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    Mike Jones

    Most are along AC Transit’s 1/1R route. Simpler to catch the bus?



    I see they are where all the white people are. Black and brown people don’t count, evidently.



    You don’t have panel discussions at parties.



    I am being obtuse, it seems.



    Who ever could have imagined we’d get all that hyperbole from a thin layer of thermoplastic!



    Sorry Roymeo. You are not tracking what I am saying. You do know that Redevelopment Agencies are dead, right? The SFMTA is attempting to do what the Redevelopment Agencies used to do. The gentrification of the Mission will occur ten times faster due to the SFMTA making shopping or dining there so bad that no one wants to go there anymore. Watch.


    Jeffrey Baker

    I am being a bit flippant. As you can see the streets of Oakland are all but empty even in the middle of Monday morning.



    I’m not sure that picture says “confusion reigns”. Something changed, it will take people a bit of time to figure it out, especially if they don’t have enough bike symbols in the bike lane. (Assuming the super-sharrow-stripe lane on 40th St hasn’t taught drivers to drive on the green areas.)



    What on earth are you talking about?
    Yes, there are people who live in the Mission. There are many businesses in the Mission. Some of those people and businesses own their property, some do not. You’re suggesting developers should pay businesses who rent to leave?


    Jeffrey Baker

    The uphill bike lane makes good sense. The downhill one doesn’t, since I’m going to be reaching a high speed on my bicycle and don’t need to be diverted into the gutter. Also it’s a 12-foot-wide lane with no parking on that side so really there’s more than enough room for everybody.



    I’ve seen lots of different articles on this topic citing different numbers, but this is the most comprehensive one I’ve found, and therefore the one I’m most willing to cite:



    I don’t know Alicia, why don’t you go ask them?

    So basically, business is down for someone, as mentioned in an article whose title you don’t remember, but you can’t remember the name of the person who said (s)he was losing business.



    There are a lot of people that live in the Mission already. If you want old businesses gone and new condos built, pay the people who’s businesses are getting wrecked.



    Please cite where you are getting this info. Thanks. Also, where is the sales tax (state) money going from each gallon. I get the externalities. Finally someone with an econ background.



    I don’t know Alicia, why don’t you go ask them? I read the article last week and percentages were given. Someone said their gross business in one of the articles was down 30-35%. Do you care? Some of these mom and pop businesses barely make it month to month. It isn’t just the businesses. Look at the neighborhoods that they have redirected traffic to. It is a mess.


    Jeffrey Baker

    I saw a guy riding a bike share up Telegraph last week. There’s no stations in Oakland yet, right?

    Speaking of Oakland, confusion reigns on new buffered bike lane.



    Could this also not just be a temporary dip while people become accustomed to the new layout? A change like this takes a few months to set in with the people that use it. Rushing to judgement would be rash here. Look at it again in six months and see how it is working.



    I’m claiming projects are investing in new vehicle infrastructure? [^citation needed]


    Dexter Wong

    You should have mentioned that in the beginning before putting out the figure. Labor is the biggest part of any transit operation and good workers typically don’t work for less. (One example from Southern California is that LAMTA workers are paid more than Foothill Transit workers just to the north. LAMTA hires its workers directly. Foothill Transit contracts with private companies for workers But those companies have to keep searching for new workers because the experienced workers can move to LAMTA). However for Muni, according to Prop. G, rookies of less than 5 years of service don’t get paid nearly as well as veterans. (That makes things hard for them.) All transit services run on a subsidy (some systems more or less than others). Why and how they are run depends on what the agency wants.


    alberto blackwell


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    Pretty sure it will always be cheaper than rail (which won’t exist until 2030, if ever).



    That’s a feature, not a bug. If someone is willing to pay $10 for a widget, but they are actually paying 10 for the widget and 2 to subsidize the widget getting to them, they are overpaying for the widget and don’t know it.

    Better to lower their general tax burden by 2, charge 12 for the widget, and let economics work without the distortions.



    “But then user fees are highly regressive, hitting the poor much more than the rich.”

    No, wealthier people are far more likely to drive more miles, and less wealthy people are far more likely to use transit, bike, or walk for transportation. To NOT tax driving enough and expect others to cover the difference is the truly regressive policy, such as via all of the sales taxes and other non-user fees which are currently going to roadway projects.

    We don’t have to debate what the correct split of user/general funding there needs to be for streets and roads. Just calculate what the cost is each user is imposing on the system via a vehicle miles traveled fee, and then impose that plus a gas tax on top to account for the environmental cost as well.

    You are the first person I’ve ever heard say that a 65% subsidy on driving is not “out of whack”. If you ask around most people will say they think that the fees they pay either cover their driving 100%, or at least very close to this. Nobody has a clue how much cost their driving imposes on society, so we need to put those costs up front for the user to see and take responsibility for if we have any hope of people making reasonable transportation decisions.



    Dexter, I looked at the calculation a different way, from the stated costs and farebox recovery ratios for Muni.

    I’ve read that Muni recoups about 23% of its total operating costs from fares. Since a fare is $2.25 that implies that the true underlying cost of every Muni ride is about $10.

    You can make adjustments to that for concessionary fares and fare-dodging. But in gross terms it seems about right.

    A big part of Muni’s problems is that it has high costs, particularly for wages and benefits, but low fares. It’s effectively run as a welfare service.



    Your 35% number,, if true, is interesting.

    But it still begs the question of what the correct number is. You imply that a 35% figure for user fees is too low. But then user fees are highly regressive, hitting the poor much more than the rich. Some might argue that is unfair, promotes further inequality, and that more should be taken from general funds to alleviate that.

    Reasonable people can disagree about what the private versus public percentages should be. 35/65 doesn’t strike me as that out of whack.



    Your theory rests on the idea that if truckers paid the full costs of roads, then they could pass those costs onto you, and therefore you would indirectly be contributing. But that assumes two things:

    1) Elastic prices – that the market will bear the extra cost. What happens when it won’t?

    2) You pay for every single instance where you benefit from roads, such as riding your bike, taking a bus, having SFFD rush to your house to put out a fire. And that isn’t the case right now.



    “Roads are essential infrastructure and so should be at least partly paid from general funds, because everyone benefits from roads and not just those who drive private cars on them.”

    Yes, but people who drive more benefit more, and thus should pay more to cover the cost they are imposing via their personal trips, as opposed to expecting everyone else to subsidize their driving.

    The current split in California, which involves only 35% user fees paying for streets and roads, shifts the cost burden away from people who drive the most, which results in overuse of automobiles and unsustainable land use decisions as a consequence of this overuse. People simply can’t make smart choices about transportation while we continue to artificially underprice and hide the actual cost of driving to such an extreme.


    Dexter Wong

    How do you figure that an average Muni ride is $10? A single fare is $2.25 and is good for 90 minutes of travel. That would suggest that you think takes more than 90 minutes to get to a destination on Muni, so it would take four fares to go from home to work/shop, etc. and return. That has never been my experience.



    “The reason the money isn’t being used for what it is supposed to be used for – one of which is repairing roads – is because it is used for other items in the General Funds of the different money collectors.”

    This was true briefly during the recession when the gas taxes were raided to cover general fund expenditures, but this has since been reverted as hasn’t been relevant for some time now.

    A very small amount of gas tax monies does still flow into the general fund, but it is not significant. The reality is that driving user fees (gas taxes, registrations, tolls, etc) doesn’t get anywhere near covering even the direct expense cars and trucks impose, let alone the externalities. California is one of the worst states in the county in this regard, with less than 35% of user fees paying for freeways, streets and roads, while the national average is around 50%.



    You misquote. I was simply giving you some advice. Not everything that works in Europe can work here, due to cultural, historic and geographic differences. The reverse is true as well, of course.

    I offered no opinion on where you should live, but I believe I did express surprise that someone who thinks we are doing everything wrong over here would nonetheless apparently prefer to live here.

    As a nation we have always welcomed aliens like you, but there is an underlying assumption that you actually love this country and moved here or a better life (AKA the American Dream). And not to merely re-create what you evidently wanted to leave behind.

    Mix up your ideological preferences with some respect for our existing institutions and I feel sure you will become more persuasive here.


    Daniel Hodun


    This has been talked about for decades. I thought Seattle took forever to get moving but you guys in the Bay Area take the cake. 30 years from idea to construction on HSR. The new TBT was needed 5 years ago.



    On another thread, you told me to leave America and go back to where I came from. If that’s you’re idea of civility then fuck your idea of civility.


    alberto rossi

    I like the idea (buried deep in the presentation) of phasing things, i.e., building a new functional line in SF first (presumably out Geary), then build a new bay crossing later.



    What needs to happen is. A new BART line down Geary and 19th Ave., BART line down Lakshore. and they’re connected by the 2nd tube, along with Dublin and Fremont trains. That alignment up there is awful.

    And it shouldn’t even be a tube, it should be a tunnel under the Bay floor. Thats cheaper.


    alberto rossi

    Please please streetsblogSF, please limit commenters to, say, 3 posts a day.



    Kuwait subsidizes gas – but you know that.

    Your analysis misses – and you know this – the fact that if we paid for roads completely through user fees – then those who benefit but don’t drive WILL contribute. If I buy beer that is shipped in a truck, and the truck’s gas costs go up via gas taxes, they will pass the cost on to me. And I’ll have the money because my other taxes are lowered.

    This has all sorts of positive impacts, in that by internalizing shipping costs, efficiency is added to the market as people may choose options that require less shipping.


    Steve Pepple

    Thank you!



    Ironic that you use the example of the Westway because the Euston Road that you cite is where the Westway decants into. And the reason there is no street parking on Euston Road is because there needs to be 4/6 lanes of traffic there. But, crucially, mostly it’s not local and so doesn’t need to stop or park.

    SF analogies would be Van Ness, Lombard and 19th Avenue.

    And no, most of SF’s streets were laid out AFTER the auto was commonplace, which is absolutely not true of London.

    What “people like you” need to understand is that SF has a much more car-centric culture than London. Maybe that will change over time but, if so, it will change because the majority want that and not because a loud minority keep trying to lecture us on what we should want rather than asking questions about what we actually want.

    In fact, have you EVER asked random SF residents what they want?



    The point Tumlin was trying to make is that the audience at public meetings is often biased and skewed.

    He’s right of course. But the tragedy is that it never occured to him that that might be also true of the meeting he was attending.

    And if you cannot express yourself without resorting to obscenities, it might be better to desist altogether. Let’s keep this forum civil, OK?



    That’s a circular argument. You’re essentially saying that we can’t have a world class transit system like London because we don’t have a world class transit system like London.

    Here’s the hard fact that people like you need to get over. In order to build a world class bus system, you have to take road space from private vehicles. London has a world class bus system because it did precisely that. The fact that London has more subways is irrelevant; the street we’re discussing in SF is one that actually does have a subway, yet we still need the 14 bus, because subways don’t work for every journey. And guess what, SF’s road structure also date from before the automobile.

    London’s transit has nothing to do with government imposition. It actually stems from a reaction to the freeway and expressway building that occurred in the fifties and sixties. The horror caused by projects like the Westway caused Londoners to support transit over roads, and to elect officials who also supported transit. It didn’t become a transit mecca by government fiat any more than Copenhagen became a bike haven by government fiat – in both cases, the people demanded it, and held their politicians accountable until they got it.



    it wasn’t a “meeting” it was a party for a pro transit group. it wasn’t supposed to be an accurate cross section of the population or whatever the fuck your concern trolling claims to be about.



    You stated that “The new eastern span of the Bay Bridge is a mess”

    There are some structural issues, as I understand it. But it’s hardly a mess – it transports tens of thousands of people a day to where they are going.

    Isn’t that what a transportation blog should support?



    I’m not even sure the buses are faster. Easily the biggest delay to the 14 when I have taken it is the mad crush to get on and off at every stop.

    If you want the 14 to be a fast commute route rather than a local cattle train then we need limited stops and a re-route on South Van Ness, where there are far fewer businesses to be screwed over.



    And do you not think that maybe those who live, work, shop, eat or drink there might not have a tiny problem if you take away their parking?

    As I understand it, that option was not considered because it was well known that the community would not tolerate it.



    Jonobate, I never said anything of the sort. If you are going to quote me, then at least have the common decency to do it accurately and provide context.

    The discussion here is about access to businesses and not “storage”.

    In any event, people who talk about “storing” cars on the street are usually opponents of driving and parking. No driver talks in terms of “storing” his car unless he is taking it off the roads. He says he is “parking” his car.



    There is currently a legal right to park on any city street unless there is a specific prohibition against it, either by time, or by permit.

    We have designed streets to be wider than needed purely for traffic precisely so that it is possible for a car to stop when it reaches its destination.

    A car would be fairly useless if it could never stop, don’t you think?



    Actually I can usually find a parking space, with the possible exception of ChinaTown, North Beach and the financial district during the day.

    So it is not obvious to me that we are missing massive revenue opportunities here. Where demand is high, there are meters or special parking zones.

    Anyway, wasn’t SFPark supposed to address this?



    Jonobate, London has a world-class subway, overground trains and a vast bus network. The road structure pre-dates automobiles and has a medieval structure. And culturally the place is much more receptive to unilateral government action.

    None of that is true in San Francisco, which us part of an urban area that is probably close to 10,000 square miles, and where reliance on cars is over 90%.

    Apples and oranges. The reality is that when we have designed streets in the Bay Area then we either deliberately provide extra width for parking, or we set aside enough off-street space for parking.

    It’s a nonsense to provide a road for cars to move along, and then not give them anywhere to stop at their destination.



    Since everyone has an interest in pot-holes being fixed, why do you not want everyone to pay for that?

    I agree the city doesn’t spend enough on fixing the streets. But that is not because taxes are too low, but because their spending priorities are all wrong (e.g. $200 million a year sprayed at the homeless).



    It is not enough to pay for the roads, it’s true. But then there is no reason why it should be. Roads are essential infrastructure and so should be at least partly paid from general funds, because everyone benefits from roads and not just those who drive private cars on them.

    We could debate what the split should be, and no doubt we’d reach different answers. But the idea that gas should be at whatever price it takes so that non-drivers pay zero isn’t going to fly.

    If you want to know how much tax there is on a gallon of gas, look at gas prices in places like Kuwait, where gas is under a dollar a gallon. Most of the cost of a gallon of gas is either direct taxes or extra costs as the result of government regulations.