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  1.  

    citrate reiterator

    Cars have to merge into the BRT lane to turn or park if you don’t put the BRT lane in the center, reducing travel speed, which is a much bigger disservice to riders.

  2.  

    xplosneer

    Well, I’m confused. She somewhat defended the idea that BART’s fixed costs of employment are too high so we shouldn’t hire more workers (laughable to me, and if true they really need to change their fixed cost structure) and then said it was management’s fault at the same time.

    I don’t agree with shaming either but that was a bit too ambivalent for me. But for now I’ll leave her to decide, because it’s clear she understands the issues at hand.

    I’m also glad she’s chomping at the bit and not accepting the “30 year” timeline for a second tube.

    Best of luck Simon.

  3.  

    citrate reiterator

    Nice hedge with “widely reported as being,” since I’m sure you’re aware that number was completely made up: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/what-donald-trumps-iq-heres-7983558

  4.  

    RichLL

    Yes, if the transit riders are below ground then street-level capacity has to increase, especially since the 38 is the most frequent bus service in the city. That is why all major world class cities have underground rail systems.

    BRT will move more people than cars, perhaps, but it will also increase congestion because it will take out traffic lanes.

    So BRT lowers vehicular capacity while a subway increases it.

  5.  

    RichLL

    Yes, and until we know the extent of the funding crisis that will arise due to SF’s continuation of its sanctuary city status, it might indeed be prudent to hold back on expensive projects

  6.  

    RichLL

    The issue is not that they should be ignored. But the idea that an able-bodied white person cannot understand the issues of a disabled black person is ridiculous. Disabled people have the same issues regardless of their race. To think otherwise raises the question of racial bias.

    That said, Simon isn’t so preciously PC and SJW as the appalling Lisa Feldstein. Simon at least seems to understand that there are economic and engineering issues and complexities here – it’s not just about soft “social” issues that require cards to be played.

  7.  

    Christopher Childs

    How are you defining capacity? More cars would move; fewer people would.

    Edit: it’s not a bad thing, though, if all of the people the bus moved were underground instead.

  8.  

    RichRoLLed

    Did somebody say “make believe fantasy world”?

    Count me in!

  9.  

    RichRoLLed

    Exactly. Especially those programs that I don’t like.

  10.  

    RichRoLLed

    Ugh! I can’t believe we’ve gotta hear about the blind and disabled all the time. Just use the transit you have and shut up about how special you are.

  11.  

    RichLL

    I guess we should be grateful that she only mentioned race four times.

    “I kept waiting for someone to represent me on the BART board. Not just black people . . ” So black people have different demands from BART from white people? And a white person could never figure out those special black demands? I thought she was running AGAINST that kind of race-based thinking.

    “Trump may be the least intelligent president we’ve had “

    Trump’s IQ has been widely reported as being 156 so, even if you don’t like him, he’s quite possibly the highest IQ President we’ve ever had. He just hides it well, evidently, but then so did Bush and Reagan who never came across as intellectual either.

  12.  

    RichLL

    Disagree, because the BRT will later be used as an argument against a subway.

    A BRT cannot run without delaying and congesting vehicular traffic. A subway will allow better capacity at the ground level.

  13.  

    RichLL

    Yeah, agreed, The streetcars have the same problem, of course, but I assume that the camber of the road makes a central location preferable. But that’s not an issue with buses.

    And I’d assume the BRT won’t use the underpasses at Masonic and Fillmore anyway.

  14.  

    RichLL

    Agreed, what cyclist in their right mind would take a fast, high-volume 6-lane highway when there are alternative parallel routes close by?

  15.  

    sebra leaves

    Let us hope the feds drop all the funding for these programs that are not popular and are gaining more bad press as they continue to pile up traffic and congestion and don’t deliver as promised, or haven’t yet. Why do you think the voters did not support the sales tax increase? That is the only way they have to say, quite spending our tax dollars on these multi-million dollar projects we object to. Take care of Muni operations and maintenance and quit removing bus stops and seats.

    This makes no sense: “buses are so frequent they just bunch up…which results in further delays”.

  16.  

    p_chazz

    I love looking at public transit porn. But like porn of the more salacious variety, it represents ultimate ideals that can give us wet dreams, but can never be achieved.

  17.  

    p_chazz

    “Traffic calming will help, but, unfortunately, cyclists won’t see any facilities coming to Geary.”

    Why should they? No reason why a bus corridor should also be a bicycle corridor. Parallel streets in the Richmond and Western Addition district would make for better bicycling than Geary. A route parallel to Geary using Anza, O’Farrell and Post streets would make more sense.

  18.  

    sebra leaves

    Embarcardero has a wide sidewalk and plenty of room for bikes as it is currently configured and needs to be left alone. There is no reason to spend any money working on a roadway that may have to be raised or in some way altered soon deal with to rising seas or sinking land, whichever comes first. Save the money to pay for other more pressing Muni operations and maintenance.

  19.  

    randyw

    I’m all for the subway, it is just a red herring as an argument against BRT.

  20.  

    Mark

    Jimbo is 100% correct. BTW-time advantages of a subway are a lot greater than you think. Try it some time.

    For a supposed tech capital, SF is sadly low on the visionary scale.

  21.  

    PaleoBruce

    BRT is a fantastic idea, we get so much “bang for the buck” using our scarce public right-of-way space this way. I am sorry if single occupancy motor vehicle owners are inconvenienced for the greater good of the public. Subways are great only in a make believe fantasy world where we can ignore their very high cost.

  22.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    Center-running BRT is a disservice to riders, as it guarantees that riders will have to stand in the middle of the road and wait for a signal to cross the street. It will be as bad as T-Third median platforms where every day you see self-respecting riders just jumping off the platform rather than walk hundreds of meters out of their way to stand and wait at a red light for one minute or more.

    BRT should run on one side of the road or the other so that riders have even odds of not having to cross the street.

  23.  

    david vartanoff

    Actually Geary deserves both better bus ,until we re lay the tracks, and a subway. Even the inadequate brt lite being proposed will be an improvement over current service. Much like Mission there are commercial strips where surface transit is better and there are riders who need to skip most of those stops.
    As to the NIMBYs and the cost cutting bad decisions, gags for the former, and just build the good version–we all know the estimates are white lies at best anyway.

  24.  

    randyw

    Of course we all would love a subway, but this gets huge benefits and costs on a per-mile 3.5% as much as the Central subway. This is paid for by LESS than 1 year of construction inflation on the subway option.

    The time advantages of the subway are not a great as imagined anyways. There would be dramatically fewer stations, and so unless you are near one, you have a longer walk, time to descend to the platform, and less frequent service.

  25.  

    keenplanner

    Good idea!

  26.  

    keenplanner

    SFMTA could increase capacity by running more vehicles more frequently, and giving them no-nonsense priority over automobile traffic. All MUNI vehicles should be connected to a central computer and equipped with autonomous functionality, even if they have an operator.
    There really wouldn’t be a need to build more subways if SFMTA would just implement improvements that prioritize transit over traffic.

  27.  

    Jimbo

    this is a money wasting boondoggle. there is very little improvement here. save the money towards a subway. geary is already congested and this will make it worse. taking it underground, and more people will use it and people can still use the streets above. will fight this tooth and nail. city needs to be more visionary

  28.  

    Kieran

    I’ve stated this before but the only reason Muni should do this BRT on Geary is if it eventually brings back the B Geary streetcar line along with having a subway from Transbay Terminal until just west of the Laguna/Geary intersection where there would be tunnel portals.

    From there the B Geary streetcar would run on right of way where it’s signal prioritized-in that when a streetcar approaches an intersection that currently has a light making the streetcar stop, within 10 seconds of the streetcar approaching that intersection the light would change to allow the streetcar to cross. The B Geary could either turn around at 48th/Point Lobos or Ocean Beach.

    I like how this article mentions that Geary would’ve had a Bart subway (though they didn’t mention that it didn’t happen because of Marin county pulling out of the original Bart program). The Geary section was going to snake up north off Geary at around Park Presidio/26th ave, cross under the Golden Gate Bridge and go into the North Bay until around Santa Rosa.

    Here’s an interesting what-if-In 1937 there could’ve been a Geary subway, roughly from Geary/Fillmore, going under Geary to Market/Geary, then turning north up Montgomery to Columbus. From there it might’ve gone along Columbus to Fisherman’s Wharf.

    There’s also a section of this proposed subway that show a line starting from Transbay Terminal, going under Market and basically following the Bart alignment through the Mission but surfacing at about 27th and Dolores st, afterwards possibly taking the present J Church route along San Jose ave through the Bernal Cut. Another route is shown going from Transbay Terminal until Church/Market sts.

    The reason this subway never was built was because the bond measure cost 49.3 million $ and being that it was in the middle of the Depression, voters didn’t want to spend that amount of $. Plus Muni could’ve simply extended that Market st tunnel from Church/Market to connect with the already-existent Twin Peaks tunnel.I think it’s a shame because not only would San Francisco have gotten more subway tunnels earlier in its history but the B Geary streetcar would’ve been saved and we wouldn’t be having this discussion of finally improving transit on Geary.

    Link to that proposed subway article which also has a pic of the map I described.

    https://transbayblog.com/2008/08/19/no-subway-for-you/

  29.  

    keenplanner

    Seriously? SFMTA is allowing Geary St. merchants without data to back up their claims and derail the BRT? And why can’t BRT go through tunnels? Has SFMTA ever ridden a true BRT system?
    Enough with the compromises and accommodating car traffic. Build it right, and build it soon.

  30.  

    Ryan

    I live within walking distance of SSF BART but I usually drive there because El Camino is so unpleasant – like walking along a freeway – even with the sidewalks. All this project does is bring certain sections up to that extremely low standard, albeit with some tepid crosswalk and median improvements thrown in.

    I can’t speak to biker’s complaints. I know damn well I wouldn’t allow my kids to ride a bike along El Camino unless it was fully separated and contiguous. I guess we all know that El Camino will remain a freeway until:

    1. Lanes are removed
    2. Lanes are narrowed to 10′ or less
    3. Sidewalks are widened significantly
    4. There’s actually somewhere worth walking to in between the vast dead stretches.
    5. Walkers and bikers are fully separated from automobile traffic.

    I don’t see anything remotely like this on the boards (sigh).

    On the bright side, South City has been more agressive than most cities in implementing GBI, TOD and pedestrian-friendly projects in general, often over vocal NIMBY opposition. And given that it’s an older suburb with an intact Main Street, in the land constricted Bay Area no less, there’s a lot of reason for optimism that things will eventually “gel.”

  31.  

    RichRoLLed

    I’d be proud to call that much speculation my own.

  32.  

    RichLL

    Or perhaps a tidal barrier near the GG Bridge, like the one in London’s Thames Estuary, which can open to let through shipping?

    There is quite simply no way the Bay Area is going to lose a major airport.

  33.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    Building a berm around the airport sounds like just about the easiest thing to do. Why do you think they’d allow an actively-used airport to be flooded when a simple fix exists?

  34.  

    Karen Lynn Allen

    Both SFO and Oakland International are extremely vulnerable to sea level rise. San Jose International is not. My guess is SFO will be defended. Runways will be raised, even floating runways implemented. It will be extremely expensive. My guess is Oakland International will not be defended. As Oakland runways become more and more routinely flooded, East Bay travelers will take BART to SFO, or they’ll travel around much of California on the Capitol Corridor and San Joaquin train lines. (Perhaps even via high speed rail, but no one should hold their breath awaiting it.) A decade or two from now, running an expensive fixed rail line to a largely abandoned destination will be seen as an unusually stupid waste of money.

  35.  

    RichRoLLed

    That’s not how this game is played Dexter.

    I make something up to get a response. You disagree with me because you are wrong. I point out how wrong you are. You try to argue. I deflect and make some other claim while aggrandizing my own skills and intellect. ad infinitum

  36.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    The commentary in that article is right on point. OAC was built with federal “shovel-ready” money at the same moment that AC Transit was slashing service. What’s more “shovel-ready” than driving buses on existing routes? Nothing! And we still haven’t regained any but a tiny fraction of the services that were cut from AC Transit six years ago.

    Streetsblog didn’t ask about OAC in the recent softball interview of Radulovich http://sf.streetsblog.org/2016/11/17/exit-interview-director-tom-radulovich-reflects-on-20-years-with-bart/ . Would have been interesting to discuss.

  37.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    Oh gosh, what if we find out the buses are sometimes late? Not sure if we can survive these revelations.

  38.  

    mx

    A Forbes reporter is reporting that the hackers claim they have 30GB of SFMTA data they’re threatening to release.

    https://twitter.com/iblametom/status/803309068035231744

  39.  

    RichLL

    Nice little transit system you have there. It would be a shame if it had a little accident. Pay me some bitcoin and I’ll protect you.

  40.  

    RichLL

    Very amusing. but isn’t there a very real sense in which Americans are more reluctant to embrace more centralized and powerful governments projecting more control over individual freedom and choice?

    For better or worse, the US routinely rejects concepts like universal healthcare, high taxes and even global warming. Easy to criticize but what do you do when the voters won’t support what you clearly see as superior.

    Rather than hoping for a magic fairy to sprinkle pixue dust and turn SF into Zurich, why not do the hard part – cinvincing the voters that the sacrifices are worth it?

  41.  

    murphstahoe

    Re OAC: Now they are placing the blame on Uber/Lyft for missing ridership projections. The reason is the fare, plain and simple. To assume that those Uber/Lyft riders would be on BART/OAC in the absence of Uber/Lyft is pretty weak.

  42.  

    mx

    Boy am I sure glad the SFMTA Board is working on its station naming policy. Reading today’s headlines, it’s obvious there’s definitely nothing more important for them to be focusing on.

  43.  

    thielges

    And there you have it: Efficient public transportation lubricates the slippery slope towards socialized medicine. Thanks for pointing out this hazard Rich.

    This is why Americans should resist any efforts to improve the efficiency of transfers: If any one member of your Death Panel is late for the hearing you go scott free and remained plugged in.

    It is a scary world out there and so long as you can stay ensconced in the heated comfort of your Rich Corinthian Leather interior then all is well. Never let anyone pry your fingers off of the steering wheel.

  44.  

    RichLL

    Obviously their transit system works great. I’ve used it myself and it’s like clockwork – you can set your watch by when the train leaves.

    Where the regimentation and collectivism enters into it is rather everywhere else. To have an infrastructure that precise and punctual you have to massively favor transit over cars and drivers. You have to raise taxes to cover the much higher subsidies needed. And the state needs to take over and socialize responsibility for things like healthcare and pensions – a big part of the cost base for transport authorities in the US.

    So yes, we could in theory have a Swiss system here – but the political and economic priorities of the voters would have to change massively and become more European. The recent Trump victory we’re moving in the exact opposite direction, ideologically.

  45.  

    bradlyn rock

    my colleague was looking for CA DMV REG 195 a few days ago and learned about a great service that hosts a ton of fillable forms . If you are interested in CA DMV REG 195 as well , here’s a https://goo.gl/awWLao.

  46.  

    Claude

    What level of regimentation and collectivism is imposed by a quick, convenient cross-platform transfer? You stand up, exit one vehicle, walk to another vehicle and sit down.
    These are people who sprint a quarter mile across an airport to miss a connecting flight. I think they’re smart enough to figure out the system on a train platform.
    And if they’re really that dead set on sitting in the cold and wind for a half hour they can always ignore the connection and wait for a following train.

  47.  

    Jym Dyer

    @njudah – I recently had to pick up a package from FedEx Home & Ground (the driver didn’t make 3 attempts, but that’s another story), in South City. I didn’t choose the delivery service, but in general I would choose ground delivery for its lower carbon impact, the same concern that makes me one of the ~30% of San Franciscans living carfree. But the Home & Ground shipping center for the 2nd most carfree city on the continent is 3, nearly 4, suburbs away. Bad setup.

    Following the only available instructions I could obtain from their website and/or 800 number, I ended up in a sprawling corporate park that involved a freeway overpass and wide boulevards (one with a perfunctory bike lane) to get from the Caltrain station. I chose this route as less problematic than the conditions around the BART station, which would have involved this awful stretch of road and a freeway underpass.

    When I got there, I was helpfully told that Home & Ground packages were in another part of South City, “only 5 minutes away.” More car mentality, of course, nobody’s expecting a bike with trailer, or cargo bike. That route was no picnic, it involved a freeway underpass anyhow, and was practically in San Bruno. The good news is that it’s actually quite close to the San Bruno Caltrain station, and not far from its BART station, though overall the problem is that nobody at FedEx is thinking in terms of carfree customers.

  48.  

    RichLL

    You misunderstand. A big part of having a powerful, centralized and socialized system of anything is a suppression of individual freedoms for the alleged common good.

    Like I said, you could make the same point about healthcare, homelessness, education and any other political topic in Europe versus the US. They are happy with higher taxes for a socialized system and we prefer lower taxes and more freedom.

    And it’s not that one system is better than the other, but rather that they are different reflections of different cultures. Just be glad there are differences because you can choose which system to live in. If we were all exactly the same there would be no such choice

  49.  

    denvoran

    Again what? You can’t have it both ways. The Swiss transportation system can’t be superb but still require its users to have patience and “put up with stuff”.

  50.  

    RichLL

    Again, it’s more a cultural thing. We might as well discuss why the Europeans have free universal healthcare and we do not.