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    Mesozoic Polk

    We love the concept of “vehicle public”! Thank you, North Beach Neighbors, for reminding us that cars are people too!


    Reality Broker

    City of Portland has long since designed and tested curb extensions that can be mounted by emergency vehicles when needed.

    Perhaps SFMTA should reach out to them.



    But even if there a genuine need for especially large fire trucks, that wouldn’t be an argument against sidewalk extensions that fire trucks can just drive over. Is this all just elaborate cover for the crusade for more street parking?



    Actually, the reason why response times have gone up in the city is simple. Over the last few years, the San Francisco Fire Chief has failed to invest in needed Ambulance service, despite being given the money to do so:

    Anything else from the Union or Fire Department Brass is simple whitewashing in an attempt to deflect attention away from the fact that the Fire Chief wants more than the $10 million allocated for the purpose of hiring new paramedics and equipment. She and the union wants to use this money instead to buy new fire trucks rather than ambulances, for the simple reason that they require higher paid fire fighters than paramedics. Bulb outs in the streets just happen to be a visible scapegoat they can use to try and hide their failing to follow through with the supervisors directive to hire more paramedics.



    Should be able to kill this with a NEPA lawsuit. This is a total failure to consider practical alternatives. And it’s a violation of California’s Greenhouse Gas law, if I’m not mistaken…



    What a big pile of bullshit. Smaller vehicles go up steep hills more easily.


    Andy Chow

    The freeway shoulders would only be used when the freeway speed drops significantly, and should only be used to connect auxiliary lanes. Minor changes to ramps and metering lights would be needed to make it work.

    It is not necessarily a substitute for full HOV lanes, but for HOV lanes to be truly effective for transit, dedicated on/off ramps and in-median transit stops would be needed, which is more expensive than just HOV lanes alone. Buses on shoulders allow bus stops on the sides and does not require buses to cross multiple GP lanes to access HOV lanes.



    san francisco is unique in that it needs very powerful and therefor large trucks to get up the steep inclines of hills, so having large vehicles is rooted in the geography of the city. source: SFFD Fire Captain



    I think that must be what she meant by this:





    The Union benefits from the FD having the biggest budgets possible, which I would guess means having the biggest vehicles possible requiring as many people as possible to operate. Just a guess.


    Nicasio Nakamine

    Holy cow! Why would someone write about how crazy and dangerous they are?


    Jessica Zenk

    Hi-larious, Thomas



    While I don’t have any hard numbers on this, it seems to me that increasing traffic on a road that does not have sufficient bike/ped accommodations would indeed result in a moderate increase collisions, simply by the fact that there are more potential conflicts; but adding bike/ped infrastructure to a road has a much stronger effect of decreasing collisions.

    Personally, I feel far safer cycling in a protected bike lane on a busy arterial, where there is very little chance of a car entering my space, than on a city street with sharrows – even though the former has much greater vehicle volumes than the latter. If the protected bike lanes on Alemany Blvd were upgraded to concrete barriers, and extended the entire length of the road and through the interchange with Bayshore, I wouldn’t care how many vehicles were in the lanes next to me.


    Lee Ross

    Following is the Post I sent to the Marina Times. By the way I would not call the Marina Times piece a “Rant.” It’s kind of funny in parts and in places hits the mark, too. Remember the piece is not all about cyclists. So lighten up………
    First. I have only owned a car for one year in my life.
    My sole means of transportation in San Francisco is my
    bicycle and Muni.
    While I think you are criticizing the political clout of the
    cycling community and perhaps giving it too much credit I do appreciate your
    Why? Because you seem to approach all this with a sense of
    humor and healthy skepticism of City Hall.
    I think there should be more bike lanes, cyclist
    protections. I have no problem with the curtailment of parking spaces and the
    restrictions put on motor vehicles.
    For example I welcome the upcoming restrictions on passenger
    vehicles along Market Street. They are long overdue.
    I agree that sadly cars are the All American thing. Just
    watch ads on TV.
    But sometimes the hard line approach is the only way to
    bring about a City less reliant on cars and more skewed to cyclists,
    pedestrians and public transit riders.


    Thomas Rogers

    Won’t *someone* represent the needs of the Vehicular-American community?!



    Yep. Just like “bike people”.



    I agree with the improvements that you list in your first paragraph; however, it seems that if vehicular traffic on an arterial street is increased so too is the likelihood of a collision with a pedestrian or bicyclist.



    I’m completely baffled by this. Are people seriously claiming that a fire truck can’t just drive over a curb? Especially considering that the bulb-outs will replace parked cars, which are genuine obstacles, what on earth is the real issue here?



    “Vehicle public”? Is that an official term?


    Karen Lynn Allen

    As far as I can tell, the three feet law doesn’t cross most motorists’ minds. Perhaps they don’t even know about it. Considerate drivers are still considerate; self-absorbed drivers still put their convenience ahead of any other concern and blame others as a matter of course. In San Francisco, I’d put the driver split at two-thirds considerate/one-third a menace to other human beings.

    When a considerate driver sees a bicyclist, he/she instinctively slows down and waits a second or two until he/she can pass giving a wide berth. I think this is largely an unconscious decision, and it doesn’t cross his/her mind that safety and being considerate isn’t worth a couple seconds of delay.

    The self-absorbed driver thinks, “If I don’t get around this bicyclist in the next half second, I’ll be stuck behind him/her forever. I’m going to do whatever it takes. I deserve better than spending my time in traffic being annoyed.” I don’t think this kind of driver particularly intends to endanger the bicyclist or make his/her life miserable. I don’t think this kind of driver thinks much about other human beings at all. I think fear of consequences is the only thing routinely preventing this sort of driver from actually sideswiping buses, construction workers, bicyclists and anyone else in their way. Blaming others for their lack of consideration and patience is par for the course.

    And then there are the sociopaths who really do want to make bicyclists miserable. But this number is relatively few.



    Pretty sure the author doesn’t know that. It’s the same woman who bragged about using her BMW to pin a cyclist up again a row of parked cars back in 2012 (then closed and deleted the comments when everyone said she was a maniac):



    The secret to running a lean, low-cost government is to pretend that most of it doesn’t exist.



    Due to merging traffic at every on- and off-ramp, “freeway shoulders” are the worst place to put through traffic such as employer buses.

    It’s easy to see first hand that Dumbarton traffic is clearly the biggest contributor to afternoon NB 101 congestion between Mountain View and Menlo Park. The major Dumbarton approach exits are frequently backed up for up to a half mile onto 101 — causing major 101 backups into Mountain View because traffic doesn’t flow well past the long queues … and there are always clowns who block the slow lane trying to get into the middle of the queue and others who in frustration pull out of the queue and back into the slow lane.

    SMCo. is blowing it big time by just mindlessly widening 101; by not having an HOV lane (which employer buses, shuttles and taxis and SFO travelers could use to bypass SOV traffic).

    With the huge Facebook expansion directly _on_ the Dumbarton rail line, with massive jobs growth and redevelopment in Redwood City and up and down the Caltrain corridor, SMCo. and the region need re-prioritize rebuilding the transbay Dumbarton rail line so East Bay commuters don’t have to drive to their Peninsula jobs.



    Funny how the Marina Times takes a “swipe” at bicyclists:

    “Baghdad by the Bay has become Bicyclists by the Bay, to the frustration
    of drivers trying to stay three feet away from them (thanks to a new
    state law) on narrow, crowded city streets while not sideswiping 12
    construction workers and a Muni bus in the next lane.”

    There are more than the 2 options besides endangering bicyclists vs. endangering construction workers. Funny how so many people who are licensed to drive a large and powerful piece of equipment on the street don’t realize that when it is not safe to pass, you are *required* to wait until it is safe to pass. You don’t have to face the quandary of whether you endanger the person on the right or left. The best option is to endanger no-one.



    I knew there was something fishy up, or at least a severe lack of nuance. Thanks for pinpointing the problem!


    Nicasio Nakamine

    As much as I’d love to have a free and clear bike lane down Townsend, I think the insane u-turns are what freak me out the most. They are clearly dangerous, but happen all the time with no enforcement.

    Anyhow, I’m glad someone has tried to talk to some of the bus drivers – it doesn’t seem like a big hassle for them to pull over just a little more.



    If the Trader Joe’s at Geary and Masonic can hire security guards to try to manage the traffic hazard they’ve created, maybe DPT should have someone assigned to manage the area in front of the Caltrain station during commute hours.



    Lack of sidewalks, crosswalks, and dedicated cycling infrastructure are the primary reasons why Alemany Blvd is not currently safe for cyclists and pedestrians. Additionally, the high speed of vehicles is a significant factor. All of these issues can and should be fixed by adding bike/ped facilities and traffic calming, regardless of whether the freeway is removed.

    None of those issues are related of the volume of traffic using the road, which is pretty low and could handle the additional cars added by removing the freeway ramps. If anything, adding more cars to the road will slow the speed of the traffic. As the distance between vehicles decreases, drivers will slow down to maintain a safe stopping distance.



    “Drivers wishing to make that movement would connect between the two freeways using Alemany Blvd.”

    Please explain how removing flyover ramps and putting more cars onto Alemany Boulevard will make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.



    The Marina Times article is a hoot. It compares San Francisco County employees (which is basically San Francisco City employees) against Santa Clara County employees – conveniently forgetting all of the employees of the cities of San Jose, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Palo Alto, and so on, and so on…



    Imaging if it was a one woman crusade – and that woman was Jane Kim…



    Having lived for years on Brannan between 5th and 6th, I can tell you a huge chunk of the 280 traffic is 101 bypass. There was always a long line of cars, especially in the evening, getting off 280 at Brannan, going to 5th, and then getting back on 80 to cross the bridge. 280 north of 16th st hurts bridge traffic by causing excessive merging traffic.



    Good job Stanley Roberts. But there needs to be a whole lot more stops all the time with a 10x increased fine. As it stands, letting peds walk is a joke to arrogant drivers.



    YES!! We need a wider sidewalk/better lighting on eastbound Alemany under the freeway as well. Could be a combined foot/bike path.



    That article about Ms. Kosberg taking action on buses parking in the Townsend St. bike lanes is interesting. Just a little polite prodding from a concerned commuter was all it took to change some behavior for the better. Imagine what even just a little enforcement from the SFPD could do.

    Maybe bike lane parkers don’t even realize that they’re causing a problem?



    (nevermind. Link was broken, now it’s not)



    The aerial photo in this article neatly illustrates why I-280 should be removed all the way back to the interchange with US-101. If that was done, ALL of the aerial structures in that photo could be removed.

    The part of the double-deck structure that splits off to the left of the picture goes to the I-280 east of the interchange, which would no longer exist. The part that splits off to the right goes to I-280 west of the interchange, which is a movement that very few cars perform, so it could also be removed. Cars wishing to make that movement would connect between the two freeways using Alemany Blvd, which would not be much slower than using the direct ramp.

    The aerial structure at the bottom of the picture is the main carriageway of I-280 through the interchange, which would also be removed. Traffic between I-280 and downtown would instead be routed onto the aerial ramps connecting I-280 west of the interchange to US-101 north of the interchange (not shown in the picture), which would remain in place. These ramps are located above the Alemany interchange and don’t affect residences and businesses in the way that the other ramps do.



    How does “opposing bus lanes” equal “supporting gentrification”? Are Calle 24 worried that if the bus lanes are implemented, the techies will flock to Mission St to take advantage of the projected 5 minute travel time savings for the 14-Mission through the project area?



    The “governator” played a role in this, with his populist and successful effort to reduce the vehicle license fee immediately upon assuming the office. When he left office, he expressed regret for this with its severe budget implications for California.



    Ignoring the increased environmental and fiscal consequences of highway expansion is irresponsible to current and future residents. To knowingly increase air pollution and decrease transit ridership (by widening 101) is a major fail – especially when it’s now widely known and understood that this will further climate change and thereby contribute to this very freeway being flooded by rising sea levels. Furthermore, to undermine Caltrain, Samtrans, and other county funded public transit services is very poor planning. Caltrain has had unreliable public funding but despite this has rapidly increasing ridership. San Mateo County officials should know better. Innovation is required.


    StrixNoctis .

    The people struggling to remain in the Mission district would just get “washed away” even quicker if they supported the gentrification.


    StrixNoctis .

    Valencia Street isn’t exactly “up” or improved by gentrification. There are clubs & bars along that street, public drunkeness, prostitution (not low-end street walkers like there has been on Capp St, but the high-end prostitutes at and around the Valencia St clubs & bars are prostitutes nonetheless), loitering, a lot of illegal double parking.



    What is the opportunity for public input to this plan?



    Yes, I meant my suggestion to be in addition to, not in place of, the proposed path between Alemany and San Bruno. Together, those two improvements would go a long way to making the area navigable for people walking and biking.


    Chris W

    During the Mayor’s budget outreach to communities earlier this year, PNA (of which I am also chair) corridor manager Jack Tse and I presented three proposals to be added into the city budget. Two of them were added, leaving the last one, $100K to top-up the Alemany study, to the add-back process (where supervisors all negotiate over a pool of ‘extra’ money). Supervisor Campos felt so strongly about this project that he got the extra $100K to expand the study beyond pedestrian access and to look more fully at bike access as well. Now with $200K for the study, the PNA is really looking forward to working with other community partners in Bernal Heights, Glen Park, and with all the stakeholder agencies to see what we can come up with.



    What about those coming from/going to San Bruno?



    HOV lanes are also bus lanes.



    Connecting the Alemany and Bayshore bike lanes would be great. The buffered bike lanes on Alemany are quite nice, but I hardly ever see anyone else riding them since they dump you into this mess here.

    In the long term, the planned studies of removing part of 280 should look, at least as an option, at removing 280 all the way back to 101, which would drastically simplify the Alemany interchange.



    Seems a little disingenuous by C/CAG to tack on the cost of additional transit operations to the cost of converting existing lanes to HOV. To be fair and accurate, are they tacking on the numerous external costs associated with encouraging more driving to the proposal for adding lanes on 101? Seems to me they already know what they want and are stacking the deck against converting existing lanes to HOV lanes.

    We should look to experts in European transport, who have great transportation systems partially because they honestly assess as many external costs as possible. When doing so, it becomes very clear that a “car-first” transportation approach is nearly always more costly and less efficient.

    Here’s one example: