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    Andy B from Jersey

    Please don’t give the DRPA or the PA of NY/NJ any ideas!



    So, you would inconvenience boat owners by forcing them to haul heavy coils of rope, hatches and sails long distances just so you don’t have to look at their cars. How selfish of you.



    I’ll say it every time this issue comes up: I have a boat in the SF marina. Usually I bike to my boat, but sometimes I need to haul things like hatches, sails, huge coils of rope, etc which I need parking for loading and unloading.

    It’s ridiculous that the two options are either a huge parking lane or no parking at all. Rip up the tracks, put some parallel parking along marina blvd, and use the space gained by removing the car lane on the sidewalk to make an even nicer bike and pedestrian path.

    Also, I agree with other commentators that this isn’t us vs them; especially when I have interests on both sides of the issue.



    Thanks Aaron for the update on this great project. Hope it proceeds, as it would complement the Blue Greenway and Embarcadero Enhancement Project’s efforts to improve the Bay Trail within SF.

    Just a word of caution though: this is hardly the “only segment of the 500-mile Bay Trail that has car access on it,” and in fact there’s not even 500 miles of Bay Trail completed yet to my knowledge, so I’d ditch that speaking point ASAP. There are plenty of shared conditions unfortunately (and I’m looking at you, Peninsula).


    Thomas Rogers

    I could use that Veloloop on my Vespa- there are some road sensors that don’t notice that, either! However, it seems like those in-pavement sensors are being replaced by camera sensors, so it might not be worth it.


    Sam Foster




    I don’t have a problem with the cars per se – but the joggers and cyclists and etc…

    But if the cars are gone and there is more space for the joggers and the cyclists and etc….



    So The All Powerful Bike Lobby has made 11 more enemies. But has made 1000′s of new friends with a safer pathway.

    I don’t think you are very aware of how things work.



    I disagree with most of the comments. For me it’s not an issue of safety, but frankly one of aesthetics. I walk and occasionally bike this route for recreation and when I look towards the water my view is blocked by unsightly cars. At the very least, pedestrians and bicyclists should have first right to the view, not inanimate objects. Sadly, San Francisco does not protect views.


    sebra leaves

    And you wonder why people hate bikes? Really?
    Now you have sailors who ride bikes hating the SF Bike Coalition. Way to go. You have made more enemies. Make sure you piss everyone off.
    Going out on the water for a few hours is like camping for the weekend. You never know what you might need so you take a lot of gear, food and water. Some of it is heavy and some of it smells. Working on boats involves hauling heavy tools, equipment and supplies. The slips in the marina do not come cheap. There is a contract and it may include a parking space. I am pretty sure the slip fees just went up cause they did everywhere else.


    Nicasio Nakamine

    Despite going through past this marina semi-regularly, I have never had any issues with the parked cars. As far as pressing issues around the city go, this one is way way way down the list for me. I’m going to sit this one out.



    ”They want everybody off, but they can’t get the pedestrians off because they’re on the sidewalk.”

    So the thing that they are trying to get the cars off is the sidewalk? If they succeed that will be a first in SF.


    SF Biciclista

    I agree with Upright Biker. I’ve commuted by bike along this stretch for years and have never had a problem with cars parking, parked, or leaving these parking spots. The marina should have some form of parking wherein marina tenants can bring materials to their boats from nearby parking spots. I’m not wealthy, do not boat, am a dedicated SF cyclist who commutes everyday, and I believe a feasible balance can be struck wherein the marina preserves much of their parking so long as a young child can safely navigate this stretch by foot or bicycle. If the marina members cannot accede to this low bar, then they should lose their parking privileges and they can walk from wherever they find parking in the Marina district. Good luck with that.


    Upright Biker

    OK. I call foul. You know I love Streetsblog, but this borders on demagoguery.

    There _are_ older boat owners who need access to load gear. These _are_ people who have enjoyed this parking courtesy of our bureaucracy until now. Boating in the San Francisco Bay is part of the heritage of our city.

    I ask that we stop casting this as some sort of us vs. them (rich white guys) thing, and look for constructive solutions instead of mocking people who are trying to find compromise with phrases such as “…the narrative of menacing road-hogs…” Even if they’ve got clay tongues, at the core they’re asking for some basic access that we really should find ways to grant.

    As noted before, there could easily be curb-cuts on either side of the stop signs with permitted, time-restricted parking so the needs of slip owners could be met.

    And no, I don’t boat. I don’t know anyone who does. I just know when advocacy crosses the line into unfriendly territory.


    alberto rossi

    In District 11, you can call all you want to make reports, but no ticket will ever be issued for sidewalk parking; anyway that’s my personal experience. PCO’s do issue tickets for streetcleaning and meters and they’ll respond instantly to a request for a 72 Hour parking notice from people who think all the parking on their block is their personal possession. As for police, the only time you’ll ever see them around is when they’re responding to an emergency at the corner store. The emergency: snacks that urgently need to be bought. Usually this emergency requires parking in a red zone. As to trees, there are fewer trees here than 25 years ago. Friends of the Urban Forest have planted a few from time to time, but most have died or were removed for parking access to yards.



    Yeah, it was a shoddy article. Apparently San Francisco instituted peek-period[sic] parking pricing to chase cars out of the city, rather than to manage demand. And this from a publication that you’d hope would have a basic grasp of market economics…



    “I parked illegally all the time and got a lot of tickets, and that sense of entitlement makes things hard, when you’re poor.”


    Andy Chow

    Santa Clara also has a side platform (with room for 4 tracks but that requires realigned tracks and reconstruction of the southbound platform). SSF needs to be 4 track capable since the there’s a 4 track segment north of SSF and San Bruno is also 4 track capable. A center platform is generally incompatible with 4 tracks.

    The plan for a center platform was proposed before the passage of Prop 1A in 2008, since then the project has been on hold. Even though a full 4 track corridor is no longer in consideration, 4 track segments may still be needed.



    Just because he figured out “Free Music is Cool” and “Facebook is cool” and had the chutzpah to follow up on it doesn’t make him brilliant. It just means he has chutzpah.


    Karen Lynn Allen

    I get why the Koch brothers spend gazillions trying to buy elections and keep fossil fuels dominant in the US. They’re old, they want to make as much money as possible, and they don’t care even a tiny a bit about what happens to the planet/humanity/all life forms after they die. Sean Parker I understand much less. Someone needs to sit him down, show him a picture of the Koch brothers, and ask him if that kind of ugliness is really what he wants to achieve in this life. Because that’s the path he’s on.

    The claims of wanting to help the working poor and being surprised people in San Francisco are upset with him are entirely disingenuous. Remember, he is also a major bankroller of Ed Lee.



    For anyone who’s curious I haven’t found any examples nationwide but did find some stats for bike usage per income level in Amsterdam:

    Scroll to Figure 2.10 on page 25.

    Title: “Frequency of bike usage amongst bike owners per net monthly household income”


    dagelijks = daily
    enkele keren per week = several times per week
    wekelijks = weekly
    maandelijks = monthly
    minder vaak = less often
    nooit = never
    onbekend = unknown

    You can see the usage amongst income groups starting with “meer dan €3200″ (more than €3200) on down. Looks like the poorest (monthly income below €700) bike the most with almost 60% biking daily, though even half of the wealthiest bike daily.

    In the Netherlands that quote could very well be updated to “A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars but where the rich take their bikes.”



    Average income of a Caltrain rider is 6 figures.


    SF Guest

    Low cost ferry rides with a higher GG bridge toll would be a benefit to all except GGBTD. From a business perspective GGBTD would lose revenue from both a reduced bridge toll population as well as providing and maintaining a less lucrative ferry service.

    If you’re the GGBTD you would want to maximize your revenue collection from bridge tolls while providing alternative ferry service.



    I know many relatively rich people. In my experience, they value their safety first, then their time, and then their luxury. If public transportation is safe and goes faster, they’ll take it, otherwise they’ll drive. NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, for instance, famously took the subway daily during his pre-politics working years.

    The choice of public transportation — in most rich countries outside of the U.S. — is not about money, but about preference. One of my Italian friends, well-off but not wealthy by most occidental measures, prefers taking cabs everywhere. She, at least, hates mixing with the hoi polloi.



    I caved and read the whole Sean Parker article. He needs to hire a much better team to advise him or at least do some reading for himself. He’s shooting himself in the foot as influencer in politics if he doesn’t figure out his politics in a coherent way. It sounds like he’s taking out his frustration at the DMV from when he was younger on the people of San Francisco. No thank you.



    But what’s weird about it is people who can afford to pay for parking stand to benefit the most from market based parking policies. It makes it much easier to find a spot and reduces some congestion. You’d think a tech billionaire would be interested in disrupting the parking status quo, but I guess not if the money is collected by the government.


    Morgan Fitzgibbons

    His own dick. How can you tell when Sean Parker is lying? His lips are moving.



    Or he could spend his money buying Muni passes for poor people. But that wouldn’t solve the “real” problem for Parker: that his private chauffeur has to circle the block a couple times to find a parking spot.



    Also what does he mean poor families don’t have access? SF has one of the best transit coverage systems in the US. While our transit could certainly use a lot of improvement, it does serve hundreds of thousands of people a day. And the most recent survey showed that 51% of riders are at or below the poverty line.

    It would be nice if he put his money behind getting the VLF passed or something that would actually improve peoples’ lives, especially poor and working families.


    Nicasio Nakamine

    Don’t forget ships and boats passing underneath! Each should pay a toll to go under, effectively “using” the shelter provided by the bridge.


    SF Guest

    They do enforce parking on sidewalks if you call SFMTA, but their arrival times vary. I haven’t heard of PCO’s refusing to respond.



    regarding your point about 50% of pedestrian collisions being with Muni:

    “In the last seven years, 120 people have died and more than 5,600 have been involved in collisions mostly with cars.”

    The article states that 1/3 of crashes were attributed to the pedestrian so that means that in 2/3 of cases, drivers were determined at fault.



    yes, muni employees are the only government workers with bloated salaries and pensions. Let’s stop funding public transportation to teach them a lesson.

    …and you’re wrong – Muni fares were raised to make up for the budget shortfall caused by removing Sunday metering. The missing 9.8MM revenue from the meters was already included in the budget before it was subsequently removed (



    Got to love Parker’s “logic”:

    “We don’t have great public transportation and poor families don’t have access and it’s a huge problem.”

    So the solution to fix public transit is to make it slower? WTF is this guy smoking?!


    Jym Dyer

    The city really should enforce laws against parking on sidewalks; you can call the SFPD after midnight if the PCOs refuse to respond. The city should also really enforce laws against paved front lawns, though the planners can’t do much about that.

    Keep pushing for the street trees, they’ll at least block sidewalk-parking in lieu of enforcement. If we actually let them grow, they’ll also calm traffic.


    Jym Dyer

    @Duane – I don’t know who the “we” is in your first sentence, but the bit about who pays more is completely wrong. Motorists impose far greater costs than any other road users, which fall far short of the additional costs they pay in gas taxes, fees, and tolls. Their chosen transportation mode is subsidized by everyone choosing any other mode, and are subsidized disproportionately by localities with higher incomes and higher property values.

    This, of course, describes San Francisco, Prop L’s very jurisdiction.


    Jym Dyer

    @donsf2003 – I just got a glossy leaflet from the Yes on L people. It was full of flaming lies. It doesn’t even get jurisdictions straight, blaming the SFMTA for what the MTC does. You must be really upset about this sleazy ad campaign, right? I mean, it’s a bunch of lies being sent to people’s houses and everything, not just some guy playing with Photoshop on a blog.

    I eagerly await your principled, angry denouncement of the sleazy tactics of the Yes on L campaign.



    They seem to be pursuing an island station option similar to the new platform at Santa Clara, with a pedestrian crossing gate at the north end connecting to the parking lot and a tunnel at the south end connecting to East and West Grand Avenues.


    Chris J.

    I think we should go even further and charge not just pedestrians and bicyclists, but also each time someone in the Bay Area looks at the bridge or photographs it. They can also be considered “users” of the bridge because the bridge also serves an aesthetic purpose. This will raise even more money and spread the cost across even more people.



    For a US example the best is probably New York City. Sure, plenty of high-income people will always be taking luxurious vehicles but for plenty of trips within the city the subway’s often simply faster. For millionaire and welfare recipient alike.

    The amount of wealth that daily commutes into the FiDi of SF via non-car modes is also fairly high. Too bad that doesn’t always apply to the rest of the Bay Area…or even the rest of SF.

    I think Peñalosa’s point is not that there exists a place where no rich people or no poor people ever use cars but more that a developed country should have the infrastructure to make something like transit (and presumably by extension also biking/walking) such a safe, prevalent, convenient option that large cross-sections of society of any and all means regularly do it as a regular, no-brainer thing.

    People for Bikes had a really interesting piece on this recently:

    You can see how the lowest income stratum in Denmark (defined as less than $13k annual income) still actually drives for 45% of its trips.

    *But it’s not weird to not drive*. You’re not a loser or eccentric if you show up to a job interview or do your shopping on a bike. This has huge implications in terms of dignity, self-determination and simply being able to get things done, work and go about your life without needing the costly buy-in and ongoing expenses of a car in the first place.

    Btw, those bike numbers are probably quite a bit better amongst the poor in the Netherlands, because they’re quite a bit higher overall anyway. The NL is still a fairly car-crazy country but has notably higher bike modeshare (and more prevalent and protected infrastructure) than Denmark. I’ll have to look some stats up and see what I find.



    Penalosa makes many great points. I particularly like the one about hyper-democracy which is see more as neighborhood rule – when a local action group is give permission by the city to hijack the part of a broader agenda that passes through their neighborhood – this reminds me of the Middle Polk Neighborhood Association, which was successful in making life more dangerous for all the cyclists passing along the Polk Street arterial.



    I’ve seen that quote about “the rich take public transportation”–is there such a place? There may be wealthy people who ride subways and buses, but I’m sure most of the upper class prefer the luxurious interiors of their Mercedes Benzes, Cadillacs, etc. to rubbing elbows with the common folk on bus or train. And I’ve driven up US 101 through the Salinas Valley and seen better cars than mine parked next to the salad-greens fields at harvest time.



    Damn. Was just inspired. “Who voted on this?” ::points to danger-prone, car-centric urban street:: Amazing.



    Whoa, how did I miss that he was going to be here?!

    This quote of his is still one of my favorites:

    “A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars but where the rich take public transportation.”

    Love his comparison of the inequity of our current streets to other formerly pervasive wrongs such as male-only voting. When steeped in the status quo it’s often really hard to imagine what can or should be.

    And loved his points, too, regarding stubborn resistance to change–the hyperdemocratic approach where the status quo (which wasn’t even voted on in the first place) gets to be maintained due to vociferous nearby residents is not the way to create better places out of already public space. Much to Chuck “not-in-front-of-my-luxury-condo” Schumer’s chagrin:



    Good point! Let’s take the money from the Doyle Drive reconstruction and hire full time crossing guards for Sloat!



    And even if they want to go through with this ridiculous idea, then fine: charge pedestrians based on the impact/wear-and-tear they have on the bridge. If cars are paying $6, then the average pedestrian causes what, 1/1000th of the wear and tear of the average car? Hell, let’s be generous and say it’s 1/100th. So if cars are paying $6, then pedestrians should be 6 cents. Seem like a good idea now? And this is still excluding air pollution, GHG emissions, and negative ramifications of congestion. In this light, I think it is utterly ridiculous to suggest that pedestrians should be paying anything.



    My hero.


    Andy Chow

    I am wondering whether these drivers are too over reliant on GPS. A good driver should be able to navigate most part of the city (except parts like the Twin Peaks) with just the intersection rather than exact address, and know the good streets with timed lights.


    Andy Chow

    I think the station should have 4 main tracks designed in, which would require reconfiguration of the freight yard. This is the only all day station that requires a hold out rule and access to the station is far less than desirable.



    Hopefully the police and the reporter understand all the places that are legally crosswalks that aren’t marked with paint before they start talking about someone being ‘in a crosswalk’.