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Today’s Headlines

  • The Struggle to Balance City College, Homeless Services and Transit (SFExaminer)
  • World’s Most Expensive Bus Terminal (AOL)
  • More Millennial Tower/Transbay Lawsuits Coming (Socketsite)
  • High Rents/Housing Crisis Drives Unsafe Building Conditions (EastBayTimes)
  • Newly Renovated Bayview Park (Hoodline)
  • Plans for West Oakland Grocery (Socketsite)
  • San Francisco Hit and Runs Injure Pedestrians (SFGate, Hoodline)
  • Palo Alto Wants More In-Law Units (CBSLocal)
  • One-Way Car Share in Berkeley (EastBayTimes)
  • Burlingame Discusses Growth Options, Including Millbrae BART Area Development (DailyJournal)
  • Girl Killed in Pittsburg While Crossing Street (SFGate)

Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA
Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA


Safety Advocates Dominate Golden Gate Open House

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SFMTA's Miriam Sorell gets feedback from Adam Long and Johnny Huynh. Photo: Streetsblog

SFMTA’s Miriam Sorell gets feedback from Adam Long and Johnny Huynh. Photo: Streetsblog

Saturday morning, the San Francisco Department of Recreation and Parks (RPD) held an open house to get feedback about potential pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements for Golden Gate Park. It was held in the County Fair Building Auditorium in the park and was attended by some 40-50 people.

From the department website:

Tell us about how you get around Golden Gate Park and about specific locations where you have felt unsafe or see opportunities for improvement. We will share background about previous Park safety efforts and ongoing challenges, and we will ask you to provide feedback on the City’s priorities for this project. Your input will help RPD and SFMTA develop recommendations to make Golden Gate Park safe for all travelers through the Park; these recommendations will be presented at subsequent public events.

Read more…

Via Streetsblog California
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In L.A., NIMBYs Come Out Against Parking Reforms for Granny Flats

Map of permitted accessory dwelling units in the city of Los Angeles. Image via Department of City Planning [PDF]

Map of permitted accessory dwelling units in the city of Los Angeles. Image via Department of City Planning [PDF]

Streetsblog received a tip that someone is circulating wording to help L.A. Neighborhood Councils oppose reforms that would make it easier to permit new granny flats. The document, below, would be almost humorous if it was not such a NIMBY attack on affordable housing and bicycling.

Fostering granny flats, or in planner-speak “accessory dwelling units” (ADUs) is one way to encourage affordable housing and gradually increasing density while preserving neighborhood character. ADUs help foster inter-generational connections by allowing a grandparent to live close to family or by helping young adults afford to live in neighborhoods they grew up in.

Fortunately, the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council anti-ADU resolution [PDF] was defeated at last night’s meeting. The anti-ADU language was allegedly circulated by someone from the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition, so there will likely be other similar resolutions before other councils. Readers are encouraged to keep an eye on Neighborhood Council agendas and weigh in on them.

Here is the wording of the HHPNC resolution:

Re: Parking space requirements to be enforced for both new construction and remodeling (CF12-1297-S1, ADU proposal CPC-2016-4345-CA et al)

The Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, which represents over 60,000 Los Angeles stakeholders who reside, own property, or conduct business in our neighborhood is concerned about the escalation waivers granted developers and others that reduces the number of parking spots that are required for residential units.

Under the proposed Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance currently under discussion (CPC-2016-4345-CA), parking requirements are not applicable when located within half a mile of public transportation or within a block of a car share parking spot or located in a historic district or HPOZ.

Read more…

Streetsblog USA
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From Pennsylvania, a Preview of How Trump & Co. Might Bully Cities

How much will cities be threatened by the impending Trump presidency? An early front in this confrontation concerns immigration.

The money that supports revitalization programs in cities like Philadelphia is being held up for punitive cuts by a Pennsylvania lawmaker. Here Philadelphia's North Fifth Street Revitalization Project leaders participate in a community cleanup day. Photo: Plan Philly

Withholding Community Development Block Grants from from sanctuary cities would devastate organizations like Philadelphia’s North Fifth Street Revitalization Project. Photo: Plan Philly

Trump has threatened to revoke federal funds from hundreds of “sanctuary cities” that do not report undocumented immigrants to federal officials.

Jake Blumgart at Plan Philly reports that Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey has already embraced the spirit of Trump’s proposal, calling for the feds to withhold Philadelphia’s Community Development Block Grants because of its sanctuary city policies:

The CDBG program is a flexible financial assistance program for economically distressed jurisdictions. In Philadelphia, it supports a diverse array of more than 20 programs, from financial counseling to help families access Earned Income Tax Credits to security deposit assistance for homeless families..

A quarter of the funding supports economic development initiatives like those that [Philip] Green’s North 5th Street organization utilizes. For commercial corridor support organizations in neighborhoods like Olney, and for community development corporations more broadly, CDBG are an essential source of support.

Read more…

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Keep Streetsblog SF Going Strong – And Help Us Grow in 2017

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Click on the image to go to our donation page. Click here to get more information on our December 15 Happy Hour.

2017 is likely to be a year of unprecedented challenges for the broader movement to create safe and healthy communities through smart urban planning and progressive transportation design. Even before the bizarre proposed appointment of Dr. Ben Carson to head the federal Department of Housing and Urban Design, the change in administrations in Washington, D.C. promises to complicate an already challenging movement in San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area.

To help Streetsblog stay strong and continue to be your voice for safe streets; we need your help. 20 percent of Streetsblog San Francisco’s annual budget comes from individual donations, and nearly half of that comes in December. If you want Streetsblog SF to be a powerful organization fighting for your community, consider making a donation today.

In the coming year, Streetsblog San Francisco will continue to provide important local coverage of the movement to make protected bike lanes the default road treatment in San Francisco instead of a “special treatment.” We will continue to promote the good work and leadership of our elected officials, government departments, and transit agencies. We will continue to call them out and prod them when they need it.

Just as importantly, Streetsblog SF will partner with our sister websites across California and the country to push back against federal policy changes that will damage our cities and promote changes to continue to make California a world leader in livability and environmental stewardship.

And we need the support of our readers to make it all work. Streetsblog is powerful because elected officials know that our readers care deeply about the issues we cover. And the whole site functions, on the most basic level, because readers fund what we do.

Our year-end pledge drive starts today, so if you value the impact of Streetsblog and Streetfilms, I hope you’ll contribute. 2017 promises to be a year of unprecedented change, struggle and opportunity. Help us be as strong as possible to make it a great one.

If you’re not keen on making a donation online, don’t worry! You can join us at our End of the Year Happy Hour on December 15 at the Hideout, upstairs of Dalva, 3121 16th Street, San Francisco, California 94103. For more information or to RSVP, visit the event Facebook Page.


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This Week: Clean Energy, Bicycle Advisory Committee, Woonerven Party

sblog_calendar1Here are this week’s highlights from the Streetsblog calendar:

  • Monday tonight! The Future of Clean Energy in Cities. Come hear about the energy problems in our cities and how new technology is working to address them. Mon., tonight! Dec. 5, 6 p.m. SPUR Urban Center, 654 Mission Street, SF. Free for SPUR members. $10 for non-members.
  • Monday tonight! San Francisco Bicycle Advisory Committee. The Committee meets to consider bicycle transportation projects and policies to make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, the Municipal Transportation Agency, the County Transportation Authority, the San Francisco Police Department, and other City and County of San Francisco agencies. Mon., tonight! Dec. 5, 6:30-7:30 p.m. City Hall room 408, 1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place, SF.
  • Wednesday Woonerven/Walk SF Fundraiser-Party. Walk SF’s rockin’ year-end members party and fundraiser. Be part of the fun and help support the only pedestrian advocacy organization in San Francisco. Wed., Dec. 7, 6-8 p.m. SPUR, 654 Mission Street. SF. Basic, Student/Senior Members: $10 advance tickets or $20 at the doorNon-members: $15 advance tickets or $25 at the door.
  • Thursday Walk Oakland Bike Oakland Holiday Open House. Check out the group’s new office space in Downtown Oakland. The open house will feature updates on Urban Paths events, ‘Ride Like a Girl,’ other event plans, and fundraising, plus beer, wine and snacks. Thurs., Dec. 8, 6 p.m. Citizen Engagement Laboratory, 1330 Broadway 3rd Floor, Oakland.
  • Thursday Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project Open House. This project will focus on updating and upgrading the Folsom-Howard couplet. It will prioritize traffic safety, community livability and enhancing the neighborhood’s existing character. The initiative will also improve transit access and examine traffic circulation modifications. Thurs., Dec. 8, 6 p.m., SoMa Recreation Center, 270 6th Street, SF.
  • Saturday Second Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project Open House.  A second chance to weigh in on the Folsom-Howard project. Sat., Dec. 10, 12 p.m. SoMa Recreation Center, 270 6th Street, SF.
  • Saturday Richmond District Strategy. The SF Planning Department meeting will develop plans for/focus on biking and walking in the Richmond and how plans can be drawn up to better accommodate walking and cycling. Saturday, Dec. 10 from 1:30-3 p.m., Richmond Branch Library, 351 9th Avenue, SF.

Got an event we should know about? Drop us a line.


Today’s Headlines

  • Proposed Bike Lanes on Oak and Fell Along Panhandle (SFExaminer)
  • Golden Gate Open House (SFExaminer)
  • Tenderloin Playground Revamp (Hoodline)
  • Muni Lost $50k in Ransomware Attack (SFBay)
  • BART Removes Guerrilla Posters (SFGate)
  • SFO BART Connection Losing Competition against Uber and Lyft (SFExaminer)
  • Running San Francisco’s Ferry’s (SFChron)
  • Motorist Backs into Pedestrian and Takes Off (Sfist)
  • State Granny Unit Law in Full Effect Jan. 1 (SFChron)
  • Commentary: Has Sierra Club Become a NIMBY Tool? (SFExaminer)

Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA
Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA


Guest Editorial: TDM is a Roadmap for Sustainable Transportation

Transportation Demand Management can help balance modes in a more equitable and sustainable way Photo: Streetsblog

Transportation Demand Management can help balance modes in a more sustainable way. Photo: Streetsblog

Monday at 1:30, the Land Use and Transportation Committee of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will consider a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) ordinance that will require projects larger than 10 dwelling units or 10,000 square feet to adopt stronger measures to reduce auto trips.

The new TDM proposal represents a step forward. However, it will have greater impact on the livability of San Francisco if it includes four key changes: Read more…

Streetsblog USA
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Study: Diagonal Intersections Are Especially Dangerous for Cyclists

This week, Cambridge, Massachusetts, unveiled plans for a “peanutabout” that will make a tricky intersection with irregular angles safe for cycling. This type of design intervention could be crucial for locations that new research suggests are especially dangerous.

This new deigned for a diagnoal intersections in Cambridge includes protected bike lanes and a ? on a round-about that locals call a "peanutabout." Image via Boston Cyclists Union

At this irregular intersection in Cambridge, the city plans to improve safety with what the locals call a “peanutabout.” Image via Boston Cyclists Union

In a study published in the journal Injury Prevention [PDF], a team led by Dr. Morteza Asgarzadeh of Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health found that non-right-angle intersections are especially prone to crashes that cause severe or fatal injuries to bicyclists.

Asgarzadeh and his team mapped 3,300 injury crash locations in New York city involving a motorist and a cyclist. Then they analyzed the relationship between a number of factors and injury severity, including street width, weather conditions, gender and age of the cyclist, and posted speed limit.

In most cases, researchers did not identify a significant link. But the researchers did find that a few conditions are correlated with more severe injuries.

Crashes that occurred at diagonal intersections were 37 percent more likely to result in severe injury or death than crashes at right-angle intersections. In addition, while 60 percent of bike-car crashes happen at intersection, cyclists hit by a cars on straightaways — not at intersections — were 31 percent more likely to be killed or severely injured. The researchers hypothesize that crashes on straightways may be more deadly because drivers are traveling at a higher speed.

Read more…

Via Streetsblog California
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One New California Bicycle Friendly University: S.F. State

Nolen Brown, fixing bike at right, sets up an outreach table for Power to the Pedal on the S.F. State campus. Photo by Nick Kordesch.

Nolen Brown, fixing bike at right, sets up an outreach table for Power to the Pedal on the S.F. State campus. Photo by Nick Kordesch.

Among the 51 new and renewing League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Universities nationwide, there is only one in California: San Francisco State University, which was just awarded Bronze Level status.

This is the first time S.F. State got the award, and Nolen Brown, who worked on the application, said, “We would have been very disappointed if we’d gotten anything better than bronze.”

That’s because the bikeability of S.F. State kind of sucks, despite the campus being located in a city with a strong bike culture.

“S.F. State is kind of an island to commute to,” said Brown. “You have to swim across some treacherous channels” from whichever direction you arrive. Almost all the surrounding streets are wide, multi-lane roads with heavy, fast traffic. Plenty of it is generated by the campus, which is largely a commuter school. But there are also students living on campus, and they need to cross those same wide streets to get to, for example, the market.

Brown, who works part time as the Bicycle Outreach Student Assistant, took on the Bicycle Friendly University application as a summer project under the guidance of Nick Kordesch, a staff member in the Office of Sustainability in the campus Planning and Design department.

“We thought it would be a good way to inventory the school’s bicycle resources,” said Brown. Going through the application process not only helped identify and articulate what bike facilities the campus already has, but also showed them “where we need to go next, and where we need to improve.”

Kordesch said the process provided them with “a really handy checklist.” Read more…