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Fix SoMa Streets: Public Speaks at Folsom-Howard Open House

Thor Denmark and the SFBC's Charles Deffarges at SFMTA's Folsom-Howard Open House. Photo: Streetsblog

Thor Denmark and the SFBC’s Charles Deffarges at SFMTA’s Folsom-Howard Open House. Photo: Streetsblog

Last night, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency held its first of two open houses to solicit feedback on possible safety improvements to Folsom and Howard Streets in the South of Market neighborhood. Some 50 people braved the cold and rainy night to voice opinions and hear from MTA staff at the SoMa Recreation Center. From the SFMTA’s website:

Demand on SoMa’s streets is increasing and will only continue to rise. The City estimates a 212 percent increase in SoMa residents and a 140 percent increase in SoMa workers by the year 2040. We need to prepare thoughtfully for the coming growth that will place more demand on the neighborhood’s transportation network. This project will focus on updating and upgrading the Folsom-Howard couplet. It will prioritize traffic safety, community livability and enhancing the neighborhood’s existing character. The initiative will also improve transit access and examine traffic circulation modifications.

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Announcements: Holiday Party and a New Streetsblog Coming Soon

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A couple of short notes for our readers:

  1. Before the end of the year, Streetsblog will go live with a re-designed web page. It will be all the same content, but it should be much easier to read, especially on a mobile device. There will no doubt be a hiccup or two, so please be patient.
  2. As you may have seen on Facebook, next week we are having a holiday social on Thursday, December 15 at 7-9 p.m at Dalva, 3121 16th Street, San Francisco. Hopefully all Streetsblog readers can attend.

Meanwhile, if you value the news, analysis, broadcasts, and event programming of Streetsblog California, Streetsblog Los Angeles, Streetsblog San Francisco, LongBeachize, and Santa Monica Next, then please consider making a donation today, right now. You can make your donations here:

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Thanks. And we hope to see you next week.

Streetsblog USA
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Vancouver’s Multi-Modal Success Story


One of the best transportation stories of 2016 comes from Vancouver, British Columbia, which achieved its goal of having transit, biking, and walking account for 50 percent of all trips a full four years ahead of schedule. Bicycling is a big part of that shift, and now one of every 10 work trips is by bike.

Vancouver is a city that prides itself on rejecting freeways in the 1960s and 70s. It is the only major city in North America without freeways in the core. Recently the city set out to build on the achievements of previous generations by increasing “sustainable modes” to account for two-thirds of all trips by 2040 (read up on the city’s goals).

I was in Vancouver for the ProWalk ProBike ProPlace conference this summer and spoke to several people involved in the effort to make Vancouver a more multi-modal city, including former chief planner Brent Toderian, Manager of Transportation Planning Dale Bracewell, and Melissa and Chris Bruntlett, the activist couple behind Modacity.

I hope this Streetfilm provides a taste what it’s like to have so many different options at your disposal — bike, bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and more. And don’t miss our short from earlier this year: Vancouver’s Breathtaking Network of Protected Bike lanes.

Streetsblog USA
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From Pennsylvania, a Preview of How Trump & Co. Might Bully Cities

How much will cities be threatened by the impending Trump presidency? An early front in this confrontation concerns immigration.

The money that supports revitalization programs in cities like Philadelphia is being held up for punitive cuts by a Pennsylvania lawmaker. Here Philadelphia's North Fifth Street Revitalization Project leaders participate in a community cleanup day. Photo: Plan Philly

Withholding Community Development Block Grants from from sanctuary cities would devastate organizations like Philadelphia’s North Fifth Street Revitalization Project. Photo: Plan Philly

Trump has threatened to revoke federal funds from hundreds of “sanctuary cities” that do not report undocumented immigrants to federal officials.

Jake Blumgart at Plan Philly reports that Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey has already embraced the spirit of Trump’s proposal, calling for the feds to withhold Philadelphia’s Community Development Block Grants because of its sanctuary city policies:

The CDBG program is a flexible financial assistance program for economically distressed jurisdictions. In Philadelphia, it supports a diverse array of more than 20 programs, from financial counseling to help families access Earned Income Tax Credits to security deposit assistance for homeless families..

A quarter of the funding supports economic development initiatives like those that [Philip] Green’s North 5th Street organization utilizes. For commercial corridor support organizations in neighborhoods like Olney, and for community development corporations more broadly, CDBG are an essential source of support.

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Keep Streetsblog SF Going Strong – And Help Us Grow in 2017

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Click on the image to go to our donation page. Click here to get more information on our December 15 Happy Hour.

2017 is likely to be a year of unprecedented challenges for the broader movement to create safe and healthy communities through smart urban planning and progressive transportation design. Even before the bizarre proposed appointment of Dr. Ben Carson to head the federal Department of Housing and Urban Design, the change in administrations in Washington, D.C. promises to complicate an already challenging movement in San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area.

To help Streetsblog stay strong and continue to be your voice for safe streets; we need your help. 20 percent of Streetsblog San Francisco’s annual budget comes from individual donations, and nearly half of that comes in December. If you want Streetsblog SF to be a powerful organization fighting for your community, consider making a donation today.

In the coming year, Streetsblog San Francisco will continue to provide important local coverage of the movement to make protected bike lanes the default road treatment in San Francisco instead of a “special treatment.” We will continue to promote the good work and leadership of our elected officials, government departments, and transit agencies. We will continue to call them out and prod them when they need it.

Just as importantly, Streetsblog SF will partner with our sister websites across California and the country to push back against federal policy changes that will damage our cities and promote changes to continue to make California a world leader in livability and environmental stewardship.

And we need the support of our readers to make it all work. Streetsblog is powerful because elected officials know that our readers care deeply about the issues we cover. And the whole site functions, on the most basic level, because readers fund what we do.

Our year-end pledge drive starts today, so if you value the impact of Streetsblog and Streetfilms, I hope you’ll contribute. 2017 promises to be a year of unprecedented change, struggle and opportunity. Help us be as strong as possible to make it a great one.

If you’re not keen on making a donation online, don’t worry! You can join us at our End of the Year Happy Hour on December 15 at the Hideout, upstairs of Dalva, 3121 16th Street, San Francisco, California 94103. For more information or to RSVP, visit the event Facebook Page.

 

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This Week: Clean Energy, Bicycle Advisory Committee, Woonerven Party

sblog_calendar1Here are this week’s highlights from the Streetsblog calendar:

  • Monday tonight! The Future of Clean Energy in Cities. Come hear about the energy problems in our cities and how new technology is working to address them. Mon., tonight! Dec. 5, 6 p.m. SPUR Urban Center, 654 Mission Street, SF. Free for SPUR members. $10 for non-members.
  • Monday tonight! San Francisco Bicycle Advisory Committee. The Committee meets to consider bicycle transportation projects and policies to make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, the Municipal Transportation Agency, the County Transportation Authority, the San Francisco Police Department, and other City and County of San Francisco agencies. Mon., tonight! Dec. 5, 6:30-7:30 p.m. City Hall room 408, 1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place, SF.
  • Wednesday Woonerven/Walk SF Fundraiser-Party. Walk SF’s rockin’ year-end members party and fundraiser. Be part of the fun and help support the only pedestrian advocacy organization in San Francisco. Wed., Dec. 7, 6-8 p.m. SPUR, 654 Mission Street. SF. Basic, Student/Senior Members: $10 advance tickets or $20 at the doorNon-members: $15 advance tickets or $25 at the door.
  • Thursday Walk Oakland Bike Oakland Holiday Open House. Check out the group’s new office space in Downtown Oakland. The open house will feature updates on Urban Paths events, ‘Ride Like a Girl,’ other event plans, and fundraising, plus beer, wine and snacks. Thurs., Dec. 8, 6 p.m. Citizen Engagement Laboratory, 1330 Broadway 3rd Floor, Oakland.
  • Thursday Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project Open House. This project will focus on updating and upgrading the Folsom-Howard couplet. It will prioritize traffic safety, community livability and enhancing the neighborhood’s existing character. The initiative will also improve transit access and examine traffic circulation modifications. Thurs., Dec. 8, 6 p.m., SoMa Recreation Center, 270 6th Street, SF.
  • Saturday Second Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project Open House.  A second chance to weigh in on the Folsom-Howard project. Sat., Dec. 10, 12 p.m. SoMa Recreation Center, 270 6th Street, SF.
  • Saturday Richmond District Strategy. The SF Planning Department meeting will develop plans for/focus on biking and walking in the Richmond and how plans can be drawn up to better accommodate walking and cycling. Saturday, Dec. 10 from 1:30-3 p.m., Richmond Branch Library, 351 9th Avenue, SF.

Got an event we should know about? Drop us a line.

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Today’s Headlines

  • BART Transbay Seismic Retrofit Could Mean Reduced Off-Peak Service (SFGate, EastBayTimes)
  • Debate Continues on Pulling Seats to Make Room for Standees on BART (SFExaminer)
  • Delays on Richmond BART Line (SFGate)
  • Most Riders Happy with Muni Service (SFBay)
  • City to Vote on SF Train Station Naming Policy (SFExaminer)
  • SFMTA Delays Library Stop Eliminations on 19-Polk (SFBayView)
  • Caltrain Holiday Train (CBS Bay Area)
  • More on Caltrain Suicide Prevention Text Service (DailyJournal)
  • Pedestrian Struck by Motorist in Balboa Park (Hoodline)
  • SF Rents on Downward Trend? (Curbed)
  • Civic Center Drive Roundabout Part of Project to Facilitate Cycling and Walking (MarinIJ)

Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA
Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

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This Week: City Trivia Night, Caltrain, SoMa Member Committee

sblog_calendar1Here are this week’s highlights from the Streetsblog calendar:

  • Monday tonight! City Trivia Night XI. City Trivia Night is back. Six themed rounds of searing questions relating to cities, architecture, urban planning and policy make this event the ultimate showcase of urbanist talent and planning geekery. Bring your own team of six or join up with other urbanists at the event to compete for the crown and prizes. Monday, tonight! Nov. 28, 6 p.m., SPUR Urban Center, 654 Mission Street, S.F. Free to the public.
  • Wednesday The Future of Transportation in the Caltrain Corridor. SPUR’s new transportation study explains how to make the Caltrain/Highway 101 corridor a place where transit thrives and cities grow without gridlock. San Francisco, San Jose and many other growing cities increasingly need Caltrain (and in the future, high-speed rail) to work as a foundation for a sustainable transportation system. Come hear highlights of the study and discuss implementation with SPUR and partners. Wednesday, Nov. 30, 12:30 p.m., SPUR Urban Center, 654 Mission Street, S.F. Free for SPUR Members, $10 for non-members.
  • Wednesday San Francisco Bicycle Coalition SoMa Member Committee. With the approval of the Seventh and Eighth Street protected bike lanes, the Bicycle Coalition is focusing on longer-term planning for Folsom and Howard Streets. SFMTA will begin public meetings in December, so SFBC is organizing and preparing ideas for how to make SoMa a welcome place for people who bike and walk. Wednesday, Nov. 30, 6-7:30 p.m., 1720 Market St., S.F.
  • Friday Women Bike SF Coffee Club. Once a month, an informal gathering of women, trans and femme-identified folks meet to talk about bicycling in the city, share tips, and caffeinate together. If you’re new to riding or interested but haven’t gotten rolling yet, this is a perfect place to find riding buddies and answer questions about biking in SF. Friday, Dec. 2, 8 a.m., Sextant Coffee Roasters, 1415 Folsom St. S.F. RSVP requested.
  • Saturday Tamale Fest and Bikes. The Tamale Fest is a fundraiser for a community bike shop. This is an outdoor event, so dress warmly. If it rains, tamales will be served under canopies (with the heat lamps to keep you warm.) Saturday, Dec. 3., 3-8 p.m., Keller House, 1760 Clayton Road, Concord. Ticket prices vary.
  • Saturday Golden Gate Park Traffic Safety Project: Community Open House. Join city staff  to help establish safe access to the park’s amazing destinations, whether you walk, drive, ride a bike, or take public transportation. Tell them about how you get around Golden Gate Park and about locations where you have felt unsafe or see opportunities for improvement. Saturday, Dec. 3, 10-12 p.m., County Fair Building, Auditorium, 1199 9th Ave., S.F.
  • Sunday Gals with Gears: Embarcadero (SF) to Tiburon. Join the Gals for an enjoyable, easy-going ride along Embarcadero in San Francisco, over the Golden Gate Bridge, and over to the Tiburon Ferry Terminal. Sunday, Dec. 4, 9:45 a.m. sharp. The Ferry Building, One Ferry Building, S.F. RSVP required.

Got an event we should know about? Drop us a line.

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A Happy Streetsblog Thanksgiving

thanksgiving_turkey_TStreetsblog wishes its readers a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday. We’ll be back on Monday with updated headlines and all the latest from the livable streets movement.

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This Week: Urban Film Fest, Swiss Rail, Urban Train Stations

sblog_calendar1Here are this week’s highlights from the Streetsblog calendar:

    • Monday starts tonight! (and runs until Sunday) San Francisco Urban Film Festival. The SF Urban Film Fest (SFUFF) is a unique film festival that focuses on cities and civic engagement inspired by great storytelling. The festival believes compelling stories can help shape urbanist ideas, practice, and project implementation to improve our cities. Starts Monday, Nov. 14, tonight! 6-8 p.m., SPUR, 654 Mission St, S.F. $10 advance/$15 door.
    • Tuesday Swiss Time. Explore what’s so great about the European train network with two Swiss rail experts as they explain how Switzerland created a spectacular rail system, how it is influencing the rest of Europe and what its lessons could mean for us here in the Bay Area. Tuesday, Nov. 15, 6 p.m. SPUR Oakland, 1544 Broadway, Free for SPUR Members, $10 for non-members.
    • *CANCELLED* Wednesday Lessons from Great Urban Train Stations. Intermodal transportation hubs have had transformational impacts on cities and regions. How do counties and cities create great stations that offer seamless connections between rail and local public transit, and what can we learn from these examples? Learn how international case studies can successfully guide the development of the 240-acre Diridon Station area. Wednesday, Nov. 16, 12:30 pm, SPUR San Jose, 76 South First Street, Free for SPUR members. $10 for non-members.
    • Wednesday Light up the Night. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Light up the Night is an annual bike light distribution campaign. Volunteers install hundreds of white front lights and red back lights on bicycles for people riding in the dark. To make sure that the bicycle lights go to those who need them the most, the Coalition keeps the distribution locations a secret! So Light Up the Night is a members-only volunteering opportunity. Volunteer via the SFBC site. Wednesday, Nov. 16 5:30-7:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday and Thursday Park Boulevard Corridor Community Outreach Meetings. The City of Oakland invites members of the community to come learn about the proposed Park Boulevard study, help them understand community concerns and priorities, and share insights and ideas on how to improve pedestrian, bicycle, and school safety. Two meetings will repeat the same material: First meeting Wednesday, November 16, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Park Boulevard Presbyterian Church Gymnasium, 4101 Park Blvd., Oakland; Second meeting Thursday, November 17, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at FM Smith Recreation Center, 1969 Park Blvd Oakland.
    • Thursday Embarcadero Enhancement Open House. Join the SFMTA for a public open house on the Embarcadero Enhancement Project. The SFMTA has developed preliminary design concepts for the corridor and wants to hear your feedback. Thursday, Nov. 17, 4-7 p.m. at Pier 1 (The Embarcadero at Washington Street).
    • Sunday World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2016. Join Walk SF, the Vision Zero Coalition, and family members for the second annual World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Victims to be held in San Francisco. The memorial will include a walk starting at the 16th Street BART station, ending at City Hall with a vigil and call to action, where members of the public can join the Vision Zero movement. Sunday, Nov. 20 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Memorial walk starts at 16th Street BART Station, S.F. RSVP.

Got an event we should know about? Drop us a line.