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    Peter Middleton

    BART to SFSU



    Just curious, would you think to change your flammatory headline to “Cyclist makes regrettable and unsafe decision to pass bus, gets tire caught in rail groove, and falls in front of Muni bus driver (who has no time to avoid him)?” Or does “Muni bus driver kills cyclist, etc….” fit more with your ideology?
    *magnitude 10.0 eyeroll*


    Chris J.

    I took a family member from out of town on a bike ride down Market St to the Ferry Building on Saturday. I was hoping it would be a pleasant experience for them, but it was anything but.

    Cars and trucks were constantly stopped / parked in the right lane with the sharrows. At one point, an armored car was parked in the right lane. We had to bike around it in the red lane with the grates, and she fell and bent a wheel in the street car groove. We had to carry the bike home. If anything, something has to be done about those grates. They’re very dangerous for newcomers.



    Thanks! Can’t happen soon enough.



    The CVC does require cyclists to ride as far to the right as practicable, with various important exceptions.

    Yep. Not the least of which is that it doesn’t apply if you’re traveling at the same speed as motorized vehicles (which is the case on Market St, whose speed limit is generally 10mph).

    21202. (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed
    less than the normal speed of traffic
    moving in the same direction
    at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand
    curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following
    (1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle
    proceeding in the same direction.
    (2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a
    private road or driveway.
    (3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but
    not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles,
    pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes)
    that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge,
    subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this
    section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for
    a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the
    (4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
    (b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway,
    which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or
    more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or
    edge of that roadway as practicable.



    I thought MUNI buses were required to have the S1 guards to prevent people from getting caught under the wheel of the bus? From the pics on the SF Gate & Hoodline article, I didn’t see any guards (they might be there, just hard to tell). I recall an elderly Asian man was run over while riding his bike near the central freeway a few years back and there was a big deal made of the missing S1 guard on that bus. Any one know what happened here? Did the bus on Market St have an S1 gaurd?



    DarkSoul is just trolling. He knows better. I should’ve just ignored his worthless comments as I usually do.



    Um, no DarkSoul. A bike lane is separated from traffic. That stretch on Market St has a Shared Lane (commonly called Sharrows). A shared lane and a bike lane a different and the people (aka Paul Rose) leading our transit agencies should know better.

    The net result is that casual observers, like yourself, start confusing the two and thinking a shared lake is a bike lane. The good news is that now you know there is a difference.

    As for your callous comment about the biker choosing not to use it, that is just ignorant and biased. The mere presence of a Sharrow Lane doesn’t mean that cyclists are forced to ride in it. The cyclist left the lane for reasons that are unknown (and may never be known). Thus, we don’t know if the cyclist left the lane and made a poor choice or if he was forced out of the lane for any number of reasons (stalled car/bus? delivery vehicle blocking the lane? etc). All that is for certain at this point, is there was a bike lane here, this man would still be alive.



    I’m sorry if I was unclear. I thought we all understood that the accident took place on Market St., so I thought I was clearly identifying a cross-street.

    There are sharrows on Market in the area. Some vehicular cycling advocates (who I generally consider crazy in this regard, though increasingly less so given how these discussions tend to play out) have long been opposed to sharrows for fear that they will cause people to think cyclists are only allowed to ride where they are present.

    The CVC does require cyclists to ride as far to the right as practicable, with various important exceptions. Certainly, I hope the investigation will explore why this cyclist changed lanes, but there are a number of decent reasons why he might have chosen to do so. Whether it’s safe or necessary to do so is something everyone is going to have to judge on a case-by-case basis, but it’s not illegal or inherently wrong.


    Darksoul SF

    I did pay attention..Like i said “No There are no bike lanes at Sutter” Well you said it was correct. “No Bike Lanes Market Street at Sutter”

    There is Shared Bike Lane between those area. The biker choose not to use it and ended up going between traffic.





    What can we do to get the city to install dedicated bike lanes ALL along Market St? The lanes where bikes mix with buses and there’s no way to pass on the right (thus encouraging passing on the left in the trolley lane) are very dangerous.



    Darksoul – I think you mis-read what mx wrote. He said (and you requoted) “at Sutter” as in there are no bike lanes on Market AT Sutter. Somehow you interpreted it as if mx wrote there are no bike lanes ON Sutter. Pay attention to the preposition (at vs on); I had no issues understanding what mx wrote. Clearly the accident happened on Market St. so when we say “at” it implies the cross street. And mx is correct, there are no bike lanes, just sharrows on Market at Sutter.



    I was going to use the 42 to get home from the Raiders game yesterday but the schedule – meh.



    I think he meant “no bike lanes ON Market Street AT Sutter”.


    Darksoul SF

    You said “there are no bike lanes at Sutter” when the accident was on Market St




    Darksoul SF

    Paul Rose Quotes are valid. I do not know where did you get the “No Bike lane on sutter at”.

    The Bike Lane should be used to ensure your safety. SF put high efforts on making bike lanes on Market Street. Should not be riding between traffic.



    Golden Gate Transit introduces updated Marin East Bay route:

    Analogous to the GGT 101 line, the current 40/42 lines are being rebranded as the 580 line, though it’s unclear from the article whether it’ll address the following concerns:

    While GGT’s SF Marin connections can actually be quite good (the 101 goes from San Rafael to SF in less than 30 minutes and leaves fairly frequently all day every day), the same is currently not true for the East Bay Marin connection.

    A good personal account of the problem I found on a blog here:



    Some awful quotes from local officials in response to the Market St. death. Paul Rose, SFMTA spokesmen gives us “It does not appear the bicyclist was traveling in a bike lane” (there are no bike lanes at Sutter, although there are sharrows on the rightmost lane). Or, from the KTVU article, “Bicyclists are supposed to travel in the bike lane” from SFPD Officer Grace Gatpandan.

    At this stage, we certainly have no idea why the cyclist was riding to the left, but there are certainly plenty of legal and plausible reasons, like trying to pass a stopped bus or car. Also any bets on whether the investigation will consider as a causal factor SFMTA’s atrocious design for Market St. through the Financial District, which seems designed to put cars, buses, bikes, and pedestrians into conflict at seemingly every point? Thoughts of improving the situation are laughed off because the whole street will be redone some day, and only then can we have a Better Market St. apparently. In the meantime, people will continue to get hurt and die.

    (A reluctant hat tip for these quotes to local crazyman reporter SF Citizen, which I must stop hate reading).



    Well, after the San Jose extension is completed it seems likely BART will refocus on urban expansion. I mean, an LRT down Geary seems more like a pipedream than BART does, mainly because BART has actively put forth Geary subway studies and projected routes since their Metro Vision announcement in 2007. They’ve elected it as a finalist corridor, and finished their study of its feasibility in 2014. Next thing to do is a little planning and announcements, propositions for higher taxes (which everyone will vote for). Meanwhile, SFMTA hasn’t done jack about LRT B-Geary other than describing it as a “possibility” if the traffic on Geary gets too hot for BRT. Which is ridiculous, it already is.

    But it’s not a surprise, seeing as how SFMTA hasn’t built a subway, let alone a useful high-speed Muni corridor since the 1928 completion of the Sunset Tunnel. Unless BART builds it for them, SFMTA seems uninterested in even expanded the Metro system, besides the political favor that is the current Chinatown extension (which laughably stops in Chinatown, goes to show what the true purpose was).

    So, I’ll wait for the BART fairy and use the BRT has a temporary band-aid on the bullet wound that is the Geary corridor.



    Correction, BART subway down Geary and 19th Ave. wouldn’t been a better project. Why are we using LRT for the 2nd most dense city in the United States? The reason Muni Metro is half LRT is because its reusing old streetcar infrastructure, the visionary planners from the 1960’s (i.e. the BART board) made Muni their subway and its far more efficient.



    In SPUR’s report they advocate modifying 980 south of W Grand Ave (i.e. the undergrounded section), either by turning it into a boulevard, or by removing two lanes and adding BART tacks in the freed up space. The latter option could allow BART trains to run south from MacArthur along the western edge of downtown to Howard Terminal (possibly with a stop at a new Capitol Corridor station) and then on to Alameda and SF. It’s a great idea and I hope they consider it in the MTC Transbay Core Corridor study which is currently underway.



    At that point, why not just build a transbay car tunnel? I mean, finding space for bridges is only going to become more difficult as shipping traffic increases and as SF’s waterfront builds up. Since there’s no Embarcadero Freeway, there’s no place to connect another bridge in aside from the existing freeway.

    Though being the completely crazy person that I am, I’d sit here an argue that SF/Oakland should have MUNI put a line across the Bay Bridges like the Key System did, having it go down West Grand Avenue terminating at Lake Merritt. While it’s no substitute for another BART tube or a Caltrain tube, it would at least give commuters more options.



    I agree that we’ll probably never have two Bay Bridges. But the life of the existing Bay Bridge is finite and, notwithstanding the new Eastern span, at some point we may need to replace it.

    At that time, a more southerly replacement might make sense. It could link to somewhere near the 101/280 interchange in SF. Which could enable pulling down I-80 and the northern section of I-280 in SF,

    While in Oakland we could widen 980 and tear down the western sections of 580 and the existing Bay Bridge approaches.



    “You’d probably want to be real certain that we’ll never build a new Bay Bridge before tearing down 980”

    I think it’s a safe bet we won’t do that. I think that there is enough awareness here in the Bay Area (and certainly in Oakland-SF) that, if we want to increase our capacity to move people, it won’t be through more freeways.



    980 still carries over 100 people per minute at peak times. The undergrounded section is well below capacity but the overgrounded section is busy at peak times. Much of that traffic is trucks that would otherwise have to use surface streets. Overall it operates at about 25% capacity.

    It was originally designed for a second more southern Bay Bridge crossing. You’d probably want to be real certain that we’ll never build a new Bay Bridge before tearing down 980, which could be significantly widened if ever needed.


    Jeffrey Baker

    980 is the least travelled of the Bay Area’s freeways. Get rid of it! And get rid of that ridiculous 880 frontage / 7th st in West Oakland, too. It’s as wide again as 880 is.



    A big boom for Oakland is if they could get rid of 980 and 880 north of Lake Merritt. Imagine a rebuilt Oakland Union Station servicing an electrified Capitol Corridor or possibly a transbay rail tunnel. A local light rail network between UCB, OUS, downtown, Jack London sq, and Alameda Island would be nice too.

    That’s just my opinion though, as much as I want to see both ripped out it would probably be a massive political fight. But Phase II of CAHSR (which focuses on the Capitol Corridor) would at least put it in the cards.


    Jeffrey Baker

    Regarding parking and mode mix, government seems to be much of the problem. There’s the nasty garage at the Alameda County offices, and there’s a gigantic parking pedestal under the CalTrans office. How much chance is there that the state and the county will reform their architecture to be more suitable to its urban location?



    I’m riding one of the modified trains right now. Who are the dumbasses that thought this was a good idea. All of the open space is now just unused space where no one stands or sits… Cause the bars to hold onto are still in the same place forcing the people who stand I the aisles still(now there more standees cause there are less seats as well. These transportation big shots should have taken an old packed train and put the same amount of people on these modified trains… I garentee the new trains would feel way more crowded cause no one can physically stand in the space that is now available from the removed seats. And the 8 people per car who used to have a seat are now 8 more people standing and blocking isles. Muni needs to evolve with the city… THIS IS NOT THE SOLUTION!


    Mario Tanev

    Passenger pickup/dropoff will only be in the southbound direction in the block between Geary and O’Farrell. Not happy about it, but it’s not as drastic as you say.



    Powell Street ‘Closure’ pilot revised:

    The revisions made here so water down the restrictions that it’s unlikely that MUNI will see any measurable changes in the cable car performance issues that they are experiencing. They say that delivers can happen 24×7, instead of restricting to certain hours and that vehicles (not just taxis) can pick up and drop off at hotels on this 2 block section of the road. I look forward to SFMTA announcing that they don’t see any positive change from before the pilot to after the pilot.





    If California can’t even build a railway from SF to LA they’re not going to be able to build a giant vacuum pipe (aka, a hyperloop) either especially when the technology would be completely untested and 100% custom built.

    I strongly suggest you actually look at what CHRA plans to do, you might be surprised to find that it’s hardly a “boondoggle” especially compared to a white elephant that would be a hyperloop. Phase I means better CV connectivity to the bay area and LA, Phase II brings better ACE and San Jaoquin service. Both these projects leverage the existing rail system rather than building a completely new type of system.



    It would take a lot of time to do so, and introduces more avenues for NIMBYs to stall it. Mind you as William above notes Caltrain will raise all platforms over time, but doing so within the next five years during their modernization isn’t feasible especially when Caltrain will electrify, grade separate more portions of track, and double up to four tracks in some places.



    No, this is a good thing. As Clem over on caltrain-hsr.blogspot puts it, level boarding allows the best connectivity between Caltrain and HSR. And as it stands, all off-the-shelf (re: cheap) HSR transets require high platforms.

    So either Caltrain has to redo all their stations, or CHRA has to order a custom trainset. Or Caltrain can just get trainsets with two tiers of doors and redo all their stations at their own pace.

    It’s not ideal. I’ll admit that, but it’s the best of a bad situation.



    Caltrain says they need to raise fares to close an operational deficit. Not to add capacity. If they said “we are raising fares and increasing capacity”, I’d say “raise them more”. As it is, they have added next to no capacity over the last 5 years – they added 4 train runs per day a couple years ago, and have added a 6th car on 5 train sets. The extra runs supposedly cost ~300k per year. An extra 10,000 riders per day is on the order of 50k per day, given monthly passes/etc…

    The cost of added capacity is fuel and additional conductors.



    The last data I saw claimed that Caltrain’s marginal increase in cost for each additional rider really is greater than the revenue for an additional fare. I agree it’s hard to believe, but I think it’s plausible when you consider that peak trains are already over capacity, so any additional riders means adding capacity, for which Caltrain only has a couple options that don’t cost billions.



    I find it super annoying that Caltrain needs a fare increase given the 70% increase in ridership over 5 years. I struggle to see how their marginal increase in costs due to additional ridership is greater than the increased farebox numbers. So why the need for additional revenue? This comes on top of what has become reduced service quality for riders because of the crowding of the trains.


    City Resident





    why not just separate muni tracks or busways via a curb?



    SFCTA did consider covering rather than filling the Fillmore underpass, but the structure required would add maintenance cost and have a relatively short lifespan compared to the rest of the project. In any case, I don’t think the underpasses can be reused as BART stations, they are far too shallow and not designed for human occupancy.



    Couldn’t they cover over the Fillmore underpass and repurpose it and the Masonic tunnel for a future Geary subway? All the excavation has already been done.



    I wonder how many pedestrians are going to get nailed jaywalking to the bus stops.


    Darksoul SF

    Muni 18-46th Avenue and 57-Parkmerced has time issues (18-46th Avenue route only have 3 to 4 drivers running every 20 minutes from start of service to 10pm.) 57-Parkmerced has 5 drivers on route running every 20 minutes until 11PM (End of Service)



    It’s also worth noting that the recommended Hybrid Alternative costs $300m, which is *still* more that the FTA Small Starts funding cap. How they are going to square that circle, I don’t know.



    Check out Chapter 10 for details on how they came up with the Hybrid Alternative, specifically 10.3.3 and 10.3.4 to see how they decided on options for Fillmore and Masonic.

    For Fillmore, the official line seems to be – we think filling in the intersection is the best option, but planning to fill in Fillmore will cost more money and take more time than we have available. That’s a fatal flaw for this project, but we support doing this as a future project. That’s a reasonable assessment.

    For Masonic, I’m disappointed to see that filling in the underpass was not even considered on the grounds that it would be too expensive. I’m having a hard time believing that filling in the Masonic underpass would be significantly more expensive than filling in the Fillmore underpass, and I think this option should have been included in the alternatives analysis for a cost/benefit comparison to the other alternatives, even if it wasn’t ultimately selected.

    Without that option, the only possibility for center-running transit lanes come from locating stations in the underpass. This isn’t as desirable as filling in the underpass due to the less than ideal waiting environment and the need for passengers to change levels to get to Target and the 43-Masonic. I think it’s still preferable to the side-running alternative, but the option is not recommended due to the passenger waiting environment, and also the reduction in auto capacity.

    So that’s how we end up with only 1.7 miles of center-running transit lanes on the length of Geary. If Geary BRT really is limited to the FTA Small Starts funding cap, it’s probably the best we can do.

    I think the SFCTA should formally declare this document to be Phase 1 of a larger project. Between Palm and Laguna this Phase 1 project should include only elements that would not be made redundant by a switch to a center-running alternative, or which are low cost and easily reversible. Essentially this would mean deferring the construction of bus bulbs and bus stations, but still including lane restriping, signal priority, ped bridge removal, etc.

    Then, once Phase 1 construction is underway, start planning for Phase 2 with LRT back on the table, filling in Masonic and Fillmore back on the table, and the intention to go for New Starts rather than Small Starts funding when the environmental process is completed.


    Jamison Wieser

    I’m still working my way through the draft EIR, but major changes to Fillmore and Masonic have not been ruled out at all. They just happen to be the most expensive, and as @jonobate:disqus pointed out: there’s a cap on Small Starts so the extra funding has to come from the city or some other grant source. That new dedicated Muni funding coming from Prop B could be part of it. (maybe the new state cap-n-trade funding?)

    Section 2.2.5 explains it in more detail, but the gist is alternatives 3 and 3-Consolidated (meaning there’d just be a rapid line, not a rapid and local) would fill in the Fillmore underpass and make a continuous boulevard with but busses continuing down middle. For Masonic the center running bus lanes would use the tunnel with San Francisco’s first subway station for a bus line. Exits and elevators could be strategically placed near the 43 stops on the surface above. Traffic would be routed over the top.

    So here’s where I believe there’s still hope for fixing the Fillmore underpass: the SFMTA and TA are only tentatively recommending the “Hybrid” option, but waiting for public comment and feedback before making a final recommendation.

    Those meetings, surveys, and polls should be coming soon.

    I’m including the cost charts from the EIR showing the capitol construction costs vs. the ongoing operating costs because I think there’s a solid case to be made that in the long run, saving $5 million/year might be worth the extra $130 million in upfront construction costs. That means the costs will have paid themselves off in 26 years.

    I’m not saying that’s the only case to be made for fixing the Fillmore underpass, but I think it’s a good one. Thoughts?