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    The litter is the easy part. Just don’t drop it and when you see it on the sidewalk in front of your house pick it up. Have pride in place.


    david vartanoff

    When BART next goes for any bonds, they should be county by county. IINM CC Cty voted 59 % for RR just as they did decades ago for BART’s original founding. (in that case the threshold was 60 and the votes were averaged across Alameda, SF and CC to make 60.1). If they are still not supportive, and refuse to underwrite future improvements, then they should not see improvements in their area.



    Except with studio apartments starting at 3k.



    Meanwhile, LA’s transit network keeps growing and growing.



    Me too. Unfortunately, given the costs of the Central Subway, we’d need a 20+% sales tax to afford any of these projects, especially as I fear we may now not see much in the way of federal transit dollars for a long time.



    No California city can pass a city income tax because of state law. Ditto a capital gains tax, wealth tax or an estate tax.

    Very few cities nationally have a city income tax – those that do are mostly back east – NYC, Chicago, Detroit and Philly (from memory).

    I feel sure SF would have passed a city income tax years ago if they were not prevented. In fact SF is quite limited in the taxes it can raise.



    Frankly, I wonder why San Francisco has not yet attempted to pass a graduated income tax. It seems that would get a lot more support than a sales tax increase. Does anyone know if a New York City like income tax is simply ruled out by state law or something?



    I get what you are saying. I did vote for K’s sales tax, but I did not like the combining of two major issues under one sales tax increase. Both homelessness and transit are issues that deserve focused policy proposals and funding to match. Prop K (combined with J) were not specific enough. And the poor showing of K shows how badly it’s backers miscalculated.



    Roger Rudnick, Could you please explain to readers why you continually cite articles from the East Bay Times? My impression is that its editors are very anti-mobility. I cannot remember a transit project they have supported. Am I wrong? And if I’m right, then why do you keep posting this reactionary shite?



    This San Francisco voter does not want to vote on one ballot measure that addresses two different matters. You want my vote on transit funding – ask. You want my vote on homeless issues – ask.



    RE: RR

    That’s why I voted No. It’s unclear how that money will be spent and, unlike proponent’s claims, the passage of RR will not reduce congestion or relieve air pollution. It’s not like the money will go towards building new lines or stations which will encourage people to ditch their cars. The money will go towards a few repairs to placate naysayers and the rest into their hefty retirement packages.



    I’d like to see a ballot measure to fund real transit projects like extending the Central Subway to the wharf, rail under Geary, etc. I have no problem paying more in sales tax if all the proceeds go towards building transit infrastructure that allows people to get around the city more freely and reduces congestion on our roadways.



    SF voters want better Muni, but don’t want to pay for it with regressive sales taxes that hit poor and working class people the hardest.



    You can thank Marin county for pulling out of BART’s plan as the sole reason there’s no BART subway on Geary. BART originally wanted to goto the North Bay by having a subway on Geary reach around Park Presidio blvd.

    Then the train would turn north, travel across the underside of the Golden Gate Bridge and serve most of the North Bay, up to San Rafael and most likely Novato/Santa Rosa.

    By looking at this picture of a 1960 conceptual design for BART in the North Bay you’ll see what I mean



    I absolutely object to any more BART stations in any city in the middle of freeways. I would consider a DMU extension to downtown Livermore, to meet up with ACE to be a much, much better return on investment – even if it’s still a low priority item. This idea of building heavy rail metro style BART hither and yon is actually quite insane. Nobody does that anywhere else in the world. And certainly nobody spends that sort of money to run trains every twenty damn minutes.

    If it’s so important to get commuters from the Central Valley off the freeway and onto BART why don’t they extend ACE to the Dublin Pleasanton station? It could be done for a fraction of the cost of this ridiculous boondoggle.

    And lastly, lots of people have been paying for BART. There’s no station in Emeryville. No station in Albany or Kensington. Even though they slapped the name on it there’s no station in Martinez. There’s no station for the five times as many people who live on Geary Blvd. Whatever the taxpayers in Livermore have paid it couldn’t amount to more than a tiny fraction of the billions needed. Sorry, I’m not buying that “we’ve been paying” argument one bit.



    Good point. So maybe the journalists who wrote those articles have a veiled disdain for both women AND cross dressers.


    Jeffrey Baker

    It seems like OaktownPRE was objecting to the middle-of-the-freeway Livermore plan, not Livermore BART in general. I agree that BART to downtown with transfer to ACE makes great sense for the region.


    Drew Levitt

    Thanks to all for helpful, constructive replies! I can’t speak to the likelihood of any of these actions but I hope the BART board is listening.



    Sorry, I disagree. Livermore has been paying for BART (as it is in Alameda County, and part of the district) for the past 30 years. There should be a station in Livermore. But it should not be aligned with the freeway. The only acceptable terms are in downtown by the ACE station. Because that makes sense for the region.

    They also need to build in more redundancy. And move ahead with BART Metro plans.

    As an Oakland resident, the last thing I want are more extensions leading to no space in the core. I can hardly get on as it is. But we also can’t ignore what was initially promised to taxpayers.



    Technically, it’s a “Womens shoe” – regardless of the gender of the actual wearer.



    Why shouldn’t it be easy to walk there? Why couldn’t they add some amenities to cross the street on foot and enter? People live nearby, people can sit inside, and it’s right in the middle of everything. Terrible location for a drive-through restaurant and a pedestrian/bike fail.


    david vartanoff

    So the first reform step should be a referendum regulating salaries and wages at BART so that golden parachutes cannot be paid, overly generous COLAs are restricted, and pensions/ healthcare contributions are reformed.



    “Woman’s Shoe Delays BART” : Not sure why the gender of the shoe’s owner deserves a position in the headline. Sounds like SFGate and CBS are demonstrating cloaked misogyny. How about just “Shoe Jams Escalator, Delays BART”?


    Jeffrey Baker

    The board could just resign. I voted for RR, but I really would have liked for the board to fall on their swords first.



    So how about this: BART siphoned HSR (Prop 1A) money to pay for their cable car to the airport. If the BART board agrees to pay that money back into something set aside to fund the DTX… maybe that might show that they’re serious about doing other than guzzling money for dubious projects. BART is critical infrastructure, but critical infrastructure needs more than just money thrown at it.


    Drew Levitt

    Thanks, this is very helpful! I share many of your concerns even though I voted the other way.



    I already voted against the bond but I can tell you what they’ll need to do to get my vote the next time. Number one, they could start with dropping expensive and unnecessary extensions such as the $1.5B plan to go five miles down the freeway median to a station miles north of Livermore. Just wipe that one completely off the books. Then I might know they were serious. Second they could focus on dealing with the single point of failure that was designed into the system by going cheap by having only three tracks through downtown Oakland. This morning because of “police action” at Civic Center the whole system comes to a grinding halt. Throwing $3.5B more at the current thinking at BART is throwing money away.



    Cool story bro.



    Don’t change the subject. He’s talking about you not obeying rules of the road, not people on bikes. Can you refute his argument or not?


    Corvus Corax

    And the repercussions thereof.


    Karen Lynn Allen

    True, bikes are wonderfully efficient and the best way to accomplish longer trips. But for trips of a walkable distance, assuming a sweat-free biking or walking pace, walking takes more time and so produces more exercise which makes it better for health. (It helps to live in a place where there are things to walk to within a mile from home.) Healthcare has a significant carbon footprint, so the less healthcare consumed via good health, the better for the planet. I also find I notice things on a finer level when I walk versus bike, so it’s a different way to experience and appreciate a city. Both walking and biking release endorphins so they both have great mental health benefits, the opposite of transit and driving. Both walking and biking stimulate the immune system, reducing lost work days due to illness, another economic benefit. Most bicyclists I know also walk quite a bit. In fact, when my husband and I did this year’s Peak to Peak walk, a large portion of the attendees were also bicyclists.



    Energy-wise, greenhouse-gas-wise, and health-wise walking comes first, bicycling comes second.

    “There’s no machine known that is more efficient than a human on a bicycle,” he said. “Bowl of oatmeal, 30 miles — you can’t come close to that.” – Bill Nye

    I am still riding the same bike I bought in 2001. In that time I’ve gone through many pairs of shoes (granted I’ve replaced plenty of tires, were I to be riding a 32cc hybrid I might be on only the 2nd or 3rd set).

    From a health standpoint it’s a closer debate – cycling is lower impact, but humans can use some impact for bone health, but on bikes humans are willing to take longer trips which are better for health, and exercise at a higher heart rate which has all sorts of benefits. But if you crash….



    As a cyclist/driver I try to stay out of the way of buses as much as possible, including where necessary slowing down to let them get ahead or allowing them to merge after a stop. I think we all benefit from yielding priority to mass transit, in a way that few people, whether cycling or driving, fully appreciate.

    It is unfortunate that we don’t have conversations about various unsafe practices you mentioned – without being dragged in to ‘war-on-cars’ rhetoric or victim-blaming deflections. Safety should be the shared responsibility of everyone – not necessarily in equal parts, but to each their fair share.


    Karen Lynn Allen

    Energy-wise, greenhouse-gas-wise, and health-wise walking comes first, bicycling comes second. Transit third. Private cars a distant fourth. Economically, pedestrians and bicyclists are best value. Every trip on foot or by bike cost the taxpayer almost nothing whereas every single transit ride is subsidized by 1/2 to 3/4ths. Private car trips also cost taxpayers every mile driven, because the gasoline tax and annual car taxes cover a fraction of the costs the machines inflict and of the space they require. Every walker and bicyclist you see is gaining health; every transit rider and car passenger you see is losing it, inflating health care costs for all. (Every mile ridden in a car increases the likelihood of obesity in both adults and children.) Transit riders gain some health back because their trips usually involve some walking on both ends.

    Drivers like to talk about coexistence and sharing the road, but this usually means letting drivers do whatever is most convenient to them regardless of the danger to others. Some drivers are indeed responsible and careful. But because so many speed, text/eat/put on makeup while driving, run through stop signs, pass without giving bicyclists clearance, double park in bike lanes, and make turns at high speeds, it is impossible for pedestrians and bicyclists to coexist safely with motorized vehicles as the streets of the city are now designed.

    This is an enormous public health issue. Half of all injuries treated at SF General are due to traffic collisions. Half. Trauma from traffic collisions is the leading cause of death in the first 44 years of life, but we gloss over it because drivers are happy to sacrifice their fellow citizens if they can get somewhere three minutes faster. Private cars have no place in dense cities unless driven slowly and carefully, and even then drivers should pay the full cost of the space and pavement their vehicles require, the pollution they inflict, and the congestion they induce.

    Above ground transit also poses hazards to pedestrians and bicyclists unless each mode is given its own space, and transit drivers are trained to operate their incredibly hazardous machines carefully. Unfortunately, this is not always with Muni drivers. Even then, above ground transit will inevitably operate slowly in congested cities, usually a great deal more slowly than bicycles. (Bicycles are also more reliable and much more pleasant than buses or crowded subways.) Below-ground transit is preferable (and a great deal faster) than above-ground but extremely expensive and takes years to build.

    The SFMTA could make our city much safer immediately and cheaply. That it doesn’t do so, largely due to political considerations, is immoral and irresponsible. That our mayor doesn’t direct them to aggressively redesign our streets to drop death and injuries from traffic collisions is just as immoral and irresponsible. I own a car and drive it occasionally. I know how convenient it is. Convenience does not take precedence over killing people, paralyzing them, or leaving them in a vegetative state.



    That’s a fair question. There are certainly some people who will never vote for it, simply because they never use the system, don’t want to pay for it, and really don’t care whether BART goes away tomorrow. But propositions requiring 2/3rds majority do pass when there’s a good case for them. And, if RR does fail, it’s going to be even more of an uphill battle to pass a new measure in future elections when turnout is lower and the curmudgeon vote is a larger percentage of the electorate.

    I’d say management changes, but the last time we tried to do that, we ended up paying the last GM a fortune to not work.



    Okay, then why add those concrete safety barriers on freeways separating opposing traffic? Or those water-filled barriers on freeways? Why add guardrails on roads that cling to edges of cliffs? And hell, why even have seat belts or air bags then since somebody has to mess up for them to be needed, and per you, people shouldn’t mess up, right?

    A good engineering design allows for mistakes (because humans will *always* make mistakes) and figures out how to design assuming that mistake will occur. And as my examples should make clear, we see this logic applied ALL the time to motorist infrastructure. But then somehow, as epitomized by your statement, this logic crumbles when we talk about bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. This is even more sickening because those who walk and bicycle are even more vulnerable than motorists encased in their steel cages, and even with this added severity, we still can’t seem to think about *designing* our infrastructure for failure via things like protected bike lanes/intersections, narrow roads with bulb outs, etc. etc.


    Drew Levitt

    It’s worth asking now, while it’s still a hypothetical, what BART could do “to show that they really get the message.” I have the feeling that many people don’t trust BART at all, to the point where there is nothing BART could do to win their trust. I would prefer that those individuals be honest with themselves and with the rest of us, and acknowledge that they will never vote for additional BART funding. Maybe there is a large middle ground of voters who are rightly skeptical of BART’s intentions but who can be won over by some earnest gesture – but I’m not sure what that action would be.



    In a world where individual humans are proven to make bad choices, a rational society limits their ability to make those choices.



    My thoughts are with you, your friend and his family, but please step back for a moment and reconsider who’s really to blame here. The driver is to blame. He chose to ignore the posted speed limit and his actions caused the unfortunate (and preventable) accident. As a result, he should be severely punished.

    We live in a highly-congested city where various modes of transportation have to coexist. I do feel that the city is partly to blame by not providing its residents with a robust transit system that would discourage car dependency.



    All the quoted government leaders, singing out in unison “give us more of taxpayers money”. No surprise here, and the electorate is finally wising up. The more they threaten that this must be aporoved, the more NO votes it gets. Extortion…



    > 1/100,000 chance of being involved in an accident?

    I would like to know what that ‘chance’ number really might be. Googling it for very round numbers I see 4K annual traffic accident injuries and a population of 800K. That ratio is 1/200 which is not even close to your 1/100,000 number.

    I personally have been hit by unlawful motorists twice in the last decade, thankfully never being hospitalized, but both time being knocked down to the pavement. So, your 1/100,000 number seems wildly wrong.

    > the silent majority of non-cyclists to be massively inconvenienced?

    Why frame this as a bicycle war? The majority of traffic injuries are motorists injuring other motorists anyway. And asking a motorist cohort to take responsibility for their own actions is hardly an inconvenience.

    We all should be thankful for that Billion dollar trauma center I suppose, even if non-motorists pay for more than their share of the damage caused.



    I voted for it, because BART desperately needs to modernize infrastructure, but damn do I resent being stuck in the position of feeling like I have to vote to send billions to a Board and management I have zero confidence in, one that continues to relentlessly pursue expansion into further suburbs rather than take care of the system we’ve got.

    If it loses, which it well might, I do wonder what BART is going to do. Try again with a smaller bond presumably, but I’d hope they manage to shake things up enough to show that they really get the message this time.



    So sorry to hear about this, Karen. I find this completely unacceptable. I wonder, what is the feasibility of Bob’s family pursuing a lawsuit against the SFMTA/City for not providing safe bicycle infrastructure? I think this sort of legal action is what it’s going to take to get the SFMTA to get serious about the joke that is their Vision Zero effort.



    So sorry to hear about your friend. This didn’t need to happen.

    In a city that’s 7 miles by 7 miles, there’s no reason to have high speed arterial streets running through dense residential neighborhoods that don’t provide protected accommodations for people riding bikes and intersections with crosswalks that depend on magic paint and signs to keep us safe from harm.


    John R.

    Between the Embarcadero and 8th St., Market St. does not have anything like “Massive infrastructural support.” In fact, aside from a few turn restrictions for private autos, and useless “sharrows” stenciled on the street, it barely has any cycling infrastructure at all. Between 8th and Dolores, it is adequate, with green bike lanes, painted buffers, some soft-hit posts, bike boxes, vehicle traffic restrictions, turning procedures at Valencia, etc. Between Dolores and Castro it is still just a matter of white stripes forming narrow bike lanes. What one might call “Massive infrastructural support” would be fully protected bike lanes, bike traffic signals, infrastructure at intersections to protect cyclists from turning vehicle traffic, management of transit traffic, etc.


    Karen Lynn Allen

    An update on my friend, Bob, who was severely injured by a hit and run driver three weeks ago while bicycling. He has still not regained consciousness and his doctors are growing pessimistic that he will do so. The driver was found. He is a 38 year old man who works in finance. He hit Bob at a very high speed on Monterey Boulevard at Foerster, a street Bob has biked down routinely for decades. The driver is possibly going to be charged with a felony and may face up to four years in state prison. Bob’s family may face the awful decision of what to do if Bob doesn’t ever regain consciousness.

    This tragedy is a direct consequence of the city of San Francisco (specifically the SFMTA) prioritizing driving over walking and biking and failing to protect bicyclists and pedestrians from irresponsible drivers.



    The intersection at Market and Church can be miserable for people walking, particularly the fact that going from Safeway to Church St. involves a dogleg crossing. Either you need to cross Church first



    not only do they park in bike lanes, they also doublepark in fast car lanes like those on fell and oak. they need to be ticketed there. in all honesty, there needs to eb a restriction on number of drivers uber permits in SF.



    “Upper Hate Street Upgrade”

    I think you made a typo



    I also saw the aftermath of a motorcycle accident on Sunday on Mission just past Duboce and the freeway onramp. Not a good weekend for Vision Zero.