Apparently “transit first” doesn’t actually include better transit infrastructure, at least when Hayes Valley is concerned. The SFMTA just approved changes to Hayes Street, (pdf) making it a two way street between Gough and Van Ness – but despite the heavy commute hour traffic, did not include any changes to the 21-Hayes routing nor any bus lanes. (SF Gate, SF Streetsblog.)
One minor change was included, to add a left turn arrow at Hayes and Gough – but this does nothing to get the buses out of the heavy traffic that occurs every evening from Market all the way to Gough, and that will only get worse with the removal of a traffic lane.
Rescue Muni has long supported a two way Hayes – but with a two way bus operation (requiring new overhead wires) to eliminate the wasteful inbound detour from Laguna to Polk, and also with an outbound rush hour bus lane. It’s disappointing that this option was not considered here. (To be fair, it was also excluded from the final Transit Effectiveness Project report, which doesn’t recommend any changes to the “local” 21 line.)
Riders wishing to avoid delays in the evening commute should take the 5-Fulton or 71-Haight/Noriega Limited and walk to Hayes.