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All Meters Now SFpark-Ready — More Demand-Based Parking Pricing to Come

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Image: KPIX

The SFMTA recently upgraded all of SF’s 29,000 parking meters to “smart meters” that are enabled for demand-based price changes throughout the day, a la SFpark. Now, the SFMTA plans to expand its smart pricing program that has curbed car traffic to more existing meters.

“SFpark showed that demand-based pricing can improve parking availability without increasing double parking, congestion, or parking citations,” said SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose. “Our next challenge is to figure out the right mix of pricing and real-time information to make SFpark work in every neighborhood in the city. We’ll be working with stakeholders to find a win-win that creates less frustration, smarter travel choices, and fewer citations for every neighborhood.”

Under SFpark, the SFMTA has used “demand-responsive” pricing at about a quarter of the city’s meters since 2011. During a two-year pilot phase, the federally-funded program proved that by adjusting prices to demand, enough parking spaces could be made available to eliminate the need to circle for a spot.

Once the SFpark pilot phase ended, the in-ground sensors used to measure parking occupancy were shut down. But the SFMTA can still measure occupancy using the smart meters, albeit with slightly less accuracy, since they transmit payment data.

By all measures, SFpark successfully proved Professor Donald Shoup’s theory. At the meters included in the program, cruising for a spot was cut was cut by 30 percent, and meter-related parking tickets cut by 23 percent, according to the SFMTA’s report. Average on-street meter rates dropped by 4 percent, and double parking dropped 22 percent (compared to 5 percent in control areas).

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Hit-and-Run Driver Arrested After Injuring Cyclist at Cesar Chavez & Valencia

John C. Fox tweeted this photo and: “To the shithead in the Silver SUV who hit and ran a cyclist at Cesar Chavez & Valencia: you’ll be found.”

The SFPD arrested a driver who hit a man on a bike and fled at Cesar Chavez and Valencia Streets yesterday at around 6:44 p.m. The victim is reportedly in stable condition and suffered a shoulder injury.

SFPD spokesperson Carlos Manfredi said the female driver fled, reported the crash about an hour later Mission Station, and was subsequently arrested and charged with felony hit-and-run.

The crash occurred while Streetsblog’s happy hour was happening at a bar around the corner. Some attendees who arrived after the crash reported seeing the crash scene, where a mangled bike, with its fork and front wheel broken off, was in the street.

Via Streetsblog California
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CA Legislative Update: Raise the Gas Tax? Cap and Trade, HOT Lanes

bikeatCapitollabel2Bills have started moving through committees in both houses of the California legislature as the hearing season starts.

For those of you just joining us, we try to provide a regular roundup of legislation of interest to livable streets advocates. Highlights from the current session are included the bills below. Let us know if we missed anything in the comments.

Mandatory Helmet Law Dropped: As we wrote about last week, Senator Carol Liu rewrote her S.B. 192 to ask for a study of helmet use and helmet laws, instead of requiring all bike riders to wear helmets and high-visibility clothing. The new bill is currently set for a hearing in the Transportation and Housing Committee in two weeks.

Proposal to Raise the Gas Tax: Brave Senator Jim Beall finally broached the Subject That Will Not Be Named: raising the gas tax to pay for road maintenance. His SB 16, amended this week, also proposes raising vehicle registration fees and imposing a $100 vehicle registration fee on electric vehicles, the drivers of which pay no gas taxes. The bill is set for a hearing in two weeks in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.

Read more…

Streetsblog USA
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Boxer and Inhofe Say Transportation Bill Almost Ready, Funding Still TBD

Two leading Washington lawmakers assured reporters Wednesday that a long-term transportation bill is coming, but provided little in the way of details.

Senators James Inhofe (R-OK) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chair and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, respectively, held a press conference Wednesday featuring a line-up of construction and labor leaders demanding “action on transportation.” The event is shown in the above video in its entirety.

Inhofe told reporters a draft six-year bill is almost ready. Just six weeks remain before the current extension of MAP-21 expires, and the Highway Trust Fund is set to run out of money in July — potentially threatening the construction season.

A critical hurdle for lawmakers is settling on a funding source to replace the declining gas tax, which hasn’t been raised since 1993. Just yesterday a bipartisan group from the House asked Congress to raise it.

But little was said about funding at the press conference. Boxer said while she is supportive, there isn’t much appetite for an increase in taxes on gasoline or crude oil. “I will do almost anything to fill that trust fund,” she said.

Boxer said she would be “dropping a bill” with Rand Paul to generate revenues by “repatriating” overseas profits on U.S. corporations hiding out overseas to avoid taxes.

“I’m hopeful that this type of reform can bring us together and unite us,” she said. The Hill reports lawmakers are divided on whether to make that 5 percent tax on corporate profits overseas voluntary or mandatory. Paul and Boxer say the repatriation tax bill could bring $2 trillion in revenue.

Streetsblog.net
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The Beginning of the End for Dallas’s Trinity Toll Road?

Dallas City Council is endorsing and alternative to the Trinity Toll Road, without formally withdrawing support for the larger highway plan. Image: Trinity Parkway Design Charette

The “dream team” alternative to the Trinity Toll Road in Dallas would build a smaller four-lane road, but it leaves the door open for wide highway later on. Image: Trinity Parkway Design Charette [PDF]

It seems like the Trinity Toll Road — a proposal to build a wide, high-speed road right next to the Trinity River in Dallas — is losing momentum. But the politics of road-building in Texas are tricky, and the highway isn’t dead yet.

Earlier this week, a “dream team” of advisers selected by Mayor Mike Rawlings, who supports the project, came out and said they didn’t think the $1.5 billion highway was necessary, and that it would ultimately undermine efforts to establish a nice park by the river. However, their proposal for a smaller, four-lane road would leave open the option of building a wider highway later on.

In the City Council, legislators are still looking to build the full highway, but now they won’t come out and say it directly. At least, that seems to be the takeaway from the latest intrigue, according to Dallas Morning News’ Transportation Blog reporter Brandon Formby:

In a last-minute amendment, the City Council voted unanimously not to affirm its support of the larger version of Trinity Parkway that’s planned to be built. But it didn’t technically say it doesn’t support it. In a way, it reaffirmed its support for the current large plan in a subsequent 10-4 vote to look at how to incorporate the dream team’s recommendations into the existing, already FHWA-approved plan for the larger road.

Read more…

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Today’s Headlines

  • Driver Injures Jogger at Panhandle Crossing at Oak and Masonic (SF Appeal, Hoodline)
  • More on Leah Shahum’s Launch of the National Vision Zero Network (SF Examiner)
  • Angela Alioto Pushes for Street Plaza at North Beach Church: “It Would Be Sinful to Drive On” (Hoodline)
  • Former SFMTA Engineer: Leap Buses Forbid Wheelchairs; Leap: “We’re Not a Transport Carrier” (Chron)
  • Mom: Letting My Daughter Ride Muni Alone at 11 “Launched Her Into a New Way of Thinking” (SFGate)
  • Caltrain Launches Online Form to Report Bike Bumps (Palo Alto Online)
  • BART Delayed By Track Death at Civic Center (SFGate); Caltrain Hits Woman in Santa Clara (SFGate)
  • Woman Killed in Solo Car Crash on Highway 280 Off-Ramp at John Daly Boulevard (KTVU)
  • Atherton Approves Button-Activated Ped Signal at Deadly El Camino Real Crosswalk (Almanac)
  • Driver Sues San Mateo County, Stanford, and Ranch After Hitting Loose Horse on Hwy 280 (Almanac)
  • Berkeley Driver Seriously Injures Woman After Possibly Mixing Up Pedals (Berkeleyside)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

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Chinatown Program to Turn Kids Into Safe Streets “Investigators”

Jean Parker Elementary School students at the Chinatown CDC’s Safe Walks to School workshop in 2011. The school will now have a similar regular after-school program. Photo: Deland Chan

A new after-school program will teach kids in Chinatown not just how to survive on car-centric streets — but also how to redesign them.

Students in grades 3 to 5 will learn to act as “city street investigators” in a program launched by the Chinatown YMCA, the Chinatown Community Development Center, the SF Safe Routes to School Partnership, and Walk SF. It will be held in conjunction with a more conventional program teaching students, including grades K-2, how to avoid getting run over by drivers.

“This approach is unique because we’re not stopping at education, we’re thinking of additional ways to empower kids and families with the knowledge they need to assess their transportation system and determine needed improvements to truly achieve Vision Zero and end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2024,” said Walk SF Executive Director Nicole Ferrara in a statement.

Six schools are participating in the program, including Jean Parker Elementary School, which is on Broadway Street, identified by the city as a “high-injury corridor.” A plan to redesign Broadway with pedestrian improvements was completed in 2012, though a construction timeline hasn’t been announced yet. None of the four traffic lanes would be removed, but the plan includes sidewalk bulb-outs and raised crosswalks at some alleys.

Read more…

Streetsblog USA
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Even When a Driver Intentionally Causes Mayhem, Media Call It an “Accident”

A witness described seeing the driver of this Prius back up intentional over the other car, but CBS LA improperly persisted in referring to this as an "accident." Image: CBS LA

A witness described seeing the driver of this Prius intentionally back up over the other car, but CBS LA persisted in referring to it as an “accident.” Image: CBS LA

The New York Police Department stopped using the term “accident” to refer to car collisions because it conveys the “connotation that there is no fault or liability.” In the press, however, “accident” remains standard practice, even when a driver rams another person on purpose.

The Safe Roads Alliance, an organization that promotes safe driving, tracked down five examples just from the last few weeks where media outlets referred to intentional collisions as “accidents” (the reports also tend to say the crashes were perpetrated by vehicles, not the human beings who drive them). Here are the pieces they sent along, with the headline that ran with each story.

Seattle Times: “Road Rage Incident Leaves 1 Dead on I-5″

According to the Seattle Times, the driver of a Chevy SUV pulled in front of the driver of Dodge Neon on I-5, apparently enraged at his slow speed. The SUV driver proceeded to “brake check,” causing the collision. A 23-year-old passenger in the Neon was killed, and three others were injured. Both drivers are being charged with vehicular homicide, and yet the Seattle Times goes on to say: “The State Patrol is seeking information regarding the accident.”

Read more…

Via Streetsblog California
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Caltrans Wants to Triple Biking, Double Walking and Transit By 2020

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Caltrans’ new Strategic Management Plan sets a goal to triple bike trips and double walking trips in the next five years. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog

Caltrans has a new goal of tripling California’s share of bicycling trips, and doubling that of walking and transit by 2020.

Caltrans’ new Strategic Management Plan [PDF] includes performance targets for advancing its new stated priorities, at the top of which are increasing active transportation and reaching Vision Zero — an end to traffic deaths. The message demonstrates a departure from the agency’s historical focus on moving motor vehicles.

Caltrans’ new “sustainability, livability, and economy” goals also include reducing vehicle miles traveled (15 percent by 2020) and reaching state-mandated targets to reduce the share of greenhouse gases from transportation.

The Strategic Management Plan is an in-house document, meant to guide decisions made by planners and engineers in the course of planning and completing projects statewide. It stems from the new Caltrans mission, to provide “a safe, sustainable, integrated, and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability.” The new mission statement was a response to criticism of the department’s old way of doing things.

“This is a pretty major shift for the department,” said Steven Cliff, newly appointed Assistant Director of Sustainability, and leader of one of the teams working on the plan. “We’ve been working hard to develop new metrics which speak to what we’ve been doing the last couple of years, with our new mission, vision, and goals.”

“It’s meant to be our plan for how we manage our work going forward.”

Read more…

Streetsblog USA
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Talking Headways Podcast: We Built This City on Transit and Roads

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Karoliina Korppoo, the lead designer for the new city building game Cities: Skylines, joins me on the pod this week to talk about the game and what makes it so fun to play. Among my questions for her: Why aren’t there any tramways or bike lanes in the game? And do the game designers realize what type of impact these city building games have on future city planners?

We also talk about new features coming in updates to the game as well as all of the changes people can make with the modification tools available. Karoliina also tells us what affects property values, what makes the individual sims smile en masse, and the importance of traffic.

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Stitcher if you’d like to subscribe, and please give us a review if you get a chance.