Today’s Headlines

  • MTC and ABAG Approve VMT Tax Study (Merc), CoCo Times Editors and Readers Aren’t Happy About It
  • Deal Closes on Renamed CityPlace Mall, “Desirable Location Just Steps From Transit” (SFGate)
  • Sunnyvale Approves Bicyclist Anti-Harassment Ordinance (Cyclelicious)
  • Motorcyclist Killed in Head-On Crash With Van Driver on Cesar Chavez (CBS 5)
  • Walking by the Numbers: Walk SF Launches Donation Campaign With New Infographic
  • CAHSR Downtown Tunnel Will Require Increases in Bridge Tolls, Taxes (SFGate)
  • Four Hospitalized in Ambulance Crash, Officer Says Distracted Driving a Likely Cause (M. Local)
  • Photo: Pedestrian Was Injured at 24th and Castro on July 14 (@Shaketini via NoeValley SF)
  • Elderly Santa Rosa Driver’s Car Mysteriously Hospitalizes Cyclist in Parking Lot On its Own (PD)
  • Alta Bike Share Hitting Snags in NYC, Chattanooga and Bay Area (NY Daily News)
  • BART’s Bikes On Board Pilot: One Rider Worries He’s Going to “Break His Neck” (CoCo Times)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • mikesonn

    Maybe the driver of that possessed car in Santa Rosa should of also been wearing a helmet. Another reminder of why we need mandatory testing at regular intervals (I’d like once a year at least) after a certain age.

  • mikesonn

    And I say that because I’m sick of every article about a cyclist involved crash has to point out if the cyclist was or was not wearing a helmet. As if, because he was wearing one, we should check off that box and then apply appropriate sympathy or empathy. Was the driver wearing her seat belt? I don’t know. From the sound of the article, she wasn’t even driving – the car was driving itself.

  • Anonymous

    A VMT tax is a pretty ridiculous idea, there are legitimate privacy concerns and a huge cost to rolling out the technology to every single vehicle in the Bay Area. Here’s a simpler and better idea – increase the gas tax! This would accomplish precisely the same result without the implementation cost and privacy concerns, plus it would automatically give a discount to hybrid cars and completely exempt electric cars.

  • VMT should be used in addition to the overdue gas tax increase. Electric cars / hybrids still contribute to wear and tear on the roads and still increase the number of private autos in use.

  • mikesonn

    Or you have to enter your mileage when you fill up, no privacy issues there.

  • Kevin

    How exactly could a BART rider break his or her neck because of a bicyclist on BART? The real problem is that BART cars were never designed to accommodate bicycles at all. The new cars with the bike space are nice, but I can only get on one by chance. It would be even greater to have a hanging, hook or bungee system to save the most space.

  • Anonymous

    In my opinion the gas tax is a pretty ridiculous idea, especially considering how ineffective it has become in covering the cost of roadway maintenance, and how increasingly irrelevant it is becoming as more drivers switch to hybrid or electric vehicles. Increasing the gas tax, while already a political non-starter, would just be a temporary band-aid over a problem that we would be forced to then revisit again in the near future. Why not skip ahead and figure out a long term solution now?

    While it is possible for a mileage fee system to be engineered in such a way as to follow people’s movement in cars, it could just as easily be programmed to make this information invisible on an individual basis. Beyond that, it is already possible to track people based on license plates, cell phone signals, FasTrak tags, etc. If someone is really concerned about being monitored by the government they should really try hopping on a bike!

    Maybe people could be given the option to opt-out of the program by paying a base fee ahead of time, which would be calculated based on their last year’s total mileage plus 10%, let’s say. But remember that this is just a study, not an actual program. No need to start hyperventilating yet.

  • Anonymous

    If increasing the gas tax is ‘ineffective in covering the cost of roadway maintenance’, the solution is to increase the gas tax by more. If European countries can charge $8-9 per US gallon and still see significant private car use, the Bay Area should be able to do the same.

    If increasing the gas tax is a ‘political non-starter’, tracking the movement of every vehicle in the Bay Area is even more politically toxic, due to the added privacy concerns as well as the added cost. Just telling people ‘you are already under surveillance so why worry about it?’ is not going to go down too well with folks concerned with civil liberties. While the information could be made invisible on an individual basis you can bet that once the raw GPS information is there, the feds will demand and be granted access to the data as soon as it would prove useful in a criminal case.

    And there are some major implementation challenges- how do you add into the system cars owned by people who move or visit from other parts of the state or country? With an increased gas tax, every time you fill up at a Bay Area pump, you pay towards the cost of maintaining the Bay Area road system regardless of where the car is registered. I’m sure certain contractors would love to spend millions of the public’s money designing and implementing such a system, but why do that when a cheaper and easier solution is available?

    Hybrid and electric cars should get a discount due to reduced emissions, although they certainly cause roadway wear and tear. If electric cars become so popular in the future that their avoidance of the gas tax causes a revenue deficit, electric vehicle charging stations or even domestic electricity bills can be taxed in the same way as gas pumps. As for entering your mileage when you fill up, I don’t see how you could prevent anyone from lying about their mileage at the pump, and it still wouldn’t capture electric vehicles.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I’m a little tired of my bike rolling about all over the place on BART. Vertical hooks like those used on Amtrak or Portland’s TriMet light rail system are probably the best solution.

  •  +1 to jonobate – think about how much money CUBIC has made on Clipper…

  • mikesonn
  • And a pedestrian was hit by a taxi on Masonic at Oak on Saturday. Not sure what happened but lots of police shut down Masonic. Broad daylight, about 1:30pm. Apparently people getting hurt on Masonic happens so often it isn’t always newsworthy.

  • Anonymous

    And weird the Noe Valley one wasn’t covered anywhere. Amazing how our society is utterly immune to cars maiming pedestrians and cyclists ….

  • mikesonn

    I also thought I heard something about sentencing in the Yannick Linke case being today.

  • @Mikesonn: Yep, story coming tomorrow. Preview: Sentenced to definite 1 year in prison, plus 5 years probation with 5 AA meetings/week and no license. If he breaks that probation at all, he goes back and serves a total of 9 years in prison.

  • mikesonn

    Hm, thanks for the update.

  • Anonymous

    I still don’t see a tax at the pump or at the plug to be a viable, long term solution for funding roadway construction and maintenance. If the concern is air quality then I agree that a gas tax has some positive effect on curbing emissions, but if we are mainly trying to establish a usage fee so that the people driving the most and producing the most road wear are paying the most towards repairs then some sort of mileage tax is the only quantitative way to assign fees.

    I pointed out other ways drivers can be tracked by the government not to downplay those concerns, but just to show that it happens already and people accept it. I think the more we can compare these different payment schemes based on their legitimate merits instead of fear of the unknown the better a VMT system starts to look.

    That being said, I’m not against the gas tax and agree that it is too low, in effect undercutting public transit and encouraging people to drive much more than they need to. However, I believe that a VMT system would encourage even more responsibility and help to daylight the true cost of private vehicle overuse better than a system that puts a larger burden on people who can’t afford more fuel efficient vehicles.

  •  1 year. Wow. I’m not aware if that is light for the sentencing guidelines for DUI manslaughter with hit and run, but it sure feels like it. There is a pretty clear societal more about drunk driving, he was grossly negligent and he knew it.

    Is he claiming to be an alcoholic in need of rehab? If I went out and got drunk and killed someone, it would not change the fact that I am not an alcoholic, it would just mean that I am a loser. Or are the AA meetings “community service” to preach the dangers of drunk driving?

    Does “breaking that probation at all” include being found operating a vehicle? Of course, there will probably be a dispensation for “going to work” which will of course be abused to no end. What else would be a probation violation?

    Looking forward to the writeup.

  • @twitter-14678929:disqus Judge said he can’t drive a foot, can’t drink a drop [my wording].

  • Whenever we hear stories about scofflaw cyclists, the cyclists often claim that a scofflaw cyclists only endangers himself. The response is that cars will get into accidents trying to avoid the scofflaw. Someone is apparently figuring this defense is as good as any!

    http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_21131836/suv-careens-into-home-along-green-valley-road

  • Abe

    “Another reminder of why we need mandatory testing at regular intervals (I’d like once a year at least) after a certain age.”

    That certain age being 16.

  • mikesonn

    Is there a reason that SFGate still doesn’t have a story up about this? Examiner didn’t have anything this morning either.

  • kexiao

    tinyurl.com/cyk9xz2

  • kexiao

    tinyurl.com/cyk9xz2

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