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    I wasn’t judging people personally. But businesses and institutions do apply the Pareto Principle to their client base, otherwise known as the 80/20 rule. In transportation terms that means that airlines make about 80% of their profit from the 20% of passengers who sit in first or business class. When it comes to residents and taxpayers, the 20% wealthiest residents probably contribute about 80% of all taxes, as well as consuming less in expensive services.

    So I don’t blame Brisbane for skewing development in this way. And don’t forget that it was Brisbane that was tempting Twitter away from SF, causing the city to give them a tax break to stay.

    Competition between different Bay Area cities and counties can be beneficial, even though it also leads to piecemeal politics and laws, and a fragmented transit network. You see this in housing too – the subject of my comment below.



    15,000-17,000+ daily workers? Come on. Talk about ridiculous projections.

    Even if you get a few thousand additional workers at this location, as someone pointed out in an earlier thread, many will be commuting from all over the Bay Area because of the higher cost of living in/near SF proper. The development going in isn’t going to attract VC firms, financial services companies, major tech firms and the like. And most of these people will drive because it’s simply easier to travel by car then navigate multiple modes of public transit.



    Wow, something to aspire towards…



    This argument is spurious. The Mission Bay redevelopment project in San Francisco is similarly been built on top of an old railyard. Let’s not forget that in this location, the city has built a large hospital as well as office space and homes. The issues related to contaminated soil and water can be mitigated using engineering controls.


    SF Guest

    I can’t tell if you read the link to the Brisbane article, but many Brisbane residents oppose the idea of building housing due to the toxic legacy of the property, which formerly held a rail yard and landfill and is contaminated with lead, arsenic and other toxins.

    I wouldn’t live there, and if housing is built at a toxic site there could be multiple lawsuits in the future.



    Looking at the housing situation purely in terms of San Francisco is misleading. The real city is the SF Bay Area, and “the city” is really just a part of that. I’m tempted to call it the downtown of the Bay Area although I’m conscious that San Jose has more people and Silicon Valley is the engine room of the local economy.

    So if SF doesn’t house all its workers then that isn’t necessarily a problem. Most downtowns don’t do that. Likewise if SF has very expensive housing that may not matter either because people can live elsewhere and commute – and 500,000 people do exactly that each day.

    So do we need your cleaner? Yes. Does he/she have to live in Nob Hill? No. It follows that SF can be home to mostly elites, along with those lucky enough to have a rent-controlled deal or to have bought decades ago with a very low Prop 13 basis.

    As for what kind of residents we want, reasonable people can disagree about that. But generally cities try and expand their tax base, and for that purpose knowledge workers score higher than janitors, and jobs count higher than residents. Emeryville is a good example – it has a massive tax base from all the businesses there coupled with a low population. It has the highest cop-to-resident ratio of anywhere in the East Bay (Piedmont aside, perhaps). Compare that to, say, Oakland which is adjacent and historically similar.

    There are places in the Bay Area with more homes than jobs – the East Bay. And then there are prime areas closer to the coast with more jobs and HNWI’s. But overall things are much more in balance. Nitpicking which township has too much or too little housing isn’t very helpful.


    Ziggy Tomcich

    Horrifying! Most people don’t measure the quality of a person by their wealth. Only wealthy people do that. Yes our housing crisis is a problem that’s going to get worse because of elitist attitudes like this.


    Adam Klafter

    This whole article is pointless. This land is slated to become a maintenance yard for the new high speed rail project. The fact that this is not more widely known is crazy to me, especially since I have known about it for at least 6 years! It would actually be worth your time to write an article about how poor the HSR Authority and Caltrain have been in their outreach to communities on the peninsula. The fact that this land has not already been appropriated by the HSR Authority is practically criminal- If they had used eminent domain 6 years ago it would probably have cost a lot less to purchase the land– the value of land that is fully entitled for a major development will be much higher, right? Transit-oriented development is pointless and maybe even damaging in the long-term if it steals resources needed to actually improve transit.

    The Chronicle 2 months ago:



    This is truly the worst take on the Bay Area’s housing situation I’ve ever seen. We keep adding jobs and build nowhere near enough homes to match. You really believe there’s no problem because we have “higher quality residents?”

    Fully unpacking that statement requires far more effort than you’re worth, but let’s just peek at the corners of it. I work in an office. As if by magic, somebody comes and cleans that office on a regular basis. That person, who as a human being is at least as “high quality” as me, requires a place to live, and needs to be able to afford food and other necessities after paying for housing. And since this is a transportation blog, we’ll mention that she needs to be able to get to/from work somehow, which is a problem when even small apartments hours away are so expensive.

    San Francisco cannot function as a city solely of programmers and lawyers and doctors. The city, the Bay Area as a whole, needs to work not just for “elites,” but also for a much broader group of people, including the army of workers who do things like clean and cook and stock shelves and load baggage into airplanes.

    And yet your worry is that if we build more housing, it will somehow be taken up by low quality welfare recipients.



    Not every city. The East Bay has made a speciality of providing more homes than they need for their workers. Overall there is balance.

    And if in the end we have higher quality residents – less welfare recipients and more elites – is that so much of a problem?



    He was flipping foreclosures. Maybe he’s doing something else now. Either way he’s on a decline.



    Now you have just dissolved into obscurity, as I have noticed you do before. If you could just admit your intrinsic prejudice then at least we could move on.



    as pointed out, the 12 lanes thing is the interchange. i am not sure how they get to 12 but i guess it is the sum of the number of lanes in all the on and off ramps.

    i think when counting lanes they only consider auto / bus traffic. i guess the bike lane doesn’t count as a lane nor do the sidewalks.

    there seem to be a couple of things to be unhappy about. As the article and Ziggy point out the lack of housing compared to office space — and it is unclear if there will be any housing in the final plan. while the author argues that the wide streets and limited routes to the train is not convenient for transit riders, the 30 year projection is that even in this transit community the number of people taking transit in the future is no better than it is now. here’s to 30 more years of gridlock — how can you be happy about that?



    wrong, he is in Las Vegas working for a labor union.


    SF Guest

    If you haven’t figured out what happiness means in this forum it occurs when bike lanes average moving faster than cars.


    Ziggy Tomcich

    The real problem with this development is that it’s going to make our housing crisis worse. Providing 15,000+ new jobs while only adding 4,400+ new homes will make housing even more expensive and hard to find in the coming years. It’s not just Brisbane. Every city in the bay area is doing this. Anyone who thinks our housing is expensive now, just wait. The way things are heading, housing supply is going to get much worse.



    Oh, so now it’s not what I’ve said but you’re digging into fortune-cookie psychoanalysis of motivations.

    Your words are just misunderstood or misrepresented but are quite clear and obvious; my words aren’t even necessary because it’s my motivations that are incorrect.




    101 is already 12 lanes in places anyway. That isn’t the change being proposed. The idea here is to expand Geneva along with its interchange with 101.

    I-5 in LA has 22 lanes before I-405 splits off. There’s a freeway in Houston with 24 lanes.



    Sorry, roymeo, but you are. You seek to discount any opinion that disagrees with your anti-car prejudice.



    “12-lane Highway 101”



    Wait, there are bus lanes, bike lanes, a new CalTrian station, a streetcar extension, express busses connecting to BART and the city, and you’re still not happy?



    OK, that’s much better.

    So that’s 300 riders an hour for the first two hours. And presumably less after that?

    And that’s the week-end when there are more people staying out later? So let’s say 2,000 riders per night on week-end nights and 1,000 at night on school nights?

    Worth running trains? Assume $5 a trip so revenues are $10,000 for a week-end night. Cost of operators, signalling staff, maintenance staff, security, ticket office staff etc?



    Nope. I’m not applying and you’re still denying.



    A useful low end proxy for the data you request is the ridership for AC Transit 800 and 801, which is the late night AC transit bus service from SF Mission to Oakland, Richmond, and Freemont Average weekend ridership in 2015 for the buses that run between 12:30 AM and 2:30 AM on Saturday and Sunday is 1,195.

    Given the fact that bus service is far inferior to BART, it’s still pretty telling that there are almost 600 people per night in those first two hours after BART closes who are using this service to get across the bay.



    I understand what a “ton” quantifies to when discussing weight. But the argument for all-night BART relies on paying customers and Murph’s term is useless for that purpose.

    Indeed it seems fairly clear that he has no real numbers to support his business case at all, and is therefore deliberately being vague and imprecise, hoping that nobody noticed.

    I noticed.



    There have been lots of statements on here that it’s a ton. Plus it’s a valid observation. So that’s a lot of evidence according to you.



    Nope, you’re applying the exact same double standard. The only difference between us is that I get that and you are in denial.



    OK so your business case is based on “implication” and vague numeric terms like “ton”?

    And not a scrap or shred of evidence that the cost of running BART all night for partygoers and revellers could ever be cost-effective or justified?

    Some advice – don’t go on Shark’s Tank or The Apprentice. And don’t stand for public office – if you can’t even get a lousy parklet installed then you probably can’t convince us to invest millions for 24-hour BART.



    Sorry RichLL, you’re looking for an argument I’ve never made a single statement on. You may want to debate many things, but until you’re able to understand that someone who points out a double-standard you’re applying doesn’t thereby take the diametrically opposed position, you’re really just flailing.

    You can keep inventing imaginary positions for me to hold if you must. Be a dear and let me know where I stand on that Walmart thing, too.



    As stated – San Francisco is a night life town. By implication, the expansion is viable.



    Sorry, roymeo, but I’m still waiting for a better argument from you than that you’re backing big business over local residents because you don’t like cars.

    I don’t particularly like rose Pak but she’s right about Stockton Street. I don’t particularly like Campos but he’s right about Mission Street. Even stopped clocks are sometimes right.



    It’s also insane to overuse it. If you run a convenience store, do you stay open all night if only one customer comes in per hour? And he’s drunk, buys some gum, knocks over the produce and throws up on your floor?

    I want to see hard numbers and projections to demonstrate the viability of your expansion idea and “a ton” is as close as you have gotten to that.



    And no sane city designs a transit system around people who want to stay up drinking and clubbing all night.

    BART already exists – and was designed around commuters. It’s insane to under use that investment.



    Wow, a whole new thread there to try to justify yourself.

    I imagine in another 18 hours you’ll have turned this into “It is really very simple. I am partnering with Rose Pak to fight formula retail on Valencia street. You must be agitating to bring Walmart to Jack London Square.”



    A ton? Well, there’s a lot of smaller venues and clubs, I’d agree. But not many large venues – the Warfield is a decent size but otherwise you’re talking a few hundred or so? You tell me.

    And no sane city designs a transit system around people who want to stay up drinking and clubbing all night.

    But hey, if these venues want to pay for free all-night BART so their patrons and workers can get home without springing for a cab, then fine. Just not on my dime.

    Look, I’m a big fan of BART – easily the best transport system the Bay Area has, and with a decent farebox recovery ratio. But if we need a second tube it is for rush-hour capacity and not a few revellers and partiers in the dead of night.



    There are a ton of concert venues in SF, which by implication means that there are not “odd concerts” but many every evening.



    OK, so other than the odd concert, who? How many is “a ton”? How about some numbers? Would the ridership justify the added costs?

    I’m not saying there is zero demand – just not enough to justify the costs incurred. While being priced out of SF is a red herring there. That’s a housing issue. Subsidized transport has to be justified by demand and economics, and not just as a social engineering gesture.



    Other than partiers and clubbers, who wants to get from Market Street to Pleasanton at 3 in the morning?

    San Francisco has a ton of concert venues, and the headliners typically finish up after BART stops running. And the biggest argument is the employees of all those places where people party and club, who are being priced out of SF.


    Marven Norman

    I was thinking the exact same thing. A roundabout solution would likely have the exact same benefits and would fit within the area too.



    I suspect the massive bond issue is just to keep BART running and safe, and keeping the lights on.

    Are you sure the demand exists for 24 hour BART? Have you ever taken the last BART train out of SF at night? Is it packed with people? Or under-utilized?

    New York is a true 24-hour city. I’ve never thought of San Francisco in that way. Heck, most of the restaurants I like won’t serve after 9 pm. Other than partiers and clubbers, who wants to get from Market Street to Pleasanton at 3 in the morning? Could such a service be economically justified?

    Or if it’s just a shuttle between Montgomery and West Oakland, doesn’t a night bus work better? BART is most valuable when the roads and bridges are packed with traffic.



    While I’m no fan of cloverleaf interchanges, this project makes only slight safety improvements without providing any meaningful non-auto changes. Pedestrians and bicyclists will have to fight to cross even more lanes of traffic, and there is no way for pedestrians to cross El Camino Real. Also, there are no apparent design considerations that would speed buses through the area.

    A double roundabout would address capacity issues while making this area much more approachable for pedestrians and bicyclists, plus through delay for buses would likely be reduced. Shame on Caltrans and SMCTA for this antiquated redesign. It’s 2016, not 1996.


    SF Guest

    To categorize or label cars as a mode “that consistently kills and injures other people” is patently misleading since the majority of drivers have not killed or injured other people and is illustrative of an anti-car mentality.

    Whether you have data that drivers are not as critical to merchants’ sales is irrespective and secondary to the desires and preferences of its merchants since they are the ones who are in business to make a living. It’s up to you to persuade the merchant into your way of thinking, and if you fail to coerce the merchant into your way of thinking you are the one who failed and not the merchant.



    Yes. Multi-tasking skills enable one to be the kind of energetic, active and enthusiastic contributor that Streetsblog values, while causing very little downtime to my regular job.



    Do you have a day job? Or is commenting on sf area websites your full time gig?


    david vartanoff

    BART CAN run 24/7. This is not a technical issue; single tracking of the Transbay Tube could support trains every half hour between Montgomery and West Oakland. When the “we can’t do it” staffers give excuses, they need to be reminded the long list of portions of the NY, Chicago, and Philly systems that are two tracks just like BART and manage every night.
    BART is asking for a very large bond issue in November. As a condition of the bond issue, we should demand 24/7 service within 2 years and to continue until at least those bonds are paid off. 30 years IIRC, so the habit will be there and cutting back will be politically impossible.



    Still waiting for his subway plan to be revealed…chirp, chirp

    “So we need to keep a second Transbay tube on track, which will allow for
    24-hour BART. Of course, it’s not just about 24-hour capacity; it’s
    about redundancy. It’s about connecting Caltrain, the Capital Corridor,
    and getting HSR over to the East Bay and Sacramento.”

    (1) There are no formal plans for a second BART tube. BART has been floating the idea around for years, but when you’re dealing with an agency looking at 2050 goals, not 2020, then you can pretty much forget about it ever being built.
    (2) If you push for the DTX then Caltrain will be connected to BART/MUNI. Instead, it’s been labeled as an afterthought of the TTC project, not a priority.
    (3) Why don’t you (SW) lobby for HSR to run through the East Bay rather than the peninsula? Then run it under the bay in a new, combined BART/HSR tube.



    To his credit, Scott is the best informed supe on transpo issues. He’s always been a good friend to the SFBC. He’s smart and analytical, and refuses to join anyones’s “camp.” I don’t always agree with him, but I admire him.



    A good test of objectivity would be to look at someone’s posting pattern. If they take a balanced view, sometimes supporting cars, sometimes supporting transit, sometimes supporting cyclists etc. then one can reasonably infer objectivity. He looks at each situation uniquely and based on its merits. Their conclusion will reflect the facts and priorities of each case.

    At the opposite extreme you have the kind of person who has no need of facts because their mission is, say, a war on cars. Such people will advocate for removing parking not because it makes sense in that situation but rather because they always want to remove parking. Their ultimate ambition is not improved balance but the eradication of private vehicles.

    Your list of opinions preceded with the word “objectively” there, which in fact are not objective at all, indicates to the casual observer that you are in the latter biased category. That is a rebuttable presumption and, should you advocate for cars and drivers in at least some situations, then the presumption may be withdrawn.



    What makes you think you are “objective”? Your opinion is just that, an opinion. Objectively, 800,000 San Franciscans can’t drive everywhere without busting the transportation system. Objectively, cars are the only mode of transportation that consistently kills and injures other people. Objectively, drivers are not as critical to merchants’ bottom lines as they believe. You should just admit that you are a subjective ideologue and your opinion is that none of this should matter.


    citrate reiterator

    It’s a NIMBY dogwhistle. That way he can plausibly claim to be for things like improving transit or bike infrastructure — just not, you know, in his or his constituents’ backyards.