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    Vision Zero, or Vision “once more people get hit we’ll do something safer”?



    A complaint I have seen from Mission businesses is that many of their customers are former residents who have been displaced to far-flung areas with poor transit, so that if they want to come back to the old neighborhood they have to drive.

    I would love to see some data on this, though I doubt that exists. But it does point to the need for more peripheral parking structures, especially at the endpoint BART stations.



    The worst part of this is that if/when the pilot proves to be a failure, and SFMTA comes back to install boarding platforms at those five stops, the merchants will fight this with the narrative that the evil SFMTA is taking away 27 parking spaces. The fact that SFMTA recently added 40 parking spaces to the corridor, and that there will still be a net gain of 13 spaces with the final five boarding islands, will be conveniently forgotten.


    Jamison Wieser

    I don’t know if there’s any way this post could do justice to just how reckless the SFMTA is being along Taraval to increase parking instead of adding boarding platforms.

    With the boarding platforms, riders like Marco Salsiccia would be protected from trafric and with the parking reconfigured at the adjacent corners the SFMTA was able to add a net of +13 spaces. Yes the SFMTA had still been planning to add parking, but only a little and in exchange for a big win with safety and Muni service.

    Some of the most petty complaints Streetsblog has reported earlier was merchants believed walking from a few dozen yards from the corner was too far for their customers. One suggestion was Muni riders should wear light colors or something reflective.

    But the merchants’ incredibly selfish demand for parking immediately in front of their businesses. As though the spaces immediately in front are reserved for only their customers?

    So the SFMTA caved to merchants and 5 of the boarding platforms have been put on hold, and the SFMTA is going to run a pilot project where Muni passengers will still have to exit into a traffic lanes, but they will be covered with a high-visibly cross-hatched pattern designed by the local merchants.

    The parking count also goes up by 40 instead.

    I’ve attached screenshots from the linked presentation (PDF) explaining how the criteria or reconsidering boarding platforms is another crash has to happen first.

    It should be shocking to everyone Mr. Salsiccia’s near catastrophe isn’t enough reason for SFMTA to move forward with the original boarding platform plan.

    Taraval has already been identified as one of the most dangerous streets, it’s terrible the SFTMA is demanding another person be sacrificed to double-check that exiting trains directly into traffic is dangerous.

    Here is the Chronicle (subscription) article covering the increase in traffic deaths since Vision Zero and lettering merchants redesign the L-Taraval project.





    Traffic engineering departments often use the phrase “supporting the safe and efficient movement of people and goods” as part of their mission statement. While supporting short-term parking and loading/unloading in a smart, safe way also makes sense, the fact is that is usually a secondary consideration, after roadway safety and efficiency.



    Berkeley roundabout and Bay Trail link planning:

    It’s going to take me a lot more study to have an opinion on what color this particular “bike shed” should be.


    Rogue Cyclist

    The SFMOMA grand re-opening is a big deal, but I don’t see how that’s a Streetsblog type story. Sorry, I’m just a stickler for order in the universe.


    Charles Siegel

    I agree with all of those things, but I would also like to see:
    — more federal investment in transit.
    — federal financing to encourage more housing development around transit – as the FHA encouraged suburban housing development during the 1950s and 1960s.


    Bob Gunderson

    Nonsense! Our mayor will defend our motoring way of life!



    Good points, Andy. SF’s school busing (sorry, allocation) system ensures that there are thousands of extra car journeys each day because students cannot be allowed to attend their closest school as is the case in most of the nation.

    The rest is more a lifestyle issue. The real city is the Bay Area, and not SF, and we’ve built an urban area that spans 50 miles in every direction, 9 counties and a network of inter-dependent nodes of activity. A car-free city may be an utopian dream, but it’s hard to see how we can get there from here

    As you note, we still live in a democracy.


    Andy Chow

    We still live in a democracy, which also means that while people could agree on some principles (including vision zero), they may and can still object to specific implementation. Like it or hate it this is part of the system.

    The thing is that our lifestyles and economy has changed. In the old days when the streetcar suburbs were built, a 1 car garage was good enough because at most the head of the household (a man) would drive if not taking the streetcar, the women and children could be transit dependent. If you look in the historic images there were no street parking way back then.

    Today we have two income households. We send kids to schools where they cannot walk or bike to. May be one of the residents could have a job in downtown where he or she could take transit, but the other might have a job in the suburbs where it is not easily transit accessible.



    “Vision Zero is not about compromising; it’s about doing the safest things and figuring out the rest later.”

    That’s a nice sentiment but it clearly isn’t true. SFMTA have a number of conflicting priorities, of which safety is one, traffic throughput is another, costs and revenues yet another, and so on.

    As a statement of intent to increase safety it is fine. But as an absolute imperative, it is simply false. We’d need 5 mph speed limits with zero tolerance policing to enforce it, and I doubt that the votes are there for that.

    “Take London’s Oxford Street, or Kalverstraat in Amsterdam, or go no further than stretches of Powell and Market . .”

    Sure but they are all smack in the downtown of cities, where car ownership and use is at its lowest. Tang’s district, along with Yee’s and Avalo’s, are the most suburban-like and car-centric in the city, because of their distance from downtown and the relatively poor transit.

    In fact in zip code 94116 in Tang’s district, more than 50% of commutes are by a single driver in a car. Throw in car sharing, car pooling and cabs, and over 2/3 of her residents rely on cars on a daily basis. Not the best place to start banishing cars. Market Street is.

    “That begs a larger question. Where did this assumption come from in the first place that the city is obligated to provide free, or almost free, car storage all over the city for private automobiles? In fact, didn’t the voters make it clear they do not want the city doing that anymore? “

    Not exactly. It’s true that only about 40% of voters supported Prop L calling for more balance. However that was only ever going to be a non-binding policy statement, i.e. had even less relevance than “Vision Zero”. It is fanciful to infer that the 75% or so of voters who live in a household with at least one car (and probably more like 90% in the Outer Sunset) are demanding eradication of street parking.

    And you appear to acknowledge that towards the end, for which I commend you:

    “It doesn’t mean all parking should be eliminated everywhere. But in dense corridors parking can be shifted to side streets as perpendicular parking, as is being done with several SFMTA street improvement projects. Or perhaps it’s time to encourage narrow, multistory, for-profit parking storage, using parking elevators to store many cars on a small footprint, with rates driven by demand.”



    As Drunk Engineer notes, infrastructure that pre-dates the 1990 ADA act is grandfathered. They only need to be made ADA-complaint when there is a major re-design, which of course makes such re-designs more expensive and difficult, which in turn explains why the pace of street redesign is slower than many here would like to see.

    As for lawsuits, that is what driver insurance is for. And what about the disabled person who can no longer park outside her home and gets killed because she has to walk 2 blocks?



    Don’t forget that the merchants along Tarval (ex: Great Wall Hardware on 28th) fought the idea of boarding islands. The guy that owns Great Wall even got up that shitshow open house recently and was quoted by the Examiner.


    Dexter Wong

    The City should build those boarding islands as soon as possible or risk facing a slew of wrongful death lawsuits brought by the families of those passengers killed or maimed by inattentive passing drivers.



    Federal ADA law requires platforms at light rail stops. Even “grandfathered” stops have to get platforms if any significant work occurs on the street. So they will all inevitably have to be brought into compliance. To do otherwise, the city would be inviting really expensive lawsuits in Federal court.



    I know Marco Salsiccia through a mutual friend. Worlds collide!


    david vartanoff

    my first thought was which Muni yard is this? (as in storing broken Bredas) and Muni worker cars in the foreground?



    What about deliveries? Certainly, this has to be dealt with.

    Copenhagen’s solution for deliveries to businesses on pedestrian-only streets is that they’re restricted to certain morning hours when there aren’t as many shoppers, and the speed limit is ~5 MPH.

    The notion that this “harms businesses” is insane — their pedestrian streets attract so many shoppers it makes Valencia Street look like a ghost town in comparison.



    This story is a blatant provocation of Bob Gunderson.



    Yet the Oakland Bart connector and Bart to warm springs get built. Go figure



    the solution Is

    1) encourage infill housing by eliminating all Parking requirements within City of SF for residential construction in Every area of City

    2) increase Zoning density for housing in Much of City

    3) Remove a couple of highways and sell Land for housing Development

    4) Protected bike Lanes everywhere to encourage more mobility options



    Well, technically I’m in the 8-80, but I’m also in the crowd that can also Vehicular Cycle, a white (usually implied) MAMIL*. 8-80 is trying to broaden and widen the definition of cyclist beyond the VC crowd.

    * Crap, I’ve even grown a beard.



    Your claim is that ONLY NOW is this delivery truck double parking?

    On Mission Street?



    Yup. The city taxpayers have just bought an over priced bus station when they were sold on the idea that rail would “someday” reach it. We would have been better off with a much more inexpensive option for that structure.


    Rogue Cyclist

    I feel the same about a bike path on the west span of the Bay Bridge.



    The Caltrain issue is really getting old and tired. People must face the facts…we were mislead when we were told that Caltrain would not just be electrified but extended to the TTC. There should be no surprises that we have to wait another 15-20 years “because funding isn’t there.” The reality is that it was never high on the list. Phase 2 should always read “forget about it any time soon.” The Central Subway will never be extended past Chinatown. A new BART tube will never be built. Officials balk at the cost in today’s dollars but it ain’t going to get any cheaper down the road.



    Finally, a great and thorough write up of the problem.



    How do you figure? The cars will be using batteries. I think that by the time we have self-driving cars, there will be advances in battery technology that will allow them to go further between charges.


    Jeffrey Baker

    On the radio, Foxx makes case for the social justice of freeway removal.


    Charles Siegel

    I agree that federal action is needed – but I think the most important action is to encourage infill housing generally, not to build affordable housing,

    In the 1950s and 1960s, the Federal government encouraged housing construction by building freeways to open new land for development and by providing FHA mortgages for suburban housing. The result was to create lots of affordable housing – not in the new suburban developments but in the old urban neighborhoods that people left to move to these new suburbs. There was lots of affordable housing in North Beach, central Berkeley, and the Oakland flatlands as the middle-class left. The same happened all over the country, and in some places (notably the south Bronx) rents were so low that they could not cover maintenance, and whole neighborhoods were abandoned.

    Today, the federal government could do something similar by building transit and providing financial incentives to build housing around transit stops. The market will work now, just as it worked sixty years ago. If we increase supply enough, prices will go down.

    This would be much more effective than allowing gentrification of market rate housing to continue and mitigating it by building isolated patches of affordable public housing.


    SF Guest

    Campos took a lot of heat from domestic violence groups which Chiu used against him in his campaign for his vote supporting Mirkarimi stay in office.


    Jym Dyer

    @Jimbo – Why not put the car transportation underground? Just dig a huge tunnel and they can all drive in. Maybe later we’ll raise the funds for an exit tunnel. Problem solved!


    Jym Dyer

    @bobster1985 – Campos holds a lot of good positions on things, but he caved into the dumb and faux-populist ENUF even before his run for the Assembly.


    Jym Dyer

    @RichLL – Actually the voters in several counties supported rail coming to the Transbay Transit Terminal from every direction, but these were offered as nonbinding propositions. The work done on the Bay Bridge (both spans) ignored what voters wanted.


    Jym Dyer

    @p_chazz – There’s only so much clean energy available, particularly at peak use hours when this supposed solution to all transportation ills will be operating. Adding a fleet of cars to peak use means firing up peaker plants.

    The ones I lived by in Potrero Hill and the Bayview ran on dirty diesel. These have been offshored to the East Bay.



    Clean energy, bro!


    Jym Dyer

    @p_chazz – And all the pollution to generate the electricity will be off in Richmond or somewhere that we don’t see and never have to worry about the communities of color who live downwind of it. Just clear ocean breezes for our technological epic grooviness!


    Jym Dyer

    @Jimbo – I assume your source to substantiate these claims is the same one you failed to produce on Hoodline, SFist, etc. — pretty much anywhere that uses Disqus.


    Jym Dyer

    @roymeo – You’re either awfully precocious for a 7yo, or a very young-looking 81yo.



    Yes, now I remember – this poster has a significant problem with bicyclists on shared use paths. That account was banned before for arguing the same point over and over again on sharing space with bicyclists on the panhandle.



    Yes – under my nom de plume “RoyTT”



    We don’t “fear different views,” we just roll our eyes at you and your ilk who are contrarian for the sake of being contrarian and constantly make dumb comments. That’s not the same as fearing “different views.”



    The Embarcadero designates separate space for MUNI Metro trains, general vehicle traffic, bicycles, general vehicle parking, pedestrians only, and a mixed-use path area for pedestrians and cyclists.
    Not sure if skateboarders are allowed anywhere in there.
    (And of course there’s the various City and Port vehicles that go wherever they want.)



    I’m one of those anal types that really chafes at seeing someone drive around traffic in the median/bikelane, ride through stop signs/lights, salmon, wave samurai swords at church, walk out into the middle of the street on red, etc. I feel concern for people that do dumb-but-not-illegal things like walk around staring at their phones, etc. but I think the blame goes on the rule breakers.
    I saw a local Nextdoor post where a woman told us to be careful at night–her brother was wearing black at night and got hit and killed by a car. She blamed her brother, called the driver to make sure he wasn’t feeling bad. I guess this was the one guy who’s day it was to drive the speed limit and pay appropriate attention while driving and we really couldn’t do anything but blame the victim. (I was somehow able to pull some restraint out of somewhere and didn’t comment on Nextdoor.)



    But when do you bring your Mom along?


    Chris J.

    The pattern seems to be that he always has to be the last one to respond. So if you reply to him, he will always reply back to have the last word (even if it’s to repeat exactly what he said before). Hence so many posts.



    Really impressed with the coverage and focus on learning about what is happening in the San Mateo Council Debates Renters Protections story.



    “It is not clear to me why my quiet enjoyment of the walkway there should ever be disrupted by a vehicle too lazy to traverse the road.”

    Stop this over-dramatization. First, I’m sure you agree that, regardless of the letter of the law, a car and a bicycle are very, very different (from mass to speed to power used to having senses impaired) and lumping a bicycle into “traffic” on the path is completely ridiculous and over-dramatic. The danger to a pedestrian from a bicyclist riding on the mixed-used path on Embarcadero is less than the danger to a bicyclist forced into the terrible bike lanes on Embarcadero (go check statistics for this). This isn’t about “lazy” but about people (bicyclists) who are treated as second-class citizens on our roads and given dangerous conditions so that others (motorists) can have convenient (and safe) conditions. Everyone would love to have a protected bicycle lane on Embarcadero, but until that happens, the risk to pedestrians from bicyclists on the mixed-use path (which is a small percentage, and then the vast majority are hardly riding faster than a jogger) is a non-issue in SF.