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    The M already *has* its own lane for miles. That’s the thing.



    Actually, it’s good business advice. But most business owners are morons who run their businesses into the ground. During the early days of the Internet revolution, as an early Internet adopter, I gave some extremely good advice regarding *how to take advantage of it * to every business owner I ran into; those who took the advice boomed, but nearly every one of them rejected it because they were clueless, and their businesses mostly closed as a result. Their mistake.



    Disabled? Asthmatic? A senior? You’ll be on the bus or in a taxi, because you can’t drive safely. Get a clue.


    Marta Sanchez

    Clueless armchair quarterback business advice.


    Marta Sanchez

    If it’s working so great why are there thousands of complaints city-wide? The evidence is from New York City which tells me there is no evidence. The only ones who approve of this are those with agendas like urban planners. My daughter used to take the bus with her 2 year old to General from the Excelsior and it only took 20 minutes. Now it takes an hour and I drive her. So much for less cars


    Marta Sanchez

    What if you have kids, are disabled, asthmatic, a senior, have to carry 50 pounds of food. Completely unrealistic



    I would just say that “growth” as promoted as necessary and desirable by the Bay Area Council, and the MTC Plan Bay Area vision, isn’t necessarily desireable or a positive event. Growth negatively impacts roads, housing, air quality and cost of living. More isn’t always better. Some sense of balance is sorely needed, and the recent plethora of urban planning experts providing their “studies” should be counterbalanced.



    Can Carl not be forgiven for wondering why the largest city in the Bay Area is not part of the largest transit network in the Bay Area, i.e. BART? Isn’t that something that should be remedied?

    BART was originally designed when the South Bay was mostly orchards and Oakland was still considered a major city. If we were planning BART from scratch now, we surely would not design it with Oakland as the hub and feeding it from the far-out sprawling East Bay suburbs. But rather centered in Silicon Valley and serving the 2 million people of Santa Clara County and the major tech employers, and looking North not East.

    Taking Carl’s idea and thinking further ahead, if BART could then be extended North from Santa Clara to Milbrae, thereby encircling the Bay, would we even need CalTrain any more? Could that ROW then not be used exclusively for HSR?

    And if duplicate rail routes are so bad, then why does BART down to Fremont sit side-by-side with Amtrak?



    Guardino (and by extension “his” SVLG) has suffered an idiopathic chronic severe case of BART priapism for at least the last 20 years. He’s been monomaniacally obsessed with BART “über alles” … it appears “SJ” BART (to Santa Clara Caltrain) is the only thing that will relieve the pressure in his pants.



    OK, for the sake of (your) argument, let’s just stipulate it all induces demand … which demand do we want to induce? Which is more sustainable? Which is the one we’d rather see more of?



    Who’s “we”? The rest of the NIMBY Club?


    City Resident

    BART reached a multi-year labor agreement recently, helping to ensure that strikes should be a non-issue for at least a few years. BART certainly has room for improvement (which agency, company, etc. doesn’t?), but BART service was nearly always fast and reliable over my years of commuting by BART.



    “most SFO travelers are domestic, so from the SFO BART station at the international terminal you still need to get on AirTrain anyway”

    No you don’t. All three domestic terminals are fairly close and easily walkable via underground passageways in ten minutes or less, assuming your bags are wheelies.

    The only real reason to take the AirTrain is to get to the off-site car rental facility – something that Vegas, LAX and other major airports easily manage with shuttle buses.

    I doubt the original BART-to-SFO project would ever have been approved if it involved a change several miles away. Undoing that is not a viable option.



    The oft-used buzzword of “Induced Demand” also applies to BART use, and housing as well. Let’s not be selective and think its only roads and car traffic.



    I totally agree, the Millbrae-to-SFO BART tracks should be converted to AirTrain. In fact, if this is done, the SFO BART station could be shut down and the San Bruno-to-SFO tracks closed. All Peninsula trains would go to Millbrae. As it stands, most SFO travelers are domestic, so from the SFO BART station at the international terminal you still need to get on AirTrain anyway to get to a domestic terminal.

    Once this is done we would have more frequent service to Millbrae, with trains every 7 minutes instead of every 15 minutes. This would make getting to SFO actually easier and more frequent for people in the East Bay!

    In addition, we would have a much better connection between SFO and Caltrain/HSR. Also we would have more possibilities of timed transfers between BART and Caltrain/HSR which would help people in the East Bay get to jobs in Silicon Valley.



    No, but it’s not that far off either. The car ownership rate in Santa Clara County is just short of 90%, according to the last census.

    For commuting, 77% drive alone and another 12% car pool so, again, the daily dependency on private vehicles is also about 90%

    And for the record, there are more vehicles registered in Santa Clara County than there are residents, let alone voters.



    Does 97% of his constituency even own a car?


    david charle

    Amazing pictures! I was in this hotel before a year thorough last minute travel with my family. It is fantastic hotel very good for enjoying vacation with the family.



    The designers of BART were arrogant idiots. It’s well documented that they hired a bunch of aircraft engineers who thought they could do better by ignoring the entire history of railroad engineering…

    Turns out they couldn’t do better. Which should not be a surprise.

    The Transbay Tube was a great idea and is basically the entire reason for BART.



    Based on actual evidence, public safety is best preserved by shutting down most of the police departments. Police seem to commit an enormous number of crimes in places like Oakland, LA, SF, etc…

    Obviously it is theoretically possible to have a useful police department, and I’ve seen a number in small towns, but when the vast majority of the people of LA consider the LAPD to be another criminal gang — and the evidence indicates that they have strong reason to believe that — I really wouldn’t vote for a police bond there. Would you?



    Local funding of schools was, of course, declared unconstitutional by the CA Supreme Court for very good reasons — it leads to incredibly high levels of discrimination and violates the state constutional guarantee of schooling — back in the 1970s.

    This is actually what led to the political campaign to pass Prop 13. But you didn’t know that because you’re *ignorant*.



    Prop 13 hurts everyone in California. The real estate provisions are problematic, but the 2/3 provision is the big disaster — it should have been declared an invalid constitutional revision by the CA Supreme Court, but apparently they weren’t awake to notice.

    I’m lucky to live in a state which isn’t messed up like California.



    Prop 13 creates a major adversarial relationship between “old” property owners with artificially low property taxes, and new residents who moved into town more recently.

    It is logical for the new residents to harass the old residents and chase them out of town so that the property will change hands and be revalued, and everyone will be paying their fair share of taxes, rather than the burden falling mostly on the new residents. It is a testament to how nice new residents generally are that they have not generally done this.

    Much worse, Prop 13 prevents the legislature from doing its job. The “2/3 provision” is an affront to democracy. The legislature needs to be able to raise taxes with a majority vote in order to *do its job*.



    You really, really should oppose police and prison bonds. The US imprisons way too many people (more than Stalin’s gulags) and the prisons seem to be essentially used as debtor’s prisons. The police in most of the major California cities seem to have long records of criminal activity and general lawlessness, with Oakland being the extreme example.



    BART had a long list of really stupid design mistakes because of the aircraft engineers who designed it, who were fixated on ignoring all the lessons of 100 years of railroad engineering.

    BART is fixing the worst error — the cylindrical wheels. Switching to normal conical wheels will help a lot.



    You’re mixing apples and oranges. The Transbay Tube had great ROI, which is propping up BART.

    Most of the BART extensions since the original BART project are giant money sucks — hugely expensive with very few riders. Warm Springs is an example.



    On the contrary, the measure is saddled with many unpopular highway projects. The cities of Saratoga, Cupertino, and Los Gatos have filed a lawsuit over the 85 widening. Widening Oregon Expwy is also very controversial in Palo Alto. During the numerous public outreach meetings, there was nobody calling for these kinds of projects.






    Clem Tillier

    A big chunk of that $1 billion to build the redundant BART segment from San Jose up to Santa Clara will come from the Caltrain grade separation funding. That’s what it’s for, didn’t you know? If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past 15 years, it’s that VTA always diverts the Caltrain portion of sales tax funding to BART. Why this year’s measure should be any different has not yet been explained.


    Joe Brant

    We need to raise more money for bus operations and improving bike/ped conditions in Santa Clara County. But the rest is too much to swallow. Now is the time to hold the line on road expansion. Come back next election with a plan that is sustainable and doesn’t undercut itself. Are there any groups gearing up to oppose the measure?


    Andy Chow

    Look at the Caltrain ridership between Gilroy and San Jose. Back in 2011, 4 round trips carried 1555 riders. At that time some of those trains had standing passengers. Since Hwy 101 doubled its width in 2003 (which was partly funded by the county transportation sales tax), Caltrain lost 70% of the ridership. It had less than 350 riders in 2011 and now is less than 600. Between SF and SJ, Caltrain had over 34,000 riders in 2001 and now has over 60,000.

    Highway expansion simply undercuts transit ridership and takes away benefits of transit investments. VTA over the years paid UP to add tracks between San Jose and Gilroy so Caltrain could increase service (based on demand in 2001), but once the highway has widened, VTA couldn’t justify adding more trains so the extra train slots purchased from UP went completely unused.

    On the surface this may seem “balanced.” Basically at VTA what you have is two teams of planners (transit and highways) that work separately with independent goals. Highway planners wouldn’t consider transit as a solution to traffic, and transit planners wouldn’t consider roadway reconfiguration as a solution to increase speed, capacity, and reliability of transit. The outcome is highways get expanded without benefiting transit, and that more people switch from transit to driving as a result.

    Since 2000, lanes have added to highways that parallel Caltrain, light rail, and the BART corridors. Caltrain has done relatively well (except the Gilroy corridor noted above) mostly because of multi-county nature of service and areas like Palo Alto that do not want roadway expansions. Other than that, ridership has fallen in relative to population and employment increases.

    For me, a balanced plan is a the highway plan can somehow facilitate more transit, and close the transit gap between the rich and the poor by improving overall transit performance. But the reality is that there’s no such plan. What VTA plans for transit is a fragmented and tiered transit. The poor folks stick with local buses stuck in traffic while few wealthy commuters take rail.

    So simply this plan is far from “good enough.”



    Oh no doubt this is politically expedient. But Khamis’ statement makes it sound like the right thing to do is to keep doing what we are doing, as if we are traveling in the right direction when we need to steer towards more practical solutions.



    I suspect the real issue is that ultimately you can only fund the projects that the voters agree to pay more taxes for. And if over 90% of commuters use roads, which is probably true across the entire Bay Area, then it is naive to push for anything that disadvantages that many voters.

    That’s why this plan is a shrewd compromise. It’s about 50/50 between roads and transit. Enough for drivers to capture that 90% of voters but still heavily skewed towards transit. Political reality must trump ideological naivety.



    Khamis’ statement is backwards looking. You don’t fund the modes just because people are using them. You fund projects to support the modes that are sustainable. Silicon Valley cannot continue its growth using the same old space intensive automobile mode. Pretty soon you hit a hard limit when there’s no more room for lane expansions.

    Expanding 85 and 101 will result in a decade’s worth of relief (after years of construction snarls). Then what?



    I-80 in downtown San Francisco, westbound. I think he got on around 4th Street and then worked his way over to the left hand lane, presumably because he wanted to take 101-South.

    The traffic was crawling and so he was able to both pass cars and change lanes. Impressively ballsy, and he had a rather wild crazy look in his eyes.



    “Interestingly I was driving on I-80 yesterday and was passed by a bicyclist.”


    Passed by a bicyclist on a frontage road (for example the bike path in Berkley/Albany) or actually on I-80? The only place I am explicitly aware that I-80 is bike legal is central Nevada, and that is not a place you would presumably be stuck in traffic such that a cyclist passed you.

    It would not be unheard of for someone to simply ignore the prohibition, of course.



    Look! It’s Bernie Sanders!



    Yes, basically. Our system of training,testing and licensing all rests on the judgement of the examiner. He/she sees you driving in a variety of situations and extrapolates that you’re OK to drive in all situations (but not all vehicles).

    The alternative would be to have some type of two-phase training and testing where you get an initial license to drive on regular roads and then an “advanced” license to drive on freeways. Probably too expensive to run and too difficult to enforce.

    Interestingly I was driving on I-80 yesterday and was passed by a bicyclist.






    alberto rossi

    If the terminus of the M and J are going to be out by Park Merced (this may happen even without a new subway), put a new railyard out there somewhere: under the freeway or under Brotherhood Way maybe. But no, Muni plods ahead with its $40 million track replacement project at the Green Yard.



    Do your stats include RoyTT ?



    So we allow people to drive on the freeway but do not allow them to be trained?

    Blame Siri



    An invalid syllogistic form, as you know. However, if two things happen together a lot, then even though neither causes the other, people can reasonably draw some conclusions. Correlation may not be causation, but they’re not necessarily orthogonal either.

    In this case bus and like lanes do not cause gentrification, but they may be symptoms and indicators of it.

    When gentrification catches hold, neighborhoods change. I happen to think they are good changes – they become safer, cleaner, nicer, better maintained and, yes, the demand for traffic calming and quieter streets does tend to be accentuated when an area becomes more affluent.

    The problem here was the premise that gentrification is bad. It isn’t.



    Your handle has made about 10 times as many Disqus posts as mine, so if I have nothing better to do with my time, you have nothing else to do with your time at all, evidently.

    Given your prolific trolling of almost every local website all day, every day, the pot here is definitely calling the kettle black.

    I still think you need to get over NoeGate.


    Robert Parks

    Build a spacious underground rail yard for Muni…how about under the Reservoir parking lots at City College…then totally build over them. Or (probably not politically palatable) build it under the south end of Balboa Park and restore the park on the roof at about the same level?

    As for the Muni lines? J to SF State, K to Bayshore, M to Daly City BART!


    Jym Dyer

    @REA – Since you’re making the argument that this causes gentrification, how do you explain the last wave of gentrification, during the dot-com years? That wave hit the Mission hard, displacing working-class residents and their jobs as well from the city, but no transit improvements at all. Instead, we got a Muni Meltdown.



    Isn’t the reason why very basic? Learner drivers are not allowed on a freeway even with an instructor or other licensed driver. So there cannot legally be any training.

    The French word for “for” is “pour” not “por”, just so you know.



    i think you’re supposed to click through to the Business Insider story at the end and see a bunch of sentences separated by giant shutterstock images.