Today’s Headlines

  • Happy Bike to Work Day (Hoodline, MM, Castro, Biz, Giz); Press Event at City Hall, 8:30 AM (SFBC)
  • Driver Hits Pedestrian With Stolen Car, Crashes Into Building, Escapes on Foot in Marina (CBS, NBC)
  • Why Do Bus Rapid Transit Projects in the Bay Area Take So Long? (SFGate)
  • Jason Henderson on Biking to SF State, Transbay Transit, and Funding Sustainable Transport (SFBG)
  • SFBG Imagines High-Tech Private Transit Options of the Future; Will Muni Decay?
  • 44-O’Shaughnessy Great for Sightseeing (SFGate); Tour Bus Drivers Flout Alamo Square Ban (SFGate)
  • Supes Pass Legislation Allowing Civil Lawsuits for Graffiti, a $15M Annual Cost for Muni (SFBay)
  • Homeless Advocates Protest Existing Bans on Overnight Parking for Large Vehicles (SF Examiner)
  • Presidio Parkway Construction Continues With Temporary Exit in New Location (SFGate)
  • Oakland-Based Bicycle Coffee: Always Delivered by Bike, Foot, or Transit (Business Times)
  • SamTrans Hires Independent Audit Firm to Investigate Expense Fraud Allegations (NBC)
  • DOT Data Says San Jose Boasts Second Lowest Street Fatality Rate Per Capita in US (NBC)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • coolbabybookworm

    Two great lines from the BRT piece that really capture transit planning in the Bay Area:

    On implementing BRT: “The U.S. is generally slower than the rest of the world,” she said. “California is generally slower than the rest of the U.S., and the Bay Area is slower than the rest of California.”

    and

    “especially along Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, where merchants and neighbors attacked the plan to eliminate parking and a lane of traffic with the kind of fervor once reserved for opposing the Vietnam War.”

  • david vartanoff

    There are very good reasons NOT to build BRT in
    many cases. Starting w/Geary, the far better project would be the
    long promised subway. (See early BART paperwork for that
    version) We have over a century of experience showing us how to
    deploy convenient and functional transit in dense urban areas.
    Whether elevated or underground the best are rail systems separated
    from surface traffic. The best reason for BRT on Van Ness is the
    necessity to accommodate GGTransit.

    In the AC Transit case, the Telegraph-East 14th BRT project was
    dumb from the get go. Because East Bay transit users are daily
    cheated by having to pay entirely separate fares for bus and subway
    usage, many choose AC for the whole trip even though a quick BART
    ride w/a bus transfer at either end would be much faster. Thus when
    AC looked at ridership their heaviest usage routes typically mimic
    BART. If the money wasted on all of the planning. public outreach
    (AC is about to open a storefront on “International”), and tons of
    paper reports had been spent on paying BART as Muni does for Fast
    Pass rider usage, both agencies would be more productive and riders
    would have more and faster options.

    One evening, after attending an AC BOD meeting the then
    President asked me “Don’t you think the East Bay deserves a marquee
    project?” This is NOT a valid reason to build an unnecessary BRT
    route.

    I am as it happens a nearly daily user of the 1/1R Telegraph/East
    14Tth route at completely random hours depending on work, medical,
    education trips. I can report that on the Telegraph segment after
    sundown the local is as fast or faster than the Rapid during the day
    because ridership falls off thus many stops are skipped. Sadly AC
    Transit currently is making no effort to “manage” the service, so at
    many hours buses bunch or are absent for long periods (just like
    most of Muni). There is no doubt that giving the buses an
    exclusive lane in some segments during rush hour ( the Temescal for
    example) would speed buses, but AC doesn’t even bother to maintain
    the signal priority hardware they put in place when they started the
    two Rapid routes.

    While my riding east of Lake Merritt is less frequent, much the
    same conditions exist.

    Quite often I experience long waits yet the auto traffic is light.
    In AC’s own reliability studies on their Rapids and the
    College/Broadway route (nearly as many daily riders) the largest
    delays are at stops with high boarding ##; Muni has figured this
    out with all door boarding. AC had Clipper readers at secondary
    doors but removed them.

  • jonobate

    There’s one important thing you don’t mention – cost. Obviously a Geary subway beats Geary BRT, but the former would cost maybe $6bn, and the latter $0.25bn.

  • david vartanoff

    and the value differential per $ spent would be much higher. It is worse than stupid to build a cheap counter productive non-solution.

  • Jamison Wieser

    Even if we had the money, do we really want to wait the 20 years it would take to build a new subway?

    BRT can be built faster (at least theoretically) and even within that it can be built in segments with busses moving over to the side where the segment ends, which is what’s going to happen on Geary east of Van Ness. That’s going to be valuable when it comes time to convert the center running surface lanes to rail, which is really how I see Geary BRT: Step 1, secure the median right of way.

  • And when an earthquake hits, the BRT can divert a block or two as a regular bus around a trouble spot.

  • Andy Chow

    It is important to note that so call “long promised subway” down Geary has done more harm than good over the decades. That “long promised subway” provided an excuse to the planners back then to remove the streetcar on Geary corridor in 1958, which was very well utilized, and gave the space to automobiles. And now some folks are using that “long promised subway” as a reason to oppose the BRT project to give back some of the roadway space to transit.

    It was foolish to remove the streetcar tracks on Geary. If it had stayed, it might have higher ridership than all other Muni Metro lines that have gotten far more transit investments.

    The problem with rail transit on Geary is the lack of opportunities to significantly densify the Richmond District without running into community opposition. Without land to develop, the ridership potential is severely limited, which make such projects unattractive. At least for East Oakland and East San Jose, there’s land available and communities there want to improve and grow. They see transit as a catalyst, but such values are not necessarily shared in wealthier communities.

    If BART is that good, shouldn’t we have eliminated Muni on and under Market Street along with cutting the 14-Mission (and definitely the 14L) because they all duplicate BART. Going to outer Mission? Take BART and transfer to Muni at Balboa Park! Going to the Castro from the Ferry Building? Take BART and transfer to the F at Civic Center.

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