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    You could just say “Prioritize safety for all” to make it less divisive and a broader (greater) community.



    My working definition these days is “prioritize safety for all over driver convenience.”



    You raise an important point. Simply making driving more and more miserable won’t help do anything besides cause a mob of pitchfork and torch wielding San Franciscans to descend on South Van Ness, (obligatory disclaimer: I live in SF and don’t own a car) especially as crowding is a big part of the problem with our transit system. While a small number of the removed parking spaces are going to improve transit, the vast majority are not.

    We need better transit that people actually want to take, something we’ve only just started to deliver on, not just worse driving conditions.



    By not providing more parking, the city is not sufficiently promoting the most inefficient use of space in our small city.


    david vartanoff

    on apts w/o parking. Great move forward–especially facilitating transit passes, car sharing.



    Just to clarify, I am not “city hall”. I am an individual who serves on the SFMTA Board of Directors. I think it is a lovely succinct reply. Not the only reply that can be given, but one that I like.



    This is exactly the dry response I expect to see from city hall. It would be so much better if they could say something like, “removing on-street parking prevents death and injury on our streets and speeds up MUNI, helping thousands who use this service every day, whereas parking cars on city streets isn’t helping anyone except for those wealthy enough to own cars who somehow feel entitled to use our limited public right of way to stash their private property for multiple days at a time for free.”


    Chris J.

    Yes, by “forward progress” I mean improving society for the greater good, etc. I hope you’re not going to ask me to explain that, too!



    The road diet report for San Jose’s Lincoln Ave. in Willow Glen has been released:



    “Most” San Franciscans commute by some means other than driving.



    Always amazes me that these kinds of complaints always follow on the heels of charges that pedestrians and cyclists are entitled elitists. As if protecting people from getting hit by cars is an “entitled” position and having a convenient, government subsidized place to stash your private property on public land is not.



    Don’t tell that to the folks in LA, who’ll immediately tell you how hard it is to find parking here (although I think their perceptions are skewed by a more car-centric view than you find in SF).



    “Removing on-street parking to improve public transit and street safety is consistent with numerous City goals and policies.” I may get this as a tattoo. I read it in a staff letter back to a citizen concerned with a parking spot being removed for a bus stop relocation.



    And Matier is complaining about removing parking, in part, for an effort to improve that mass transit system.


    Mesozoic Polk

    After Ed Lee or his optometrist, Phil Matier is the best candidate we can think of for Mayor.



    Let’s see – daylighting intersections doesn’t do anything for cyclists, but it really chafes Matier’s hide….



    Please explain what you mean by “forward progress.” I don’t want to assume it’s just for a select group, like, say, cyclists, because forward progress should be for the greater community good.



    Let’s not forget that we have an inadequate and underserving mass transit system in the city, the key word being mass. Most people drive out of convenience since our transit system is slow, unreliable and pathetic for a supposed world-class city.

    I believe Mesozoic’s comment was out of sarcasm.


    Bob Gunderson

    God bless that man. Parking is far more important than the visibility of pedestrians.



    where in the constitution does it note your “right” to endless free parking for your private autos? Where in the constitution does it guarantee even the right to drive?



    M&R are turds, worthless human beings. I cancelled my subscription to the Chron because of them. If they want a one way ticket to LA, I will be happy to buy one for them.


    Dexter Wong

    You begrudge any space given to pedestrians to cross safely. Are you going to cry crocodile tears the next time someone is killed crossing the street?



    The idea is that we don’t want pedestrians to get run over you twerp


    Mesozoic Polk

    Motorists in San Francisco had zero problem whatsoever finding parking until the city became flooded — quite suddenly and coming out of left field — with bike lanes that have been ten years in the making and that are only a couple blocks long. Not to mention the 40 or so parklets citywide, which, if stretched end to end, are collectively about three blocks long. Returning these tiny shreds of public space for use by the public has created a huge hardship for drivers.

    Of course, back in the good old days — before the city started getting Hip Planning Ideas — the fact that thousands of other cars were also searching for parking posed no obstacle. We may have circled the block for 30 minutes without finding a spot, but we did so happily, without the seething jealousy and rage against cyclists and pedestrians who somehow live their lives care-free and car-free. Bikes and pedestrians don’t have to search for parking, and they have the nerve to enjoy themselves in space that once belonged to us!

    It just isn’t right.


    Chris J.

    I liken Matier’s divisive commentary in San Francisco to something like Fox News, which plays on people’s fears and bemoans any type of forward progress. Heaven forbid we think outside the box.



    I volunteer to buy them a one way plane ticket to Los Angeles. I hear there is plenty of parking there, they would be very happy and fit right in there.


    Chris J.

    They get paid on the basis of riling people up and fomenting conflict, so I wouldn’t expect much in the way of reasonability in their pieces.


    alberto rossi

    Matier & Ross forget to count the tens of thousands of parking spaces that the city has added by de facto legalizing parking in setbacks, front yards, sidewalks, crosswalks, etc.



    The Matier & Ross “scoop” is unimpressive in several ways, but I think what takes the cake is its status-quo-defending loss aversion being trumpeted as “common sense” government skepticism. It’s truly amazing what thought patterns the automotive industry and its boosters were able to set in motion a hundred years ago!



    You also need to consider the advertising aspect. Sponsors may desire to see their products promoted on docking stations there, i.e., it’s not just bike usage.



    It falls into the “emerging communities” category, if I’m not mistaken. Andrew writes, “In addition, MTC staff recommended allocating $4.5 million in public funds to “emerging communities” to pay for improving their bike infrastructure and making them more bike-share ready. These funds would be awarded via a competitive grant program.”

    Don’t know how they came up with awkward term.



    It’s not doubling, but it is increasing 70%.



    I suspect Motivate has them lined up. I haven’t seen it written anywhere, but I expect the bikes and docking stations to carry advertisements for the sponsors, even if it’s just their logos, much like Citi Bikes do.



    They also demand very few stops before theirs or a more direct route, and almost perfect synchronization with their train schedule, before they decide that driving is so much faster, why bother taking the train.



    Interestingly Google has that issue in its own campus with what is essentially a free bike share system.

    They end up releasing bikes in waves so employees arriving later still can find bikes. but it is not perfect hence why if you really need a bike to go to another building a lot people bring their own bikes (also Google has plenty of MV commuters from Stevens Creek trail)



    Not only is San Jose’s downtown much larger than the downtown of any of the peninsula cities, it is also not adjacent to the its Caltrain station, (unless you expand downtown to include that, then it is huge), the point is that there is enough density away from Caltrain to make bike trips make sense, more than at other stations, where the density drops off so fast that the bike stations are never more than .4 miles from each other.

    The core of downtown San Jose is about 1 mile from the Caltrain station, and there are bike stations in several areas. Simply put in peninsula cities there is not enough density far enough from Caltrain to justify bike stations that far, and when they are too close, it kind of reduces the use of one way trips. From downtown San Jose I can ride a bike for 15 minutes and get to Diridon, or Japantown, and leave the bike there. There really isn’t a destination 1 mile from downtown Palo Alto, where a bike station can be placed, Midtown?

    Stanford is not part of the bike share system, and that cripples DT PAs possible use, I would have to bike to Stanford, and back to downtown Palo Alto in 30 minutes. Eh, pass. RWC has no destinations in the 1 mile zone, MV, same, really only San Jose has that, which is probably why people use the bike share there (it also isn’t as rich as the peninsula, which may be a factor)


    Chris J.

    FWIW, I came across two letters to the editor re: bicycling in Saturday’s Marin Independent Journal: “Tougher laws needed for bicyclists” and “Few but ‘powerful’ letters sway council?” (from ).

    The level of negativity is astounding. Here is one quote:

    “He should write a law requiring bicyclists to ride single-file on the road — no exceptions — and no groups larger than six riders. Riding a bike is a hobby, not a necessity.”


    Andy Chow

    Moving bikes in vans can be done at a less busy time in a non-commute direction. People want to bike to.from the train because the roads are crowded and there’s no congestion on the bike lanes.



    Thanks. Bike Share has had the problem you mention, generally with tourists (just read the Yelp reviews for the angry screeds). People see the one day membership fee, ride the bikes for four hours, and wind up with a much larger bill than they are expecting. That’s mainly an issue with communicating the pricing structure in a way people can understand. I know they’ve tried to improve the signage to help with this, but reading the latest reviews on Yelp, some people still just aren’t getting it.

    That problem isn’t a criticism of the Bike Share model, which as you say is not the same thing as bike rental, but enough people are feeling ripped off by the service that it needs to get better.


    Cameron Newland

    $149/year for unlimited trips is a great deal. Public transit passes can easily exceed $1,000/year, depending on where you are.


    Cameron Newland

    $149/year for unlimited trips is a great deal. Public transit passes can easily exceed $1,000/year, depending on your location.



    I apologize. Yes, raising it from 30 minutes to 45 does seem reasonable, particularly when the system is going to be more spread out than it is currently.

    My comment was based on the most often complaint that you hear from non-users who often argue that they were charged unreasonable amounts of money after using one these bikes.



    I also suggested raising the time limit to 45 minutes when bike share staff brought this item to the Oakland bike/ped commission several months ago. Oakland/Berkeley are more spread out than SF, and chaining trips is not a reasonable suggestion to ensure a reliable system.

    Although there will be a low-income discount membership rate I assume there will be no discounted late fees, so to ensure that the penalties do not most affect those who can least afford them and in areas with the least direct bike routes a more forgiving trip limit should be a requirement.


    San Franciscia

    That map is bogus. No way Berkeley & Oakland are more suitable than much of SF. Problem is that the scale actually changes county to county, but this is not apparent on the map. Otherwise, SF would show up as all red/orange and there would be little dots of green/yellow elsewhere around the region. Also, don’t hold your breath on the rollout–the timeline is unrealistic given the lack of any kind of intergovernmental agreement, contract, environmental review, permits, etc, etc.
    Don’t get me wrong, this is freaking fantastic, but it’s a big project and will require a lot of hard work to get it done. No magic wands.



    You expect Streetsblog to be unbiased? HAHAHAHHAHAHA


    Mountain Viewer

    In Mountain View, free shuttles are already provided and operated by the local Transportation Management Association (TMA) (see: )
    Maybe the TMA should take over the MV bike share program and decide how it can be complementary to the shuttles?



    if the trip is over 30 minutes, I want my own bike. I’m pretty fit but I don’t really see too many trips within the SF catchment that will exceed 30 minutes.



    People are more finicky to move than bikes. They demand things like reliable schedules and air and relative comfort.



    This is great but who’s paying for the bikes/stations? If they’re going in next year, shouldn’t there be a sponsor signed on the dotted line? BTW, do existing members get a grandfathered annual discount?



    I’ve been a member since day 1 and use the system around weekly. I get that the idea is an incentive to keep the bikes circulating and not have people using them for large blocks of the day. Chaining trips is certainly possible, but annoying.

    It’s not really a major issue with the current system, as most stations are within 30 minutes of each other already at a reasonable pace. My point was simply that with more stations spread further throughout the city, more trips will approach that 30 minute mark, especially when you’re dragging a 44 lb bike, making Bike Share a lot less hassle free if you have to keep watching the clock or get charged.

    I’d only like to see them consider raising that 30 minute limit to maybe 45 minutes like NYC given both the expansion and major price increase.