Skip to content

Recent Comments

  1.  

    EastBayer

    I always wonder this too, whenever some big bike project is completed right before bike to work day or when a major walking project is completed right in time for walk to work day…could they have done it faster?

  2.  

    Jamison Wieser

    I stand corrected.

  3.  

    Jym Dyer

    In the old days there were many fewer people biking.

  4.  

    Jym Dyer

    When I used Caltrain regularly I had a monthly pass, which got me onto San Mateo County transportation, but not Muni and VTA.

  5.  

    Jym Dyer

    The Bredas have a nasty habit of losing communications to a third car, and uncoupling, so we’ve stuck with 2-car consists.

  6.  

    Thomas Rogers

    I’m pretty sure the SP line never ran up 3rd. You can pull up the 1938 David Rumsey aerial photos in Google Earth- lots of streetcar and spur rail tracks in the vicinity, but the main trunk line was where it is today. That building at 3rd and 20th was the Potrero Police Station, as documented by Chris VerPlanck (who typically knows his stuff):

    http://pier70sf.org/dogpatch/DogHistSig.htm

    “Between 1910 and 1920 the City constructed several institutional buildings in Dogpatch in an effort to cope with the expanding population of the Potrero District. In 1912 City Architect, John Reid, Jr. designed the new Potrero Police Station for the southwest corner of Kentucky and 20th Streets (2300 3rd Street) on what had been an ungraded 60’ outcropping of serpentine.”

  7.  

    aj

    RE: SF Examiner article:
    Muni given go-ahead for double berthing at downtown stations

    “As welcome a change as double berthing is, a 2013 SFMTA report revealed it would result in zero minutes of travel-time savings. Still, passengers said, standing up while stuck on a train when you could easily off-board can be maddening. Double berthing should alleviate the problem.”

    This was upper management BS!

    Although I haven’t seen the referenced 2013 report, it exemplifies Upper Management disconnect from reality: So you get to your destination in X minutes. But apparently what the report did not see as being important was the fact that even though the train had arrived at a destination platform, passengers could be trapped for a long time until the train reached the sole forward “target point” where the doors could open in “AUTO.”

    Double, triple, and even quadruple berthing (depending on train-consist) was done as a matter of routine when METRO trains were controlled by Operators, from around 1980 to late 1990’s/early 2000’s (?).

    When MUNI moved to the Automatic Train Control System (ATCS) in the late 1990’s, the programming of this system bought from Alcatel only allowed, if I recall correctly (not sure–it was a long time ago), only one train on the platform. And I think it was only later that it allowed a second train to enter a station platform.

    When the second train was brought onto the platform, the ATCS system would not open its doors until the first train had departed and the second train got to the target point. When there was a delay ahead, this would cause passengers to be prisoners on the trains–justifiably angry prisoners!

    That it took MUNI 15 years to finally correct this problem is pathetic.

    The reality is that Operators early on had taken it upon themselves to make up for this ATCS system design shortcoming by opening the doors under Operators’ control to lessen the problems of the ATCS programming that only allowed door-opening at the single target point at each station.

    However due to Upper Management changes/new sheriff-in- town scenario that took place somewhere around 2006-2008, this practice of Operator-initiated door openings pretty much was put to a stop.

    This was a time of “Don’t think for yourselves; just follow orders and don’t do anything without authorization.” I may be biased, but I think this coincided with one of the periods of the worst MUNI Metro service.

  8.  

    Jamison Wieser

    The 22-Fillmore route dates back about 80 or 90 years to a time when Caltrain (then Southern Pacific) ran up and down Third Street.

    The Third & 20th Southern Pacific station building is still there across the street from the 22 terminal.

  9.  

    lukebc

    I’ve lived right around the Outer Balboa street corridor on and off for nearly 25 years (I spent nearly a decade working and living in NYC in-between).

    I went to one of the “get off my lawn ranting” meetings at the Cabrillo Playground during the construction. I’m not exactly, as my might’ve parents said, “a spring chicken anymore”, nor am I some millenial.

    ALL I heard from the WHINERS and the SNIVELERS at the Cabrillo Playground “meeting” was “GET OFF MY LAWN” thrown at the folks who were overseeing the upgrading of Balboa between 33rd (yes 33RD!) and 39th.

    ALL through the “trip over planters” AND “planters block way” AND “sidewalks will bleh bleh bleh BLEH” WHAT I CLEARLY WAS HEARING WAS “I/ME/MYSELF/ONLY ME/ME/ME/ME!/ME!/ME!/ONLY ME/ME/ONLY ME/ME/ONLY ME/ME/ONLY ME/ME/ME!/ME!/ME!/ME!/I/I/I/I DON’T!/I DON’T!/I DON’T!/I DON’T!/I DON’T!/I DON’T!/I DON’T!/ME/ME/ME/ME/ME/ME!/ME!/ME!/ME!/ME!/ME!/ME!………”

    Now whenever I stroll between 34th and 39th, all I do is think about all the ME!/ME!/ME!/ME!/ME!/ME!/ME! at the Cabrillo Playground meeting and how they are NOW stewing away in their mind about “I was NOT wrong”…. “I was NOT wrong”…. “I was NOT wrong”…. “I was NOT wrong”…. “I was NOT wrong”…. “I was NOT wrong”….

  10.  

    lukebc

    I’d like to hear YOUR reason for 37th&Balboa “being dangerous” given that is it a FULLY controlled intersection with stop signs on ALL four sides.

  11.  

    Bob Gunderson

    What is this bullshit? Encouraging people to use their legs like suckers & get in the way of the almighty vehicle?

  12.  

    Jesse

    Has anyone watched this new signal shitshow in action? I was biking by and stopped for 3 rotations and each time a motorist blew through a red light, like they do at every red light in SF. All it does is stops pedestrians and puts the blame on them if they get hit by assuming a pedestrian signal means they can cross safely. Yet another city failure.

  13.  

    mike_napolis_beard

    These are fun… helping to dispel the notion of walking as stop-gap chore, while reinforcing the idea that it can be a viable travel choice.

  14.  

    yermom72

    It’s not really “wayfinding” if you’re following signs.

    These signs remind me of those websites that tell you how many minutes it will take you to read an article. Catering to the short-attention span type, I suppose.

  15.  

    M.

    Stops signs are ignored by drivers more than traffic signals.

  16.  

    hp2ena

    The Hall of Justice is another possibility.

  17.  

    jd_x

    “Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman spoke during public comment about the potential impacts on emergency response, which he pointed out were not analyzed as part of the W-Trans study. The district, given the lack of data, prefers the option of creating three vehicle lanes in each direction on El Camino between Encinal and Roble avenues.”

    What a surprise: another fire department wants to continue making roads dangerous so they can keep spending most of their time responding to car accidents. And I thought only SFFD’s leadership was this blinded by their windshields ….

    “He also raised safety concern about encouraging bicyclists to travel along El Camino. “I know you could do it; the question is why would you do it?” Chief Schapelhouman said, adding that towns such as Los Altos have created a network of bike paths through parks, school grounds and other routes that see less vehicle traffic than busy streets.”

    Wow, seriously?! Are these the type of people that are deciding the fate of our roads? Has this guy never ridden a bike before? The reason people want to ride their bicycle down El Camino is the same damn reason people drive down it! Because that’s where things are they are trying to get to. I honestly had no idea that fire departments were this anachronistic and this much of a barrier to getting safe streets.

  18.  

    roymeo

    In Soviet Russia, sticker jokes write themselves.

    Stop a Douchebag: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03UkAj0ByUQ

  19.  

    roymeo

    The tin-roof building I live in was converted in ~1986.

  20.  

    jai_dit

    Got a link to the relevant law on that? A quick google didn’t turn up anything.

  21.  

    murphstahoe

    Noe Valley, Bernal Heights, and the Mission have always had housing. It’s just that the residents there didn’t work down south. Now they do.

    Residents of Potrero Hill don’t need a MUNI bus to get to Caltrain – the residents of the next level neighborhoods do, as evidenced by the number of cars parked on Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Minnesota.

  22.  

    Andy Chow

    Stations like 22nd, Bayshore, as well as the closed stations like Paul Avenue and Butler Road, were meant to serve the industrial sites near the stations. Riders have gone away when companies near those stations have closed down. It was beginning in late 90s when some of these old industrial sites turn into housing and people begin to use Caltrain at these stations to get to work in Silicon Valley.

  23.  

    murphstahoe

  24.  

    murphstahoe

    “it would have been really nice if the 22 ran just the 3/4 blocks further it would take to reach 22nd Street Caltrain”

    Word. It’s embarassing that a major Caltrain station like 22nd has only one MUNI line running to it. The current 22 routing probably dates back to 22nd being somewhat of an orphan station.

  25.  

    Andy Chow

    Caltrain has some shared use bike shed that are self operated or city operated, such as those in Menlo Park, and Mountain View. The one in Palo Alto is operated by BikeStation with separate membership (it doesn’t operate at any other location in Northern California). They all should be under BikeLink, which already provides elockers for BART, some Caltrain stations, and VTA, along with self storage facilities in Berkeley and at Embarcadero.

    The regional model with bike share is working, and that regional model should be applied to bike parking facilities as well. May be the ownership and funding of these facilities may still be hodgepodge, but if a single membership can access all of those facilities, then they’re one system.

  26.  

    Jamison Wieser

    There was a lot of thought, study and consideration which went into the TEP/Muni Forward routing of the 33 and 22.

    Battery technology is advancing as you said, but it’s actually gotten a little further. The new generation electric trolley-busses are designed to run for several (I think 5) miles poles down off of the battery as part of regular service. They were jointly ordered with Seattle where they’ll run off wires on the surface and battery in the transit tunnel.

    Muni may have the same thing in mind so they can skip the new wires.

    Having seen this coming because I was on the advisory council, my suggestion was to create a u-shaped line between 16th/Mission BART, General and 24th/Mission BART.

    – Easy connections either way.
    – Not just to BART, but with the Mission lines as well.
    – starting/ending at the stations there would be an empty bus

    Maybe this is where a shuttle bus system more along the lines of UCSF or PresidiGo?

    Also, regardless of which line ends up running to DogPatch, there’ve been a couple rainy days where it would have been really nice if the 22 ran just the 3/4 blocks further it would take to reach 22nd Street Caltrain.

  27.  

    Sprague

    Thanks for shining light on this, Aaron. It’s an interesting issue and it seems good that a compromise was reached. I certainly don’t want to offend anyone’s religious beliefs, but while reading this article I couldn’t help but think, what would Jesus drive?

  28.  

    shamelessly

    I agree that we should not reduce bus service to SFGH. And while I recognize that SFMTA is saying they’re going to increase service on the 9 to compensate, history provides ample grounds for skepticism that this will suffice. Perhaps SFMTA could run a transition phase with increased service on the 9 coupled with outreach to people riding the current 33 alignment letting them know when the 33 reroute will happen and making it clear that the 9 is the new way to get to the hospital?

  29.  

    Andy Chow

    The reason for rerouting line 33 is to support rerouting of the 22 down 16th Street. The problem with the 22 realignment is not only having to put up wires, but also having to cross Caltrain’s high voltage wires at the rail crossing. There are safety implications with the wire crossing paths and the potential of buses losing power and stuck at the grade crossing. If Muni wants to extend the line, as some people would want to see, to 4th & King Caltrain, then there would be more issues of wires crossing with the T Line and going through one of the two drawbridges.

    Line 55 should stay as it is. Even if the vision is to have zero emission transit on 16th Street, advances with battery bus technology may allow the 55 to convert to zero emission battery buses and extend it to 4th & King without having to resolve wire conflicts. Lines 22 and 33 can keep its alignment.

  30.  

    p_chazz

    Matt 7:1-3

    7 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

    2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

    3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

  31.  

    jai_dit

    Sounds like you don’t live in the area, or at least haven’t spent much time around there. There’s a huge lack of services and community spaces in our neighborhoods around Balboa Park. Building a community center—which is what that project presents—would be fantastic, and it would give use to a currently-abandoned, run-down historic building. It’s definitely not a situation where they’re going to put in condos and nothing else, as is happening in so many other places.

  32.  

    IrvinDawid

    Less than to build one (vehicle) parking space in a garage.

  33.  

    IrvinDawid

    I think the point is that cities will have to finance it, though that hasn’t been finalized yet – it will be on May 27, as the article states.

  34.  

    IrvinDawid

    You sold me. I would use one if they were available at Burlingame…

  35.  

    IrvinDawid

    There was free, attendant parking at Palo Alto. It was replaced with a locked facility – subscribers get a key. I don’t think it was mentioned in this article though.

  36.  

    IrvinDawid

    I think it closes at 8:30 pm. I see your point, but considering that the former operator had to quit, I feel we’re lucky to have the current operator, Alameda Bikes. The last thing I would want them to do is be forced to remain open when it would impose a great cost. Seems like a better solution for those who commute late would be the e-locker system that is recommended in this article.

  37.  

    IrvinDawid

    Great photo, Andrew – it says it all!

  38.  

    roymeo

    Hopefully all the artistry of the new Muni map doesn’t disappear like far too many old maps as the sun fades out the colors.

  39.  

    M.

    After the W2W Day morning ceremonial at City Hall ended, I climbed a wall at the top of the stairs to shoot some photos and I observed behaviour at the crossing. Aside from the usual, all road occupants impatient, yellow light racing, etc. one thing stood out: Most of the cars stopped for reds at the new, robust stop lines placed at least 30′ back from the crossing. My theory is that zebra crossings alone lead the eye in a forced perspective to the horizon and act as a pull towards it, whereas the stop line is a strong visual barrier breaking that forward pull. Any one want to research that, let us know. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to push for stop lines a min of 4′ back from signaled/signed intersections.

  40.  

    Nicasio Nakamine

    The BikeLink corral at the Embarcadero station works well for me and is WAY more secure than just bike racks open to the public at large. This sort of monitored but still shared space seems cheaper to implement than individual lockers.

  41.  

    Fran Taylor

    Regarding the proposed #33-Stanyan reroute, those 250 signatures opposing the move are just from the online petition. Several of us neighbors, riders, and hospital workers have also been circulating paper petitions at the hospital and on the buses. I have well over 100 signatures and know that others will probably have similar amounts. We’re just starting to gather them all together.

    Not one person I’ve asked to sign — including regular riders on that segment of the line and hospital patients — has known about the proposed change. And not one has expressed any support for it. Keeping the #33 on Potrero would in no way unravel the whole TEP vision. But it would make a big difference to some of the system’s most vulnerable riders.

  42.  

    mx

    I happened to see crews working on these lights around midnight before Thursday, so I’m somewhat inclined to believe they didn’t delay this one for publicity.

  43.  

    Upright Biker

    …Or two well-placed speed bumps, one on either side of the previous crosswalk with flashing lights.

    Too simple. Too effective. Why do we bother when the traffic engineering cartel has an expensive solution for everything that is just too irresistible for politicians and bureaucrats?

  44.  

    Sean Rea

    I wonder, could this have been activated sooner? City officials wouldn’t have delayed a much-needed safety measure for the free press, right?

  45.  

    Karen Lynn Allen

    Due to the huge propensity for driver error when operating large, powerful machines under conditions of stress and distraction, I can’t say there is any solution that will allow pedestrians to cross San Francisco streets safely, except perhaps, in general slowing cars down, daylighting intersections and crosswalks, and creating greater driver accountability.

    Most drivers in San Francisco roll through stop signs if no other cars are present. Even when they stop (at stop signs or at lights), they are often so distracted or in a hurry that they don’t perceive pedestrians directly in front of them. However, just a plain crosswalk without a light or stop sign is also dangerous because most drivers won’t stop unless the pedestrian is actually in the process of crossing. Even then, if the street is more than one lane wide in each direction, drivers can’t always see the pedestrian in the act of crossing. Three recent anecdotes:

    1. A few weeks ago, my husband was walking down 24th Street (south side) across Noe, a four way stop where about a billion pedestrians, strollers, dogs cross every hour. A car is approaching from the south, but is slowing down for the stop. My husband enters the crosswalk. Car comes to a stop. My husband now is *directly in front of the car*. Car drives forward. My husband yells, and has to push off the hood of the car to keep from getting hit. Even though the driver had come to a complete stop, she’d been talking to her passenger and didn’t see my husband *who was directly in front of her.*

    2. Two days ago I was driving west on Fulton (around 5th or 6th?) where there is a large painted crosswalk but no light. In theory pedestrians can use this to cross back and forth to GG Park. I am in the right lane. I see a pedestrian waiting to cross. I slow down and stop. The pedestrian gingerly steps in front of me but then we both wait as we wonder whether the cars speeding towards us from behind me will stop as well or assume I am double parking for whatever bizarre reason and breeze past. The thing is, with the pedestrian in front of my car, it’s hard for cars behind me or on my left to see her. The car on my left, however, does see her at the last second, slams on its brakes and allows the pedestrian to cross. No one is killed, but I wonder if it would’ve been safer for all concerned not to stop at all.

    3) Returning on Fulton, I’m in in the right lane approaching Stanyan where there is a long protected right turn. The right turn green arrow goes red and the car ahead of me comes to a complete stop. There are pedestrians waiting to cross. The driver ahead of me wants to turn right as soon as the southbound traffic clears. He/she pulls forward so the car’s front is a foot in the crosswalk, but there is some huge bus/truck to the left also pulled into the crosswalk blocking the view. I see a woman pedestrian crossing. I see her *directly in front of the car ahead of me*. Exactly in front. The car starts forward to get a better view of southbound traffic. The woman shrieks. The car actually touches her, but at her shriek, the driver slams on his/her brakes. The pedestrian is unhurt but shaken. She gives the driver a mournful, terrified look. The driver now turns right.

    If drivers are unable (unwilling, too careless, too irresponsible, in too big of a hurry) to see pedestrians directly in front of them, I don’t know how effective any form of traffic control can be. All of our safety relies on drivers’ skill, sanity and judgement. Many people who drive cars are moral, sensible people who take the responsibility of operating their vehicle seriously. But many others believe talking on their cell phone, texting, chatting, drinking coffee, putting on make up, speeding, running red lights, stomping their accelerator, zipping around corners in congested areas are perfectly acceptable, in fact, normal behaviors while driving. And they’re not wrong. These behaviors are accepted. They are widespread. They are normal. This is the problem.

  46.  

    Upright Biker

    Ugly and over-engineered solution with the only real result being that pedestrians are now impeded. A broad, raised crosswalk would have been a far better solution. But then again, you can’t throw a ceremonial switch to turn on a raised crosswalk on Walk to Work Day.

  47.  

    danbrotherston

    It probably isn’t, but I didn’t read that story, nor comment on it. I’m certainly not claiming otherwise, but without knowing the full context, I can’t comment. You seem to believe I am guilty of some bias here, but I do not think so.

  48.  

    murphstahoe

    Day use lockers are a huge upgrade to reserved lockers. $33 for 6 months? I’m renting one to store my extra files!

  49.  

    murphstahoe

    Unless this implies a huge expansion of VTA, that’s going nowhere. I can take the VTA 60 from Santa Clara to work. The 60 runs every half hour, and Santa Clara gets less attractive service than Lawrence which is closer to my office, or Mountain View which has bullets.

    I used to take a shared Caltrain shuttle to work from Lawrence. We were the last stop. Enough of our employees were taking Caltrain that the company now runs direct company shuttles from both Lawrence and Mountain View.

    We also run a direct shuttle from Santa Clara that meets ACE – which frankly beats the 60 for Caltrain.

  50.  

    Andy Chow

    Many metro systems have CBTC moving block signal system. One of the systems is SelTrac used by Muni as well as other true metro systems around the world.

    ERTMS is an interoperability standard, and not a product. Not sure BART needs ERTMS since there are other factors preventing BART from inter-operating with any other rail systems.

    I think the difficulty for BART is the ability to inter-operate with its existing signal/train control system.