Today’s Headlines

  • Chronicle Editorial Board Comes Out Swinging For High Speed Rail
  • SFMTA Board Vote Kills Fix for Broken Meter Scam (SF Examiner)
  • Matier and Ross Note HSR Connectivity Money for Central Subway Won’t Connect Projects
  • SF Weekly Complains About BART Ad it Doesn’t Understand
  • Complaining About Protected Bike Lanes, Willie Brown Endorses Bike-Only Streets (SF Gate)
  • Cal Park Hill Bike Tunnel to Open Friday (SF Gate)
  • Santa Rosa Bicycle Bridge over Highway 101 Stokes Controversy (Press Dem)
  • Petaluma Neighbors Resist Construction of Bike Boulevard and Traffic Circles (Press Dem)
  • Toronto Mayor Taunts Cyclists as Pinkos in Address (Treehugger)
  • Artist Constructs Mini Cities Out of Computer Parts (Agora Gallery via Treehugger)
  • Well-Educated Flock to Cities in First Decade of 2000 (NRDC Switchboard)
  • Nick

    Re: Giving Motorists an Incentive to Vandalize Parking Meters

    A related scandal of a story: Motorists are also painting over red zones with gray paint in order to increase the supply of street parking. I can think of 10 places off the top of my head. Often bike and ped safety suffers as those red zones were intended as “sightlines.”

  • M&R note that the Central Subway won’t connect at the new Transbay Terminal. The fail to mention that it will of course still connect at the current 4th St Staytion, and so do you.

  • @Jeremy – the CS does not connect to HSR. There might be some interest in Chinatown for taking HSR, but let me tell you – there is next to zero Caltrain ridership in Chinatown. Where there is Caltrain ridership is the Castro, and this change will punk us, by removing lines that go from the Castro to Caltrain and replacing them with a quarter mile walk to transfer to the CS. At that point, I’ll just walk down 4th Street to Caltrain.

    Of course, this doesn’t take into account the low probability that there will ever be HSR trains terminating at the Transbay Terminal in my son’s lifetime.

  • The Board of Supervisors passed the Central Subway Relocation Impact Study and Last Resort Housing Plan.
    Excerpt from executive summary:

    “Specifically, this Study concerns itself with the resources available to relocate 19 households and 10 businesses to replacement sites in the area, and permanently replace 18 dwelling units that will be demolished at 933-949 Stockton Street.”

    How many people know what is going to happen to Chinatown while the CS is built? How many people know what the developers’ plans are for Chinatown once it is built?

  • Re: Willie’s article

    Apparently this one-time-mayor doesn’t understand the difference between sharrows and bike lanes. He says, “Cabs and buses now share the same lane on Market as the trolley tracks… But it’s a nightmare when the trolley stops and the cabs have to come off the tracks and into the bike lane.” This sounds like the sections where there isn’t a bike lane, but just the transit lane and sharrowed travel lane.

    Then he describes Sutter having a “bike lane in the middle of the damn street!”

    Also, his assessment of SF’s bike lanes being “a disaster waiting to happen” is a little strange. I mean, they’re not perfect, and no one’s really going to use that Sutter sharrowed lane on a bike, but how long will the disaster wait for before it happens?

    …No wonder this guy tried to shut down Critical Mass.

  • Sean H

    @John, I lived in Chinatown for 5 years and I was always late to Caltrain via 30/45. Besides biking or a cab, It took me more than 30 minutes from Pacific Ave. I’m curious about Bayshore station as that could generate spillover ridership from Vis Valley via the 9 bus (ok 8 now), which currently is packed and gets stuck in traffic. However, its still a 1 seat ride. Considering that Arnold spent STA funds for transit to balance the general budget for years, spending HSR money on the CS isn’t to much of a shell game.

  • Sean, you are the exception, not the rule – by far. And once people take the Chinatown/Bayshore T-ride, they’ll go running back to the (reduced service) 8x.

    I’m in North Beach and take Caltrain, I did the 30/45 for two years before I said screw it and started biking. That line is a joke because there are 4 Chinatown stops and not to mention Stockton is a parking lot of private vehicles. The SFMTA wants Stockton street to fail, that is the only explanation for how poorly that corridor is run. I got turned onto the CS when I realized that this project will not reach most of Chinatown or North Beach, lead to a reduction in street level service, and be 8-9 stories underground.

    Not to mention the disruption the construction will cause to Stockton St (yes it is a tunnel, but utility relocation and station work will need to be cut and cover). All the SFMTA needs to do, is take that corridor seriously and institute a transit only policy on Stockton with it being two ways from Chinatown to at least Market, but I’d argue all the way to 4th and Townsend.

  • Caltrain delays – someone hit at San Mateo 15 min ago. Looking to be a cold/wet/long commute home. Just a heads up to check Twitter since Caltrain doesn’t have real time data and can’t make decent announcements at the stations.

  • Sean H

    Mike, I still think even after the CS is done that Stockton will remain ~6mph. The delivery trucks and senior shuttles slow traffic even more than MUNI. That being said, after 7pm Stockton is a ghost town, so the CS will be less cost effective. I can imagine the CS cutting service after 9pm or so in the future as a cost containment measure.

    Much like the HSR to nowhere, the SFMTA is selling one segment at a time- it would be silly to stop at Jackson St. If the project as a whole was sold, guys like us would call it a $2 billion hole in the ground. ‘Tis a shame because the Stockton tunnel was originally built for streetcar service to begin with. The best short term solution is to convert Kearny to two way and run supplemental limited service for north beach/marina folks.

  • The current Caltrain station at 4th and King will continue to be a HSR station, and the CS does connect to it.

  • Sean, oh, you agree that the CS is a waste. I must of misread your original comment. My mistake.

    And yes, after the CS, Stockton will still be a complete mess (just minus a couple buses because that is how they will “save money” with the CS, reduce street level service). However, if they made Stockton Transit/Ped only (with limited delivery hours, you’d have a functioning street instead of a parking lot. Or maybe, as you hint at, since Chinatown is dead after 7pm, only have it closed to private autos from 7am – 7pm. But it is in SFMTA’s best interest to keep Stockton messed up with the false promise that the CS will solve all the world’s problems, that is until it doesn’t and they begin pushing for phase 3 to the Wharf.

    Josh, 4th/King can’t stay as a HSR stop, that would be a waste. I can see it continuing to be a stop for Caltrain, but HSR would lose 5+ min and people would be so close to the final destination. HSR is already a mess, I guess what is another 5 min.

  • @Josh – statements like that can’t be made with any veracity. What percentage chance do you give HSR reaching the SF city limits in the first place? If it does, where will it terminate? Will we keep 4th/King? It seems the only reason is that the Transbay won’t have the capacity the city needs as a whole. It’s not worth having a station there just because of the ballpark and Mission Bay if it delays the greater percentage that prefer a station at Transbay Terminal.

    Scanlon (Caltrain CEO) is making major threats to drastically cut the number of trains running – going as far to say Caltrain will be Commute hours only – no weekends, first train at 6 AM, none after 9 AM, then a 3-7 PM window. They shouldn’t be cutting trains – they should be cutting stations. After they finish the grade separation in San Bruno they are going to move the station – they should be just shutting it down. Actually I kind of like San Bruno but they could easily kill Atherton, Broadway, South San Francisco, Hayward Park, Lawrence, and Belmont. Some constituencies lose close service, but the rest get better service, ridership increases, the trains stay. It would produce a lot of savings if we ever decided to build the HSR down the peninsula not to have to support those deprecated stations.

  • Richard

    Correction: The Toronto mayor didn’t call cyclists Pinkos, his guest Don Cherry did. Still outrageous and reflects poorly on the mayor, but he didn’t say it himself.