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    You are saying the parking is not needed is a fact for all businesses. That is not a fact. I am sure you are pointing to studies that say removing parking for a bike lane improved businesses in other cities. Again, you are comparing apples and oranges. Just because it works in one area doesn’t mean it works in other areas. Polk Street is different because it’s not near a subway and there are fewer (if any) parking garages on the northern end.

    Again, it all comes down to balancing the needs of the area. If safety was truly the only criteria to look at, we would ban all cars, transit and bikes. All can harm people. However, this is a city with many different needs and balancing them means not everyone will get everything.



    No, I am more open-minded to knowing what different type of business needs – including parking. Merchants can tell you what you want to hear to move you along, but they will tell the decision makers what they really feel. That is what David Chiu (the most bicycle-friendly person on the BOS who doesn’t own a car) heard and decided to find a consensus.


    Elias Zamaria

    The SFMTA approved reopening the crosswalk at Fell and Gough in 2013 and they will do it late this year. They considered reopening the crosswalk at Oak and Franklin but decided not to do it.



    “I sometimes think doing all the legal things (helmet, lights, hi vis,
    controlling lane, stopping at lights) makes you more of a target,” Ryan
    wrote in a tweet today.

    Not sure about the other items but every case of assault or harassment I’ve experienced over the last decade has occurred while taking the lane. That’s why I avoid routes requiring controlling the lane whenever possible. Taking the lane is safe and legal and though the majority of motorists are tolerant you will eventually encounter a hothead who feels that you’re doing it wrong and need to be taught a lesson. My most recent experience was four days ago and I regret not getting the license plate and driver description to the police.

    This is why vehicular cycling cannot be the only answer. Not everyone is willing to be a target for violent unreasonable drivers.



    Did the police end up arresting this guy? Were any charges filed? Perhaps we should all email the Captain of the Ingleside station and ask him what is going on here.



    Uber issued a statement detailing its new policy of paying drivers $5 for every bicyclist they run over, because their butts should be in ubers, not on bikes.



    Extra passengers slow the bus. Slower bus, requires more runs because the bus can’t turn the run as fast, requires more drivers, requires more equipment, etc…

    This becomes even more acute when you consider that if someone buys a monthly pass – the number of rides add nothing to the bottom line.

    On the margin this is hard to quantify, but if you look at it this way, it would be a heck of a lot simpler to run an efficient bus system with zero passengers.



    Does one extra passenger mean the subsidy goes up? Surely it means the number of rides is higher and therefore the subsidy per ride is lower.



    This isn’t the only way to combat this. The others are: protected bicycle lanes and creating a police force that isn’t biased against bicyclists so that these criminals are severly punished for their violent behavior.





    I used to bike through there myself. That intersection is nuts. I’ve almost been run off the road multiple times – come to think of it, I think the same SUV was trying to do that every week – just by trying to navigate the mess of an intersection to get to a class there. But I approach the intersection from the gas station pocket, whereas the SUV was making a right from Ocean onto Phelan. However, trying to cut through that intersection from the gas station pocket is even more dangerous, especially since when traffic from that pocket is expected to yield to traffic coming from Phelan onto Ocean or Geneva, and by the time the traffic ceases, the lights turn red again.



    Good idea, if a bit wordy–“diet” has overtones of “deprivation”, “cutting back”, “nobody’s idea of fun”, and even “punishment”–not good marketing ideas.


    Ziggy Tomcich

    The only way to combat this is with video. Helmet cameras are inexpensive, and they make a huge difference when vehicular assaults happen. As we all know drivers routinely get away with killing cyclists if they stick around after the killing and claim it was the cyclist’s fault. Buy a camera, mount it to your helmet, and record every ride all the time. Video if the only way drivers ever get convicted in these types of crimes. I hope they find this guy and I hope this attack was documented by the police.


    Mesozoic Polk

    As you know, SFPD is Very Busy doing other things, such as: not collecting readily available video evidence at crash sites, conducting bicycle stings at the Wiggle and citing jaywalking pedestrians that are a real menace to polite automobile-driving society. With such a full schedule, there is no time leftover to do things like protect human health and safety.



    Both had initially opposed the plan to reduce lanes on California Avenue, predicting that it would lead to traffic tie-ups.

    What traffic? California Ave has been pretty much dead ever since Printers Inc. went under.



    If only San Francisco had some sort of organization that would patrol the streets and go after the very worst road users when they attempt to murder bicyclists and pedestrians…some group that could maybe “police” the streets and make them safer…



    Stuff like this should carry a attempted murder charge. But boy am I dreaming that’ll ever happen in this city.


    Thomas Rogers

    This kind of predictive failure is a broader problem for humans, described entertainingly by Harvard professor Daniel Gilbert in “Stumbling on Happiness”:

    Basically, we’re all pretty terrible at forecasting how happy/unhappy different things will make us in the future. I think there are lessons in there for those of us in the planning/transportation fields, but I haven’t fully formed them yet.


    Upright Biker

    So maybe we stop calling them “Road Diets” and start calling them “Merchant Corridor Revitalization Initiatives.”

    That should whet their appetites…



    A similar phenomenon is occurring during San Jose’s Lincoln Ave. road diet. At first many Willow Glen merchants were reflexively opposed to the change. But then after reviewing actual results from other road diets many changed their opinions. And now that the experimental configuration is in place even more merchants and local residents are on-board with the road diet.

    There are still some hold outs though who just cannot fathom the idea that reducing auto lanes is an improvement. They’re almost dogmatic in their beliefs even to the point of tearing apart the observed objective results and claiming that the city has a conspiracy to obscure the “truth”.

    Fortunately most people are keeping open minds and are waiting for the final experimental results to guide their opinions. Here’s the preliminary report, it looks quite positive towards the road diet:

    BTW – The road diet StreetFilm has circulated widely to help residents and merchants understand what a road diet is and how the community can benefit.



    The bicycle route on Page Street is dangerous primarily during the morning commute hours. At other times, the traffic is light enough on those last three blocks so there is plenty of room to share the street with cars.

    The easiest, safest, and least expensive option would have been to restrict parking on those blocks in the east bound direction from 7 to 10 AM Monday through Friday and make it a tow away zone with a shoulder. Putting a bike lane in the middle of the street on the last block is a recipe for disaster considering both the fact that the backups are often 3 blocks long, and that traffic does still travel west during the morning up the hill.

    This is one of those cases where the city’s fetish for free on street parking of vehicles that mostly don’t move at all for multiple days comes right up against safety for active users of the streets. They should forcefully explain to residents that their parked cars means people will be injured and possibly killed on the streets.


    Luke Stewart

    There was a horrific looking injury on Townsend at 4th this morning around 10AM. Don’t know details, but there was a man on a stretcher, too much blood, a big “Storer” corporate shuttle bus stopped in the middle of the street with its doors open, and police blocking/re-routing traffic around the scene. Anyone know what happened?



    I’ve heard of a potential plan to build a CalTrain/HSR tunnel, but this is the first I’ve heard of financing it by selling the land on top for housing. Could you provide more info on that?



    Many merchants were also against the original Valencia road diet project to add bike lanes back in 1998/1999. When it went in as a trial though, almost every naysayer or doubter came on board. Looking at Valencia now, it seems to be doing pretty well! What merchants eventually got, is that you don’t want thousands of cars driving past your businesses at high speed or trying to get somewhere else. You want people to see your business, and they won’t do that if they’re going 30mph or using your street as a commute route. And since all your business is eventually by pedestrians, you want them to feel safe and comfortable so they stroll down the street and pop into your business.



    This is the same argument that the Peninsula folks in towns like Menlo Park and Palo Alto use to argue for building a Caltrain tunnel. There is simply no way the revenue generated would cover the cost of constructing the tunnel itself. Tunnels (especially in a city as dense as SF) are REALLY expensive.


    Upright Biker

    From the Palo Alto/California Ave story — Merchants Take Note! :

    “Among the merchants who attended the ceremony were Jessica Roth of European Cobblery and Terry Shuchat of Keeble and Shuchat Photography. Both had initially opposed the plan to reduce lanes on California Avenue, predicting that it would lead to traffic tie-ups. Roth marked the occasion by thanking the area’s neighbors, clients and customers for continuing to patronize the businesses throughout the construction period, which has taken just over a year.

    Shuchat, who at one point participated in a lawsuit aimed at stopping the project, acknowledged that the merchants’ fears didn’t come to pass and that when it comes to traffic, “it’s all working out fine.”

    “I was one of the many many merchants who was 200 percent opposed to this project,” Shuchat said. “Now that it’s been completed though, I really like it.””



    I love Steve Dombek’s idea–I remember someone talking about that recently at one of the SFTRU events.

    SF is–to put it very mildly–cautious about radical street changes yet it could be piloted if a block or two here and there were found where car ownership is already relatively low and nearby transit options are relatively or very good.

    Also, just as a pragmatic thing to garner more local support, maybe some further policies would help sweeten the deal for potential NIMBYs:

    –> including a kickback to current owners on the street (and/or renters if feasible?) from the resulting developer profits

    –> Guaranteeing that a certain % of the new space would be small but vibrant public spaces (as in the width of Patricia’s Green but typically shorter in length, adjacent to new buildings).

    –> Guaranteeing that a certain % of the new units would be, say, rent-controlled

    –> Guaranteeing that a certain % of developer profits would go towards local infrastructure improvements in transit/biking/walking.

    –> Allotting space for new carshare stations to minimize the temptation for new owners to bring cars.

    –> As a last resort (if the parking-removal wars are raging), replace the former on-street parking spaces with equivalent underground spots in or near the new development. (I’m torn about this).

    Maybe those wouldn’t all work but, hey, as long as we’re “thinking outside the stroad” might as well consider other innovative strategies like those, as well, as a pragmatic ways to kill the typical anti-change arguments.

    After all, SF sits on a lot of very, very valuable land with its wide ROWs so there could be a lot of money in this that could go towards mitigating the anti-change complaints.



    Good idea. Geary seems like a good example – you can probably lose the median and two lanes if you replace the buses with a subway and get 20% of the drivers to use a fast subway instead. There are other wide streets that are under-used, like Sloat, Junipero Serra, 12th Street between Van Ness and Harrison, some of the streets in the area between 7th Street, De Haro, and 16th Street. The city can be smart about selling off some of this real estate and bank the funds for a key transportation project or two (like a well-designed/located subway that will be needed when we cram another 150,000 people into this city and everything above ground grinds to a halt).



    Ridership report by Mad Libs? :D

    “Weekend ridership shows a riders on Saturdays but a in riders on Sundays.”



    From the 2015 Caltrain ridership report: “Weekend ridership shows a (sic) increase on Saturdays but an (sic) decrease on Sundays”.

    Looks like their bad grammar might be a copy and paste issue from their 2014 report: “Weekend ridership shows a decrease in riders on Saturdays but an increase in riders on Sundays”.

    Looks like sampling one weekend doesn’t give useful information.



    Food for thought: if the city sold some of the wider streets like Van Ness, Geary, etc. to housing developers, they might be able to generate enough revenue to build a cut & cover subways under the new buildings.


    SF Guest

    [Survey needed] How many drivers who read this blog have run people over? I haven’t run anyone over.


    Thomas Rogers

    Wonder what that rail testing lab is like… maybe Streetfilms should do a “CSI: BART” piece :)


    Michael Smith

    Some great improvements. But they should really also be looking at adding pedestrian crossings at Oak & Franklin (especially since they are trying to calm Oak) and at Fell & Gough. Those would be great pedestrian safety improvements for the area and those intersections do not need the absurd vehicle turning capacity that they currently have.

    Plus if they put in angle parking on Oak to calm traffic then they should compensate by daylighting intersections nearby by removing parking right next to busy intersections. This would be another great safety improvement for pedestrians without reducing the net amount of parking.


    Bob Gunderson

    Yes adding more car storage is exactly what we need to make car traffic smoother and safer. Let’s have more of these ‘safety’ packages on our streets! When can we start bitching about construction on this btw?



    They don’t solve this problem, for sure:



    Zero emission cars still get stuck in traffic, still run people over, still require copious amounts of parking.



    davis is a college town.

    Yet way more than just college kids bike there (also note how many college towns–in other words, all of them in the US–have much lower bike modeshare than Davis).

    Davis is also a town which, after a big push in the 60s started to neglect its bike infra comparatively for a couple decades. In the 70s-90s its newer areas too often looked more like this:

    than this:

    Modeshare declined quite a bit by the 90s. It’s since inched back up in the 20s after they started working on it again. Some newer stuff from Davis:

    Lesson learned? There’s nothing special in the water about “bike crazy” Davis. Average people will bike in the infrastructure supports it. However, most people won’t if the infrastructure is lacking. Even in Davis.

    despite a large increase in bike lanes,

    –> Bicycling constitutes ~4% of trips in SF, but only ~1.4% of roadway space in SF is dedicated to bicycle lanes.

    –> 75 percent of all bike lane miles were built since 2000.

    That’s pretty good return on investment, especially considering bike infrastructure has hitherto been only 0.48% of SFMTA’s budget:

    the % of bike commuters has completely levelled off.

    Also, commute modeshare =/= overall modeshare.

    we should be planning for the future, which is zero emission cars. some investment in a usable subway line would go a long way as well

    You speak as if these things are somehow mutually exclusive with bike infrastructure.

    Again, bike infra is currently at 0.48% of total funding, 1.4% of roadway space and at least 4% modeshare.

    With such paltry numbers in terms of investment and space allotment it’s pretty hilarious to conclude 1) biking has “leveled off” and 2) it’s somehow mutually exclusive to other modes (as if people who bike never take the subway or drive?!).

    Remember, this isn’t about -ists or -ers vs. other -ists and -ers.

    A pluricentric model supporting multiple mode choices is what Complete Streets are all about.



    davis is a college town. the only city in the US with higher biking than SF is portland, and despite a large increase in bike lanes, the % of bike commuters has completely levelled off. We will never get to 10%. we should be planning for the future, which is zero emission cars. some investment in a usable subway line would go a long way as well



    has anyone ever felt unsafe walking on SF streets? After 22 yrs here, ive never felt unsafe. in fact, i travel a lot and it feels safer than any other city in the US, Asia, Latin America, and most of EU. SF is seriously full of the most prtentious whiners in the world



    Part of the reason bike lanes are less crowded is that the same amount of asphalt will carry many more people on a bicycle than in a car. If we get a decent network of protected bike lanes, we will be at 10% in a flash. Davis is pushing 25% and is much hotter than San Francisco.



    That means it takes longer to get to your destination. How is this any different than the trains just stopping at the beginning of the platform instead of the end, other than the fact that they stop twice nice.


    Mario Tanev

    In a way, you can see how the bureaucracy doesn’t care about the end user. Whereas *everything*, including on-time performance should be measured on what is user-perceived. This is an example where users get to where they are going faster, yet Muni claims there are no savings because the system overall remains the same.

    I recently saw their Twitter account post “New! 38R running on Sunday, effective this Saturday!”. The official change of schedule was Saturday, which is why they emphasized Saturday, but no rider cares about that and it sounds very confusing. Just say “starting this Sunday, 38R will run on Sundays”.

    I think the SFMTA needs to start thinking more from the perspective of riders. I think then customer service will improve.


    Jamison Wieser

    Agreed. It might not make Muni Metro run any faster, but it will allow us to get off faster.

    I’ll be glad to be rid of that feeling of being stuck onboard train that is fully entered the station and could safely unload if only the doors would open!


    Upright Biker

    Well, when you have obstruction from some city departments (SFFD) obfuscation by others (SFPD) and indifference by some of our elected leaders (SFMEL), what do you expect?



    For double birthing/stopping, if you are one of the people getting off the second train, you’ve just saved a minute. That is a real, tangible time savings. The vehicle’s average speed has not increased, but it’s arrival time is earlier.



    I remain unconvinced that the SFPD has changed its officers’ perceptions and practices in creating a safe walking or bicycling environment. They still are engaged in harassing and ticketing bike riders and “jaywalkers” because those are easy stings, and because they are not prioritizing the far more dangerous five practices of drivers. I drive, bike, and walk the city all the time; my experience is that I do feel discriminated against by police when I am riding, ignored when walking, and given a free pass when driving.



    I like the transparency of the term “double stopping” instead of “double berthing” — at least it brings some of our hopes back down to earth. Maybe someday SFMTA will run trains as long as the platform (like New York and other major cities) and make this whole practice moot.



    If you click on the “Driver Kills Man on Bike in Danville” link, the headline in SFBay is actually “Car kills bicyclist in Danville”. No mention of it being a self-driving autonomous car, otherwise I don’t know how a car can kill a bicyclist.



    Individual routes with stops, not the System map, those are plastered everywhere.
    Very unhelpful on mobile.