Today’s Headlines

  • Portion of Funding Delayed on Transbay Transit Center (SFExaminer)
  • Obama to San Francisco: Build More Housing (Curbed)
  • Brown Lifts Restrictions on In-Law Units (BizJournals)
  • UBS Predicts SF Housing in Bubble (Socketsite)
  • Can BART Howl Cause Hearing Loss? (SFGate)
  • New BART Art (SFGate)
  • Woman Struck by Car in Richmond (EastBayTimes)
  • Man Struck in Crosswalk in Petaluma (Kron4)
  • Posting Body Counts on Roadway Signs (EastBayTimes)
  • $20 Fine for Motorists who Put Lives at Risk is Broadened (CBSLocal)
  • Cell Phone Ban Possible on SMART Train (SFGate, KGO)
  • We Still Oppose Free Private Car Storage, But this is Ridiculous (SFExaminer)

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Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • JB

    The woman ticketed at the red zone originally posted the story to Reddit – which is where Examiner probably picked it up. What the article does not include is that the woman said she left the vehicle parked for five days during which the curb was painted.

    No parking signs may have been up 72 hours prior to painting since it is unlawful to leave a vehicle parked for more than that.

  • RichLL

    The 72 hour rule is a red herring here because it is one of those laws that is only enforced if an individual reports it. And even then DPT has to put a sign on the vehicle and then wait at least 72 more hours.

    In that sense it is more like the prohibition of blocking a driveway. It’s only enforced if the driveway owner or user reports it.

    On most city streets the more meaningful time limit is one week minus 2 hours, coinciding with street cleaning. DPT doesn’t go around tagging vehicles and then going back 72 hours later.

    I predict the ticket will be waived.

  • murphstahoe

    SMART Cell phone ban –

    SMART Police Chief Jennifer Welch said board members had
    expressed support for the ban at the spring meeting. If it were implemented,
    she said, SMART police officers would not necessarily cite offenders, and
    passengers would be allowed to make “emergency calls.” “It’s all about being
    reasonable,” the chief said. “We would have discretion.”

    Just another way to give the cops a way to harass people whom they have a distaste for. This is a trivial item and should be self-policed by the riders as it is on any other system – by shaming them on social media 🙂

  • lunartree

    Do you have a citation for that? Someone should post that on the Examiner’s site to call out their sensationalism.

  • JB
  • mx

    That was my first thought too. SMART to succeed will need to encourage people to switch to transit. Imposing draconian regulations to address a problem that cannot possibly even exist yet is not going to help attract riders. Why not see how it goes before making up rules no other transit agency in the country has?

  • thielges

    Yes, self policing works pretty good on other rail lines. There’s no need for an outright ban. Short calls (“I’ll arrive at the station at 5:15”) are not a problem though you occasionally encounter a rider who will blab for an extended period. Ubiquitous smartphone texting has been a game changer.

    I suspect that the proposed ban originates from a pet peeve of a SMART insider.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    Peskin sure is going to bat for those Millenium Tower crooks. Where’s his financial interest in that? There must be something because the man hasn’t got any principles at all.

  • KWillets

    One or two people were struck on Potrero yesterday South of the hospital. I didn’t see how it happened, but I think there were two people on the ground injured.

  • City Resident

    How about having one car be a designated “quiet car” with the other having no such restrictions (as is done on other rail transit systems, I believe)?

  • RichLL

    There are quiet cars on East Coast Amtrak but those are at least 8-car trains. SMART is maybe 2 cars? 3 at most? So I guess it depends on what percentage of riders want quiet.

    Also note that the concept of a quiet car is broader than just cell phones. No loud conversations, music etc.

    There is something about public transit that drives people to have particularly long, pointless, annoying phone discussions. I see the value of a quiet zone. Using a jammer is fun but in an ideal world it wouldn’t be necessary.

  • mx

    Using a jammer is illegal and can get you thousands of dollars in fines from the FCC. And if someone isn’t able to call 911 because of your jammer, that’s on you.

  • RichLL

    Depends what you mean by “illegal”. It’s not in the criminal statutes AFAIK so a beat cop isn’t going to arrest you. The FCC consider it to be transmitting without a license but I’d be surprised if a Federal agency committed investigative resources to occasional use by an individual.

    It would also be hard to triangulate a source, while people affected would probably just think they have a dropped call or have entered a dead zone.

    As for emergencies, most trains I’ve been of have a emergency button or radio to contact the guard or driver.

    Of course if cell phones really bothered me I’d move here:

    http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2015/07/us/quiet-town-american-story/

  • mx

    I just figured that a person who spends so much of his life worrying about whether every cyclist stops completely at every single stop sign would apply the same scruples to federal communications law as well.

  • RichLL

    And I just figured that a person who worries about technical infringements of FCC regulations would apply the same scruples to the requirement for cyclists to come to a complete stop at every stop sign.

  • murphstahoe

    SMART is a small 2 car train, one of which has the only bathroom. Not really feasible.

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