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  1.  

    joechoj

    On the lights project: There are two ways to go with this, philosophically. The way described is very cool because it connects the worlds above and below the street instantaneously, allowing street level observers to see the pulse of transit moving through the city.

    Another way to go, which would provide more functional value to the public, would be to have the light display projected forward along Market, offset by the average amount of time it takes to get from the street to the platform. For transit users, then, the rule of thumb would be: if you start down the stairs before the lights pass, you’ll catch the coming train. Unfortunately, in this setup you’d lose the cool coupling between layers of the city, so it would certainly be an artistic sacrifice in the name of utility.

    I wonder how helpful would this actually be? Maybe headways are close enough that catching a specific train doesn’t matter.

    Either way, I’d love to believe that some drivers will tire of seeing the lights outpace them, and try ditching their cars.

  2.  

    murphstahoe

    Government man. SMART has installed new crossing gates all through Healdsburg, which won’t see service for a decade if ever. Because they got a grant for railroad crossing safety and had to spend it all or send it back.

  3.  

    RichLL

    Interesting. Agree CalTrain would perform better. Seems to me that we’ll have three types of train sharing the track between SJ and SF:

    1) HSR with 1/2 stops
    2) 110 mph CalTrains’s with a handful of stops
    3) Stopping trains making up to 20 stops and getting nowhere near 110 mph

    I’d guess they’ll need more passing places.

  4.  

    RichLL

    Depends what you mean by “illegal”. It’s not in the criminal statutes AFAIK so a beat cop isn’t going to arrest you. The FCC consider it to be transmitting without a license but I’d be surprised if a Federal agency committed investigative resources to occasional use by an individual.

    It would also be hard to triangulate a source, while people affected would probably just think they have a dropped call or have entered a dead zone.

    As for emergencies, most trains I’ve been of have a emergency button or radio to contact the guard or driver.

    Of course if cell phones really bothered me I’d move here:

    http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2015/07/us/quiet-town-american-story/

  5.  

    Jamison Wieser

    It’s peculiar how Aaron Peskin and the other Supervisors opposed the subway extension are taking it all out on Caltrain riders.

    If the extensively studied terminal that was planned over the course of two decades is really so dangerous, what about all those other towers going up around the Transbay Terminal?

    If this truly is the fault of the Transbay Terminal, nothing to do with the cost-cutting decision on the part of the Millennium Tower to build on sand rather than bedrock, shouldn’t the Supervisors also being doing the prudent thing and put a halt on all those other towers going up around the new Terminal, not just the subway extension?

  6.  

    keenplanner

    Millbrae is key to connecting to SFO, Palo Alto probably not happening. Redwood City would be better, but Mr. Tripousis said there would likely be no other Peninsula stops.

  7.  

    chetshome

    RichLL: “…the convenience of all road users matters. Just like my response to “black lives matter” is “all lives matter”.”

  8.  

    p_chazz

    Of course people will act in their own self-interest when it is at stake, rather than for some nebulous greater good that usually conceals a hidden agenda. That is not a problem.

  9.  

    BurnThisRag

    For the $3 Trillion we blew off on the Bush/Cheney military adventures in the Middle East, we could have had high speed rail all across the USA by now.

  10.  

    Bernard Finucane

    Not a decade too soon!

  11.  

    Neil

    We should be investing in the hyperloop not this obsolete overpriced garbage.

  12.  

    QuestionQue

    Ten percent of the California High-Speed Rail bonds goes toward funding transportation connections along the line. Los Angeles county was asked what they wanted funded and one of the items was this grade separation.

  13.  

    OaktownPRE

    What I’ve seen there’s a stop planned at PA and another at Millbrae. That’s two.

  14.  

    James Leno

    For 110 mph service to be usefully employed, the line has to run for a much longer distance than where CalTrain runs now.

    HSR is not meant to provide service just on the peninsula, or just in the LA basin. CalTrain and MetroLink are simply beneficiaries of the HSR project. And the ultimate benefit of HSR will be in linking the north-south rail systems together.

    After the upgrade/interconnection, CalTrain trains will perform better because they will be running on electrified 110mph rails, which they wouldn’t otherwise have were it not for the HSR project.

  15.  

    mx

    Using a jammer is illegal and can get you thousands of dollars in fines from the FCC. And if someone isn’t able to call 911 because of your jammer, that’s on you.

  16.  

    RichLL

    Sure, an express train is a train that goes fast, say, 110 mph. Which isn’t possible with stations 2 miles apart.

    I think you’re using the word “express” to mean “limited stops” which is amusing in the same way as CalTrain using the word “Bullet” to describe a train with an average speed of 40 mph.

  17.  

    Kraut

    Ever heard of express trains?

  18.  

    RichLL

    “Caltrain will eventually run at 110 mph”

    And with stops every two miles on average, how will that work?

    HSR to the airport would be great but what are the odds HSR will stop a few miles away and then involve some ponderous local transfer where you need quarters and have to carry your bags up or down a few flights of steps?

  19.  

    RichLL

    There are quiet cars on East Coast Amtrak but those are at least 8-car trains. SMART is maybe 2 cars? 3 at most? So I guess it depends on what percentage of riders want quiet.

    Also note that the concept of a quiet car is broader than just cell phones. No loud conversations, music etc.

    There is something about public transit that drives people to have particularly long, pointless, annoying phone discussions. I see the value of a quiet zone. Using a jammer is fun but in an ideal world it wouldn’t be necessary.

  20.  

    RichLL

    “Everyone may benefit from road travel, but not everyone benefits from providing on-street parking”

    So nobody ever visits you?

    “In locations like Valencia that is primarily a retail and commercial zone”

    If Valencia was purely commercial I’d agree. There is a block of Bush Street downtown that has no on-street parking. It is 100% loading/unloading during business hours, for instance. But a lot of people live on Valencia, in flats above the stores and restaurants, and it would be a hardship for them to lose parking.

    I see your point about the side streets but they are narrower, so double parking there will still cause problems. Less for cyclists, perhaps, but more for other road users including buses (18th, 24th).

    As for parking in general I think the problem is that SF lacks adequate off-street public parking. Much of SF’s parking is in private garages that may sit empty for 12 hours a day while there are cars circling looking for precious on-street spots. We haven’t planned this well.

  21.  

    Donovan Lacy

    Everyone may benefit from road travel, but not everyone benefits from providing on-street parking. I would argue that on-street parking reduces the overall efficiency of the road. I support mid-block loading and unloading zones on alternating blocks in busy areas like Valencia. In locations like Valencia that is primarily a retail and commercial zone, limiting meters to 1-2 hours would benefit merchants and their customers by increasing turnover.

    The blocks along Valencia are roughly 400-450 of the 13 blocks between Duboce and Cesar Chavez 5 of them have mid block alleys on the right side of the road heading south and 3 have mid block alleys on the right side of the road.

    Of the 13 blocks, 6 of the cross streets have dedicate bike lanes or designated as bicycle friendly, that leaves 7 blocks where you or your Uber driver could turn onto and double park and one only be blocking one mode of transportation, automobiles, as opposed to stopping in the bike lane on Valencia and blocking two modes of transportation, bicycles and automobiles.

    I see it as the entitlement of free on-street parking meets the laziness of the bike lane parker.

    “I agree. The housing crisis meets the parking crisis and it’s a problem either way,” and yet cities that are significantly more dense that San Francisco with higher real estate costs, are reducing parking and returning roads to non-motorized transportation (Paris and London).

    “I see it more as a convenience issue than a safety issue”, but acknowledge that double parking creates risky situations for cyclists and drivers alike. That might be the definition of cognitive dissonance.

  22.  

    City Resident

    How about having one car be a designated “quiet car” with the other having no such restrictions (as is done on other rail transit systems, I believe)?

  23.  

    Frank Malloy

    Right, you can drive right into the parking lot with a trunk full of who-knows-what (as long as you pay the exorbitant parking fee), that’s not a problem.

    But us non-ticketed cyclists and runners and walkers – we’re a dangerous bunch of terrorists, I guess.

  24.  

    RichLL

    The problem with the word “sensible” is that it is subjective. But at least you see the principle – that safety is not the only factor to be considered.

  25.  

    hailfromsf

    I can agree with that.

  26.  

    RichLL

    “Why do you feel that it is the cities responsibility to subsidize car parking”

    You might as well ask why the city should provide roads. Everyone benefits from road travel. Even people who never leave their home presumably get deliveries. And part of the city’s responsibility to provide roads for travel include providing space for vehicles to stop.

    And the assumption is that the voters have given their support to designing roads to be wide enough not only for cars to move about but also to be able to stop at their destination.

    “even when there are side streets where no bike lanes exist that they could pull into to pick up passengers, they choose to double park”

    Is that true for, say, Valencia? There’s not a lot of available on-street parking on the side streets either. So how long should an Uber spend circling blocks looking for a vacant parking space while his passengers wait? And where would they wait? Is it the passengers responsibility to find a legal stopping space?

    “many of the existing private garages and parking lots have been repurposed into bonus rooms. apartments, or storage units for the benefit of the property owner”

    I agree. The housing crisis meets the parking crisis and it’s a problem either way.

    “Why do you continue to defend a position that you know is illegal and by your own admission creates a risky situation for cyclists?”

    I prefer to express my position as explaining why drivers do this and why it’s not an enforcement priority, rather than “defending” it. And as stated I see it more as a convenience issue than a safety issue.

  27.  

    p_chazz

    My comment was intended as a caution against placing blind faith in experts. The principal is operative whether we are talking about a handful of platforms or a 6-lane freeway.

  28.  

    hailfromsf

    Yeah, that’s why I said “sensible.”

  29.  

    hailfromsf

    Sure… everything in moderation. There’s a significant difference in magnitude between the handful of transit platforms we’re talking about here, and the proposal to plow a 6-lane freeway through the middle of the city.

  30.  

    Donovan Lacy

    RichLL,

    A lot to unpack in that last response.

    “Of course parking is part of the car ownership model. Cars have to be able to both get to a destination and then stop somewhere when they arrive.”

    And by that logic, “of course dedicated bike lanes are part of the bicycle ownership model. Bicycles have to be able to get to a destination…’

    You use a perceived lack of on street parking as the reason for people parking in the bike lane, but even when there are side streets where no bike lanes exist that they could pull into to pick up passengers, they choose to double park. In these instances, drivers and their passengers send a strong message that they are either lazy or self-entitled and cannot be inconvenienced to pull around the corner.

    You state that “the city has largely failed to provide that [off-street parking], and so we have to provide on-street parking,”

    Why do you feel that it is the cities responsibility to subsidize car parking, when many of the existing private garages and parking lots have been repurposed into bonus rooms. apartments, or storage units for the benefit of the property owner, while transferring the burden of parking to the city and a reduction of roasway space for traffic lanes?

    I take exception to your statement that double parking and parking in the bike lane is a reasonable alternative. Parking in the bike lane is not a “reasonabe alternative” to pulling around the corner or circling the block. Why do you continue to defend a position that you know is illegal and by your own admission creates a risky situation for cyclists?

  31.  

    RichLL

    Victoria, how do you know what the people who didn’t attend that meeting think? What is your evidentiary basis for believing that they think differently from those who did attend?

  32.  

    Mark

    Well put.

  33.  

    RichLL

    By that argument we should implement 10 mph speed limits everywhere because that would increase safety.

    But the voters would not support that because time, convenience and throughput matter too. There is a limit to how much inconvenience people will tolerate just to reduce accident statistics.

    Vision Zero notwithstanding, we have to balance reasonable safety with reasonable convenience and capacity.

  34.  

    drporkchop

    The “rationale” is not that our elected officials should always act in opposition to majority opinion, but that they should (since we presumably elected them for their wisdom and sense) choose wisely and sensibly for the greatest benefit overall to their constituents. in your example, sure, certain people at the time probably thought freeways were the best, most important thing for them, regardless of the effects on everyone else, just as some people now feel some parking spots in front of stores need to be preserved at all costs, safety be damned.

  35.  

    p_chazz

    Using your rationale, the Board of Supervisors should not have listened to the local residents who opposed building freeways in San Francisco during the 1950s because they were not traffic engineers and not the only users of the streets and they should not have had the power to block sensible improvements, as freeways in the 1950s were considered to be.

  36.  

    hailfromsf

    Neighborhoods are not islands unto themselves. They are all part of the larger city, which has a voter-directed goal to make our streets safer and our transit more effective. Local residents are not traffic engineers, are not the only users of our streets, and should not have the power to block sensible improvements.

  37.  

    hailfromsf

    Reasonable people understand that safety and efficiency trump personal convenience, but we aren’t going to spend our time arguing about it at community meetings with the selfish folks who care deeply about their favorite parking spots.

  38.  

    Victoria Fierce

    > As I recall, even your own report at the time indicated that about 2/3 of the people who had time and energy to make it to the meeting opposed them.

    FTFY

  39.  

    RichLL

    Of course parking is part of the car ownership model. Cars have to be able to both get to a destination and then stop somewhere when they arrive.

    As stated, ideally all parking would be off-street leaving the maximum amount of road width for moving traffic. But at least in SF the city has largely failed to provide that, and so we have to provide on-street parking.

    So when I consider usable road width I discount the parking lanes and include only the traffic lanes. That seems relevant if we are discussing moving traffic only.

    And of course if the city had provided adequate parking then there would be no need for double parking and blocking bike lanes. Drivers do those things because there is often no reasonable alternative.

  40.  

    RichLL

    Again, no, if I were advocating for cars to be able to legally double park then I’d be pushing for the current law to be changed. I don’t think it needs to be changed, although I do think that Uber should be regarded like cabs for this purpose.

    Rather I am seeking to explain why enforcing this issue isn’t seen as a public policy imperative.

    I understand the danger arising from “cutting & out of bike lanes”. In fact I stated earlier that drivers should be wary of cyclists in the bike lane when they pull over, just like when they make a right turn or enter a driveway. Where I say there is no danger is once the car is stopped in the bike lane, because a cyclist can come to a halt and wait safely. Put another way, a moving car can be a danger but a stopped car cannot be. Which is why I said this is a convenience issue rather than a safety issue.

    To your final question I would answer that the convenience of all road users matters. Just like my response to “black lives matter” is “all lives matter”. I don’t buy into “cyclist exceptionalism”.

  41.  

    KWillets

    One or two people were struck on Potrero yesterday South of the hospital. I didn’t see how it happened, but I think there were two people on the ground injured.

  42.  

    joechoj

    “space for parking distorts the equation because it is immaterial to comparing the space available for motion”

    Talk about moving the goalposts. Okay, now I’m getting a better handle on your thinking: you just fundamentally can’t see (or admit, if you’re being cynical) how much space cars are taking up. Explain how lanes of parked cars don’t count as cars taking up road space?

    Resorting to this willful oversight of the facts, I could make the foolish claim that the aviation industry doesn’t take up any land, since airports are only used for loading/unloading and parking. (Only planes in the air count!) You’re seeking to externalize parking from the argument. But you can’t; it’s part and parcel of our car ownership model.

  43.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    Peskin sure is going to bat for those Millenium Tower crooks. Where’s his financial interest in that? There must be something because the man hasn’t got any principles at all.

  44.  

    thielges

    Yes, self policing works pretty good on other rail lines. There’s no need for an outright ban. Short calls (“I’ll arrive at the station at 5:15”) are not a problem though you occasionally encounter a rider who will blab for an extended period. Ubiquitous smartphone texting has been a game changer.

    I suspect that the proposed ban originates from a pet peeve of a SMART insider.

  45.  

    joechoj

    “I’m not advocating anything.”

    You’re doggedly defending the logic of drivers parking in bike lanes. How is that not advocating for the practice? You previously suggested my views are biased. You really don’t see…? Anyway, moving on.

    “as previously noted, the practice is not intrinsically dangerous.”

    I understand that that’s your position, but putting forth a position doesn’t make it correct. It’s a nice rhetorical tactic to make a claim and then treat it as an accepted point, but it doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. So let’s back up to your claim.

    In fact, Uber/Lyft drivers cut in & out of bike lanes all the time, presenting a real danger to people on bikes. They often pull out of a space suddenly without checking for bikes; or pass a bike, start to pull over toward a curb/open space, and then stop short when they see they can’t make the move they intended.

    There are certainly times when cyclists choose to change lanes to steer around an illegally parked car, if they have time to check that the roadway is clear. But to suggest that cyclists never stop, or veer willingly into a hazardous situation, indicates that you’re either not familiar with street conditions, or overlooking facts that don’t support your position that cars should be allowed to park in bike lanes.

    And that simply speaks to the sudden dangers they present to bicyclists, leaving aside the bald inconsideration of drivers sitting parked in the lane, either oblivious or uncaring of the inconvenience they’re causing. I don’t expect to convince you (or, actually, get you to admit) that parking cars in a bike lane is a danger to cyclists. So moving on…

    If you’re here to listen and learn, I’d like to ask you to respond to my first post. What are your thoughts on why the convenience of bicyclists is important?

  46.  

    RichLL

    No, space for parking distorts the equation because it is immaterial to comparing the space available for motion. SF has a lot of on-street parking because it has relatively little off-street parking. When I am in LA, for instance, I rarely have to park on the street – most destinations have off-street parking. SF hasn’t made that investment and so we’ve built wider roads specifically to allow parking.

  47.  

    mx

    That was my first thought too. SMART to succeed will need to encourage people to switch to transit. Imposing draconian regulations to address a problem that cannot possibly even exist yet is not going to help attract riders. Why not see how it goes before making up rules no other transit agency in the country has?

  48.  

    joechoj

    Of course you don’t; it weakens your argument. But you can’t just reject the facts you don’t like. Cars take up that portion of the roadway, period.

  49.  

    Frank Malloy

    “Please keep your promise to do what it takes to keep the trail open.”

    Haha! The 49ers and the NFL haven’t kept any promises, especially on that nagging minor issue of who actually paid for building the stadium, what makes you think they care about a MUP?

    The plan from the start was to squeeze Santa Clara for as much as they could. Now they want to take over the soccer field for parking.

    The stadium was supposed to bring all this money into the city – now it’s COSTING us millions. This is just another problem WE have to deal with.

  50.  

    L Taraval

    The train should be stopping at the already installed boarding island stop IB 22nd Avenue..Removing 24th Avenue is the best
    All Students would have goto 22nd Avenue if they want go Inbound direction.