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Posts from the "Maps" Category

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New California Transit Map Simplifies Car-Free Travel Across the State

See a larger version on the CA Rail Map website.

Finding a highway map for a road trip is easy, but comprehensive transit maps for car-free travel in California have always been a little harder to come by.

Not to worry: Alfred Twu and his team of cartographers have created a map of transit throughout the state. The new map features “both intracity and regional rail lines as well as connecting buses, proving once and for all that it’s possible to get to almost anywhere in the state on public transit,” says Twu.

The map ties together networks for Amtrak, BART, Muni, VTA, Caltrain, Altamont Commuter Express, Sacramento Regional Transit, San Diego North County Transit District (NCTD), San Diego Trolley, LA Metro, and Metrolink, as well as key bus and ferry connections.

Of course, travelers can use apps like Google Maps to plan a transit trip automatically, but this map provides a nifty overview of the possibilities for transit trips that are available.

For those looking to reach camping and hiking destinations in Northern California without a car, another great resource is Post-Car Adventuring, a handbook which includes specific guidance on how to reach Big Sur, Mt. Diablo, Lake Tahoe, Tassajara, Yosemite, and Napa using only transit, bikes, and your own two feet.

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Mapping a Fully Transit-Connected Bay Area

Brian Stokle's map envisions how the Bay Area region could possibly be connected by future transit projects -- some planned, some only envisioned -- including high-speed rail, BART extensions, and BRT lines. Image via The Atlantic Cities

Imagine the freedom of being able to hop on a nearby train or bus to reach virtually any place in the Bay Area (and beyond) on an integrated network of reliable transit.

That’s the vision cartographer Brian Stokle sought to lay out in a map featured in the latest issue of SPUR‘s monthly magazine, The Urbanist. In a recent article in The Atlantic Cities, Urbanist editor Allison Arieff says that the map, along with another map of existing regional transit that Stokle created, “have generated a lot of conversation (and some controversy) — which is exactly what they were meant to do”:

The majority of the projects, routes, and modes shown in Stokle’s proposed “Future” map (or some might argue, “Utopian”) reflect current Bay Area planning. However in some cases, the mode or route has been changed. In other instances, some new routes have been suggested. For example, BART to Livermore and Dumbarton Rail are two projects that are not included in this map. Instead, access to Livermore from BART is provided by bus rapid transit, and the Dumbarton corridor is served by rapid bus service. New projects that are not currently part of planning, or are in their early phases include projects like the Oakland Emeryville streetcar down Broadway, Capitol Corridor crossing at Vallejo, and 101 Rapid in the Peninsula.

Some ideas are old, some more novel. In San Francisco, the controversial Central Subway (now under construction) is shown extending all the way to Lombard and Van Ness to meet the coming BRT line, which is also extended to connect the Transbay Terminal to Marin County via the Golden Gate Bridge (where a BART line was fought off in the 60′s).

What would it take to bring a comprehensive vision like this into reality, and which projects could be feasibly built? Regional planners are currently figuring that out as they develop the Bay Area’s 25-year Sustainable Communities Strategy and Regional Transportation Plan. Next month, staff from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area’s transportation financing agency, will present a list of the transit projects they determine to be the most beneficial and cost-effective to build in the coming years. Stay tuned to Streetsblog for more on that.

In the meantime, check out Stokle’s map of the existing regional transit network — one of SPUR’s ideas for saving transit – after the break.

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The Consequences of Political Foot-Dragging

If SAFETEA-LU isn't extended on time, over 5,000 transit grants could be at risk. Source: FTA

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is meeting tomorrow to discuss a four-month extension to the current transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU. The map above is from a short but powerful document the Federal Transit Administration put out this week explaining “The Impacts of Failing to Extend Surface Transportation Funding” [PDF]. How much transit work would grind to a halt in your state without an extension?

In addition to the 5,600 transit grants, covering both capital projects and operations, a failure to extend SAFETEA-LU on time would jeopardize 134,936 active highway projects and 847,294 jobs, according to the FTA.


    
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SFBC and MTC Debut New SF Bike Mapper

Bike_mapper_screen_grab.jpgThe SF Bike Mapper with street gradient, Bike to Work Day Commuter Convoy location, and Hayes Valley businesses participating in the "I Bike SF" campaign.
Not to be outdone by Google Maps for bicycles or Ride the City, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC), the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, SF Environment and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) launched a new online bike map this week that they hope will be the most useful of the various mapping tools available to cyclists.

The SF Bike Mapper is built on a Google Maps platform, but combines many of the elements cyclists in San Francisco have come to expect from the Bicycle Map, including a very helpful layering feature that shows street grade by color. The SF Bike Mapper also allows users to add layers for transit and real-time traffic.

Marc Caswell of the SFBC said the real competitive advantage the SF Bike Mapper has over similar applications is the experience and familiarity of the SFBC's membership, a portion of which served as the focus groups that planned the routing.

"Most mapping systems are based on car data," he said. "This is based on bicycle riding," and the local knowledge of SFBC members.

The SFBC worked closely with the MTC's 511 team to incorporate unique data that only regular cyclists would have, said Caswell. "We held focus groups with regular, everyday bike riders to make sure the routing system had local knowledge so it will recommend routes similar to if you asked a friend who rides regularly," he added

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