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    David D.

    None of this comes as news to people who read past the headlines. However, I would love to hear more about the EIR appeal. Do you have any more information? Based on the indicated timing, it sounds like the only way the appeal can proceed is if the city is sued. Otherwise it’s too little too late, which is good news for Muni and public transit riders across the City.


    David D.

    While the T has been successful at gentrifying the Third Street corridor, it has been a failure as a public transit service. It still can’t compete with the speed and reliability of the 15 it replaced. Considering the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on the T, imagine how robust the TEP could be with that money! Oh well. SF loves to line the pockets of contractors at the expense of the riding public. Maybe the completion of the Central Subway will improve the T’s performance, but I’m not holding my breath.



    Actually, yesterday’s Chronicle article shows congestion and travel times slightly down for car drivers, while there have been increases in transit use and active transportation, including more transit only lanes, more bike lanes, wider sidewalks, and fewer car travel lanes. So while the presence of cyclists and pedestrians and decreased car travel lanes have concerned drivers, the opposite — decreased travel time — has occurred.



    Yes. That traffic light was in northern Spain, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, I think, in a town with one Main Street and no other traffic signals. It was perfect for low traffic, high speed areas in which only the speeder was forced to stop, not other drivers. So maybe not a fix for multi-lane avenues like Van Ness.



    I thought only first degree murder (aka premeditated murder) was premeditated. DUI and reckless driving can be charged and convicted as second degree murder.


    Sean Rea

    I’m sticking with my original description. Scum made the decision to operate heavy machinery when he was in no condition to do so.



    Not quite – murder is premeditated. Manslaughter, definitely.


    Sean Rea

    6 months for murder as long as you’re drunk and behind the wheel.



    As I said, populations that are repeatedly exposed to unsafe walking conditions that walk a lot are likely to be involved in collisions. I would say this is especially the case in the Tenderloin/downtown area as well as many of the outer neighborhood arterials (and the data backs this up). Additionally the old and young are more exposed as they are harder to see and slower crossing so they spend more time in the intersection or if they cross against the light it takes them longer to do so. I think more than being slow though, they are less able to react to drivers violating right of way (the case with Sofia) running red lights, etc.

    These are just my thoughts with some data from walk first to back it up. There is hopefully more vigorous analysis out there.



    The young and old tend to be much slower walkers? Car drivers are misjudging how much they need to slow down for pedestrians?



    I think there are a lot of reasons, but two main ones are living and working in areas with high car volumes and speeds as well as tending to have lower car ownership/reliance on walking, transit, and bike riding for transportation. Another possibly more important demographic tendency is that most deaths are of elderly (70+) or very young like the girl Sophia Liu killed at Polk and Ellis.


    Nick G

    Source please.



    Inebriates, aged, not able-bodied, confused, weighed down w/ stuff, transporting children… Having gone from regularly sprinting across streets to recently having to use a walker, I can attest to how many are impossible to cross at a slow walking speed before the countdown times out. And even one normal-sized person has little room to perch without getting clipped on most of the medians now on VN. 2018 can’t come soon enough.



    Can someone explain to me why most of San Francisco’s pedestrian fatalities seem to be Asian-Americans (judging from their names)? Is this because Asian-Americans are more likely to view walking as an acceptable form of transportation? Car drivers less likely to yield to Asians in crosswalks? More reckless drivers in neighborhoods with large Asian populations? Or something else?



    Building long car tunnel$? A$k Boston…



    What’s the rush? Ever?



    So sorry.



    Franklin and Gough, just west of VN, are one-way thoroughfares with timed lights that make traffic marginally slower than VN but still have plenty of jackasses that race yellows. Other than emergency vehicles, no one really needs to go faster. Sanely slower traffic delays arrival by very, very little. The issue is our cultural worship of speed for its own sake.
    Polk’s lights will be slowed and timed, though they haven’t said to what. We asked about permanent speed cameras. A disadvantage is that if they’re fixed in place, drivers will behave for a short stretch, then proceed as usual. Also enforcement from their footage has been problematic for whatever reason – even when they actually keep them running. We’re asking for mobile ones and at least the speed reminder signals (forgot the tech term).



    a great device among many – and installed in a country that apparently values life, despite being economically on the ropes right now.



    The issues of outreach around these routes (particularly the following routes:
    -23-Monterey, which serves the Produce District and has workers who generally work in the early morning
    -54-Felton, which serves the Hunters View/Hunters Point Projects and various factories near Yosemite Slough, with workers starting work in the early morning
    -91-Owl, which connects many Downtown employment centers with many low-income communities of color, some of whom get out late at night and lack adequate transportation options) generally tie back to these themes:
    (1) How does the agency outreach to these people who cannot make the meetings held predominately in the evening because they work at those times?
    (2) How does the agency outreach to these people who are unable to make meetings during the day or weekends because
    (a) those working night shifts are often exhausted or have other – often familial – obligations?
    (b) they may have work on the weekends
    (3) How does the agency outreach to these people who are unable to research the information themselves, either because
    (a) they are too tired,
    (b) are working, or
    (c) have inadequate access to the internet and cannot go to the library for access because
    (i.) the library is closed when they don’t have work, or
    (ii.) some may be undocumented and the fear of an immigration hold may prevent them from applying for such services.

    Until that happens, these changes probably won’t be happening for the forseeable future, particularly with the Owl lines.

    Also, with respect to the 19 reroute, many residents resent the T and require another way to get Downtown just in case if Muni Metro breaks down.


    Matt B

    For corridors with coordinated traffic signals (such as Van Ness) signal progression can be timed for a certain speed – e.g. so you hit all of the green lights only if you are going at 25 mph or slower. Of course, if the block lengths are too long, cars can still end up getting to high speed by midblock even if they will have to slow down and stop at the next light (this is a major problem in SoMa and one of many reasons why smaller blocks make for a more liveable city). Adding more midblock crossings would help ped safety on Van Ness by breaking up longer blocks and reducing the speeds that cars can get up to (in addition to reducing incentives to jaywalk).





    It’s not a “nice” thing to say, but the truth is that we can make ped, bike and transit improvements for years on end and never realize mode shift of any significance simply because it is so cheap and convenient to drive everywhere. And it’s artificially cheap and convenient because so many of the costs are externalized.


    Kyle Gebhart

    hmm…well, now that there’s this great new fast way to get across town in a car, maybe I’ll buy a car. Now that I own a car, I suddenly find it more convenient for all of my trips–me and everyone else.

    You can make your city convenient for transit or convenient for driving. You can’t do both.


    Dexter Wong

    Van Ness Ave. was always the widest street in San Francisco and Highway 101 since the days of the Golden Gate Ferry. The Central Freeway only ran from the San Francisco Skyway – James Lick Freeway interchange first to South Van Ness Ave., then to Franklin and Golden Gate (northbound) (Gough and Turk southbound) before the 1989 earthquake closed that section. The freeway still exists up to Market and Octavia.



    You overlook the ped, bike and transit friendly grand boulevard that would result from taking cars off the street and moving them underground. And transit could use the tunnels as well-I envision express buses in the tunnels and local buses up top.

    Without the network of freeways envisioned by the 1940 Trafficways Plan it was inevitable that some streets would become “traffic sewers” but they don’t have to be open sewers.


    Dexter Wong

    I grew up near Van Ness Ave. and I always knew that you should only cross Van Ness at the traffic light. There is way too much traffic to jay walk and anyone who does so takes his/her own life into their hands.



    e.g. “I hate bike people”



    Nothing against Bike People. However
    All i see is bike people ignoring sign (..stop signs) and causing danger to their self. Walkfirst is basically mostly making people overall (Not just bias on bikes people or people who walk on the sidewalks) even more unsafer with their whining plans. Everybody should not have differences on how they travel.



    Oh, good.


    Kyle Gebhart

    I am interested in prioritizing infrastructure improvements based on what will best help achieve defined goals (i.e. cut GHG emissions, shift trips to transit/walk/bike) and is most cost effective. Massive infrastructure which primarily moves private vehicles (underground highway) is NOT a good use of funds. And why would you want to give cars the grade-separated expedited right-of-way and make transit operate on the surface? Transit and safety should be prioritized, but it rarely is. In San Francisco, private vehicles are almost always prioritized, which is why it’s so hard to put in a bike lane, bus lane, or any kind of infrastructure which saves lives but slows down vehicles.



    “Must ped, bike and transit improvements come at the cost of slowing private vehicles?”

    Yes. The two objectives are in direct conflict.



    S.F. driver who killed teen girl gets 6 months

    This is unbelievable. We joke around here how the best to get away with murder is to drive a car and hit somebody and, as long as you don’t leave the scene or were not drunk, you’ll get off scot-free. But wow, this shows that *even* if you are drunk, you still barely get a slap on the wrist. Only 6 months in jail for killing somebody while driving drunk!? What a disgrace to our entire society. We are so addicted to our cars that we simply cannot make rational judgement anymore. For being drunk and killing somebody, this person should be banned from driving for life and have years, not months, in jail. How in the hell does not letting somebody use the tool they used to kill somebody not even come up? WTF?

    Oh, but he also got this:

    “In addition to the six months in jail, Brewer was sentence to six months in home detention, five years of probation, 300 hours of community service and a nine-month treatment program for people who have driven under the influence. He was ordered to pay the family more than $4,700 in restitution.”

    The slap in the face to all pedestrians continues. 6 months of at-home detention? Why not in jail? And only $4700 for killing somebody’s child?! I don’t even know how to vent my anger at a society that thinks this is justice.

    The slaughter by automobiles just continues and we simply don’t care because we are too addicted to them.


    Chris J.



    If a person loses balance and falls backward, the impact from the fall can snap the person’s neck. My brother died that way. You don’t need a lot of force.



    Must ped, bike and transit improvements come at the cost of slowing private vehicles? Why can’t infrastructure improvements move cars faster AND enhance the pedestrian, bicycle and transit experience? Seems like you are more interested in punishing motorists.


    Bruce Halperin

    Most drivers on the Great Highway seem to have it figured out, and consequently crossing the street or riding a bike on the shoulder feels relatively safe. Narrowing VN from 3 lanes down to 2 (and prohibiting left turns) when BRT is implemented should help tame speeds a bit.

    The left turn lanes at the one-way couplets (Pine/Bush, Geary/O’Farrell, Turk/Golden Gate, Hayes/Fell) result in narrower medians (so peds can’t easily cross halfway), poor sight lines, and reckless turns by motorists who scramble to beat oncoming traffic and ignore pedestrians in the crosswalk. Eliminating them will go a long way toward making the VN corridor more walkable.



    Probably both. I think bikes are about 10% of ridership and there are definitely less bicyclists in the winter. There are also definitely way more riders during Giants games. I would also add that crappy weather pushes more people into cars because, even though their exposure to the elements is minimal, they still don’t want to walk at either end in the rain or stand on the platform.


    Chris J.

    There was a story on Streetsblog a few months back that mentioned a traffic device (in Spain I think it was) that causes a traffic light to turn red earlier if a car approaching it is speeding. It’s a brilliant idea because, currently, drivers have an incentive to speed up when approaching lights they worry will be turning red.



    The other deaths were in the stretch behind City Hall, which was bypassed by the Central Freeway.


    Michael Smith

    Actually, the Central Freeway on/off ramps were right at Golden Gate dumping high speed traffic there.



    Better to put the bikeshare at Mountain View, the more used station. The bullets attract more ridership, period. Up to me, I move the bikes from San Antonio and put them near some job cluster a.k.a. Bayshore. Then put the lockers at San Antonio and the SA/MV user can use bike share when they are on the bullet, or their own when they go to SA.



    Large and frequent speed bumps.



    Absurd. An easy metaphor is that MUNI should be disbanded because it competes with AVIS.



    These are things you can do to minimize the mid-block pointless speeding:
    - As jonobate said, the real key is making the roads two-way and having no medians. I would also add making the lanes narrow and having large trees on the edges as it’s been proven that this also causes drivers to slow down.
    - Clear signage explaining that the lights are timed for xx speed. On Valencia, for example, there are like 2 signs and you can barely see them. I’ve never even seen ones on Fell/Oak or Gough/Franklin. The city should be making this *really* clear and hence most drivers will realize that speeding in between is completely pointless.
    - Finally, a little police enforcement will do wonders for slowing drivers down. When the cops pull motorists over, they should point out to the driver that their actions were not only is it illegal, but completely pointless as they won’t get down the road any quicker and all they did was waste gas by accelerating and decelerating so quickly as well as risking the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. We need the cops to stop with their ridiculous car-centric bias and start actually dealing with the major problem in our cities: careless motorists.



    How dense are you? Bike share is different from bike rental.

    I’m going to ride bike share to a meeting this afternoon, I couldn’t rent a bike to do that. A visitor can rent a bike to explore the embarcadero and Presidio, they couldn’t use bike share to do that.


    sebra leaves

    When did the SFMTA decide it has the right to compete against all the private industries it regulates? Why is the agency setting up bureaucratic spinoffs that employ non-profits, to set up high tech alternatives to established businesses such as bike rental shops?

    You should promote the private bike rentals companies that have been here for decades instead of competing with them, and complaining about the flaws in the bankrupt high tech international system you prefer. This is one of many projects that sucks the lifeblood out of the community.

    This is what the CEQA appeal on the tech bus decision is referring to when they claim displacement is a relative, substantial effective of the tech buses that must be examined as part of the CEQA review. In this case the issue is displacement of jobs.

    Private bike rental shops cost the city nothing, provide incomes for people in the city who run them, maintain the bikes, insure the bikes, and contribute to the local economy. When the bike rental demand at those rental stores goes up they will purchase more bikes to rent. Drop your high tech expectations and promote a local bike rental system that works.



    The Oak/Fell Sewers have long had a 25 mph pattern. I don’t believe there is much advantage to speeding on VN, but periods of low traffic will encourage the speeders regardless.

    It would be worthwhile to look at traffic levels vs. pedestrian injuries on VN; I believe the worst injuries are during low traffic.



    You don’t know about the intercom? Never noticed the speaker with sign that says “contact operator”?



    Van Ness BRT will likely discourage mid-block crossing, because there will be a wide median or boarding platform along the entire corridor, rather than the low narrow median currently on Van Ness near Golden Gate.

    More generally, the best way to slow arterials is to make them two-way with no median. People drive a lot more carefully when they know that reckless driving could result in a head-on collision.