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    LOL at insisting on technical terms in everyday speech.

    Do you also complain that all food is ‘organic’?

    Or that you can’t properly measure ‘work’ in hours?

    Or when people use the word ‘ego’ in a non-Freudian manner?

    These are lanes. They are for bikes. Ergo they are ‘bike lanes’



    I would like to suggest small correction or clarification: The column mentions AREP, as an “engineering consulting firm in Paris”; whereas in fact, AREP (Aménagement Recherche des Pôles d’Échange, or Exchange Hub Development Research) is the Paris-based design affiliate of French Railways SNCF. While offering the full gamut of station and station area engineering services, as well as urban and regional planning, landscape, interior, and industrial design services, AREP’s primary focus is station architecture. The core group of AREP’s design professionals pioneered the art of modern station design in the age of the TGV and continue to this day as a laboratory in the study of modern mobility.



    Bruce, I do not follow your logic at all. And in fact Madison, Wisconsin requires all bikes to be licensed and I am not aware that there has been any constitutional challenge to that.



    From the perspective of economic development, turning inland cities into HSR-linked bedroom communities to coastal jobs only is not a complete or great plan. Take your Bay Area corporate lawyer who can’t afford to buy in Woodside, but could get that 5 acre ranch of their dreams in outer Fresno, that would ultimately offer minimal employment in Fresno (some domestic help, landscappers, maybe equestrian specialists) and little opportunity for progress. Compare that to vocational programming for someone already in Fresno who needs timely access to San Jose interviews, or the whole bunch of skilled trades who could become HSR technicians for the nation … not unlike the Siemens factory workers in West Sacramento.

    So really it isn’t about “sprawl” or not, it’s about equal access to the opportunities HSR presents.



    I’m not a lawyer, but I read a lot. As I understand the legal theory; the right to use public roads is Constitutionally protected (coming from the right to interstate travel & the right to petition government in person). Therefore, because motor vehicle licenses are revocable, that the denial of road rights to all people (including children, drunks, etc.) is not allowed without meeting ‘strict scrutiny’ thresholds. Therefore, bicycle licenses, horse riding licenses, etc. are not Constitutionally allowed.


    SF Guest

    Since I haven’t read any posts from Bob Gunderson lately I will add some drivers are more likely to slow down and stop for deceased animals and humans over live ones.


    Jake Wegmann

    To be a little contrarian for a second: would it be the worst thing in the world if people lived in “sprawl” development in the inland parts of the Bay Area or the IE or the Central Valley and then used HSR to access well-paid jobs in downtown SF, SJ, or LA? I mean, let’s face it, sprawl development is pretty much already the de facto affordable housing strategy in coastal CA. If there were HSR, people living in areas with reasonably priced housing could access many more jobs and could do so without enduring white-knuckle commutes on overcrowded and dangerous freeways. If we take it as a given that the Bay Area and LA aren’t going to be able to keep housing prices in check–which I pretty much do–maybe the best answer is to make it easier and faster and safer and more environmentally friendly for people to commute from further away. And then to try harder to make sure that “sprawl” developments are built as complete communities rather than as disconnected subdivisions.



    But, he cautioned, that can also lead to more sprawl if developers build the wrong kinds of communities around stations in exurban areas.

    It’s a good thing California isn’t making that mistake.



    True but, even so, cyclists have managed to kill 2 pedestrians in SF in the last 5 years. so clearly they also present a non-zero risk. And have injured others.

    Are you suggesting immunity for no reason other than that another class of road users have done more harm?



    … and motorists control a vehicle with a much greater ability to cause harm, hence the license requirement.



    Sounds like you think the real problem is that cyclists are not tested, licensed, registered and insured. It’s reasonable that all road users should “sign a revocable license agreement”, for the reasons you cite.



    My quibble: Both have a duty to the law, but only motorists have signed a revocable license agreement.



    Agreed, but same goes for the cyclist who blows through red lights/stop signs, rides against traffic and on sidewalks.



    The MercNews article about the motorist cutting off (and hitting) a child cyclist then yelling at the child for “hitting my car”. WOW! It is tempting for motorists to forget that their license to use of the roadway is conditional, and includes an obligation to slow down and stop for any and all conditions.

    On a street, this includes children, animals, deaf people, crazy people, drunk people… basically every erratic condition imaginable. Your license to drive was granted in exchange for you agreeing to slow or stop to avoid hitting these conditions.


    Dexter Wong

    “More on naming a subway station after Rose Pak” is not a SF Gate article, but a SF Chronicle article!



    I would not expect any two people to agree on absolutely everything.



    Yes on death penalty and a thinly veiled attempt to get grocers to oppose the ban on plastic bags? Get outta here.



    True but that is why the State laws are so important – they restrain the city’s ability to tax gouge. Not just Prop 13 although can you imagine how much our property taxes would go up if they could? But the State also stops the city imposing local income taxes, CGT and estate taxes, and limits their ability to raise sales and road taxes.



    Raising corporate taxes simply drives up the cost of the products and services that they sell, just like sales tax does. There is no way around that – corporations ultimately pass all extra costs onto either their customers, their employee or their shareholders (i.e. your IRA or 401K). Corporations cannot ultimately pay tax – only people can.

    In fact SF had to reduce taxes on Twitter etc to stop them moving to nearby cities with more tax-friendly rules.

    That said, I’m also voting “NO” on J and K as well. If both moderates and liberals are opposing them, they cannot win


    SF Guest

    You don’t think the BOS hasn’t already looked at increasing corporate taxes among other taxes including transportation? It’s up to the majority of voters to tell them no, but it won’t happen since SF is a liberal city.



    No on J and K as well. MUNI will hike fares again next September, regardless. Want to fix the escalator problem? Build canopies.

    Increase corporate taxes, not the sales tax. Those tech firms driving up the cost of living need to pay more for the luxury of having a SF address. They should also be taxed to improve our transit infrastructure.



    Amin is a total moron. As director, she should be a serious advocate for substantial near and long terms transit solutions, including a much-needed second BART tube. Her view of a tube as “dreamy things” only proves my point that she is just talk (like SPUR in general), not action. She is part of the transportation problem in the Bay Area.

    RR is a flat out No.


    Roger R.

    Don’t know, but I took Muni.



    Thanks for covering this, Roger! Hopefully no one drove themselves home after the meeting.



    The interesting thing about J, to me, is the way the Supes are lined up on it. The two most left-wing Supes (Campos and Avalos) support it but so do the two most right-wing Supes (Farrell and Tang). But at least it’s not a bond measure – it doesn’t raise taxes although it does re-allocate funds.

    K is another whole ball of wax because it is a huge increase in a regressive tax – sales tax. One can argue that a sales tax is fairer because it is the most broad-based and because it is relatively easy to avoid. But my general rule is to always vote against tax increases except for police and prison bonds.



    I’m voting against J and K, because K taxes merchants to make up for revenue lost from free Sunday parking and low vehicle registration fees. Funding transit is good, but don’t do it in a way which effectively subsidizes motor vehicle ownership and use. The revenue here exceeds that lost from Sunday parking, but nevertheless I want that back before other, more damaging revenue sources are pursued. The irony is the free Sunday parking is claimed to support merchants (which it does not due to reduced parking turn-over) but a higher sales tax indisputably hurts them.


    SF Guest

    You are becoming road savvy.



    Roymeo has a point. If Miller was riding well to the left then, while she would not be blamed for the accident, she did statistically increase her risk of an impact with a vehicle coming the other way that is also well to the left.

    The rather mindless “take the lane” advice peddled by some cycling lobbyists does not fully discount this additional risk. Keeping right increases the less serious risk of being “doored” but reduces the risk of a more serious head-on collision.

    An accident in Sonoma County a couple of weeks ago was similar, minus the stolen vehicle angle of course.



    There is always doubt about whether someone of that age is 100% blameless. Many capabilities decline with age, including vision, depth perception, peripheral acuity, response time etc.

    If the driver had been 91 you’d be claiming that she should not be on the road.

    The driver was not arrested or cited, which indicates that the evidence doesn’t indicate any criminal intent. A sobriety test is standard in such situations so your glib comment about that is unfounded.


    SF Guest

    Sorry, I retract citing Heather Miller as an example of a pedestrian who was hit by a car while exercising due care for herself since she was cycling at the time of her tragedy.

    The DUI manslaughter case shares no apparent similarities to the reports of the speeding car thief who killed a cyclist. Reportedly pedestrian Luis Picon-Estrada crossed into the westbound lane in front of the oncoming Mercedes not traveling above the posted speed limit of 30 mph.



    91-year old Nob Hill resident wasn’t completely absolved of all omissions of due care when hit by a not-necessarily-drunk driver–I guess we should have doubts about her having done everything she could.



    Ha ha. Could self-driving cars become weapons by being a danger to the passengers and getting in my way on the freeway?

    “Picture those hackers ordering the vehicles to suddenly accelerate and
    turn hard to the right, flipping them over, killing many passengers and
    clogging freeways with junked cars.”

    That’s definitely the scary thing…What if the car I’m in could hurt ME!



    (As you noted) She wasn’t a pedestrian.

    It wouldn’t take much to doubt whether she was riding as far to the right as practicable or was looking far enough ahead to be aware of exactly the sorts of unexpected dangers that speeding car thieves present.

    Are you suggesting speeding car thieves aren’t something that one can do anything about but “drunk driver” with no more details than that are?


    SF Guest

    Did you forget about Heather Miller (except she rode a bike) who was mowed down in GGP by a speeding car thief? I see no doubt there she exercised “due care for his or her safety.”



    I dunno, I was at that game and the next. In retrospect it would have been a blessing to have missed the last half hour of game four.



    The last service should take into account when the game ends, like CalTrain does for Sharks games.


    Jeffrey Baker

    Regarding the problem of the last train/ferry to the ballgame: when the Giants were still playing at Candlestick you could get there on an express Muni bus departing from Van Ness and California, but you had to stay for the entire game because the bus wouldn’t leave until the game ended, no matter how many innings. Once they went 16 innings during a night game and the riders were all sleeping on the bus waiting to go home.



    In 1950, you didn’t have Chinese nationals coming in and buying up homes in the Sunset with cash like they do today. “Redone” home on Rivera/29th is on the market for $1.4M. You really think the average SF household earns enough to pay that mortgage? No. More like a foreign investor dumping money in SF.



    Transit-oriented development was a radical idea? Really? Sounds pretty logical to me, not radical. Then again…El Cerrito Plaza was a 1950s strip mall that was replaced in the early millennium with an even bigger, car-oriented strip mall. Station is surrounded by a huge parking lot. Zero housing added.

    Here’s an even more radical idea. Build mass transit where people currently use it the most. Geary should have had a subway decades ago, but it’s good to know that a massive suburban station will soon be opening in South Fremont, over 5 miles from the nearest station.



    It’s more that if one party to an accident is drunk, that makes it very easy for the cops to make the case that it was 100% that party’s fault.

    And proving intoxication is a simple matter of a blood test rather than the messy job of collecting evidence, testimony and measurements that would otherwise be ncessary to attribute fault.

    If you’re over the limit and are involved in an accident you will be charged and blamed regardless of actual fault.



    In Oakland it is even worse than that. The city has even issued bonds to make payments into its pension plan for employees. And with 75% of its budget going towards public safety and employee pay and benefits, that doesn’t leave a lot for anything else.

    Any which way you look at it, the problem is the pay and benefit structure for municipalities and their agencies.



    Did your mother also mention that back in the 1970’s some California cities were doubling the property tax take year-on-year? Prop 13 wasn’t approved (by a landslide) in isolation but rather was a popular revolt by ordinary people against massive greed on the part of politicians.

    And did she also mention that even with Prop 13, property tax revenues have increased by an average of 7% a year since 1978. That, together with the highest rates of state income, sales and capital gains tax in the nation, all indicate that California does not have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem.



    I’d be okay with some sort of adjustment based on income for just these sort of people, but Prop 13 is really broken.



    The mention of Howard Jarvis and Prop. 13 reminded me of back in the early 1970s or maybe the 60s, when my mother, who was an elementary school teacher in Monrovia, told me about Election Day when the school was used as a polling place. She commented on seeing “all the little old ladies hobbling down to the polls to vote NO on school bond measures because they didn’t want to be taxed out of their modest homes.”



    If you agree that some support is warranted, then you are either talking about a tax or a bond. Theoretically these are approximately identical.

    They are not at all identical. Bonds are a really costly way to fund basic maintenance, due to the accumulated interest costs.

    The fundamental problem is that BART has a structural deficit, due to declining gas tax revenues. Since politicians refuse to touch the gas tax issue, transit agencies are having to resort to financial trickery, like bond financing, just to maintain service levels. Cities too (including Oakland and Berkeley) are floating bond measures to pay for basic street repair.

    In effect, car drivers have been given this big tax break, while transit users get regular fare increases every few years. It is really bad policy, financially and environmentally. Shame on streetsblog for endorsing it.



    …due budget has BART trained the engineers and drivers before new cars. Place in traffic lines or simply, retain former until problems of new cars? This haven’t been define just externals, new cars concur, should been protected against damaging. Forgotten covered by “insurance policies” BART incurred to
    tax payers besides new cars. Lobby for 3 new “underground tunnels due, to
    increase population in Bay Area Caltran and CALSTA fully aware urban decay!


    david vartanoff

    Indeed, a thorough house cleaning is in order. That said, the roof is still leaking…
    BART was the pioneer of DOD style transit construction/operation–$5 bucks for the bribers, a buck or maybe 2 for the actual project. I sometimes think the only thing BART got right was electric power. because almost every other detail has been an extremely costly mistake. Just like Metro in DC, the system needs major rehab and waiting to fire all of the counterproductive staff will just let the system deteriorate more.



    HSR is a substitute for flying, not driving. As far as I can tell, there are plenty of people who fly between SF and LA. How do they get around when they land, I wonder. They rent a car or call Uber.

    Incidentally, the route between Tokyo and Osaka takes 155 minutes, is 340 mi. long and travels at a top speed of 285km/h. The fewest number of stops is five (including terminus).

    That route has taken 85% of air travel.


    Randy Johnson

    Agreed. I would be happy to spend the money if there was a clear indication of reform. However, there isn’t. The best reform we could ask for is a merging of transit agencies. We waste millions of dollars a year on needless duplication. The fact that BART, AC Transit, and a couple dozen other transit agencies compete for a finite amount of money here in the Bay Area is utterly absurd.


    Drew Levitt

    Fair point, Crazyvag (!). You’re probably right that the simplest and best metric of self-sufficiency would be [total annual revenue] / [total annual expenditures, with multiyear items meaningfully annualized]. And of course BART (and every other transit system in the country) would fall far short of 100% self-sufficiency by that metric.

    But, as I suggested above, why insist that transit systems be fully self-sustaining? We commonly accept that many public services need ongoing subsidy – police and fire departments come to mind. For that matter, within the transportation sector, highways get public funds from the gas tax (though only barely enough, these days…) and from local and state taxes of all kinds. In my view, BART, as a transit system that plays a central role in the regional economy, is also worthy of public subsidy.

    Now – if you agree that some support is warranted, then you are either talking about a tax or a bond. Theoretically these are approximately identical, except with a bond you get the money up front (important for infrastructure investments). As for “every few years,” that comes back to whether you believe that BART leadership has a new direction and discipline that will ensure the money is well and wisely spent. I do; others don’t; only time will tell. But I do know that deferred maintenance costs tend to spiral out of control – i.e. there’s a nonlinear relationship between how broken something is and how much it costs to fix it – so I’d like to start turning around the system now.