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    Matt Chambers

    Well, Broadway gets you from the waterfront to College Ave and Piedmont Ave which is very much somewhere. Using 980 and 24 instead isn’t always worth the effort. NB Broadway at 51st/Pleasant Valley is always backed up in the afternoon. Broadway at MacArthur is congested in all directions most of the day. Broadway is very much a major roadway.



    Ugh, more bad math. $15,371,000 / 481 spaces = $31,956 per space.

    The bart website claims that the parking is full by 7am. Say there is some turnover and it’s used by 600 cars/day, M-F. Maybe add to that another 500/day on weekends. That’s about 208,000 cars/year. Or $520,000/year in $2.50 parking fees. That’s almost 30 years to pay back just the construction cost.

    Add to this the fact that the lot is full by 7am, it means the fee is too cheap. A demand pricing system to keep the lot 95% full would be more effective.



    It’s the same issue as the fights over bike lane standards — civil engineers only know how to do it “by the book”.

    “The book” has no sense of context or proportionality, and that’s why we paved over portion of a national park so semi trucks can park safely on the side of the road.



    If Doyle Drive undermines the fairy tale of “transit first”, wait until you see the new Transbay Bus Terminal. Nearly all of the same criticisms can be leveled — Taj Mahal aesthetics with little to no improvements in basic mobility.

    When you get down to it, it has nothing to do with highways or bus terminals, and everything to do with our local political machine preferring glamours monuments to pork instead of the incremental basic improvements we badly need.



    Both Doyle Drive and the Bay Bridge approaches were rebuilt because they were seiismically unsound structures that carry hundreds of thousands of people every day, a not insignificant fact that seems to have been conveniently overlooked.



    Telegraph would be 5 lanes to 3 lanes. The left turn lane already exists.


    Jeffrey Baker

    Tom Radulovich has been on the Bart board for two decades, but still uses the outsider’s term “appalled” to describe what Bart is doing. When does it switch to “ashamed”?

    Speaking of ashamed, let’s talk about the transit village being built at MacArthur. What a disaster. Has anyone ever seen more than three guys working that site at a time? If it were my project it would be crawling with workers. I don’t understand why Bart condones the opportunity cost of leaving that site half-built.


    Marven Norman

    Then put the park back in parklet and just have benches and stuff for the public and maintained like any other park.



    I take the current buses. Nothing you describe is the issue. The problem is Lombard Ave, Van Ness, North Point, Embarcadero, and Battery.

    I get off of Caltrain at 4th and King a few minutes after the GGT bus leaves the terminal at 3rd and Folsom. I ride my bike to the bridge. I routinely beat the bus by 10-15 minutes.

    The carpool lanes on 101 in Marin are usually clear enough to travel near the speed limit.



    Well said. Anytime there is a “police activity” or technical problem, it seems that all BART trains in the vicinity of the problem are brought to a standstill and it’s no-go until it’s resolved.



    Hello, Mountain View is building housing. It may not be right in the middle of the Googleplex and it’s surely not enough to meet the city’s job/housing imbalance.

    But Tim Redmond’s claim that “regional powers to insist that San Francisco take on 92,000 housing units when Mountain View won’t allow any at all” is so false that I question why this article was linked. Believe me, if Mountain View weren’t building any new housing I’d have a lot fewer anti-growth NIMBYs to fight at City Hall.


    Dexter Wong

    Compared to 1971, yes the rules have changed. Back then it had to be an American carbuilder (and I believe that Pullman-Standard was still in business at the time). But after the Boeing fiasco, foreign carbuilders were allowed to bid but had to include 51% American equipment in their cars. It doesn’t matter to the FTA where in the USA the cars are built, but it does help local politicians if the cars are built nearby.



    I believe the proper approach to this lack of swift transit would be to fight for continuous, dedicated transit only lanes on the new Presidio Parkway, 101, and possibly the Bridge itself and Hwy 1. People going north and south will take the bus if it has them passing by commuters stuck in traffic. Perhaps some of them already do this via the ferry, but plenty more would take a bus if it were faster than driving their own car.


    Aaron Bialick

    Can you email me about this on background?



    I never disputed there’s a net commute into SF! You are putting words into my mouth. Maybe you should clarify what a ‘suburb’ is then, because there are a lot of ‘suburbs’ around here that actually have a lot of commercial development and/or office space and, let me tell you, they are not keeping up with demand for housing there.

    Why the hell is it hypocritical for SF residents to criticize MTV for not building housing?!? We need housing everywhere–many of us acknowledge this. But we’re going to keep fanning the flames of the Google Bus protests as long as the towns tech workers commute to flatly refuse to build housing.



    Totally agree. But your turn of phrase re MTV not ‘attracting people’ was strange and that’s all I was taking issue with. Mountain View, Emeryville, Palo Alto, Marin…they’re all trying to export the problem of people needing housing.


    Parker Pelican


    I need to post this anonymously of course, but the project is being held up and the cost increases are largely due to the Presidio Trust scamming the project to get as much free construction work done as possible to make as much money as possible from the resulting tourist attraction – see the ‘presidio parklands’ project that is hijacking a good portion of the project – The Presidio Trust is adding to the delays and millions (conservatively millions) to the cost, not the contractor, not Caltrans.




    Part of the issue, too, is that in a lot of places Southern Marin tends to be pretty all-or-nothing in terms of infrastructure. The Mill Valley path passes by areas that sometimes don’t even have sidewalks, much less bike lanes (and the bike lanes that do exist are almost never 8-to-80). This makes the MUPs even more a draw for recreational activities than would otherwise be the case. And of course there’s nothing wrong with that, but it all adds up.

    What’s really insane is the last-mile (or often just the last few hundred feet) problem. Within spitting distance of the MV path you have streetscapes that function like the one in the first image of Shoreline Hwy near Mill Valley. Notice the bewildered pedestrians in the StreetView. It sucks to walk or bike there.

    In the second image you see Donahue St near Marin City as it goes under 101. It happens to the only road connection between a major (well, for Marin) bus hub and the MV path, and it’s ridiculously hostile to non-cars. Other than a few racer/road-warrior types I don’t see many people on bikes confidently “taking the lane” there. Practically everyone bikes on the separated sidewalk there because that’s just insane. Cars speed like crazy there and there’s little visibility due to the narrow sharp curve of the underpass.

    The third one is at Shoreline and Manzanita transit hub, where a lot of GGT bus lines stop. Despite a few corporate offices and the MV path all in close proximity, the area is totally hostile to bikes and peds. Notice how there’s only a pedestrian crossing on one side–a long light that prioritizes car traffic above all else. Despite being less than a minute bike ride away from the MV path there’s no bike lane connection on the road.



    Southern Marin’s multi-use paths can almost be described as victims of their own success. They are well used by bicycle commuters, school kids, joggers, walkers, dog walkers, etc. More such paths and protected bike lanes are needed, to meet the demand for safe places to bicycle and walk.



    Nope, it’s the built environment that makes so many poor people think they need a car that sucks. Cars cost thousands of $$ a year–THAT is a poor tax on working people.

    No one can ‘relax and not drive around endlessly looking for parking in their own neighborhoods’ if the local residents occupied every last goddamn metered parking spot at 5:30pm Saturday evening and don’t move their cars until Monday morning. Don’t be so willfully obtuse.

    As for the $5,000 comment, why do I bother acknowledging stupid trolls but here, have a look at this hipster bike brand with $300 bikes


    Michael Smith

    You are forgetting about Park Presidio. So now we will have 10 lanes funneling into 6 on the bridge. Plus breakdown lanes only where they are most expensive (through the tunnels and viaduct).


    Upright Biker

    I disagree with both the substance and the uncivil tone of your reply.

    Apart from making cars vaporize, which cannot be done, there has to be infrastructure for them.

    And if that infrastructure can be attractive and functional in many different ways, then all the better. Should we give up our fight for more bike/ped infra? Absolutely not. Could this have been done in a more economical way as Jim Chappell pointed out, and the savings spent on bike/ped? Absolutely yes.

    We keep fighting, we keep learning. Unless you’ve decided that demagoguery is a better tactic.



    The old Doyle Drive structure had six lanes, if my memory serves me correctly, but usually one of these lanes was coned off as a median buffer. With Highway 1 leading to and from the bridge, five lanes on Doyle Drive seems sufficient. The new Doyle Drive will promote automobile access to San Francisco (from the north) more than ever before. It will have more lanes in operation at all times and, although there’s ample space, it will lack a bus/HOV lane or rail right-of-way. At times of congestion (due to collisions, holiday traffic, etc.) Golden Gate Transit and Muni 28 and 76 X riders will be penalized at least as much as motorists. This is the opposite of transit first.



    Many times the disabled have more money with the resources they become entitled to get.



    Telegraph would be going from 4 to 3 (including a new center turn lane), but Broadway is going from 6 to 4 to accommodate bike lanes. In both cases the traffic studies largely show excess capacity via existing conditions.

    Also, in terms of “major roads out of downtown” you are completely ignoring the freeways, which is what most drivers should be using instead of surface streets, if they do not have destinations along the way.



    I guess you missed all that work on the various on and off ramps to the Bay Bridge the last 10 years. Presumably they are in the same category as Doyle Drive, which is basically one big on/off ramp to a bridge.


    Oakland Logic

    Won’t disagree, but taking the only two major 4 lane roads out of downtown to two to accomodate bikes would be virtually unprecedented in US cities


    Howard Lovecraft

    Where’s the parking?



    Six lanes is actually more logical given that the bridge has six lanes. More than six might be superfluous but less six would inevitably cause congestion due to involuntary merges.

    This is an expensive project, no doubt. But it taken 26 years to build and I’d posit that much of that expense was incurred because of the delays and the various obstacles that any project like this has to go through.

    But the end result will be much better than what we had before. And other than Doyle Drive, I cannot think of any major and expensive car-centric investment in the city itself recently (although several outside it, of course).

    In fact, we have torn down several lengths of freeway in the city since this project was first mooted in 1988, and I suspect the southern-most sections of 101 and 280 might come down as well in future years. But the bridge connectors seem like a reasonable exception, and are not fully controlled by the city anyway.



    Exactly, Mario. Almost all taxes in America are based on transactions and not wealth. The problems with taxing wealth are obvious. First, there is no guarantee that the allegedly wealthy person or entity actually has the cash to pay the tax, which is part of the reason behind Prop 13, as you note.

    Second, valuations are volatile, speculative and fluctuate massively up and down, and so computing the tax is a difficult task. So, OK, real estate has been doing well recently. But what if we have another downturn? Will the city then be happy to take less in tax?

    So yes, the extra seven years relieves the pressure on the developers and gives them more time to ride out market cycles. And hopefully means they won’t have to skimp too much on the construction.



    It doesn’t matter how many lanes approach the bridge. If we put 1000 lanes approaching the bridge, the bridge still has only 3 lanes, with a tricky/goofy merge, and the fun happy times of random cars missing the exit to the visitor center and *reversing* back to the offramp.

    Example: When the bridge is way backed up, it backs up Doyle Drive, and drivers start to use Lincoln as well. Surprisingly this only works for a few minutes until the traffic backs up onto Lincoln because the bottleneck is upstream.

    If this project is being overbuilt, it is being overbuilt with funding that could have been used to help solve the problem. The most difficult and unpredictable part of the route is the approach to the bridge because of backups, so we commit hundreds of millions to build more lanes. The overcrowded ferries are an invisible and thus unimportant problem.


    Richard Mlynarik

    Summary: “I use this road and I like driving on it, so it’s worth whatever it is that you paid for it for me.”

    “Politically dumb”, “grand entry”, :park expansion” “place-making” “wildlife enabler” “honors aethetics” = “I use this road and I like driving on it, so it’s worth whatever it is that you paid for it for me.”
    You only forgot “TOD” and “vibrant communities”. Must try harder.

    BTW circular firing squads sound like a most excellent idea. We’d certainly get better and more final outcomes than those we’re achieving.



    I HAVE AN IDEA….how about some of you MOVE to the suburbs. Then you can have your nice peaceful existence and leave the rat race of the city to those who wish to live in the rat race. It is this suburban mentality that abhors any thing that smells of chaos which is destroying San Francisco.



    On the one hand you have SFDPW acting as fascists and on the other hand you have these new ridesharing drivers acting like anarchists. Sounds like an eventual war that will only hurt those not involved with either.






    Have the rules actually changed or is it because Siemens assembles them in Sacramento now?



    The city of SF is no functioning with any hint of sanity. At some point someone will be killed thanks to all these new lines painted every which way. It is like the guys who paint the streets are drunk and can no longer paint a straight line.



    Last night’s community meeting on this project got a big turnout, with nearly everyone in favor of continuous bike lanes throughout the project area, and a lot of good discussion about what it would take to implement physically protected bikeways for most of Telegraph. AC Transit staff and riders were on hand to talk about what trade offs would be needed to implement great bike facilities without slowing the buses on this segment to a crawl, a lot of which means money and public support for bus stop relocation/consolidation as well as traffic signal prioritization.

    Representatives from city council and staff all seemed open to discuss what would be required to implement a continuous, protected bikeway on Telegraph, but I’m rather frustrated anyway .This community process already happened in the first phase of the project but the clear mandate for a continuous, protected bikeway that came out of that process was wholly ignored in the draft plan with not nearly enough justification. What’s to say that this round of outreach won’t just be similarly ignored again, and even if it isn’t then having staff go back to the drawing board on a plan they already spent so much time on is a huge waste of resources for Oakland.



    Not that I agree, but the justification given for the multiple lanes and sharrows in the Temescal section of Telegraph was that removing travel lanes would 1) slow the AC Transit bus lines which run through the corridor and 2) back up car traffic turning onto 51st Street to access the Hwy 24 on-ramp.

    At the community meeting held on the project last night there were representatives from AC Transit present to talk about some of the mitigations that could be made via stop relocation and traffic signal prioritization to keep the buses moving smoothly. However, with no funding allocated for the plan yet they were afraid these mitigations would get cut as part of the final project, and with little community outreach on stop relocation/consolidation yet they are also worried about the potential backlash from individuals and transit user groups.

    As for the car traffic concerns, I got the feeling from staff that they would be willing to accept the additional congestion as long as they have support from the public and city council, which looks pretty likely.


    Andy Chow

    Having been a transit advocate for more than 15 years, besides for pushing what you want, the other battle is to fight “marquee” projects that ought to be right-sized. Pretty much projects like this, the Bay Bridge east span, Caldecott 4th bore, BART extensions, Central Subway, high speed rail all fit the profile.

    These projects are marquee because they’re popular among politicians and voters in general. They know the travel benefits of wider roads. They know BART as the gold standard for transit in the Bay Area (even though people who have lived elsewhere know better). We don’t like them because they’re too expensive, don’t necessarily align with our priorities (including BART which depend on parking in the suburbs), excessive, isn’t as useful as it appears, and that we have better products that would do the same job for less money (like BRT, commuter rail, etc).

    When we have to take that fight, it is always an uphill battle. The politicians are going to ignore us. Labor unions, business groups, developers aren’t going to be on our side. Our message are technical and people who are generally liberal and act environmental don’t always get our message (if someone were to ask if we’re for transit then why are we against BART, we have to spend time explaining to them, which doesn’t work during a political campaign.) Also in our region, we are wealthy and generous enough to approve more taxes and overlook the cost difference. We don’t have nearly enough voters who care about cost (fiscal conservatives) to pressure the politicians.

    Sometimes to fight those projects, our other option is to join the NIMBY and tea party crowd. They are like us who are against the project but for very different reasons. They bring energy and are very emotional, but don’t always share our values or even support our own alternatives. This path is risky and may often result in unintended consequences.

    Fighting these projects are lonely, exhausting, and sadly mostly unsuccessful. I think most advocates who have been around at least got involved with some of those negative battles. We don’t always fight every one of those battles but we know what they are and know why some of us are fighting it.

    I would like to mention the late Norman Rolfe, who passed away 4 years ago and was a member of San Francisco Tomorrow. He helped save the cable cars in the 1950s and was a part of the freeway revolt. He supported more Muni and extending Caltrain. His last battle was to fight against this project and he called it “a freeway in disguise.”



    You make some valid points, but you are wrong to characterize the current temporary lanes as handling traffic just fine. I drive to Marin once or twice a week, mostly to check in on elderly parents. The most difficult and unpredictable part of the route now is the approach to the GG Bridge due to traffic back ups, insufficient lanes, etc. And coming back even later in the evening can be challenging due to the narrowness of the southbound lanes, the weird curves, and a curb for a median — all feel pretty hazardous.

    I am looking forward to the parkway, an appropriate term for this dramatic, greenery heavy portal to the City. Sure, every infrastructure project could be delivered for less, its funds used to deliver somebody else’s priority project, and its aesthetics dumbed down, but posterity will probably reward us for creating a parkway that honors the aesthetics and engineering of both City and Bridge.

    We need to be spending millions more on transit and bike routes and safety in San Francisco, yes. But it is politically dumb to bemoan already committed funding for a different kind of project, one that is part road, part grand entry, part park expansion and wildlife route enabler, part art, and part place-making landscape architecture. We can have this gem and fund the other worthy projects. Let’s not, as transportation advocates, form a circular firing squad.



    correction: doing allright with *five* lanes today



    Thank you Streetsblog for documenting the collusal waste of money of these freeway shoulders. Apparently we must build freeways with shoulders on the left AND right sides, to ensure that when one car breaks down or crashes, it does not delay any other car. Imagine if we designed our transit systems the same way!



    Highway projects seem to be too-rarely questioned or criticized, and Doyle Drive is no exception. Thank you for shedding light on this new, improved, and much wider freeway project. Of course, the new Doyle Drive will enhance recreation in the Presidio (which was an army and not a navy base) and it’s most important to have seismically sound infrastructure. But since it seems to be doing allright with four lanes today, it sure seems like an opportunity was lost to build a smaller and less expensive freeway (as you point out). The new Doyle Drive will undermine San Francisco’s fairy tale of being a transit first city.


    Nicasio Nakamine

    I don’t think there’s any going back now, right? Like our glorious Central Subway, we are now committed. Can we look to the next big project like these and steer them in more sensible directions?


    Jamison Wieser

    “Breaking news: blog commenter upset. More at 11.”



    One’s pedestrian perspective changes with disability or age. Walking with my 86 year old father helps me see how a speeding bike on a shared path or a car rolling through a stop sign are difficult to react to when your reflexes have slowed or eyesight has worsened. Older folks tend to get startled by close encounters with others in motion, even if there was no actual danger. So, folks, slow it down and move in predictable ways to make others, particularly the frail, comfortable around you.


    Eric Fischer

    Total north-south AADT on Telegraph in the Temescal is about 17,000 through vehicles plus about 1500 turns, so if I understand the math correctly, it ought to be OK either with fewer lanes or without the turn lane.


    Jym Dyer

    ⦿ Commenters suspicious of new SFMTA blog? Not surprising. Commenters are idiots. (Except, of course, for you, Dear Reader.)


    Jym Dyer

    Three sentences of nonsense and then an auto-Godwin. Good work.