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  1.  

    p_chazz

    My understanding is that the reason LEAP failed was because it was ordered to shut down by the PUC, not because it “failed miserably by overselling its idea of exclusivity.”

  2.  

    farazs

    Thanks for the links, but I am a still confused by your reasoning. If it is a guidance device, there doesn’t seem to be good cause under MUTCD to use it just to ‘prevent traffic from entering on cycle tracks’ where the track is obviously marked and there are no alignment changes to cause confusion.

    Alternatively, one could argue that the way soft-hit posts are used to guard bike lanes falls out side the definition of a delineator provided by MUTCD. Just because soft-hit posts are used as delineators in various contexts doesn’t mean the two terms are equivalent. If the purpose of *these* posts does not conform to the MUTCD definition, then why must their placement conform to guidelines provided under that definition?

    When used as a substitute for planters or curbs, the intention is clearly to indicate the presence of a logical barrier that *must not be crossed* void of exceptional circumstances. I can see how these posts diverge from NACTO guidelines though – as per the link you provided, soft-hit posts are only placed within the neutral buffer zone between the general lane and the bike lane. SFMTrA are putting them within the general travel lane instead, where no such buffer exists.

  3.  

    RichLL

    Yeah, there’s that. I saw a cyclist come off his bike the other day because he took a turn too fast where there were streetcar tracks.

    He seemed OK. Too bad there wasn’t a double-parked car around that he could have blamed for his lack of judgement huh?

  4.  

    RichLL

    farazs, I never said cyclists did not bear more risk than drivers. Clearly they do which is one of the reasons you won’t ever see me on a bike. I prefer to be in control of my fate rather than trust others.

    What I said is that a cyclist, knowing all the risks you identify, can respond by waiting until there is no traffic before pulling out to pass an obstruction. That IS under your control.

    Why would you ever do otherwise, like the cyclist who pulled out right in front of me recently without even looking? And that was to pass a car totally legally in the bike lane – it was making a turn.

  5.  

    RichLL

    I do not lack compassion for those who are poor through no fault of their own. I do lack compassion for those who advocate for endlessly punishing winners and confiscating their success in a misguided and doomed attempt to indemnify others from all risk of failure.

    And I have no time for the politics of envy.

  6.  

    p_chazz

    I have no idea what the business reasons were that drove them to that decision 69 years ago. My guess would be it had to do with the age of the equipment, depreciation of assets, etc., of converting the rolling stock from trains to buses. There could be any number of reasons.

  7.  

    SF Guest

    “I’m fairly sure no cyclist has been killed running into a stationery object, at least unless he was out of head head on drink or drugs anyway.”

    I suspect several cyclists have perished from hitting a curb and lost control.

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/pole-682998-bicycle-san.html

  8.  

    MPPBruin

    I’m a bit of a ride-hail novice and I’ve never taken one in SF. How much does an average ride cost during commute hours? I’m wondering if it is affordable to many/most commuters. Obviously everyone would prefer to save time, but spending additional money just to get to work isn’t a tradeoff that everyone is willing to accept. Not much more expensive to some people can wind up feeling like a lot to others if we’re talking an extra $5 per ride per day.

  9.  

    farazs

    A cyclist faces a higher risk when he has to enter a left lane to pass an obstruction, than a driver in the same position, for multiple reasons:
    1. Drivers are just less likely to slow down and be courteous to cyclists wanting to merge.
    2. Cyclists have limited means and visibility to indicated to traffic that they wish to merge.
    3. Cyclists are not protected by a metal shell that promises equal and opposite damage to other cars, so they can’t bully their way in as drivers can and often do.

    As for your shill about how it is not dangerous, why not park your car in a lane of traffic instead of a bike lane? There should be no danger to your passengers – its just a matter of being patient and waiting for the bike path to clear before they can get off or back in. After all a non-existent bicyclist never killed anyone either.

    Statutory disclaimer: I have no answer to RichLL’s questions. I am unable to refute his arguments. I admit defeat!

  10.  

    Dexter Wong

    No, I don’t hate people who fly first class. (You must think I’m a communist who demands everyone be equally poor. It didn’t work in China and I don’t believe in that either.) But do you believe that people pushed to the edges of society don’t matter and can be easily pushed into society’s dumpster?

  11.  

    bike_engineer

    Delineators can be used in conjunction with the MUTCD, but the delineators are not generally supposed to be used on bike lanes except to aide motorists with horizontal alignment changes or to prevent traffic from entering on cycle tracks. The MUTCD isn’t the best manual for designing bicycle facilities, but it is the master manual that everything must comply with. Generally, cycle tracks use the delineators as a substitute for planters or a raised curb as seen in the NACTO bikeway design guide http://nacto.org/publication/urban-bikeway-design-guide/cycle-tracks/one-way-protected-cycle-tracks/#design

  12.  

    RichLL

    Not every enterprise succeeds. We know this. But that doesn’t mean they are unethical or economically parasitical. I don’t think there is a political correctness issue here.

  13.  

    RichLL

    Sure, freeways are a special case because of the typically higher speeds there. In fact, not only is stopping illegal but going too slowly as well.

    However, most parking in the city does not present a hazard. A stopped car in a bike lane can easily be seen by a bike. I’m fairly sure no cyclist has been killed running into a stationery object, at least unless he was out of head head on drink or drugs anyway.

    The same applies to most other forms of illegal parking I can think of. The real issue is that it slows down traffic and capacity. (It may block emergency vehicles, however).

    Now, of course, a cyclist may take higher risks to pass an obstruction out of impatience or a desire not to lose momentum. But that is something 100% within his own control.

    Moving cars kill. I’m not sure that stopped cars can.

  14.  

    RichLL

    The former statement is true as a practical matter. If X is never enforced then the situation is exactly the same as if there is no law against X. So clearly any law worth having has to be enforced.

    That is not to say that it has to be enforced a whole lot if the community is OK about it. And that is where the second statement applies. A city can decide to not enforce a particular transgression as a matter of public policy. In fact that is exactly what cycling advocates wanted for not stopping at stop signs although, in that case, the argument for that did not prevail.

  15.  

    farazs

    Does this mean that MUTCD guidelines do not support the use of safe hit posts to mark bike-lanes? Put another way, it seems that pavement markings are sufficient guidance device is most circumstances and safe hit posts are only employed in situations where additional guidance would be needed, especially under bad lighting conditions or bad weather.

    By that standard, safe hit posts are not needed for any bike lanes. Alternatively, if they are needed, then they should be needed for all bike lanes, except where interrupted by driveways or intersections.

    If the primary objective of the traffic engineer was to discourage vehicles from entering a bike lane which is already pretty obviously marked, what mechanism do MUTCD guidelines propose?

  16.  

    Dexter Wong

    Don’t forget Leap, the exclusive upscale transit startup that failed miserably by overselling its idea of exclusivity. Also converting an ADA coach to non-ADA service wasn’t too smart either.

  17.  

    Dexter Wong

    There are places that bus lines do well, but heavy capacity trunk lines may not be their forte’. That is where trains can do better.

  18.  

    Stuart

    So just to be crystal clear: you believe that “if any law is on the statute, it has to be enforced” and “agencies are free to decide not to enforce certain laws” are completely compatible statements?

  19.  

    Dexter Wong

    If it was so much better to operate buses in the East Bay, why didn’t National City Lines convert everything at once when they bought Key System in 1947? They only converted the local streetcar lines first, but waited until 1958 to convert the transbay lines, then sell everything to the newly-formed AC Transit District.

  20.  

    SF Guest

    While I don’t have a supporting cite stalled cars on freeways and bridges have been rear-ended which qualifies as (dangerous). I witnessed an accident on a freeway recently where the traffic was backed onto the right lane of the freeway exit and the rear car waiting to exit was rear-ended by a motorist who didn’t notice the lane wasn’t moving while all the other lanes were free flowing.

    A vehicle that isn’t moving is a hazardous situation whenever all other lanes are free flowing.

  21.  

    RichLL

    I already pay a boat-load of taxes so you can relax – I pay more than my fair share without pesky behavior-based taxes.

    I suspect that the excess tax I pay more than exceeds the value of this alleged “subsidy”.

  22.  

    RichLL

    Actually air travel is the dominant means of travel over 500 miles. And it may well be the most vital as the average airline passenger has a much higher economic value than the average bus rider.

    The good news is that one airline being down isn’t a disaster because other airlines can pick up the slack. An ATC meltdown would ground all aircraft and that would be very serious indeed.

    In war, the first things to be attacked, after communication systems, are airfields and ports, not bus stations and subway systems. That shows you the relative strategic value.

  23.  

    RichLL

    I’m not sure that generalization applies always. There are lots of low-paid 9-5 jobs, like child minding, cafe and store work, and so on.

  24.  

    RichLL

    I’d put it differently. Those who have to drive would lose out.

    As for the poor getting that money, how does that work. In London they have congestion pricing but AFAIK, the funds just go into their general fund.

    Anyway it’s moot as no US city has supported congestion pricing

  25.  

    RichLL

    Part of the problem is that you need buses even if you have rail. There are the N express buses, for instance. Then there are bus replacement services when there is maintenance on Muni or a Muni train breaks down.

    A bus can go anywhere. That is their key advantage. And I say that as someone who would much rather take a train than a bus, at least if it is underground.

  26.  

    RichLL

    Kenny, as I argued elsewhere in this thread, Uber need not “replace” Muni. It could be in could be in competition with Muni. Since I always support more choice and competition, I’m happy for Muni to operate wherever it thinks it can be viable.

    But insofar as people see Muni more as a grand welfare program that happens to run some buses, then that is fine too, at least to the extent that voters are happy to pay more taxes.

  27.  

    RichLL

    Stuart,

    I do not see where any of those statements have been refuted. Nor are they in any way inconsistent with the statements I made in this thread.

    My point here was that all laws should be enforced some of the time, but that no law should be enforced to the exclusion of others.

    Where there is a priority it is reasonable for guidelines to be developed reflecting that. But they won’t necessarily be the ones that a minority subjectively prefer.

  28.  

    PaleoBruce

    Well you obviously are not poor and you benefit from this public subsidy. I would like to see if charging a user fee on people like you (call it a tax if you want) could be used to fund the improvement of MUNI transportation. Likely this would result in even better transportation service to poor people and therefore be less regressive. Let’s just ask rich people pay their own way, subsidizing their parking costs might not be the best use of public resources.

  29.  

    farazs

    If airlines were the pre-dominant means of travel, those few hours would seem pretty serious. If all surface transport (outside of walking distance) is disabled for few hours then one would imagine the after effects to take a few more hours to normalize. Think not just of economic activity, but emergency services, law enforcement and the like. By all indications of where we are and where we are headed, a communication network black-out will be on par with electrical black-outs eventually. The word “screwed” is subjective, but its safe to say that the repercussions will be far beyond your analogy.

  30.  

    Stuart

    > LE doesn’t work that way – if any law is on the statute, it has to be enforced.

    For an opposing viewpoint on this topic, we’re joined now by RichLL, discussing non-enforcement of illegal parking in bike lanes:

    “SFMTA has the lenient and liberal de facto legalization of cabs and other similar vehicles briefly taking the bike lane”

    “SFPD and DPT have a de facto guideline not to ticket in such situations.”

    “I support cops using discretion and judgement, rather than mindlessly citing technical infringements regardless of context.”

    “it is allowed because municipal agencies are free to decide not to enforce certain laws or to allow certain actions where it is considered in the public interest.”

    “what I was saying is that an act may be allowed either by statute or by precedent and practice.”

    “I really do not see the problem with a 60 second drop-off., and evidently nor do SFPD or DPT since I’ve never gotten a ticket even when a cop car has passed at the time.”

  31.  

    Kenny Easwaran

    But even though poor people tend to live farther out, they tend to be traveling at less-congested times of day.

  32.  

    Kenny Easwaran

    What sort of a better job could Google do? They don’t have any demonstrated ability to operate an all-day transportation system. They do operate a commute-hour-only bus system that mainly uses freeways, but they haven’t shown any ability to operate vehicles that can get you from any point in the city to any point in the city at any time of day, the way the city has.

  33.  

    Kenny Easwaran

    Not if the funds collected from the congestion pricing are rebated on an equal basis to all people. In that case, the poor would usually be net financial beneficiaries of the plan, while the rich would financially lose out.

  34.  

    Kenny Easwaran

    What flexibility do they offer over rails on the major transportation corridors? As far as I can tell, the main flexibility offered by the bus (when you already have rails on the major corridors) is the flexibility to avoid the popular destinations and instead serve smaller destinations (not very valuable) and the flexibility to go around a stalled car (which only matters if you allow private cars on the right-of-way).

    Buses certainly have lower capital cost than rail, but my understanding is that they usually involve greater operating cost.

  35.  

    Kenny Easwaran

    He’s not complaining about everyone *using* Lyft or Uber. He’s complaining about the people *pushing* for Lyft and Uber to *replace* transit. Also, we don’t need to see them as being driven by mean-spiritedness that intentionally excludes the poor and handicapped – they might just be pushing for something that they feel is more comfortable but still has the effect of eliminating everything that works for the poor and handicapped. It doesn’t really matter what the motivations are, if the end result is the same. (Anyway, I think there’s no point in wondering whether people pushing for one thing or another are good people or bad people – we should just be evaluating the effects of the policies themselves.)

  36.  

    SF Guest

    I never stated SFMTA’s revenue-first mentality should preclude enforcing double parking. I am all in favor of their enforcing double parking and acknowledge it poses undue safety risks in many instances.

    Your idea to post a PCO in a driving loop in popular spots is sound and valid and as I see it would bring in more revenue than all other non-safety related parking violations since double parking violations are the highest, however, your idea to post an exclusive PCO for double parking implies all other non-safety related parking violators will be off the hook unless they post an additional PCO for that purpose.

    The more practical solution is to retrain PCO’s not to ignore double parking violations and to tag all parking violations the way the non-revenue oriented DPT did back in the day.

  37.  

    Mark

    Most people don’t want to stop and dwell on Market St. for the obvious reasons…

    “Public spaces are one of the few places where everyone is equal”…you’re kidding me. Most SF public spaces are overrun with homeless, crazies and the like. Market St. is a mess its entire length and not from a lack of interactive art displays that bring people together for a fleeting moment. It’s because the city has done nothing to address the homeless and mentally ill problems.

  38.  

    RichLL

    Stuart, since my parking spaces are off-street, I pay the full cost of those. No subsidy.

    The on-street parking space I take is something that I have to compete for with other drivers. Since it is not an assured and exclusive space, its value is far less. And of course I have to pay for a RPP.

    Nobody is subsidizing me. Society as a whole benefits from the provision of on-street parking.

  39.  

    RichLL

    Dexter, are you seriously trying to argue that taking a Lyft or Uber is an act of racism, classism or economic apartheid?

    I think you’re reading way too much into peoples’ motives. They just want speed, comfort, safety and convenience.

    And what about people who fly first class? You must really hate them.

  40.  

    p_chazz

    Uber and Lyft are simply filling a need. If there was no market demand for them, they wouldn’t exist.

  41.  

    p_chazz

    You are overlooking the fact that buses offered more flexibility with a lower operating and capital cost than rail systems.

  42.  

    Stuart

    Everyone who has had to explain to someone how bogus the argument that cyclists don’t pay their fair share is should bookmark the comment above to point people to. Not only are those who don’t own cars subsidizing car owners via massively discounted on-street parking, but here’s direct evidence that some car owners are arbitraging that taxpayer-funded subsidy into direct personal profit.

    So while people whine about having to pay for bike lanes they don’t use, the people who don’t own cars are not only paying far more for parking they don’t use, but on top of that are literally paying for RichLL to carsplain everything to them.

  43.  

    Dexter Wong

    Another thing, the people pushing for Lyft and Uber don’t want mass transit, they want specialized transit that excludes people such as the poor, the handicapped and anyone who can’t afford the smartphone and credit card needed to access those services.

  44.  

    Dexter Wong

    With regard to the article, Key System was allowed to deteriorate because it was bought by National City Lines, which favored buses. The Muni lines that were converted originally belonged to Market St. Ry., which had allowed its infrastructure to fall apart, leaving Muni little choice but to convert those lines to bus.

  45.  

    Tanner

    How is this thing not going to be obsolete by the time it’s done?

    Japan and China are building Maglev train systems that go at least 100mph faster than the best high speed rail trains can.

  46.  

    RichLL

    The mantra of road safety advocates is separation of disparate traffic streams. That is why we have bus lanes, bike lanes and, for that matter, side-walks.

    Geary is a major East-West vehicular artery and, as such, it makes sense to avoid the major conflicts at arterial North-South routes such as Van Ness, Fillmore, Divis, Masonic and Park Presidio.

    I suspect that if this cyclist was on Masonic or Fillmore, safely insulated and immunized from the streams of fast traffic underground on Geary, then he’d be a lot happier and healthier today.

  47.  

    david vartanoff

    au contraire, the real mistake was building the expressway tunnels instead of putting the streetcar line underground.

  48.  

    RichLL

    mx, I hate double parkers as much as you do. It’s as bad, or worse, for drivers as it is for cyclists. But that’s a matter of convenience and consideration.

    Take the airport for instance. The cops are all over anyone who stops for any longer than absolutely necessary. But it’s not a safety thing – those airport cops are simply trying to keep traffic moving.

    Whether as a driver or a cyclist, I am in the most danger from other vehicles that are moving, not that are stopped. The stopped cars are annoying but they are not dangerous, UNLESS I choose to respond to them with a careless, risky lane change.

    Re hazard lights, there is a risk that a following vehicle may hit me if I stop. But the law always blames the following car or bike in those situations. I put my hazards on to be more visible, to prevent such a risk. and even a cop has told me that he doesn’t cite a double-parker if the hazards are on.

  49.  

    RichLL

    Ray, it would be regressive and discriminatory against poor people who, typically, are more dependent on driving because housing costs force them to live further out

    And being poor means they are more likely to be a minority, so your policy idea is potentially racist and discriminatory as well

  50.  

    mx

    We’ve had this fight where he claims that there’s not one iota of additional hazard caused by random obstacles in people’s way. It’s not a good argument. I believe I pointed out that the very reason (some) people put their hazard lights on when the are double parking is because they are creating a HAZARDOUS condition to others around them. The clue is right there in the name.

    Even if SFMTA/DPT can’t enforce moving violations, there are still things they could do if they wanted to get serious about the problem. They can call up SFPD and get a sweep when they see many double-parked cars in one place, such as frequently occurs on Valencia. They can simply get behind people and order them to move along (I see this in NYC quite a bit. If a driver is doing something stupid, an officer may or may not give them a ticket, but they’ll surely get on the horn and give directions to keep things moving. Here, they drive by and ignore it). We could look at legal options for DPT to cite double-parked drivers with parking violations, which they are allowed to enforce; the fines are lower and it doesn’t give points against the license, but it would still be a deterrent (and a double-parked car is illegally parked). If preventing double parking was a priority for SFMTA, there are plenty of ways they could do something all on their own.