Skip to content

Recent Comments

RSS
  1.  

    MrEricSir

    *makes “west side” hand gesture in support of this plan*

  2.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    A bus lane on the bridge could be ok but we can do better and we can do better right now. Ban all cars on Folsom between the bus terminal and the bridge. That cuts ten minutes off the trip and you can do it with paint.

    Transit lane on the bridge would be all but useless since traffic would still crawl down 580, 80, and 24. You’d have to punch the lane through way beyond west Oakland. It would be simpler to just relieve traffic by raising tolls.

  3.  

    Filamino

    Whatever the final plan is, there has to be at least 2 lanes of traffic. No way can one lane handle all the traffic on the street. Drivers going to the Embarcadero will only drive into the heart of downtown where it is more dense and crowded; thus, more chances of getting into a collision. People are going to drive to the docks, tourist spots and cruise terminals whether by taxi, tour bus, or car. Denying that is denying that people are going to continue to drive…

    I wish we could get rid of that huge median in the southern part of the Embarcadero. Muni does not need that much space, so I don’t know what the original designers were thinking. That space would be very useful on the waterfront side for a separated bike path.

  4.  

    Chairman Meow

    Richmond doesn’t have the density, or the political will to increase density, to justify heavy rail infrastructure. The proposal to add a second transbay tube has a much greater return on investment. 24 hour service plus increased capacity along its worst system bottleneck and one of the worst commuter corridors in the nation is a no-brainer.

  5.  

    Upright Biker

    “We could be talking decades,” Smith said.

    _Could_? Given the way transit projects crawl forward at a snail’s pace around here, we could be talking a quarter century.

    Honestly, can’t we do better?

  6.  

    murphstahoe

    I’d still switch to the Ferry. The route from Larkspur to the bridge would be circuitous, I’m not sure exactly how any train would get up the grade from Sausalito to the bridge, then you have to wind your way to downtown. Ferry is faster.

    Ridiculously less expensive to extend the train right to the Ferry terminal. The problem then becomes Ferry capacity. With enough dollars that can be overcome. And it would be a lot fewer dollars than such a train.

  7.  

    Gezellig

    Even more of a dream I know but maybe–just maybe–if BART seriously ended up going for a Geary subway it’d provide an incentive for SMART to find a way to build south through Mill Valley/Sausalito and cross the Golden Gate to connect with Geary:

    http://thegreatermarin.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/the-theory-smart-to-san-francisco/

    After all, one of the biggest problems SMART-to-SF would face is not just getting to a touchdown point in SF proper at the Presidio but actually taking the majority of would-be travelers where they’re headed to/from (central SF). If SMART “just” had to make it to Geary for a transfer with BART this (admittedly pipe) dream could be just that much more attainable in terms of psychological and funding barriers.

    Besides the benefits of a direct Marin connection on a secondary note this could also benefit within-SF travel in finally providing rapid rail access to jobs in the Presidio and the not-insignificant number of tourists who go to the Golden Gate Bridge every day (and probably even more would go if rail were an option).

    In any case, it is significant that BART is at least officially studying this.

    Great to read the 30th St infill is getting official study consideration again, too!

  8.  

    murphstahoe

    How is target shooting different than baseball? At the very least they are both Olympic sports. Well, actually baseball is not.

  9.  

    Nicasio Nakamine

    Something like this could make developing the west side of SF actually possible. As it stands, Muni can barely handle the people already here.

  10.  

    davistrain

    This is the old attempt to equate cars with guns and swords. Cars, baseball bats and kitchen knives all have non-lethal intended uses, not so with things designed and intended to be weapons.

  11.  

    jonobate

    I agree, but the extension process is being driven by a political decision to get the line to Fishermans Wharf. A North Beach station would be exactly at the location you would deploy TBMs for an extension to Fishermans Wharf, so building the North Beach station first would complicate building the extension.

    It’s crazy that they didn’t add on this small amount of extra tunneling to the Central Subway project. One of the most promising options has a tunnel portal on Powell just north of Filbert; that’s one block from Pagoda Palace where they extracted the TBMs! Of course, the reason for that is that the Central Subway way driven by a political decision to get the line to Chinatown, and when it was planned little thought was given to North Beach or Fishermans Wharf.

  12.  

    thielges

    Man arrested for using a car as a lethal weapon in Petaluma.

  13.  

    MrEricSir

    Extending Central Subway Would Boost Ridership 55%

    They should worry about opening a North Beach station first, especially since the tunnels are already in place. Seems like a waste not to use them.

  14.  

    murphstahoe

    Le sigh.

    all the drivers are speeding, so we will remedy this situation by increasing the speed limit.

    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/3175923-181/cloverdale-set-to-increase-speed?page=1

  15.  

    theqin

    Maybe they can have a single lane of traffic water front side “for deliveries,” it would travel in one direction only and require turning off of it every single block. This way it could not be used for through traffic, but any dedicated traffic with destinations on the waterfront could still pass through. The rest of the waterfront side could be used for bikes and pedestrians.

    I do kind of wonder though if any drastic change like this would increase the number of accidents in San Francisco since it seems like by default tourists drive off of the highway onto the Embarcadero and then are forced to drive very slowly in traffic along it. Any change would force them onto other city streets which are quite a bit more complicated to drive on.

  16.  

    Justin

    I hope that most if all of the Embarcadero will have a two way waterfront side PROTECTED bikeway along with all the other necessary improvements. I feel like that plan would stand to benefit all people who visit the Embarcadero waterfront. That plan is the proper plan, and one that shouldn’t be taken off the picture, but should be pursued ASAP

  17.  

    Gezellig

    Comparison of the same intersection in Utrecht, 1961 vs. 2014:

    https://bicycledutch.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/vredenburg1961-2014.jpg

    With a stop at one of its in-between states of evolution, in 1964:

    https://bicycledutch.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/vredenburg1964.jpg

    + cycletracks
    + transit-stop pass-behind
    not optimal intersections but better than the ’61 shared-space version.

    Judging by the even worse “mixing zones” and Copenhagen Lefts, it looks like cutting-edge (oh, and you *will* be cut on the edge by right hooks) intersection design in California is still very much on the fence about making the full leap from 1961 to 1964 (attached photo is a screenshot of the proposed Telegraph/MacArthur intersection):

  18.  

    jonobate

  19.  

    Lego

    Yes! Parking accommodations for deliveries.
    Chinatown merchants vigorously promoted to rebuild the Embarcadero Freeway. Their credibility to do what is good for SF & themselves in regards to these issues should be questioned.

  20.  

    Andy Chow

    On some parts of Stockton where the sidewalk is wider, merchants use the extra width to store some inventories, empty boxes, and garbage. I don’t think the merchants necessarily want wider sidewalks so that people can walk faster, and will probably use whatever extra space for themselves to effectively narrow the sidewalk.

    Completely eliminate the parking lane would be unwise because of the demand for day time deliveries.

    One measure that can improve transit performance is to use low floor buses. Unlike other cities that majority if not all of fleet low floor, all of the buses on Stockton are high floors (since Muni doesn’t have any low floor articulated bus or trolley bus). So the choices are either wait until these high floor buses are replaced (which would be a while for the trolley buses), or realign routes so that low floor buses can be served.

  21.  

    Lego

    If you can’t walk down the sidewalk and they are over-crowded with people then they are too narrow for the location by definition. Something is robbing that space from pedestrians. I’ll go look again today and report back, but the merchants take up a 2-5 feet with desired merchandise in ACTIVE USE. Parked car lanes take 8+ feet. Parked cars do relatively little for that area – a single parked car (or that space designed for a parked car) robs the space from hundreds of pedestrians/$hoppers per hour. I’ve lived in Chinatown for a quarter-century, it’s long past-due time to see space for a handful of parked cars to be given back to the very extreme demand of pedestrian traffic. If the sidewalks were wider (and parked cars OUT), more residents of North Beach could walk there too – Induced Demand. And that’s a good thing. If SF can’t make a pedestrian street out of those blocks of Chinatown. Where CAN they? It’s the lowest-hanging fruit. Super crowded, 17% car ownership, etc. In Europe that would have been pedestrianized decades ago. No brainer.

  22.  

    Mario Tanev

    All-door boarding evaluation is ready:
    http://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/agendaitems/2014/12-2-14%20Item%2014%20All-Door%20Boarding%20presentation.pdf
    http://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/agendaitems/2014/12-2-14%20Item%2014%20All%20Door%20Boarding.pdf

    Highlights:

    - It has decreased boarding times by 38%, and cut the variability of boarding times by a similar amount. The latter makes an impact on reliability – it reduces bunching/gaps and makes it more likely to make it through a transit priority signal.
    - It has increased Muni’s speed, despite overall increase in population, ridership and traffic. Previously, boarding accounted for a larger share of transit trip time, but now it’s mostly time between stops. What will help there is stop optimization, transit only lanes and transit priority.
    - It has decreased fare evasion (because of more fare inspectors and because managing to board without paying is not sufficient to continue to ride free). This all despite the very minimal (relative to industry standards) fare enforcement unit. Those who said that fare evasion will go through the roof were and are absolutely wrong.

    One thing they haven’t touched on is the impact on capacity. Muni is able to handle higher ridership with an ever decreasing fleet because riders don’t have to all cram at the front.

    So a clear, albeit modest win for riders and the agency. It was pushed hard by SFTRU, which also has also pushed hard for BRT, Muni Forward and the recent funding measures. To the cynics, you can see that hard work and dedication, bit by bit can show results. Make sure to support the work of SFTRU by becoming a member at http://www.sftru.org/join.

  23.  

    Jim

    Since almost every driver who parks their car in Chinatown has a disabled placard, I don’t see maintaining exclusive blue zone parking on Stockton being a viable solution. Perhaps convert some spots on side streets to blue zone (or pilot blue zone parking meters, should CA law ever change to allow for those).

    There are at least three parking garages and lots in Chinatown. Perhaps the Chinese Chamber of Commerce needs to expand the parking shuttle to weekdays.

  24.  

    Jim

    Muni couldn’t build a station and tunnel past North Beach because the federal funds for the CS did not cover those items. It’s much like what VTA is dealing with with the Alum Rock and Santa Clara BART stations.

    MTA is going to release their preliminary study of Phase 3 and 4 in December: http://sfmta.com/sites/default/files/agendaitems/2014/12-2-14%20Item%2015%20T-Third%20Phase%203%20Concept%20Study.pdf

  25.  

    Gezellig

  26.  

    Bruce

    There needs to be stop consolidation on Chestnut as well. There is absolutely no reason why the 30 or 30X need to stop every single block (except for Steiner eastbound) on the flat-as-a-pancake mile-long stretch from Van Ness to Broderick. The 45 and 41 stop at every other block along Union, even on the hilly part west of Steiner. If they removed half the stops on Chestnut for the 30 and 30X then they could extend the remaining ones to accommodate 90-foot articulated buses.

  27.  

    sfspmurph

    Assuming removing parking on Stockton is a non-starter (regardless of the car ownership levels, I suspect those parked cars are local) has any study considered making Stockton one-way going north from the tunnel to Columbus and making Powell one-way going south from Columbus to Jackson? Southbound traffic could job back over to Stockton or potentially keep going to Sutter if they will keep the route after Central Subway construction. It’s steeply downhill there, not sure how that affects trolley buses.

    In any case, somewhat skeptical anything truly beneficial to transit will come of this plan.

  28.  

    Morgan Driver

    Almost every car parked on Stockton St. now has a disabled placard already.

  29.  

    Andy Chow

    The only exception I would make is to allow auto pick up and drop offs along with disabled parking. If people don’t try to hunt for parking on this street the traffic should flow better.

    Sidewalk on Stockton is actually not that narrow, but a part of the space is used by merchants to put their merchandise. That’s what most grocery stores do.

  30.  

    Bluehale

    Yeah I don’t see how a lot of these changes make it off the drawing board. I mean Stanley Roberts had a segment a year or two back how the SFMTA doesn’t even ticket people in Chinatown. Even if most or all of these changes are implemented how much will it help? Stockton street in Chinatown is a major traffic clusterfuck anyway.

    Honestly a long term solution would be to extend the Central Subway to North Beach and perhaps the Marina in order to move 30/45 riders onto MUNI metro. But there’s no money for that and more importantly no political will. Hell for some reason MUNI couldn’t build a station in North Beach even though the tunnels end right there!

    Then again not much about Bay Area public transportation planning makes sense these days.

  31.  

    paulc1978

    What I’d also like to see are the crosswalks in every direction to allowing walking at the same time. Too many times I’ve been waiting to make a right turn and a stream of people are walking across the parallel crosswalk to the street and then the light changes and the same stream is now blocking a turn again.

    I’d prefer that all crosswalks function at the same time and people then would be able to walk across the intersection at a diagonal as well. It may not reduce the amount of box blocking but would certainly improve pedestrian flow as well as traffic flow.

  32.  

    IHeartPandas

    Agreed that there shouldn’t be any private parking on Stockton at all. It would make much more sense to eliminate the parking and widen the sidewalks, as it’s super crowded to walk during the day on Stockton in Chinatown.

    Does anyone know why the segment of Chestnut in the Marina isn’t having some of its stops consolidated? There’s no need for the bus to stop every block when it’s flat and the blocks are short.

  33.  

    Upright Biker

    Ha. That really is where we’re at, isn’t it?

    The difference this time is that A and B won, and L lost big-time. As a resident of NB/Chinatown, I intend on using the ballot box as my primary weapon against the forces of watering-downedness.

    Honestly, should there be any private parking at all on Stockton? Seems to me it should be reserved for deliveries only, and those deliveries should be restricted to hours other than morning and evening rush hours.

  34.  

    murphstahoe

    Begin the watering down process now

  35.  

    Greg Costikyan

    Sounds like a no-brainer.

  36.  

    als

    Couldn’t they have lowered the parking lot?

  37.  

    Andy Chow

    It is weird that they didn’t even bother with extending the platform canopy at Coliseum to connect with the OAC. Something along with lines of a fabric canopy should be sufficient.

  38.  

    murphstahoe

    The irony is strong with this one

  39.  

    als

    I don’t recall having to cross 6 lanes of traffic when using the SFO AirTrain. Check back with me on a rainy day when I use BART to the Oakland airport – I might have some more comments after that.

  40.  

    Bruce

    The reason was the parking lot underneath the station.

  41.  

    94110

    I tried it out. It was weird. You cross about six lanes of traffic to get to the airport.

    Considering that even weirder is that you have to go down an escalator. There is no (obvious) reason the station couldn’t have been at ground level.

    This is at the same time the most advanced and professional project BART has ever done, and the most compromised and half baked.

  42.  

    Bruce

    It gets you just as close as SFO AirTrain does (for the domestic terminals anyway). Nobody complains about that.

    It really is pretty close to the terminals. It’s just on the other side of the drop-off/pick-up loop right in front of Terminal 1.

  43.  

    BK

    Best quote from “OAC Riders Weigh In” video at minute 1:50: “And then when you get to the airport, you just go down the escalator and walk across the street and you’re there, ready to go.” How does a $500 million line that is built for the exclusive purpose of taking people from BART to the airport not even make it to the f#*$%ing airport?

  44.  

    Michael Smith

    The current SFMTA description of issues with NextBus predictions is far more accurate than the previous one from a couple of weeks ago. The new blog posting clearly indicates the many operational issues inherent with the system such as vehicles being taken out of service or simply not departing as scheduled that make generating accurate predictions in certain situations extremely difficult.

  45.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    Shorter SFMTA explanation about why Nextmuni doesn’t work.

    “We suck at driving buses. Our slack-jawed, goldbricking operators can leave the terminal whenever they feel like it, and no computer program can cope with this mode of operation. This will never be fixed because our fundamentally corrupt organization exists to support itself and its future pension obligations. We don’t give two warm poops about riders.”

  46.  

    Andy Chow

    If the parking demand is great (which I somewhat doubt), there can always be interchange improvements from 101 to the Berryessa station and putting more parking there. There shouldn’t be consideration for further extension at least until the Berryessa portion opens and depend on how commuters react.

  47.  

    SFnative74

    As a transit user, I’m less concerned about whether my trip is 20 minutes vs 18 or 19 minutes. I’m more concerned that I know my trip will consistently be a certain length so I can plan for it. When a trip can vary from 18 minutes to 40 minutes, it becomes very frustrating, which is why I usually walk or bike. I know how long those trips will be. I don’t see signals addressing that issue.

  48.  

    SFnative74

    Keep in mind that four bulb outs can cost more than one signal.

  49.  

    Annie Alley

    The Alley actually runs between the bar Novela (on the East) and the California Historic Society (on the West). SPUR is two buildings East of Novela.

  50.  

    Christin

    Thanks Aaron for the correction! Yes, we had gone back and forth with Felipe and Sean about why the bus shelters were in the visual designs in their presentation but not in the text of the legislation. They explained that bus shelters aren’t legislated but transit bulbs (curb lines) are. So, really there isn’t any other time to oppose the shelters but at this junction as far as we understood them.