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    Bob Gunderson

    Great article about SF traffic cops give lessons on how they can’t be relied upon for safety & it’s ped/bikers fault if they get hit.



    It takes some digging but the EIRs are on the Downtown SSF Station Area Plan website.



    That is good news. I tried to find the actual plans online and was unsuccessful. Anyone have a link?



    Re: Richmond Bridge bike/ped lane—finally! Though it’d be really nice if it happened sooner than 3 years.

    Also, if we had a saner more equitable transpo policy the new motor vehicle lane would be a dedicated bus lane with GGT service branded something like 580 Express (in the grain of the long-distance rapid skip-stop 101 bus line GGT currently operates):

    Currently bus service into Marin from the East Bay is still largely the same as documented in this piece from 2007:


    Fran Taylor

    In Hoodline piece, Sgt. Murphy’s inane statements prove his own admission that an empty parked cop car is more effective than a live officer.



    Why don’t they maintain the crosswalks they already have? Probably a third of the crosswalks in my neighborhood are seriously faded. How much would it really take to have someone to drive around once a year and mark ones for repainting?



    Precisely. Because of rampant NIMBYism in the urban inner Bay Area, the vast majority of new homes have been built out in areas that were either always poorly served by transit–if they were even populated in 1991.

    It would be interesting to compare per capita transit usage in 1991 with per capita usage in 2015–for only those areas that were populated in 1991. I doubt it dropped 14%.



    Doesn’t appear from the drawings that it will be, so bicyclists should walk their bikes.



    It could if it’s done right, but not if it becomes a grimy, urine-stained nightmare that you have to hold your breath to pass through.



    According to the 2006 version of the California Highway Design Manual a bike lane next to a gutter should be 1.5 meters wide. That is to ensure that the bike lane is 1.2 meters wide as the gutter is not suitable to ride on. Your first picture does not follow that recommendation.



    The very underpass you deride will make the station feel very close to downtown (which it actually is!) The area should be much more walkable just with that on its own, not to mention the new mixed-use developments going up.



    And then they rubbed salt in the wound by putting an eyesore of a maintenance yard right in between the station platform and downtown. Thankfully they are undoing that mistake by converting it to a pedestrian plaza.



    The tunnel will connect to Grand Avenue on the east side of the tracks, so a pedestrian could walk from Gateway along Grand without having to climb up the overpass and then down the stairs.



    That’d be interesting to find out. Of course the CVC21208 does also allow for a very broad set of exceptions to the mandatory use law, including:

    “..the person may move out of the lane under
    any of the following situations:

    (1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle, vehicle, or
    pedestrian within the lane or about to enter the lane if the
    overtaking and passing cannot be done safely within the lane.

    (3) When reasonably necessary to leave the bicycle lane to avoid
    debris or other hazardous conditions.”

    Points #1 and #3 are especially key. At least in SF this is probably why it’s rarely enforced because of how often it truly is necessary to leave a bike lane.


    Jim Baross Jr

    The article referred to this as a bike lane. Is this to be a required to use facility, just as bike lanes are, per CVC 21208?



    You raise a great point–there’s often a disconnect between the practical usability width of a bike lane vs. its on-paper width.

    What a nice 1-ft. “bike”…uhhh…”lane!”

    Actually, even if the lane width stayed the same but it were repaved as level, smooth asphalt (no concrete curb gutter) the practical width would be greatly increased because of course in its current state most people naturally avoid concrete curb gutters and even the several inches of downward-sloping asphalt adjacent to it.

    As for the physical buffers, I think on balance they’re still welcome. Why?

    For one, this will not only be less tempting but less physically possible in most places:

    In addition to the increases in real and perceived safety (not to be discounted in terms of encouraging new bikership!), there’s also the following feedback loop:

    real barriers –> visual narrowing of the road for drivers –> car speeding reduction –> more pleasant experience for people on bikes –> more people bike

    This is especially true for the Interested But Concerned. I’ve introduced several friends to biking via the Wiggle/Panhandle and the lack of true buffering (by anything but easily ignorable paint) on this stretch is clearly the most stressful part. Cars speed by like it’s a freeway and regularly encroach upon or ignore painted bike lanes.

    Yes, this may increase bike congestion at certain points and times but it’s also kind of a “good” problem to have. The more people bike, the greater support there will be for better bike-infra improvements going forward. And of course every trip taken by bike is one that could’ve been by car. Personally, if traffic is going to be slowing me down a bit at rush hour I’d rather that be due to sharing it with lots of bikes rather than lots of cars, if I had to choose.



    To be fair, the 30 and 45 busses are also extremely crowded between Market and chinatown. As I understand it the central subway was a bargaining chip used to allow business leaders in chinatown to accept the teardown of the freeway along embarcadero.

    The money spent is not an either or scenario, the vast majority of the money comes from the FTA new starts program.

    In general there has been little opposition to the central subway during its planning, in fact a station at washington square is not even part of the initial segment due to concerns about opposition by north beach residents.

    Market/Geary/Van Ness is a much longer route and as a result potentially quite a bit more costly than the central subway.



    What the photo doesn’t show is what it looks like going the other way. This area is a quite large train yard and there are probably six or so tracks running through this station with only the two closest to the parking area used by Caltrain.

    You can see a rendering here

    As a side note this station provides pretty nice access to Lowes and West Marine, it’s faster to take the train here on weekends than it is to drive.


    Karen Lynn Allen

    Pretty funny to conflate the paltry amount spent on bike lanes with the $1 *billion* spent on the Central Subway. In terms of money, the two do not even occupy the same universe.

    The new, short, Central subway, sadly, is money poorly spent, mostly due to the huge expense and poor design/location of the stations due to having to tunnel so deeply under existing Muni/BART lines in order to cross Market. That billion dollars should have gone to light rail down Geary, with an underground segment from Van Ness to Market, putting a full third of the city within 20 minutes of BART and downtown. (Chinatown and SOMA, being within a mile of BART, already have excellent access.)

    In the years to come, San Francisco will heavily regret this. By then Willie Brown will be dead and Rose Pak will say she never thought the Central Subway was a good idea in the first place.


    Ziggy Tomcich

    On a one-way street it’s much safer to put the bicycle lane on the left side of the street because drivers can more clearly see you when making a left hand turn. They should do this along Folsom and Howard. Also the Pan Handle entrance is on the left, so putting a bike lane on the right side of the street would be a mess, forcing cyclists on the wiggle to cross Fell street three times before going into GG park.


    Andy Chow





    The M&R story – where has the population growth been focused in the Bay Area? New housing in Antioch will have a near zero transit share because there is no transit. Is the population growing faster in places with – or without transit.


    Karen Lynn Allen

    Interesting map about how much of the city is accessible to any given neighborhood by transit. I did it for my centrally-located neighborhood (northern part of Noe Valley) and thought the results pretty accurate for daytime hours when Muni runs fairly frequently and if there is no horrible snafu/meltdown. About 5% of the city is within 15 minutes of me by transit, and about 40% is within 30 minutes. But then I thought about what is available to me by regular bike, electric bike and by driving. (15 min/30 min)

    Transit: 5%/40%
    Regular bike: 15%/50% (going), 10%/30% (returning home–I live up a big hill)

    Electric bike: 25%/80%
    Driving: 30%/90%

    But the driving figures do not include parking and walking to my destination. If I include those, the numbers are closer to 10%/50%. And this is during non-congestion hours. During congested hours, if I include parking and walking to my destination, driving drops to 5%/40%, comparable to Muni, although the map would look quite different. (Granted, Muni is likely somewhat slower during those hours,too, and would likely be 4%/30%.) In the evenings, the Muni schedule backs off to the point transit becomes 2%/25% for me.

    I don’t think most people realize that for trips under 2 miles, biking is hands down the fastest way to get around in this city unless a *big* hill is involved. And that an electric bike gives you basically the same or better mobility speed than a car.



    Am I the only regular user of this stretch who is not particularly excited about this?

    During evening commute hours, this can be a crowded lane – even with some riders using part of the buffer space. When you factor in that the left 12-18 inches of the lane are unrideable (or at least very undesirable), I don’t know that I want huge plant boxes further squeezing me in.

    I’m not saying that I’m opposed to it, I’m just not sure about it. Perhaps I’ll know for sure soon…



    From Matier and Ross: “Millions have been pointed at bike lanes and the Central Subway to San Francisco’s Chinatown, while heavily populated corridors such as Mission Street and Geary Boulevard remain bus-only afterthoughts.”
    Do they not know that BART runs down Mission? Such a sad attack on the new subway.



    Guess you’ve never been to Bertoluccis



    Those station stops are located in much more suburban areas than South San Francisco–”The Industrial City”. Not a good comparison.


    Amanda Clark

    San Antonio and Lawrence get so few passengers, I’m not sure if they are good analogies (and in Lawrence’s case, its a station with zero bus access surrounded by suburban office parks-I doubt a magnet for criminals).



    I agree that this area needs to be 4-tracked before or as part of the new station. Seems like rebuilding for 4 tracks would be even a more expensive retrofit than electrification.



    The position seems to be that if HSR is ever built into SF, they’ll spend more money fixing it later.

    The other thing which should be done is to improve access from the office buildings on Gateway Blvd. In my old office, I could see the station right out the window, but actually walking there was a nightmare. The building management ran shuttles even though it was only about two blocks as the bird flies.



    This story is old, but strong arm robberies and plain old assaults still happen at University Ave and at Cal Ave stations.


    Andy Chow

    My concern about this project is HSR compatibility. A center platform served by trains in both directions may conflict with HSR with its passing tracks. There are passing tracks in Brisbane and space for passing tracks is also available in San Bruno. Given that SSF is one of the few cities that have no objection against building more tracks for HSR, it would be dumb to build a center platform that would either prevent HSR from installing passing tracks through SSF, or have it to be rebuilt in the future if passing tracks are needed.

    Caltrain dropped planning for the station several years ago because of funding and unresolved issues with UPRR and HSR. This should be the time to get it right.



    Thank God. I biked to the station once and it was confusing to plan and horrible to ride. The walking route didn’t look any better either.



    Sure, we know that but until someone finds the magic wand that with a wave gets everyone to understand – or gets us a mayor willing to inform and lead – we’re left with doing it usual way – slogging through uninformed objections. Besides, our homegrown NACTO Guidelines build on other guidelines and lay it all out beautifully.



    When I look at the area, it feels like Caltrans turned their back on the area when they put 101 through there.


    Greg Costikyan

    Yes, access to South City from the station kind of sucks, and this will doubtless be an improvement. And the area around the station is kind of a wasteland too, but recent proposals for transit-oriented development should help in that regard. It’s always kind of amazed me that someplace with (theoretically) excellent transit access to both SF and the Peninsula turns its back on Caltrain the way it does.



    The new platform will presumably have level-platform boarding, right?



    Hopefully the tunnel will be wide enough to walk and bike through, because we know people will use it for both.



    I know you might find this shocking, but there are pedestrian tunnels at the stations at Palo Alto, Cal Ave, San Antonio, Lawrence, Santa Clara – and I have never heard of a crime in one, seen any graffiti, nor a homeless person.

    I have however seen a person hit by the train I was riding on at South San Francisco.



    Pedestrian tunnel–sounds like a magnet for crime, graffiti and homeless.



    Community input has nothing to do with these delays. The local community has been supporting this and pushing for completion since the get-go.


    SF Sunset Guy

    but I’ve heard that Amsterdam has excellent public transportation.



    Nah, I chose to capitalize it because I wanted to, to make it standout, why I didn’t capitalize the one under quotations, I just probably forgot, there is no difference to the all caps in contrast to the lowercase in quotations if that’s what you’re asking


    SF Sunset Guy

    so the subsidized residential permits to to people who “can’t afford to pay” but can afford to own, maintain, fuel and presumably insure a vehicle in the most expensive city in the country. That, and rent or buy here?




    I’ve noticed this too. The SFMTA and SFBC are aware of it – plans are in the works to add some safe-hit posts à la 6th Street to block through traffic in the new parking lane at Sansome.



    We need to stop waiting for community input at every stop in planning. Getting stuff done will really require making some executive decisions.



    I emailed the planner about this issue before the vote a few months ago. The situation at Buchanan and Haight is particularly strange for the 6 since it will supposedly pull over to the stop on the right, proceed up a right turn lane to the corner, and then go through a transit-only signal phase to move to the red lane on the left. This despite the plan showing the red lane still not extending all the way to Buchanan, as you can see in the first photo; there’s some kind of flare in the Westbound lane there that makes no sense.

    The 7 (limited) also didn’t make much sense since it would continue to be stuck in the traffic lane as it is now unless it does the same right-left slalom. I told them to pull the red lane all the way back to Webster.

    I did notice that they put in some metering devices near Webster to measure the backup.

    The right-left slalom also makes a bulbout at Buchanan impossible. A boarding island might be better, or intelligence/sobriety tests for drivers (you have to be an idiot to sit in line on Haight for 3 blocks).


    Morgan Fitzgibbons

    For those of you keeping score at home, that’s over 4 years since “Mayor” Ed “Gets It Done” Lee called for the city to “fast-track” this project, 2.5 years since the project was officially approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors, and 2 years after it was supposed to be in the ground.

    San Francisco: where it takes 4 years for a 6 block cycling infrastructure project to be completed in the most optimal community political conditions in the entire city.

    Glad we pay those folks at the MTA $600 million every year to be a complete joke.



    It’s on the left because the left side of Fell has a few driveways, so you can separate the lane with planters or other barriers. The right side of Fell is almost entirely residential driveways. It’s just a matter of practicality. Additionally, if you move the lane to the right, every bike riding up the Wiggle has to cross Fell to get into the Fell bike lane.