Skip to content

Recent Comments

RSS
  1.  

    Jim Baross Jr

    What you, Jim Dyer, regularly do is somewhat immaterial to whether the hybrid facility is, as promoted, a bike lane per CVC 21208. It may matter if someone bicycling outside of this “Protected Bike Lane” is involved in a collision and fault is assigned to the bicyclists solely for being out of the bike lane.
    My understanding is that raised barriers were not to be used next to bike lanes, per the Calif. HDM (Yes, I know the requirements for following the HDM were removed by AB 1193.) so, it seems perhaps that the “Protected Bike Lane” might more accurately be called a “Protected Bikeway” or even a “Cycletrack” and the onerous Bike Lane restrictions would not be applicable.

  2.  

    Sprague

    What a shame that the bike lanes will disappear before they reach the BART station. As someone who is not too familiar with this area, it seems odd to preserve parking spots on a freeway overpass. Is this to preserve parking for people who drive to the BART station (or for employees of the nearby Muni Metro yard or students/staff of Lick Wilmerding High School or CCSF)?

  3.  

    Bruce

    Also, the same loop may eventually be used by the E Embarcadero, allowing single-ended trolleys to be used on that line once it goes into service.

  4.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    I guess I will be pretty satisfied if service is ever so robust on this line that switching a car back caused a disruption. But if they can have control-system-operated switches for a turnback loop, we do we have to assume that a turnback switch is manually operated?

  5.  

    Justin

    Aaron from what I remembered from that meeting talking to one of the project coordinators, and I could be wrong, was that the buffered bike lanes proposed on Ocean Ave heading west passing in front of CCSF could have soft hit posts or something that would protect people that would bike on that buffered bike lane, if it is to be built, from any motor vehicles that could enter it, possibly making that stretch a protected bikeway.

  6.  

    Ted King

    Throughput. The loop lets them turn a train around without blocking the tracks. The various turnbacks around the city (e.g. [1] just west of West Portal, [2] near Tenth Ave. + Judah) require the following train holding clear of the turnback for several minutes while the operator of the short-turner MANUALLY flips the switch and then reverses onto the other set of tracks. Muni’s manual turnbacks are a robust and less expensive solution to the rigidity inherent in the compact layout of S.F.’s mainlines.

    Keep in mind that the following loops could unsnarl some chokepoints:
    1) West Portal (Vicente / Wawona)
    2) Sunset (Tenth Ave / Irving)

  7.  

    coolbabybookworm

    Traffic circulation is also far more nuanced than one street, especially given the high volume arterials and grid pattern surround the project. In this part of town there is no bike infrastructure other than sharrows and a class 2 lane on Folsom/Howard and Townsend going perpendicular. The plan for 2nd is similar to what was done in Mission, some streets are more focused on auto flow (guerrero), some on transit (mission) and some on bikes (valencia). In this case 2nd would be the focus for bike infrastructure and a number of changes are being made (turn restrictions, boarding bulbouts) to facilitate transit. Maximizing every street to squeeze as much private auto traffic as possible doesn’t result in good bus transit. The strategy isn’t to degrade driving, it simply acknowledges that more auto lanes does not reduce gridlock, it induces driving. Induced driving trips, however, does result in more gridlock.

  8.  

    sebra leaves

    Here is hoping they are right. Now they just need to train a few mechanics to keep them running.

  9.  

    mx

    True. I’m just saying the problem is far more nuanced than “build lots of bike/ped features and people will magically give up driving and find other ways to get around.” A good number of the changes SFMTA has made to intentionally degrade service for autos in favor of other modes have also led to gridlock that hurts transit service. A strategy that relies on trying to make driving so miserable that everyone takes transit instead is particularly counterproductive when it makes transit even more miserable too.

  10.  

    Jym Dyer

    The Ohlone Bikeway in the East Bay has a separate bike path, though amblers wander onto it routinely.

  11.  

    Jym Dyer

    We’ve had it for 3 years and it turns out to be safer. I guess the designers were informed by knowledge more recent than Jerrold Kaplan’s 1974 study — the one most frequently cited by the type of person who still insists on the seg-re-gat-ed label for bike infrastructure.

  12.  

    Jym Dyer

    Your CABO colleague Bob Shanteau asserted as much in 2010, before this stretch was reconfigured to add soft-hit posts. Repackaging the assertion as a question is an improvement, I guess.

    I regularly bike in the right lane on Fell in advance of a right turn.

  13.  

    Jym Dyer

    Yes, I’ve heard the same, dunno the ultimate policy document that stipulates this, though.

    I was biking in NYC for a few years and realized I was mostly keeping to the left on one-way streets (without bike lanes). A savvier biker mentioned that her strategy was to be positioned to the left at right turns and to the right at left turns. This of course involves taking the lane as needed (plus there’s all the double-parking to weave around).

    Fell Street is a very different animal, though. It was deployed (twinned with Oak Street, a multi-lane one-way street in the opposite direction) in a fit of pique by traffic engineers who were thwarted by the Freeway Revolt. It was designed as a vengeful traffic sewer through an African-American residential neighborhood.

  14.  

    Thomas Rogers

    I’m not sure why a loop vs. a switch. They obviously do a switch at the far end of the line, past Visitacion Valley.

    BTW, my Street View link seems be garbled into a general GMaps link? You can look at what I meant at 18th & 3rd or 19th & 3rd, though.

  15.  

    Prinzrob

    Antioch bicyclist was stabbed by a driver yesterday in an apparent road rage incident: http://www.contracostatimes.com/antioch/ci_27517112/antioch-man-57-arrested-road-rage-stabbing

  16.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    There is already chronic gridlock on 2nd both sides of the bridge.

  17.  

    mx

    I agree there’s a huge problem at 2nd street. But I think Muni needs to be considered too. Where should the 10-Towsend run? Intentionally creating a massive traffic jam for private auto traffic on 2nd might be fine with the “gridlock all the cars” crowd, but buses will be stuck in the same traffic.

  18.  

    davd vartanoff

    Muni has so mistreated riders that even an otherwise useful and non-controversial piece of trackwork is seen as facilitating degraded service. Short turning streetcars to keep service fluid has been a strategy for over a century, but Muni has abused the process. “There’s another train right behind me” and I’ll respect you in the morning.

  19.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    Would be the best thing that ever happened to 21A.

  20.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    Why do they need a loop? Can’t the use a switch, where the operator walks from one end of the car to the other?

  21.  

    MrEricSir

    The proposal for 2nd Street needed to happen yesterday. But with all the new offices in the area it’s uncomfortably crowded, and there just isn’t enough room for cars anymore. At this point cutting out half the car lanes isn’t enough — it should be a bike/ped only street to accommodate the enormous crowds.

  22.  

    David D.

    An island would have to be at least 8 feet wide. At first glance, it doesn’t look like there’s enough room for one.

  23.  

    Thomas Rogers

    I can understand the T-Third loop concerns from Bayview/India Basin w/r/t service frequency, although it’s worth noting that the loop is partially constructed already:

    https://www.google.com/maps/@37.761795,-122.388321,3a,75y,260.52h,78.41t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sSu6jpiymdlkgdv_Fs7CesQ!2e0

    There are protests from the Dogpatch area that seem to be mainly about not wanting streetcars trundling by people’s apartments, which I have less sympathy regarding.

  24.  

    mx

    How can Muni officials have no idea why on-time performance has dropped? Let’s not even mention the 85% on-time performance goal passed by voters so many years ago. This does not inspire any confidence that management has any idea what they are doing.

    Step #1: It’s time for John Haley to go. He’s been around through the Nat Ford years and has apparently accomplished nothing except drawing a paycheck. I don’t know if anyone can do a better job, but replacing the Operations Director seems like a good first step when the agency lacks basic operational competence. Given the delays on Metro this week, I wouldn’t trust Muni to run a child’s toy railway let alone a major transit agency.

    Step #2: Re-align Muni’s budget and priorities based on what it can realistically achieve. Start the budget process with the iron rule that service will be done right or won’t be done at all. Plan service with an adequate (based on real-world experiences instead of fantasy goals) number of spare vehicles and operators, schedule realistic maintenance intervals, and set the number of buses on the road to the number needed to maintain worst-case headways. Then start proposing service cuts until everything that Muni does, it can afford to do properly. With that baseline in place, figure out the funding necessary to restore service levels.

  25.  

    Bruce

    What happened in this intersection?

  26.  

    Izsak

    I do this quite often. They actually will come out and repaint the crosswalks if you report them, which is quite satisfying (should be expected, yet somehow not)! Still, I think it’s rather absurd that they rely on citizens to do this, since you could probably spend about five workdays every couple years and check all the major intersections. Because not everyone reports faded crosswalks, basically unless I do it, I guess, they will go unpainted and heavily faded for literally years and years.

  27.  

    Bruce

    They finally removed the Tow-Away signs along the sidewalk today and cars are starting to park in the curbside parking lane now. I still think a couple of safe-hit posts at the end of the parking lane are warranted though.

  28.  

    Gezellig

    So far the general culture still seems to be…if you get hit here–even in a legal crosswalk–it’s YOUR fault.

    Let the Frogger Games begin!

    http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2012/specials/hunger-games/celeb-fans/elizabeth-banks-660.jpg

    Location of the awful intersection below: https://goo.gl/maps/sYiyp

  29.  

    Bruce

    The fastest way to get the City’s attention is to file a 311 service request.

  30.  

    Gezellig

    Yeah, the current 40/42 setup really sucks. I’ve looked into it and even bus + bike with the 40/42 often doesn’t make much sense.

    Whereas just-bus and certainly bus + bike is very competitive to driving to destinations along the Marin SF 101 corridor.

    For example, bus + bike on either the 70 or 101 GGT bus lines is often equivalent to or even better than driving in terms of time (for example, GG Bridge Toll Plaza to San Rafael Transit Center on the 101 bus can be as little as 25 minutes. Google maps says with no traffic the absolute best a car can do is 18 minutes. That’s pretty good for transit! Especially considering there aren’t any bus-only lanes on Highway 101, which would make it even better).

    Marin missed out long ago on rail connections to the East Bay and SF but express bus service on dedicated bus lanes (or at least HOV + bus lanes) could replicate many of its functions at a fraction of the cost of rail. All the better with smart (excuse the pun) timed transfers to upcoming SMART service at key stations such as San Rafael TC and Larkspur.

    An express 580 bus across the Richmond Bridge to/from SRTC would be huge.

  31.  

    Bruce

  32.  

    p_chazz

    ^Yes this, much. When I went to school at Dominican, I would occasionally have to go from my Sacramento office to Dominican which entailed taking the Capitol Corridor from Sacramento to Richmond; BART from Richmond to El Cerrito del Norte; the 40/42 from ECN to the San Rafael Transit Center and a local GGT bus or cab or walk from the Transit Center to Dominican. There were some 40/42s that went to Richmond Station, but not enough for me to make to class in time.

  33.  

    Gezellig

    http://urbanful.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/pedestrian-cartoon-imbed.jpg

    “Love the Frogger Games or Shut Up. Also, may the odds be ever in your favor.

    –Your Police Department of District 12…er…San Francisco”

    http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2012/specials/hunger-games/celeb-fans/elizabeth-banks-660.jpg

  34.  

    Bob Gunderson

    Great article about SF traffic cops give lessons on how they can’t be relied upon for safety & it’s ped/bikers fault if they get hit.

  35.  

    Bruce

    It takes some digging but the EIRs are on the Downtown SSF Station Area Plan website.

  36.  

    vcs

    That is good news. I tried to find the actual plans online and was unsuccessful. Anyone have a link?

  37.  

    Gezellig

    Re: Richmond Bridge bike/ped lane—finally! Though it’d be really nice if it happened sooner than 3 years.

    Also, if we had a saner more equitable transpo policy the new motor vehicle lane would be a dedicated bus lane with GGT service branded something like 580 Express (in the grain of the long-distance rapid skip-stop 101 bus line GGT currently operates):

    https://thegreatermarin.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/improve-the-east-bay-connection/

    Currently bus service into Marin from the East Bay is still largely the same as documented in this piece from 2007:

    http://estecantor.blogspot.com/2007/07/commuting-to-promised-land.html

  38.  

    Fran Taylor

    In Hoodline piece, Sgt. Murphy’s inane statements prove his own admission that an empty parked cop car is more effective than a live officer.

  39.  

    Izsak

    Why don’t they maintain the crosswalks they already have? Probably a third of the crosswalks in my neighborhood are seriously faded. How much would it really take to have someone to drive around once a year and mark ones for repainting?

  40.  

    the_greasybear

    Precisely. Because of rampant NIMBYism in the urban inner Bay Area, the vast majority of new homes have been built out in areas that were either always poorly served by transit–if they were even populated in 1991.

    It would be interesting to compare per capita transit usage in 1991 with per capita usage in 2015–for only those areas that were populated in 1991. I doubt it dropped 14%.

  41.  

    p_chazz

    Doesn’t appear from the drawings that it will be, so bicyclists should walk their bikes.

  42.  

    p_chazz

    It could if it’s done right, but not if it becomes a grimy, urine-stained nightmare that you have to hold your breath to pass through.

  43.  

    Dennis_Hindman

    According to the 2006 version of the California Highway Design Manual a bike lane next to a gutter should be 1.5 meters wide. That is to ensure that the bike lane is 1.2 meters wide as the gutter is not suitable to ride on. Your first picture does not follow that recommendation.

  44.  

    Bruce

    The very underpass you deride will make the station feel very close to downtown (which it actually is!) The area should be much more walkable just with that on its own, not to mention the new mixed-use developments going up.

  45.  

    Bruce

    And then they rubbed salt in the wound by putting an eyesore of a maintenance yard right in between the station platform and downtown. Thankfully they are undoing that mistake by converting it to a pedestrian plaza.

  46.  

    Bruce

    The tunnel will connect to Grand Avenue on the east side of the tracks, so a pedestrian could walk from Gateway along Grand without having to climb up the overpass and then down the stairs.

  47.  

    Gezellig

    That’d be interesting to find out. Of course the CVC21208 does also allow for a very broad set of exceptions to the mandatory use law, including:

    “..the person may move out of the lane under
    any of the following situations:

    (1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle, vehicle, or
    pedestrian within the lane or about to enter the lane if the
    overtaking and passing cannot be done safely within the lane.

    (3) When reasonably necessary to leave the bicycle lane to avoid
    debris or other hazardous conditions.”

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=veh&group=21001-22000&file=21200-21212

    Points #1 and #3 are especially key. At least in SF this is probably why it’s rarely enforced because of how often it truly is necessary to leave a bike lane.

  48.  

    Jim Baross Jr

    The article referred to this as a bike lane. Is this to be a required to use facility, just as bike lanes are, per CVC 21208?

  49.  

    Gezellig

    You raise a great point–there’s often a disconnect between the practical usability width of a bike lane vs. its on-paper width.

    http://azbikelaw.org/images/ray2.jpg

    What a nice 1-ft. “bike”…uhhh…”lane!”

    Actually, even if the lane width stayed the same but it were repaved as level, smooth asphalt (no concrete curb gutter) the practical width would be greatly increased because of course in its current state most people naturally avoid concrete curb gutters and even the several inches of downward-sloping asphalt adjacent to it.

    As for the physical buffers, I think on balance they’re still welcome. Why?

    For one, this will not only be less tempting but less physically possible in most places:

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/IMG_3064.jpg

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2014-01-21-17.45.46.jpg

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/2014/01/23/whos-parking-in-the-fell-street-bike-lane-today-oh-its-sfpd/

    In addition to the increases in real and perceived safety (not to be discounted in terms of encouraging new bikership!), there’s also the following feedback loop:

    real barriers –> visual narrowing of the road for drivers –> car speeding reduction –> more pleasant experience for people on bikes –> more people bike

    This is especially true for the Interested But Concerned. I’ve introduced several friends to biking via the Wiggle/Panhandle and the lack of true buffering (by anything but easily ignorable paint) on this stretch is clearly the most stressful part. Cars speed by like it’s a freeway and regularly encroach upon or ignore painted bike lanes.

    Yes, this may increase bike congestion at certain points and times but it’s also kind of a “good” problem to have. The more people bike, the greater support there will be for better bike-infra improvements going forward. And of course every trip taken by bike is one that could’ve been by car. Personally, if traffic is going to be slowing me down a bit at rush hour I’d rather that be due to sharing it with lots of bikes rather than lots of cars, if I had to choose.

  50.  

    theqin

    To be fair, the 30 and 45 busses are also extremely crowded between Market and chinatown. As I understand it the central subway was a bargaining chip used to allow business leaders in chinatown to accept the teardown of the freeway along embarcadero.

    The money spent is not an either or scenario, the vast majority of the money comes from the FTA new starts program.

    In general there has been little opposition to the central subway during its planning, in fact a station at washington square is not even part of the initial segment due to concerns about opposition by north beach residents.

    Market/Geary/Van Ness is a much longer route and as a result potentially quite a bit more costly than the central subway.