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  1.  

    jb

    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.

  2.  

    Jimbo

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

  3.  

    Jimbo

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

  4.  

    Jimbo

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

  5.  

    Alicia

    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.

  6.  

    Prinzrob

    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.

  7.  

    SF_Abe

    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.

  8.  

    jamiewhitaker

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

  9.  

    jb

    According to Caltrans 2014-2015 the overall transportation (roads, transit, airports, seaways, bike routes, and walkways) funding breakdown is as follows: Federal 24% Federal, 27% State, 49% Regional/Local.

  10.  

    NoeValleyJim

    http://taxfoundation.org/blog/road-spending-state-funded-user-taxes-and-fees-including-federal-gas-tax-revenues

    California gets 34.4% of its highway funding from use fees, sales taxes, gasoline taxes and federal gasoline taxes. The other 2/3 is paid by the general fund. The situation is even worse at the local level.

  11.  

    Liz Brisson

    but then you’d only get bike access in the AM?

  12.  

    Liz Brisson

    Jeff, my understanding from the consultant who did the contra-flow lane study is that they do this sometimes on the weekends.

  13.  

    Marven Norman

    Well, that’s not at all the message conveyed by your comment. Saying “DMV fees go to” is definitely not the same as saying “road expenses are covered by”. Also, with the Transbay Terminal and other transit projects under construction, it’s not like SF isn’t investing in transit. The money for all of the bike projects mentioned here will amount to little more than rounding error for just about everything going on. However, if the can actually be serious and stick to the schedule, there will almost assuredly be an upswing once again in the increase in biking.

  14.  

    SF_Abe

    A contraflow lane like this would be a very effective way to get bike access between SF and Yerba Buena (finally connecting the east bay and the city). Way cheaper than the half-billion dollar cost of hanging a path off the side of the bridge.

  15.  

    jb

    Hi Marven I noted all the sources according to Caltrans below that feeds into local road funding. Additionally, SFMTA notes that there was only a 1% bicycle increase in bicycle ridership from last year. That is a small number compared to the increase in public transit ridership.

  16.  

    Golden Gate Shark

    well being that the F-35 fighter jet (which doesn’t work) cost the US taxpayers 1.5 trillion dollars….

    We can scrap that program and build 234 of our bay bridges around the country and still fill our quota of money spent.

  17.  

    Marven Norman

    Just because you don’t want to do something doesn’t mean that others aren’t already doing it. Roads get paved and supposedly maintained with dollars that come from plenty of other sources beyond what is paid by car owners and users.

  18.  

    StrixNoctis .

    I also bicycle, but there are times when I get stuck behind cars that are double parked in the bike lane (especially on Valencia) during high traffic congestion. I don’t pass on the right of the double-parked cars because I think it’s not legal to, and most often the motorists in the lane at my left usually don’t allow me to safely merge or lane split to get around the double-parked douchebags.

    There are times when I have to resort to dismounting my bike and walk it on the sidewalk to get past the double-parked vehicles, but it gets to be very tiresome when there are a lot of double parkers in a row.

  19.  

    Jym Dyer

    @NoeValleyJim – It wasn’t covered anywhere, so I’ve not seen it in print. WalkSF has access to info about fatalities and they announced it at the time. Maybe contact them?

  20.  

    Marven Norman

    I wouldn’t say that they’re a waste, but only when used properly. Most people who own such a truck can get along just fine with stuffing things inside and putting a hitch on the back to haul a trailer.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQBXZ-OWeOI

  21.  

    Marven Norman

    Is it just me or do cars with disabled placards/plates always seem to have drivers who do some of the most suspect things on the road? Including park in the middle of a light rail line.

  22.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    This sounds like a tremendously complicated and expensive solution to a problem that could be solved at no cost by simply raising the toll and continuing to raise it until congestion ends.

  23.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    I have never heard of Caltrans turning off the metering lights to relieve traffic on 580/24 and traffic on those roads is always completely jammed every morning, so I think I would have noticed by now.

  24.  

    Liz Brisson

    This concept has been already for sometime, and at, first it seemed like an obvious win. But upon reviewing the study prepared a few years ago and hearing it presented several times, I (speaking as an individual not on behalf of any agency) am now convinced it is not the right solution to a real need (the real need being maintaining fast reliable travel time for AC Transit buses).

    The simplest way to explain my concern is that to think about this as adding one more travel lane on the Bay Bridge, so we have 6 lanes instead of 5 lanes of vehicles entering San Francisco every morning. There are not frequent enough buses to use the entire capacity of the contra-flow lane so carpools and/or trucks would likely also get to use it. There also would no longer be buses in the upper deck so there would be more capacity for cars up there. SF already bears negative impacts from the level of regional traffic on local streets, and the contraflow lane enables 20% more and could therefore induce more vehicle travel to SF. That means also more traffic queuing up in SoMa in the afternoon peak to get back on the bridge.

    The westbound direction of the Bay Bridge is typically operated for maximum throughput by using metering lights at the toll plaza to only let cars get onto the bridge at the most efficient frequency. Carpools and buses get to use the special queue jump that gets you past the metering lights, so when you get to the bridge, you are not stuck in traffic. However, on some occasions, particularly on weekends when traffic is less peaked but more constant, the Bay Bridge metering lights back-up past the MacArthur Maze and begins to gridlock all the freeways feeding the bridge (880/580/80/24). In these scenarios, Caltrans turns off the metering lights to try to flush out the system and Bay Bridge travel speeds slow down such that even those with the special queue jump experience slower speeds.

    The premise of the contra-flow study was that at some point in the future there would be more vehicle travel than today, such that the situation that sometimes exists on the weekends would become the regular morning situation. By building the contra-flow lane, the net increment of additional traffic would be served such that the buses could still get to the bridge and then have freeflow conditions in the contraflow lane once they got there. By doing so, there are more private vehicle trips as well as bus trips served. And the upper end of the cost estimate- $177 million- to build the new ramps needed is actually quite pricey .

    I believe the solution that is really needed is to re-purpose general purpose lanes to carpool/bus/express lanes on each facility feeding the Bay Bridge such that a fast reliable bus trip is enabled while not allowing the total number of vehicle trips to increase. It is more politically challenging, but otherwise we are just doing a slightly more sophisticated version of the freeway widening mistakes of past decades.

    In addition, even though things are worse in the morning, and the buses have a direct bridge on-ramp for pm eastbound, we also need a solution to better manage afternoon eastbound Bay Bridge traffic, that leaves such a nasty impact in SoMa.

  25.  

    Gezellig

    I wonder what will happen with the SF Bike Coalition voter candidate slate for 2015.

  26.  

    Dark Soul

    What about Enforcing People Safety by removing bike people running stop signs.

  27.  

    jb

    In San Francisco, property tax income goes mainly to the Educational
    Revenue Augmentation Fund, Bay Area Rapid Transit District, the San
    Francisco Unified School District, City and County of San Francisco, the
    San Francisco Community College, and Bay Area Air Quality Management
    District. Other expenses may be added to your property tax bill too. In
    San Francisco, these include the Rent Board Fee, the School Facilities
    Safety Special Tax, the Apartment License Fee, and refuse and water
    liens.

  28.  

    NoeValleyJim

    Can you point me to details on that incident Jym?

  29.  

    NoeValleyJim

    You poor babies will have to make due with 98% of the road surface dedicated to you instead of the 99% you have now.

    Most funding for city roadways comes from property taxes. I already pay a very hefty fee yearly in property taxes, probably much more than you do. DMV fees to to State highways, which are subsidized out of the general fund, since DMV fees and the gasoline tax are not sufficient to pay for the costs. Anther freebie you get.

  30.  

    jb

    I simply do not see someone in a Tux riding public transit or riding a bike to an event. I cannot see buying a flat screen tv and placing it a bike rack, much less riding Muni. Transit Planning needs to incorporate all modes of transportation period. Additionally transit riders and bikes should have to pay taxes for the fees involved with road maintenance, police funding, and state funding just like people who pay for auto registrations each year.

    DMV fees go to:

    Local government (cities/counties) 40.7%

    CHP 25.7%

    DMV 13.9%

    State highways (Caltrans) 13.0%

    Air Resources Board 1.7%

    Other state agencies 4.3%

    State General Fund 0.7%

  31.  

    NoeValleyJim

    What the MTA promises and what the MTA does are often two different things. And even if we get all the things promised we will have what? 16 blocks of protected bike lanes, by my count. This is pathetic. We helped get Prop A passed and all we get is a few blocks.

    Are Masonic and Potrero going to include fully protected bike lanes? Last time I heard Masonic is going to have an elevated lane, but I remember how Polk Street got watered down. I am betting that delivery trucks will still double park in it.

  32.  

    NoeValleyJim

    Here is the “I Drive Alameda” Facebook page:

    https://www.facebook.com/IDriveAlameda?__fns&hash=Ac1LJeGJKyiIwFeo

  33.  

    Jym Dyer

    @Lee Ross – Dunno what your use of the capital-P Progressive is supposed to mean, but the cycling community is no monolith and contains a fair number of neoliberals. The cycling political insiders have for the most part supported all of the Mayor’s bond measures.

  34.  

    Dexter Wong

    Ah, Bob are you willing to pay for another bridge?

  35.  

    Dexter Wong

    This idea sounds a little like the Bay Bridge was in 1958-61 when the Key System tracks were removed but AC Transit still used the lower deck to go both ways as the roadway had a divider in the middle.

  36.  

    Easy

    Contraflow bus lane? Why not a regular direction bus lane? It’s many times more inexpensive, and will reduce the # of cars coming into SF to decongest local streets as well.

  37.  

    Ziggy Tomcich

    A contraflow bus lane is a great idea, but making it happen in our bureaucrat mess would take a miracle. It would involve getting AC transit, the SF county transportation authority (separate from the SFMTA), Caltrans, Bart, and the San Francisco and Oakland Mayors and BOS to all get into the same bed together. If this ever happens, it would take decades and involve multiple voter initiatives in order to force these entities to do something that’s against their own self interests but will be a huge benefit to everyone else.

  38.  

    Greg Costikyan

    A few months ago, I drove outbound through the Lincoln Tunnel in NY during in-bound rush-hour — which has a contra-flow bus lane through the tunnel, to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in NYC during those hours. It was amazing, seeing bus after bus after bus driving down the lane, carrying (literally) hundreds of thousands of commuters from New Jersey into New York. The normal inbound lanes were clogged with car commuters waiting to pay the tunnel fair; the buses moved at a steady clip.

    Another BART tunnel is a great idea, but will take a decade or more. This can be done now, with obvious and potentially enormous benefit for bus commuters from the East Bay.

  39.  

    runn3r85

    I love pictures like this. Remind us what bridges and roads were originally built for. Love the old pictures of Market street with 4 lanes of cable car tracks too.

  40.  

    Prinzrob

    Hmm, new bridge on/off ramps for the buses, eh? Sounds like a good opportunity to include a bike/ped path ramp in the same project, similar to what is being constructed as part of the east span landing onto Yerba Buena Island right now. That would certainly cut out a lot of the cost of the pricey west span bike/ped gap closure.

  41.  

    KWillets

    Well, if the bridge is the problem, we should build some kind of structure to get across it.

  42.  

    Aaron Priven

    Well, the last one only cost $6.4 billion. What’s a few more?

  43.  

    MrEricSir

    Maybe we could put the Key System back on the lower deck while we’re at it…

  44.  

    Bob Gunderson

    Is this somehow suggesting that cars aren’t the answer to our congestion woes? Can’t we simply widen the bridge, or make another one?

  45.  

    Brant

    *sigh* I had a similar experience whilst in a crosswalk a police cruiser was waiting for me to cross. The driver behind the cop had enough of that waiting-for-others bullstick and gunned it, accelerated around the cop and thankfully slammed on the brakes before running me down. The cop had a front row seat for the whole thing, at least 3 citations worth of violations, yet she did jackdiddly.

    In the sage words of my last SuperShuttle driver, “Management don’t give a s**t whether you live or die!”

  46.  

    gneiss

    Your contention that it is only “possible” future traffic patterns is deliberately misleading. It was quite clear from traffic modeling that the SFMTA has done that allowing left turns from Divisdero on to Haight and the other streets along Divisdero southbound would cause unacceptable delays which would force people to not use that street but instead attempt other routes. They cannot move forward with any changes on Scott or along with wiggle without making sure that traffic will not back up along Divisidero and that it becomes the preferred route for people going south along this corridor.

    In addition, it is quite clear that only a handful of residents who can’t imagine adding a few extra turns into their commutes from the north has hijacked the LoHaMNA. You are absolutely responsible for the delay. Stop trying to set this up as a non-NIMBY position when it absolutely is. If you were responsible, you would let SFMTA make their changes with reservations and then see if you were having problems. Instead, you are throwing up roadblocks that stop any alteration to the existing pattern because you don’t want change to your commute. That is a absolutely a NIMBY position.

  47.  

    jonobate

    I like Amy Weiss, but there’s no way she’s going to get elected. She’s not even on the rader of most voters, and if it ever gets to the point where she is on the radar, the ‘progressive’ anti-development forces of Campos et al will organize to keep her out.

  48.  

    van2000

    Just to be clear, LoHaMNA is supporting the Scott St. diverter and is in favor of bike & ped access. We are only asking that the left turn ban at Divisadero & Haight be removed from the plan, not all the others. This is a critical distinction. Actually our community org is made up of merchants, neighbors, even an ex-SFMTA employees who all support removing the turn restriction on Divis @ Haight. SFMTA engineers rely on “possible” future traffic patterns to rationale shutting down all these lefts. We are asking for a reasonable real world scenario to justify removing the left at Haight when & if backups are realized vs. future traffic pattern conjecture. For example, the engineers do not account for the possibility of people turning to other forms of transportation as a result of the Scott St. diverter and getting out of the car, biking, walking or taking public transportation. Their solution is a narrow engineering only paradigm and assumes the same # of cars will remain or increase after the Scott St. diverter, which is not necessarily true. What we put forth is a balanced argument, not NIMBY, not bike vs. car vs. pedestrian, just balanced and reasonable for all stakeholders – how about we try that tack for a change and find some common ground vs polarizing the issue?

  49.  

    Gezellig

    Kinda like the ~96 people who die each day in the US due to motor vehicle collisions.

    In 2013 ~35k people in the US died in a motor vehicle collision.

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_02.pdf

    This ongoing and largely preventable massacre gets comparatively little media attention, especially considering its tragic scope.

    By comparison, about ~7k people died of HIV-related complications and about ~41k people died of breast cancer.

    While these of course are also very worthy causes to work on, there are sadly no yogurt cup campaigns with ribbons reminding people about traffic deaths. And as far as I’m aware no annual celebrity galas which raise money to help prevent traffic deaths.

  50.  

    Jym Dyer

    @Gezellig – Right around the same time that a very rare bicyclist-caused fatality happened in San Francisco, there was another fatality in which a pedestrian killed a bicyclist. The former got five weeks of daily coverage and was followed up to the bitter end. The latter got no media coverage at all.