Skip to content

Recent Comments


    Idrather Bebikin

    This is coming to the full San Jose City Council on Tues, Oct. 28th.

    Who will come to protest?

    Who will come to protest that Mayoral Candidate Sam Liccardo got all excited at the possibilities of SJ Police being able to stop people ONLY because they were biking on sidewalks. Then they could be asked questions.

    Does this scare the Hell out of anyone?
    Haven’t we learned anything about unreasonable and illegal PROFILING?!?



    SFGuest, I feel sure that a majority would prefer PCO’s managing traffic and improving throughput rather than handing out tickets for oftentimes spurious and technical parking infringements.

    But directing and controlling traffic doesn’t bring in revenue while issuing citations does. So don’t expect any change. I’ve seen no evidence that SFMTA will stop trying to be a profit center nor stop externalizing their costs onto citizens.


    Lysander Spooner

    Buses are obsolete. Rail for long-haul and self-driving taxis for the last mile is the future.


    Upright Biker

    That’s really the sensible compromise here. On either side of the stop sign and the crosswalk, put in a half-dozen 1-hour, permit-only spaces so boat owners can load and unload their gear — which is a legitimate need — and then they can go and park in the lot if they are there for the day.

    Those stretches of sidewalk are not really used anyway, as people walking and riding tend to veer towards the marina to avoid the sign post and the ramp.

    [edit] Although if my dreams were to really come true, what I’d love to see is the train tracks resurrected and have the trolleys come through the tunnel to Ft. Mason and then down into the Presidio!



    I have a boat in the marina. I also walk and bike on that path.

    Why can’t we dig up the old train tracks and put a soft curb with parallel parking along the street? It would remove the car travel lane and make room for both cars and pedestrians.


    Reynolds Cameron

    Remove all parking east of the median on Marina Blvd. Especially the large parking lot along the shoreline. The only vehicles that should be allowed to drive west of the northbound lanes of Marina Blvd are official government vehicles, and registered vehicles from Marina boat owners for purposes of loading and unloading only (with the hazard lights blinking). Otherwise, a complete ban on motor vehicles.



    Gascon is autocentric and does not care about city workers.



    PCO’s can write tickets for double parking, they just generally don’t because drivers can just take off and the PCO cannot pursue. I hear that they are going to start writing tickets for double parking and just let the vehicles run if they want, with a call into SFPD.


    Clem Tillier

    That’s a lot of hand-waving about “maximizing throughput” with very few specifics, Andy. With the way things are planned now, every inbound Caltrain will conflict with every outbound HSR, two permanently crossed streams of traffic. This not only cannot work reliably, but also can’t scale up to higher levels of traffic. Saying that it’s OK because it will handle the blended system in 15 years is just as short-sighted as saying that no computer will ever need more than 640 kB of RAM.


    Andy Chow

    My plan B is to do everything else to make the terminal as compatible and an operating plan that would maximize throughout. You really haven’t state how it would increase capacity other than complaining that a mock up train schedule (which is something not created with the same rigor as an actual schedule) shows limited number of trains going to Transbay. If BART can turn around 8 trains an hour from two lines at a station with two platforms, why can’t Transbay handle 10 trains an hour at a station with 6 platforms?

    I don’t think your two high, two low door arrangement is a realistic solution. I don’t think the bike access issue (and have bikes be hauled up and down the interior steps while the train is moving is anything trivial. At best this solution will result in a Muni Metro situation in which if we knew that low floor LRT is possible 40 years ago we wouldn’t have chosen high platforms and movable steps.

    I think that it is okay for both agencies to agree to disagree after evaluating different options, but will work together on other strategies to make Transbay as compatible and flexible as they can and maximize throughput.



    What is worse is that there’s no good accommodation for bikes leaving Balboa Park Station via the Ocean exit. It’s much more enticing for cyclists to ride on the sidewalk or contraflow on the eastbound bike lane than it is to figure out a safe way to ride westbound.

    Would be great if a two-way bike lane could replace car parking on Ocean from Mission to Plymouth; awesome if all the way to 19th. One can dream.


    Reynolds Cameron

    Are you talking about Gough?


    Reynolds Cameron

    Underground the north-south Octavia/Gough/Franklin/Van Ness freeway.



    I don’t know if other agencies do it, but LACMTA uses a series system to denote local, limited, express, and other variations (

    Perhaps, SFMTA could adopt this system as well? However, since most of the number scheme dates back to the cable car days, and we all know how long time SF residents love change.


    Reynolds Cameron

    Octavia to Embarcadero. Underground north-south freeway traffic..


    Reynolds Cameron

    Why is the misnomer “better Market Street” used? These plans do nothing to address the death trap between 11th & Octavia.


    Reynolds Cameron

    How about limit private automobiles to a single eastbound lane with a 15mph speed limit? For tourists and drop-offs.



    I would like to see SFMTA to expand video parking enforcement so the PCOs don’t have to ever get out of their vehicles.

    I wonder if SFMTA can bypass the state law where only SFPD can issue citations for moving violation by having a dedicated SFPD resources review all video and issue citations, rather than having a PCO review the video.


    Clem Tillier

    For the record, I would like to state that I am not advocating for 51″ platforms for Caltrain. I favor a compromise solution at 30″ that you can read about here, which enables the simplest transition to level boarding for Caltrain. This is Plan A.

    In the event that HSR insists on 51″ platforms, there has to be a Plan B, which will unfortunately be slightly sub-optimal for Caltrain. Where Andy and I have a difference of opinion is on which poison to pick: I favor sub-optimality by having Caltrain transition to 51″ platforms, while he favors sub-optimality by under-serving San Francisco Transbay and building separate station infrastructure for HSR.

    There is no perfect solution, but I think that Andy’s objections to my Plan B are trivial when compared to the fundamental strategic error of failing to provide a very high capacity link to downtown San Francisco, with room to grow for the next several generations. The time to exercise a little bit of generational foresight is now, before Caltrain buys the wrong trains and locks in the wrong platform interface.



    Haha, aw, shucks, me? :D

    I’m already quite busy every day with my day job (that has nothing to do with urban planning, incidentally), but am more than happy to add the odd memeified comment here and there when I can ;)



    I just wrote to Lily Langois at the Planning Department to tell her that very thing. Blast this survey link to everyone you know and get your voices heard!



    Don’t lose hope. It’s a matter of opinion whether this is ‘good news,’ but homes are selling for unprecedented prices in the Mission Terrace area and Balboa Park/Ingelside/Outer Mission are not far behind.


    SF Guest

    A PCO enforcing parking rules should be a secondary priority to their first priority of directing traffic at hazardous intersections. When SFPD was relieved of directing traffic it seems to me the SFMTA does less of directing traffic than what SFPD did when it should be the other way around.



    I have *long* thought the *exact same thing* about that frontage road. It could totally get the small plaza treatment and really revolutionize that area.

    When I lived in the area I’d often take Holloway east to Harold then cut through the gas station and that weird frontage road to avoid having to take Ocean at that point.

    What a wasted opportunity.



    … and watch ridership go up!



    Rename limited as express and express as super express!


    david vartanoff

    What BART should do without waiting 18 months. More trains per hour, and more cars per train where necessary, and fewer where ridership is low. More short turns on the suburban lines to get empty cars back where the riders are–west of the hills. Amp up maintenance to have fewer cars awaiting repair and held to cover in service failures.



    Thank goodness you speak for the whole community!

    At the meetings I attended for this project, one of the biggest complaints were the stairs. Although few students attended, the neighbors there felt like they were unsafe and an eyesore and wanted them removed at best, or possibly improved.



    You got me! Good job!


    Andy Chow

    Considering the costs along with all-or-nothing ADA enhancements, it is better off to keep it as is. I don’t see removing it will make it better overall even if it meant room for the uphill bike lane.



    PCO’s enforce all parking rules and not just meters.

    Obvious examples including enforcing residents’ parking zones, street cleaning times, bus/loading/disabled zones and illegal parking of any type (except double parking which requires a cop IIRC).

    That is why SFMTA loves to hire more PCO’s, because it is essentially a revenue center for the city, which helps understand why PCO’s aren’t real popular with most.


    SF Guest

    It’s not like the SFMTA doesn’t have the resources. For the last few years SFMTA has increased their workforce. Over 50% of SFMTA’s budget is allocated to employee salaries. Their current budget of $851 M is proposed to increase to $943.2 M in 2015 and and in 2016 proposed to increase to $962.6 M.



    I think one of the elements being studied is a renovation of the pedestrian overpass or removing it entirely.


    Jamison Wieser

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the BRT lines end up branded “Rapid” with a 38R replacing the 38L.


    Jamison Wieser

    Yes, the OS/2 based ATCS system had a lot of variables hard coded into the software. The system was perfectly designed so that any changes required going back to the technology provider and paying them to change it.

    Even though Muni won a lawsuit over the system they were still stuck with it. Even adding the T to the signs in the stations took some hacking to replace the unused N Judah to the Hill Brothers Building text.


    Jamison Wieser

    ATCS (though not necessarily the system Muni has been using) most definitely provides speed and safety benefits. It’s not that operators can’t manually drive trains in the tunnel, it’s trains can’t run as closely or frequently as a computer can control them.

    Many of the times the tunnel has slowed to a crawl was because it was thrown into manual when the computer communication with a train, often from hardware falling off the bottom of the trains (not kidding) and cutting the cable.

    I’m using the past tense because the trains all had to be fixed before the new cable could be placed between the rails, a fiberoptic network was built so that cable isn’t the only way to communicate, and Muni is switching to a new computer system; the one which theoretically will allow double-birthing.



    Not if said parking is un-metered.


    David Marcus

    More parking will require more officers to patrol it.


    Fran Taylor

    Parking control officers are beaten and almost run over because of driver entitlement. PCO union supports Proposition L, which encourages driver entitlement. Oops.



    No, separate from that I believe I saw an idea to change the current scheme of local/Limited/Express to something involving Rapid. I’ll try to find it again.



    Phil Matier points to the unfinished, dead end Bay Bridge bike/ped path and wonders why there aren’t as many people there as on the freeway, in a weird attempt to make a point about Alameda County’s transportation Measure BB:

    The news report also erroneously states that BB is a 1¢ tax increase, when it is actually 0.5¢.


    Jamison Wieser

    If you mean the mentions of a “rapid network” that’s something a little different and includes limited and local service.

    During the Transit Effectiveness Project service was sorted into four categories:

    Rapid Network
    Core lines and corridors with the highest ridership regardless of local, limited, or express. The point is to speed up all the lines along these corridors, include local busses.

    Local Network
    Likewise the local network might include limited lines, but the second tier of routes that criss-cross the city and are essential to get around, but lower priority.

    Community Connectors
    The short busses that weave through hilly neighborhoods to get people to and from the major transit hubs, stations, and transfer points.

    Specialized Services
    Event and commuter lines that don’t run all day.


    Jamison Wieser

    I don’t doubt there’s better terminology, but “Limited” is a standard term widely used by other transit agencies.

    Even if it’s less descriptive, it’s a term locals and visitors are likely to be familiar with.

    Where there routes named 135 and 135L it’s more likely riders will assume the L is a limited (or more vaguely the 135L is a variation of the 135) than the other way around.


    SF Guest

    My favorite express bus was the 17X Park Merced Express. It went from 2d/Mkt to SF State faster than the ‘M’ car and entered Interstate 80 from Harrison/7th Sts.



    I would re-brand this way:

    5 becomes 5-L (Local)

    5-L becomes 5 (normal, what would be limited-stop)

    Add 5-X (Express, huge bypasses)

    Most of the lines in SF need this kind of thing, the stops in SF are far too close together. For example here in Berlin, the average distance between stops on the bus between my home and the nearest major train station (Ostbahnhof) is ~400 meters (1312ft), or about ~4 stops per mile. If you take the 14 from Embarcadero to Chavez, it’s 6.75 stops/mile. Apparently there are other routs in SF that are close to 10 stops/mile, but some of them go on hilly routes where more stops are understandable.



    “Rapide” implies speed and no Muni bus service is speedy.

    “Limited”, on the other hand, is easy to achieve.



    I’ve enjoyed the improvement and found the bus line more reliable during commute hours. I don’t have to check the schedule or Nextbus since they arrive so frequently.



    You can go online to the web site of the individual station, see who is in charge of that station, call the station and request to speak to that person about it. I left a voicemail and received a personal call back telling me how they were correcting the issue I called about and apologizing for it.



    Operating in tunnels requires more safeguards. It is common throughout Europe (Rotterdam, Berlin, Milan, Köln, Bern, Birmingham come to mind, among others) to have hybrid systems that operate manually on mixed-traffic areas and then with automated control systems on underground or grade-separated sections.



    New trolleybuses should be coming next year, IIRC.