Today’s Headlines

  • New BART GM, Grace Crunican, Willing to Meet with Protestors (Matier & Ross)
  • AP via NPR: “SF Chinatown Fears New Subway Could Be Scrapped”
  • Costs for Central Subway “Vary Between SF, Federal Agencies” (SF Examiner)
  • Leland Yee “Latest Politico to Jump Onto the Free Muni Bandwagon” (SF Weekly)
  • City Makes It Easier to “Transform Lifeless Sidewalks Into Vibrant Pocket Gardens” (SF Gate)
  • SFPD “Pounds Pavement in Search of Stolen Bikes” (SF Examiner)
  • Mayoral Candidates Wash Cars at McKinley Elementary School (City Insider)
  • Workers on the Caldecott Tunnel “Dig Toward Tomorrow” (SF Gate)
  • Hayes Valley Farm Preparing to Move to New Location (SF Examiner)
  • Mr. Roadshow Lists His Top 20 Transportation Headaches Over Past 2 Decades
  • Eugene, Oregon Holds Its First Sunday Streets Event (KMTR)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill


  • mikesonn

    90% of the Keep Tahoe Blue stickers I see are on SUVs.

  • Anonymous

    That AP story on the Central Subway was so one sided. It was All About Chinatown, and refused to even consider other issues. Whatever. I guess in 2012 Chinatown = SF and the rest of the neighborhoods no longer matter. At least that seems to be how the candidates see it. Well, some of them.

  • “The old women with striped jute sacks carrying dried fish and Chinese
    trinkets, and the young students trying to get to and from schools
    across the city cheered when they learned a subway line would finally
    reach their community.”

    If this stereotype is the most important, that underscores the flaws in the plan. Old women and young children are the ones who will be the most upset when they figure out they are going down 9 stories to the platform in Chinatown, and having a 200? 300? 400? yard walk to Powell Street for the transfer. Imagine the hell the days the escalator at Washington goes out of order. Elevator? They all run very slow in transit stations to dissuade the able bodied from using them to the detriment of the disabled who need them. So they will end up reverting to the 30, which will run with less frequency, because “the Subway is there” and the subway is chewing up all the operating costs despite the poor design.

    It’s not like those students or old women are headed to Caltrain or UCSF Mission Bay. They need to transfer at Powell.

  • Guest

    Well since many in the transit “advocacy” community think that Chinatown = people that don’t matter and don’t deserve a subway, I think they do need to fight back. Especially since the “social justice” advocates are calling Chinatown “nowhere” as is “Subway to nowhere.” 

    Some concern for transit and social justice in the advocate community. It’s just more of the same, do-nothingism disguised as advocacy.

  • Anonymous

    hey  “guest” : first of all if you really believed in what you said, you’d sign your name.

    second, there are many ways to improve transit for Chinatown. Having lived there myself I can count a number of ways that don’t require a billion dollars that would make the area work better, and not just at ONE stop on Stockton Street. Every time those ideas are raised, the pro CS folks slap them down. Meanwhile we’re basically being asked to trash service for every other neighborhood to serve one. That’s not fair either, and not a good way to spend transit money. But no one cares about that, it’s just gimme gimme gimme.

    From the beginning the Central Subway plan has been based on politics and giving money away to developers connected with City Hall, not with helping anyone, least of all Chinatown residents of all ages.

    Also, last I checked, playing the race card is very 20th century. Using the race card and slapping down legitimate criticism of the project with the Tea Party label is bullsh!t, and it just shows how shallow the arguments for the plan are.  

  • Guest

    Hi NJudah, oh that is your real name? Cool! I wished they named a Muni line after me. You must be real important Mr/Ms. NJudah to get a line named after you.

    Now, to your your substantive arguments:
    “second, there are many ways to improve transit for Chinatown.”
    Ok, let’s do those too. Want to help log-roll those into a ballot initiative that includes Geary light rail with a downtown subway section (a-la the 1930s plan)? Oh, no. You just want to bitch about how every agency is stupid and 95% of all transit projects should be cancelled? But why? Oh! That’s right you are a Bay Area transit “advocate.” I forgot, silly me. 

    “From the beginning the Central Subway plan has been based on politics and giving money away to developers connected with City Hall, not with helping anyone…”
    Oh the old “connected developers” ad-hominem trope. BTW, do you REALLY think that Chinatown residents are so incompetent that they need YOU looking out for them, being that they are incapable of looking out for themselves? I don’t know how to answer that…

    “Also, last I checked, playing the race card is very 20th century… the Tea Party label is bullsh!t…”
    Except that the “advocate” community loves that “race card” when it comes to killing the Oakland Airport Connector (a badly mis-designed project) or taking money from Caltrain and BART to give to AC Transit. As for my comments I am just pointing out what I see YOUR side saying. Is “subway to nowhere” being used? Yes! Is this project was a Subway to Hunters Point and the same term was used, how would people react?  

    As for Tea Party, you mentioned them, not I. They do love that argument, “From the beginning the [insert transit investment name here] plan has been based on politics and giving money away to developers connected with City Hall, not with helping anyone…” though. 

    Here is to hoping you fail so bad that the Central Subway makes it through North Beach to the Marina district and beyond. 


  • mikesonn


  • mikesonn

    Guest, can’t argue with that logic, i.e. none.

  • Guest

    How do you know? Maybe those students and old women know where the train is going and approve of it because it will help them. 

    Try and give them a little credit, as hard as might be for you to do that.

  • I know because I ride those lines. I’ve stood at the corner and watched the transfers as I have waited for my own.

    I don’t think that constituency is stupid – just misled. They have been told explicitly by the Central Subway people that “The
    train DOES connect to MUNI at Powell”, which it does not by the standards of a well designed subway line. If we’re going to spend 1.6 Billion it should be something useful, not annoying.

    What schools are in SoMa and Dogpatch and Bayview that are currently magnets for Chinatown? Certainly there could be some Vis Valley to Chinatown movement, but I’m skeptical.

    The other demographic? Try riding a BART train on Saturday or Sunday AM coming from Daly City. The train is *packed*, mostly with Asian-Americans. Then we get to Powell and it becomes a ghost town. Those are shoppers headed to Chinatown. They travel in reverse as well.

  • Guest – are you saying the people of Chinatown DO NOT DESERVE a DECENT connection from the Central Subway to current MUNI Metro? 

  • Guest

    No murphstahoe, your side is saying they don’t deserve one. The critics aren’t trying to fix the Central Subway project flaws. They are calling it the “subway to nowhere.” 

    No, I’m afraid good work like Rescue Muni did to get rid of the crazy Z turns at Market and 3rd/4th street split alignment south of Market gets you called “Newsom machine sell-out scum” by the “progressive advocate” crowd. I mean, “How DARE advocates improve a badly designed project by getting involved. How DIRTY of them!” Right? 

    You want a decent connection to Muni at Powell or a well designed future connection to a Geary subway, get off your ass and be more like the REAL advocates @ Rescue Muni and actually get down and dirty fixing the project as much AS POSSIBLE and them pushing it to completion, and extension (hello North Beach). 

    Of course it is easier to stay above the fray, bitch, and oppose everything as not good enough and “political” but that means no transit improvements at all.

  • mikesonn

    Guest, this isn’t “your side” vs “my side”. Can we move past the 3rd grade mentality?

    The “critics” are suggesting much better ways to address Chinatown/North Beach/Russian Hill/Marina/Cow Hollow transit. The best way to fix those corridors is to make Stockton St transit only from Columbus to Market. The buses are packed because they are crawl down Stockton. They crawl down Stockton because of the huge amount of private autos using the Stockton tunnel as a cut through.

    The city is spending $1.6B+ to keep the Stockton Tunnel open for private autos, not to *improve* transit access for Chinatown.

  • Guest

    So rather than campaign to close Stockton Street to cars, transit “advocates” spend countless hours trying to kill a Stockton Street subway. With friends like this transit in SF and the whole Bay Area needs enemies more than it needs friends. BTW bus ride quality sucks, it always has and in American it always will (with our street non-maintence). Subways provide faster, better cheaper service than urban buses everywhere in the world. 

    If there was a campaign to fix design mistakes on the Central subway I would cheer and contribute. But all the “advocates” do is bitch and try to defund. If Valero and Exxon are not funding them, then it is truly sad that the “advocates” do the oil companies work for free rather than for a living wage.As for “3rd Grade mentality” the ultimate question in politics is, “Who’s side are on?” Anybody pretending politics is, or can be, kumbaya is naive, or pulling a fast one on you. I am for building the pro-urban transit projects that can be build under this political system, with the best possible design and price-tag possible under this political system. If that is 2X as expensive as what you consider “good enough” in your ideal world, them I am for steamrolling your objections and building the transit anyway.

  • mikesonn

    “So rather than campaign to close Stockton Street to cars, transit “advocates” spend countless hours trying to kill a Stockton Street subway.”

    Please post using your real name and stand behind this baseless lie.

    “I am for building the pro-urban transit projects ”

    What about transit projects that actually, you know, provide better transit?

  • The arguments we have made here have been made in public countless times. Your characterization of Greg, Mike, and myself are way off base. We should absolutely improve transit for Chinatown, but the project as scoped is not the answer. So we’ll put in a lot of money and get zero improvement. Seriously. All of the “trainspotters” out there who ride transit and can look at a map and schedules and instantaneously tell you the best way to use such a transit system, look at the Central Subway and say “as scoped – useless”.

  • Guest

    The real-world choice is build the Central Subway or send the money back.  Since your position in clear you want to kill it rather than fix it, then I am for steamrolling all of you and building it now. In the future it can be extended and hopefully the connection to Geary fixed, for more money. That is suboptimal, but better than your “build nothing politically feasible, build only EXACTLY what I want, exactly HOW I want, or build nothing at all” position. As I said earlier:

    I am for building the pro-urban transit projects that can be build under this political system, with the best possible design and price-tag possible under this political system. If that is 2X as expensive as what you consider “good enough” in your ideal world, them I am for steamrolling your objections and building the transit anyway.

  • If that is the choice, then let’s kill it. We have the FREAKING SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE in our district. If we cannot improve this, we suck.

    Reference: Bay Bridge. It’s been a pain, but Jerry Brown was probably right.

  • mikesonn

    I don’t know where you are getting “2x as expensive”. I think you are missing a zero, more like 20x as expensive.

    And again, you are doing the residents of Chinatown, who you seem to care so deeply for, any favors by pushing this project. If you actually looked at it on merits instead of talking-points and hyperbole, then we could have a reasoned discussion.

  • I can’t even figure out why the “wrong” project is more “politically feasible” than the right subway or a cheaper bus only option by closing Stockton. Brutal.

  • Masonic will be the death…

    Hey Guest er, Rose Pak,

    Your subway pipe dream goes nowhere, and will not have stops that alleviate the current problems it claims to be trying to address. Pushing a languishing bad idea because we have part of the funding (note, nowhere near all) is seriously silly talk. In case you haven’t noticed the city has no money, the state has no money, and neither do the feds.

    Give up the money for the subway to nowhere and work through our Speaker of the House to get the funding back for projects that are feasible and ready to go, but have no funding yet. 

  • I guess I need to correct that (and Masonic’s reply). We *had* the Speaker of the House 🙁
    In my world this is a prime opportunity – “Speaker Boehner, we have a project that’s pencilling out at 1.6 Billion that we don’t think is cost effective. Let us have 1/2 the money to build something better”


Today’s Headlines

Pedestrian Killed by Driver in Duboce Triangle Intersection (SF Gate, BCN via Appeal) City Officials “Launch Counteroffensive” on Central Subway (SF Gate, BCN via Appeal) Central Subway “a Division Point for Mayoral Candidates” (SF Examiner) More Q&A with the Mayoral Candidates About Muni from Muni Diaries SPUR’s Ideas to Fund City Parks Include Charging for […]

Today’s Headlines

Muni to Get $2.7 Million in Property Tax Revenue; Will Help Restore Service (SF Examiner) SFMTA Hires Central Subway Consultant for $22 Million Over 8 Years (SF Examiner) Bill Gates Donates $700,000 to Help Defeat Prop 23 (Sac Bee, AP via CBS) Prop 23 Would Be Bad News for Farmers Trying to Become More Sustainable […]

Today’s Headlines

Central Subway Funding Could Be in Jeopardy (SF Examiner, Bay Citizen) House Republicans Also Go After Ca. High-Speed Rail (LA Times) Dennis Herrera Calls for Central Subway Redesign (City Insider, Fog City Journal) 30 Arrested in BART Protest at Powell Station (SF Gate, Merc, SF Exam, SF Appeal) Vandals Hit Glen Park BART Station; Clipper […]

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