Skip to content

Recent Comments


    John Rogers

    I support the red lanes. It’s telling what lengths we need to go to, to get some drivers to obey the law. Look at the Octavia/Market intersection; cameras, threats of fines, a dozen signs, concrete barriers, bollards… Every morning riding into downtown, I am astounded by how brazenly drivers ignore the Bus/Taxi lane on Market St. Hundreds of times I’ve seen people drive all the way down Market in the lane, and not a morning goes by without seeing multiple violations. Sometimes drivers are obviously confused or lost, but most of the time I think it’s just “I’m in a hurry and can’t be bothered, I’m going to get away with it, and it’s no big deal.”



    I believe legally bicycle is not allowed. I’m use to ride regularly on this stretch. There really isn’t a good alternative to the red lane. So I pay attention when there is a bus coming from behind and try to stay out of way. This is fairly rare though.



    The UK situation is different because they do not have our protections against self-incrimination. So in the UK, even if there is no clear shot of the driver’s face, the driver can only get off the ticket if he reveals who else was driving. He cannot remain silent.

    Otherwise the ticket defaults to the owner of the vehicle. The UK has a rather dubious “right to silence” protection and it can be taken into account at trial if you fail to volunteer information or refuse to answer questions.

    In the US, no such requirement to incriminate oneself or others exists, by virtue of the 5th. And a clear photo of the driver is hard to get, especially as those who know they will be breaking traffic laws use visors, dark glasses, baseball caps and other devices to prevent a clear face shot.

    Many red light camera tickets have bee successfully fought here on that basis and speed cameras, which are common in Europe, barely exist in the US.



    The usual reasons. Access has to be reserved for emergency vehicles, shuttles, delivery trucks, contractors’ vehicles, trash vehicles, access to private garages and driveways, transport for seniors and the disabled, and so on.

    So you cannot literally block access to private vehicles, which means you’re back to the same old enforcement issue.


    Jamison Wieser

    You can learn more about the project to redesign Market Street here. The draft environmental study report should be out later this year.



    Camera enforcement, like in the UK
    You’re sent a notice in the mail, complete with a picture of your vehicle in the bus lane and a through-the-windshield picture of the driver.

    It’s effective:

    Though I believe this kind of enforcement in illegal in CA due to privacy regulations.


    Elias Zamaria

    I have always wondered why the BART restrooms were permanently closed. I saw the signs on some of them saying it was for “heightened station security”, and I thought it was maybe a lie to cover up the fact that they couldn’t afford to clean them. I didn’t know the TSA had anything to do with it.

    This looks like security theater to me. I seriously can’t understand how 9/11 can be used as an excuse to keep restrooms locked for over 10 years. Somehow, I doubt that whatever they are protecting us against is as harmful as the risk of disease from urine and feces in the streets and escalators. Even if it is, can’t they just put a sign on the door saying that whoever walks into the restroom accepts responsibility for whatever bad things happen to them? I wonder if the TSA can be petitioned to change their policy, or if it will be this way forever.


    Jeffrey Baker

    Driver education?



    Won’t someone think of the koalas?!?!



    Does anyone know a source for the law regarding bicycling on the red painted lanes? I had a Muni driver on 3rd street tell me I wasn’t allowed to ride on them.



    Can’t happen fast enough. I just hope the cycle tracks are wide enough to accommodate the diversity of riders that will use the route, including room to get around pedicabs. I love the pedicabs, but not being stuck behind them when I’m in a hurry.



    I think that MIGHT be coming early next year if they don’t delay it again. The SFMTA board and the supes have been talking in circles about it for years now.


    Thomas Rogers

    I’m hoping to be there tonight!



    Curbs. They are widely used in other countries as well as on the T-Third.



    That would require a painful spine transplant for too many politicians



    How does that change anything? SF BRT should not be designed around Marin County deficiencies. Nor should SFMTA succomb to its own sunk costs – a matter I warned them about several years ago, yet they continue to through good money after bad.



    I’m wondering why we don’t just close Market St to regular auto traffic in general? There’s really no reason for autos to be on Market. Maybe allow delivery vehicles during certain hours or something but otherwise how amazing would it be to finally have space for the F and bus lines to move unimpeded and also make biking a pure joy!



    I already have private parking on a Page Street parking lot and would rather see zero parking on Page (in fact, it would be best if the City built underground garages and eliminated all surface parking, no exceptions). I also am strongly in favor of car sharing programs. However, I am not in favor of exclusivity contracts doled out by City Hall, without going through a public auction. Best to have these spots simply metered parking with 48 hour time limits, so that whomever parks there is paying for it.



    Just a block away from the proposed site is a California Parking lot (Franklin & Page). Several of the spots in that lot are leased by various car share programs. The retail price of a parking spot in that uncovered/unsecured lot is $255/month, or more for a reserved spot.



    People have to live somewhere. They can live a lower impact life within walking distance to downtown and Caltrain or they can live in the sprawling exurbs. For the good of humanity, we need more people living closer together, where they use less resources.

    Menlo Park will grow up one way or another, it is inevitable. This development seems like a decent one to me.



    Seriously? A permit is only $10/month? That is fricken crazy! I assumed it was more like $150-$300.



    The best way to make parking more available to everyone is to meter all spaces and raise prices.



    yes, if it meant that nobody else had access to the otherwise public room and your exclusive use extended beyond what is considered customary fair use. How can you argue otherwise?



    JC Daceux and the exclusive advertising kiosks that they have across the city was a wholesale privatization scam inked during the Willie Brown administration. Our sidewalks and airspace have been privatized and the only thing the public gets in exchange is several heroin and sex shacks (i.e., the “public restrooms”). Really bad example to use!



    A Progressive’s remedy for a failing “progressive” policy is always “more of the same at twice the cost.”



    That is privatization. Pernicious privatization, because fuzzheads can’t recognize it. I am in favor of banning all parking n streets, but giving a single party exclusive rights to use public property without putting it out to bid at public auction is cronyistic privatization.



    If SFPD is going to start ticketing pedestrians for entering crosswalks with red blinking hand with 25 seconds left on the countdown, this will be on SFMTA. The blinking red timing seems random. Sometimes it is appropriate for a disabled nonagenarian, whereas other times, it is appropriate for the other 90% of pedestrians out there who don’t need an eon to cross.



    Mayor Lee is not on-board with Vision Zero. He barely even pays lip service to it. Please vote him out of office next election: Anyone – a Republican, Green, or other Democrat would all be better than Ed Lee.



    The only way to make SF safer is to underground cross-city vehicular traffic lanes, and reduce surface street speed limits to 15mph.



    “terrorists” – the new “meddling kids”



    Wish they’d get rid of the sidewalk stops, mid-Market. The 71, for instance should stop on the islands; allowing the right line to be completely for bicycles.


    Upright Biker

    The really good things about these lanes is that they make infractions obvious and hard to get out of using the “how could I have known?” excuse.

    As long as the cops are willing (and have the resources) to enforce these lanes, it should help.

    But, honestly, isn’t there a better solution than having to paint all our roads like it’s Christmas?



    This is great. Along Market, people block the box, which holds up many of Muni’s key lines. It’d be awesome if they also put in camera light enforcement on every intersection along Market.



    This is great progress, but they’re using all the wrong words. If I hear “expert bicyclist” again, I swear.

    But “bicycle fan” was by far my favorite.


    Aaron Bialick



    South SF’s Downtown Plan Aims to “Provide Connectivity Without Favoring One Form of Transit”

    Link is broken.


    Able Ben

    Is there a reason we’re not talking about replacing the wheels with ones that don’t stick out?



    Now the public must be pursued to vote for it. I wish the SF Transit Rider’s Union or another group had the money and expertise to sell voters on why this is important right now.

    As a transit activist, when I talk to people they agree that Muni needs more money. But with all the crazy stuff that will be on the ballot, including the soda tax and another initiative that will bring more money to transportattion, without a good campaign this amendment could easily blur in in people’s minds.



    Amen to this. Tying funding growth to population growth literally maintains status quo—anything different is a decrease. I’m glad we’re setting this baseline though. It’s time to move forward with funding.

    A fascinating model is the Versement Transport in France—a payroll tax based on mid-large-sized businesses that varies based on transit access. We’re in an economic boom for business, but many residents are struggling to afford the city. The Versement Transport is a great way to recognize the service a public transit agency provides to businesses getting employees to and from work. South bay tech companies pay a much higher per employee cost to get their employees to/from work in their buses than the this would cost—and the benefits extend to the public, not just to a private company.



    I don’t understand why nearby residents would be upset to have so many smiling faces just feet from their doorsteps.



    Why does the inbound N stop a full car length away from the exit stairs in the Powell station, yet the outbound stops right at the exit?



    Good job! Killer choreography



    It is sad that in Mayor Lee’s San Francisco, a measure that simply keeps transportation funding at its current per capita share can barely pass the BOS and be disdained by the mayor himself. Even it it gets the nod from voters, Wiener’s measure will fund the status quo, nothing better. Transit will remain slow, crowded, unpunctual. But at least it won’t get worse. Don’t get me wrong — I am grateful Wiener is doing everything he can to structure a better San Francisco. But this is poor porridge to feast on.



    The link is broken

    If Congress Doesn’t Reauthorize Federal Funds by Aug 1, Bay Area Transit Could Be in Trouble



    The problem is that you’re thinking about this as a bus upgrade, and not as a bus rapid transit corridor. You want better service but want to do it on the cheap. Yes, you can save money by cutting things here and there and not dealing with certain issues, but each time you do, it comes at the expense of service and the prospects of future BRT.

    The advantage of BRT over light rail is that it can provide a comparable and often better service for a much cheaper price. However, when you water down a project like this, BRT starts to fall short of LRT in terms of service quality and speed, and people stop caring about the cost savings and focus their attention on the service deficiencies.



    Unfortunately the boy hit by the minivan driver has died. May he rest in peace.



    “One diesn’t have to follow the other, and if you like urban canyons, San Jose and San Francisco have plenty of tech. In fact, you could live in those places and take transit to Menlo if you don’t like living in low-key suburbs with open space, trees, sky, and views of the hills.”

    Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that. Those of us who prefer to live in the city can’t just take transit to Menlo, because the jobs in Menlo are not in places that are easily accessible by transit. The biggest employer in Menlo Park, Facebook, is over 2 hours from my apartment in the city by transit. (I know they run shuttles, but most tech employers don’t.)

    As Facebook are located far outside of downtown, it will *never* be possible to serve them efficiently by public transit, so the majority of people who work there will have to drive. That creates increased traffic in Menlo and throughout the region, which is why this issue is bigger than just Menlo Park.

    By contrast, your second biggest employer SRI is a more manageable 1hr 15 from my apartment, because they are located downtown within walking distance of Caltrain. Your third biggest employer TE is close to Facebook and also has a 2 hour commute time. (I’m using my apartment just because it’s representative of where many tech workers live.)

    This is the crux of the problem. Menlo needs to either locate it’s jobs in an area that is easily accessible by transit, or not allow employers to locate in Menlo at all. Either way is fine by me – the point here is that office park development on the edge of Menlo causes regional traffic problems, and to fix those problems the jobs need to be closer to transit. That could mean moving jobs to downtown Menlo, or downtown SF, or somewhere else with decent transit.

    Unless you address that problem, your ballot initiative does not provide a solution to traffic congestion and the pollution it causes.



    Aaron, that opening line is fantastic.



    Aslevin: “If as you say, the goal is more to encourage retail and hotel than to
    discourage office, than the messaging on the signs and the posters that
    the measure is all about traffic reduction is bogus. Retail generates
    more cars than offices do.”

    On three (3) occasions, I have posted my response to this at the “reply” level and oddly, it never persists on the blog. Here is that response again. Maybe it will stick this time.

    I’m a former public official in Menlo Park who correctly predicted in 1998 that office would crowd-out retail and sales tax producers both downtown in and M-2. We initiated moderate zoning then to help protect retail. I have taken consistent public positions since 1998, resistant to large office, protective of retail and sales tax producers. I have no issues with smaller, diffuse local offices downtown, other than too many of them.

    The author of the Initiative is a former Planning Commission appointed by our council, whose public policy track record spans the same time frame. Together we have worked on this issue for nearly two decades.

    We are not “SaveMenlo” (see below) any more than you are “Menlo Park Deserves Better.” It won’t help your case to impugn the motives or dismiss thousands of people who signed the petition for many different good reasons.

    Since 2000 Menlo Park’s sales tax base has been decimated. Its largest single sales tax producer in M-2 is now leaving.

    The Wise report now finally admits, that the proposed large offices will gobble so much space under the non-residential cap that, when built out, no matter how, the Plan will create a net annual loss to the Menlo Park General Fund, something the public has never been told honestly before, something I believe they shouldn’t and wont’ tolerate.

    Briefly on traffic. “Trip generation does not correlate with impacts. It is not legally valid traffic analysis under CEQA as you should know. True “analysis” involves peak hour trip assignment, route determination, origin-destination determination, and then computing LOS delays at route intersections and volumes on local segments.

    Retail profiles do generate more trips, but the pattern is predominantly local, and off peak. It can time shift, mode shift, and route shift.

    Office traffic is 92% from out of town, 76% from freeways SR84, US101, I280, through three (3) access points, and then CONCENTRATES East-West peak hour traffic to a few neighborhood arterials to get downtown. The largest single segment comes from the Dumbarton Bridge. It has no transit alternative.

    Save Menlo started in the neighborhood directly facing the proposed
    Stanford office complex. Their concerns for significant peak hour
    commute traffic in their neighborhood streets is factually based, and
    not all “bogus”. Diffuse retail traffic, would not have those impacts ON THEM.
    Nor would housing/hotel traffic. Hotel was planned for the site, but got
    changed to large scale office/housing.



    See above: It adopts definitions only for the purposes of counting “office” in the Office cap and “open space” used in Zoning RULES. It does not impact the Zoning rules themselves.

    The Wise Report states clearly that the Initiative has “no impact” on the Zoning Ordinance.

    What’s not clear about that?

    In the Plan Area, the city can determine “how much” (ground-level) open space is allowed in each zone, but it may not redefined what “open space” means.

    Which is exactly what I wrote before you spammed the blog.