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  1.  

    RichLL

    You would need to furnish evidence and data both that increased business arrived by bike AND that that out-weighed any business lost from cars.

    Not saying it would not, of course. But the cyclist complaining about a lack of speed and throughput are presumably heading somewhere else and not arriving at their destination, no?

  2.  

    RichLL

    I wasn’t aware that the bike lane is the primary cause of the increased popularity although I’d welcome evidence for that thesis. In the same time period we’ve had a tech boom and lots of gentrification, plus tech shuttles. Maybe that is the cause?

  3.  

    RichLL

    Your statement that blocking a bike lane is dangerous is somewhat of an exaggeration. What blocking a bike lane does do, without question, is inconvenience and delay cyclists, much like it delays and inconveniences other drivers.

    Danger only comes into the equation when you consider how you respond to that obstruction. It can for instance be 100% safe if you simply come to a halt and wait for the obstruction to leave. Zero danger.

    Where the danger arises is when you (on a bike) or me (in a car) decides that waiting a few seconds or minutes is unacceptable AND we also decide to pull out into traffic without adequately looking first. But that is danger you and I brought on ourselves due to impatience.

    So call this was it is. Selfish and inconsiderate? Sure. Dangerous? Only if you decide to make it so. Navigating obstructions is both an inevitability and a crucial skill for any road user.

  4.  

    murphstahoe

    since Valencia got its bike lane, the street has become the mecca of night life in SF

    –> BIke Lanes = mecca.
    –> Bike Lanes++ !!!

  5.  

    Donovan Lacy

    Rich,

    I think that you are really on to something here. Add a bike lane and dramatically increase commercial activity.

    I can only imagine the outcry by merchants if the bike lane was moved from Valencia to Mission St. eliminating a transportation alternative that many of their customers are utilizing to access their businesses.

  6.  

    mx

    I didn’t propose removing all the parking in the area, but some parking to provide safe places for people to pull over and pick up/drop off passengers. We do this all over the city to create loading zones for valets, commercial vehicles with deliveries, bus stops, etc… And it could be done in cooperation with Uber and Lyft, so when passengers request a ride, it can say “hey, walk half a block to this point where there’s a loading zone.” It’s currently possible to request a ride at locations with no safe places to stop at all (obvious example: right in front of Uber HQ on Market St) TNC drivers are terrified of bad ratings and won’t insist on finding a safe loading zone because it could slightly inconvenience an angry passenger, but it can be done if the service itself suggests it.

    While you can’t build a parking-protected bike lane on a street with zero parking, you can build lovely bike facilities just the same. Amsterdam and Copenhagen know how it works.

  7.  

    gneiss

    I think it’s time for the planners at SFMTA to admit that unprotected bike lanes striped on commercial corridors don’t work, and in fact create more conflicts than other treatments because of the inherent need for motorists to pull over to the edge of the roadway, either for parking or to drop off passengers. Both of those activities will create conflicts with people riding bicycles, and since there is a differential in the speed and positioning between drivers and cyclists, there is significant risk to cyclists for conflict.

    We routinely hear from motorists that people who ride bikes ‘always’ break the laws, but really it’s about taboos. Failure to stop at a stop sign or light is very taboo for motorists because we’ve all seen the consequences – damaged cars and mangled bodies. But, blocking a bike lane or double parking, while illegal, isn’t taboo because there are no consequences to motorists from this illegal behavior. It might upset other motorists, but it’s an inconvenience rather than resulting in significant damage or injury of people in cars. However, it does indeed pose a threat to people on bikes. Most motorists don’t know that though, because they never bicycle on city streets.

    That being said, the fact that the city police department ignores illegal double parking, the PCO doesn’t ticket for it unless they get complaints, and that taxis get a free pass from the SFMTA to double park in the bike lanes means that there is a culture among motorists that ignoring the prohibition of blocking the lanes must be okay, especially if it’s “only for a minute”. So, either we change the culture or the engineering. After seeing how badly the city is handling these rules on Valencia, I vote engineering.

  8.  

    RichLL

    Removing parking in a commercial zone can work. But Valencia has a large resident population, including both people who live in the flats above the restaurants and bars, and the mostly all-residential side-streets.

    Removing the parking would face huge opposition from people who live there, and all for what? Moreover you cannot have a parking-protected bike lane if there is no parking. Take away the parking and every Tom, Dick and Harry is driving into the bike lane

  9.  

    RichLL

    No, the real problem is that since Valencia got its bike lane, the street has become the mecca of night life in SF, with probably twice the people activity from when the bike lane was envisaged.

    That should tell you two things. First that cars will always be picking up and dropping off people, so you might as well accept it. And second, that putting the bike lane closer to the sidewalk would just invite people to expand into it.

    I’d move the bike lane of Valencia altogether. Now that Missions St. has been quiesced by the red carpet, maybe put the bike lane there instead?

  10.  

    Matthew

  11.  

    Rogue Cyclist

  12.  

    mx

    “Triple AAA Study Shows Driving Turns Men into Rage Monkeys”

    That would be AAA AAA AAA? I think that stands for Automobiles Automobiles Automobiles Automobiles Automobiles Automobiles Automobiles Automobiles Automobiles!

  13.  

    GS

    I rode this street from 2010 to 2014 to get to work, prior to the big rise of Uber and Lyft. It still was blocked continually, especially in the evening.

  14.  

    mx

    Uber is a symptom, not the problem (taxis are the exact same in this regard after all). And unlike contacting every random delivery driver out there, it’s actually possible to send messages to every single Uber and Lyft driver and use the software to direct riders to safe places to pickup/dropoff.

    If people continue to want to use Uber and Lyft, and it appears they do, we need to seriously look at removing parking and creating loading zones, with adequate enforcement so they don’t just stay parking, and ensure that people understand that stopping in the middle of bike or traffic lanes is unacceptable.

  15.  

    Marven Norman

    We desperately need this on Metrolink’s San Bernardino Line here in SoCal, especially the waiver. I’ll go out on a limb and assume that other Stadler products like the FLIRT3 have similar safety ratings as the KISS, so it would be beyond great to be able to operate a fleet of the hybrid model of those vehicles on the Redlands Rail and Metrolink mainline.

  16.  

    Easy

    Thanks to Uber, traditional bike lanes have reached the end of their useful life in urban areas. Self-enforcing protected bike lanes are now the only viable option if we want a city where everyone feels comfortable on a bike.

  17.  

    Jeanette Abbott

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  18.  

    Jeanette Abbott

    <<o. ✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤✤:::::::!be137p:….,…

  19.  

    Steve Pepple

    Hiura Optometrists is my eye doctor. I’ll let them know I’m going to stop walking or biking to their shop, if their not supportive of safer streets for the elderly and everyone else.

  20.  

    Mario Tanev

    Regarding the shuttles, here’s the simple math to explain why some riders are abandoning the shuttle and driving instead, with one example.

    The commute from the Mission now stands at 90 minutes one way (up from 60 minutes a couple of years prior). Adding a 5-10 minute walk before the latest changes, you get to 100 minutes one way. It is a gruelling commute. The increase in the commute time left riders with two choices: find another job (with less pay) or accept the increase. Driving offered a small advantage of 5-10 minutes, so it was not a useful option.

    Now, the stop at 18th and Church was replaced by a stop at 16th and South Van Ness. It was instead going to be replaced by 19th and Dolores, but free-parkers were opposed. According to Google Maps, the shortest walk is 16 minutes. Let’s now add the 16 minutes to the commute, and that becomes 116 minutes. For some now, the difference between driving and taking the shuttle is 26 minutes one way, or an hour each day. For people with children and families, the commute duration was at a tipping point, and it tipped over.

    In addition, the shuttle is often late (up to 10-20 minutes). If the walk to the shuttle is within 5-10 minutes from one’s residence, with real-time tracking, one can time it so they get to the shuttle not too early, not too late. If that becomes 21-26 minutes, that becomes impossible, and since the gaps between runs are large that can result in a long wait for the next run. Driving is a lot more reliable.

    It’s also quite a long walk to catch a bus, but probably preferable to Muni, due to reliability. Just the additional walking time is equivalent to walking from the 30th & Mission and 24th. For those with the 10-minute walking pre-implementation, it’s equivalent to walking from 30th to 20th. That’s two 14R stops of distance. Keep in mind that the average person on that corridor has to walk 1/4 of the distance between two stops, and the worst case is 1/2. So a shuttle rider has to walks 8 times as long as the average 14R rider. While exercise is good, there is a reason why people complain about stop consolidation of even one block. People don’t have the time or ability to necessarily do it every day. Here we’re talking about 10 blocks. Driving doesn’t have that issue.

    So to the author:
    “It made sure that the new stops were within half a mile of the old ones.” — it is 0.8 miles. And by the way, 0.25 miles is the standard for rapid transit service, so 0.5 is asking for double that distance.

    “Moving the stops by only a few blocks asks tech workers to make only the tiniest of sacrifices.” — I wonder if you would consider an added hour to your daily commute and 3 full rapid stops of walking to your bus stop a tiny sacrifice

    “Moving shuttle stops from smaller streets onto larger ones will reduce neighborhood congestion and improve quality of life.” — the stop was going to be moved from Church and 18th to Dolores and 19th, but was prevented by free-parkers and was instead moved to 16th and South Van Ness. Dolores is by no means a small street.

    “But the fault here is with those workers. ” — It would be interesting to see how you find fault in yourself when you face the same circumstances.

  21.  

    JustJake

    Passenger rail subsidies will be dwarfed by HSR subsidies I suspect. Agreed, freight has made very impressive strides forward recently, and the earlier subsidies surely helped them obtain that footing. The real estate right-of-way subsidy was huge. Lately, it appears they receive indirect help.

    “3. Subsidized railroads
    Coal is the most important commodity transported on railroads in America. As the Association of American Railroads describes, “In 2009, coal accounted for 47 percent of tonnage and 25 percent of revenue for U.S. railroads.” U.S. railroads get loans and loan guarantees from government agencies like the Department of Transportation/Federal Railroad Administration and have received numerous tax incentives for investments in new infrastructure. “

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/04/13/463874/top-three-ways-that-american-taxpayers-subsidize-dirty-coal-development/

  22.  

    Cali Curmudgeon

    Passenger yes, Freight, no.
    Seriously, rather than trying to revive the utterly DEAD horse of passenger rail, which lacks the door-to-door convenience of road transport and lacks the speed of air travel, why not focus the railroads on what they do *really* well, namely, haul freight?

  23.  

    Flatlander

    I’m actually not sure if there’s a contradiction here. Some of those tech shuttle buses are enormous, significantly larger than a Muni bus.

  24.  

    mx

    I like the assertion in the Chronicle editorial that “San Francisco residents” pay the SFMTA’s bills as if the people riding tech shuttles aren’t, by definition, San Francisco residents. Why would on earth they be commuting every day from SF if they didn’t live here (and hence pay property tax here, often at high rates not capped by Prop 13 in fact)?

  25.  

    mx

    My real proposal involves getting a time machine and not developing the Highway 85 corridor like land was free and unlimited, but it’s a little late for that. Since we’re stuck with that, I propose literally anything that is not a $1.2 billion dollar bus line. Setting the cash on fire would be more useful.

  26.  

    murphstahoe

    I don’t think you understand what it was I was trying to say.

  27.  

    murphstahoe

    tailgating is not inherently reckless. The safe following distances we have drilled into us from the first drivers education classes are based on human reaction times.

  28.  

    Funktapus

    You may notice that there are actually two bus stations in the graphic. One in the median and one on the other end of the bridge. So it would serve anyone within walking distance to a stop of any of those local buses.

    This is a commuter express service. They are considering both rail and BRT for the transit lane. Do you really have a better proposal?

  29.  

    lunartree

    You’re looking for a logical answer, but lets not pretend the tech shuttle debate involves anything other than emotion.

  30.  

    david vartanoff

    Previous articles have said that tech shuttle stops on Church St were among those abolished. Church St is wide enough for Muni, but too narrow for tech shuttles???

  31.  

    hailfromsf

    That’s fine with me. When their first at-fault autonomous collision happened, they checked the data and later declared computer-error.

  32.  

    City Resident

    Various county measures (San Mateo County Measure A in 1988 and Santa Clara County Measure A in 2000) and Regional Measure 2 in 2004 set aside revenue from sales tax and toll increases for the Dumbarton Rail Corridor (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumbarton_Rail_Corridor). Alameda County’s Measure B1 in 2012 passed by nearly, but just under, 2/3’s of the electorate (and this would have restored funding for this rail corridor). In this regard, voters have weighed in on and supported Dumbarton passenger rail.

  33.  

    Mark

    Voters are always duped. In SF, voters passed a measure guaranteeing a minimum on time performance for MUNI. Yeah, that happened.

    Prop H was passed in 1999. “If you vote yes, you want the City
    to extend the Caltrain tracks to a new or rebuilt station on
    the site of the Transbay Terminal and to pursue certain
    improvements in the Caltrain facilities and services.” Sorry again, voters. It’s 2016 now and the TTC is grossly over budget so any funding for a Caltrain extension is gone. Maybe in 15-20 years. Maybe.

  34.  

    Jym Dyer

    @hailfromsf – When Google’s first autonomous car collision happened, they had no comment until they checked the data. A day later they blamed human error. We just have to take their word for that, since that data is of course also proprietary.

  35.  

    Maurice

    Why is the MTA we not aggressively funding transit only lanes across the region? AC transit transbay riders are terribly served by the Bay Bridge and the approaching freeways to the bridge in Emeryville? I wonder why this isn’t already built? Seems like it would be a gamechanger for increasing capacity.

  36.  

    Maurice

    VTA consistently uses transit funds to play politics, with little regard to actually serving riders + taking people out of cars. This is typical santa clara county transit boondoggle, solving a problem for no one but drivers.

  37.  

    hailfromsf

    Tesla’s autopilot is not autonomous. I was referring more to Google’s self-driving cars.

  38.  

    robo94117

    Converting existing lanes to HOV rather than building them is more cost-effective and produces better results.
    http://www.transformca.org/sites/default/files/final_hot_101_paper.12.16.2013-1_revised_acknowledgement_0.pdf
    A per-mile driving charge would also fund more transit, and promote its use.

  39.  

    Thoughtful Skeptic

    It is not completely orthogonal as AVs could make shared vehicles more attractive as one could basically order the closest available car to the own location. This is the only major advantage I see for AVs from a city planning perspective.

    Cities are constantly changing. They are no thing which is once designed and then fixed for eternity. They usually are not being designed as a whole to start with but rather a clustered mix of countless plans and masterplans or various levels of capitalist and chaotic organization principles.

    The nature of the mobility backbone is a major factor in how cities develop however. Individual motorized traffic, no matter if AVs or traditional cars, lead to the suburban and edge city layout. Those layouts have of course many disadvantages and are fairly hostile to humans outside from the isolated pedestrian and building isles. Many cities are trying to get away from that layout again and strengthen pedestrian friendly multifunctional dense districts. Those are incompatible with car optimized city layouts, autonomous or not.

  40.  

    JustJake

    The cars “value” can plummet, whatever, but cars made in the last decades last 2-300,000 miles, and the average age of car ownership in 2012 was 11.1 years, and has increased. Those who choose to finance may have payments for the first 3-4 year portion. Obviously, you are not familiar with being an automobile owner.

    http://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/average-age-of-us-car-and-truck-fleets-hit-record-high-levels/2000007742/

  41.  

    Jym Dyer

    @David Rosnow – You are describing the Jevons Paradox, and you are absolutely right.

    Consider Braess’s Paradox as well. Supposedly “smarter” vehicles will increase the number of informed decisions that can be made, but ultimately what this leads to is a greater number of conflicts, which slows everything down.

  42.  

    Jym Dyer

    @JustJake – Your family notwithstanding, car ownership average 2-3 years. There is an economic pull towards that figure, since a car’s value — which deprecates immediately — really plummets after that.

  43.  

    JustJake

    BS. Financing is a choice, with occasional financial benefits. My immediate family 100% owns all its cars. And your supposition about financing applies to houses equally. So the banks own all houses? Jeez guy, come back to earth, you might ‘feel better’.

  44.  

    Jym Dyer

    @hailfromsf – How do we know? Tesla clearly had their “first fatality in X,000,000 miles” press release cued up and ready to go in case of an autonomous car fatality, and released a number based on their proprietary data that we have no ability to verify.

    That fatality being the sole data point, there are no conclusions to draw from it, but the context is that FARS reports 1.08 fatalities per 100,000,000 non-autonomous car miles (in 2014, the latest available figure), which turns out to be only slightly worse.

  45.  

    Jym Dyer

    @JustJake – Very few people OWN their cars. Most cars are OWNed by banks. We just use “ownership” wording to make people feel better, and to affirm ideology based on these feelings. But in real live actual reality, there’s not a lot of difference between a bank owning cars or some other concern leasing cars.

  46.  

    Jym Dyer

    @Alicia – That’s rich (no pun intended). After all, he seems to think that “takings” is taught in high school civics, whereas his reading of it comes from Sagebrush Rebellion-style welfare ranchers like Cliven Bundy.

  47.  

    Jym Dyer

    @Alicia – Don’t sell yourself short, you’re paying much more than your share!

    AAHSTO’s standard estimate of damage to road surfaces is a function of the fourth power of axle weight, and a function of velocity. Given the masses involved here, the average car does 160,000x as much damage as your bike. Not only are you handily paying your own way, you’re picking up much of the tab for the damage done by motorists.

    Motorists pay gas tax, fees, and tolls, but these don’t even cover half of what state and federal highways cost, and pay for none of the other roads and streets. (Nor do they pay for the health and environmental costs they inflict.) Those using any other alternative pay the shortfall disproportionately. Since bicycling has the least impact, it subsidizes motoring more than any other mode does.

  48.  

    Mary Cunningham

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  49.  

    Karl Rowley

    I’m voting no on this. VTA needs to re-think their purpose.

  50.  

    Jame

    Some stops don’t even have a pole! Just some paint!