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    Point taken–I’m reminded of a story from 1951, about a well-to-do businessman who lived in San Marino and usually took the Pacific Electric Red Car to his office in Los Angeles. Occasionally, if he had a meeting outside downtown during the day, he’d take his car (probably a Buick or Packard) to work, but normally he relied on the PE. One morning in Oct. 1951, his wife noticed him heading for the garage rather that the front door. “Oh, you’re taking the car today.” “Yes, the PE isn’t running anymore.” “I read about that in the paper; they’re running buses on Huntington Drive instead. Couldn’t you take the bus?” “Certainly not! Buses are for poor people.” To this day, rail is seen by many as being more appealing to “choice riders” than motor coaches.



    San Francisco, your infrastructure is the result of a bad joke
    predicated on a city built around 1950′s civil engineering. Get your #$%
    together, it’s like pulling teeth with you MR. LEE (and friends). And I
    can’t imagine being on that tour bus, I believe I’d feel like an
    asshole riding on that bus instead of renting or owning a bike and
    working for my tourism.



    Good luck with that. GG Bridge District board members are elected members of the board of supervisors of the member counties or they are appointed by the county board of supervisors, by the Mayor of San Francisco or by a councils of mayors


    Miles Bader

    If not that, widening sidewalks (I mean really widening, not adding 50cm), cutting lanes, reducing lane width, etc. Sidewalks in many places should be much, much, wider.



    Drop one of the “L” letters from Precy’s formal name Priscila to spell it the way she spelled it. Precy was one of my staff members, and I hope the City gets traffic signals in place at that mid-block crosswalk in front of City Hall as soon as possible. I miss her terribly.


    Edward Palmer

    Fire the board.



    They do run a transit system using some of the toll funds, which ain’t nothin’.



    Zurich, Tokyo.


    Andy Chow

    This entity already cut cost by eliminating toll takers, even though it compromises customer service. A toll on ped and bikes will likely require some form of additional labor, either similar to BART gated system, or proof of payment.


    Aaron Bialick

    The vast majority of slips don’t have parking spots right next to them. Should we apply this standard of proximity to all of those spots? These 91 slips aren’t set aside for those with the least ability to carry equipment; these parking spaces are arbitrarily placed on the path while the rest of the tenants use the hundreds of other spots in the two huge parking lots.

    Saying that “boating in the Bay is part of the heritage of our city” is not the same as saying, “these parking spots next to these boats are part of the heritage of our city.”

    What it comes down to is this: What is the city’s greater obligation for use of this public space? Is it to provide direct car access to a small subset of boat owners for a recreational activity that’s inaccessible to the vast majority of residents and visitors? Or is it to provide the most safe and attractive place possible for the public to use this valuable waterfront land?

    The tone of my article you point to is aimed at the anything-but-constructive statements about people on bicycles, which have little to do with the plight of elderly boat owners who would end up in the same position of most of the rest of the tenants.



    How possible would it be to simply close the road to through traffic :)



    I have been almost mowed down twice by that cable car tour bus, both times while riding my bike in the Alamo Square to Hayes Valley stretch. So, no, I am not surprised that one of this company’s poorly behaved drivers has finally killed someone.



    This is tragic and avoidable. Vision zero must be a top priority.


    Jeffrey Baker

    Installing a traffic signal here is backwards. It penalized pedestrians, who will now have to wait for the green signal, probably after having to walk out of their way to press a button. Far superior improvements would include a speed table, bulb-outs on both sides, and bollards right on the double-yellow on both sides of the crosswalk (currently there is a flippy-floppy plastic yield sign).



    Well that’s just completely screwed… right smack in front of the city hall. So does this mean the city will start getting its shit together faster? This type of street setup is pretty unacceptable.


    Nicasio Nakamine

    This is a brilliant idea! You get my vote to run the world (assuming this isn’t some sort of dictatorship situation)



    It’s a good idea and it’s what they do in some cities like Hamburg. There is a surcharge on all event type tickets (including symphony, opera, etc.) that lets you ride public transit for free to and from the event using the event ticket.

    But you know Mayor Lee gets driven around everywhere, maybe instead of having a vehicle drive him around he should be forced to ride public transit to all of his events. Make his police escort ride muni too.


    Jamison Wieser


    I think you’re totally right and that’s probably the real catch-22: even voting against a bad funding measure isn’t going to register with the politicians as opposing the bad system behind it.

    And even if Prop A failed and Prop B passed it probably still wouldn’t fully register with enough of Supervisors and the Mayor we want more sustainable solutions.



    If I ran the world, add $1 surcharge to all Giants tickets, and Giants tickets operate as your ticket on BART, Caltrain, MUNI, and the ferries from 3 hours before the game until 2 hours after the game. The operators lose money for each ticket used, but they get the buck from everyone who drives/walks/bikes to subsidize it. And they save money in terms of ticket collection hassle (Caltrain tickets checks on game days are getting impossible – many passengers fare evade) If we need more money, make is $2/$3/whatever.



    The GGBHTD should have been merged into the Bay Area Toll Authority. The District retired its bonds in the early 1970s and now offers no added value to the Bay, especially when a less myopic agency could easily administer the bridge and do so in accordance with regional priorities.



    The problem is that Mayor Lee won’t interpret a vote against Prop A as being for Sunday metering, but against funding for Muni (and bikes and peds)


    Jamison Wieser

    Of course the bike lanes are frequently blocked by port-a-potties and other construction equipment, the sidings are required for maintenance and emergency access whether bikes are using them or not.

    In fact the only real bike facilities it seems the Bridge authority wouldn’t have to be maintained anyway is that hairpin turn, and even then they’d probably still want or need it as a backup underpass to the tunnel.

    So what exactly is it we’re being asked to pay for here to ride a bike? Is one of the traffic lanes going to be converted to a bikeway?


    Jamison Wieser

    In order for the perfect to be the enemy of the good, there’d have to be good. Where Prop B is very specific about where the money is spent (75% to Muni projects spelled out in the TEP) this is more ambiguous.

    The campaign literatures states $358 million was to go to transit, but if the mayor is true to his word in this story, he’s already redirecting $108 out of transit into street safety to go from the stated $148 up to $250. That’s not the worst place to be spending money, but there’s really no reason to think the Mayor won’t take all of it for something else.

    That last time we approved a Muni funding measure (Prop A 2007) mayor Newsom used the funding to instead balance the SFPD budget.

    During this election the Mayor and SFMTA supposedly made parking free to gain the support of car owners. I’m waiting until they try and by my vote with freebies. One way to start treating Muni riders fairly would be free Muni service on Sunday.

    Here’s another idea: free gameday Muni service.

    The SFMTA could encourage Muni ridership and do something to try and make up for all the crap we’ve been through would be to make Muni free after the 7th inning stretch during home games. It’s a fee dollars in savings for all Muni rider and at the ballpark it would make it easier to get crowds out of the park if they didn’t have to stop to by return tickets, which now requires having change on hand thanks to the SFMTA raising fares the same time it made parking free.



    I’m with Jamison on this. Every Sunday I look out my window and see every metered space full, and 18 (usually exactly 18) cars parked in the middle of the street.

    Step 1) Sunday metering

    Step 2) Write a bonds prop that actually guarantees the money to the SFMTA:

    San Franciscans voting to pass bad laws is the enemy of the good. If we want to get anywhere, we need to torpedo Proposition A.



    San Francisco’s politics is a meat grinder. This election you can choose to accept compromise and to move public transit in the right direction by voting for A and B. Or not. I’m voting for both measures. Perfect is enemy of the good.


    Mark Eissler

    Why can’t they just do the right thing once and for all: a separated parking lane, a separated biking lane, and a dedicated walking path? This ongoing deal with merged biking and walking paths is just dumb. Anyone that’s walked down from the Fort Mason Meadows to the Marina Green could attest to what a great CF that is for pedestrians having to dodge cyclists and practically needing radar to avoid collisions. Granted, most of those cyclists are tourists but I’ve yet to see a native cyclist with a bell. The volume of cyclists is only going to increase.

    Green painted faux bike lines and often ignored painted separation stripes are not the answer. They’re an insult to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike. The lines are more often ignored than not. And how safe is it when bikes zip past you at 15mph with just a painted line as a barrier?

    Everyone has the right to travel along this route in safety. There is so much space down there and yet a single lane of parking for one of the neighborhood’s oldest tenants has to be removed. Because why? Because someone thought it would be a particularly bright idea to place car parking on what is essentially a pedestrian and cyclist path. How much further away could you possibly get from the idea of separating these three types of traffic?

    Here’s an idea: make Marina Blvd. one way, remove two lanes and put the car parking on the street, insert a dedicated AND separated bike lane, and you are still left with a very wide walking path just for pedestrians. Heck, you could probably even make that bike lane a two-way installation. Sure, it’s a bit of a compromise for drivers but wouldn’t it be worth it? Wouldn’t residents of the Marina prefer less automobile traffic?


    Jamison Wieser

    If the SFMTA truly needed Prop A funding it wouldn’t have cut millions of dollars from the budget for free parking.

    The SFMTA and Mayor Lee demonstrated just a few months ago where they budget priorities sit by making parking free in the very same budget that raised Muni fares. It wasn’t very long ago that Mayor Newsom used the money from another Muni funding measure to balance the SFPD budget.

    And where is the VLF increase measure that free parking was supposed to get buy in for? I’ll vote for that measure.



    Excellent points. I’d also add (from past experience) that the west sidewalk occasionally would be unlocked considerably later than its scheduled 3:30 pm time (on weekdays). The Bridge District employee would explain that staff had been busy attending to another matter, hence the delay. My impression from this was it’s okay to delay a bicyclist’s commute… as the cars whizzed by.


    Jeffrey Baker

    You forgot about the chicanes. Just once I’d love to see cars negotiate a U-shaped obstacle with 2-way traffic, right in the middle of the GGB.



    I wrote a blog post on this exact topic today. There’s a lot that can be done! This isn’t the only way.



    The most annoying thing to me is this. Pedestrians and cyclists will be expected to pay a toll, but not get the requisite coddling treatment that drivers currently get.

    Pedestrians and cyclists have to share one narrow side of the bridge during weekdays. When cyclists use the other side of the path, the pathway is frequently narrowed by porta potties, and repair equipment. The metal plates over the bridge expansion joints are poorly done and can be slippery when wet, and given that the bridge pretty much lives in a fog bank this is the majority of the time. The access to the west side path is via a pathway with a hairpin uphill turn that is poorly paved and frequently torn up by tree roots. The exit to from the pathway dumps you unceremoniously through a fence into a parking lot. When there is a jumper on the bridge, the pedestrian walkway shuts down – but the roadway stays open of course!

    One could say that the cyclists should just be aware of these issues and be careful on the bridge instead of expecting the GG Bridge district to invest money to make the pathway safer, even with the toll. But if one says that, why exactly is the bridge district investing 30 Million dollars – conveniently the same as their projected deficit – to build a movable hard median on the bridge when that problem can be simply solved by drivers being more careful?



    Why can’t they add a few parking spots on the north side of the Marina Boulevard roadway itself, to offset the ones on the path?


    Andy B from Jersey

    Please don’t give the DRPA or the PA of NY/NJ any ideas!



    So, you would inconvenience boat owners by forcing them to haul heavy coils of rope, hatches and sails long distances just so you don’t have to look at their cars. How selfish of you.



    I’ll say it every time this issue comes up: I have a boat in the SF marina. Usually I bike to my boat, but sometimes I need to haul things like hatches, sails, huge coils of rope, etc which I need parking for loading and unloading.

    It’s ridiculous that the two options are either a huge parking lane or no parking at all. Rip up the tracks, put some parallel parking along marina blvd, and use the space gained by removing the car lane on the sidewalk to make an even nicer bike and pedestrian path.

    Also, I agree with other commentators that this isn’t us vs them; especially when I have interests on both sides of the issue.



    Thanks Aaron for the update on this great project. Hope it proceeds, as it would complement the Blue Greenway and Embarcadero Enhancement Project’s efforts to improve the Bay Trail within SF.

    Just a word of caution though: this is hardly the “only segment of the 500-mile Bay Trail that has car access on it,” and in fact there’s not even 500 miles of Bay Trail completed yet to my knowledge, so I’d ditch that speaking point ASAP. There are plenty of shared conditions unfortunately (and I’m looking at you, Peninsula).


    Thomas Rogers

    I could use that Veloloop on my Vespa- there are some road sensors that don’t notice that, either! However, it seems like those in-pavement sensors are being replaced by camera sensors, so it might not be worth it.


    Sam Foster




    I don’t have a problem with the cars per se – but the joggers and cyclists and etc…

    But if the cars are gone and there is more space for the joggers and the cyclists and etc….



    So The All Powerful Bike Lobby has made 11 more enemies. But has made 1000′s of new friends with a safer pathway.

    I don’t think you are very aware of how things work.



    I disagree with most of the comments. For me it’s not an issue of safety, but frankly one of aesthetics. I walk and occasionally bike this route for recreation and when I look towards the water my view is blocked by unsightly cars. At the very least, pedestrians and bicyclists should have first right to the view, not inanimate objects. Sadly, San Francisco does not protect views.


    sebra leaves

    And you wonder why people hate bikes? Really?
    Now you have sailors who ride bikes hating the SF Bike Coalition. Way to go. You have made more enemies. Make sure you piss everyone off.
    Going out on the water for a few hours is like camping for the weekend. You never know what you might need so you take a lot of gear, food and water. Some of it is heavy and some of it smells. Working on boats involves hauling heavy tools, equipment and supplies. The slips in the marina do not come cheap. There is a contract and it may include a parking space. I am pretty sure the slip fees just went up cause they did everywhere else.


    Nicasio Nakamine

    Despite going through past this marina semi-regularly, I have never had any issues with the parked cars. As far as pressing issues around the city go, this one is way way way down the list for me. I’m going to sit this one out.



    ”They want everybody off, but they can’t get the pedestrians off because they’re on the sidewalk.”

    So the thing that they are trying to get the cars off is the sidewalk? If they succeed that will be a first in SF.


    SF Biciclista

    I agree with Upright Biker. I’ve commuted by bike along this stretch for years and have never had a problem with cars parking, parked, or leaving these parking spots. The marina should have some form of parking wherein marina tenants can bring materials to their boats from nearby parking spots. I’m not wealthy, do not boat, am a dedicated SF cyclist who commutes everyday, and I believe a feasible balance can be struck wherein the marina preserves much of their parking so long as a young child can safely navigate this stretch by foot or bicycle. If the marina members cannot accede to this low bar, then they should lose their parking privileges and they can walk from wherever they find parking in the Marina district. Good luck with that.


    Upright Biker

    OK. I call foul. You know I love Streetsblog, but this borders on demagoguery.

    There _are_ older boat owners who need access to load gear. These _are_ people who have enjoyed this parking courtesy of our bureaucracy until now. Boating in the San Francisco Bay is part of the heritage of our city.

    I ask that we stop casting this as some sort of us vs. them (rich white guys) thing, and look for constructive solutions instead of mocking people who are trying to find compromise with phrases such as “…the narrative of menacing road-hogs…” Even if they’ve got clay tongues, at the core they’re asking for some basic access that we really should find ways to grant.

    As noted before, there could easily be curb-cuts on either side of the stop signs with permitted, time-restricted parking so the needs of slip owners could be met.

    And no, I don’t boat. I don’t know anyone who does. I just know when advocacy crosses the line into unfriendly territory.


    alberto rossi

    In District 11, you can call all you want to make reports, but no ticket will ever be issued for sidewalk parking; anyway that’s my personal experience. PCO’s do issue tickets for streetcleaning and meters and they’ll respond instantly to a request for a 72 Hour parking notice from people who think all the parking on their block is their personal possession. As for police, the only time you’ll ever see them around is when they’re responding to an emergency at the corner store. The emergency: snacks that urgently need to be bought. Usually this emergency requires parking in a red zone. As to trees, there are fewer trees here than 25 years ago. Friends of the Urban Forest have planted a few from time to time, but most have died or were removed for parking access to yards.



    Yeah, it was a shoddy article. Apparently San Francisco instituted peek-period[sic] parking pricing to chase cars out of the city, rather than to manage demand. And this from a publication that you’d hope would have a basic grasp of market economics…



    “I parked illegally all the time and got a lot of tickets, and that sense of entitlement makes things hard, when you’re poor.”


    Andy Chow

    Santa Clara also has a side platform (with room for 4 tracks but that requires realigned tracks and reconstruction of the southbound platform). SSF needs to be 4 track capable since the there’s a 4 track segment north of SSF and San Bruno is also 4 track capable. A center platform is generally incompatible with 4 tracks.

    The plan for a center platform was proposed before the passage of Prop 1A in 2008, since then the project has been on hold. Even though a full 4 track corridor is no longer in consideration, 4 track segments may still be needed.