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    Definitely some FUD here.

    Thank you for your tremendous concern.

    I can’t think of any case of a pedestrian being hit by a car where we couldn’t apply some doubt, so I hope you’re going to stay active.


    Randy Johnson

    Ones that are actual transportation professionals, yes. Have you ever interacted with BART’s station agents? They are there for their cushy paychecks and do-nothing work load. After all, isn’t it great to get paid twice as much salary for half as much work as a comparable private sector job?



    Excuse me as I copy paste this to all social media.



    Voting no on RR is much more like withholding your rent check until the landlord fixes your leaking roof. Sending that rent check in just insures that the landlord will never fix your roof.


    SF Guest

    For all the CVC information and unbiased tips shared it should be up to you to provide any additional information pertaining to the responsibility of drivers.

    My point stands in this case while the DUI driver is apparently negligent of manslaughter and is inexcusable there is doubt the pedestrian demonstrated “due care for his or her safety.”


    david vartanoff

    Regretfully I will likely vote for RR. Despite BART’s long history of huge waste, surly station agents, etc, the fact is we use it and it is in need of serious repairs. Failing to take out a loan to fix the roof of your house doesn’t stop the leaks; and refusing to fix the stairs doesn’t make them safer. What BART owes to every citizen/taxpayer in the 3 counties is a major change in behavior, starting with a restriction on ANY future wage hikes to the same COLAs SocSecurity gets.
    Equally important, BART needs to immediately offer AC, CCTA and other local bus riders the same deal Muni riders get–honoring the monthly passes for trips in overlapping service areas.
    Next, BART must find a way to provide skeletal overnight service. No excuses! other transit agencies manage on 2 track systems–BART can too.
    For all of its faults BART is a necessity and must be improved.



    So we know the driver was drunk, where’s the list of responsibilities for drivers?


    SF Guest

    If it doesn’t matter whether the crosswalks are marked why did you ask whether the crosswalk in question is marked and then reply with another question it doesn’t matter if crosswalks are marked.

    Since you did ask . . .

    California Vehicle Code Section
    21950(a) – Right-of-Way at Crosswalks

    The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.

    “This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety.”

    California Vehicle Code Section 21954(a) – Pedestrians Outside Crosswalk

    Every pedestrian upon a roadway, except those traveling within a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles in the roadway that are near enough to constitute an immediate hazard.

    Pedestrian General Safety Tips from (btw I looked on Vision Zero’s website and couldn’t find most if not all of the following tips whereas Vision Zero’s main focus is to re-engineer the streets):

    Be predictable. Use crosswalks. Cross or enter streets where it is legal to do so.
    Watch for turning cars at intersections.
    When in a crosswalk and one car has stopped, be watchful that all other cars also stop.
    No vehicle can stop in an instant. At 30 m.p.h. on dry, level pavement, a driver needs at least 90 feet to stop.
    Make it easy for drivers to see you – dress in light colors and wear reflective material.
    Wear light-colored clothing if walking at dawn, at dusk, or after dark. Even better, wear reflective tape (placed diagonally across the back) and carry a flashlight.
    Do not drink alcohol and walk near traffic.
    Be wary. Most drivers are nice people, but don’t count on them paying attention. Watch out – make eye contact to be sure they see you!
    Use extra caution when crossing multiple lane, higher speed streets.


    Drew Levitt

    I’m not sure I agree, Rich. In an ideal world, yes, farebox revenues would cover O&M, but it is standard practice in the United States to partially subsidize transit systems. (As you know, BART has one of the highest farebox recovery rates in the country – above 70% of operating costs – and as I believe you also know, these subsidies are necessary for continued operation due in large part to many decades of car-centric, transit-unfriendly land use development patterns, and are economically efficient because of the intensity of economic activity they enable in the Central Business District.)

    A State of Good Repair program has clear implications for the level of service BART can provide, and that level of service in turn affects ridership (because a faster, more reliable system is more attractive), so it does not seem unreasonable to me to use bond financing to boost reliability and ridership for years to come.

    Glad we’re in agreement about the importance of BART (I think it is second behind freeways, as airports aren’t really “local” infrastructure); good luck negotiating a strike ban and pay freezes 😉 though yes, BART management can and should negotiate harder with labor.



    Using capital bonds to perform maintenance is a bad idea. It’s like selling jewellery to buy food – not sustainable. Generally speaking operational and maintenance expenses should be paid for from revenues, while bonds are used to expand or improve the system.

    Issuing a bond just to keep the lights on breaks every rule of good housekeeping. And it will embolden the unions to ask for a fat pay increase next time around when, in reality, a pay cut is probably more appropriate.

    I think BART is the most important piece of local transport infrastructure after the freeways and the airports. But I cannot support throwing all this money at them. At minimum I’d wanted to see strikes made illegal and a pay freeze indefinitely.



    Seeing a black object at night requires more than “due care”. It requires infra-red scopes since it’s impossible to see a truly black object in the absence of any light.



    Roymeo, colors cannot be seen at night so are useless. What matters is the degree of reflectivity and that is generally higher with lighter colors. Even skin tone can make a difference to albedo, as any photographer will tell you.

    Best of all is lights, which is why you have them on your bike at night. Failing that some kind of highly reflective material like construction workers use, but bear in mind that car headlights are not adjusted for peripheral acuity.


    Drew Levitt

    I too am a transportation professional in the Bay Area, and while I freely acknowledge BART’s history of poor capital investment decisions, I believe that BART’s commitment to a new direction and focus on state of good repair is real. Furthermore, I feel that BART is on the verge of physical collapse and we cannot wait to repair the system’s core infrastructure. Delays are already endemic, many driven by poor track and signal conditions; further worsening of performance would be completely disastrous for the region, economically and socially. We should not make this important investment lightly, and we should demand accountability, but we can’t afford to let BART break. I’ll be voting yes on RR next month.


    Mark T.

    No on RR. I ride BART every day and am a tax-paying homeowner. In addition to taxes, I pay about $10 per day with parking + fare and get a bumpy, smelly, delay-filled ride with horrible stations occupied by unfriendly, jerk employees at either end. Meanwhile, BART pays its employees so much in wages, overtime and benefits that they own homes in the Bay Area and second homes in the mountains! WTF? Most people can’t even afford one home in this state. No way in hell is BART willingly getting any more of my money until they ban strikes and start some REAL fiscal accountability.



    This measure would be more palatable if it were coupled with a housecleaning of the decision makers that let the system fall apart and drift into financial duress. Require that every Bart exec who’s presided over this decline to step down. Same for the board members and the union officials who’ve watched the decay while increasing costs.



    Just another example of when disjointed transit agencies compete for riders and Federal funding for expansion projects…no communication; no working together.

    MUNI/Caltrain: still no Bayshore connection. If you ride the T line you need to take it to 4th/King to connect to Caltrain.

    BART/Caltrain – Millbrae: no timed transfers

    BART/MUNI – TTC: $2B bus station will lack any direct connections to the Market St. Subway. Some people say it’s no big deal…just walk outside. Many others disagree.

    Caltrain DTX: expect another decade or more before you can ride Caltrain to downtown SF. Funding keeps getting shifted. It’s clearly not a priority.



    DC has allowed its metro system (built around the same time as BART) to fall apart as years of deferred maintenance has taken its toll on the system. Riders are upset; ridership is down. Metro used to boast one of the best transportation systems in the country. Now it’s struggling to keep riders on board with several years of maintenance projects in the works. During the past two decades Metro continued to expand. First, it completed its original system, then added an infill station, and finally opened up the much-needed Silver Line in NoVA. BART, on the other hand, just keeps reaching for the burbs…one massive commuter rail station surrounded by huge parking structures after another.

    BART needs to focus on its core and not take on the responsibility of connecting far-flung areas. Save that for real commuter rail. Focus on improvements to its current system.



    In 16 years I’ve never seen a station agent work hard. Hardly work, yes.



    The good thing about the unalarmed doors is that I can get out of BART with my bike when there aren’t any handicapped exits. Otherwise I have to lift 50 awkward pounds above my waist.


    Dexter Wong

    Allowing BART to slowly fall apart won’t help rider pain either, only make it worse.



    The Livermore extension can’t even connect with ACE! What a waste of $$$..



    Riiiight, so austerity is somehow going to make BART more safe, reliable and modern? The hard work of train operators, station agents and mechanics is what allows the Metro Bay Area to exist economically, socially, culturally in the first place. It’s critical work. Paying people minimum wage for these responsibilities is setting them up to fail.

    I support Measure RR because if the Federal government isn’t going to prioritize funding mass transit then as a region we must do it ourselves.



    BART management has already hurt the rider – for decades. Throwing another 3.5 billion dollars down the BART bottomless pit is not the way to stop rider pain either.



    BART can’t even figure out that putting un-alarmed “emergency exits” near every set of gates are an open invitation to fare evaders. Even MUNI has figured out enough to put on alarms! BART is already planning their next extensions to Livermore and Brentwood while the current system falls apart. These bosos don’t need another 3.5 BILLION dollars until they can better figure out how to spend the money they are getting. It won’t be a pleasure to vote against measure RR but there’s no other way to get their attention.



    Just so we’re clear – the people who are on BART’s front lines choose BART because they have just as much passion as you do in being a transportation professional. But I agree that BART should not be spending money on mindlessly expanding its system.



    I don’t have a dog in this fight (we have our own Measure M to occupy our discussions in LA County) but it sounds like BART, like many other transportation operations, loves ribbon cuttings but has no interest in keeping things “shipshape”. I’ve been told that Japanese culture honors the folks who keep systems running in good order which is why their “shinkansen” trains have such an excellent safety and reliability record. In the US, it’s all too common to cut maintenance budgets when money gets tight, but keep all sorts of administrative personnel (who contribute nothing to keeping the trains running) on the payroll.


    Alexander Craghead

    …tough love that hurts the rider.


    Randy Johnson

    As a transportation professional in the Bay Area, I cannot in good conscience support Measure RR. BART has failed time and again to plan its service responsibly, choosing expansion over reinvestment and outrageous labor deals over sound fiscal policy.

    If BART really cared about reinvestment in the core system, it wouldn’t be pursuing extensions to Antioch and Livermore at this very moment. If BART really cared about reinvestment in the core system, the “fleet of the future” would have started arriving years ago. If BART really cared about reinvestment in the core system, it wouldn’t pay ticket agents $27-35 per hour plus overtime to do work that pays minimum wage in the private sector.

    BART has more than enough money coming in right now, and if it used it
    wisely, we wouldn’t be asked to vote on this squandering of taxpayer
    money. It’s time for some tough love.


    Dexter Wong

    Would you please make a distinction between SF Gate article and Chronicle articles please. The latter are behind a paywall if you read more than 5 articles a month.



    Why would that matter? They’re all crosswalks with the same legal obligations for all parties, thermoplastic or not, right?


    SF Guest

    Marked crosswalks.



    You mean crosswalks, or marked crosswalks?


    SF Guest

    Google maps doesn’t show any crosswalks in-between Payran and Ellis Streets. It’s an undisputable fact drivers need to show due care in their driving at all times, but there will always be those who don’t show due care. The victim didn’t deserve to perish at the hands of DUI, but unanswered questions remain whether the darkly clad victim could have done anything to prevent his own accident.



    Or if this is one of those places where drivers must show due care in their driving?


    SF Guest

    Would it help to know if the pedestrian may have been jaywalking?

    The collision was reported at 10:54 p.m. on East Washington Street between Payran and Ellis streets.



    I wish someone would publish a guide on what colors are sufficient and reasonable for pedestrians. I’ll switch out any black jackets in my wardrobe for the appropriate level of grey (if that’s allowed).



    In other words, according to the police if the driver wasn’t drunk, there would have been no charges.



    Of course, we absolutely must mention that the pedestrian killed was wearing dark clothing.



    Hopefully “interoperable” means that at least there will be only one membership registration required to access both systems. For example someone should be able to register for one-day access in SF, take Caltrain to PA, and continue using their one-day membership on the proposed PA system. If such a journey requires applying for another membership in PA than such a system really is not interoperable.

    I do like the SoBi system better since it requires no large investment in specialized bike racks. It is cheaper and more flexible. But if it can’t interoperate with BABS then it is not worth deploying at this time.



    We will see about that… it was SF’s own Willie Brown that informed us of the need to mislead the public about costs, proceed to dig a huge fiscal hole and then cry out that it’s too late to back out now. All Californians are aware of this repeated strategy. The fact that construction has started meaning nothing more than money has been spent, in the hopes of getting more money.



    And now perhaps you get my point. If the city proposed implementing 10 mph speed limits everywhere, how many people do you think would show up at the meeting in opposition? You’d need to get a gigantic auditorium.

    Now you see my point, RichLL?



    Absolutely, they were a minority of the neighborhood population.

    Every project attracts a number of cranks who oppose it. The people who support the project or don’t care say “Oh, the city is doing a project” and stay home.

    The number of cranks who showed up to oppose the project was a small number, obviously a minority of the neighborhood. You can assume correctly that anyone who didn’t show up probably supported the project.

    If an *outright majority of the neighborhood* showed up to oppose the project, you’d have needed a much bigger venue. And yes, *I have seen that happen* with certain projects in certain towns.



    Nope. It’s under construction. California isn’t Malaysia, it’s not going to leave a half-finished railway abandoned because of incompetence.



    This is a bone thrown to Orange County and southern LA County, which were complaining that they weren’t gonig to see any of the CAHSR money for years.

    It’ll help Metrolink and Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, so it’s a decent project.



    Go SFMTA! (For leaving the bollards in places where they belong.)



    Actually the city could be sued if they removed the bollards, as the *lack* of bollards creates a dangerous “attractive nuisance” situation.

    The next time one of these “guerrilla installations” is clearly a good idea, and a city removes them, it would be interesting to get together some good lawyers to sue the city for removing them, on the grounds that doing so would create an immediate and direct threat to public safety. This is actually legal grounds for a preliminary injunction…

    It would be interesting to set some precedents here. For any really good lawyers who wanted to have *fun*.

    Hopefully it won’t be needed since SFMTA seems to be behaving reasonably and leaving them in place. It raises the question of why they haven’t installed their own… at these prices!


    Donovan Lacy


    Drivers have deliberately and repeatedly broken the law by driving in the bike lane in this location so SFMTrA has taken the law into their own hands by installing post to discourage this behavior. Basedan on your last post you should be fine with this action.

    According to this article from Sfist, news,, it appears that these actions have convinced the SFMTA of the merit of posts in this location. They have decided to leave these posts in place until they can replace them with their own posts, thereby legitamising this action. I assume that you will accept this result.

    After reviewing the photo and the installation in person several times it is pretty clear that a driver would have to cross one of the two solid white lines, and although there is some debate on the legality of this, it is discouraged by CVC and generally ticketed by the CHP.


    Mike Auck

    It’s good to see projects like this moving forward. Those of us who pay taxes, and have to transport the elderly and the sick cannot put them on bicycles or force them to walk, all in the name of a fanatical religion known as AGW. The reality of the world, is our population is aging, and feel good ideas like public Transportation and bike ways do not help those who have worked hard and paid taxes for the past 40 years. Besides, even with the governor’s draconian cuts in emissions, on a global scale, it is statistically insignificant.
    If you want to help, plant a tree, move to another state, and stop exhaling CO2. In the meantime, stop trying to block positive progress.



    FYI, John Hoang replied to my email with thanks for the input. He also added the following that I thought readers here might find interesting:

    “You mentioned the 2015 CMP. You may know this already but we are developing the SMCTP 2040, which is a long range transportation planning effort. In case you haven’t done so, please visit our project webpage here for more information.”



    I really don’t give a crap either way, but having dozens of cities in one urban area clearly isn’t working