Today’s Headlines

  • SFMTA Releases Survey Results Favoring Blvd. Option for Masonic Avenue (BIKE NOPA)
  • San Mateo County Officials to Send Letter to SFCTA Opposing Congestion Pricing (Daily Journal)
  • City Insider: “Muni Builds Case for Subway Need”
  • Fifty Muni Operators on Leave Because They Don’t Have Drivers Licenses (SF Examiner)
  • Union City Ready to Unveil “First Phase of the City’s Intermodal Station” (Oak Tribune)
  • In Editorial, Visalia Times-Delta says High-Speed Rail “is Worth the Chance”
  • Emeryville Group Opposing Macy’s Development Demands Impact Fees (Bay Citizen)
  • Woman Seriously Injured After Being Hit by Driver in San Rafael Crosswalk (Marin IJ)
  • Almost One-Quarter of Ca. Drivers Killed in Crashes Last Year Had Drugs in Their System (Calwatch)
  • Press Democrat: “Santa Rosa Bike Bridge in Peril After Emotional Vote”
  • Kenneth Deffeyes’ New Book, “When Oil Peaked,” Reviewed by LA Times

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • I think San Mateo County officials would be better served by spending their time finding funding for SamTrams and Caltrain.

  • the Santa Rosa bike bridge is an interesting story — we’re spending all this money on building new and bigger bridges for bikes and walkers and whatever else, instead of just fixing what we already have. they say that the 101 is ‘impenetrable’ — well, ditto all down here from SF to SJ — that needs to be fixed, not with a network of multi-million-dollar bridges, but by fixing existing road infrastructure. if cars and bikes can’t be accommodated on the same roads, then the cars have to go — simple.

  • Peter – 101 doesn’t bisect the Peninsula the way 101 bisects Santa Rosa. Not to say that better crossings of 101 aren’t needed down here – I have written extensively on that topic on my blog. Not to denigrate EPA, Redwood Shores, and the various business parks, but 101 goes right through the center of SR, meaning there is a lot more need for a crossing there.

    They’re building a new bike bridge in Belmont. It’s probably cheaper than fixing Ralston.

  • They’re building a new bike bridge in Belmont. It’s probably cheaper than fixing Ralston.

    it’d be interesting to see which is the less expensive option, which would be better for bikers/walkers on the whole, etc., but i’d like to see the conversation shift from “let’s see how we can raise money for a new mutli-use path/bridge” to “let’s take some road space back from cars or have 101 drivers fund any new crossing paths” to “we can’t afford to tolerate the 101 anymore, it’s just too destructive”.

    so, we start with the argument that bikes _have_ to be accommodated, and then go from there. if you can’t build a new bridge, then we’re coming after your roads, and that needs to happen, too, anyways, but really, we can’t afford to have these big, grade-separated freeway that make biking drastically-more difficult.

  • Well Peter – I can say this. The new bridge in Belmont will take people to the jobs in the office parks around the big blue coffee cans (Oracle), currently accessible by Ralston and Holly, which both suck very badly. There are actually fake sharrows on both, and I take the lane, and am confident that doing so will greatly increase my safety, but it’s still annoying. There are plenty of people who just won’t consider riding their bike to work over there because of the crossings.

    The new bridge will be an eye opener – there will now be a very safe easy way to get to those office parks. The office parks themselves are very serene to ride in because they have 4 lane roads with no-doorzone bike lanes and little traffic. What engineer decided Twin Dolphin needed to be 4 lanes? So now some people will try it out. And with each person who gets hooked, we have one more vote.

    “Fixing” Ralston – whatever that means, won’t get us the same mindshare. It will make the current cyclists more happy, but won’t have the same bang for the buck in getting converts.

    YMMV

  • The new bridge will be an eye opener – there will now be a very safe easy way to get to those office parks.

    i’m with this specialized/exclusive/non-motorized trail/path/bridge stuff to a certain extent – especially if it proves to be ‘an eye opener’, but i’d want it in addition to fixing existing streets/roads/highways/bridges/tunnels, not instead of. when the bridge is completed and open, there will be less pressure to fix all the existing 101 overpasses and underpasses.

    and by ‘fixing’, i mean fixing, as in actually fixing the road, not making some simple cosmetic change that will do little-to-nothing for walkers and bikers. I want to make every street/road/way so that it can safely, conveniently, and comfortably accommodate walk and bike traffic — and all that entails, whether it’s widened sidewalks and cycletracks protected by a big concrete buffer and trees, traffic calming like speed tables, cutting down/off various highway on/off ramps, etc. (and eventually knocking down all the bridges and creating an at-grade, signalized series of intersections all along the 101 — yes, i want to effectively kill the freeway by first knocking it down to highway status. if there’s another way to allow walkers and bikers to easily cross the 101, i’m all for it, but i don’t see any other way, unless you want to sink the 101 below grade or raise it above grade — both of which would be very expensive. in making it a highway, we could more easily accommodate bikes on the 101, also. then we can create sidewalks on it, build some housing on it, or maybe just reclaim it for farmland.

    i have a bunch of issues with bike paths/bridges/etc., but it’s mostly one of priority — i think they’re fine, but i want to see the existing/on-street infrastructure fixed first. for instance, i don’t generally like to ride on paths by myself at all, but even less so at night because they’re often not lit. i suspect many women would feel the same way, and a big part of my motivation for bike infrastructure is economic justice/opportunity, so if a bike trail is not really usable by a large percentage of people at night, then it’s not a good enough solution. there are other factors, like evidence suggesting that bike paths and multi-use paths (MUPs) are more dangerous than on-street bike facilities — i don’t know how important that ‘dangerous’ argument is in the big scheme of things, but i agree wholeheartedly with Elly’s take that we need ‘the real thing’.

    she doesn’t explicitly argue what i have here — that we should prioritize on-street bike infrastructure over/above/ahead-of off-street infrastructure — but she comes pretty close to that.

    and i don’t want to bar non-motorized and/or non-bike users from non-motorized paths, and i don’t want to scare them, intimidate them, injure them, etc. _and_, i want to be able to haul ass on my bike without any/many of those concerns.

    so, in concrete terms, in my ideal world, i’d take all the money being spent on these bike bridges, and instead use that money to fix all the existing streets/roads/bridges/tunnels that cross the 101, taking care to connect them to appropriate bike facilities on either side of the bridge, of course. i might even spend the money in stages to build up the political support for more/bigger changes after five years – after a mode shift has occurred. first sharrows, then bike lanes, then buffered bike lanes, then cycletracks, etc. i’d keep the discussion going that a fix for crossing the 101 in Town ‘X’ was inevitable, and we needed to get there, so let’s talk about what our next step is going to be, etc.

    i like the new ‘Like’ buttons, but i’d really like to see a ‘Preview’ button for comments.

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