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    Jym Dyer

    Every bike that passes by is one less customer for the towing business.



    Upzoning and density bonuses up front, fees that can bring public amenities second, lower than intended, or not at all.

    I guess they are taking a page from New York’s playbook.


    Jym Dyer

    ≎ Trying to get past Al & Ted’s Bogus Parking has been most heinous.

    (Some of their drivers, despite being clearly identifiably marked, also have a penchant for impatient and contemptuous maneuvers when making the left turn onto Fell alongside the bike lanes.)


    Jym Dyer

    The question underlying the question is, How does L.A. get “near-infinite funding” while the state’s economic powerhouse goes begging?



    I saw typical bicyclist disrespect of pedestrian space. It is extremely disconcerting to see bicyclists coming at you from all directions out of the corner of your eye. It makes for a hostile street environment for peds.



    The short answer is that I can see five violations just by sticking my head out the window. There are problems with the laws, and one way these problems are dealt with is through a lack of enforcement (see also, for example, bikes at stop signs). Of course, I don’t think parking in the Fell St bike lane is a good solution, so hopefully they’ll figure something out.



    which is clearly strictly enforced by SFPD at places like 24th/Noe



    [citation needed]



    You forgot your narrative. “All cyclists run stop signs”.



    What if there are no free parking spaces, but lots of drivers looking for them? That’s more the case of what we have in San Francisco. I think that increases the danger on the streets more than the other case you cite.



    What “zero” percent? What a ridiculous thing to say. The mayor gets around in a car. Most city officials travel by car. The Fire Department, Public Works Departments, DPW, Social Services, Park Serivces, heck, just about every department except for MUNI bus drivers and LRT operators gets around by car.

    It is patently false to say that there is “no representation” given the truly pervasive nature of car use in city government. If you asked the SFMTA board members if they had drivers licenses, I’d bet all of them do. And I would imagine that the ’4 members who use MUNI regularly’ also drive, just like almost every adult in California.


    Richard Mlynarik

    Caltrain MASSIVELY, MASSIVELY pads every single capital project and engineering contract with huge quantities of unspecified and unspecifiable overheads which are used to keep the staff and the army of perma-temp in-house consultants rolling in it.

    A million for “staff”? (To do … umm .. we’ll get back to you on that. ) That’s nothing?

    A signal project for a tiny little 50 mile shuttle line with no junctions? Anywhere else in the world, under $100 million. At Caltrain, more than $250 million.

    An electrification project coming in at nearly three times comparable projects in expensive first world locations? MMMMMM … somebody’s making out.

    Feed the beasts!



    Not true. They have backed down on many of their initiatives based on the feedback they received from community meetings. And they have patently *not* ignored the outreach program, they continued to have many meetings throughout the process. The fact that you didn’t like their proposals doesn’t mean that they didn’t engage in community outreach.



    The problem is that private auto supporters don’t want 50% of the space, or 80% of the space, they want 100%.

    And I’m not sure what city you live in that 50% of commutes are done by private auto.



    Streets are not pipes. And people are not molecules of water. You can’t possible think that the same number of people will continue to drive someplace the same way where the streetscape gets changed.

    When the Embarcadero Freeway was removed, we didn’t suddenly have a ‘deluge’ of cars on the surface streets, because people adjusted to the new reality of the space and transport options and used other means to get to their destinations. And if you prioritize one mode (say transit) over another, suddenly, it becomes more attractive to use that mode then another.

    Finally – tell me – who is the person mandated on the SFMTA board that must be for the specific interests of anyone? The board is made of up of 7 people who are appointed by the mayor. No one is ‘mandated’ to be anything. And, I’ve venture to guess that all of the board members have drivers licenses and probably own cars and maybe a bicycle or two. That means they can walk, take MUNI, bicycle, jog, drive, and heck, maybe do all of those in things in one day.


    Dark Soul

    Free Parking decrease numbers of drivers roaming the block finding a parking space. While Paid Parking increase numbers of drivers roaming the block finding a spot to park without having to pay. Which increases danger to the streets



    Anyone who has a car automatically is Mr. Money Bags? That’s an interesting generalization. Many of them are struggling to make ends meet. Here’s another one. Anyone who rides a bicyclist is from the Midwest and just came to SF a year and a half ago and loves to tell everyone who based their mostly modest lives here in SF on being able to operate a motor vehicle what they can and can’t do. But those people don’t count very much to you, do they? Clearly they are all Republican dirt bags! No one is suggesting that we don’t try to get off the gasoline using car. What we are suggesting is that you can’t marginalize 50% of the city’s voters because you don’t like the cut of their jibs.



    Taking away traffic lanes at only particular points means the overall flow of the street is reduced. If you take a pipe, and constrict it to 1/2 or 2/3 of its original diameter at one point – guess what? You have reduced the flow along 100% of that length, even though you only constricted it at a single point. So calculating the impact based on square footage is skewing facts at its best. Here’s another fact for you to skew: Less than 4% of commutes are done on bicycle, greater than 50% of commutes are done by private auto. How many motorists are mandated to be on the SFMTA board?



    You’re right, the measure also calls for equal representation in SFTMA’s decisions for the 50%+ of SF residents that use a private auto to get to work. Versus the 0% representation they have now in city government.


    Matt Laroche

    Sounds like you know more than I do about the current shape of the Metrolink trains. Do you have a link for them still being serviceable?



    Probably the legal “you can’t go if anyone’s in the crosswalk at all” definition.



    Some of that looks a bit like a Right on Red, after stopping.



    Caltrain could save a bundle skipping or seriously trimming back that $6M rehab item. The MetroLink cars are currently serviceable. Maybe they don’t have all of the Caltrain-specific bells and whistles but does that really matter? This is just a stopgap measure until electrification comes on line. Riders won’t care if the cars aren’t painted Caltrain red and white.

    When Caltrain borrowed Chicago Metra cars a few years ago they worked just fine without needing extensive mods. Good thing because they went back to Metra after the loan.



    Agreed. Some of them get a little closer to the peds than I would, but it doesn’t look like any of them break stride at all. Stanley seems to have in mind some specific meaning of “yield” that I don’t get.



    Yet SFMTA has already had proof-of-payment and all-door-boarding on ALL bus and streetcar routes for a couple years now, right? Half the battle of SBS seems to be already implemented on every route in SF.



    Also – when the cyclist runs the red, 2 pedestrians do the exact same thing right in the frame.



    Watching the Stanley Roberts piece again points out the absurdity of treating people riding on bikes as if they are car drivers. In each case where he scolds the person on a bike for failing to yield to pedestrians there was absolutely no danger to them. These people riding bikes were interacting with the pedestrians the same as if they were on a multi-use path, with slow, deliberation motions that didn’t interfere with them by waiting until there was a gap and moving through it. What Stanley fails to recognize, is that hitting a person walking carries just as much risk of injury for the person on the bike as well. How many times do we need to say this – bicycles are *not* cars and can treat interactions with people walking differently than if you were driving a car.


    Upright Biker

    Why add shiny, new, high-tech, oh-what-fun-for-traffic-engineers-to-get-to-overengineer-something traffic signals when you could simply eliminate stop signs and add low-tech traffic calming instead?

    Why indeed.


    The Colonel

    What’s next for Sean Parker? Provide funding to the Islamic State? What a buffoon. This fool proves that no amount of money can buy you credibility.


    Matt Laroche

    Re: Caltrain buying Metrolink cars.

    The $15 million cost looked high on the rail cars, as Caltrain had been talking about $4 million for 11 cars. They ended up getting 16 cars, and they’re Bombardier Bi-Levels (like the newer cars that Caltrain runs).

    The cost breakdown is:
    $5.6 million for 16 rail cars (350k/car)
    $6.064 million for rehabilitation of 16 rail cars (379k/car)
    $1 million for spare parts
    $1 million for platforms
    $100k for new wheels
    $100k for engineering support
    $1.036 million for staff and contingency.



    I don’t know how things work in San Francisco, but in Berkeley there was a U-Haul business that routinely left its rental trucks out in the roadway when its parking lot overflowed. City Council solved the problem by declaring it a public nuisance and shut down the business.


    Chris J.

    Yes, do we know that SF Parking was refusing to enforce this? If someone notices a violation and calls (415) 553-1200, enforcement has a responsibility to come. It’s a simple solution. In fact, I called last night for double-parking at a different location, and someone did come (though it took 15 minutes).



    Awesome idea, but how would all the Marin commuters get to the Broadway Tunnel and Civic Center? Gough isn’t one-way until Sacramento and it’s already congested climbing up Pac Heights.



    Exactly what I was thinking. Since when do we have to ask businesses (or people) to kindly obey the law and be tolerant when they say “I’ll try”. No, you will, or you will be punished. It is so frustrating how utterly second-class cyclists are in this city that we tolerate this kind of crap.


    Winston Parsons

    “Managers will encourage truck drivers to move out of the bike lane MORE QUICKLY, and to stop in one of the three traffic lanes available to motor traffic
    instead when car traffic isn’t TOO HEAVY.” Wish he’d shared what “more quickly” and “too heavy” actually mean…sounds like a complete cop-out to me. What’s more, they just blocked the car travel lane before, so why is it OK to block the bike travel lane and not the car ones, especially if the they’ve done it in the past? I think both are dangerous, but at least be equitable in your poor judgement…



    I don’t understand why this is such a hardship for their business. Ted & Al’s were perfectly happy blocking a lane of car traffic with their tow trucks before the bike lane was installed and there was parking along that stretch. To say that he bike lane has disrupted his business operations is ridiculous. All he’s saying is that he thought when the bike lane was installed that no one would put up much of a stink if his tow trucks occasionally blocked the bike lane, because, you know, they’re only “bikers”. Much to his chagrin, he’s discovered that wasn’t the case and now he’s got to deal with another headache. But the solution is simple – just go back to parking in the 3rd travel lane rather than the bike lane.

    It just shows how the Dutch have got it right by creating raised bikeways that make it much more clear where cars go and where bicycles go. And how the city just needs to finish this project up. Please put in the bulb outs and street furniture!


    walley george

    “SFMTA already has an exhaustive outreach program.”

    Which they ignored when they tried to force meters into the inner Mission. The citizens of the neighbourhood opposed the SFMTA and they tried to force it on them, more than once.

    Right wingers are the ones with the talking points right?



    The Supervisor stepped in, got Captain Vaswani involved, and It made an immediate difference.

    The cops weren’t enforcing these violations. A few e-mails and phone calls solved the problem without anyone getting tickets. It’s a win-win.

    As someone who talked with her office about this, I think Supervisor Breed deserves some credit.



    My hometown in Austria added a lot of “transit priority” signals a road that had a streetcar running on it a few years ago. At least in that case the result was a loss for everyone: signal priority for the streetcars still doesn’t properly work, and pedestrians or bikes (one of the cross streets is a major bike route) have to wait forever or just ignore the light when there’s light traffic.

    Of course we have “yield” instead of America’s brain dead 4-way stops, so the streetcar already had priority all way previous (in Austria streetcars, but not busses have priority over pedestrians on crosswalks!).

    To me adding signals often seems to be a works program for “poor” consultants and equipment manufacturers.



    “Things might or might not get better for the future, but I’m putting out a statement anyway for political points. If things don’t get better, I can throw my hands in the air and say I tried, if things do get better I can take the credit”





    Elias Zamaria

    Correction: the PDF linked from the article looks kind of unclear. It says “The transit stops at Baker and at Central would be consolidated into a new stop at Lyon St.”, but later says that the stop at Baker would be relocated to the other side of the intersection.


    Elias Zamaria

    They are going to remove some stops. The stops at Haight and Central and at Haight and Cole will be removed.



    It might also help to remove a few of the stops along Haight. There is about a stop every block, and two on the same block!



    Good to know (SF property info map only shows permits back to 2003). Nonetheless, same issue with tow-away lane most likely.



    Not clear why this is a matter of compromise and not simple enforcement. Parking their trucks in the bike lane is illegal — end of story. They should be fined each time this occurs.



    They need to wait right in front for a spot to free up? Don’t tow trucks have radios for communication?

    They’re basically saying theyre going to block the road no matter what, its just a question of whether drivers or cyclists get blocked. While one of these groups is a vulnerable road user and the other is not, I still wouldn’t advocate blocking anybody on such a regular basis.


    Michael Smith

    Note that the SFMTA is now downplaying far better solutions. The TEP has many cost effective solutions for improving transit without making the situation worse for neighbors, pedestrians, and bicyclists. These include stop consolidation, bus bulbs, and adding transit preferential signalling to *existing* traffic signalling. Plus some intersections can be changed from 4-way stops to 2-way, speeding up transit more than signals every could and not slowing pedestrians. As long as good traffic calming is put in this would be an effective solution for several of the intersections that have reasonably low cross traffic and where there are good sight lines. Given the limited budget, by pursuing more cost effective solutions they would be able to maximize the improvement to travel time.

    But the SFMTA is concentrating only on a traffic signals, which sometimes actually slow down buses (even with TPS the buses will not always get a green light) and certainly make intersections less safe due to higher speed car traffic running lights instead of at least slowing down.

    And for some intersections it would be far better to just keep the 4-way stop. In particular, Pierce & Haight is already a stop for the 6 so it can’t be helped at all. And it is the wiggle, meaning that a huge number of bicyclists will end up running the light.

    Replacing all those 4-way stops with signals seems to indicate that they simply are not looking at what is best for each intersection. The best solution is surely a combination of new signals, converting some 4-way stops to 2-way, and keeping some 4-way stops as is. Why are they concentrating on the way that makes the area worse for pedestrians?


    Aaron Bialick

    For the record, Nasey said they’ve been there since 1995.



    Before it was converted to a bike lane in 2003 (apparently the same year they opened their business), the lane in front of their store was a tow-away lane. How did that jibe any better with their business model of storing vehicles on the street for extended periods of time?