Skip to content

Recent Comments

RSS
  1.  

    murphstahoe

    At peak rush, Caltrain already runs at higher frequencies than the BART spur lines.

  2.  

    Idrather Bebikin

    I don’t think it’s done out of incompetence AJ. I’m convinced it’s because they don’t want to be honest with the public about how much it costs to be near SCU. Because almost everyone will say “Hell, NO!”

    So to hide this fact they decided to group it with the Alum Rock @ 28th St location – effectively “throwing under the bus” the community that was worked for over 25 years to land BART right there.

  3.  

    andrelot

    It is impossible to increase frequencies between Milbrae and San Jose on Caltrain to BART levels because that will be a shared sector between CAHSR (high speed rail) and Caltrain (the so-called “blended sector”). Because of the speed differential and very different stop pattern, this considerably reduces total capacity of the rail tracks all the way to San Jose.

  4.  

    Idrather Bebikin

    The grouping of the 28th St location and Santa Clara near SCU into Phase III is done on purpose IMHO.

    VTA BART SV needs to be honest with separating ALL of the costs of both stations and how much the cost is for the long stretch all the way to Santa Clara.

    IF the VTA BART SV is honest about this, people will be amazed at how HUGE the cost is between Diridon Station and Santa Clara.

  5.  

    Idrather Bebikin

    Catchy one liner “Upright Biker” but way off the mark in every which way. Religious or not it is the cultural center and heartbeat of the area.

  6.  

    Idrather Bebikin

    The 875 units can be increased drastically as can the office units if density and height is targeted differently.

  7.  

    Idrather Bebikin

    Adina –

    Nothing has really changed from VTA. They have not told the public when these three public outreach meetings are at Mexican Heritage Plaza, Downtown San Jose and Santa Clara. These three meetings should have been “baked in” and created during this process 4-6 months ago.

    The community should have been informed of ANY materially significant changes when they were happening, not 4-6 months later. Not after they were caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

    I would “not” trust VTA Senior Management on BART. We need a strong ongoing push every day/week until the Dec. 11th Meeting.And beyond! The new words coming from VTA General Manager are more PR spin than anything else. This is not comforting at all.

    FYI:
    As someone that uses VTA extensively, they have a great new marketing push overall. Their operational excellence of getting trains and buses onto their schedule at the major transit points and time stops is still “hit and miss.”

    It doesn’t matter how well you make VTA look online, if the service stinks people who don’t need to use it will stop using it!

  8.  

    Mario Tanev

    One thing missing in Google Maps is knowledge of whether a location has any parking. There is no parking on Market St, so it doesn’t make sense to propose ending one’s trip there (unless one is in a Taxi).

  9.  

    Marvin Papas

    ‘Improve the infrastructure…’

    Good fucking luck with that one, Chief.

  10.  

    Mario Tanev

    Ok, so it seems that inbound, the only way to enter legally is to turn right on 9th. Or perhaps to make a U-turn from the outbound direction (no idea if U-turns are allowed).

    For the outbound direction, one could enter from any of the streets before 3rd and continue legally.

    It is very obvious that some drivers will enter illegally. But as long as there is a legal way to enter, unless they were spotted entering illegally, they will not be ticketed since their presence is not banned. So, again, it seems cars are not banned, simply (and perhaps severely) restricted on that stretch.

  11.  

    Juan

    Please take one minute to submit an online petition to save the Alum Rock BART station! Submit your online petition on your smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer at http://bit.ly/1xynn3Q

    On October 6th, the VTA unilaterally proposed to the Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Program Working Committee the elimination of the Alum Rock BART station.

    Your online petition will be submitted to the following parties to request that the VTA Board save the Alum Rock BART station: Valley Transportation Authority, City of San Jose’s Mayor & City Council Members, San Jose City Manager, and the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.

  12.  

    shamelessly

    Van Ness BRT: “The losers are Motorists”
    …and the winners are everyone who’s ever said “I’d take MUNI more often if it was faster and more reliable.”

  13.  

    gneiss

    “While other factors may be involved” Oh, you mean like car drivers that pull u-turns right in the middle of the street that I have to slam my brakes on to avoid? Drivers who double park in the bike lane when there’s a perfectly good parking spot half a block down the street? Drivers who buzz me with 6 inches to spare because they can’t bear to slow down for the 10 seconds it would take to wait until there’s a safe time to pass? Car drivers that fail to signal a right turn and then jerk across the bike lane into a driveway? See – we can play this game all day long.

    The key here is that bad infrastructure breeds bad behavior. Improve the infrastructure and you’ll see much better behavior from both car drivers, and bike riders.

  14.  

    Bruce

    Because there will be a Caltrain connection at Diridon (a much busier station that is a Baby Bullet stop). Levi’s Stadium is actually not that close to the Santa Clara Caltrain station, and passengers can reach it via light rail from Diridon. Avaya Stadium might be a legitimate draw for BART but is it worth spending billions of dollars to build a station that would only see high ridership 17 days of the year?

  15.  

    coolbabybookworm

    It’s not flipped because Folsom’s buffered bike lane is a pilot project. In order to put car parking on the left of the bike lane, they’d need to create transit boarding islands for the 12 bus/GGT buses and probably phased turn signaling at places like 5th and 6th street. Unfortunately that means lots more time and money, but I think it’s the eventual plan.

  16.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    Yep. Even when it produces a highly silly route like this one that obeys the mandatory right turn off Maret at 6th. https://www.google.com/maps/dir/37.7797361,-122.4134916/37.7851505,-122.4066397/@37.7808359,-122.4115061,16z/data=!4m2!4m1!3e0

  17.  

    Marvin Papas

    “While other factors may be involved” Oh you mean like Cyclists who blow through stop signs on a regular basis then have the audacity to get mad at me for yelling at them after I stomped on the brakes to avoid hitting them? Those kind of factors?

  18.  

    Upright Biker

    That was my second ride through the tunnel. The first one was simply harrowing. It was the second, near-fatal experience that appealed so strongly to my sense of self-preservation and triggered my fears for the safety of others.

    Even when the sign is “blank” as you call it, you can still plainly see the bike symbol and “IN TUNNEL” lettering. I agree with @brucehalperin:disqus that the opportunity here was to make Broadway one lane with a buffered bike lane.

    Boy, would that make the Prop L crowd scream bloody murder. But at least it wouldn’t be over a bicyclist’s bloody murder.

  19.  

    Gezellig

    You keep it classy, Burnaby.

  20.  

    Gezellig

    Glad you liked! I’m a pretty visual person so illustrative images always really help at least me.

    You can write tomes about what it’s like to bike in SF but pictures of the good and bad often just say everything.

  21.  

    Lego

    Yes, yes and yes. I’ve even pointed out offenders to officers in real time and they did not act

  22.  

    Gezellig

    Yup.

    There has never been a single time…ever…that I’ve biked down Valencia WITHOUT there being double-parking.

    Literally. Ever.

    And I bike it all the time.

    So much for “why don’t you just stay in the space allotted to you?” Bikes have to do that within the 1.4% of SF road space devoted to them (often at subpar standards) but apparently cars don’t have to stay in the 95%+ of road space devoted solely to them (almost without exception above all other modes). Ok!

    I know this because–approximately speaking–zero times that I’ve gone down Valencia have I ever seen a double parker ticketed.

  23.  

    Bruce

    Google Maps directions incorporate turn restrictions.

  24.  

    Bruce

    Left turns off of 6th are already prohibited. But a right off of 9th, a right off of Jones/McAllister, or any turn east of 3rd Street would do the trick.

  25.  

    Lego

    It only takes once

  26.  

    Gezellig

    Thanks! The tired illusory-correlation-laden Respectability Politics were too hilariously clueless not to address.

  27.  

    Gezellig

    Yup! Or the antigay one. Lots of parallels in terms of the cluelessness of unintrospective majority privilege. Down to the letter of the “why can’t you be civil?” (read: “why make a fuss about the status quo?”) comment.

    “Aren’t civil unions enough? You get so much now! And it is definitely fully, justly and perfectly optimized for your needs so anything better is whining. Just smile and stay within that. Oh, and you and the rest of your kind will be judged as a group the first second a single one of you has a bad day or gets mad about the disparity. Thanks!”

    “Isn’t the 1.4% of SF roadspace already devoted to bikes enough? You get so much now! And that 1.4% is definitely fully, justly and perfectly optimized for your mode so anything better is whining. Just smile and stay within that. Oh, and you and the rest of your kind will be judged as a group the first second a single one of you has a bad day or gets mad about the disparity. Thanks!”

    Lol. Great way to do public policy–especially public roadways we all pay for and use!

  28.  

    Lego

    Sounds (not surprisingly) like the racist model

  29.  

    Lego

    Basically Valencia Street (pic 1 & 3), Substitute truck with Tech Shuttle

  30.  

    Lego

    Classy (referring to the last pic)

  31.  

    Lego

    Thanks for clarifying.
    (3) Few blocks in SF don’t have obstructions (as described in other comments) bad pavement, glass and the list goes on
    (1 + 3) Safety: I think cyclists get into trouble when they are too slavish to the bike lane. Such as when a right turning car is encountering pedestrians in crosswalk (or just parking in the bike lane, parking, etc.) and there is a bunching up of vehicles and resultant blind spots.
    I look three-quarters up the block for hazards and a clear bike lane. If it isn’t clear, I go into vehicular cycling mode (sorry, not my choice), increasing my speed as much as I can (to flow and to be courteous to motorists behind me). If I have to ride in the second lane, I will. I’m out there to be seen, with lots of space around me and to flow. Not cowering in the right between the door zone and in the (right-hand) blind spot of weird car maneuvers. Again, crazy level of (unrecognized) compensation necessary to ride a bike in this town. Think video game (with deadly consequences). Does anyone else not have time to blink when they are riding? It’s the polar opposite of the experience of cruising around in a luxury (or any) car.

  32.  

    Lego

    Fabulous illustrations. Like being there. Thanks!

  33.  

    Sprague

    Very well written, Gezellig.

  34.  

    Gezellig

    Haha who said anything about me? I’m normally quite civil when I’m out and about, regardless of my mode. Takes quite a bit to get me riled, personally. This isn’t about me.

    But you know what? If I do happen to be driving and I or one of my fellow drivers on the road happens to be uncivil while driving, no one ever says “see, that’s why I can’t respect drivers.” Majority privilege.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Respectability_politics

    That cannot be said for bikes. One dude on a bike somewhere once had to go into the general travel lane because the doorzone bike lane was blocked and the “This is Why I Can’t Respect Cyclists” pitchforks come out:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusory_correlation

    Your comments betray a fundamental lack of understanding of these concepts.

    The basic problem is that very often our infrastructure is very much stacked against any and all non-car modes. As someone who has a driver’s license, two feet, a bike, and a Clipper card I’m well aware of which one has the overwhelming privilege when I use it.

    You’re arguing the classic “you’ve gotta be TWICE as good as everyone else and then maybe they’ll think about considering liking you” when we’re talking about public rights-of-way everyone (regardless of mode) has a right to be a First Class Citizen in, regardless of their mode. Or mood.

    Not only that…but *on top of that* this all in a city that *claims* to be:

    –> Transit/Bike/Ped First
    –> Vision Zero
    –> 8-to-80
    –> 20% modeshare by 2020, etc.

    Basically, it claims to treat people as First Class citizens regardless of their mode, age, ability or status.

    This is not first-class treatment:

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/10475149_1502393510002265_596110867_n.jpg

    This is not first-class treatment:

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/IMG_2247.jpg

    This is not first-class treatment:

    http://www.sfexaminer.com/imager/adding-separate-bus-rapid-transit-lanes-on-van-ness-is-expected-to-speed-up/b/original/2574606/8265/Transportation3-1.jpg

    etc.

    Subpar infrastructure in -> subpar behavior out

  35.  

    boter_op_je_hoofd

    Um, I’m just not sure I believe your story. First, you say that cyclist stopped at the traffic light. In my experience, seeing something like that is extraordinarily rare. Plus you say he stopped next to your car, instead of pulling as far forward into the pedestrian crosswalk as possible. Again, not the usual behavior of a cyclist. Lastly, and I think this proves this story cannot be real, you say that cyclist “decided to tell” you something that involved the cyclist using his mouth to say something other than “F–k you!” Additionally, he didn’t even spit on your windshield, like the commentator below says is the appropriate response in a situation like this. I’m not saying something didn’t happen to you that day on 17th Street, just that you didn’t have an interaction with a San Francisco Cyclist. Maybe an Alien cyclist who was still learning the ropes.

  36.  

    murphstahoe

    You sure Flubert isn’t a nom de plume for RoyTT?

  37.  

    Gezellig

    Because see pictures on my post below for what “lane specifically designated to bikes” often means. That last one’s even 17th St itself.

  38.  

    Flubert

    I’m not trying to piss anyone off. I am asking why you you wouldn’t use a lane specifically designated to you? But somehow expect other road users to behave differently?

  39.  

    Flubert

    Someone has to make the first move towards civility. Why can it never be you?

  40.  

    p_chazz

    SFMTA should put up signs near Market Street that say “Auto Traffic on Market Street Not Recommended” like the warning signs for trucks and trailers on winding mountain roads. They should also work with Google Maps so that trip plans avoid Market.

  41.  

    murphstahoe

    “The better question is whether it is good PR to choose to drive drunk” – said nobody ever.

    If you are trolling, you have succeeded in pissing me off by indicating that if you ride a bike you are screwed because some other cyclist isn’t doing proper “PR”

    So bogus

  42.  

    Mario Tanev

    The proposal referenced does not appear to ban private cars from mid-Market. It does make it almost impossible to enter it legally, but once entered, the proposal doesn’t make the presence of a vehicle illegal. One could still enter by making a right off of 9th or a left off of 6th.

  43.  

    Bruce

    You’re the first person I’ve met who hasn’t had his/her life flash before his/her eyes riding through that tunnel. I was seriously disappointed when SFMTA opted not to pursue a road diet with bike lanes on Broadway as part of the streetscape improvement project there.

  44.  

    Gezellig

    Haha, your post read my post’s mind :)

    Folsom’s definitely a bit better except for this problem:

    https://d262ilb51hltx0.cloudfront.net/max/800/1*ccNgv7OAY_rm48p8oiVnVA.jpeg

    There’s so much space there for the life of me I don’t understand why it’s not just flipped to become a parking-protected bike lane.

  45.  

    Bruce

    Traffic from Jones and McAllister should be prohibited from turning onto Market as well (Jones would need to be two-wayed up to Turk). If the traffic island there were downsized to allow inbound 5-Fulton buses to pass the island on the left, then a pedestrian plaza/parklet could be created there too (joining the remaining part of the island to the northwest sidewalk of Market).

  46.  

    Gezellig

    Those are some pretty big exceptions to CVC21208, especially considering how frequently #1 and #3 need to happen on narrow Second Class (er, Caltrans Class II) bike lanes such as the one on 17th.

    In addition, there is also no “single-file rule” in the CVC.

    Btw, let’s not forget that the underlying problem here is at the macro-level—the infrastructure. As someone who bikes I’m sure you’re aware the narrow Second-Class lanes on 17th are even narrower for all practical purposes when you consider this:

    http://www.gcbl.org/files/blog/full/bikelanewhatchmark2.jpg

    Those crosshatches protruding halfway into the already-narrow Second-Class bike lane on 17th are SF explicitly marking and warning people on bikes about the doorzone.

    And this is how a standard “five foot” “bike” “lane” often becomes a 3-foot Strike Zone + 1-foot Shriek Zone + 1-foot of Actual Bike Lane:

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/SF_BikeLane_575px.gif

    http://bikinginla.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/6-AASHTO-says-but-dont-2.jpg

    Subpar infrastructure in –> Subpar behavior out.

    It’s as simple as that. What’s hilarious about this is that solutions are readily available which would keep both cars *and* bikes out of each others’ ways:

    http://www.downtownseattle.com/assets/2013/10/Cycle-track.jpg

    But these often give motorists a sad about the prospect of losing a couple more feet to bikes. Even though the remainder width of the street would still be totally devoted to cars and have practically no bike-riders “weaving” into their space because there’d really be no incentive to do so.

  47.  

    gneiss

    You just proved my point. There is no law that says bicyclist must be in the bicycle lane. Read the exceptions carefully. Given that there is only a foot or two of usable space on most city bicycle lanes placed adjacent to parked cars, traveling wholly in it represents a hazardous condition. Give me a bicycle lane like the one on 8th street or on the new stretch of Folsom, and you’ll find me all in it. The one on 17th, rarely.

    And no where in the CVC is there any restriction against bicycling two abreast.

  48.  

    Idrather Bebikin

    Very good article. The big issues here are:

    1) What did VTA Staff know and when did they know it?
    1a) What did VTA Senior Staff & General Manager know and when did they know it?
    1b) Is it true that the VTA Board was blindsided about all of this on Oct. 6th?

    2) Technical decisions versus community input?

    3) Federal ranking schemas: Won’t the two below rank well?
    3a) Community involvement for OVER 25 years for this BART Alum Rock @ 28th Streeet
    3B) Disadvantaged communities

    4) Can the new overpass (instead of a tunnel mean that the new BART tunnel and station be built under the 28th Street and under the Five Wounds Trail?

    5) Density and height of the footprint?
    5a) Can the parking garage be modified, put underground, especially if the BART station is under 28th Street and FWT?
    (assuming BART runs over Hwy 101 next to the existing UPRR train bridge, why can’t it go under 28th St to Santa Clara)
    5b) Getting developers to design in the mixed use development alongside BART planning will save money
    5c) Can the height be increased from 120 feet to 240 feet or more?
    5d) Once buildings go over 5 stories and require reinforced concrete or steel beams, higher buildings might as well be built – as long as it complies with community realities. [but the tallest structures will be next to Hwy 101!]

    6) Bike/Pedestrian bridge directly into this master planned development will be a HUGE way to get peopl between Hwy 101 & 680 there!

    7) Please keep this TRUE mixed use Transit Oriented Development

    8) Please make this as lush looking as the photograph!

  49.  

    SFnative74

    Was it that one time or has it happened more than once? I’ve ridden through the tunnel on the road going east at least a dozen times and have never had problems. Not to say it is ok as it is because it’s intense, even for me as an experienced urban cyclist. I’m just wondering how drivers *usually* are with other cyclists in the tunnel and wonder if you had a bad one-off experience.

  50.  

    Upright Biker

    I think they should take the sign down entirely, because it gives riders — at least it did me — a false sense of safety when in fact drivers seem not to pay the least bit of attention nor do they modulate their behavior in the direction of safety just because a sign is lit.