrians, and local advocates that believe the well-being of neighborhood businesses and organizations is preserved with parking.

SFMTA Board of Supervisors Stephanie Cajina said she was hesitant on her vote due to concerns raised by City College students, but said the project could be reversed. 

“If we do have a firm commitment to say this is a quick build in its true form, and we are committed to adjusting its design within a year’s time if need be, then that’s something I feel more comfortable with,” Cajina said.

SFMTA staff are set to review the impacts of the project one year after construction has finished.

Opponents of the project such as City College’s Higher Education Action Team (HEAT) cited SFMTA’s other recent controversial projects as a reason to delay the plans. City College’s Mission campus on Valencia Street has its own bike lane project, with business owners on the street working to move the bike lane from the center of the road.

2 thoughts on “SFMTA Board Unanimously Approves Controversial Frida Kahlo Way Quick-Build Project

  • Jon Winston

    I see no request for proposals for a parking structure on the CCSF bid opportunities page. If there actually is one, where would the garage go and how many spots would it accommodate?

    Indoor parking costs upwards of $40,000 per spot. ($20 million for a 500 spot garage) Is a garage that would violate CCSF’s Green New Deal really how we want to spend our limited funds at a time when our facilities are in a state of severe decay?

  • Frida Kahlo is a “ safe and orderly transit corridor” -no one who regular takes transit or bicycles to campus would say this. As a CCSF instructor I’m dismayed to see opponents to this project rolling out these tired pro car tropes. Frida Kahlo is too wide and as the campus spreads across the street to the west these improvements are more important than ever. Rather than engaging w SFMTA and accepting that improvements are needed this adversarial approach and disaster talk is unfortunate and counter productive. Some of the opponents clearly harbor biases against bicycles. I don’t think this approach will change anything and these aggrieved parties may have lost a chance to influence the ultimate shape of the project.
    Anthony Ryan
    Visual Arts Part Time Instructor


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