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    Jym Dyer

    RoyTT – As an actual Haight Ashbury and former Noe Valley resident, I find your version of events to be grossly inaccurate.

    The plans for the Haight/Stanyan site redevelopment had a token amount of housing and tons of parking. The neighborhood wisely nixed that. The McDo across the street was a bone of contention from day one and continues to be.

    Real Foods on 24th was shut down to stop union organizing in advance of selling off most of the stores to a Utah-based chain. It had nothing to do with parking; the store was never lacking in customers.

    There is a Real Foods on Stanyan, a few blocks away from the Whole Foods. It has no parking, yet continues to thrive.


    Dark Soul



    No citation necessary; only logic and common sense are needed. How do you add a bus lane to a street with bus routes that only has one lane, like Haight Street?

    And don’t even start with “just take out the parking” unless you want the entire neighborhood on your case.

    Moreover, if you’re on a street where there is one bus every 15 minutes, then it’s impossible to justify a bus lane because of the un-necessary impact on other road users.

    A bus lane is OK on Market Street and a few over-stressed intersections. You need to make a better case to expand them elsewhere.



    Number 2 is absolutely true. Since the dawn of civilization, parents have been able to drive their kids around. How else would they possibly get them from place to place?



    Haha, this guy’s funny. He thinks “poor people” are the ones that benefit most from free parking. He also thinks that making parking free means people won’t have to “drive around endlessly”. Clearly, basic supply and demand economics elude him. That becomes further evident when he states he thinks every bike riding in SF is worth $5000 and merely for “fun”.



    Bus lanes may finesse that correlation in some cases but they are only viable in a limited number of city locations, like Market Street and some key intersections.

    [citation needed]



    I see. Real Foods is closed because of lack of parking. Now we know for sure you are either a troll or a n00b.

    The Whole Foods in Noe Valley has 2 traffic control people, who are routinely ignored by patrons! They keep people from entering the lot when full – so the drivers just stop on 24th Street and wait to be waved in.

    It can get rather comical, with an EB driver waiting to get into one entrance, and a WB driver waiting to get into the other, gridlocking the entire street.

    The Noe Valley Farmers market has no parking and does a monster business.



    Bruce, to be fair to the Masonic TJ’s, they have a traffic control person out front directing traffic and helping with safety issues. Some other stores should do that. Or better yet have valet parkers.

    WholeFoods tends to only build or buy sites that have parking. At Haight and Stanyan they tried to do the right thing by redeveloping the entire site to include housing and parking as well, but the neighborhood nixed that (even though they seem perfectly happy with the suburban-style McDonalds taking a half-block across the street.

    There is no way that the rather preciously NIMBY Noe Valley community would countenance a re-do of the WF site so they are stuck with the parking they have. The “other” produce store on 24th has no parking and has been closed for a decade or so, so that might be a clue that parking helps bigger stores like that


    Jeffrey Baker

    Whatever they are doing isn’t working. I walked thorough MacArthur this morning and three decks of parking are totally empty meanwhile the sign says “garage full”.



    Even worse is the Trader Joe’s lot on Masonic. Fortunately the 43 shifts over to Presidio Avenue at Geary so it’s not impacted, but one of these days a pedestrian will be hit by a driver entering or exiting that parking lot.



    Can’t they bust the driver for not obeying the 3-foot law? And I think the punishment for not following this law should be: you have to ride a bike and have somebody buzz you so you never, ever forget how horrible that is.



    “My point was that usually more congestion leads to more bus delays as well.”

    Not if you give public transit designated lanes, which is *exactly* what we are talking about doing.



    Yep, that WF lots is absolutely nuts. Not to mention that the entire design (which admittedly WF inherited from Bell Foods … though I don’t know why they didn’t revamp it) sucks for pedestrians because you have to walk right through the parking lot to get to the store. They should rip out a row of parking spots to make a nice walkway for pedestrians with trees, vegetation, tables, bike parking.

    And they should start charging for parking. I’m pretty sure that would make people think twice about driving there (since many people who drive there live within walking distance). I don’t understand why we give away prime real estate smack in the middle of bustling Noe Valley to motorists who are causing congestion and creating dangerous conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.

    All those motorists turning in and out of the lot also slow down the 48 constantly and make that area dangerous for cyclists.

    I actually think cars should be banned on 24th between Church and Castro and removing the curbs and making the whole road a level, European-style outdoors plaza, but that’s another issue ….



    absolutely. $3 is 1/2 the toll.



    Headline of the day

    The video captures the swearing I guess. Not the unsafe pass.



    But the more we solve problems by “just taking out the parking” the more that will happen as well.

    Good point. We should solve the problem by aggressively citing double parkers, and by not underpricing parking. Taking out parking is supposed to incent people to find other modes of travel, but if we just let them double park, the incentive isn’t very powerful.

    In a dense city like SF, it’s not crazy. The double parking and craziness near Whole Foods in Noe Valley is legendary. There are 2 Mollie Stone’s and another Whole Foods within a mile or so of the store – the NV WF is servicing Noe Valley for the most part. Surely we can find a way to get 5% of those driving to figure out another method. That would be enough to keep a spot in the lot open at all times.


    SF Guest

    Graveyard shift baby!



    Market Street is also less congested at 2 AM. Maybe if everyone just stopped going to work, we’d have less congestion!



    there will be cars behind that bus and may either stop inside the intersection

    This doesn’t make the bus stop problematic. It’s illegal to block the box, was before, still is. That’s the problem, not the bus stop.



    My point is that more congestion doesn’t have to lead to bus delays if we prioritize transit movement. No matter how packed the Bay Bridge is, it doesn’t affect BART because it has its own right of way. By improving boarding, light timing, and right of way for MUNI lines we decrease the negative impacts of congestion.

    If there’s no free lunch then why is there free parking? Parking isn’t hard to find because of lack of spaces, it’s hard to find because the majority of spaces are being underpriced.

    Traffic is fluid and can adjust to changes, especially ones designed to improve transit. That’s why removing the freeways in SF have led to changing traffic patterns including reduced car trips, not saying that it’s perfect, but we did adjust. At the same time, the impact on congestion is part of why these simple solutions have taken so long and cost so much, the SFMTA has to do extensive traffic studies on the impact of these changes on overall traffic patterns. No one is ignoring the impact of anything on vehicle movement at the SFMTA or the mayor’s office.


    SF Guest

    You make a sound hypothetical here and if the Muni sickout had continued more people would have been driven to drive which isn’t good.

    You make it sound as if I wanted the sickout to continue so I can somehow personally gain from less Muni congestion which wasn’t my intent. I merely pointed out: “Funny thing . . . is I recall there was less congestion during the Muni sickout.”

    I can assure you I would never wish any transit agency to go on a sickout or strike and if it were up to me would make it illegal.



    coolbaby, I understood that perfectly. My point was that usually more congestion leads to more bus delays as well.

    Bus lanes may finesse that correlation in some cases but they are only viable in a limited number of city locations, like Market Street and some key intersections.

    And if traffic is backed up all around these re-engineered sections, then it wont do transit riders much good at all as the bus sits in that mess..

    Murph’s point about double-parking is well-taken. But the more we solve problems by “just taking out the parking” the more that will happen as well.

    Point being, there’s no free lunch and everything affects everything else in a complex system.


    SF Guest

    I would have to be a fool or stupid not to see cars are a major contributor to congestion. I merely pointed out they are not the sole contributor to congestion, and all modes of transportation must learn to work together without name calling or disparaging remarks.



    The major driver of delays for every bus I’m on is double parkers. I don’t care about them one whit.



    I would suggest re-reading what was written “I do not care about private vehicle congestion if it reduces trip times for transit users.”

    I take that to mean that any project that improves transit but potentially causes congestion for drivers is a tradeoff worth making. For example if removing cars from Market improves transit speeds it should be done regardless of impacts to drivers who used to take Market.



    Anyone can vote for or against anything on a case-by-case basis. Otherwise why not just merge the different measures?

    Some folks oppose both A and B, because they think the money will be wasted, as it has been in the past. Supporting A is voting for Ed Lee and lefties don’t like doing that. While conservatives oppose most new taxes anyway. Moreover B is unfunded and simply steals the money from other city services so, for instance, the non-profits hate it.

    In fact it is because there are some strange bedfellows opposing A and B that both could get shot down in flames, especially A with its 2/3 majority requirement.

    L is a more subtle issue because it’s about high-level policy imperatives and providing limits and controls. But I can see reasonable people disagreeing on that as well.



    There is a very justifiable reason why cars get their fair share of the blame for congestion in a city:



    You’re going to have to go over $3 (or $5) to even approach effective demand-responsive prices at BART stations, I’d think.



    730,000+ trips are taken on Muni each day. During the sickout, transit stops were packed with people waiting for the bus that never came. On that day, maybe there was less congestion on Market because there were fewer buses, but what if just half of all those people stranded that day decided to drive? Market St and many other streets would have been worse than ever.



    Except that traffic congestion is a major driver of delays to buses.

    If you could have dedicated bus lanes everywhere then that might not matter. But in practice bus-only lanes only make sense on major muni thoroughfares like Market Street, on bridges, tunnels and freeways, and in isolated cases like the two cited here.

    Less traffic congestion would be good for drivers and for good for transit. It’s all about “balance”. There. I said it. Again ;-(


    Upright Biker

    Lincheid and the SF Chamber are talking out both sides of their mouth. They support Prop A, and they also support the anti-transit Prop L.

    Can’t have it both ways, folks.


    SF Guest

    Don’t get me wrong. I totally agree and understand the need for bus-only lanes. I merely do not like to read excerpts where cars are blamed for everything.



    I mentioned biking down Market street, it’s been part of my commute for years.

    Also in regards to cars sitting in their own mess, that is exactly why buses need their own lanes, especially at critical bottlenecks and transit spines like Market.


    SF Guest

    I don’t drive on Market Street, but I do walk.


    SF Guest

    No I”m not saying my anecdotal evidence is better than yours since my observations pertain to the Market Street corridor and yours pertains to California & Geary. You and others probably did experience more congestion during the Muni sickout, but there are also many who experienced less congestion.

    “Cars can sit in their own mess– they’re the vehicles causing congestion.”

    This statement isn’t entirely true in cases where buses must share the road with cars.



    To be fair to BART, they have instituted a demand-based parking pricing program at all parking facilities. Unfortunately, the systemwide cap is $3, except at West Oakland ($5).




    Your argument is invalid.



    On a side note, the last photo in the posting is more evidence of how ugly the new 8 Octavia building is from pretty much any angle.



    Clearly nothing can stop drivers from being idiots, therefore we should all bend over backwards to make sure that they are allowed to do whatever they want.



    For those complaining about how a bus will slow down traffic, keep in mind that you often have 15-40 people on each bus, so you can thank them for not choosing instead to be in 15-40 cars. The least we can do for them is shave 3-7 minutes off their trip by not sending them on a circuitous crawl through Irving. (Irving at 19th will be less congested by this change, BTW).



    So you’re saying your anecdotal evidence is better than my anecdotal evidence? Market street which has 50% of bus routes running for some part of their route on it may have been less congested, although I don’t know if that’s true as I biked along it and had to deal with a lot of car drivers, more than the usually lost tourist. Either way, many other main streets such as California or Geary were a mess because of induced car trips. The surcharge pricing on Uber was crazy and trying to get a cab downtown was impossible.


    SF Guest

    Absolutely true for Market Street and I was there, but thanks for trying! Market Street features the most Muni lines of any major thoroughfare so any drastic reduction of Muni buses will inevitably result in less congestion on Market Street. There’s no question those who relied on Muni experienced more congestion but most if not all other modes of transportation experienced less congestion during the sickout. The transformation of Market Street with less Muni buses was extraordinary. During those few days I could barely see any Muni buses along Market Street and there was less congestion as well.

    Before you continue, NO, I do not advocate for less Muni service since that would be a detriment to the majority of SF including those who drive. However the observations I and several others made are accurate. However I do prefer walking over taking the Muni since it’s not much faster than walking.



    Absolutely not true but thanks for trying. Anecdotally, at my office the people who live in SF (and don’t bike) were an hour or more late due to traffic and/or having to walk much more of their trip. Many other people stayed home although the East Bayers had no problem since BART was working fine.



    It would be much better if you could actually see these crosswalks. I drove through the intersection yesterday and the crosswalks were barely visible. To boot, I drive an SUV – it sits up high – and I still couldn’t see the crosswalk very well. This was at 4PM on a very sunny day. For safety reasons I’d recommend they lose the pin stripes (hard to see against the dark pavement) and paint each color in full. I understand people voted on it, but let’s be safe here.


    SF Guest

    Funny thing (and I’m not trying to make a point out of this) is I recall there was less congestion during the Muni sickout because there were substantially fewer Muni buses in service.


    Mario Tanev

    That’s possible and is used elsewhere, such as at Market and Clayton for the 33 bus. There is a manual button somewhere on a poll in case the TSP fails to activate.



    First, I stated quite clearly that I was not advocating for the abolition of car parking at BART stations, so I’m not sure why you brought that up.

    Second, it’s wrong to assume that with increased transit demand due to reduced car parking capacity that AC Transit and VTA wouldn’t be able to respond by increasing service to BART stations, and that BART wouldn’t also beef up the bicycle and carpool parking capacity to help meet the need.

    I don’t have anything against parking garages at suburban BART stations, per se, and also prefer them to surface lots in terms of space management. But unless you can figure out a way to build garages without the expense being absorbed by lower-income riders and/or those who are trying to do the right thing by walking/biking/busing to stations then I simply can’t find it justifiable.

    In a way, BART basically set themselves up for this kind of problem by building suburban stations in car-centric, highway median locations, instead of more expensive but more walk/bike/bus friendly locations closer to suburban centers. Now they are digging themselves even deeper into this hole with the planned Livermore extension station.



    In general, I think that too much of this city is turned over to cars. Nowhere is this more clear than in SOMA, with its hundred-foot-wide streets. Repurposing a street for people is a good thing, even if that’s done in the name of money (then again, I have no real issue with the city earning money by using the streets more productively than usual, any more than I’d have a problem with the city using a parking lot for a farmer’s market instead).

    Of course, transit delays are a problem, and the city should figure out how to make everything function well without the closed street. But, on the whole, the transportation infrastructure exists to serve the city, its people, and the activity in the city– it’s not an end in itself. If we can have a functional transportation network, which uses less land than it currently does, and use that land for better things– that’s fantastic.



    I can’t remember the last time a street fair closed a street for 10 days, but sure, why not. Any chance to use your signature “so by your logic” line.


    Andy Chow

    Overall it would be safer just because the new routing avoids Irving (slow moving traffic waiting for parking + pedestrians). The in-lane bus stop in Golden Gate Park can be a problem though. Since it is also used by line 28, that there will be cars behind that bus and may either stop inside the intersection or trying to merge left when the bus stops. I don’t know how long that sidewalk is but the MLK intersection is pretty close so if the bus stop is located closer to MLK the impact may not be that big.