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    That lane has nothing on the bike lane on Sand Hill Road or Alpine in Palo Alto.



    Any uniformed officer out on the street is a “beat cop” whether in a car, on a bike or on foot. But typically in the US beat cops have always been in (beat) patrol cars.

    If the idea of “community policing” means anything it is putting cops closer to the people in the community, and that typically means on foot or on bike. The classic British bobby on a bike comes to mind.

    The voters are surely smart enough to understand how more community policing potentially means more cops on bikes without it being spelled out to them like they were seven years old.

    Honestly, I haven’t decided how to vote on this, and my default vote on propositions is usually “NO”, especially if it means more spending, borrowing or taxes. But on R I won’t agonize over exactly how many more or less bike patrols there may or may not be when deciding which way to vote. It’s more about the high-level principle of getting cops out of their patrol cars and closer to the people.



    Or they could just drop the double right turn lane and have the middle lane be straight-through only, similar to what has been suggested for Orinda’s “worst bike lane in the world” which also wedged a bike lane between two turn lanes:

    Even without a poorly placed bike lane double rights are still bad for pedestrian safety, as the rightmost row of cars blocks the view of the crosswalk from the next right turn lane.

    Double rights are simply a bad idea on surface streets that drivers share with people biking and walking, and are a clear prioritization of pushing more car traffic through an intersection faster but at the expense of bike rider and pedestrian safety. Traffic engineers need to look to other solutions that don’t impact as negatively on the safety of vulnerable road users.



    If the argument, said “Prop R COULD increase bike patrols,” I would agree with you. But it makes a declarative statement that Prop R WOULD increase bike patrols. The sentence also puts “bike patrols” on equal footing with “beat cops.” Prop R explicitly references “foot patrols” four times in its seven pages. There is no reference to “bike patrols” or anything related.



    It’s entirely possible that “Prop. R would significantly increase the number of . . . . bike patrols assigned to our neighborhoods” even if the text of Prop. R makes no reference to bike patrols.

    Bike patrols may simply be chosen as one of the tactics to implement the goals of Prop R, and that is what Scott is suggesting here.

    The idea that unless an activity is explicitly cited in the text of a voter initiative then it can’t happen under its auspices seems bizarre. Reasonable people and voters can make their own determination as to whether more bike patrols are a reasonable interpretation of the intent of this change to the law. The idea is that we approve the principle of this and then the exact execution of it will be a matter for LE line management.

    Otherwise the wording of propositions would be a near-endless exhaustive list.



    Or the option you didn’t mention– make more effective use of the infrastructure we have, by getting more than one person in each vehicle. This has the added bonus of reducing congestion of local streets, and parking, and pollution. And not costing billions of dollars.



    You may be right. For units now under construction, the actual ratio is probably 2 per unit—even worse than 1.75.



    I would expect congestion at Fremont to resemble Union City, the present penultimate station. According to the BART website, Union City fills up each weekday by 7:30 am.


    Jeffrey Baker

    I thought the _maximum_ parking ratios were 1.5/unit within 1/4 mile and 2/unit within 1/2 mile. Those numbers are way too high, but they are max, not minimum.

    The Fremont plans are not absurd. The Toll Brothers plan has a woonerf! But the Toll Brothers development should be where the parking lot actually stands today, and the parking lot should be on the other side of Warm Springs.


    Jeffrey Baker

    There is a certain attraction of cars to the terminal station. With the terminal moving south I might expect parking at Fremont proper to be less contended.



    Downtown, the Fremont station has 2,030 spaces for just $3. They fill up and overflow by 6:30 am each weekday according to the BART website. We can only hope BART adopts demand-based (variable) pricing to fix the parking congestion. The city could do the same, by installing parking meters to address overflow congestion that plagues the surrounding neighborhood.



    The bike path along the rail corridor, specified in the countywide
    bike plan, isn’t in there anywhere, though it should be. The concept of abundant free parking represents the old Fremont. The new Fremont should be strategically urban, where 1.75 minimum spaces is actually a silly number—ought to be a maximum of one space per housing unit for transit-oriented development near BART.



    Fremont is much more dependent on autos than Oakland or Berkeley, so I would expect the community in Fremont to want more parking relative to denser, more urban cities.

    1.75 is actually a silly number. A household of two adults in a place like Fremont will almost always have 2 cars.

    But sure, there should be a walk/bike path there somewhere.



    The housing plans close to the station mandate a minimum of 1.75 parking spaces per housing unit, compared to a maximum of one space per unit in Oakland or Berkeley. Those plans don’t implement a class 1 bike/ped pathway along the BART/rail corridor, as already agreed and adopted by the countywide bike master plan.



    The downtown Fremont BART station, a model of good planning that looks decades into the future, has been surrounded by sea of parking spaces for over four decades since it opened in 1972.



    Planners and the local community are fashioning a strategically urban development around the downtown Fremont BART station. The newest project is a “transit-oriented” seven-story parking structure with 700 spaces, near the station entrance. However, BART riders
    will not be allowed to park there.



    I agree with the writer in the Merc about the bike lane on Warm Springs. In the presence of (ugh) straight/turn lanes next to right turn lanes like that, a better treament would be massive green sharrows in the straight/right lane. In addition to being better for that particular intersection, it gives training to the proper way to approach such an intersection.

    Yes, just taking a car lane that isn’t the right lane like that is for a bold/fearless type cyclist – but that is pretty much the only type of cyclist who is going to take on the roadways shown in that article.



    Downtown Fremont Station has been in the middle of 2,000 spaces since it opened in 1972. But that changed recently, when a “transit-oriented” seven-story parking structure was constructed 500 feet from the station entrance. It adds 700 spaces, however BART riders will not be allowed to park there.



    Stations in Europe and Japan that practice transit-oriented development don’t have acres of parking.

    Malmö, Sweden accommodates just two-dozen cars.


    Jeffrey Baker

    Looks like a bit of a bodge. Is this an off-the-shelf system or something custom? As I recall the London underground used the Pandrol Vanguard rail fixture system .


    Donovan Lacy


    You post on this blog virtually every day often using inflamatory statements and arguments based on emotiong rather than fact. That gives the impression that you are in fact upset, and your target is regularly cyclists.

    I fail to follow your logic, that because there are critics of the progress that is being made to make our streets safer for all of its users, including pedestrians and cyclists, that there is not broad support for these efforts.

    Wouldn’t the same logic apply to motorists. If there is such strong support for keeping the status quo, “why then are motorist endlessly whining that they don’t get a good deal?”

    If there is so much broad opposition to changing our transportation systems to place more focus and resources on alternative transportation options, how could it possibly have gotten to the point of an all out “war on cars” ? Certainly the tiny minority of supporters would have given up long ago, given their lack of support. And yet every year we see an increase in cycling infrastructure and an increase in their pecentage of road usage where this infrastructure is completed.



    Those buses have become an exercise in futility with the current traffic levels on 880 and 237. Someone on this blog called the Warm Springs extension life changing because it would shorten his bus commute on the 140 by 20 minutes.



    Will there be Valley Transit Authority (VTA) bus service from the Warm Springs/South Fremont Station?

    Yes, there will be VTA service from the new station. Below is the VTA service plan for the Warm Springs/South Fremont Station.

    Line 120 (Fremont BART – Lockheed Martin) This line would continue to start at Fremont Station, but it would be rerouted to serve the Warm Springs/South Fremont Station instead of stopping at Mission Boulevard & Paseo Padre Parkway. The route would access the Warm Springs/South Fremont Station from Mission Boulevard via Durham Road, Paseo Padre Parkway and Grimmer Boulevard, with a stop at Paseo Padre Parkway & Grimmer Boulevard. A new southbound a.m. trip would be added between the first two trips, and an extra northbound p.m. trip would be added. Trip times are to be determined. Current service to the Shoreline area in Mountain View would be discontinued. These changes are proposed in conjunction with the BART extension to Warm Springs. Additional changes will be proposed as BART extends further south.

    Line 140 (Fremont BART – Mission College & Montague) This line would continue to start at Fremont Station, but it would be rerouted to serve the Warm Springs/South Fremont Station instead of stopping at Mission Boulevard & Paseo Padre Parkway. The route would access the Warm Springs/South Fremont Station from Mission Boulevard via Durham Road, Paseo Padre Parkway and Grimmer Boulevard, with a stop at Paseo Padre Parkway & Grimmer Boulevard. From the Warm Springs/South Fremont Station, the route would travel south on Warm Springs Boulevard to Mission Boulevard where it would resume the current routing on Mission Boulevard, Interstate 880 and Tasman Drive. These changes are proposed in conjunction with the BART extension to Warm Springs. Additional changes will be proposed as BART extends further south.

    Line 180 (Great Mall Transit Center – Warm Springs BART) Line 180 would operate from Warm Springs/South Fremont Station to the Great Mall and no longer serve the Fremont Station. Line 180 would operate every 30 minutes during peak hours, and hourly during the midday and evening. The scheduled trips to and from Aborn & White would be discontinued. These changes are proposed in conjunction with the BART extension to Warm Springs. Additional changes will be proposed as BART extends further south.

    Line 181 (San Jose Diridon Transit Center – Fremont BART) On weekdays, midday service would be improved to operate every 15 minutes. On Sundays, all trips would operate to downtown San Jose every 20 minutes, similar to Saturday service. The routing would not change at this time, but additional changes will be proposed as BART extends further south.

    For more information, visit the VTA website:



    The plans for housing close to the station are already agreed and adopted by the city:



    Great planning takes into account current and projected access and use. We shouldn’t have to wait around 25+ years to get some housing built within walking distance to a station.



    Yep, and other examples include Ashby, where an office building was constructed right on top of BART a few years ago, and MacArthur, which is currently seeing construction on what was part of its car park, plus several new housing projects close by.

    So when Jeffrey claims that “it will be half a mile walk to anywhere permanently, because the station exit is in the middle of the parking area”, he is assuming that the current parking area itself is permanent. As the value of that land increases, there will be an economic imperative to build on that lot, or at least build a higher parking structure with a smaller footprint.

    Good planning should look several decades into the future, while not ignoring current existing needs either.



    Fruitvale Station was in the middle of a parking lot when it opened. The development came about 25 years later.


    Jeffrey Baker

    No, it will be half a mile walk to anywhere permanently, because the station exit is in the middle of the parking area. If planners wanted the station to be the center of development then the platform and the station exit would be hard up next to Grimmer. The siting of the station guarantees that walkers will have to travel at least 250m to get to anything at all. Compare and contrast with Fruitvale Station.

    If Warm Springs was planned sensibly, the development would be west of Warm Springs and the parking lot would be east of it, the opposite of what we’re actually getting.



    It’s part of a much larger community plan:

    “The Community Plan covers 879 acres generally bounded by I-880 on the west, I-680 on the east, Auto Mall Parkway on the north, and Mission Boulevard on the south. The Plan sets the framework for a transformation of the area into an Innovation District and employment center accommodating a mix of compatible uses focused around the synergy of the new BART station and adjacent undeveloped land.”

    The fact that it is currently in the middle of nowhere doesn’t mean it will stay like that. The plan calls for the station to be a focus for new development. So it won’t always be “half a mile to walk from the platform to any area of interest, or a mile and a half if you want to walk to the nearest place of employment”.

    Meanwhile, you need a car to get there, hence the parking spaces. It’s a spread out suburb and I would assume that the planners took into account what the current local community wanted, needed and asked for.


    Jeffrey Baker

    Warm Springs is certainly a temple to the car. 1800 parking spaces and it’s half a mile to walk from the platform to any area of interest, or a mile and a half if you want to walk to the nearest place of employment. Really a wasted opportunity. We can only hope the parking lot will be ripped up at some point.



    So darn happy to see that BART keeps building those huge park/ride stations. Meanwhile, the buses continue to crawl down Geary…



    Great interview. One clarification. Oakland worked to get bike facilities into the BRT Project through negotiations with AC Transit including: bike lanes on East 12th – closing a critical gap – bike lanes in downtown, bike lanes on International south of 54th, a signalized bike connection between East12th and International at 54th, as well as bike parking at all stations and racks on the buses.



    “Solution” to the housing crisis: tweak the number of affordable housing units that developers have to produce (or pay fees for not producing). Kind of like we’ve been doing. So we can look forward to the same kind of success going forward.



    I’m not upset. I am interested in transportation issues (and, in fact,work in the aviation business).

    But I’d rather debate specifics than generalities. Greasy’s big point appeared to be that the cyclist lobby has this massive voter support. My question deriving from that rather logically is why then are cyclists endlessly whining that they don’t get a good deal?


    Donovan Lacy

    Well we know at least one person that is turned off by the bike lobby.

    I don’t think I have ever asked. What is your motivation for posting so often on this blog? What has made you so upset that you have decided to spend so much time posting arguements against virtually every article posted here?



    If the self-motivated preferences and prejudices of cyclists are as popular with the voters as you claim, then presumably you are finding it effortless to get funding and approval for all the infrastructure that you want.

    So there’s no problem, right?



    Well, sure, the poll reveals your negative views about bicycling in San Francisco are not shared by the vast majority of likely voters here. But you’ve got opinions! Oh, so many opinions. Troll.


    Dave Moore

    I don’t know why you think the simplest explanation for someone choosing to take their kid out of SFUSD is racism. Occam’s Razor would leave you with believing that when someone says they chose a school for a given reason that it’s the most likely reason, and not try to explain it through a more complicated rationalization. I’m sure it’s true in some cases but my experience with private schools is that mostly people weren’t satisfied with SFUSD for the reasons I gave. Also they didn’t like the focus on testing that was prevalent at least at the time (may have changed by now) and had experienced too many teachers who were phoning it in. If you’re having a good experience, that’s great, and I’m happy for you. But I think the assumption that the bulk of people who chose something different is based in racism is misplaced.



    Let’s summarize.

    I think you’re the racist because you’re obsessed with race. And you think I’m the racist because I’m not obsessed with race.



    Well OK, we both agree it’s a problem. The difference between us is that you assume that’s racism and I think the problem is ideological meddling.

    It proves that SFUSD is failing a significant part of its constituency. I already outlined my solution – neighborhood schools.

    Or failing that, convert all the schools to private schools and give poorer families vouchers to help them afford the fees with all the money we save.

    I happen to think that education should be about excellence, and not dumbing the smart kids down to a baseline level of mediocrity in the interests of hopeless egalitarianism.



    There are plenty of links where that came from. Want the research papers too?

    Headed home now, have a nice night!



    When all you have left is a variation on “I’m right because I say so”, it’s probably time to realize that you’ve achieved as much here as you are ever going to.



    Ah now we are actually getting somewhere.

    Yes, the fact that 2/3s (or perhaps 75%) of white people pull their children out of the public school system and instead spend a huge amount of money educating them in the private system is definitely a problem. The fact that so many move to the suburbs to avoid SFUSD is a problem. We can agree on that much at least.

    What do you propose as solutions?



    No most people are actually quite racist, there is quite a bit of science that backs me up here. You are not very informed about the topic.



    If 75% of ANY race are unhappy with SFUSD then there’s a problem.

    You appear to be implying that it doesn’t matter that 75% are unhappy because they are whites and so somehow don’t matter.



    Or perhaps obsessed with logic and the meaning of words. You claim that I stated that a “large majority of white parents take their kids out of the SFUSD system” and held that up as proof that it is not working for “most” people.

    You are so racist you don’t even realize that there are non-white people that the system is working just fine for. You think that whites must be a majority and the fact that the system might not be working for them is proof that it is not working for “most” people.

    You need to review what the words “majority” and “most” mean in the English language.



    You’re the one who seems to be struggling with race. Most of us see people as individuals rather than the results of arbitrary classifications and stereotypes.

    You seem – how can i put this – obsessed with the topic.



    I understand it is hard for white people to talk about race and white privilege.



    Is ^that^ the neuro-surgeon’s tool-of-choice for a lobotomy?



    A useful rule of thumb is that if you don’t know who in the room is the racist, it’s the guy who is going on and on about race.

    And in this room, that’s you.