Today’s Headlines

  • Suspected Driver Arrested in Berkeley Hit-and-Run With Cyclists (CBS 5, ABC 7BCN via SF Appeal)
  • Muni’s Canceled Bus Runs Draw Attention to Absent Drivers (Bay Citizen)
  • SFMTA Board Expected to Approve All-Door Boarding Policy Tomorrow (SF Examiner)
  • Former SFMTA Chief Nat Ford Received City’s Biggest Payout Last Year (Matier & Ross)
  • New Escalator Opens at Muni’s Church Station (SFist)
  • Supes Proposal Would Ban Amplified Speakers on Open-Top Tour Buses (SF Examiner)
  • KTVU 2‘s Sloppy Bike Safety Analysis: Drive Down Valencia, Ask Riders Where Their Helmets Are
  • Concord Safety Advocates Call for Curbing Distracted Driving in Wake of Family Deaths (CoCo Times)
  • SJ Driver Who Killed Osvaldo Becerra, 26, in Hit-and-Run Charged With Homicide (Mercury News)
  • GG Transit and Marin Transit Now on Google Maps (The Greater Marin)
  • Are Hands-Free Calls Any Safer Than Hand-Held Ones While Driving? (Not Really) (CBS 5)
  • Doyle Drive Re-Opens Slightly Ahead of Schedule (ABC 7)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • mikesonn

    Personally, I’d rather you link to ABC 7’s story and not CBS’s. Stan Bunger made a mess of the Castro/Market incident.

    http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/video?id=8639977&pid=8639978 

  • mikesonn

    Stan just tweeted me and said radio (he’s KCBS) is separate form TV production. Either way, CBS’s link above tries to twist the story as cycling is unsafe. At one point they mash together a random guy saying there are a lot of accidents on Grant (?), which is completely unrelated to this incident, and follows that with a shop owner trying to reassure people to keep riding. Poor journalism. ABC did a much better job.

  • “As America’s waistline expands, costs soar”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/30/us-obesity-idUSBRE83T0C820120430

    “U.S. hospitals are ripping out wall-mounted toilets and replacing them with floor
    models to better support obese patients. The Federal Transit Administration wants buses to be tested for the impact of heavier riders on steering and braking. Cars are burning nearly a billion gallons of gasoline more a year than if passengers weighed what they did in 1960.

    The nation’s rising rate of obesity has been well-chronicled. “But businesses, governments and individuals are only now coming to grips with the costs of those extra
    pounds, many of which are even greater than believed only a few years ago: The additional medical spending due to obesity is double previous estimates and exceeds even those of smoking, a new study shows.

    “… The percentage of Americans who are obese (with a BMI of 30 or higher) has tripled since 1960, to 34 percent, while the incidence of extreme or “morbid” obesity (BMI above 40) has risen sixfold, to 6 percent. The percentage of overweight Americans (BMI of 25 to 29.9) has held steady: It was 34 percent in 2008 and 32
    percent in 1961. What seems to have happened is that for every healthy-weight person who “graduated” into overweight, an overweight person graduated into obesity.

    “Because obesity raises the risk of a host of medical conditions, from heart disease to chronic pain, the obese are absent from work more often than people of healthy weight. The most obese men take 5.9 more sick days a year; the most obese women, 9.4 days more. Obesity-related absenteeism costs employers as much as $6.4 billion a year, health economists led by Eric Finkelstein of Duke University calculated.

    “…The medical costs of obesity have long been the focus of health economists. A just-published analysis finds that it raises those costs more than thought. . . Nationally, that comes to $190 billion a year in additional medical spending as a result of obesity, calculated Cawley, or 20.6 percent of U.S. health care expenditures.”

  • mikesonn

    Need any more proof that Ed Lee will do Rose Pak’s bidding?

    http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2012/04/bruce_oka_mta_board.php 

  • @mikesonn:disqus ,
    Taking it on faith that Rose Pak is as all-powerful as everyone believes, I still don’t understand why she would want the Central Subway when a) she is unlikely to ever take it herself, and b) most the people in Chinatown, given the project’s poor design, are also unlikely to ever take it. So who benefits by the Central Subway, and how does that profit Rose Pak? That she does seem to want it is clear, but I am mystified by the motivation.

  • mikesonn

    This is about funneling public funds into contractors hands, ie friends of Willie Brown, et al. Also, there will be a land grab all along 4th in SoMa and Stockton in Chinatown (watch as businesses are run out, old buildings torn down [first being the station building at Washington]). Lots of money to be made/had – that’s all the motivation you really need. Plus, for Rose, people of Chinatown actually using the subway is 2nd-ary to “bringing” a marque project like this TO Chinatown.

  • Thanks for the explanation. In France, it is “cherchez la femme,” but in the US it’s always “follow the money.” Still, if the line is little used, I doubt the real estate near the stations will end up as valuable as people think. (I do expect real estate near both the Civic Center and Van Ness Muni stations to eventually skyrocket.) 

    In the end, all Caltrain and High Speed rail should terminate at the Transbay Terminal (this is what makes sense so a last mile connector to downtown isn’t needed) so there won’t be a terrific need for a line down fourth. I guess the line might have made getting to the baseball stadium slightly faster if it hadn’t been so terrifically poorly designed.

  • mikesonn


    Still, if the line is little used, I doubt the real estate near the stations will end up as valuable as people think.”

    Use is secondary to the fact that LRV (or subway) is a permanent investment by the municipality. Look at the T-Third and 3rd/Carroll, there are condos going in because there is a station there, but the T-Third has horrible service and is the lightest used LRV in the system (or at least close to the bottom). But because there IS a station there, no matter the use, investment is going in. Now you have Chinatown, some of the most prime real estate in the city getting shaken up, it will take a lot of political will to keep Chinatown intact. But when one of the major proponents of change is also the de-facto “voice” of the community, I see trouble ahead for Chinatown.

    As for the actual transit, I think people will ride it for the sole fact that bus service on Stockton will be reduced so crowding will be worse. However, it’s going to have to get really bad before people go down 90 ft to ride 4 blocks and then walk 1000 ft, they’ll probably just cram on the bus like they do now further slowing the buses and increasing the costs. Hooray for planners that don’t use the things they are trying to plan!

  • mikesonn

    And expanding on your HSR comment, Gov Brown agrees that the Central Subway has nothing to do with HSR and is looking to deny $61m in HSR-connector funds, which is why the SFMTA is now looking to get that money via bond because the feds want to make sure Muni has its local funding shored up.

    I can’t believe SFMTA was trying to make the case that the Central Subway served HSR and the Transbay terminal since they are over two SoMa blocks apart and the CS doesn’t connect well with Market street so even the transfer sucks. It is over a 1/2 mi walk from the proposed Mascone station to the new Transbay terminal. http://g.co/maps/e7zbj

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