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    Right – that’s just the approach the Republicans since Ronald Reagan have used to bankrupt the country. It’s called “starve the beast” and it’s worked so great, that we now owe over $17 Trillion. Great job.

    As for the MUNI sickout – each of the other cities you mention periodically has issues with their unions as well. Frankly it didn’t effect me one bit. I bicycle to work, and was picking up my daughter from camp on a trailer bike. I am very glad that there are other options available than trying to compete with all the crazy car drivers out there.

    And Let’s not forget that for the cities you mentioned, NYC, Chicago, and Boston contend with snow in the winter that shut down streets- but in my experience, the trains keep running.



    Then Greg – you should be in favor of strengthening MUNI, adding more meters, and installing more bike lanes. The fewer people who are in cars, because it the only safe or convenient option available, the easier it will be for you to drive to your destination. For the last 80 years we have tried to build our way out of traffic congestion and to put it simply – it doesn’t work.

    If more people like me use the other options available then people like you wouldn’t be so frustrated by your experience driving around the city. If there weren’t bike lanes, calmed streets, and MUNI between my house and various destination do you think I would be biking? No – I would drive just like you. And I would be taking up space on the road just like you. And probably taking up a parking space – the exact one that you wanted to use.



    Wow, you deserve a medal.
    I am a 30 year native of SF and we are over taxed and over billed on city fees.

    NOT ANOTHER DIME to subsidize inefficeint systems.

    Did you have fun getting around town during the MUNI ‘sickout’? So much for a transit rich city. You have not spent enough time in NYC, Chicago, Boston (which I find is the best) Philadelphia, or even Seattle. Their public transit is 10X better than ours.

    MUNI is a joke. To say otherwise is to be in denial.



    replacing the original concrete curbs with materials that better match the rest of Market Street.

    Glad the City’s money trees are producing so well now.



    I can’t take both of my kids on my bike at the same time. The buses don’t go to my kids’ baseball games and swimming in the Presidio. I can’t carry the 150 pounds of little league coaching gear on my bike. The city refused to allow my kids to go to any school near my house (I picked the nearest 7 and got none) – so we have to get them across town by 8am each day. The bus between my house and my kids’ school (thru the ‘loin) is filled with meth heads and crazies that assault us, the bus usually has to stop due to an incident and is totally unreliable.



    It’s pretty terrible that Geary BRT failed to set out a long-term plan for the Masonic and Fillmore underpasses. Given that funding isn’t available to fix these underpasses, Geary BRT should have been done as a phased project, with the downtown and Richmond sections implemented now, and Palm to Gough implemented at a later date.

    As things stand this section will be stuck with side-running bus lanes and these horrible underpasses indefinitely. Those could have been created through an SFTMA Engineering hearing as an interim measure until funding was available to do the section properly.

    The obvious solution for both of these underpasses is to fill them in – there’s simply no reason for them to exist.


    Andy Chow

    What about people who work in the Sunset District where a lot of them pass through Hayes Valley? Transit availability and speed is much lower compared to downtown.



    Walking 1,000 feet is an impractical proposition for many people?



    Frankly, your first comment is baloney. For a majority of people in the city, particularly low income, elderly and disabled who don’t have the resources or ability to own a car and drive MUNI is the default option even if you own a car. Look in the mirror. Your anger over their poor service is largely the fault of drivers like yourself. If there weren’t so many people trying to drive everywhere, MUNI would be far more reliable

    As for your second point, I have a daughter and for most activities (soccer practice, ballet, taking her to school, swimming practice, etc.) I use MUNI and bicycle to get around, and they work fine, even though I own a car. Saying otherwise is just a cop out. We live in one of the most transit rich communities in the country, in a city that is only 7 miles by 7 miles. Nothing is more than 30-45 minutes away by those modes.

    Finally, if you must drive, then you would want to have parking available at your destination. Meters priced appropriately are the most effective way of managing demand for those spaces. Creating more free parking with land prices the way they are in SF is the most inefficient use of that space and would only externalize that cost on to others – say poor people trying to find housing.



    I think there is a legitimate case people are making about the left lane being a passing lane. What bothers me is that there was exactly one comment regarding drivers speeding through *city* streets, which is actually very dangerous (to safe drivers, pedestrians, and bikes) rather than mostly an annoyance. Also, I highly doubt that many people fail to turn right on red when it is actually clearly safe (how would you know if you can’t see?). Also, I think the “tortoise-to-hare” slowpoke is completely backwards: I find it super dumb/annoying that so many drivers gun it when they are clearly coming up to a red light. Waste of gas, waste of brake pads, and can cause congestion once everyone else follows. If people were patient and slowed down, then there wouldn’t be such a queue waiting for the person ahead of them to move when the light turned green.


    Marvin Papas

    1.Muni….does not deserve another cent given their atrocious service.

    2. If one has kids one needs to park & drive. Its ugly but its true. The increases in rates over the past 10 years to fund underfunded city programs is a crying shame. The city should cut its bloated bureaucracy first instead of punishing the taxpayer over and over.


    Don't Ever Change Ever

    It looks like the northwest corner is missing the “No crossing” sign that’s on every other corner, so legally there’s an unmarked crosswalk for pedestrians traveling south on the west side of Lyon to cross to the opposite corner across Geary.

    Perhaps the sign wasn’t installed there or was removed because it blocked access to the parking lot for Tony’s Cable Car Restaurant.



    First of all, that isn’t all that this proposition is asking for. Secondly, charging for meters should be based on the demand for those meters rather than evaluating based on fees alone. In many commercial districts, not charging fees on Sundays, Holidays, or during hours outside of the 9 AM to 6 PM window has lead to a shortage of parking, which in turn means that businesses and people looking for parking can’t find it.

    The issue of ‘not putting new meters in neighborhoods without consent from affected residents and business’ is a red herring. SFMTA already has an exhaustive outreach program. This just means adding another layer of additional delays (and cost to the city taxpayers) without doing anything to change the overall process.

    Finally, let’s point out that every government resource requires funding. Not raising garage rates means that other things will be more expensive, like transit for the elderly and disabled for example. Saying that you need to cap rates on garages means you are happy to see the elderly and disabled be forced to pay more for transit.



    Until the 1940′s there was no Lyon Street south of Geary–it was Calvary Cemetery.



    Not a logical problem at all, that was intended. Goals influence policy. And yes, exactly, the city is falling far short of its self-stated goals currently.

    In any case bike+ped+transit infrastructure projects are all interrelated. Any false pitting of one against the other is not borne out by reality nor is it anything other than that…false.


    Marvin Papas

    What is wrong with any of these items??

    prohibit the city from:[1]

    charging parking meter fees on Sundays;

    charging parking meter fees on holidays;

    charging parking meter fees outside the hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.;

    putting new meters in neighborhoods without consent from the affected residents and businesses; and

    increasing parking garage, meter or ticket rates for at least five years, with increases tied to the CPI after that.



    This doesn’t diminish the point Aaron is trying to make, nor justify the horrendously unsafe conditions for peds at this location, but all the same the article title is slightly misleading. It’s not really the crosswalk that is closed (not in the same sense as those in Hayes Valley where naught but a sign prevents those ne’er-do-well jaywalkers from crossing), but rather Lyon Street itself basically ends on each side of Geary and continues anew on the other side. Even northbound or southbound cars must detour onto Geary.



    Great. Now can we get one of these at Embarcadero/North Point so I can stop using the sidewalk?


    Mario Tanev

    Assuming the current spacing is 500 feet, then the current maximum walk is 250 feet on each end. So, assuming the stops on both ends were eliminated and the person really was closest to those stops, the net increase in walking distance is 500 feet.

    Whereas in this case, the pass of desire distance is 0 feet, but the person is forced to walk 1000 feet, for a net increase in walking distance of 1000 feet.

    Of course if you only look at absolute values, you’re right, it’s 1000 feet in either case.


    Andy Chow

    The lights on those streets are synced together so whatever solution for the pedestrian crossing needs to be compatible with the synchronization to reduce traffic, collisions, speeding, as well as noise and pollution due to vehicles have to make a lot more stop and go.



    My point was, in this instance, it’s really not double TEP. That being said, there also isn’t any real reason why you couldn’t put a crossing, at least on the east side of the intersection, or a mid-block crossing just east of Lyon St.



    Thanks for “Yes, that is a fair assessment.”



    Yes, that is a fair assessment. Of course, with TEP, it’s also a maximum of 1000 ft, 500 ft to get from your origin to your entrance stop, and 500 ft to get from your exit stop to your destination. :-/


    Mario Tanev

    So 500 feet to either Presidio or Baker, then another 500 back to Lyon, makes what? 1000 feet. So, 1000 feet to cross the street.



    It is actually far harder to divert people from driving for their regular commute. They have less tolerance for waiting and making connections than if they’re going to a ballgame…

    It is true that people have less tolerance for waiting when commuting, but this applies to both transit and driving. Reliability is a major factor in people’s mode choice for commuting, along with cost and speed. If you make transit more reliable, cheaper, and faster than driving, people will flock to it.

    and many individual employment locations aren’t dense enough to have direct transit service.

    This is absolutely *not* the case in Hayes Valley, or anywhere else in the northeast quadrant of SF.

    I don’t disagree with your criticisms of SFMTA and how they handled the concert, but that’s not the issue here.



    Actually, what you’ve just cited is incorrect. If you are at Lyon Street, it’s 500 feet to either Presido or Baker. The 1000 feet quoted in the article is between Presidio and Baker, so similar to TEP, it’s a maximum 500 ft walk to the nearest crosswalk.



    Gezellig writes

    –> the city has a goal of 20% bike modeshare. It’s currently at about 3.6%.

    The logical problem with your statement is the word “goal”.

    Mayor Newsom said in 2007 the city’s goal is to use bicycles for at least 10% of all trips. The goal wasn’t met. Goals cannot be enforced by law.


    Dave Moore

    Ah, I never said that removing a lane of cars and replacing it with a lane of bikes resulted in a net increase in cars. I said that some of the claimed benefits of reducing congestion by removing drivers and replacing them with cyclists were possibly offset by this effect.

    So yes, if you add cyclists without removing drivers you would likely increase the tax base. But the things we typically discuss here are not that.



    Your counter argument in the end is countered by your own original argument. If we add cyclists and get no net loss of drivers, we then get a net addition of people going to work and increase the tax base. Jenga! I mean, if you can count 3rd order benefits… :)

    One could argue that the additional traffic capacity of Doyle Drive and the Bay Bridge will make it so much easier to get *into* the city, that it will overwhelm city streets and parking, a disadvantage to *drivers*. We can go on and on. Which we do because it is certainly a vexing problem. grist for the mill, my friend.


    Dave Moore

    and while there is a claim that loss of a lane or installing a crosswalk has a negative impact on drivers, there is also a positive one that I believe outweighs it.

    I only disagree that it *always* outweighs it. I believe there are times when it does and other times when removing a lane has more negative impact than the positive one you describe.

    Also some of that benefit is likely undermined by the very same Braess Paradox that is frequently mentioned here. Just because a driver becomes a cyclist doesn’t mean there is a net loss of drivers.



    While you’re right that drivers benefit more from these things I don’t
    think you can claim that non driver residents (although I don’t believe
    you are one anymore) of the city get zero benefit.

    While you are right that cyclists benefit more from bike improvements than drivers, I don’t think you can claim that non cyclist residents (which I never was) of the city get zero benefit. Cyclists do not add to congestion or pollution. More people still commute into SF than out of it, and many of them do it by car, and this is eased by any increase in people cycling to work and not using up downtown parking spaces. So yes, you can’t drive or double park your car in a bike lane (legally, anyway), and while there is a claim that loss of a lane or installing a crosswalk has a negative impact on drivers, there is also a positive one that I believe outweighs it.


    Dave Moore

    At certain choke points there are far more drivers than pedestrians, no matter how walkable that local area is. I believe that to be true of the intersection in question, because of the number of drivers needing to access 101 or travel from south of Market to the west side of the city.

    Also the delay is not proportionate. The changes proposed could cause cars to have to wait through multiple light cycles that they otherwise wouldn’t have to. This no-crossing area results in pedestrians having to cross the street. Sometimes they were going to need to do that eventually anyway. Other times they can wait to cross back at a time when they have the signal down the road. Once in a while they have to cross back immediately because they need to go somewhere on that block. It’s a minor inconvenience to some to increase throughput at a critical junction for many more. Maybe there are innovative solutions to deal with that but unless there are it seems to me to be the wrong tradeoff.

    As I mentioned earlier, it might be fine to block pedestrian crossing only during rush hours.


    Dave Moore

    While you’re right that drivers benefit more from these things I don’t think you can claim that non driver residents (although I don’t believe you are one anymore) of the city get zero benefit. Goods get delivered that they buy. More people still commute into SF than out of it, and many of them do it by car. That leads to a higher tax base. Tourists come in, mostly by car, also adding to taxes. The police and fire departments use them. So yes, you can’t ride your bikes on those roads and while there is negative impact as well on residents there is also a positive one that I believe outweighs it.



    I wouldn’t count the Bay Bridge as part of this…we’re mostly talking
    about city streets. Doyle Drive perhaps, but it’s also about getting in
    and out of the city…. unless you are riding a bicycle.



    How much was spent on reconstructing the onramps to the Bay Bridge. Those exist in SF but construction was done by the state. Don’t forget that this also applies to work on 19th Ave, Van Ness, Lombard, Doyle, all places with zero bike infrastructure but funded by the state and feds as they are state and federal highways.

    Then consider that we all pay state and federal taxes, and that is used by the state and federal government for highways and roadways that are prohibited for bicycle usage. This doesn’t even get into running the CHP which serves and protects the motorists on those restricted access freeways.



    The person biking testing out the 3ft law with a stick seems a bit misleading in the video. It seems that the person is riding his bike in a bike lane in the Embarcadero Waterfront which in most cases or entirely no cars are trying to pass him, those cars are already in the adjacent lane, I like to see what happens when you do that in an active lane of traffic with cars behind are trying to pass him, that’s the REAL TEST


    Mario Tanev

    Somehow we hear a lot of complaints about stop consolidation in TEP, which mostly changes the spacing from ~500 feet to ~1000 feet. To put it in perspective, ~1000 feet stop spacing means it’s a 500 feet walk to the nearest stop.

    Yet here you have 1000 feet (double that) just to cross the street and I only hear victim-blaming (read the comment sections of other publications).


    Dave Moore

    Maybe it’s what I see below:

    “I’m not sure where it’s budgeted, I believe for DPW, but street repaving (which benefits all users, but primarily cars) is handled by DPW, and other large projects that are in the billions such as Doyle Drive and the new Bay Bridge are outside of the MTA’s budget”

    I’d love to see the amount spent on street repaving. It’s likely a large number, some but not nearly all of which applies to other users of the streets as well. I wouldn’t count the Bay Bridge as part of this…we’re mostly talking about city streets. Doyle Drive perhaps, but it’s also about getting in and out of the city. The pedestrian count doesn’t matter for those. I’m sure others would disagree.


    Dave Moore

    far more money is spent on auto infrastructure wayyyy disproportionate to its modeshare

    Are there different funds going into auto infrastructure that aren’t included in the above report?

    There wasn’t much targeted at autos. The biggest area was transit.

    Perhaps you’re referring to the $300M from “Total Other Funds”. Is that all auto? Even if it is, it plus the other auto specific funds would be less than the approximately 50% commuter mode share.


    Andy Chow

    There were other events at Candlestick before Paul McCartney. It is just so the attendance for this is higher than all other ones. It is clear that SFMTA has under-prepared for that show, both for managing traffic and providing transit.

    It is less packed during off hours because the travel demand is lower, with far fewer cars on the road. Because of the high latent demand, Caltrain was able to run faster more frequent service during rush hours, and able to compete with the congested freeways. But during off peak and weekends, Caltrain has a harder time competing with the uncongested 101. If all those baseball crowds are not in a relaxed mode and drinking, but rather going to work at that time, a lot of them will drive.


    Alex Brideau III

    I guess the question I have is why *must* 3 turn lanes exist at this location in the first place? If traffic engineers can make certain streets one-way thoroughfares and others bi-directional, then surely this street’s traffic flow can be engineered so that fewer turn lanes are necessary at this location. If this causes car congestion, then drivers will elect to take alternative routes … in some cases on the fly and in some cases they will rework their commute route. That’s what I do when I encounter a congestion while driving.



    the 49ers is not a one off event. Paul McCartney played Candlestick this month – the last time he played there was 1966. The 49ers have already played 2 home games in the past 10 days.

    It is actually far harder to divert people from driving for their regular commute.

    Interesting. Is that why Caltrain and BART are mostly packed at rush hour, and less packed on off hours?



    There are currently a couple orders of magnitude more sidewalks than bike lanes in SF.



    My mention of the Folsom @ 3d St. example is intended to illustrate the
    prospective safety hazard created by having a pedestrian crosswalk
    directly in front of multiple turn lanes for motorists. Convenience
    should be secondary to safety on that basis

    Get rid of the multiple turn lanes! They are very convenient, but that is not as important as SAFETY!



    Some percentage of car traffic may indeed switch to alternative routes but some may just disappear altogether due to mode switching. It’s not everyone but for the percentage of people who are “on the fence” at any given time about a certain mode for a certain trip, if one mode comes to exceed their convenience thresholds some will switch to other modes.

    Lots of (though obviously not all) car traffic is quite local–people driving to go get coffee or the ATM or whatever just because it’s easy enough and there’s parking. When the ease (or perceived ease) of driving everywhere is diminished there’s less incentive to drive as often for as many trips.

    Also, Braess’s Paradox has not just been observed during temporary closures but permanent infrastructure changes. In fact, I think it’s more associated with permanent changes.



    Talking around, there is a clear factor that tips the balance in favor of the shuttles vs driving or Caltrain.

    They are free.

    How easy is it to get FREE good transit to happen?


    Andy Chow

    If planned properly, traffic for one-off event can be managed, the traffic situations at the recent 49ers games in Santa Clara weren’t too bad because various agencies including transit agencies put all the resources and planned for the capacity.

    Transit ridership jumped sky high during the Giants World Series Parade.

    Nobody was in charge (and nobody gave a shit) for planning and managing the traffic for Paul McCartney. SFMTA could’ve done better with all their experiences with the 49ers. Caltrain and BART could’ve make sure to run trains late enough to connect with Muni to make sure people can get home so they don’t drive.

    It is actually far harder to divert people from driving for their regular commute. They have less tolerance for waiting and making connections than if they’re going to a ballgame, and many individual employment locations aren’t dense enough to have direct transit service.

    Whatever SFMTA’s official policy is, their outcome is half-ass. There may be some sort of “rapid” Muni here or there, but forget about any direct express bus to the East Bay or Silicon Valley if you don’t work for Google or Apple, or any reliable transit to Caltrain for that matter. If you’re an employer or a transportation company that wants to provide more options, do not expect SFMTA to be your partner either.



    reading the rest of this thread – apparently it is still closed because that would inconvenience cars, and that is a no-no. Because there will always be cars. And they can’t back up. And you can take a 3 way crossing detour, so man up.


    Andy Chow

    Not really going away but shifting traffic on different streets. The Braess Paradox can be better explained the situation between the freeway and the local roads. Most people tend to prefer the freeway even when it is jammed while the local roads maintain a predictable (and sometimes faster) travel time. But if the freeway is gone, the traffic would have to be spread on multiple local roads. The story is that there will be consequences elsewhere. Do we want more traffic on streets like Hayes, Page, or Haight streets?

    Sometimes temporary closure of road or transit end up to have less traffic impact than first predicted (like carmageddons or the BART strikes) partly because media coverage help lower traffic demand (like people staying at home rather than going to work on that day) and that there are travel alternatives being promoted. Some BART riders become a permanent AC Transit riders after the strike has ended because they discovered that the transbay buses to be better than BART, but people in general are far more familiar with BART like the freeway.



    A great example of the mindset holding sustainable transportation back…A closed crosswalk can cause a pedestrian up to 2 minutes of delay (sometimes less, but also sometimes more in extreme circumstances). A 2-minute delay affects pedestrians’ accessibility as much as a permanent 2-mile detour on the highway would affect motorists. Can you imagine the outcry? We engineer roads to shave precious seconds off travel time for that mode, why don’t we at least do the same for pedestrians?