Today’s Headlines

  • FTA Announces $130 Million for BART Extension to San Jose (Mercury News)
  • Obama’s Transpo Budget Includes Money for Central Subway, Van Ness BRT (City Insider)
  • Supes Hold Hearing on Plan to Give Free Muni Passes to Low-Income Youth (City Insider)
  • VTA to Begin Accepting Clipper Cards Tomorrow on Buses and Light-Rail (Merc)
  • Ceres Man Accused of Running Down Jr. High Students Has History of Crashes (Mod Bee)
  • Oakland Non-Profit Teaches Students About Climate Change One School at a Time (SF Gate)
  • The Progressive Media Gets the Transformation of NYC Streets Under JSK (Alternet via Sblog NY)
  • Elly Blue: “Cyclists Shouldn’t ‘Share the Road,’ They Should Have Their Own (Grist)
  • Palo Alto’s California Avenue Streetscape Project Moves Forward (Daily News)
  • Coco Times: “Routes for High-Speed Rail Segment from Stockton to SJ Stir Debate”

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • jd

    I think connecting Bart to San Jose is a good thing, but given the financial crises of the other regional rail system in the area (Caltrain), can’t some of that money go towards helping Caltrain? It seems weird to be funding an extension of one transit system when another is literally on the verge of collapse. It bugs me that our budget process is so inflexible that it can’t adapt to needs like this. I mean, Bart would still get, say $110 million this year and Caltrain $20 million (still short of the $30 million it needs, but at least $20 million will prevent drastic cuts), and that should be enough to keep the Bart project moving forward. $20 million less for the Bart extension doesn’t make or break it, whereas that much basically makes or breaks Caltrain.

  • Morton

    JD,

    The proposed BART extension to San Jose doesn’t duplicate CalTrain because it is only an extension of the existing East Bay arm of BART from Fremont – about 10 miles. What it really duplicates is the Amtrak line from Richmond to San Jose – often they are right alongside each other!

    AFAIK, the peninsula branch of BART will continue to end at Milbrae where it interchanges with CalTrain.

    Having said that, if CalTrain really isn’t viable long-term then perhaps consideration should be given to using it’s ROW for BART, allowing BART trains to run in a continuous 360 loop around the Bay.

  • Morton – why is it that BART would be viable while Caltrain is not? Or are you just trolling yet again?

  • What’s amusing is that it is the BART extension to SFO/Millbrae which has drastically underperformed the rosy projections that has caused SamTrans – and thus Caltrain – to struggle financially. This in no small part from the fact that it is much faster to get to San Francisco from Millbrae on Caltrain – 17 minutes to 4th/King vs 40 minutes to Montgomery on BART. Even with MUNI you can easily get from 4th/King to Market Street in well under 23 minutes.

  • Spot on, Murph. Don’t forget that the BART to SJ extension is slowly strangling VTA as well.

    Then add in the OAC and it is clear the MTC is using BART to slowly kill all transit in Bay Area.

  • Morton

    Murph,

    “why is it that BART would be viable while Caltrain is not?”

    That’s a good question and we can only specculate, but I’d posit these crucial factors:

    1) More appropriate and economic rolling stock.
    2) Extends into, and is therefore funded by, a greater number of Counties.
    3) Actually takes passengers where they want to go rather than a mile east of where they want to go.

    But the real point here is that it shouldn’t be a competitive situation anyway. We should have one integrated Bay Area transit network. And if that means the brand of “CalTrain” is subsumed under a new moniker that can actually be viable, which CalTrain demonstrably cannot, then why would any transit-minded soul object to that?

    Having four or five different rail systems in such a small area makes little sense. Let’s instead deveop an integrated and top down network of rail.

  • Morton,

    Please do not comment on things you know little to nothing about.

    BART is “viable” because it gets sales tax revenue from many states. Caltrain is run by a Joint Powers Board (i.e. reps from SF, SM, and SC counties and transit authorities) and is funded by those same transit organizations. SamTrans is having huge finanicial difficulties because of years of abuse and robbery by BART for the SFO extension. SamTrans has decided to give $10 million less a year to Caltrain and VTA and MTA are following suit, hence $30 million short fall.

    It is not because Caltrain is not a viable system or that BART is more so, actually it pretty much the opposite.

    “Appropriate and economic rolling stock”
    What are you even talking about? BART runs on an outdated and rarely used wide-gaged rail system.

    “Extends into, and is therefore funded by, a greater number of Counties.”
    See above

    “Actually takes passengers where they want to go rather than a mile east of where they want to go.”
    Miles east? What are we talking about now? Caltrain goes through the heart of the Peninsula and serves many diverse downtown districts as well as Stanford and downtown SJ & SF.

    Wow, dude. Just wow. I shouldn’t even of wasted my time typing this all out.

  • BART receives sales tax revenue from many COUNTIES, not states.

  • jd

    Morton wrote: “The proposed BART extension to San Jose doesn’t duplicate CalTrain because it is only an extension of the existing East Bay arm of BART from Fremont – about 10 miles. What it really duplicates is the Amtrak line from Richmond to San Jose – often they are right alongside each other!”

    Maybe I wasn’t clear. I understand they don’t duplicate each other on this section. That’s not my point. My point is, looking at the rail system in the SF Bay Area as a whole, what should be our priorities since their all plucking money from the same pool (federal, state, and local transit funds)? Does extending one system (Bart) make sense while another (Caltrain) is collapsing? I’m arguing it does not.

    Well, in fact, I’m not even arguing that: I’m arguing that it makes sense to take a fraction of the money away from a capitol project and put it towards keeping another from collapsing, especially when the other is just as effective, efficient, and useful but simply does not have a dedicated funding source due to poor planning by our leaders long ago.

    Morton also wrote: “We should have one integrated Bay Area transit network. And if that means the brand of “CalTrain” is subsumed under a new moniker that can actually be viable, which CalTrain demonstrably cannot, then why would any transit-minded soul object to that?”

    Here’s the problem I have with this argument regarding our current problems. First, long-term, absolutely it is ideal to simplify the transit agencies and we would have Caltrain and Bart running as one system. But here’s the thing: the only rail system that gets you down the Peninsula (past SFO) right *now* is Caltrain, and that’s not changing for a very long time. So you can’t just let Caltrain go under because we have this ideal dream of having one united transit system. Sure, we should work towards merging transit agencies, but that is a very long term goal, and in the meantime we can’t let systems collapse. It needs to be a gradual process, and in fact I would argue the Clipper card is the first step.

    But again, looking at the big picture of rail in the Bay Area, we have to keep what we have now alive and flourishing and then slowly start integrating them. The only way to get people out of their cars and to fund huge public transit projects is gradually, not all at once with enormous systems that will take a very long time to finish. The people never vote for these things when they are so utterly massive and cost so much upfront (look at the trouble HSR is having).

  • Morton

    Mikesonn

    It’s not me that’s saying that CalTrain isn’t viable. It’s the balance sheet. It has a narrower source of funding because – duh – it serves a narrower range of communitities.

    And given that the peninsula is already served by two high-volume freeways, that isn’t likely to change.

    And the “mile east” reference was a reference to the fact that CalTrain inexplicably dumps passengers about one mile east of where they actually want to go, i.e. the Market Street corridor which, staggeringly, BART serves impeccably.

    JD,

    Much better points, and I do agree that we need to get beyond these rail systems competing with each other. BART could employ the CalTrain ROW from Milbrae to at least Mountain View, where the VTA starts.

    I don’t think integrating these disparate rail services is a “long-term goal” – I think it’s a short-term priority. We can’t get there from here unless we are all on the same team, rather than in seperate fiefdom’s.

    We need singular rail routes down the length of the two sides of the peninsula. What we don’t need is six different rail authorities bickering and quibbling over funds, which is what we have now. And even before HSR, if that ever happens.

    Almost every other major municipality has figured this out. And if the Bay Area was a single County, as it should be, we’d already be there.

  • Mick,

    I wash my hands of thee.

  • Alex

    Morton: As-is BART promotes plenty of bickering on its own by using a county/zone based instead of distance based fare system. $2.95 from Daly City to 16th Street, but only $1.75 from Embarcadero to Balboa Park? Yeah… BART does a lot of things right, but acting as a unifying force is not one of them.

  • Morton

    Alex

    I can’t comment on how BART does it’s ticket pricing but it’s not BART’s job to be a unifying force in Bay Area transit policy. It’s their job to run an efficient service. And from the figures I’ve seen, they have the best rate of self-funding in the Bay Area.

    So when considering how to allocate whatever new funding there is – whether capital or operating – the usual advice is to invest in successes and disinvest in failures.

    So if one were to seek to determine which of the different Bay Area rail systems had the most upside potential, it seems clear that it’s BART. That’s why there are plans to extend it to OAK, Livermore, NE beyond Pittsburg, south from Fremont and even within SF.

    Has anyone EVER considered extending CalTrain? They’d be laughed out of the room.

  • That’s such a false comparison it’s ridiculous. BART’s current main trunk is competing against gridlocked traffic over a bridge that costs $6 to cross and only goes to places with super expensive parking. Their fares are much higher than Caltrain because… they can charge that much and still get the customers. They aren’t efficient in any way shape or form, they just have a very useful monopoly.

    Put that same bunch of turkeys on the peninsula and they would bleed money so fast your head would spin. Oh yeah – that’s already happening – the SFO extension which is woefully underutilized, to the point that BART had to resort to selling out their parking garages to airport travelers because they couldn’t fill them with commuters.

    You think a Livermore line is going to return 50% fare recovery? Dream on.

    Salinas and Monterey have been asking for Caltrain extensions forever.

    I’m beginning to think you just do these as pop quizzes.

  • Morton

    JohnM

    CalTrain also goes to a place with super expensive parking, since it goes to the same place that BART does – downtown SF. And a much more convenient part of SF too. Not to mention one, and in a few years, three, airports. The SFO BART trains that I’ve taken have been busy and popular.

    I’m not convinced about the Livermore extension either, since it partly duplicates the under-utilized Altamont commuter rail link. But you cannot credibly deny that it is BART that gets the capital dollars, because it is BART that is easily the fastest, most self-funding and comprehensive rail network in the Bay Area.

    And at some point, it becomes self-fulfilling because the bigger the network, the more synergies there are. So even a Livermore link might pay it’s way as it’s relatively cheap to build out there, and provides connections to so many towns and counties already on BART.

    If I were put in charge, I’d extend BART north-south between Walnut Creek and Pleasanton, run spurs out to North Beach and Ocean Beach in the city. And most ambitiously, extend it into Marin if they wanted it.

    While sure, Monterey and Salinas might ask for lots of things, but nobody is seriously thinking of giving CalTrain to them anyway. You don’t back a horse with a limp. Amtrak serves Salinas already, as does Greyhound. And Monterey has an airport plus some obvious maritime links – hydrofoil anyone? While they may get some crumbs from HSR.

    C’mon John, use some imagination here.

  • 25% of Caltrain’s ridership goes to San Francisco in the AM. The other 75% go to places with abundant, free parking.

    I’ll let you look up the BART destination stats.

  • You clearly do not know history or care to brush up on any facts. Please stop insulting us.

    -“extend it into Marin if they wanted it”

    Wow. What do you even say this??

    -“Almost every other major municipality has figured this out. And if the Bay Area was a single County, as it should be, we’d already be there.”

    MTC! MTC! MTC! MTC loves it some BART.

    -“since it goes to the same place that BART does – downtown SF”

    This stated after his comment:

    ““mile east” reference was a reference to the fact that CalTrain inexplicably dumps passengers about one mile east of where they actually want to go, i.e. the Market Street corridor which, staggeringly, BART serves impeccably.”

    Not to mention Caltain drops off people SOUTH of downtown with several Muni links, does this guy even live in SF? Not to mention that the ballpark is a block away and “downtown” is actually shifting towards 4th/King

    -“It has a narrower source of funding because – duh – it serves a narrower range of communitities.”

    Have you ever been to the Peninsula? Do you understand the funding structures of BART vs Caltrain? You do not. Please do not comment on them.

    This is beyond ridiculous now. I don’t know from what rock this guy crawled out from under, but this can’t go on.

  • Morton

    Mike

    The way you’re commenting, you’d think I was suggesting building a new freeway through GG Park. Instead, I was advocating extensions to an existing transit system. You do like transit, right?

    FYI, when BART was originally conceived, there was a proposal to extend it into Marin, but Marin County didn’t want to contribute funds, so that idea was dropped. Doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea.

    CalTrain has been routinely criticized for not bringing people into the heart of downtown, but rather a mile east of there, as I said. There was even a plan to extend it into TransBay for exactly that reason, but that idea was nixed. And part of the rationale for the CSU is to give CalTrain better connectivity to downtown – it’s still ponderous to travel that last mile.

    I understand perfectly the funding differences between CalTrain and BART. Otherwise I would not have known or commented that BART was more viable financially.

    As local transit systems go, BART is a success. We would not be planning multiple simultaneous extensions to it if that were not true – there are up to five under active consideration right now. Which leads me to ask you this question:

    Why do you love a failing rail line and hate a successful rail line? That has me really baffled.

    JM,

    Yes, 75% of BART journies don’t start or end in SF. It’s a Bay Area transit system (aside from Marin) and, frankly, the only transit system of which that can be said. Same question I had for Mike – why don’t you like it? I’m really curious.

  • Morton,

    I don’t believe you are a real person.

    You simply ignored everything I said. Yes BART to Marin is a bad idea now because they did reject it when it was conceived. There is no way to get it over there. Why even waste time discussing it?

    CS does not connect Caltrain to downtown, the current 10/30/45/N/T do a much much much better job then the CS will ever do.

    BART is funded by a sales tax and Caltrain is funded by MTA, VTA, and SamTrans giving money to a JPB. It has ZERO to do with how economical either system is. If you actually read what John and I have written you’d know that BART to SFO is strangling SamTrans and now SamTrans can’t give it’s full allotment to Caltrain so in fact BART’s poorly conceived extension (which it is doing many more of) is what is killing Caltrain. That isn’t opinion, that is fact.

    Read. Learn. Come back when you actually have something informed to say.

  • Rick

    Mike

    Central Subway will have an overground station at 4th and Brannon (i.e. CalTrain) and then stops at Moscone Center, Union Square, Chinatown and Washington Square. If that’s not “connecting CalTrain to downtown” then I have no idea what you think would be.

    BART and streetcars are the future. Every major world city have a fast suburban commuter rail system, and a slower urban streetcar system. They should be funded centrally and appropriately.

    Then we have some local, legacy rail systems like ACE, CalTrain and Capital corridor. They should be funded by their Counties and Communities, as their voters desire.

  • There is no station at Washington Square, the map is very misleading, they are just pulling the boring machines there. All the mess with no station.

    The job core isn’t at Stockton/4th/Market, which is what Morton was referring to. Also, the CS will make the T skip all the Market street stops so those who depend on the T to access Embarcadero, Montgomery, and EVEN Powell will be SOL.

  • Also, the current T platform at 4th/King will still be the de-facto Caltrain station stop. Which means that the MTA is going to have to address the mess that is the lights at 4th/King, no more avoiding it.

    Furthermore, if the MTA was serious about providing fast reliable service, they would have signal prioritized the Embarcadero from 4th/King to the underground entrance, and would make a point of enforcing the bus lane on 3rd street from Townsend to Market. In addition, if the MTA was really serious about addressing the issues on Stockton street, there are a plethora of ideas for speeding up Stockton including, but not limited to, restricting private auto access, widening the sidewalks, removing parking, enforcing double parking, etc. All much much cheaper then $1.6B (and growing).

  • @mikesonn –

    Prioritizing signals for MUNI would be punitive to drivers.

    Love – Morton

  • Rick

    Murphy

    So it’s all a giant right-wing conspiracy? Gee, where have I heard that before?

    But I had no idea that registering support for two public transit systems would attract such criticism here, of all places. Very odd.

    Mikesonn,

    We can debate the minutae of the details of CS implementation but it does connect CalTrain with downtown as I stated, and I suspect people would much prefer to take a modern, state-of-the-art underground streetcar to a rattling, filthy muni bus to traverse that windswept mile.

    Given that we’d never have gotten that money otherwise, I am perplexed that you would object to an important new transit initiative.

  • Rick,

    A connection to North Beach makes a ton of difference, and there is no connection. Do you know where the CS stops in Chinatown? Washington St. And you know how much it’ll cost to operate? Probably not. You know Muni can’t even run/maintain the fleet it has now right? Here’s a site you should check out.

    Also, North Beach/Russian Hill/Marina/Cow Hollow will ALL see a reduction in bus service as a result of the CS, which won’t service them in ANY way.

    And who says the LRVs aren’t “rattling, filthy” as well? I’d love to ride on the LRVs you are on because they ain’t the same as the ones I’m riding.

    And to argue “Given that we’d never have gotten that money otherwise, I am perplexed that you would object to an important new transit initiative” is pretty weak. I’m objecting because it doesn’t serve the community well, it’s nearly 9 stories under ground, it doesn’t connect to Powell station in any rational way, it ends at Washington street, it’ll blow a hole in North Beach, service could be improved with minimal costs with street level redesign, and it’s just a political hack job back-room agreement between people that haven’t ever given a shit about Muni or the citizens of SF.

    The lack of a sense of humor is frightening. But this does seem odd:
    Mick, Morton, Rick.

  • Rick

    Mike

    Well, the fact is that CS is being built and to my mind any new transit infrastructure will be of benefit, especially if it is funded with outside money that we otherwise would never have seen.

    As for North Beach, it’s my understanding that a second phase will give us a station at Washington Square and at Fisherman’s Wharf. Given that trip from CalTrain currently takes two streetcars or an over-crowded bus through the impossibly-congested Chinatown, I’d say that’s an improvement.

    LRV’s work fine underground. It’s at street level that they’re problematic.

    Anyway this is getting way off topic for a “daily news” segment and I suggest that we agree to disagree – I like BART and CS and you don’t. Fair enough. No need to squabble any more about it.

  • Good thing the daily news portions are for off-topic rants. You have found a home.

    And by “second phase” you mean possibly by 2050? You know the CS won’t be built until 2018 at the earliest. And at a cost of $1.6B and climbing?

    What route are you taking from North Beach (or any other NE part of the city) that takes two streetcars to get to Caltrain? And the “impossibly-congested” Chinatown could be addressed with minor street level changes. You do know that the Stockton Tunnel was originally built to accommodate transit.

    And the real problem isn’t, who’s paying to build it, though that is proving to be more and more of a sticking point as Muni forgoes maintenance needs to prop up local shares to ensure federal money. No, the real problem is how are they going to pay to operate it. Then, how are they going to keep bus service on the street level the same with a new subway running underneath? They aren’t, they will cut bus service to NB/RH/Marina/Cow Hollow. How are those people suppose to get around? Buy a car I suppose.

    And I don’t mind BART, I just don’t like their illogical obsession with far-flung expansion to low-ridership destinations when infill stations would greatly boost ridership and provide transit opportunities to areas that desperately need them.

    So Rick is Mick is Morton. Whatever dude.

  • IBM has a second project alongside Watson, tweaking Streetsblog commenters.

  • Rick

    Mikesonn

    This topic is overdone by now.

    But to correct only the most blatant error in your last effort, the reason travel from Fisherman’s Wharf to CalTrain takes 2 streetcars right now is because the F only takes you to around Market Street whereupon you then have to switch to a N or T to get to CalTrain.

    You do live in SF, right? Else I’m struggling to understand how you wouldn’t know that.

    The rest are implementation issues with CS and, as you say, there’s plenty of time to iron those out.

  • The E line will correct that, which is due by America’s cup. No need to wait until 2050. But you still realize that there won’t be a North Beach stop with this phase right?

    I’m glad facts about a project don’t cloud your judgement.

  • Rick

    Mike,

    The proposed E line is a historic (read – slow) streetcar service that will ponderously trundle along the waterfront. Great for tourists. Useless for commuters who have already spent over an hour on a CalTrain and now need to get to mid-Market for work.

    Next you’ll be telling me that cable cars are state-of-the-art transit.

  • Which argument are you making? A connection for Caltrain to downtown (i.e. Market) or a connection for the Wharf to Caltrain? You are confusing yourself now.

    The N/T/10/30/45 all serve Caltrain to downtown and back.

    And there a lot of people who commute on the F-line from the Castro to downtown. And there are people who commute on the California cable-car line.

    You are right about one thing, this conversation is over. Mick, Rick, Morton, whatever other name you’ll use. Please stop trolling. I said I wouldn’t feed you and I did, for that I apologize to everyone on Streetsblog.

  • Rick

    Mike

    Which argument was I making? I was making both arguments simultaneously. Should I have split them up into two different posts to facilitate your comprehension?

    Dude, CS is being built. BART is being extended. Your view lost. You’re angry. Deal with it.

  • icarus12

    To Mike Sonn,
    Perhaps I am simply in the dark here, but your beef with “Morton” or the poster’s other monikers/personae seems pointless. I thought both your points and Morton’s were valid. I learned a lot from the exchange. But I deplore your snarkiness with him. Just let people say what they think is true and show the rest of us where they’ve got their facts wrong, okay? Thanks. Icarus12

  • I’m all for open debate, and maybe I did come off as harsh with him. But he has been acting a fool for months all while changing his name and actually contradicting himself on many occasions.

    You can’t have a conversation when the target is continually moving. Say one thing, he counters that he is just making peace on a different topic so you can’t possibly disagree with him.

    And snarky? Whatever. Not that I have to justify myself.

  • icarus12

    Mike,
    If somebody is intentionally misusing the site and mucking things up, perhaps streetsblog could moderate and remove all those contradictory, just-messing-with-people comments.

    I haven’t been following things closely as you have. But from a casual-user’s perspective, Morton’s position-taking and yours were actually kind of helpful:

    I learned from you more about how BART only appears to be more financially viable than Caltrain. I learned from you how limited the Central Subway is going to be, at least in its first stage. And I learned from Morton what’s his name that the extension of streetcars to serve the wharves and America’s Cup isn’t going to provide fast enough service for everyday, non-tourist users.

    I don’t think you should let that guy/girl get under your skin. Even if he’s insincere, his commentary and resulting refutations from others is instructive to those of us less well versed in these transportation issues.

  • Well put icarus12. Well put.

    I’ll try to keep my emotions more under wrap. I’m glad that you got something from both sides of the discussion.

  • Rick

    Icarus

    Fair commentary.

    And I only had to vary my handle before because a certain former staff member of SB tried to block my handle while simultaneously telling me my contributions were “welcome”.

    I’ve lived in many cities across the world and have a keen sense of what transit solutions work and don’t work. I’m also, by the standards of most here, neutral to politics and ideology. If that is a perspective that SB and it’s readers welcome, then I’m happy to post here and add to the debate and dialog.

    I just don’t understand the snarkiness either. If you’re confident in your facts and your views, then petulance is never necessary and, indeed, shows the paucity of one’s argument.

  • @icarus12 – a lot of what “The Man in Black” posits is counter-factual, so badly so that only someone completely unversed in Bay Area transport – or the Bay Area in general could come up with such nonsense. For example discussing that Caltrain stops at Bay Meadows, a race track that was torn down 5 years ago.

    This is then followed by a reasonably deep familiarity with a lot of fairly obscure pieces of the area’s infrastructure – the Commute only pattern of the ACE rail line, and nuances of intersections on the J line out in Daly City I mean Noe Valley.

    From this I can only posit that the counter-factual statements are only made to frustrate. The “fun facts” that are actually true might be enlightening for some, but frankly it feels like he’s just trying to get a rise out of people, for entertainment.

    Rob Anderson makes legitimate arguments – it’s perfectly valid to say “I don’t think very many people will ever bike and I think that alternative energy will cushion blows from Peak Oil, which I think is overstated”. I disagree, sides build their cases, and play politics. Happily the good guys are winning more than losing these days, at least in California.

    “The Man in Black” is just trying to have some fun at our expense.

  • Rick

    Murphy,

    That’s really unfair and disingenous of you.

    I have in fact successfully corrected both you and Mike on a number of factual errors you both made.

    For example, your miscategorization of the schedules for some commuter rail lines was ceratinly one. And Mike’s claim that CS doesn’t link CalTrain with downtown for another.

    I can happily admit I’ve learned a few things from you both as well. While much of the rest is simply a difference of opinion.

    So why can’t we all just accept that different viewpoints here are welcome and educational? Rather than threatening, and warranting the use of insults and epithets?

    This is a pro-transit website and I have argued in favor of several transit investments. Maybe you see other priorities as more vital. That’s fine, but it doesn’t make me a “troll” or whatever label you wish to use to try and discredit me and stifle debate.

    Let’s all have a good-natured debate about all these options, and drop the personal stuff. Fair?

  • We agree to disagree on this one. You don’t think you are a troll, I do. There is no requirement for me to engage any further, I see no value.

  • Murph, 2nd that.

  • icarus12

    “the extension of streetcars to serve the wharves and America’s Cup isn’t going to provide fast enough service for everyday, non-tourist users.”

    That’s false. The F line runs pretty smoothly and isn’t that slow at all. Signal prioritization would help it greatly as it would the N/T that travel along the Embarcadero. Yes, the F line may be packed during peak tourist season, but many people use it to commute on the Market street trunk all year long. Also, providing direct Caltrain/AT&T Park access to the Wharf would also provide street level service from Caltrain/AT&T Park to the Ferry Building.

    Side note, we need to return the N weekend service to Caltrain. Making people transfer to get out to GGP on a Saturday will only promote them driving into the city and then into the park.

  • @mikesonn on the weekend those people should be switching to BART and taking the 44 from Glen Park. MUCH faster with local Caltrains in play.

  • John, good point. But at the same time, the N not serving Caltrain on weekends and the fact it’s Jan/Feb is only hurting Caltrain’s baby bullet weekend experiment.

    Also, how many people would know to do that BART to 44 jump?

  • TK

    Sorry Mick/Mack/Muck/JohnB/Morton etc etc etc…I’ve been reading for a while, and I rarely comment, but I have to pipe up here. You are a troll by every good definition: Instead of occasionally interjecting with some counter-viewpoint that might miss the mark every now and then (e.g. Rob Anderson), you are assiduously posting and posting and posting again until you have decided you’ve “won” the argument, all the while derailing (heh) the conversation with blatant factual errors. Your version of correcting factual errors, OTOH, is really in fact just hair-splitting. If Mike says the CS doesn’t actually connect Caltrain to downtown, he’s making a much more subtle point than you are capable of interpreting. I trust that this guy knows what he’s talking about.

    You rode Caltrain once, like what, 10 years ago? And how many times have you posted on the topic, now? It’s pretty mystifying.

    And let’s not even touch on your past arguments vis-a-vis which roads are appropriate for cars and which for bikes. Howzabout this: You take my heavy toddler on the back of my Xtracycle over to GGP and back, and then tell me which road I’d rather take. Or figure out why it’s unacceptable to go around double-parked cars. Or why I might prefer a separated cycletrack to keep away from car doors.

    Icarus12, it’s not a question of who’s ganging up on whom. It’s really important to keep comments of an excellent blog like this on track. Do your research before commenting. And lest I seem hypocritical, I don’t want to say that we all should shun anonymity, but doesn’t it say a lot that the most informed commenters use their real names? And cite their sources? And are actively attending public meetings? So yeah, they’re being a bit defensive to keep the conversation factually sound.

  • Pauly

    TK,

    “doesn’t it say a lot that the most informed commenters use their real names?”

    Heh. So is TK your real name or are you not “informed”?

    Seriously though, I think personal criticisms of other posters here is simply another form of trolling. Posts should offer meaningful content on the issues, and not seek to slander or categorize others with dismissive labels.

    It’s always tempting to malign others whose views are different. But we should rise above that here, else this site sinks into petty and snide mediocrity.

    Topics like which commuter rail systems should we emphasized, will the CS subway be a successful transit asset, and how segregated do we want cars and bikes to be are all legitimate and substantive issues to debate here. While different views on those matters should be encouraged, not slapped down.

    To quote MLK: “We must learn how to disagree, without being disagreeable”.

  • You just don’t stop do you? Pauly? At least you got off the “M” moniker.

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