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    Recreational cyclists are using it on weekends. Plenty of people use it for commuting (I know of at least two in my office) and the number of weekday bicyclists reflects that. The length is irrelevant because there are at least 200,000 jobs within a half mile of the bridge landing in SF versus perhaps 200 where the Golden Gate Bridge lands. And within 1 mile of the east landing is all of Emeryville (population over 10,000, greater than that of Sausalito and Marin City combined, the latter of which is 4 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge). And within 2 miles, you get a good chunk of Berkeley, all of West Oakland, Uptown, and Temescal, all places with very high rates of cycling.

    When this project is finished, the number of cyclists will put the Golden Gate Bridge to shame.



    the GGB would be a ceiling not a floor. It is the most popular tourist destination in the city and the most used bridge in the US for recreational cyclists. I take it 3 mornings per week and 1 weekend day for a ride through the headlands, and there are many like me. The Bay bridge is much longer, not pretty, no destination on the other side of SF that toursists would go to. its just for those few cyclists who would commute from the industrial part of oakland and emeryville to SF. i think 100 per day is probably about right



    You seem to be making inaccurate assumptions about Chris Carlson’s personality and motivations related to Critical Mass.



    On the Airbnb vote, I wonder if Johnson purposely voted against the mayor’s wishes only to obviously capitulate to his request, as a sign of her “loyalty.” After all, she purposely asked early in the meeting if any rev-vote was possible then changed her vote with zero resistance. Wouldn’t surprise me.



    I know! For a second there I thought they were trying to imply that people have any responsibility when they get behind the wheel. Because we all know that there’s nothing you can do when driving to not maim pedestrians and cyclists, especially with all those 70-year olds “jumping” out in front of you in crosswalks.


    Bob Gunderson

    Carrection: “SFMTA Wants Cameras to Catch Speeding –>Cars<– Near Schools"


    Nicasio Nakamine

    I’m almost relieved the Willie Brown column is behind a paywall.



    FYI – The SF Examiner link for the Planning Commissioner Airbnb Vote story links to yesterday’s headlines.



    Awesome news! The first two were really fun, so it’s great to know this is becoming a regular thing.

    Can’t make this Thursday’s event, unfortunately, but will look forward to next month’s.



    Anecdotally my commute has been getting easier. Other than the Bay Bridge. And other people I know say the same thing.

    The only slowdowns I hit are from building or road construction. I wonder if those are what people are thinking of.


    Mesozoic Polk

    Does Virgil’s validate for parking?



    Considering that he Golden Gate Bridge, which is located miles and miles from any areas with significant residential or employment density, carries at least 2,500 bikes on an average weekday (and over 5,000 on an average weekend day), that would be a reasonable floor for an estimate. 10,000 seems more accurate…



    whats your number?



    I’ve heard plenty of lowball guesses on the number of people who would use a bike/ped path on the Bay Bridge, but yours is by far the lowest. Congratulations!



    very cool!



    That’s too bad, I didn’t realize that was the case. It’s especially unfortunate because running trains over the bridge would be a hell of a lot cheaper than building another BART tube.


    Michael Smith

    Unfortunately, no. When the new east span was created it was decided to not make it handle rail. So we are stuck with some rather poor choices for a long, long time.


    Kristof Didrickson

    Let’s regain lost ground on the bay bridge! Trains, along with auto traffic, benefitted from the bridge until the late 1950s. Let’s take a couple lanes for BART (so train riders can enjoy the view for once), and a couple more for bikes and peds.



    Roadway geometry wise, I think this could be pretty challenging. The speeds on the EB Bay Bridge are such that a contraflow lane would cause safety issues, plus the Treasure Island left ramp (thus screwing residents who ride the 108). The best solution is just to raise prices on the Bay Bridge during peak and divert the additional funds to more transit.



    It only weighs so much because Caltrans wants to be able to drive maintenance vehicles on top of it, so it needs to be able to support the weight of their motorized vehicles and not just bikes. Which is crazy because bikes are nowhere close to 4000 lbs, maybe they should just force Caltrans employees to use bike based repair equipment.



    increasing transbay capacity? with <100 people crossing per day on bike. that's 3 buses or 75 cars that could cross in minutes


    Thomas Rogers



    hardly /my/ idea, but I look forward to their report!



    Jimbo, this hasn’t worked before. Widening freeways and constructing new ones has yet to relieve congestion. Why would this be different?



    I think you misunderstand Mr. Gunderson’s post. Just take a quick glance at his brilliant blog to clarify:



    I think the outcome of the study is supposed to be multiple options, each with a cost/benefit analysis. I wouldn’t be surprised if your idea for a reverse commute lane conversion is among them.



    That’s good. I’m glad they’re working on that and I hope they’re successful, but do we really only want one option to choose from (especially before it’s even fully fleshed out)?



    Found SF has done some interesting pieces and I certainly don’t actually wish eviction on anyone. That said, what irony: a founder of Critical Mass being told he can’t have perpetual control over something he doesn’t own and has no legal right to take over.



    The consultants working on alternate alignments right now have been tasked with bringing the cost down to $250M at most, and some of the updates I’ve heard involve lightening the path substantially so that the deck replacement won’t be needed. We should have some more definite info later this year.



    From what I read, it was going to cost at least $500M because the weight of hanging an extra path on the west span would require lightening the existing road surface.

    Right now, we have lots of extra space on the bridge– in the morning on the lower deck, and in the evening on the upper deck. If we can use that to get access sooner (probably much, much sooner) then it’s a win.

    We can still try to get a comfortable, purpose-built path built (and open as soon as possible), but in the many-years-long meantime we won’t be cut off.



    My understanding is that the new ramps, which will have to be constructed no matter what alignment is used, will be the most costly and time-intensive aspect of any potential bike/ped path on the west span. The pathway itself, whether new construction or reusing an existing lane, is not the main bottleneck. I also feel that a more expensive, purpose-built path, is more politically feasible than converting an existing travel lane.



    Of course a dedicated bike/ped path would be better, but when? Five years from now? Ten?

    We could have something this year at a fraction of the cost if we wanted. It’s an option worth keeping on the table, but almost nobody is talking about it.



    …said every critic of every bike project ever.

    Better question: Why wasn’t the bridge constructed with bike/ped access in the first place, or at least why wasn’t it included in the west span seismic upgrade project?

    Building a bike/ped path on the west span might seem expensive to those allergic to spending gobs of money on anything but car projects, but it is in fact the cheapest way to expand transbay capacity, beyond possibly adding a few more ferries.

    Your assumption that few people would use the path isn’t based on the reality of today, or the reality of the coming decades when the path will be needed even more. The Bay Area is growing, congestion is getting worse, and people want options. If the west span pathway will take 10 years to build we need to start on it now, because we certainly can’t pave our way out of gridlock.



    whats the purpose of spending a lot of money on bike lanes that would benefit so few?



    why would we spend money for a bike lane across bay bridge that so few would use.?



    What does that have to do with the topic at hand? City streets are massively subsidized by the general fund, including sales tax and property taxes.



    Automobile usage has been declining in San Francisco. I think we can all agree that less money and less of the roadway should be dedicated to individual private vehicle usage.



    Where do you live and work, and are there any vacancies nearby?



    If they both ran a red, I still don’t see how the driver gets away without even a goddamn ticket for running the red.

    I ride EB on 14th through that intersection most mornings, and I’ve never seen a cyclist run the red when Folsom has a green. With the walk sign & no oncoming traffic, yes.



    “I often see motorists running red lights but do a better job at the stop signs.”

    Well, most drivers slow at stop signs, but very few I see actually stop. And when they do it’s usually past the stop line, and on top of the crosswalk. That might be good enough by the cops’ standards, but it certainly doesn’t do a pedestrian in said crosswalk any good.

    What I see is a double standard for driver and cyclist compliance, with a lot of convenient “exceptions” for all the ways drivers constantly break the law and a lot of finger wagging for the ways cyclists break the law regardless of the safety impacts. That’s not to say that people on bikes don’t also need to up their game, but the obsession with “scofflaw cyclists”, who cause exponentially less danger than all of the unnoticed scofflaw drivers, is either oblivious or hypocritical.


    david vartanoff

    $400 mill for a piece of junk $6 bill for the crooked designers, consultants and camp followers. Once they announced it would not be rail compatible it was clear the fix was in.



    You wear a cocktail dress on a bike?


    A bike or bus/train will not be the end all for transportation is my point.

    Nothing ever suits 100% of anyone’s needs, but still, a bike is useful for most things.

    The largest city in the US (New York City a population of over 8million) had a lower traffic congestion rating than San Francisco.

    According to whom?

    San Francisco (population 900k+) ranked 3rd in the nation for the worst traffic

    San Francisco’s population is 852,000, not “900k+”. Not sure how credible the rest of your numbers are.



    You wear a cocktail dress on a bike? A bike or bus/train will not be the end all for transportation is my point. Cars are not going away. Face it overall Bay Area transit planning has been a disaster. The largest city in the US (New York City a population of over 8million) had a lower traffic congestion rating than San Francisco. San Francisco (population 900k+) ranked 3rd in the nation for the worst traffic despite the 3rd largest public transit (covering 82% of the city) use in the country! San Jose (900k+) also made the list coming in at #7.



    A new cross bay bridge from Oakland airport area to candlestick area is actually a great idea and sorely needed



    Your idea won’t lower number of cars . It will increase congestion and increase pollution



    Making room for more cars to ease congestion is exactly what’s needed



    I wear office and formal clothes on bike all the time.

    I cannot see buying a flat screen tv and placing it a bike rack, much less riding Muni.
    How often do you buy a TV? (or refrigerator, or sofa, or other large item), that makes it worth buying a car just for that? You can have the store deliver the item, or you can take a taxi.



    Building a dedicated bike/ped path on the side of any new bus-only ramp would likely be a better solution, as reusing a bus and bridge lane for bike and ped traffic has a lot of complications and would likely not be a very pleasant facility for people to use.

    The study group working on this project now is tasked with bringing the west-side path cost down to $250M, so I’ll be interested to see what they come up with as alternatives. In the meantime, the east-side path landing on Yerba Buena and Treasure Islands by the end of this year is only going to increase the demand for the facility’s completion across the bay.



    With a contraflow lane on the both decks you could have access all day (minus the time spent switching between the two). In the morning use the lower deck, in the afternoon/evening use the upper deck.



    Hope MTC considers this thoughtful option too in addition to contra flow. Are they considering it?