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    I think this is the safety issue that needs to be talked about.

    What was the driver doing that he / she didn’t see someone in the cross walk and ran over them with both front and rear wheels ?????



    Everyone in San Francisco should drive (and be driven in) private vehicles as little as possible. Cars and trucks injure, maim and kill far too many San Franciscans each year due to drivers’ bad decisions and inattention. There are safer, cleaner alternatives.



    Closing a street to through traffic isn’t the same as making it car-free.



    A traffic signal costs $250,000. Is that the best use of funds? Especially because drivers see green in the distance and hit the gas peddle, ignoring whats in front of them.

    Also, right now the pedestrian delay to cross is zero. A signal means a delay of 30+ seconds, maybe a minute.



    Intent isn’t really the issue here. Except for the relatively rare cases where a vehicle is used to deliberately murder someone, there is never intent to hit someone.

    And there already are significant repercussions for killing a pedestrian including a license ban, lawsuits, increased insurance premiums, loss of employment, loss of mobility, financial loss, stigma and stress, as well as prison time for the worse cases.

    Now you may argue that the repercussions cannot be significant enough if these incidents still happen. But then you’d have to show how and why throwing drivers in prison for a few years would make the roads safer. It’s not as if drivers think “I would hit that guy in the crosswalk only I’d go to prison”. It’s not a real deterrent in the sense that prison time for robbing a bank is. So it would just be done for punitive reasons.

    Of course, you identify the key issue that the driver must be found at fault. But that is usually a civil concept used for lawsuits and insurance claims. For a criminal case there can be no doubt, and I’m not sure a jury would be willing to sacrifice a man’s liberty unless the case is compelling. Most people sitting on juries drive, and could perhaps easily see themselves potentially in this situation themselves, whereas they could never see themselves robbing a bank.



    Doesn’t matter if they were. Maybe they just like seeing the sights from a moving vehicle. It’s their choice. People like you and Guest should stop shoving your choice down other people”s throats.


    Ziggy Tomcich

    Crosswalks with warning signs and fancy blinky lights are a complete waste of money, because most drivers don’t pay any attention to them. Every crosswalk not at an intersection needs a traffic light, because drivers have this herd mentality and will blindly follow the car in front of them without yielding to pedestrians. How many more pedestrians need to die in non-intersection crosswalks before the city finally gets this? Why do we have to wait an entire year to have a traffic light installed there? We’re never going to have safer streets when our city operates on geological time scales!



    If the GG Bridge District is hard up for money, they should put meters in the Vista Point and Toll Plaza parking lots.


    Ziggy Tomcich

    A traffic signal is badly needed because there are lots of vehicles that pay absolutely no attention to blinking lights at clearly marked crosswalks. If there’s a red light, cars will stop and wait for pedestrians. If there’s a blinky light that says yield to pedestrians, most cars don’t even bother slowing down because the car in front of them didn’t, and you end up with this herd mentality. Every mid-block crosswalk needs a traffic light. How many more pedestrians need to be killed in crosswalks before the city finally gets this?



    My point was that it’s really redundant to have two toll authorities, let alone 27 different transit agencies. Given recent labor strikes, excessive fare increases (as compared to auto tolls), and basic service (often 1/2 to 1 hour headways), I think some other entity could do a better job. How about BATA for tolls, WETA for ferries, and perhaps Marin Transit for the buses.



    Here’s an easy fix (in addition to all the usual traffic calming measures that have been suggested and are desperately needed): tour operators must have a separate driver from the announcer. Talk about distracted driving. We have study after study showing that talking on the phone distracts drivers, so why do we think it doesn’t distract drivers of buses? We have way too many buses and other large vehicles in this city without sufficient regulation as well as punishment for errors, and we’ll never get to 0 deaths without dealing with this elephant in the room.



    I feel pretty confident that most if not all people on that tour were not elderly or handicapped. Out of shape, probably … but only because they’re so damn use to burning fossil fuels to move instead of self-locomoting. You can’t make policy by appealing to extremes: just because some can’t self locomote doesn’t mean everyone else can’t.



    Right now we are more at zero vision.



    That’s true. It’s a perfect spot for a car-free plaza.



    Well maybe if you were elderly or handicapped or never learned to ride a bike you would feel differently about tour buses. Not everyone shares your opinion. That doesn’t make them bad or wrong. Please try to have some empathy for people who are different from you.


    Jeffrey Baker

    The sidewalk in this spot is already huge.



    This, plus significant repercussions for drivers found at fault in pedestrian fatalities, regardless of intent. Negligence is no excuse.



    4 members from SF are from the BoS, 4 are elected by the BoS. Those 8 members voted not to study the toll.

    The one member who voted for the study – John Moylan – was appointed by Mayor Newsom and reappointed by Mayor Lee. Shocking.



    Point taken–I’m reminded of a story from 1951, about a well-to-do businessman who lived in San Marino and usually took the Pacific Electric Red Car to his office in Los Angeles. Occasionally, if he had a meeting outside downtown during the day, he’d take his car (probably a Buick or Packard) to work, but normally he relied on the PE. One morning in Oct. 1951, his wife noticed him heading for the garage rather that the front door. “Oh, you’re taking the car today.” “Yes, the PE isn’t running anymore.” “I read about that in the paper; they’re running buses on Huntington Drive instead. Couldn’t you take the bus?” “Certainly not! Buses are for poor people.” To this day, rail is seen by many as being more appealing to “choice riders” than motor coaches.



    San Francisco, your infrastructure is the result of a bad joke
    predicated on a city built around 1950′s civil engineering. Get your #$%
    together, it’s like pulling teeth with you MR. LEE (and friends). And I
    can’t imagine being on that tour bus, I believe I’d feel like an
    asshole riding on that bus instead of renting or owning a bike and
    working for my tourism.



    Good luck with that. GG Bridge District board members are elected members of the board of supervisors of the member counties or they are appointed by the county board of supervisors, by the Mayor of San Francisco or by a councils of mayors


    Miles Bader

    If not that, widening sidewalks (I mean really widening, not adding 50cm), cutting lanes, reducing lane width, etc. Sidewalks in many places should be much, much, wider.



    Drop one of the “L” letters from Precy’s formal name Priscila to spell it the way she spelled it. Precy was one of my staff members, and I hope the City gets traffic signals in place at that mid-block crosswalk in front of City Hall as soon as possible. I miss her terribly.


    Edward Palmer

    Fire the board.



    They do run a transit system using some of the toll funds, which ain’t nothin’.



    Zurich, Tokyo.


    Andy Chow

    This entity already cut cost by eliminating toll takers, even though it compromises customer service. A toll on ped and bikes will likely require some form of additional labor, either similar to BART gated system, or proof of payment.


    Aaron Bialick

    The vast majority of slips don’t have parking spots right next to them. Should we apply this standard of proximity to all of those spots? These 91 slips aren’t set aside for those with the least ability to carry equipment; these parking spaces are arbitrarily placed on the path while the rest of the tenants use the hundreds of other spots in the two huge parking lots.

    Saying that “boating in the Bay is part of the heritage of our city” is not the same as saying, “these parking spots next to these boats are part of the heritage of our city.”

    What it comes down to is this: What is the city’s greater obligation for use of this public space? Is it to provide direct car access to a small subset of boat owners for a recreational activity that’s inaccessible to the vast majority of residents and visitors? Or is it to provide the most safe and attractive place possible for the public to use this valuable waterfront land?

    The tone of my article you point to is aimed at the anything-but-constructive statements about people on bicycles, which have little to do with the plight of elderly boat owners who would end up in the same position of most of the rest of the tenants.



    How possible would it be to simply close the road to through traffic :)



    I have been almost mowed down twice by that cable car tour bus, both times while riding my bike in the Alamo Square to Hayes Valley stretch. So, no, I am not surprised that one of this company’s poorly behaved drivers has finally killed someone.



    This is tragic and avoidable. Vision zero must be a top priority.


    Jeffrey Baker

    Installing a traffic signal here is backwards. It penalized pedestrians, who will now have to wait for the green signal, probably after having to walk out of their way to press a button. Far superior improvements would include a speed table, bulb-outs on both sides, and bollards right on the double-yellow on both sides of the crosswalk (currently there is a flippy-floppy plastic yield sign).



    Well that’s just completely screwed… right smack in front of the city hall. So does this mean the city will start getting its shit together faster? This type of street setup is pretty unacceptable.


    Nicasio Nakamine

    This is a brilliant idea! You get my vote to run the world (assuming this isn’t some sort of dictatorship situation)



    It’s a good idea and it’s what they do in some cities like Hamburg. There is a surcharge on all event type tickets (including symphony, opera, etc.) that lets you ride public transit for free to and from the event using the event ticket.

    But you know Mayor Lee gets driven around everywhere, maybe instead of having a vehicle drive him around he should be forced to ride public transit to all of his events. Make his police escort ride muni too.


    Jamison Wieser


    I think you’re totally right and that’s probably the real catch-22: even voting against a bad funding measure isn’t going to register with the politicians as opposing the bad system behind it.

    And even if Prop A failed and Prop B passed it probably still wouldn’t fully register with enough of Supervisors and the Mayor we want more sustainable solutions.



    If I ran the world, add $1 surcharge to all Giants tickets, and Giants tickets operate as your ticket on BART, Caltrain, MUNI, and the ferries from 3 hours before the game until 2 hours after the game. The operators lose money for each ticket used, but they get the buck from everyone who drives/walks/bikes to subsidize it. And they save money in terms of ticket collection hassle (Caltrain tickets checks on game days are getting impossible – many passengers fare evade) If we need more money, make is $2/$3/whatever.



    The GGBHTD should have been merged into the Bay Area Toll Authority. The District retired its bonds in the early 1970s and now offers no added value to the Bay, especially when a less myopic agency could easily administer the bridge and do so in accordance with regional priorities.



    The problem is that Mayor Lee won’t interpret a vote against Prop A as being for Sunday metering, but against funding for Muni (and bikes and peds)


    Jamison Wieser

    Of course the bike lanes are frequently blocked by port-a-potties and other construction equipment, the sidings are required for maintenance and emergency access whether bikes are using them or not.

    In fact the only real bike facilities it seems the Bridge authority wouldn’t have to be maintained anyway is that hairpin turn, and even then they’d probably still want or need it as a backup underpass to the tunnel.

    So what exactly is it we’re being asked to pay for here to ride a bike? Is one of the traffic lanes going to be converted to a bikeway?


    Jamison Wieser

    In order for the perfect to be the enemy of the good, there’d have to be good. Where Prop B is very specific about where the money is spent (75% to Muni projects spelled out in the TEP) this is more ambiguous.

    The campaign literatures states $358 million was to go to transit, but if the mayor is true to his word in this story, he’s already redirecting $108 out of transit into street safety to go from the stated $148 up to $250. That’s not the worst place to be spending money, but there’s really no reason to think the Mayor won’t take all of it for something else.

    That last time we approved a Muni funding measure (Prop A 2007) mayor Newsom used the funding to instead balance the SFPD budget.

    During this election the Mayor and SFMTA supposedly made parking free to gain the support of car owners. I’m waiting until they try and by my vote with freebies. One way to start treating Muni riders fairly would be free Muni service on Sunday.

    Here’s another idea: free gameday Muni service.

    The SFMTA could encourage Muni ridership and do something to try and make up for all the crap we’ve been through would be to make Muni free after the 7th inning stretch during home games. It’s a fee dollars in savings for all Muni rider and at the ballpark it would make it easier to get crowds out of the park if they didn’t have to stop to by return tickets, which now requires having change on hand thanks to the SFMTA raising fares the same time it made parking free.



    I’m with Jamison on this. Every Sunday I look out my window and see every metered space full, and 18 (usually exactly 18) cars parked in the middle of the street.

    Step 1) Sunday metering

    Step 2) Write a bonds prop that actually guarantees the money to the SFMTA:

    San Franciscans voting to pass bad laws is the enemy of the good. If we want to get anywhere, we need to torpedo Proposition A.



    San Francisco’s politics is a meat grinder. This election you can choose to accept compromise and to move public transit in the right direction by voting for A and B. Or not. I’m voting for both measures. Perfect is enemy of the good.


    Mark Eissler

    Why can’t they just do the right thing once and for all: a separated parking lane, a separated biking lane, and a dedicated walking path? This ongoing deal with merged biking and walking paths is just dumb. Anyone that’s walked down from the Fort Mason Meadows to the Marina Green could attest to what a great CF that is for pedestrians having to dodge cyclists and practically needing radar to avoid collisions. Granted, most of those cyclists are tourists but I’ve yet to see a native cyclist with a bell. The volume of cyclists is only going to increase.

    Green painted faux bike lines and often ignored painted separation stripes are not the answer. They’re an insult to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike. The lines are more often ignored than not. And how safe is it when bikes zip past you at 15mph with just a painted line as a barrier?

    Everyone has the right to travel along this route in safety. There is so much space down there and yet a single lane of parking for one of the neighborhood’s oldest tenants has to be removed. Because why? Because someone thought it would be a particularly bright idea to place car parking on what is essentially a pedestrian and cyclist path. How much further away could you possibly get from the idea of separating these three types of traffic?

    Here’s an idea: make Marina Blvd. one way, remove two lanes and put the car parking on the street, insert a dedicated AND separated bike lane, and you are still left with a very wide walking path just for pedestrians. Heck, you could probably even make that bike lane a two-way installation. Sure, it’s a bit of a compromise for drivers but wouldn’t it be worth it? Wouldn’t residents of the Marina prefer less automobile traffic?


    Jamison Wieser

    If the SFMTA truly needed Prop A funding it wouldn’t have cut millions of dollars from the budget for free parking.

    The SFMTA and Mayor Lee demonstrated just a few months ago where they budget priorities sit by making parking free in the very same budget that raised Muni fares. It wasn’t very long ago that Mayor Newsom used the money from another Muni funding measure to balance the SFPD budget.

    And where is the VLF increase measure that free parking was supposed to get buy in for? I’ll vote for that measure.



    Excellent points. I’d also add (from past experience) that the west sidewalk occasionally would be unlocked considerably later than its scheduled 3:30 pm time (on weekdays). The Bridge District employee would explain that staff had been busy attending to another matter, hence the delay. My impression from this was it’s okay to delay a bicyclist’s commute… as the cars whizzed by.


    Jeffrey Baker

    You forgot about the chicanes. Just once I’d love to see cars negotiate a U-shaped obstacle with 2-way traffic, right in the middle of the GGB.



    I wrote a blog post on this exact topic today. There’s a lot that can be done! This isn’t the only way.



    The most annoying thing to me is this. Pedestrians and cyclists will be expected to pay a toll, but not get the requisite coddling treatment that drivers currently get.

    Pedestrians and cyclists have to share one narrow side of the bridge during weekdays. When cyclists use the other side of the path, the pathway is frequently narrowed by porta potties, and repair equipment. The metal plates over the bridge expansion joints are poorly done and can be slippery when wet, and given that the bridge pretty much lives in a fog bank this is the majority of the time. The access to the west side path is via a pathway with a hairpin uphill turn that is poorly paved and frequently torn up by tree roots. The exit to from the pathway dumps you unceremoniously through a fence into a parking lot. When there is a jumper on the bridge, the pedestrian walkway shuts down – but the roadway stays open of course!

    One could say that the cyclists should just be aware of these issues and be careful on the bridge instead of expecting the GG Bridge district to invest money to make the pathway safer, even with the toll. But if one says that, why exactly is the bridge district investing 30 Million dollars – conveniently the same as their projected deficit – to build a movable hard median on the bridge when that problem can be simply solved by drivers being more careful?



    Why can’t they add a few parking spots on the north side of the Marina Boulevard roadway itself, to offset the ones on the path?