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    Better to assign the true cost of easy truck deliveries to the business and thus its customers, rather than the current status quo where the costs (lost public space, dangerous road conditions, etc) are externalized and paid by the general public.



    Fare changes cost money, and all of the equipment has to be updated.


    Andy Chow

    Actually from $1.50 to $2.00. Personally I thinking having fares going up by 25 cent increment is quite significant, and I wondered why SFMTA don’t use this opportunity to provide incentive for occasional riders to switch to Clipper by making Clipper fares go up by 5 to 10 cents every 6 months until it hits $2.25.


    Andy Chow

    I am not sure whether LRT is suitable at this point. The bus lines that would take advantage of this busway also serve other locations beyond the busway. The light rail would have to be much longer to make it as useful as the bus routes that would substitute.



    Of course light rail would make more sense long run on Van Ness, but there is too much political inertia to go there right away. The choices are the status quo or the current BRT plan.

    And it’s not true that it will be obsolete as soon as it is built. Sure, it won’t be perfect, and eventually it’ll get replaced by rail. But it’ll do a lot of good in the mean time. Then, once the neighborhood is more transit focused, it’s a much easier to sell an upgrade from BRT to rail.



    ‘(A year ago, I attended and wrote about a Van Ness BRT meeting where the Polk Street NIMBYs were flabbergasted by all of the transit activists who showed up.)’
    That’s because we put the word out and collaborated with other groups, e.g. SFTRU, to overwhelm with numbers. We also warned the presenters and suggested that they control the Q&A. They did and we reigned. We need more involvement to create meetings like that.

    Disabling NIMBYs will take serious restructuring of the process here and in the meantime, the big fear is litigation. Also $$$, funneled into political campaigns, talks loudest of all.



    It’s about nothing more than accruing more power to themselves. They’ve been asked publicly several times to be real neighborhood representatives (younger, more ethnically diverse, few car owners…) but have not replied.



    Actually there are many garage parking spots just off Polk Street, so if you drove, you would find plenty of paid parking. For Nob Hill, the parking garages usually have space except during concerts, and they are a bit more expensive than the Polk area garages. All this to say that BRT will only bring more customer dollars to these two neighborhoods, because when one drives, one can already find paid parking which is often necessary in the evening hours.

    Also, during the weekdays daytime hours before 6 pm, I have rarely not been able to find a metered spot on Polk, though Nob Hill itself is tough because it is only RPP. The situation would be much better if there were smart meters and variable pricing.



    dog whistle.



    L-i-t-i-g-a-t-i-o-n happens



    Yes, would certainly be good to see our people there – as much or more than letters.



    Yeah, they do. We’d heard rumblings about the grumbling coming to this meeting and asked the MTA if they’d like more of us there. They investigated and replied that it looked like it would be the usual tedious suspects with the usual wiggy complaints so, for those of us with actual lives, it wasn’t top priority to ‘restore balance’ ;-) amongst the attendees. The plans for the VN BRT aren’t changing. Will certainly put out the word if the Oct. meeting looks pivotal.



    A cyclist was killed today on 2nd Ave in Seattle, exactly where a protected bike lane is planned. There is a current bike line in the door zone that is NOT safe. I happened to walk by there on the way to work and saw her body. So sad.



    That’s a nice vision, but transit is too poor right now to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.



    Space currently used as private car storage should be dedicated to storing humans a.k.a. housing


    SF Guest

    Justin is correct — Van Ness Avenue is the official Highway 101 corridor. The defunct original plan for this corridor was to construct a freeway along Van Ness to connect to the defunct Central Freeway.

    Based on this article It appears several of the Polk Street corridor merchants are very concerned about removing parking and a traffic lane along with restricting no left turns on Van Ness. Even if the majority of a business’ customers do not drive those businesses would suffer a hardship for deliveries if parking spaces were removed. It would undoubtedly result in double parking nightmares since delivery trucks have no recourse or alternative.

    In the business world if your costs for deliveries go up it typically means you have to pass those costs onto your customers.



    That’s what they are banking on. Stall it long enough that you can replace your irrational arguments with “this is obsolete”


    Karen Lynn Allen

    Actually, maybe these anti-BRT people have a point. While this design might have been okay for 2014, since San Francisco has dragged its feet so long, it will now be out of date by the time it is built. Indeed, because this Van Ness design is suboptimal for a post-car dependent society in so many ways, perhaps it’s best to skip this half step altogether and focus on what will be useful to the San Franciscans of 2020 rather than spend a great deal of money on infrastructure that will have to ripped out and redone shortly.

    What should Van Ness really look like in order to be useful to the people living in 2020? Since it is flatter than Polk, Van Ness should be the street with dedicated protected bike lanes. These should take up an entire car-width lane in each direction since so many people will be biking. Because rail is far more energy efficient than anything that runs on tires, and by 2020 energy consumption will be more important than initial capital outlay, Van Ness should have a light rail line. And one lane in each direction should be dedicated to driverless electric taxi-pods. (There still may be private cars around owned by 1%ers, but they can take Fell and Gough.) Space currently used as private car storage should be dedicated to sidewalks, parklets and sidewalk cafes for pedestrians who will have nearly doubled in numbers. (The more local residents are car-free, the more likely they are to walk to and patronize local businesses.)

    A Van Ness with light rail, bike lanes, driverless taxi pods and tons of pedestrians, shops, cafes and restaurants and no private cars will be fantastic for San Francisco. It will turn the Van Ness corridor from a traffic sewer into a lively, zero pollution, zero carbon emissions, low noise, low vibration neighborhood where it will be easy and fun to live car-free. The good news is most US cities are going to look this way by 2030; the bad news is that for this transformation to occur it will often take a set of riots by some very angry people who will be furious that their car-based way of life is impoverishing them with no good alternatives to replace it. The good news is San Francisco will likely be able to skip the riots because we already have a reasonable amount of transit infrastructure and large numbers of people willing to walk, take transit, and bicycle.

    The best thing San Francisco can do for its future is to make it easy to let go of car-ownership by providing safe and convenient transit, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure to every neighborhood (especially the now underserved SE neighborhoods) while gradually ceasing to dedicate space and monetary subsidies to private car ownership. The walkers, bikers and transit riders of today are going to be the healthy, happy, adaptable, productive citizens of tomorrow. The people busy arguing to retain car privilege and car subsidies today are going to be very, very unhappy people in the near future regardless of how much SFMTA continues to cave in and cater to them.



    Parking of any sort on a highway is just nutty.



    FYI it is a highway, US highway 101, just to let you know



    The job of bike/transit advocates is to build public support for these projects, much as the merchant groups are building opposition to these projects. But the problem here is not a lack of support for projects such as Van Ness BRT or Polk Street bike lanes – I believe the majority of affected people would support these projects. The problem is that some of the opposition are so vehemently opposed to these projects that the SFMTA cave into their demands, even though they are in a minority. And of course, the opposition groups then repeat their tactics with other projects, because they see that it works.

    SFMTA needs to realize that it can’t please everyone all the time, and instead work on designing projects that are supported by the majority of people affected and are also in line with their Transit First policy. Right now we have a situation where the angriest and rudest voices are being listened to, not the majority, which is not how democracy is supposed to work.


    Marvin Papas

    I LOVE free Sunday parking, let it reign for 1000 years. HooooRaaay!!!



    not to mention the war chest of the pro-8 washington.



    Are these not the same people that are bitching and moaning about how terrible muni is? Let’s make it better, but never give up things like traffic lanes and parking? Why should this highway-like corridor ever store a car that isn’t used 97% of the time?



    For the life of me I can’t see why anyone would want to encourage car parking on Van Ness or Polk. I avoid Nob Hill whenever possible because it’s a PITA to park and there are no good alternatives for getting there. With BRT, I might go there more often.



    Uh no. Farallon capital at one point had about 10% of its investments in Oil and Gas stocks, which is less than that sector’s weight in the overall stock market and has been divesting since then. Farallon was never primarily about building Coal plants, though it has done that long with hundreds of other things. From the source listed in that Wikipedia article:

    “According to a CBC Canada report, Steyer has “instructed that his carbon-emitting investments be sold off.” If Steyer is truly divesting from fossil fuels, critics may largely suspend claims that Steyer continues to be hypocritical in his environmental activism.”

    He has also spent millions of his own money defeating an initiative that would have rolled back California’s climate change legislation. Why are you so intent on beating up on one of our allies?



    What’s with the pointless snark in the NBC article on the raised bike lane (not really an article, just links to Bold Italic and SFBC)? Do they have an editorial requirement that all reporters be as irreverent as possible on bike stories?



    The SF Beautiful survey redirects to the Curbed article.


    Fran Taylor

    Regarding the upcoming Muni fare increase, the Yes on L camp whines about a 40% increase in parking meter rates in 2009, the same year Muni fares jumped from $1.00 to $2.00 and the Fast Pass went from $45 (which covered BART in the city) to $60 (no BART). Do the math to see who really has reason to complain.


    Jamison Wieser

    “For years many of us have been asking the MTA to make the 47 Van Ness bus a Limited, while keeping the 49 the way it is…”

    Lacking are any specifics about why a converting the 47 to a limited is better than the thoroughly studied and approved addition of a 49L to compliment the 47 and 49 local lines.

    Is what they’re going for the inconvenience of forcing transfers and reduced service at the local stops, over the planned convenience of an additional and faster option a nudge to discourage more people from using Muni?



    “will cause grief for bicyclists – whose numbers are increasing” – quoted for truth



    I’m all for the First Amendment but the public input process in San Francisco needs to be streamlined. In this city, there are far too many opportunities for a small and vocal group to derail important projects.



    It sounds like what they’re saying is essentially that it’s unsafe for private cars to share the road with other forms of transit. If that’s the case, fine — allowing cars on Van Ness doesn’t have to be a requirement.


    Jamison Wieser

    SFMTA might well be staffed by human beings, competent, educated and experienced professionals… but there’s Board of Directors more beholden to the Mayor and Supervisors than city policy, common sense, and overwhelming evidence. Just a couple examples along the same lines.

    - Sunday metering helped businesses, reduced traffic, saved drivers money while also generating millions of dollars, but the SFMTA Board and Supervisors unanimously approved it’s repeal.

    - SF Park similarly benefited everyone involved, the SFMTA staff had data to support it, but the Board of Supervisors almost unanimously opposed expansion.

    There’s no shortage of examples where a bunch of whining, no-nothing idiots, insistent on making their own lives more difficult, win the day by screaming that [insert project] will kill business or babies regardless of how much evidence to the contrary.


    SF Guest

    Pedestrians already have the right-of-way even when they cross illegally. If pedestrians wanted to save 1-2 minutes all they would do is simply jaywalk in the middle of the street while cars are waiting at a red light. I have done it myself but never forced any motorist to wait while I jaywalked.

    As a pedestrian myself I witness much more waiting by cars for pedestrians illegally jaywalking than I see cars committing moving violations.

    I get the sense the main objective here is to slow down motorists and as such are to be treated as second class citizens. Walking is not known to be a time-saving method of travel.

    The main goal behind multi-turn lanes is to allow for more fluid traffic. With less fluid traffic it can result in several blocks of backage. Any idea that assists in more fluid traffic with less blockage is a good thing.


    Upright Biker

    It’s called The First Amendment, and the real clowns are _us_ if we can’t get out and be there to make arguments whose rational and emotional appeal trumps theirs.



    Sadly they don’t. Look at what they led MPNA do to their Polk Street plan.



    They have a lot of nerve for deriding Van Ness BRT because “Van Ness will be more dangerous for bicyclists” when these same people fought tooth and nail to block any bike lanes on Polk. Talk about hypocrisy!



    Why do we even give these clowns the time of day? They have no rational arguments and nothing to contribute but unfounded criticism.

    Surly the SFMTA, which is staffed by real, logical human beings (I would hope) sees through all of this?



    Good thing Ed Lee totally placated and satisfied the parking first crowd by giving out free Sunday parking. Now they’re happy and won’t demand anything else. Oh wait, that didn’t work?



    I think it’s humorous how they throw in “wiggle” (in scare quotes no less!) as a big F U towards bicyclists who use the Wiggle in Duboce. I doubt that’s unintentional.



    One other thing: Guess who is an avid and staunch supporter of the Middle Polk Neighborhood Association? Supervisor David Chiu. This needs to be put around more, because it shows he’s not half as green as he says he is.



    Dawn Trennert is clinging on to an outdated model of urban planning that has long been regarded as unsustainable and alienating by city planning experts all over the world, including the SFMTA, which has made these proposals. In effect, she and her organization, the Middle Polk Neighborhood Association, are doing their best to prevent their locale from becoming a safer, cleaner, friendlier and more prosperous area.

    When are these people going to get it? Having people driving around in their own private car all the time was determined to be an all-around bad idea back in the Twentieth Century.



    right…because a tractor-trailer could theoretically plunge 200 feet off the edge of Van Ness



    The SFMTA and the City do a terrible job of selling the public on transit initiatives. Look at the cool website and videos Chicago used to sell BRT there.

    San Francisco has an unusually high proportion of bored NIMBYs who make a point of derailing any kind of progress. (A year ago, I attended and wrote about a Van Ness BRT meeting where the Polk Street NIMBYs were flabbergasted by all of the transit activists who showed up.)

    Compounding the problem, both the City and the SFMTA plan relentless, often pointless meetings for every ridiculous aspect of a project.

    Hoodline reported a recent example in my neighborhood: SFMTA is hosting a hearing about adding a single traffic light on Haight Street. The light is part of a larger set of improvements (TEP and Public Realm) that have already been debated endlessly.

    Let’s stop dithering. Let’s stop empowering NIMBYs. Let’s kill all of these dumb meetings and make some stuff happen.



    These merchants – oy! I could be an anomaly, but this being SF, I kinda doubt it… y’know where I buy things other than TP and food if I’m not tooling about on my bike on the weekends? ONLINE. If I’m driving or being driven, I’m on my way to a specific destination, which is vanishingly unlikely to be this or that shop that I haven’t been to before. On a bike, I actually notice storefronts & window displays on my way past and am wayyyy more likely to stop and peek inside, or make a mental note to check them out later.



    Filling in the underpass would allow the crosswalk the man got killed in to be reopened.


    Bob Gunderson

    Let’s not get rid of this gorgeous view – parking as far as the eye can see!



    Is this the same Greg that’s bitching and moaning how about how difficult it could be to sit in a private, climate controlled vehicle, suffering such grave injustices like being stuck in gridlock or circling around for parking?


    Dark Soul

    I though this was specifically about the man who got killed for crossing a closed crosswalk