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    Avoiding the hyperbolic curve and looking at what’s currently on deck, we’re talking about a new way to enforce something that has already been in effect for 10’s of years: bus (and sometime taxi) only lanes.

    Lately the city’s been making it even more blatantly obvious by throwing down a lot of red paint.



    Since I’ve yet to feel menaced by the scooter mafia, I’m perfectly willing to let you scoot along in the bike lanes. There’s a bit of self-preservation on the scooter/motocycle side that makes for more awareness.



    Thanks, Bob Gunderson sock puppet :-P


    Andy Chow

    Grade separation can eliminate the risk of certain incidents (cars on the tracks, unintended deaths) and reduce access for those who are suicidal, but quite a few have occurred outside of grade crossings.


    Andy Chow

    San Franciscans (even daily transit riders and cyclists) may time to time drive in other cities. If SF can have a unique set of traffic laws, why shouldn’t other jurisdictions have them as well? A good reason for uniformity is safety. You want bike lanes or transit lanes to have to look the same whether it is in San Francisco, San Jose, or in Orange County. The same goes for pedestrian facilities.


    Greg Costikyan

    Actually, I think this should be expanded…. I routinely see cars parked on sidewalks, vehicles blocking bike lanes, and yes, private cars in bus lanes on my commute…. Why shouldn’t I be able to take a photo with my phone and upload it to to an SFPD URL, and have a citation go out routinely? If we’re serious about enforcing these laws… Why not enlist the citizenry and not rely solely on cameras in buses?


    Andy Chow

    Given the controversial nature of red light cameras, there are confidence issues whether SFMTA will be enforcing it “fairly” versus as another revenue source. There are also many legal exceptions for private vehicles to be on transit lanes so I don’t know whether a front view camera is sufficient for a fair enforcement.

    Part of the transit lane effectiveness has to do with design. If is to be open access between a regular travel lane and parking lane, you accept some level of operational compromise (just as with proof of payment you accept some level of fare cheats, or any large business to accept some level of shoplifting). If it doesn’t work the way it should, shouldn’t it be a job for the agency to study why and change the design, rather than just giving out tickets electronically (essentially create a different version of speed trap) for the money that it provides.




    Karen Lynn Allen

    Kind of crazy that the state controls how San Francisco gives out tickets (this law is just for San Francisco?) but Chiu could be a force for good in Sacramento if he focuses on enabling San Francisco to do things that make sense for our particular situation. (Can he tackle RPP next?) Rural San Joaquin, suburban sprawl Orange County, and the second densest city in North America don’t need to all have identical traffic laws.


    Thomas Rogers

    I was under the impression that the cameras were for video, not static snapshots. So, if someone entered the red lane and then made a turn, they’d be clear, while someone who entered the red lane and then proceeded to hurtle down several blocks would be ticketed. However, someone with actual knowledge should confirm that!



    i would consider it child abuse to take any kid on a bike in SF outside of a park. why would a person intentionally endager their child. this is a major city. if you want your kid to bike on the street, living on a cul de sac in a suburb is great for that. or take them to GGP on the weekend. I


    David Marcus

    That bike-only entrance to Scott at Fell is wide enough that a lot of scofflaw cars will probably use it. I wonder if they could plan a physical barrier or curb between the northbound and southbound bike lanes.



    or consider than only 3% of people commute by bike and stop catering to this vocal minority altogether



    as a scooter rider, i am super excited about all the new bike lanes in SF. it makes getting around on the scooter much easier than before as the bike lanes are mostly empty (except ocassional doubleparked car)



    most bike accidents are solo, not related to cars.



    “People just aren’t buying suburban houses 50+ miles away from their job anymore.”

    I invite you to visit US-101 in Petaluma some AM.



    If my rent in SF was only $100 more than it was 6 years ago – I’d still be living in SF. Instead it was raised $1750, it became obvious that this wasn’t too far off market price, and I headed for the hills.



    sometimes you have to get into the red lane to change lanes or make a turn. how will they know the difference with the camera?


    Mesozoic Polk

    Ugh! How dare they improve the commutes of thousands of Muni riders at the expense of a few cars who could always use one of the 99.9% of other lanes dedicated to cars.



    a moratorium on housing will making housing prices skyrocket. what are these people smoking? anywhere along the BART line in SF is the BEST place to build new dense housing that will temper the growth of the pent up demand for housing. most of SF has awful public transit, but the Mission does not. if units arent built here, they will be built elsewhere and more people will drive leading to high emissions, and the price of the “encased in stone” mission will go through the roof. some of our supervisors could use an update in economics.



    it’s “always incorrect” that drivers are at fault? Wow, now that is an impressively bold, and entirely ridiculous, statement. Thanks for reminding us that motorists *never* make mistakes.



    See if you can find pictures of ladies’ footwear on bikes in Copenhagen – you might be surprised!



    So Vie charges $25 for a 45-min test drive? You’re debating giving them $1500-$2000, for crying out loud. I can understand a credit card deposit, but…. That’s just tacky.


    Karen Lynn Allen

    There are many reasons why blocking more housing in San Francisco is deeply misguided. I will give three.

    1) Climate change is the number one moral, economic and survival issue of our time. Living in a dense urban environment like San Francisco makes a small carbon footprint possible. Living in San Francisco in particular, with its maritime climate and adequate (yes, it could be better) public transit, makes a very small carbon footprint possible. San Franciscans emit just 5.8 million tonnes of CO2 per person. California as a whole emits 9.2, the US as a whole emits 17.3. (2012 data.) One way to drop carbon emissions in this country is to make room in low carbon cities for people who want to live a low carbon lifestyle, not force them to live in the suburbs. I am not arguing for Hong Kong density, but five or six stories in the transit-rich Mission is more than appropriate.

    2) Many people (especially young ones) live in San Francisco for a time and then move somewhere else. This is okay. It’s even good. They often take what they experience living here and then apply it somewhere else. For example, I lived in San Francisco in the mid 80s just after college. San Francisco had one of the first curbside recycling programs in the country. I then moved to Iowa City, Iowa. (Lasted there six years.) One of the first things I did there was write my city council and ask why there was no curbside recycling. The answer I got back was that it was too expensive. But, lo and behold, nine months later, Iowa City instituted curbside recycling. I doubt this was entirely due to my letter, but I wouldn’t underestimate the influence San Francisco emigres can have. (I also annoyed people there yakking about racial diversity, gays and lesbians, and so on.) People around the country may think we here in San Francisco are largely crazy, but they do notice what we do. And young people who live here a couple years and then go on somewhere else take the values and ideas with them. And then things like composting, and parklets and plastic bag bans starting springing up in other places.

    3) If we say we only want old-timers in San Francisco and no one new, we’re not only denying ourselves important new energy, passions, and influences, we are fundamentally discriminating against young people in an effort to protect the entitlements of the old. Trying to preserve San Francisco in amber just the way it was the year we ourselves arrived (whatever year that was) will calcify this city and prevent it from doing what it has always done so well–reinvent itself time after time in a dance with youth, ideas and the future.



    With greater danger to others comes greater responsibility.


    Andy Chow

    It is more accurate to say “10th person died on Caltrain tracks this year.”

    From a social responsibility angle, this deserves no reporting at all. We know well that news coverage on suicides can spur more suicides. Suicides in general doesn’t get news coverage unless the person is prominent. For that reason, you don’t see individual news stories about suicides on the Golden Gate Bridge.

    See the link below from Caltrain’s Mark Simon about recent events including news coverage:

    I recommended Caltrain to consider some kind of alert system with different stages (like forest fire alert) for significant delays that can give passengers on the severity (whether they should wait or seek other transportation) of the delays but without having to give specific nature of the delays. Media on the other hand, as part of the coverage on traffic, can provide the public about the alert but without having to report on the incident which is contributing to the problem.


    Earnest Flambeau

    What is the method by which SFPD moves around the city it patrols? There is your answer.



    That’s fine for your uncle, but I’m paying $100 more per month at my apartment since I moved in 6 years ago.

    You can see a list of the historical rent increases here. Not entirely sure what your point is about CPI — CPI is just one way to calculate inflation.

    As to the idea that people are willing to spend hours and hours commuting every day, the recent housing bubble is evidence to the contrary. People just aren’t buying suburban houses 50+ miles away from their job anymore.



    Caltrain supports grade separations. San Mateo County has a pot of funds that’s being incrementally used for more grade separations, and there is a current design competition for the next set of funding. Santa Clara County has almost no money set aside, hopefully an upcoming ballot measure will help. Also High Speed Rail will need the grade separations and provide an additional source of funding.



    I am not sure what you are talking about regarding rent control — the rent increase is tied to CPI. I am pretty sure my uncle who paid $400/month (today) for his one bedroom, which he occupied for the last fifty years would disagree with you. If property values go up and rents increase above inflation you always win as a tenant.

    I have a hard time believing Google or any other large tech employer is going to flee. Their CEOs don’t want to move. There is nowhere else with the amount of tech knowledge available to create their business. Google and Apple both are in the process of building new campuses. The thought that high housing costs is going to force them to relocate is a pipe dream. Their employees will just be forced to commute from a further distance if it is not affordable to live close by their work.


    Scott Mace

    Can’t wait to see buses using the middle lane. Ridiculous. Dave Campbell can’t even assure me that bus service will be faster than bicycling. Meanwhile, bikes emerging from those “protected” lanes at intersections will either have to look both ways before proceeding, or risk being hit by left- or right-turning vehicles who won’t see the cyclists entering the intersection as well as they can today.



    How about “NIMBYs kill tenth person on tracks this year”. If the Silicon Valley and South Bay towns actually invested in grade separation a lot less people would die, and they could stop complaining about traffic as much too.



    The suicides also make rail travel seem more dangerous than reality. Not everyone using the fatality stats across different modes will take the effort to treat the suicides different from the unintentional fatalities and only the latter is relevant.

    Even within discussions on the Caltrain corridor the stats have been misused to deny pedestrian at-grade crossings. Yes, grade separated crossings are better but they also cost 100-1000X more than grade crossings and therefore have a hard time getting funded. Caltrain should tolerate judicious implementations of grade crossings at least as a short term measure until a grade separation can be funded.



    If you oppose new housing you oppose the poor, the middle class, and the environment. However, one of the most baffling things about voters across America is how staunchly the poor fight their own interests.


    Dark Soul

    The cyclists mostly run through stop signs and red lights even with people on the crosswalks.. Its always incorrect that drivers is always the fault.



    That’s not true for many reasons. Think about it:

    * People move because their housing needs change all the time. People get together, break up, have kids, their kids move away, etc. etc.

    * Rent control only helps in the short term. If you live in a rent controlled apartment, have you ever calculated what your rent would be 20 years from now assuming rents don’t decrease and inflation stays the same? I did, and believe me unless I win the lottery I wouldn’t be able to afford living here.

    * People move here because there are job here. Companies have to compensate people more than they would in other regions due to high housing costs. If those costs continue increasing, the companies are going to flee — even Google doesn’t have an unlimited amount of money.


    david vartanoff

    Yup, in many cases you can fool all the people all the time. Although, one should note that artificially limiting increased housing supply raises the value of existing units.



    We get into semantics on “blah kills” – “Cyclist hit by car” as opposed to “by driver”.

    Personally, I do not like “Caltrain Kills”. I consider this more acure in the event of a suicide, but even a driver error with the tracks, Caltrain has done what it’s supposed to do, go up and down the tracks.

    In the event of something like the texting engineer down in LA, perhaps, but even then with the typical streetsblog “policy” it would be “distracted engineer kills”, not “metrolink kills”



    People are going to continue to move into the Mission regardless of a housing moratorium. They will take on roommates or add family members. People will convert garages into illegal housing units or businesses and granny apartments as the pressure for more space continues and rents increase. As MrEricSir noted, the only people who benefit are owners.



    Awesome! I read the article yesterday and didn’t recall the creds.



    Even a rent controlled apartment dweller should worry. A moratorium will increase property values. The higher the value, the more attractive it is to go through the process of removing a rent controlled tenant, or easier for a buyer to amortize the cost of removing a tenant. If it’s gonna cost $30,000 to evict someone from a unit costing $500,000, that will hurt. If the unit costs $2M, the pain is cut by 75%.



    When I read you write – “I hope this company will work with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. They really, really know their stuff about the streets of SF and bike safety”

    and note that this is in the article…

    ““We’re trying to knock down barriers,” said Kit Hodge, one of Vie’s three co-founders, who was previously the SF Bicycle Coalition’s deputy director.”




    Ryan Price

    Hey Sprague,

    Bicycle advocates weren’t calling for the “mixing zone” design. The city was unwilling to experiment with designs that are not supported by the state of California or national engineering organizations. We agree that we should at least be “experimenting” (Read: implementation of internationally accepted designs) with “protected intersection” designs (Netherlands style) or all the way to the intersection with separate mode lights (Danish style) but those aren’t supported, and Oakland Public Works is afraid to “deviate from standard designs”. Places like San Francisco has the money and talent for “experimentation”, but without transportation (bicycles and transit specifically) becoming a top 3 politically issue in Oakland, lawmakers will not take us seriously, and will not dedicate the funding.

    Also, in my opinion, we need to ban rights on reds in order to implement the best and safest types of intersections.

    PS, that link didn’t work, but I would love to see it.



    The point, I think, is that they’re not voting against their own self-interest. People who have already secured a place, whether by buying or by renting a rent-controlled apartment, have plenty of reasons to support a moratorium (less noise, no blocked views, a slightly less impossible hunt for free parking, and, yes, higher values for their dwellings). It’s future residents and non-rent-controlled apartment dwellers who suffer– but future residents don’t have a vote, and non-rent-controlled apartment dwellers are a distinct minority.


    Ryan Price

    And I was the person arguing with you the entire time.

    There will be a middle turn lane where delivery trucks are supposed to unload, or where motorists can — wait for it — go around them.

    The bicycle community, the neighborhood, and the business district want protected bike lanes. Stop trying to fight the future at every turn, and support what the people want.



    I hope this company will work with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. They really, really know their stuff about the streets of SF and bike safety. It looks like Vie is working hard on that aspect. As I said, some neighborhoods are safer than others, but in general – SF is a highly urban environment that is not altogether bike friendly and has an inordinate amount of people who are totally zoned out. I’d love to see more established bike lanes and community awareness of cyclists the way there is in other cities and countries.

    I am thinking too, of my friend’s toddler who was in a similar rig and got hit when a car door unexpectedly opened. He went through a year of recovery and facial reconstruction surgery. This will be an option for some and not others with lots of dependent personal factors!



    Poll: Majority of SF Voters Support Moratorium on New Housing in the Transit-Rich Mission

    That sound you hear is landlords laughing their assess off as San Franciscans prepare to blindly vote against their own self-interest.



    Sigh. You know car crashes are the 3rd biggest killer of kids, right?

    Also, plenty neighborhoods in this city have pretty safe, quiet enough streets that make sharing w cars not a big deal. Plenty.

    No one’s going very fast in that style of rig so I really wouldn’t worry about that mom’s choice of footwear. You’re far more likely to cause an incident *driving a car* with those kinds of shoes in any case.



    Every time I call 311 I am on hold for at least 10 minutes. I usually don’t have that much time to waste.