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    Jamison Wieser

    The current fleet of trains was custom designed by a sketchy manufacturer (LA and Boston have both had problems with Breda too) which the SFMTA disqualified from competing again because of all the troubles.

    The Siemens trains on the other hand are the latest version of a proven design. This time they aren’t just making up performance numbers and hoping, they had real-world data to judge them by. The SFMTA got to demo them this time.



    Its really too bad that theyre stuck with high floor (unless they wanted to spend a bunch of money to convert the subway stations). Its really lame for the street running segments.



    or if SFMTA bid requirements around hills, sand, stairs, doors, etc. make them ridiculous to maintain. I suspect it is a combination of all of these.



    The real question I’d like answered is this: what other transit systems use Breda trains, and what sort of mean distance between failures do they experience.

    That would tell us if it’s the quality of the Breda trains, or if it’s the way we do maintenance here– in which case, we’re unlikely to see improvements from new trains.



    Level boarding was never part of CTA or MTA’s original development plans. I don’t believe any transit line with BRT features in the US currently features level boarding. The Orange Line in LA, which earned a “bronze” ITDP rating, doesn’t feature level boarding throughout its route. Level boarding is a nice to have, but I’d much rather have a dedicated transit way and transit signal priority first. This is SF, it’s taken over 10 years of planning just to get this close to reality.


    Thomas Rogers

    Meanwhile, Van Ness BRT is apparently giving up on level boarding?



    So… They’re not low floor?



    this actually sounds like a good deal.. but. I feel like I’ve heard the “new fleet less breakdown prone” before. These sort of pre-approved decisions always sound very optimistic, nary a doubter anywhere. I suspect we heard the same things before we bought those breda trains.



    “note that one-third of the 17,500 signatures we collected came from over
    over 100 volunteers – people who live in S.F. and aren’t happy with the
    way decisions are being made about how we move around in this City”

    If you think this is going to help people get around the city, you’ve got another thing coming.



    Speaking of “corrections,” can you point to even a single instance of ballot box planning creating good policy in the long term?



    Still no low floor/level boarding huh?


    Khal Spencer

    Since so few people understand science, bombarding them with more facts and statistics has limited value (same is true in urban planning) because unless you are either trusting or trained in science, the charlatans can sound as superficially convincing as the working scientists in climate science. Its really frustrating.

    Speaking as a working geoscientist….


    Khal Spencer

    There is no such thing as a free lunch. Someone pays for that parking: Joe Taxpayer. This is a great way to turn people into fools voting against their own interest–bamboozle them into thinking they are getting something for nothing.



    Yes, that is what Murph is saying. I don’t want to get to off-topic, but belief in anthropogenic global warming has not changed much in the same time that the scientific community has overwhelmingly come to agree on it:

    So if we can’t get people to believe in something that 97% of scientists agree on, how are we going to get people to agree they should drive less?

    You are unintentionally correct though in that the root of both problems is the same: people no longer trust science, evidence, and statistics. It’s a weird phenomenon, but it is reality. There is now a whole science about understanding why people don’t believe in science:

    Personally, I think the solution is not more statistics and facts. Sure, you need that, but it clearly has been sufficient to change people’s minds. I think we need to get better at understanding what people really want (a safe place to live, to be able to get around, a reliable job, etc) and connect on that level. It’s not really about getting rid of driving, but realizing that you can get all the things you want by not driving. I don’t have the answers, but I know that both climate change and livable cities suffer from the same problems.


    Upright Biker

    “note that one-third of the 17,500 signatures we collected came from over over 100 volunteers”

    In other words, your policy declaration would have failed to garner the required signatures had your megalomaniac sugar daddy not filled the void with paid collectors working in parking lots.

    I would imagine having _real_ San Franciscans asking people at Muni stops or walking along Market Street would have returned a much more realistic assessment of your policy proposals.



    Murph, I’m not sure I understand your comment. Do you mean that the majority of people do not accept that human activity is causing climate change? I thought it a decent analogy, because in the early 90s I was struck by the fact that I read a respected weather book that contended the science was not yet in on global warming. Less than a decade later, scientists had come to more or less a consensus on the matter. Now the public is coming around (I think?). Seems like when it comes to the streets, particularly the issue of parking, most people are unaware of facts and studies, and so support all kinds of nonsense based only on what they experienced in the past.



    The extremely rich don’t tend to park or drive their own cars unless it’s a pleasure ride, and I don’t think even Sean Parker is dumb enough to pleasure ride through the city.



    This makes no sense. If I was rich, I would want the cost of street parking to be higher so I know I’ll always find a spot. If he gets his way, it’ll be harder for him to find a spot…



    Remember the South Park episode about Smug?



    I agree that he needs to read this blog, but unfortunately the rich don’t give a damn about these things. They are the epitome of self-centered and isolationist and a car-centric lifestyle suits these tendencies perfectly.


    Lucy Fur

    Sorry for the loss of Amelie and many other bicyclists who were killed by reckless drivers. Not paying attention while driving a truck can have tragic results. What is disturbing is the way that SFPD handles these accidents by letting drivers escape justice while blaming the victims; “Well I’ve seen bicyclists go through red lights so now I don’t trust any of them.” This is blatant discrimination against a group of people and violates the U.S. Constitution. ALL people have rights and bicyclists cannot be treated as second class citizens because they choose not to consume petroleum products on their commutes! Even if these callous and careless truck drivers and cops get away with criminal acts (vehicular homicide and failure to prosecute criminal drivers) there is a place in Hades for them. The hooved one does not forgive and does not forget. Since the driver remains free there is nothing stopping me from claiming his soul early. One less careless driver on Earth should match the loss of Amelie.



    I wish Sean Parker read streetsblog. He, unfortunately, does not understand how increasing the free parking supply induces demand, how parking minimums lead to sprawl and higher housing costs, how free parking leads to dysfunctional curbside regulations, how free parking hurts businesses that need turnover of curbside spaces for customers and loading/unloading, how free parking is incompatible with healthy dense urban spaces, how free parking stymies urban growth and density which are both critically necessary since the population continues to grow.
    Imagine the tremendous benefit that that same money could do if spent on pedestrian/cyclist infrastructure!!!!!
    My plea to Sean Parker: before you spend your money on an initiative like this, please do research: read all the articles on parking on streetsblog written over the last couple years!! You will be informed and better able to act wisely on this issue.



    A policy declaration is not law. The only requirement in this proposition is that the Board of Supervisors must review the policy declaration, but they maintain broad discretion as to how to proceed after the review. Let’s bear in mind that this particular declaration directly contravenes the Transit First charter amendments that actually do have standing, and therefore are unlikely to have any effect on current SFMTA operations without actual laws getting passed.

    Also, you are failing to mention all of the other more odious portions of your policy declaration including the requirement that SFMTA take a portion of meter revenue (now with less purchasing power since they can’t raise rates for the next five years) and put it towards the construction of parking garages in various neighborhoods around the city. Until you declare that you’re willing to take the home of your neighbor by eminent domain and build a parking garage there, I will take this as nothing more than a disgusting attempt to make other people’s neighborhoods worse off to serve the needs of a rich cadre of San Franciscans that can own and operate private vehicles at the expense of those who walk and ride bikes.

    Let’s not forget that each parking space in a garage would cost upwards of $30,000 to create, no to mention the cost of the underlying land taken off the tax roles. When SFMTA can only find less than 1% of it’s budget to finance bicycle ‘improvements’, despite the 3.5% of people who regularly commute to their jobs in the city, the thought that we’d be spending scare resources on building parking garages become even more disgusting.



    Actually, Sebra should voluntarily vacate altogether–so the building can be torn down, and replaced with car parking.



    “it took a while to get people’s attention and convince them as to the warming effect of greenhouse gases” – you have a rosy view of the status quo.



    I vote for one next to your house. And since you are all for transparency, as I am sure the candidates are – please specify which candidates signed your petition.



    Point: We need to educate the broader public, not preach to the choir, as to the benefits to them of paid parking, road diets, congestion pricing, and bike lanes. Otherwise they will continue support poor policy like “Restore Balance, ” to resent paying towards the presently externalized costs of their automobiles, to hate the SFMTA, and even in the worst case to express hostility toward all those not getting around by car. How to do that? Ideas anyone?

    I would suggest trying to get local columnists and reporters hooked up with policy analysts, academics (like Shoup), and neo-liberal organizations like SPUR that carry a lot of credibility with doubters. As it is I have persistently and politely tried to inform friends and family as to facts, but their seeming commitment to nonsense appears unmovable. Mine is just another opinion, and an unwelcome, contrary one. This is kind of like climate change — it took a while to get people’s attention and convince them as to the warming effect of greenhouse gases. It is going to take some real work to convince people we need to rebuild our environment around people, not only moving and parking automobiles.


    sebra leaves

    You should check your facts. Potrero Hill and Dogpatch stopped the extension of parking meters in the Eastern Neighborhoods. Three of the candidates for Supervisor in D-10 signed the petition to put Restore Transportation Balance on the ballot and all three support parking garages on Potrero Hill if that is what the residents want. (Although I am sure Tony will be thankful to you for signalling him out.)



    I’m not sure that the 85% rule would be the major obstacle to photo-radar deployment in CA. Most cities would unlikely to give citations where recorded speeds are < 10mph over the limit and the 85% line is invariably below that threshold. The CA vehicle code is actually completely silent on photo-radar for speeding and using photo-radar evidence to establish a MVC speeding violation which is what makes cities squeamish about deployment — they feel that citations under the MVC would be challenged on this ground. San Jose used to have a program but voluntarily stopped it for this reason. An innovative approach that some cities have taken outside CA is to bypass the state MVC's entirely, and establish high speeds as a public health hazard and nuisance under local laws. Enforcement could be then managed using local administrative citations similar to other environmental and public health hazards.



    In collaboration with the CDC, Department of Public Health studied the impact of several speed reduction scenarios on pedestrian deaths back in 2010. The findings are posted here:


    Angie Schmitt

    Booooo, Sean Parker! Do you think the guy who owns the house in Silicon Valley is based after him? He kinda looks like him.



    I wish you could dismiss the importance of this kind of thing, but you shouldn’t. If it passes, Parker et al will say that the voice of the people has spoken, and that voice wants free parking. That tactic is particularly effective if you have elected officials who support that view anyway. This really needs to be defeated.



    A pathology perhaps?



    That article on the Giants’ CEO and a friend doing all the Muni lines in one day reminded me of the time I visited SF to ride all the streetcar lines in one afternoon. I’ve always lived in the Pasadena CA area, and in the 1960s Southern Calif. was all diesel bus except for the Orange Empire museum out beyond Riverside. Diehard trolley fans had to make the pilgrimage to MuniLand to ride revenue service cars. Getting back to Mr. Baer, I would guess that he and his buddy didn’t ride each line end to end. Still, it would put them in the same “league” with New Yorkers who try to ride all the subway lines in the least amount of time.



    And if nothing else, it gives Supes like Farrell, Tang and potentially Tony Kelly cover when they come up with all sorts of fun ordinances.


    Mario Tanev

    I wouldn’t dismiss what they’re doing.

    Their plan is, if this thing passes, to go back to voters next year with a charter amendment. They can cite popular will when doing so and create quite the trouble. The tea party has been quite successful at such tactics, and this is the tea party we’re dealing with, so I would be careful about dismissing them.


    Brian Morrissey

    I think I will enjoy watching San Francisco fall into the ocean under the weight of the One-Percent’s walking – er…*driving* around money and collective self-importance.



    I think of it more as a religion.


    Jason Clark

    Hi, a few corrections:

    First, I am not running for State Assembly this year, That was back in 2012. Second, this is a Policy Declaration. The Policy Declaration asks for a PERMANENT ban on Sunday metering, not just a repeal through a two-year budgeting process, which can be reversed at any time by the SFTMA. Thirdly, the vote to repeal Sunday meters was made final only in late June after a CEQA appeal to the Board of Supervisors. (see Third, you should note that one-third of the 17,500 signatures we collected came from over over 100 volunteers – people who live in S.F. and aren’t happy with the way decisions are being made about how we move around in this City.

    - Jason P. Clark
    Official Proponent, Restore Transportation Balance


    Andres Dee

    Gosh, those bicyclers, pedestrians and bus riders act so entitled! (/sarcasm)



    I don’t remember him from the movie!



    If you want proof that extreme wealth is not an indicator of intelligence or a deep understanding of issues, this is it.


    Ian Turner

    Bizarre. I guess they can’t all be Dustin Moskovitz.


    Upright Biker

    Well, I suppose _someone_ had to pay SFParkRipOff to spend so much time spouting off on this issue. The notion that someone would willingly subject themselves to such humiliation for free was a little hard to believe…



    non binding resolutions are the civic equivalent of jerking off. The fact he gave so much money to something that has literally, no actual force of law shows how stupid he and his overpaid tech buddies are with regards to how the law actually works etc. He’d have been better off setting his money on fire in the middle of Market Street – at least then he’d help keep some homeless warm during a cold SF summer night.



    Okay. There must be some tech magnates who, unlike Parker, actually care about the future of the city. So how are they going to fight back?



    A recent Washington Post op-ed called bicyclists “terrorists” for getting in your way and slowing you down. We’re gonna need a new word for actual terrorists, since “terrorist” now seems to mean “annoying people.”


    Jym Dyer

    • Earlier achievements from those halcyon days in Brooklyn: Aaron invented the Honku, posted on streetposts around our neighborhood. He would also later persuade the DoT to try out some bike lanes, which was impressive given that the department was being run by Iris Weinshall at the time.


    Jym Dyer

    The point is to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt, because they can’t change policy based on merit. In a city where the SFMTA backs down because some wingnut yammers about “Agenda 21″ in public meetings, it could be effective. Unless those involved grow spines, I mean.


    Jym Dyer

    People upset about him trashing redwoods are “eco-terrorists” in his eyes, so of course he’s going to hate bicycles.