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    I’m surprised he spent time at that intersection without noticing the drivers blowing the mandatory right turn and driving down the bus lane practically every light cycle. SFPD tickets there once a week, and they often end up with a block-long stack of pulled-over cars.


    Mario Tanev


    Jamison Wieser

    Are children being struck on the sidewalks here?

    Does a child really need to be injured or worse before making safety improvements? Let’s not go down that rathole.


    Vegetarian Taliban

    That guy needs to Lighten up, Francis.



    Suddenly you’re defending the SFMTA’s fairness, eh? I guess we don’t need a ballot measure to ensure their balance then.



    I was traveling last week, so I missed this, but I noticed something odd about the Haight/Buchanan Eastbound configuration:

    • A bus-only signal gives Muni a green light before
    the rest of traffic, allowing Muni to bypass a line
    of cars waiting at the light instead of waiting for
    room to merge into traffic.

    • Enables bus to reach transit only lane in center
    from the curbside stop at Buchanan.

    • Would save time and improve reliability

    Wouldn’t a bulbout make the transit-only lane easier to reach? I can’t imagine how the bus will make it from the curb out to this center lane when motorists have blocked the right lane like they do every morning.



    A good example is with asset-rich, cash-poor people, like seniors who own a big home.

    I never understand this. Let’s say a property increases by 10,000 percent in one year. This means the property tax will go up by $100 per year. A senior may have – let’s say – 30 more years to live. That means the increase in property taxes will, over the rest of their 30 years of life, chew up only 30% of their one year gain.

    That’s a cause for celebration, not an attack on their homes. Take out equity from the house, pay the taxes. QED. Even with nominal interest rates on the equity removal, they come out way ahead. The argument that they can’t leave their equity to their heirs is laughable, the fact that they are paying less taxes can only result in higher taxes and less services for those same heirs.

    The alternative – houses going down in value, is much worse for asset-rich cash-poor people. Presuming they have saved enough cash for retirement to pay the taxes on their current basis, an increase in asset value is good, not bad.



    Is there any area zoned for the sq. footage Facebook needs for its campus near a Caltrain station?

    IIRC, Palo Alto, Mountain View and other cities explicitly don’t want a lot of construction near the stations, especially high rises.

    Even with high-rises, they would still need some decent space on the ground for the campus-vibe tech companies like to provide.



    It seems Ted & Al’s has been grabbing public space for private uses for a long time, now it only became more evident.

    Businesses, small or big, have the responsibility, their and theirs only, to find suitable parking for commercial vehicles they operate, like any business that produces trash needing specialized care must arrange that instead of dumping it on the streets.

    Zero sympathy for this guy, no matter if it is a mom-and-pop operation.



    Doesn’t seem to make any sense, both of those comments in this case



    ‘inconveniently distant.’ Not unless you can’t walk. Plus, there are free shuttles to the campuses. A major city building a new major transit hub that won’t actually be a hub? Why build something new in a way that we already know is dumb and will be dumber in the near future?



    Oh yeah. I’d love to hear his honest impressions in a year’s time.


    Yorick Hawk-Zucker

    It appears you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder. The caps were just to highlight important points, since I don’t think that bolding is an option on here. Yes, I’m aware that extending the light in that direction would make people heading in other directions have to wait a bit longer. However, I think it makes sense to give precedence to the people that are having to wait an extra 20-30 minutes even if it makes others wait an extra 2 minutes. That ridiculous backup is not good for anyone, including the locals and the bikers that will be exposed to all the fumes from hundreds of cars idling. I filled out your survey by the way. Hopefully someone influential gets to see the results.



    That’s how NYC paid for extending the 7 train to Hudson Yards since the MTA wouldn’t build it unless NYC paid for the whole thing. The fact is that the same developers fighting this are the same ones who are going to benefit greatly from Caltrain/HSR running into the Transbay Terminal.

    The Board of Supervisors shouldn’t change a thing of the CFD especially since as long as Republicans control the House and possibly the Senate after November we won’t have the Feds to help fund the rail extension into the Transbay Terminal.



    Hi Richard Miynarik could you please explain this structural steel issue, thanks!



    No, it takes time and funding to look at all the impacts and the constructibility of crosswalk removals.

    It’s all clear that you don’t know shit and/or refuse to understand the transportation impacts in a city.



    Bull. It’s about looking at the traffic on the streets in the area as a whole. One change at one intersection can have a large effect on the entire area affecting all modes of transportation.

    Once again, another Streetsblog commenter showing their ignorant narrow minded view of how transportation works in the city.



    It means there will be a domino effect at other intersections. Yes, motorists aren’t suppose to stop in the crosswalk, but if new congestion gets so bad, drivers may mistakenly block the crosswalk. Pedestrians then have to weave their way around the stopped cars who may not be stopped once traffic starts moving again.



    There are plenty of good (actually BETTER) alternative bike routes that are parallel to 19th Ave, Van Ness, Lombard and Doyle Drive.



    That’s a bunch of bull. Where is all the new auto infrastructure that you claim is being spent? I haven’t seen a road widening in SF for ages.



    No, the SFMTA and BoS listens to the everyone’s opinion and takes into account the interests of everyone in the city. It’s only you and other Streetsblog people who insist they represent the majority of the City which is obviously not true.



    Sounds like bicyclists should make a full complete stop too at stop signs. Oh wait, it’s too inconvenient…



    So move to Italy!



    Pro tip: People will be more inclined to ‘read [your] post’ if you ease off on the ranting and rage caps. I did take the time to read it, unfortunately. You seemed annoyed about the road diet doing what it’s supposed to be doing, then offered some advice about light timing that might help commuters in one direction but would cause problems for traffic movement in other directions (including kids getting to a school on the west side of San Jose at Randall.)

    But kudos for the particularly ironic comment about straw-man arguments after introducing Muni into the discussion.


    Amanda Clark

    I agree, unfortunately I don’t think we’ll see a new Dumbarton crossing in our lifetimes.



    It would be perfectly accessible via rail if the MTC (correct me if I’m wrong) didn’t flush money earmarked for re-opening the Dumbarton rail bridge ‘down the crapper,’ to paraphrase our favorite cranky commenter @Richard_Mlynarik:disqus.





    Yorick Hawk-Zucker

    This. Once school has begun, it has indeed become horrendous. And this is from someone who doesn’t drive – just someone who understands that people shouldn’t have to sit through 10 light cycles of backup.


    Yorick Hawk-Zucker

    Filled it out – you’re welcome :) RAGE ON!


    Yorick Hawk-Zucker

    Wow, really? Did you read my post? I actually am a bike commuter, but I’ve driven a couple times when I’ve had to. I do not support cars-first logic, I just support makes-sense logic. Facts: 1) MUNI is a subpar transit system. 2) The current implementation of the San Jose bike lane is sub-optimal. I’m just trying to propose reasonable solutions whereas you seem preoccupied with shutting anything that makes sense down. I do also post on SFGate, but let it be known that I won’t let straw man arguments win out here. The bike lane can stay – and probably should stay – but it should also be accompanied by common sense to help out those people who have no choice but to drive. I guess it turns out that yorick hawk-zucker.


    Amanda Clark

    Of course, no one forced Facebook to move to a building that is only accessible by car.


    Jason P.

    Neither Facebook nor Google are based in the city of San Francisco. Twitter is, a good six very long blocks away from the Transbay Terminal, but it’s right off the Civic Center BART stop so that doesn’t matter.

    The city of Google (Mountain View) already has a surface-level train station served by CalTrain and VTA light rail, though not a convenient distance from the offices. Likewise, there is also a CalTrain stop in Menlo Park, home of Facebook, also inconveniently distant.


    Jamison Wieser

    Forcing traffic to weave in and out of parking lanes from block to block to “calm” it, (you have to see the drawings to understand it, because it makes no logical sense.) …

    Right now cars are forced to weave in and out of the right lane to get around busses stopped to board. It seems to me like a lot of motorists simply count the number of lanes, without considering how fast traffic moves along them.

    Are three lanes of congested traffic preferable to two lanes of smooth flowing traffic?

    …rather than driving in a straight line, will force ambulances and fire trucks to slow down and create a very dangerous situation for everyone on the road.

    Is there a reason emergency vehicles wouldn’t use the center transit lanes on Van Ness like they do on Church Street?

    Living a couple blocks away and with three friends living along that stretch I’m there almost every day, often more than once, and had the unfortunate opportunity to see a lot emergency vehicles using the lanes.

    Most of the time there’s only one or two vehicles on any given lane at peak. Off-peak they are often more empty than not. The Muni operators either were trained, or just follow the law and common sense, to safely cozy up their vehicles so there’s room for emergency vehicles to weave side-to-side to get around them.

    If emergency vehicle access is so important, why not have dedicated lanes only with the only drivers in them being trained to give them a clear path?



    No link, just common sense. Fleet operators never run their vehicles totally into the ground whether they’re running a navy or a handful of mattress delivery trucks.

    I’d expect what happened here with the Caltrain budget item was that they asked their operations division what they want to budget to bring the carriages into Caltrain so they quoted the max rehab to bring the equipment to new condition. That’s overkill.



    OMG. A road diet is ‘slowing down’ a road?!?!? Say it ain’t so! O. M. G. I could go on and on with more RAGE CAPS to make my point but why waste my breath here? Let’s all get our pitchforks and go protest in front of SFMTA headquarters, today!!

    Or maybe just post on SFGate from now on. That would be way better.



    Streetsblog regulars, if you’re tuning into this old post just now I guess you’ve noticed it’s been flooded with angry, indignant, full of RAGE CAPS car-dependent me-first types. No sense in going back and rebutting all the flat-out ridiculous, baseless criticism but I just want to remind everyone–really, everyone who has ever traveled on San Jose Ave!–to fill out this SFMTA survey today! Do not let the cars-first naysayers win this fight!



    Good thing that the sustainable urbanists fought for heights and densities around transit corridors, your developer overlords thank you for services rendered and are now showing you the hand.



    Absolutely laughable — the Italians have found a way to get high-speed trains — from two different operators — to the center of Naples, but the city of Google and Facebook is too incompetent — and politically impotent — to get trains into its own center. The US is a disaster.


    Yorick Hawk-Zucker

    As expected, this pilot has failed miserably. Fortunately my commute goes the other way, but I’ve seen traffic back up to a horrifying extent on San Jose Ave. It often goes ALL THE WAY TO 280!!! Are you kidding me? This “road diet” is even slowing down freeway traffic a mile away! How ridiculous is that? Those people must be waiting 20+ minutes just to get through that light. Sucks for them.

    Here is an easy solution that makes everyone happy and even keeps the bike lane:
    MAKE THE LIGHT LONGER FOR NORTHBOUND CARS ON SAN JOSE. Especially at commute times. That will increase traffic flow through that intersection and should have minimal side effects. One or two lights ahead of it (such as 30th St. and the left turn onto Dolores) may need to be made longer as well to prevent traffic from just backing up ahead.

    This should have been obvious to people running this pilot, but unfortunately the shortage of people with an IQ over 70 in the organizations that plan these things often prevents these things from happening.


    Richard Mlynarik

    So we are getting a park then? That hasn’t been cancelled like the glass walls then?

    If only!

    The (wildly overbudget) structural steel supporting the batshit insane celestial park enclosing The Big Bus Station in the Sky is why the Transbay Terminal cannot and never will function as a remotely useful rail terminal.

    America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals of ARUP North America, Parsons Transportation Group, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority and Caltrain: death is too kind a fate for any of them. $2 billion down the crapper.



    Might be difficult, but definitely NOT impossible at all, it’s doable. I can understand maybe the concerns of doing it on graveyard shift and so fourth like the safety concerns at night. However one would still be able to get their things in before sunrise and have it ready to go. Though yes probably not all businesses can or would want to do it, as I said if they did though just imagine how less stressful it would be and the reduction there would be in double parking that screws up traffic flows especially during rush hour, and probably no parking tickets, who doesn’t want that, don’t know of any DPT officers that patrol in the early morning hours I know of. It’s just one big solution that can be beneficial to freight, businesses and all transportation users in reducing congestion, just saying…

    Oh and maybe to make it more interesting or as an incentive those who make deliveries during the grave yard shift can be paid more to do it just like and I’m assuming that people who work the night and graveyard shift of any job gets paid more generally I think


    Dark Soul

    There always free parking spaces when its free. There no parking spaces when parking spot are paid which allow them roam around more.


    Jamison Wieser

    I don’t understand why this is such a hardship for their business.

    Especially when there are so many businesses who are able and willing to make an honest living. If the towing company has a business model that depends on breaking the law, they shouldn’t be in business at all.


    Jamison Wieser

    D5 Supervisor London Breed said that her staff came to an agreement with Ted & Al’s owner Larry Nasey and Raj Vaswani, the new SFPD Park Station captain. “Both were very responsive and helpful, and we are optimistic that this dangerous, illegal parking will not continue,” she said.

    Does our new captain intend to negotiate which laws apply to every business individually? Ignorance of the law does is not a valid excuse for other violations, but knowingly blocking a bike lane because it would be inconvenient to drive around the block is an acceptable excuse?

    What other laws does captain Vaswani see as optional? Is there a list available of what laws Park Station doesn’t enforce?



    Fees that are expressed as a percentage would not need to be CPI-indexed. Only fees expressed in absolute dollar terms need indexation. Percentage fees self-index.

    More generally, there is always a potential problem with taxes (let’s call these fees by their more appropriate name) when they are based on valuations rather than transactions.

    Taxes in this country generally apply only to transactions. And this makes sense because there is actual money changing hands and we know that the money is there. Income tax, sales tax, property transfer taxes, estate taxes and capital gains taxes all apply to transactions.

    The one exception is property taxes because they are essentially a tax on wealth and, as such, there is never any guarantee that the money is there to pay the tax. A good example is with asset-rich, cash-poor people, like seniors who own a big home. Public policy generally supports the idea that they should not be forced to sell their home to pay their property tax, and there are various programs to help people in that situation.

    Likewise, a big part of the basis for Prop 13 was to avoid such situations arising.

    Property tax is really the only good example I can think of where this nation has a wealth tax – something which is otherwise specifically banned by the US constitution (although Florida has an Intangibles Tax, which targets that state’s large number of affluent retirees).

    Anyway, this special tax assessment is a de facto tax on implied but unrealized wealth. Just because the properties may have doubled in value over the last few years does not mean that the cash is lying around to pay twice the taxes. And do we really want the developer cutting corners to find the cash to pay the extra tax? Would that signal the end of the mooted rooftop park? Safety compromises? Quality of finish?

    Point being – this isn’t just a simple good versus evil situation. Imagine, for instance, that we were in a bad real estate market and these valuations were declining. Would Kim and Wiener be arguing that the city should take less in taxes? I don’t think so.


    Jamison Wieser

    Nasey said he couldn’t promise a complete end to tow trucks stopped in the bike lane, since the driveway there is the only entrance they have to the building, and truckers must often wait for others to make room first.

    I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure traffic laws still apply even when they are inconvenient.



    The Ted & AL scumbags should get the f*** out of SF. Don’t let the door hit you in the a**.


    Jamison Wieser

    In exchange for the city allowing them to increase the height and density of their projects, the property owners agreed two years ago to be assessed up to $400 million to help pay for a Transbay Transit Center rooftop park and other public improvements to the area.

    So we are getting a park then? That hasn’t been cancelled like the glass walls then?


    david vartanoff

    If they don’t want to contribute, cancel their building permits. As to Willie, who would be surprised? The fee percentage should be CPI indexed. If the speculators don’t like it, tough.



    I guess we will find out just how corrupt our politicians are. There is absolutely no reason to change the agreed upon fees after the upzoning to over 1,000. A deal is a deal…. Less than 1%, and they have audacity to hire Willie Brown to try to change the rules? Appalling. Pass the CFD with fees as is.