Skip to content

Recent Comments

  1.  

    murphstahoe

    How anyone can compare the Super Bowl to the Olympics is beyond me. Hosting an Olympics involves building expensive venues that will become next to useless. There would be massive value in building a cross country mountain bike course on Bernal Hill or something, and definitely from daylighting one of the old creeks in SF for kayaking.

    As for the costs to transit – this falls on dear ears for me. Caltrain and MUNI subsidizing Super Bowl fans? They subsidize every passenger it carries! That’s what public transit does. The Super Bowl will have far less impact than 80+ Giants games a year, I would not be shocked if more people took Caltrain to Taylor Swift than will take it to SB-50. The San Jose Sharks fans taking Caltrain are not only subsidized, the train alters its schedule to the detriment of non hockey going fans.

  2.  

    Thomas Rogers

    For a pro-urbanist blog, it’s a little weird to use charged language like “massive” to refer to the Millbrae plan. If anything, that plan could be criticized for being too low-density and car-oriented for being next to a Caltrain/BART intermodal station.

  3.  

    Easy

    It’s rare to hear someone elected to a short term thinking about the long term. Building just the high density part sounds really sensible.

  4.  

    Eric Fischer

    It’s a 50,000 square foot lot. Yes, a walkable neighborhood needs retail, but you are never going to fit housing *and* “grocery stores, banks, nurseries, and other neighborhood retail” *and* whatever parking requirements the city has insisted upon into that space. And I’m sure the townhouse component is not because that’s what the developer really wants, but is instead to keep the neighbors on the other side of the site from flipping out about tall buildings.

    For this site, you can’t have everything. You have to choose, and I say go you should go ahead with the plan that people have already been working on for years rather than hoping that something better will come along eventually.

  5.  

    dat

    SFMTA groupies? There has to be a story there in just that…

  6.  

    dat

    …and time for endless meetings and letter writing.

  7.  

    gneiss

    It’s been my experience that neighborhood groups are dominated by a small minority of older property owners who have vested interests in having nothing change around them.

  8.  

    Gezellig

    Good for Novato on choosing to go forward with the downtown station!

    The walkshed around downtown Novato will serve local residents and visitors alike.

  9.  

    p_chazz

    It’s been my experience that the people who attend SFMTA workshops are SFMTA groupies who agree with the proposals, so they are preaching to the choir.

  10.  

    mx

    “BART Needs to Own its Screw Ups”

    And just today, a train breaks down in the tube during morning rush hour, causing major delays. This is what the Board gets for years of prioritizing expansion and wasteful projects over basic maintenance and repair, only ordering new train cars once the current ones were the oldest in the nation, yet forcing the airport connector through even after losing federal funds.

  11.  

    SFnative74

    The people on and around Masonic developed all the plans and eventually voted for it. Clearly not every single person voted for the same plan, but it was a pretty democratic process.

  12.  

    gneiss

    It’s bullying because these neighborhood groups are *not* expressing the will of the people. The SFMTA has gone through multiple workshops, outreach efforts, revisions and has developed a consensus for these changes. Most of the people who showed up at these meetings were supportive, because it would mean that the street would no longer be a raceway. Let’s remember that people have been advocating for change on this street for the last 10 years! First, they asked SFMTA to put in 25 mph speed limit signs. When that didn’t work to enhance safety, they altered the light timing, but still, drivers didn’t slow down. Not the city is finally getting serious and re-designing the street to slow down cars to make it safer and work better for all users.

    What is happening, is that a small group of opponents are using process to slow down and otherwise delay an already agreed upon project. To say that “neighbors” are the ones opposing this measure totally fails to account for all the other people in the neighborhood (the majority) who support these changes.

  13.  

    p_chazz

    Since when is it bullying for a neighborhood group to express the will of the people represents? And how is it even possible for a.city agency like SFMTA to be bullied by a neighborhood group? Stop playing the victim and realize that if you want change, you will need to build a consensus in favor of it, not ram it down the neighbors’ throats.

  14.  

    murphstahoe

    ” where it’s already very easy to get around by bus, streetcar, or Muni Metro”

    we have different definitions of very easy :)

  15.  

    Prinzrob

    The next bike share planning meeting coming up on Feb 11th in Emeryville will inherently also touch on some areas in south and west Berkeley as well. Get meeting info at http://www.bayareabikeshare.com/expansion.

    A North Oakland meeting is also going to be provided in late February but has not been scheduled yet.

  16.  

    Prinzrob

    No plans have been released to the public yet, but you can sign up for updates at http://www.BikeEastBay.org/BikeShare, and at http://www.bayareabikeshare.com/expansion.

  17.  

    gneiss

    @sebraleaves:disqus there is no “side street” route that can be used to go all the way through from the panhandle to Geary. In point of fact, the route that was proposed by opponents is three blocks away to the east on Baker and does not connect you to Geary, except by going in a very roundabout way through Anza Vista.

    As for the redesign not fitting, that’s completely untrue. The only thing that “doesn’t fit” is a number of parking spaces, which, as studies have shown, are typically underutilized by the local community. And as for neighbors not supporting it, that’s also untrue. I live one block away on Central and support it.

  18.  

    roymeo

    Bet the neighbors on Masonic St wish SFMTA would move the vehicular traffic off Masonic.

  19.  

    sebra leaves

    The neighbors would SFMTA put the bike lane on a side street
    and left Masonic along. That would make everyone a lot happier,
    especially the poor commuters who will not know what hit them unless we
    get the news out. Go ahead and convince them it will fit and we can talk about moving it off of Masonic.

  20.  

    David

    I agree wholeheartedly that the first phase of bikeshare should focus on the western half of town. With the plethora of public transit options around campus, not to mention the hill, I don’t see why that area would be more appealing to occasional/hesitant bike riders.

    One of the most obvious trips I see happening with bikeshare is travel between North Berkeley BART and Fourth Street, which hasn’t had a direct public transit option since AC Transit canceled the 19 back in March 2010.

    However, I get the impression that Motivate (the bikesharing company) wants to start in a higher profile area for maximum exposure. After all, look what they did in SF: Most of the bikesharing stations are in areas where it’s already very easy to get around by bus, streetcar, or Muni Metro.

  21.  

    Flatlander

    I’ve always thought of bike share as something that should supplement transit – meaning, it should provide an option for people to get around where transit service is relatively poor and also provide connections from those areas to the major transit network. Leaving out West Berkeley, in particular, seems like an enormous oversight, as bike share at the North Berkeley BART would be easily reachable by several vibrant districts that may be a bit too far to walk, but well within bike share distance (4th Street, Westbrae, Monterey Market area, San Pablo at Gilman, Addison, and Dwight)

    West Berkeley is set up more perfectly for bike share than pretty much anywhere else in that regard. Conversely, getting around campus and downtown Berkeley is already a breeze due to the dense bus network. Disappointed to miss the meeting.

  22.  

    NoeValleyJim

    SF Gate called, they want their commenter back.

  23.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    Is there anywhere one can view this preliminary plan? Considering the bike paths on West St and Ohlone Greenway and the many nearby destinations aside from BART, like the public library and all that shopping and dining on San Pablo, it would be a real shame to not have any stations there.

  24.  

    David

    I went to last night’s workshop in Berkeley. There was a big crowd, and we split into groups for a presentation and to mark good/bad station locations based on a map of already identified sites. While some parts of town made sense, North and West Berkeley were noticeably absent from the initial plan. Almost everything was in Districts 4 and 7, even if it meant putting in a station at an odd location (such as the 7-Eleven on Telegraph) at the expense of a major destination (such as North Berkeley BART, which is in District 1). Overall good effort though. Looking forward to its arrival this fall!

  25.  

    Jym Dyer

    • A few years later, the city has put in its first raised bike lane. It’s on Market, not Valencia. It was deployed as a pilot, with allusions made to Vision Zero, along two blocks. It’s not protected by parked cars, or a curb, or a rain garden; instead it’s got a gentle bevel that anyone can drive onto.

    It was, of course, instantly put to use by cabs, gypsy cabs, and delivery trucks.

  26.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    The press has it wrong on the Super Bowl street closures. Not only did they fail to snarl traffic, they dramatically improved traffic all over SoMA. These streets should be closed to cars at all times.

  27.  

    gb52

    SFMTA/DPW are willing and able to design smaller projects, but I feel the largest impediments is the fear of change from neighborhood groups and especially merchants. I hear the parking parking parking chorus everywhere, without any understanding of where people are coming from. From neighbors i’m dismayed how much they are looking for car storage in these areas. When they return they want to take up commercial space for their personal car storage.

    There used to be a time when people used their private garages for storing cars. But I understand that as rental rates have gone through the roof that we have more people living at these properties… But not every person NEEDS a car. If there’s no parking, learn to share.

    Anyway, back to the core of things… because these groups oppose change, they bully SFMTA and threaten lawsuits and all those regressive tactics that harm the process, water down projects, and overall waste taxpayer money rather than use it for productive discussions. However if SFMTA makes too bold a move, the whole house of cards may come tumbling down. SO it takes some finesse to get things done, but I think they can hold a harder stance representing those who have been pushed into the shadows for far too long.

  28.  

    RichLL

    The mileage tax credit works because only a relatively small percentage of drivers claim it. And because it is claimed by the tax payer via a self-assessment of the miles driven, and only a small percentage of those are audited.

    The idea here would impose a tax on all drivers and presumably self-assessments of mileage would be under-stated, just like they are over-stated when claiming a credit.

    You have solved the implementation problem – self-assessment and trust. You haven’t solved the enforcement problem. You’d need an army of mileage auditors and a methodology for who to choose for audits.

  29.  

    Roger R.

    Fixed. Thanks.

  30.  

    Greg

    “You’re a self-important angry prick!”

    “Well you’re a self absorbed loser!”

    Great discussion here.

  31.  

    shanand

    I agree with your observation about SFMTA being set up for large scale, expensive projects. I think the city would be so much better served by empowering field leadership to try stuff on trial basis. We started this with parklets, and seemingly stopped this with parklets.

    Liveable streets needs cultural change to try and make the facts on the ground better and safer, and quickly and cheaply.

  32.  

    mx

    “Solution Found for Munis Locked Bus Seats?”

    I’m convinced that the exposed metal brackets on the floor from the locked seats are more dangerous than the collision risk the seats were locked to prevent.

  33.  

    PaleoBruce

    > I’ve never understood how a “mileage tax” could be implemented and enforced.

    This is a little funny. Because we presently have an [income tax credit for several types of driving](http://www.efile.com/tax-deduction/mileage-rates/), that is measured by the mile, which seems to be enforced with no sweat.

  34.  

    murphstahoe

    “An audience member brought up that she doesn’t like angled parking, because it’s hard to see oncoming cyclists”

    That’s why the angled parking is supposed to be back-in angled parking, but she probably doesn’t like that because socialism

  35.  

    gneiss

    If there’s any cow more sacred than free on-street parking spaces in this city, I haven’t seen it yet. The city is deathly afraid of being sued over EIR deficiencies by community groups, and it probably ranks up there as the second biggest “quality of life” concern that oldster residents write letters and file complaints to their city politicians.

    During the last on-street parking space removal project on Oak and Fell, the city was quite successful in placating the north of panhandle neighborhoods by adding additional angled parking and helping them create additional RPP zones to make up for losses on those two streets. They are simply following from that playbook preemptively, knowing that this will forestall a last minute community group lawsuit.

  36.  

    SFnative74

    If ever there was a good time to raise the gas tax, it is now, with the super low gas prices and growing strain on our infrastructure needing funding. The state gas tax for CA is already among the highest in the nation, but the federal gas tax hasn’t been raised since 1993 and has lost 64% of its value due to inflation.

  37.  

    david vartanoff

    No TIDF??? Either a 50 year requirement to pay themonthly transit costs for every employee, or sell the site. We don’t need your development if you can’t play by the rules. Oh, and forget the parking spaces.

  38.  

    Ziggy Tomcich

    I get. So the logical alternative when the city has constantly refused to install protected bike lanes because of car-first interests would be to put 20mph speed limits downhill and 5mph speed limits uphill on all those streets with sharrows, and enforce that with speed cameras on every block? That would probably keep drivers from yelling at cyclists!

  39.  

    DragonflyBeach

    Apologies, my positioning was off. I forgot its proximity to Market Street.

  40.  

    Austin Bennett

    Isn’t this the part where they tip their hat?

  41.  

    Austin Bennett

    OH BURN

  42.  

    Austin Bennett

    If you read my comments below, you’d know that my statement wasn’t really about females, but by bicyclists in general.

    You’re in a car. You can press the gas pedal and ZOOOM you’re gone. The threat is behind you, literally. There’s no point in spraying the bicyclist with pepper spray because they are not a threat.

    Even if the bicyclist had a gun, the worst they can do is shoot out a window.

    You’re giving bicyclist more power than they deserve.

  43.  

    Judas

    I feel threatened by anyone who bangs on my windows and screams at me. Do you think females cant be violent? Do you think females dont pose a threat to you?

  44.  

    Timothy53

    The question for you to answer was: “How is knocking on a window an attack?” You answer was a question which is not an answer and it suggested that the question was something that it was not in the first place. billdav did not ask “Why was the cyclist attacked for a friendly knock.” Your return query suggests that he did.

    So I ask again: “How is knocking on a window an attack?”

  45.  

    Timothy53

    And what precipitated that reaction? Surely it had something to do with aggressive driving by someone who was certain they could getr away with it.

  46.  

    Timothy53

    How, from that article can you possibly THINK happened due to anger hostility and loud words. None of that bullshit is in evidence. You can believe it. You can fell it. But you cannot possibly THINK it. Add to that you are an unthinking troll,, well, that closes the loop.

  47.  

    RichLL

    I guess the question is this. Do drivers yell more at fit fast cyclists who keep up with traffic flow? Or yell more at older nervous drivers who do not?

  48.  

    RichLL

    Too long to review in detail but the conclusions drawn in section 8.0 reinforce the notion that there are several practical, privacy and financial issues with such a proposal.

  49.  

    murphstahoe

    The simpler solution would perhaps be to just change the stop signs to yield for everyone…

  50.  

    RinSF

    It doesn’t matter what the facts are, it FEELS like it’s an exorbitant tax which must pay for all the roads, probably with some waste leftover to pay for soccer leagues for vegan unwed Latino mothers.