Skip to content

Recent Comments

RSS
  1.  

    gneiss

    It’s no wonder that people continue to get injured and killed on city streets when we continue to have attitudes like these from SFPD, “But Murray said the traffic enforcement initiative is more about creating the atmosphere of a crackdown than actually ticketing every single person who commits an offense. Murray said the perception that one might get a ticket is a significant deterrent to potential risk-takers, and his colleague said usually just stopping a cyclist for an infraction is enough to change their behavior. Their research has also shown that an officer who parks his cruiser visibly in a busy intersection reduces traffic incidents significantly more than a more subtle colleague who parks in a more hidden spots and hands out more tickets.”

    Notice how they focus their “crackdown” energy on pedestrians and cyclists, work on communicating the message at schools and senior centers, and admonishing pedestrians who don’t make “eye contact” with motorist. Good grief. Can we please get back to focusing on the 5?

  2.  

    Fran Taylor

    Joe Blum, the Bay Bridge construction photographer, is a gem. I saw this show at SF City Hall and was most impressed that he included the name and job title of every worker shown in the photos instead of treating them like anonymous ants. When he began selling his prints, he gave the workers a special rate that barely covered his costs. Too bad the big shots screwed up so many decisions on that bridge job — the men and women (yes, a few) who did the actual work deserve nothing but praise.

    More photos here:

    http://www.josephablumphotography.com/

  3.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    Express is a useful distinction. An Express bus skips a huge number of intermediate stops. A limited bus makes every 5th stop (roughly).

  4.  

    laughtiger

    ” (One noteworthy distinction, however, is that Lyft and Uber last year began allowing users to combine rides with other app users, making those trips more like actual ride-share than taxis are.)”

    No, that still makes them taxis. The idea of shared rides for taxis has been around for a long time (and even advocated by the MTA off and on). The new app-based technology promises to make this easier to make workable (without relying on fixed routes for example).

  5.  

    Andy Chow

    While I think that it has been long overdue for Muni to have new stop signage (Muni has three types of bus stop signage: one with a physical signs like pretty much everywhere else, yellow band on poles, and just yellow paint on the pavement.), I think any relabeling of routes to “rapid” is silly.

    What are the actual significant improvements beyond some cosmetic changes that would warrant this kind of relabeling? Changing route number is kind of like changing telephone area code. Unless there’s a very good reason it shouldn’t be bothered with.

  6.  

    Gezellig

    Another fun section from the report, mentioning the challenges to bike infrastructure:

    “Challenges:

    • Limited right-of-way on major corridors make (sic) it difficult to dedicate space to bicycling”

    Oh, SFMTA. There’s room. Really, there is. Let’s look at some of your previous work:

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gPwLneUNLQw/TxtE37HZyYI/AAAAAAAAAHU/8tDzD-9uqB8/s1600/IMG_4107.jpg

    There wasn’t room for a parking-protected cycletrack here? Really?

    https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2919/14193513839_c802ddf8cc_c.jpg

    Or a barrier-separated cycletrack here?!

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/6th-1.jpg

    And they keep on comin’…

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/2013/11/25/sfmta-unveils-6th-st-proposal-with-road-diet-bike-lanes-wider-sidewalks/

    Taking away multiple car travel lanes and car parking lanes all for…a Class II (aka Second-Class) conventional bike lane?

    You’re doing road diets wrong if that’s all you can get out of removing *four* car lanes.

    “• The hilly topography makes it difficult for a broad range of people to bicycle throughout the city.”

    Oh, so we’re playing the hill card?

    Let’s examine a topographical map of SF:
    http://www.mikeernst.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/SF_topo_big.jpg

    And a density map:
    http://www.sustainablecommunitiesindex.org/img/indicators/small/Residential_Density.png

    Pssst…SFMTA…you don’t need 20% modeshare in Twin Peaks and Diamond Heights to get 20% bike modeshare in the city ;)

    Also, bike + transit is a thing. Supporting more and better options for bike+transit for the uphill transit part of your trip should be key. This includes options for people who only need to get to the bus and don’t want/need to lug a bike onto a bus:

    http://la.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Screen-Shot-2012-07-16-at-11.18.12-AM.png
    BRT station in LA with adjacent bikeway and bike parking.

    (this also prevents unnecessary overuse of the bus bike racks simply because there’s nowhere else to put the bike once you’re at the stop)

    Let’s aim a bit higher, SF.

  7.  

    94103er

    Are they actually trying to collect data via anything besides landlines now? Because I always figured cyclists are ridiculously underreported for that reason alone.

  8.  

    Crusselsprouts

    I’m into that. Will the Express (X) lines still be termed ‘express’? Rapid or Express? They both seem…expeditious. ;)

  9.  

    Mario Tanev

    One more interesting detail from the presentation is that the Limited (L) lines will be rebranded to Rapid (R).

  10.  

    Gezellig

    Interesting report, thanks for posting.

    A bit funny that biking gets included with other randos such as taxis and scooters simply because the percentages are so low.

    No mention of the 20% bike modeshare by 2020 goal.

    Maybe in 2020 they’ll just lump biking+walking together to achieve a % over 20 and claim that’s what they meant all along?

    Pssst….SF…this is not the stuff of Vision Zero/20% modeshare/8-to-80:

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/biker_hit.jpg

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Bsd-7bBCIAAOg4q.jpg

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ayC99E7FZ0c/TAwJLkBlg8I/AAAAAAAAGrQ/5C3rR7cOtk0/s1600/Golden+Gate+church+parking+001.jpg

  11.  

    Mark Duncan

    As a long time bicyclist, I believe that you can never make major arteries like Woodside Road or El Camino safe for bicyclists. Dedicated pedestrian / bike bridges or passageways across freeways are essential to ensure bicyclist safety. For example, the Union Pacific 101 underpass is a much preferred method to cross 101, than having a bike lane on the side of Woodside Road.

  12.  

    Eric Fischer

    The main reason Oakland can’t have well-synchronized lights is the irregular block lengths from its patchwork of unrelated grids. You can sort of make it work on one-way streets, if you don’t care about the cross streets, but you’re still out of luck on two-way streets like Broadway and Telegraph.

    If you want 25 MPH progression on a two-way street with 30-second phases, the lights have to be spaced exactly 1100 feet apart, and Oakland’s block lengths just don’t support it. (It’s even worse with 45-second phases, as are more common now because of turn arrows and the 3.5ft/sec requirement for pedestrian crossing speeds, which require 1650-foot spacing between signals instead.)

  13.  

    joechoj

    “…Broadway and San Pablo…”
    That’s a mistake, right? I’ve only heard of plans for JLS/Broadway/40th, and the EBOTS plans. None of those mention San Pablo. Am I missing something?

  14.  

    Aaron Bialick

    It’s owned by the YBCBD, who brings it out to events in the neighborhood. If you’re interested in it, you can contact them here: http://www.ybcbd.org/contact-us/

  15.  

    Tom

    Anybody know where they got that blue bike rack in the picture?

  16.  

    Affen_Theater

    Redwood City has an online poll/survey out this week to help with their thinking about the Woodside/101/Broadway interchange design alternatives.

  17.  

    CamBam415

    This headline is incorrect/misleading and likely overly optimistic: ” SMART Larkspur Extension to Be Funded By President’s New Federal Transportation Budget”

    Specifically, the Larkspur Extension was included in the Presidents PROPOSED budget, which is far from a done deal. The proposed budget was more of a political statement than a working financial statement. And while SMART is always (blindly?) optimistic that this funding will come through as part of the New Starts program, lets be real here: a public transit funding request for a dark blue county/region is not likely to be looked upon favorably by a Republican controlled congress. So, maybe the funding will materialize and maybe it won’t. Let’s not say its funded until the funds have been approved by congress and approved for distribution.

    What is more interesting however, is whether or SMART will successfully will manage to squirm out of their obligation to build the parallel bike/ped pathway as promised on that Larkspur extension. SMART is currently doing all it can to dodge that responsibility and is trying to get the CEQA clearance without the pathway which would likely kill (at least for 20 years!) the likelihood of getting this vital section of the pathway built. Note that the $20M in Federal funding doesn’t include funds to build the pathway too…

  18.  

    Michael Smith

    Somehow I missed the memo stating that Hearst owns the streets and makes the decisions on how they should be used.

    Maybe the city should just tell them “thanks for your input, which will be valued the same as the input from all the other stakeholders”.

  19.  

    hp2ena

    Mario, just an FYI, the service adjustments on the 14 are probably resulting from recent retirement of 28 New Flyer 60′ articulated trolleybuses, of which they’ve been making up for by pulling articulated trolleybuses off the 41 line and running more shorter buses. The problem is, unlike the shorter buses, the retired buses actually had machines that allowed for signal pre-emption.

  20.  

    spijim

    It’s amazing how much hay can be made over one recycled story . . . that says little about the mode and a lot about the economy it was built in.

  21.  

    CamBam415

    Yeah, the accident and the comments are sad. What is most disheartening is the comment thread following the article. You’d think the cyclists were at fault based on the small-minded comments posted on the PD.

  22.  

    CamBam415

    Exactly! Those time gaps drive me nuts. My preference is to NOT take the Larkspur ferry because it is so crowded (and sells out regularly), but with the frequency & schedule it is really the only option that works.

  23.  

    Gezellig

    Yeah, it’s funny that SF~Larkspur is 30-35 minutes due to the high-speed ferry while the much shorter SF~Sausalito trip is 25-30 minutes!

    In addition, there are some odd time gaps in the Sausalito ferry schedule that make it difficult for some people’s work schedules.

  24.  

    Gezellig

    Speaking of dangerous/underdesigned bike routes crossing 101 in Marin, another one I encounter frequently is here:

    https://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/1655/6396/original.jpg

    http://goo.gl/maps/D76Gj

    –> Amazingly, the Donahue St underpass is the only entrance/exit road to all of Marin City.

    –> Marin City is an important bus hub for GGT buses, and also is quite close (as the crow flies) to the heavily traveled north-south Sausalito-Mill Valley bikeway.

    –> However, there is no bike facility in or around the underpass to get from Marin City to the north-south bikeway. This either forces a:

    1) daredevil vehicular bike ride through a narrow, twisting underpass (pictured above) with little visibility to cars fast approaching behind (few people choose this option).

    or

    2) riding on the protected sidewalk (more people choose this option).

    –> Donahue west of the underpass has 3 car travel lanes in each direction, yet even during commute hours it is relatively sparsely traveled by cars. 2+2 car travel lanes + protected cycletrack would see no loss in car LOS.

    –> As a community with on-average lower socioeconomic status Marin City has a disproportionate number of utilitarian bike/pedestrian as well as transit usage, yet its lack of connecting infrastructure isolates it from great active transport infrastructure nearby.

    –> In addition, Marin City has comparatively high rates of POC residents who know they’re more likely to be harassed by police for biking on the sidewalk:

    http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/communities-of-color-bear-the-brunt-of-sidewalk-biking-enforcement

    Yet if you’re brave enough to bike vehicularly there you get harassed by drivers! (and still get weird looks from cops).

  25.  

    gneiss

    It does not surprise me that a Fire Chief would say this. We bend over backwards to protect drivers, even drunk ones, from every tree, sharp curve, and narrow lane that it has become “common knowledge” among safety professionals that any road which has not be subjected to these “improvements” is dangerous. In all likelihood, the Fire Department has probably been advocating to the County that Old River Road needs to be “improved” so as to reduce response times, forgetting that making the roadway safer will allow increased vehicle speeds that would make crashes even more tragic when they happen along this roadway.

  26.  

    CamBam415

    More on increased Larkspur service:
    http://www.marinij.com/marinnews/ci_27430200/new-larkspur-ferry-run-starts-monday-ease-passenger

    It is great that GGF is adding service (and using a current boat for another run makes sense), but I would love to see more service between the peak hours (7-8am and 5-6:30p). I know it comes with many challenges, but hopefully this test is a step in the right direction.

    PS – Adding high speed and more frequent service in Sausalito might pull some people off the Larkspur boat, opening up seats to new Larkspur riders. I know I would gladly switch to the Sausalito ferry if there was more frequent & faster service (or even if Tiburon added frequency, tho that isn’t a GGF operation).

  27.  

    Sprague

    Mario, the little bit I noticed weren’t service increases (but presumably minor schedule adjustments) – at http://transit.511.org/schedules/ where at least some new schedules (effective 2/2/15) are posted.

  28.  

    murphstahoe

    From the PD.

    “The accident was reported at 5:10 p.m. on Old River Road about 6 miles
    south of Talmage, according to the California Highway Patrol. The road
    is popular with bicyclists, drawn to its scenic views. It’s also
    dangerous, Franklin said.”

    Old River Road near Talmage is popular with cyclists because it is next to unused. I rode it in 2004 with my wife – we were behind schedule due to fatigue and a flat tire, we rode the last 3 miles in fading twilght to near darkness with only one blinkie. I was a little concerned about potholes, but we saw no motor vehicles. The road is not dangerous.

    I find it very odd that the Hopland Fire Captain mentions that the road is dangerous – and never mentions that drunk driving is dangerous. It would not surprise me however, if he made such a comment and the Press Democrat omitted it.

    “Bicyclists from across the United States flock to the scenic North
    Coast, where collisions on narrow backcountry roads are not uncommon,
    according to a 2014 Press Democrat analysis of CHP data.”cir

    I find it interesting that the Press Democrat used their time and money to study cycling collisions in the North Coast – where is the study on drunk driving collisions? And what metric do they use to determine “not uncommon”?

    “In 2013, Brown signed a controversial law requiring motorists to give 3
    feet of clearance when passing a bicyclist, something proponents said
    would help remove ambiguity over what is considered a safe distance.”

    How does the Press Democrat determine that the law is “controversial”?

  29.  

    Sprague

    Excellent points and great suggestion. The current laws regarding pedestrian crosswalk signals are extremely car-centric. With a renewed focus on pedestrian safety/Vision Zero, I imagine that a fair number of pedestrians have been busted for entering the crosswalk with ample time to cross but after the red hand has begun flashing. The letter of the law should change, especially since it’s common practice for people to enter the crosswalk after the red hand has begun flashing but still make it across before the countdown is over (ie. joggers and many others).

  30.  

    Elias Zamaria

    I have actually seen something like your idea at many intersections in Washington DC. The countdown timer becomes visible as soon as the walk light turns on. I haven’t seen this anywhere else. I wish they had it here in SF.

  31.  

    Roger215

    Inexpensive in a “parts + labor” sense, or in a “bought through a public tendering process” sense? :p

  32.  

    Roger215

    In any case, there’s probably going to be a sea change in tiger grant funding after the recent streetcar bust, so BRT is probably going to be more likely.

  33.  

    David D.

    In the context of the interview as a whole, my impression was that she was differentiating between transportation projects that do and don’t have an economic component to it. That is, something like BRT makes sense now, but something like a streetcar is part of a bigger package and has to be considered carefully–not just as a transportation project but also as an economic development project.

  34.  

    Prinzrob

    Re. the Nevius article. Couldn’t the same argument be used to get rid of yellow traffic signal lights, or ban drivers already in the middle of the intersection from finishing a left turn on red? We have a weird double standard when it comes to what is considered okay for drivers to do versus what anyone else on the street does.

    Beyond that, our pedestrian signal laws are pretty draconian, as the typical phase is the equivalent of a few second long green light (white walk signal), then a 15-20 second long yellow (red countdown signal). This makes very little sense, especially considering that pedestrians can move at very different speeds from one another. A better concept would be to get rid of the white walk signal altogether, and only have a “don’t walk” phase and then a countdown phase, showing however many seconds are being given to cross. This way people could decide for themselves if they have enough time to make it across, based on their individual speed, as opposed to making everyone obey a signal timed to accommodate the slowest users.

  35.  

    Mario Tanev

    Anyone have a details about the service increases? How does frequency change for the 14 Mission, 24 Divisadero and 33 Stanyan?

    Here is something I could find, but it doesn’t have many details about the service increases:
    http://www.sfmta.com/news/project-updates/january-31-2015-muni-forward-service-changes

  36.  

    J

    Exciting stuff! The future looks very bright for Oakland transportation.

    One point of contention: Mayor Schaaf says “one (bus transit) is more of a transportation solution, and the other is more of an economic development solution.”
    I think this is a false choice. Effective transportation investments (such as BRT) can be excellent economic development tools too, but the City must do the requisite legwork to support development in order for it to actually happen. If a BRT project coincides with rezonings, tax incentives, sewer/infrastructure upgrades, and public marketing of development along the corridor, and if the corridor is well-positioned for investment (i.e. the local economy is growing), then it will likely spur investment. Indeed, recent research showed that these things mattered more than the type of project:

    http://www.masstransitmag.com/document/11176085/more-development-for-your-transit-dollar-an-analysis-of-21-north-american-transit-corridors

  37.  

    Gezellig

    This does not bode well.

    http://youtu.be/7rTJtVyQhN0?t=3s

  38.  

    hp2ena

    Richard is correct. While the bike lanes are protected, the turning radii at the intersections – particularly at the alleyways – are designed in a way that favors speeding cars, which can cause right hooks. I suggest either reversing the direction of the alleyways such that they feed onto 13th (not off), or having these intersections intersect at 90° to discourage speeding.

  39.  

    Dark Soul

    Probaly wont get as many ridership between the served streets even when it opens and have problem turning back to Mission and 16th Street along with 22-Fillmore getting stuck on another block for many minutes .

  40.  

    njudah

    What a shock. The SFPD could give a shit, most of them don’t live in SF anyways, so it doesn’t affect them. They can do what they want and tell the citizens “FU and give us a raise”. And we do!

  41.  

    94103er

    most of the trouble we have today can be traced back to “density”

    Most of the trouble we have today can be traced back to older times when we didn’t plan for urban density and foolishly designed the city around the car.

    FTFY

  42.  

    murphstahoe

  43.  

    thielges

    I’ve never understood the assertion that we can’t treat old signals new tricks. 95% of the cost of a traffic signal is the light itself and the structural post and cables. The electronic brain that controls the light is inexpensive. The box protecting the brain is worth a lot more.

  44.  

    shotwellian

    Yes, unless you’re riding from Canada College or somewhere else right on Farm Hill, it’s much better to use Jefferson to get to Canada Road.

  45.  

    worm

    nothing more annoying than bicyclists that try to create economics to punish drivers. the same people are otherwise always looking for ways to break out of capitalism into a gentler more fair system. and this economic brilliance plays right into the hands of our government pigs at the trough.

    look guys, cars are useful and don’t wreck everything. i ride to work everyday but i its really difficult to travel longer distances without a car. especially if i need to transport something, so i have a 15 year old car that i use. i’m going to visit my elderly mother tonight, its 50 miles away.

    try to find ways to make cycling safer and more pleasant. it can be done without hatin’ on your fellow man who just needs a place to park his car. most of the trouble we have today can be traced back to “density” – a scheme to enrich property owners while the little people fight it out over a few square feet of asphalt.

  46.  

    KL

    For the pedestrian scramble at Stockton and Sacramento, they put in new signals, but no signs for no turn on red.

  47.  

    Prinzrob

    Staff and $ are in place, planning is starting now. Best guess I have heard so far is “summer 2016″.

  48.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    That was an adequate stunt, but when is the bike share actually coming to Oakland?

  49.  

    Prinzrob

    True, Harris should get credit for riding on the first Bike to Work Day in the early 90s. Let’s call Quan the first repeat-rider, then (and the first person anywhere in Oakland to commute on BTWD on a bike share bike, per the photo op last year!).

  50.  

    DrunkEngineer

    Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris was the first Mayor to ride in Bike-to-Work Day.