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    Well then, the preschool should have known that the turnaround was coming. It has no right to complain now.



    I’m saying some ‘doubleparked’ trains in the street during some events (or even constantly) isn’t really much of a change from the current conditions to this Dogpatch cyclist.



    Muni shouldn’t even bother dropping off there anymore. It should just stop on the east side of the street, at the existing 30 and 45 bus zones. The 10 could stop behind the 45. That would clear up a big part of the congestion, although Muni isn’t to blame.



    Double parking is an independent, systematic and pervasive bane that needs to be addressed.



    You’ve got a point–with those LRVs parked in the way, where are the parents going to double-park? Maybe they’ll find a new place that doesn’t force me to cross the tracks in order to go around them.



    Sure I can; the bike lanes are unlikely to change (as there is no where else for them to go). The old tracks can, and should, be pulled out. All in due time. And I was not speaking about the tracks, per se, but the large vehicles that would park on them as part of this turnaround plan.



    They shouldn’t have put the pre-school there if they didn’t want to be near a train….I know they only had 10 years to read the plans, but still.



    You can’t use that argument until you have a proposal for removing the existing unused and unusable tracks that plague Illinois today.



    ^^^ This.



    With DTX/HSR does Caltrain plan to open up the abandoned second tunnels north and south of 22nd Street? That would allow express trains to bypass 22nd while other trains dwell there.



    Neither the pre-school, nor the building the pre-school is in, nor many of the other building around that were there when the EIR was done. Not even a twinkle in a Nibbi Bros eye.


    Jamison Wieser

    I hope so now that Caltrain and the CAHSRA have agreed to a common platform height, but there’s always been vagueness about how many trains will stop where and will all depend on what happens with 4th & King.

    Any future subway station though would certainly have at least an additional track and platforms to allow more dwell time without blocking the one northbound track.



    Also, level boarding should fix this.



    I will be happy when we get to the day that we have to engineer a solution for DTX and HSR. Anyway, I was thinking more about after events end (where departures have a longer tail), than when they begin.



    Perhaps, but won’t most trains be continuing to Transbay anyway once DTX is completed?


    Jamison Wieser

    Increasing dwell time to unload for events at 22nd Street Station would create a bottleneck for Caltrain/HSR trains heading to Fourth & King or the Transbay Terminal.

    Caltrain could have to reduce service or skip 22nd during events to offload at Fourth & King where there are platforms to layover on.



    But it sure would be good for Dogpatch businesses for folks to better be able to access 22nd Street. . .



    The most ridiculous part of the Dogpatch turnaround piece is the suggestion that moving the loop further south would attract more South Bay fans to Warriors games via Caltrain. Both 4th & King and 22nd Street are already only a 20 minute walk from the proposed arena (about the same as BART to AT&T), and service between the arena and 4th & King would suffer, not benefit, by moving the loop further south. The main problem is that the connection between 22nd Street and the T Third is pretty inconvenient, and the loop won’t fix that unless it is moved to 22nd & Pennsylvania (which isn’t a terrible idea).



    And all the taxis will cease doing u-turns:
    – when empty and joining up in the taxi queue from the north
    – after taking a passenger and wanting to head southbound instead of all the way up to 3rd.

    I don’t see that happening.

    I also don’t see some barrier being placed to make the u-turns impossible happening, either.



    I’m just talking about the “bike lanes” in general here in SF, they are a joke.



    A grand total of 7 people have donated. Dollars to donuts (mmm, donuts) all of them live on 18th or 19th Street.



    Why would a Missionite be taking Caltrain?



    Yes, and Illinois is the truck/bike route for the area. Should we shove LRV into that location as well?



    Wasted work = sunk cost. The question is whether the turnaround at the proposed location is good transit policy or not.



    The lawsuit about the turnaround is not about Dogpatch NIMBYism; it’s about making transportation useful. Some facts that are not presented in the piece:
    1) While the turnaround is is Dogpatch, it does not add service to Dogpatch. There are so stops associated with the Turnaround. The southern-most stop will be to the north of Dogpatch, on Third.
    2) The turnaround was designed in 1998. It did not contemplate the uses at the 18th-Illinois-19th-3rd block that are there today. The SFMTA intends to stage cars at this location for peak events. That staging conflicts with ingress and egress from the condos that were not contemplated 17 years ago.
    3) The center of population in Dogpatch has moved south. As the 23rd Street development is built, and as Pier 70 and the Power Plant are built out, there will be more and more folks living in what is a transit constrained location.
    4) The SFMTA refuses to put a priority of “long-line” Ts south of the turnaround, as opposed to “short-line” Ts making the loop. This may lead to even worse service south of a turnaround. This is bad for the increasing Dogpatch location, and presents some real equity issues for Bayview, Hunters Point, VizValley, and their increasing populations.
    5) There is already a Muni yard that handles light rail at 25th Street. A turnaround could be put there easily.

    Basically, the residents are asking for a turnaround that serves the growing neighborhood (i.e., one several blocks south) where the necessary infrastructure already exists, and a guarantee that the increased service does not reduce service to those who live south of the turnaround. They are asking for a turnaround that reflects the needs of today and the next fifteen years, and not just the need to spend dedicated federal funds to support Mission Bay’s needs as predicted in 1998.



    That seems unnecessary and impractical. We’re really going to suspend your license for every violation?

    License suspensions have been viewed as increasingly problematic recently with good reason. While I think there’s room for more license suspensions and/or mandatory training in the case of persistent violators, the typical pattern involves someone raking up hundreds of fines for a single ticket, being unable to pay, and having their license automatically suspended. Since they rely on their car to get to work (remember, California is a big state and most of it doesn’t look like SF), they drive anyway, resulting in even larger penalties if they get caught. What this does is make the penalties far greater if you’re poor than if you’re rich.

    Income-based fines are certainly worth looking at (based on Finland’s experience), though they have their problems. Failing that, toning down the assessments and ensuring that courts can grant reasonable payment plans based on ability to pay would go a long way.



    That does not rebut that fact that I can identify a couple of dozen former bike to caltrain riders who now take the shuttles, including a board member of SFBC – people who would nominally be involved in pressuring Kim and SFMTA to fix this issue.


    Michael Morris

    Muni is too slow, the teachers will never be able to get to work on time if they have to depend on the T. If only there was a way to make the T run faster….



    Yes, if her staff weren’t circling for parking for 30 or 45 minutes there wouldn’t *be* so much pollution. I mean really, her own staff are part of the problem. Why not build incentives to get them to figure out alternative ways of getting to work? Sheesh.



    While that is true, the large majority of people living in Noe/Bernal are more likely to drive rather than bike to Caltrain in order to get to the south bay.



    Perhaps a better answer is the great equalizer. Instead of putting a monetary fine – go straight to license suspension.



    If only there was a street car that went right to that preschool so the staff at the school didn’t need to drive and look for parking.



    Not the only debacle in the area. 4th and King’s intersection is also a disaster. With all the ripping apart of 4th, they should move the Central Subway station from East of King to directly in front of Caltrain, eliminating hundreds of pedestrian crossings of a freeway onramp daily.



    And zero tech employees in Noe/Mission/Bernal/Potrero ride their bikes down Townsend to board buses there and see what’s going on there. Those stops service people living within a few blocks who walk (hopefully not getting run over).



    1) I think it’s important to be at least nominally realistic. I’m buying the beers if trains run into Transbay in my lifetime. I suspect it will happen eventually but I think I will have to grow very old to make it there. Given that – Townsend is enough of an immediate issue that we should address it such that fewer of the users of Townsend fail to live long enough to see trains to Transbay.

    2) While we are focusing on Caltrain – shockingly the bike lanes don’t (completely) end at 4th Street. When I would ride on Townsend to Caltrain, at least 50% of the riders using Townsend would continue past the Caltrain station to destinations inside SF. There is a big – and growing – population that includes cyclists living in Dogpatch/Potrero Hill, and as bad as Townsend might be 3rd is worse. Given that, we need to upgrade Townsend regardless of Transbay.



    Though I agree that the concern about pollution concern is valid, the parking issues and influx of new residents in the area are not directly related to the SFMTA construction project. (It doesn’t mean they’re not affecting peoples’ daily lives… that’s evident, and demands some sort of separate mitigation.) The problem is that the turnaround project offers a public venue to air out these un- and at best semi-related concerns, thus becoming tied to the project by association and threatening its implementation.



    A number of tech shuttles pick up on Townsend in front of HD buttercup where the southbound 10 bus stops.


    Kevin Wenderoth

    The author of that Dogpatch story doesn’t really elaborate on the residents’ concerns about the T-line turnaround. Is it simply because they’re NIMBY-type people? Because they didn’t include a pre-school a few blocks away in their environmental impact study?


    Chris Weeks

    Not wanting to expand Motivate footprint is not anti-Motivate. Availability is key to a successful bike sharing system. Expanding availability by focusing on the existing system footprint and expanding availability within the footprint would be a better step for Motivate. More docks and bikes not new cities will take Motivate to the next level. It is the same as the concept of capacity for BART which does not have the train capacity or station size to meet the existing demand. Not wanting to expand BART but instead invest in maintaining and enhancing the existing system is not an anti-BART stance it is a pro-BART stance. A system that is rotting at the core (example is rotting wooden ties still in use throughout the system) needs to invest in the maintenance and improvement of its core to sustain itself. To me, a system can’t operate sustainably if its core crumbles while prioritizing continued investments in overreaching into the periphery that puts more stress on the core. The longer basic maintenance and upgrades are delayed the more expensive the maintenance becomes. Often this neglect leads to additional damage to and neglect of other parts of the system such as the cars that must use the failing tracks. Capacity of the existing core stations, right now, is beyond capacity as we continue to stimulate ridership from the periphery into the core that can not handle it. Fortify and enhance core BART station capacity and try to meet the demands on the existing system. Fortify and enhance Motivate infrastructure and capacity in the existing system. Use the best and most affordable new technology to open service on the periphery to add capacity and frequency quickly while maintaining and growing legacy systems rationally. As the older technology depreciates, replace it and upgrade it with new technology. A system must be cultivated, pruned and trimmed, and guided to a sustainable shape to enjoy healthful longevity.



    The system works!



    That’s not true, only a small portion of Caltrain trains are planned to travel all the way to the transbay terminal. This is because there are only two tracks traveling there, and all HSR trains terminate there. There is not enough capacity and storage at the transbay terminal for both Caltrain and HSR, and so Caltrain is still planning on terminating most of its trains at 4th and Townsend.

    The station itself is possibly planned to be rebuilt underground as some tracks are realigned under Townsend St, possibly funded by selling off space above the tracks for development. But none of that is certain and at minimum is over a decade in the future.



    I talked to some people from the planning department during one of the central corridor (now renamed central SOMA) meetings. Townsend St is at the edge of said plan and no improvements are planned as part of it. They said that since the need for improvement is more immediate, it is something SFMTA needs to address.

    Given the large amount of central subway construction it seems like SFMTA doesn’t really want to touch the street in the near future. But it seems crazy that there isn’t at least a plan to make things safer as part of the reconstruction of that intersection.

    Why is there even street parking on Townsend in front of the Walgreens?

    I think what really should happen is that they should block off Townsend at 4th so that only muni and bikes can cross 4th street while traveling on Townsend. All other vehicles carrying non disabled people should be forced to pick up and drop off their passengers a block away from the station, in order to make the station itself safer.



    Do consider that the long-term plan is to move all that Caltrain nonsense to the new transbay terminal downtown. With that in mind, it might not make sense to rebuild that stretch of Townsend.


    Karen Lynn Allen

    The design of 4th and Townsend and the Caltrain Station might have been adequate back in 1992 when Caltrain had an average of 21,0000 weekday boardings. Last year Caltrain’s weekday boardings were over 53,000! Of course the area is completely ridiculous. San Francisco has not sensibly adapted its street design to respond to the increased volumes of people trying to interact with the station.

    In my observation this area is hideous for everyone trying to use it–public transit, private buses, bicyclists (both going to Caltrain or trying to use Townsend as a bike route to other places), pedestrians, private car drivers trying to drop off or pick up passengers, taxis, and anyone departing or arriving on Caltrain. It needs a complete redesign, even if eventually the Transbay terminal will take a lot of pressure off this station. I vote for the city hiring Jan Gehl and see if he can come up with a design that is inexpensive to implement as well as less frustrating and less dangerous for everyone concerned.


    Nicasio Nakamine

    I ride past this nightmare every day, and I just don’t know if a protected bike lane would even help. Wouldn’t it fill with pedestrians crossing to get into the curbside vehicles?

    I can confirm that this is by far the craziest part of my commute – nobody is in the least predictable. I even see people doing U-turns from the curb to drive West from time to time. Honestly, riding in the far left lane is the safest bet to pass the Caltrain station.



    On the high traffic fines piece, it strikes me that the answer is progressive traffic fines – pegged to income. That way an equal measure of pain is delivered for violation, not fines that bankrupt the poor and offer no discouragement to the wealthy – along with reform of the tack on fees – perhaps making those a percentage of the income adjusted fine.


    Bike Share Tech Gnostic

    Chris… you were the one who went after BART
    “My stance on Motivate style systems is the same one I have on BART. Stop building now. Maintain what you have then for expansions there are better, cheaper, nicer, more reliable and versatile alternatives.”

    That comment indicates a lack of understanding systems thinking and integration…


    Paul Knight

    Shuttles operate on a fixed route, and if it is not leading to the freeway, shuttle would not go on King Street for loading.


    Jamison Wieser

    If you visit the gofundme donation page for the legal funds, one of the donors actually wants to move the loop further North of Dogpatch.


    Michael Morris

    “Carpinelli cited a myriad of concerns about the project, such as the impending addition of thousands of new Dogpatch residents, changes at Pier 70, development of the Warriors’ arena and issues with truck traffic.”

    “According to Mimi Kawakami Kloster, Potrero Kids at 3rd Street director, residential construction in the area is making parking difficult. The preschool’s staff spend 30 to 45 minutes daily looking for parking, she said. She’s also concerned about pollution as the project is being built. Only a fabric screen and chain link fence separate the school’s playground from 19th Street, and several students have asthma, she said.”

    It’s amazing that a few simple complaints can hold up the construction of a multi-million dollar project that will improve our vastly underserved public transit system. I don’t even understand how the warriors stadium, a nicer pier 70 and more residents mean the project should be moved, aren’t those arguments FOR the loop? The school director’s concerns are obvious, parking…

    I was sympathetic with the folks farther south who were afraid that every train would be turn around at the loop and never go all the way down to sunnydale, a reduction in service is an actual environmental impact. More residents, construction, searching for parking and “truck traffic” are part of everyday life in San Francisco.