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    I took part in the comments on a Hoodline article about on-street car share parking last week, and finally had to take a deep breath and walk away from the crazy. Guess I hadn’t realized until now just how ingrained the idea is that any SF resident who wants to own a car *deserves* free on-street parking, no matter any detrimental effects when a critical mass of people tries to do just that.


    Mario Tanev

    The article about congestion is bad. Congestion on freeways has indeed increased, but previously it was reported that congestion on city streets has gone down. The article doesn’t make that clear, and in fact is misleading because it quotes a driver about some construction on Mission St. Can Streetsblog look into the discrepancy? It’s important to not have decisions in the city of San Francisco be influenced by the utter failure of or suburban transportation model.



    You could run longer better bullets which stop at only platforms long enough for 7, or else restrict the 7th car to passengers for these stations. If like to see an experiment in ALL baby bullets seven days per week. I know…my favorite stop syndrome. I’d like to see the experiment.



    Commander Ali does have a point: we need to design our streets to be safer. We need more bike lanes, narrower streets and fewer long sight lines, which encourage speeding. It would be best if automobile traffic never got above 20 MPH except at a very few select expressways.


    Thomas Rogers

    To my (retroactive) credit, I was thinking about the “traditional reverse” commute direction, since I saw that being the main Mission->Caltrain flow (since the Mission doesn’t necessarily have a concentration of jobs that would justify a connection for AM commuters from the south). However, Adina is 100% correct that 22nd Street is dark/weird and a significantly less ideal connection point, all things being equal.

    I’ll try to raise the 4th/King connection question at tomorrow’s 22-Fillmore open house, if I can.


    Thomas Rogers

    I think this article raises fair questions. However, I will say that based on my personal experience on SF’s PSAC (Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee), the SFPD has made some significant cultural improvements (one symbolic but important example: changing the name of the Major ACCIDENT Investigation Team to the Traffic Collision Investigation Team), and Commander Ali has seemed dedicated and sincere in his testimony at our meetings. Again, though, I do respect the topic being brought up.



    “22nd is not on the baby bullet schedule”

    Not correct. This is only true for the “traditional peak”. The reverse peak stops at 22nd and sees heavy usage.



    Well, Can’t blame Caltrain much here, as they always run same length consists. I have seen them lock one of the cars on those late night runs leaving only 4/5 cars available.



    SFPD: Bias, bias, bias.



    There’s a man who doesn’t let facts and strategies for actually being effective get in the way of doing the job his way.



    The new Palo Alto bridge looks amazing.



    Pssst…peternatural was in jest playing with the double standard inherent to that very line.




    The 22nd and 4/K connections would serve two different purposes. 22nd is not on the baby bullet schedule, and late at night 4/K is less deserted and better lit.


    Richard Mlynarik

    Except that level boarding (secondarily crap timetabling) is the problem for Caltrain dwell times, not a lack of overhead wires.

    Level boarding — which Caltrain has failed to address in any way for the last 20 years — is at least twice, and more likely four times as cost-effective as the $2 billion electrification spend.


    Richard Mlynarik

    Oh hang on, even two-track (two track!) BART provides ten times the service levels, without completely freezing every time somebody sneezes.

    Try again.

    (Yes, strategic redundancy is good, and no, BART doesn’t have enough. No, “four tracks systemwide” is neither necessary nor desirable for Caltrain, and no, that massive over-spending and overbuilding would address none of the real problems with Caltrain’s crap service.)



    Actually, the time penalty for making trains longer is only incurred when accelerating (cruising speed is the same) … so skip-stop and express train run-times are less affected by train lengthening than all-stop locals.


    Richard Mlynarik

    CBOSS is irrelevant, except for outright fraud of over $150 million public dollars funnelled directly into the pockets of consultant mafiosi.

    The same trivial signal system on the same sort of 50 mile, nearly zero ridership (by world standards), nearly zero trains (by world standards), no junctions, nearly completely uniform traffic (by world standards) little podunk back-and-forth shuttle line would cost less than $2 million/mile anywhere in the civilized world, and would be done using tested off-the-shelf equipment.

    Meanwhile, the taxpaying public is being actively and unambiguously defrauded of $250 by mafia contractors and their deeply-embedded “public” agency staff proxies to design (they need to DESIGN something UNIQUE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD just for little nothing nowhere Caltrain? WTF?) and implement and test and reimplement and retest and reimplment and retest their own Special Snowflake CBOSS boondoggle.

    Please, stop repeating the lie that this scam is either necessary, justified, justifiable, or WILL RESULT IN MORE TRAIN SERVICE.

    A maximum of five whole trains per direction per hour isn’t limited by the “need” to burn $250 million on a non-functional unique signal scam. After all, twice or more that number of trains can and are run safely with little more than we have today.

    Ask yourself instead how much actual train service and actual improvement in Caltrain infrastructure could have been purchased with the excess $150 million (ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION EARTH DOLLARS) which have disappeared without a trace into the bottomless pockets of Caltrain CBOSS scammers.

    Stop drinking the kool aid. Stop regurgitating press release lies.


    Dave Moore

    I think you misunderstood several things about my position.

    - I was not saying that we should only apply effort to affect the largest cause of death. I was saying that the argument that suggests that we shouldn’t have targeted enforcement for bikes because cars are more dangerous is too simplistic and flawed, if that’s the only argument that’s being made. I think Murph’s statements later showed more subtlety.

    - Again, this is not a “sting”. It’s just trolling for tickets where you they people are likely to break the law.

    And as far as your arguments:
    - The “broken windows” theory has been widely discredited as correlation and not causation. People continue to talk about it as though it’s a real thing, but it’s not. Crime went down in New York for a lot of reasons in the ’80s. The focus on subway graffiti et. al. had nothing to do with it.

    - As Murph says, pulling cyclists over for this is easy, mostly far easier than pulling over a speeding car.



    These enforcement actions are almost always just a cop on a motorcycle about 20 yards past the stop sign. Cyclist runs stop sign, cop walks into street and says STOP. It’s a lot easier to do that than to stop a motorist.



    This opinion piece neglects to mention how we figure out the last mile problem for 60,000 more people. I’m a bit shocked that Caltrain has managed to get to 60k not just because of the line’s capacity, but because of the increasing difficulty in getting to/from the station for each marginal customer.


    Amanda Clark

    Its not just the frequency of off peak trains, but the fact that they (all transit agencies) run *shorter* trains that adds to the pain.


    Amanda Clark

    How long have these cars been sitting idling in Metrolink’s yards?



    This is a huge. I’m really glad to see Caltrain make this move. We have to give them credit for this.

    Next step: making announcements and posting signs asking non-bicyclists to not sit in the bike car.



    Yep. Waiting an hour is unacceptable for almost everybody. Waiting 30 minutes, on the other hand, is just barely tolerable. Really it should be every 15-20 minutes, but I realize we aren’t ready for that yet. So in the meantime, I agree that we need a train every 30 minutes during off-peak hours … AND weekends. Weekends really get neglected, and there is huge potential there. I especially don’t understand why they don’t add bullets throughout the day. They could add another 3 or 4 in each direction and weekend ridership would really pick up.



    Dave, the fact that the police should and do prioritize more serious crimes is not a reason for them to not enforce lesser laws. We’d expect SFPD to spend more time on a murder case than a jaywalking case, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want them to enforce jaywalking laws.

    In fact, if we consciously decide not to enforce a law then we might as well repeal it, as there is little practical difference between the two.

    Moreover, the “broken windows” style of policing, which has become a standard in major US cities, actively advocates the enforcement of minor crimes.

    Even where incidents lead to a death, we’d expect SFPD to place more emphasis on, say, a murder than an accidental death.

    Finally, I don’t believe that it is the “easy path” to ticket cyclists. In some ways it is harder to stop a cyclist than a car, and ticketing cyclists actually requires the cops to get out of their cars, because a bike carries no identifying license information obviously. A so-called “sting” is really the only way to do it; not the easiest.



    Not sure about the hate… But it’s true that Caltrain (and BART) need to do a better job on their off-preak schedule. I understand that they can’t run more trains on peak, but one train/hour off-peak is not enough for the peninsula.


    Dave Moore

    I think we do agree, but to be clear I said we could decide to take the money we spend on police and apply it to other death causes. I wasn’t saying that I wanted cops on some sort of bizarre cancer beat. “Freeze. Drop that prostate!”



    I think the issue with this is that without four tracks systemwide, putting trains that close together means that pretty much *any* incident completely freezes the system.



    My point is that police don’t work only on the top causes of deaths.

    Nor should they. They should optimize their return on investment of their time and our money, based on their capabilities. If we put the cops on cancer, our return would be zero. It’s hard to discern how well they could impact incidents of domestic violence (even if there were a way to discern someone with a probable likelihood of killing their spouse, the courts and constitution might prevent useful action).

    I think we agree here.

    The return on investment of a cop sitting at 5th and Townsend approaches zero. Up to me, the best ROI would be putting cops in the Mission and North Beach every night busting drunks getting into their cars. There is a very direct correlation between DUI and traffic violence.



    Post-electrification longer cars will pose much less of a penalty and make a lot of sense.



    You don’t mean “entitlement”, you mean “inappropriate sense of entitlement”, or “pretending to be entitled to things which they really aren’t entitled to”, a.k.a. “putting on airs”.

    It’s a common confusion, but I think our language would be a lot clearer if we didn’t make this confusion. There are things which people really are entitled to (like… fair treatment by the cops), and they frequently aren’t getting them. Entitlement can be a good thing.


    Dave Moore

    Violence related deaths includes things other than homicides.

    The most recent data I can find was from a study from 2004 to 2007. The report is here:

    The numbers are a bit tricky to examine because people are grouped by sex and by age, and sometimes these two causes aren’t include because they don’t happen enough (as compared to other death causes) but violence related deaths (all mechanisms) is consistently much higher than motor vehicle related deaths (all mechanisms).

    Both numbers are tiny btw, when compared to things like suicide, hearth disease or cancer.

    My point is that police don’t work only on the top causes of deaths. So complaining that cyclists are being scapegoated when drivers cause more deaths is a bit questionable when those drivers could use the same argument about targeted enforcement vs preventing drug related deaths. Or suicide. Or cancer, if we said that all the money we spent on the police should be used in some other way that would benefit us more.

    Note: I’m not suggesting that we do this. And I think in this instance (as I said above) it looked like it was cops taking the easy path, probably instigated by complaints. Personally I’d prefer a step up in red light enforcement because it would benefit everyone’s safety. I think cities develop patterns about lights and in SF the pattern is that people run through lights well after they’re red. That seems like something that could be changed with a concerted effort.



    Is that really true? I don’t think so. 25 pedestrians and cyclists killed by cars, plus how many more car drivers killed in 2014 vs. 44 murders. They are comparable.



    File a Sunshine request. Or get Scott Weiner’s office involved.



    Would anyone expect no one to fume over not having their pick chosen in SF? Like with all change, we deal with it and move on – usually remarkably quickly. Leadership is very heavy lifting and cannot replace each of us being the change we want to see instead of just commenting on the sidelines.


    Andy Chow

    Generally they refurbish a few cars at a time, not the whole fleet at once. It doesn’t take a year to refurbish a car, but if it takes a few weeks to do a few cars in a batch, then it could take a year to do them all. So the plan is to run some of them now while the rest gets refurbished, and when the refurbished cars returned, Caltrain will swap them with the unrefurbished cars.



    Oh god. The Silver Line.



    There’s an old supplier’s saying: “You can have it good, cheap or soon. Pick two of three. The cars could probably be done sooner, but it would cost more. Also, there may be some parts needed to bring them up to “good as new” that have long lead times. Regarding the Metrolink markings: for a couple of years, Metrolink had a pair of trains they rented from Sounder, up in Seattle. Passengers don’t worry about paint jobs, they just want to get where they’re going on time and in reasonable comfort.



    They are acquiring 16 cars in addition to the 25 they already have. That would mean an additional train set + 5 spares.



    They are adding a bomb cobsist



    Self fulfilling. A bullet is preferable to sleeping in. Until I sold my car – if I overslept the last bullet, I drove. This is exacerbated by the fact that at 10 AM, driving becomes almost tolerable.


    Jeffrey Baker

    On the subject of longer trains, I rode home today on one of those 3-car “trains” that BART inflicts on midday riders. Crush-loaded, of course. Why does every local transit agency hate people?


    Karen Lynn Allen

    Actually, according to last year’s February counts, the last southbound BB of the morning, train 332, has gained ridership faster than every other southbound train, and as of a year ago was at 79% of capacity, the fifth most popular/crowded southbound train of the morning. The last northbound BB of the evening, train 385, is the most popular/crowded northbound train between 5:30 pm and midnight. Later techie trains might indeed help balance the load as well as grow ridership. Also, Caltrain could consider offering slight discounts off-peak so that price sensitive customers would help load balance.



    make that: wondering if anyone knows why the western sidewalk was closed



    The car-free Golden Gate Bridge this past weekend was great. The movable median barrier is a welcome safety improvement and it’s good that the eastern sidewalk was open to pedestrians and bicyclists. It’s unclear why the western sidewalk was closed – since all six lanes of the bridge were available for work crews, etc. The throngs of pedestrians and cyclists packed onto the eastern sidewalk appeared to cause some friction, since walkers had difficulty walking even two abreast and everyone had to repeatedly stop or make room for cyclists and walkers. Wondering if anyone knows why the eastern sidewalk was closed.



    NJ transit also runs 10 car bilevel trains. At some stops, only 4 cars open.



    Two years ago, I was riding my bike home when a cabbie knocked me off my bicycle. I needed surgery to put my ankle back together, and then nine months of physical therapy.



    Not all GO Platforms are long enough either, at some stops, you need to exit the train from some number of forward cars. Of course, this probably increases dwell time. That being said, they’ve been extending platform, including a platform in Kitchener where I live which was extended through a cross street.



    Interesting, I thought they were using the same locomotives, but it looks like the GO Transit version is more powerful. That being said, GO Transit transitioned to the more powerful locomotive at least in part to support 12 car trains (according to Wikipedia anyway), up from 10 car trains. The previous model was not more powerful than Caltrain’s.



    Yes, extending the BB schedule another hour seems like an easy way to relieve congestion. And it should be done bidirectionally. The last northbound BB is SRO from San Jose northward on most days.

    Most people working in tech have flexible schedules. Most of my workmates don’t show up until after 9:30am.