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    BRT is a third-world solution. It is better to do nothing now, and save money for rail-based solutions later. There should be some sort of federal regulation against BRT, some way to kill this thing in US.



    This famous pic has a crass manipulation: the angle of the “car” frame is much lower, which gives the impression cars use more space than they actually do. You can easily notice that effect by looking, on the bus and bicycle frames, a building at the end of the street, and the lined-up façades, and then realizing how the “car” frame covers just half the length of street shown on two other pics.

    I actually called out a known-ish professor on a seminar about her misuse of a clearly manipulated pic, and she wasn’t happy about it (the seminar was about misuse of data to rosy up road projects etc).



    This photo is at 6th ave at Lincoln Way. It is not a crosswalk and is clearly marked with 2 signs as not a pedestrian crosswalk.



    I’ve seen quite a lot of motorcycle cops on Terry A Francois the past couple of mornings, focusing on the five. A block from the new station.



    I think the upcoming protected intersection in Davis will go a long way towards convincing other Californian cities that this is doable:



    Even Buenos Aires finally gave up on proving Braess’s Paradox over and over every day. The median of Avenida 9 de Julio now has BRT:

    “Subsequent analysis has shown that the relief is temporary due to induced driving.”

    Just like Nick Falbo did for the Protected Intersection, someone needs to make a visually arresting and understandable video explaining Braess’s Paradox and how it relates to traffic. It’s scary how few people in positions of power seem to get this.


    Bob Gunderson

    Hiura Optometry would hate to see all their fine work with the Mayor protecting parking to go to a silly bike lane.



    Funny, I thought you were the guy who suggested the one on the Farallon Islands.


    Bob Gunderson

    It doesn’t let me pick the Bay or the ocean.



    None of those vehicles require parking. Get rid of the parking, suddenly there is a lot of land for BMRs. But the poor need cars to get to work, you know.


    Andy Chow

    I don’t think TNC vehicles or Google buses have any significance in terms of traffic impact compared to lower income communities. In wealthier areas, you will see newer, nicer, and more luxury cars. In low income areas, you will see plenty of clunkers and work vehicles.

    A luxury high density development for example may be able to afford a private shuttle to the nearest rail station. The shuttle traffic is insignificant compared to the automobile traffic with or without the development.

    We want low income housing near transit is to hopefully address the displacement issue and open up job and business opportunities without having to acquire automobiles. The market forces may now favor denser developments, but there’s still yet a motive or incentive to encourage low income, higher density housing near transit.



    Sure, but only when you’re *actually* on the side of the poor. Everyone claims that, but not everyone is.



    “Everyone justifies their position by saying they are on the side of the poor, because in a progressive city like SF, being on the side of the poor automatically makes you the good guy.”

    No, actually, being on the side of the poor literally makes the good guy anywhere in the world.



    It’s not merely private automobiles that the rich people bring into a neighborhood. Rich people will use Uber and Lyft and Google buses not Muni. Uber and Lyft have already added 15,000 cars to the streets. Uber and Lyft will continue to increase traffic in neighborhoods proportionate to the number of rich people who move into those neighborhoods, regardless of the number of parking spaces.

    So you see, the class issue is still relevant. Rich people will use Uber, Lyft, and Google buses and private cars (whenever humanly possible). Low income people will use transit or walk. Period.

    Build low income housing on transit. Fewer cars. Safer streets. House the people. Beautiful diverse community. Simple.



    Make sure and request one in front of Flipp Furniture on Polk Street:

    1400 Green St
    San Francisco, CA 94109

    Dan was one of the reasons we don’t have bicycle lanes on Polk Street: he is trying to preserve his precious parking spaces. I would love to see them converted to Bicycle Share spots instead.



    The problem I am told is displacement, evictions.

    Building only BMRs in a neighborhood with a high level of interest in non-BMR housing will keep the pressure higher on the market rate units.

    If people getting evicted from their homes when the landlord sells and buyer OMI’s them is OK because there is a BMR landing spot 10 blocks away – then you have a point. Otherwise you have it backwards. The demand for NEW residences in the mission is market rate.


    Oliver Wendell Holmes

    “The Valley Transportation Authority Board of Directors today could enshrine road widenings in its 20-year transportation sales tax, proposed for the ballot in Santa Clara County this November.”
    FYI – the sales tax measure is scheduled to go on the ballot in November 2016, not this November.



    But if they’re taking Google buses every day (and uber and lyft every night and weekends) it still doesn’t make sense to give them the precious housing on major public transit hubs.

    No matter what, the most sensible thing BY FAR is to prioritize affordable housing on public-transit-rich corridors.



    Those in SF who think more parking and wider roads are the way to go should go spend some time in San Jose, to see if that’s what they really want.



    This is huge. It will be such a big and positive change for SF. I am most excited about the fact that projects will be able to happen more quickly and cost less to study. The TDM piece will be very important for projects like the SF General Hospital expansion. It will give them a way to solve transportation problems without simply throwing in more car parking.


    Andy Thornley

    For those of us working to reconcile San Francisco’s fundamental transportation and environmental policies with the city’s practice of CEQA this is profoundly important stuff, however overdue. The AB-779 proposal to delay OPR reforms seems to have been repaired on the Assembly floor earlier this week, sounds like we’re back on track to get something good done here . . .



    Well, that’s why I said “You’re kidding, right?” I wasn’t sure anybody could be that crass. Even a Republican.



    Check out Bob Gunderson’s post history. (On Disqus you can do this by clicking on a username and viewing all their recent comments anywhere).

    If you don’t get it, your snark detector might also be broken ;)


    Andy Chow

    I certainly don’t spend a $1000 a month on a car. At most I might spend that much a year on insurance.

    Car components fail from time to time, but a lot of maintenance and repair can be done DIY.

    There’s plenty of homeless people living in cars. If the vehicle is old, the ongoing fixed cost isn’t much, and living in cars is more dignified that living on the street. Are you suggesting that they should trade in their cars for an apartment in SF?



    OK, I’ll bite. Why then does he have that “No Bikes” symbol on his icon?



    I haven’t looked at a Chronicle lately, but I would guess that the advertising space devoted to motor vehicles is vastly more than the space for bicycle-related business.



    We’ll toast to it at the post-challenge closing event. Save you a parking spot!



    A car will cost you – all in – $1000 per month. $1000 per month will buy a lot more, better located, properly permitted, planned, and constructed structure for living.



    Exactly, industrial jobs tend to be located in low density areas which have poor transit connections almost by definition. Crappy jobs have irregular shifts, and people need to work multiple part-time jobs. If anything, it’s a sign of wealth that one can live in the small parts of the USA where you can easily can be car-free. No, I don’t have a good answer for this.

    Also: “A car is not required in the Bay Area”. This person either hasn’t seen much of the Bay Area, or is willing to spend 6 hours a day on transit.


    Andy Chow

    If you live in a right place with a right job, you can certainly forego your car. But if you can’t afford to own and is having a hard time to rent, a car may allow you to live further away in less costly places but still keep the same employment.

    Yes. Many things can go wrong with a car, but they can be easily given up or replaced. Bus or bike is a legal, more affordable, and environmentally preferred substitute to driving, but is living in a car or living on a tent a substitute for properly permitted, planned, and constructed structure for living?



    This was, in fact, the primary reason why my partner and I ditched our car. An oil pan taken out on a rocky road, a transmission that randomly failed, a set of tires that had to be replaced due to excessive wear, and suddenly it seemed more cost effective to get rid of it than keep it sitting around eating up money in repairs.



    That’s exactly the point of this campaign–it highlights how many of them are *not* doing that, yet make major decisions about our infrastructure projects.



    The issue of subsidized vs. luxury/market rate affecting the amount of cars brought into the neighborhood is just looking the wrong way. If you want to limit the number of cars used in a neighborhood, simply limit parking. That’s it. Done. Attempting to regulate anything else is just blowing smoke and obscuring the real issue.



    “The cost of car ownership is relatively stable compared to housing costs.”

    I don’t agree with this at all. People sign leases on houses, or buy houses, locking in housing costs. Transmissions can blow up whenever, cars get stolen, towed, car accidents occur, insurance rates jump if you get a speeding ticket.

    The recent runup in housing costs in San Francisco is actually historically atypical. Car unreliability is established.



    They aren’t stupid – they’re trapped. If you have money, you are more able to make dislocations in your life in order to manipulate your need to own cars. For example, you can convince your employer to give you a fancy shuttle.

    The trap is self-fulfilling, you have a car, you blow through 40k, then you don’t have that 40k in order to allow you to take some dislocation in employment or living status in order to put together a new setup where you don’t have to blow through the next 40k.

    The trick is to remove the trap. If we as a society make it simpler for people with less money to ditch their car without having to move or switch jobs – they can escape the trap.


    Mesozoic Polk

    Keep up the good work, Farrell et al! Represent the true people of San Francisco by driving everywhere. Don’t give in to these thuggish publicity stunts hatched by all-powerful transit rider lobbies.


    Andy Chow

    Many of them own cars so they have flexibility in employment. If you’re a Googler or Facebooker where the employer pays for the commute, not owning a car may be a very good option (you can car share or rent car for other trips), but not so for somebody who has a swing shift job in an warehouse out in the suburbs.

    The cost of car ownership is relatively stable compared to housing costs.



    While there’s been a lot of criticism of the new Bay Bridge, criminals seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of it.




    Nicasio Nakamine

    22 days is a respectable chunk of time – enough time to really feel what it is like to take Muni to work every day.

    The real publicity stunt is when the Mayor rides to City Hall on Bike to Work Day, makes some empty promises, and then goes back to business as usual.



    SFTRU is illustrating that it’s been 22 years since the prop was approved.

    How long is your public official pressuring campaign targeting?



    It’s also worth questioning the validity of using an LA Times editorial as a reason not to build housing at 16th & Mission. I’m sure the claim that low-income people living near metro rail stations are more likely to use transit than high income people is true near surburban rail stations in LA, but I don’t think you can apply that logic to an area like 16th & Mission that is desirable primarily because you don’t need a car in order to live there. In the Mission, whether or not you have a parking space bundled with your housing probably has a much bigger effect than your income level on whether or not you choose to own a car.



    God forbid someone actually go to a garage and pay for parking. Support the free market!



    Ok, but poor people aren’t stupid. They, far more than the rich, know how much it costs to own and maintain a car. If a car was really more of a burden to them than it was worth, they’d get rid of the thing in a heartbeat.

    I do agree that improving public transit is something that will help everyone, but housing prices are the major problem here, not car ownership.



    Everyone justifies their position by saying they are on the side of the poor, because in a progressive city like SF, being on the side of the poor automatically makes you the good guy. You wouldn’t want to hurt this poor kitten now, would you?

    The problem with Fran Taylor’s article is that she uses ‘market-rate’ and ‘luxury’ housing interchangeably, and advocates for only building ‘affordable’ housing (i.e. housing with rents subsidized by the city.) Demanding that all new construction be ‘affordable’ will lead to very little housing be built and exacerbate the housing crisis, because it’s not affordable for the city to subsidize rents for a large number of rental properties. However, it’s totally valid to demand that new market-rate housing be built without luxury features such as a dedicated parking spots and excessive floor space; this will improve affordability without the need for subsidy, and will also address the Vision Zero concerns she raises in her article.

    Above all, the solution is not a moratorium.


    Ryan K

    Removing the central freeway would make things even more terrible than they have already been made with replacing the Fell Street offramp with the Octavia Traffic Jam, but it’s obvious you don’t care about the tens of thousands of people who use it.


    Bob Gunderson

    On it!



    to be clear – Fran is a huge supporter of the expansion of public transit, and in a very smart manner, understanding the lines that serve her area and the needs of that population. And I don’t recall her fighting the parking meters.

    But I don’t think it’s correct to tie additional housing in the mission to Vision Zero. Perhaps this is some sort of attempt to get transit advocates to support the moratorium, but I don’t see it.

    She cites this statistic – “City data show that the richer you are, the more likely you are to own a car.”, I think this is disingenuous, because the demographic most demonized by the moratorium supporters are the tech employees who take shuttle buses to work, who increasingly are NOT owning cars. The City data is across the whole city, including large swaths which are wealthy areas with little to no transit service – the car ownership levels in SeaCliff are not relevant to the Mission.



    A major contributor to the poverty is the absurd regular upkeep cost of maintaining a private vehicle. A car is not required in the Bay Area, and is likely chipping away at income that would otherwise improve quality of life for many people. it is time to put to rest the myth that reducing public subsidies for private vehicle entitlements materially affect the poor. If activists want to help the poor, they should be rooting for policies which improve public transit, the public realm, and active transportation options.



    So let’s see. Fran says that the rich have all the cars. The anti-bike-lane people say that removing parking hurts the poor because they are the ones who depend on cars. Reference the fight against parking meters in the area around 17th Street – the primary argument was that it would hurt the poor.

    My head is spinning.