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Today’s Headlines

  • SF Gets $11 Million Transportation Grant from Feds (SFGate)
  • New Speed Bumps in the Haight (Hoodline)
  • SFMTrA Plants More Safety Posts (SFBay)
  • SFPD Captain Sanford Still Fretting Over Cyclists (Hoodline)
  • More on Naming Subway Station after Rose Pak (SFGate)
  • Should Stations be Named after Places or People? (SFist)
  • Ratio of Housing to Jobs (Curbed)
  • Motorist Right Hooks Bike, Blames Cyclist (MercNews)
  • More on SMART Train Quiet Zones (MarinIJ)
  • Prop L and Control Over Muni (SFExaminer)
  • Do Not Let BART Fall Apart (SFChron)
  • Commentary: Yes on Oakland Measure KK for Street and Sidewalk Repair (SFChron)

Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA
Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA


Ballot Primer for an Election that Will Drive You to Drink

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A standing-room only crowd drank beer and listened to the experts at SPUR breakdown SF's ballot measures. Photo: Streetsblog

A standing-room only crowd drank beer and listened to SPUR’s experts break down SF’s ballot measures. Photo: Streetsblog

Yesterday evening, over 220 people squeezed into the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association’s (SPUR) downtown S.F. location to hear the organization’s policy experts explain which ballot measures they are endorsing. With 25 measures on the San Francisco ballot this November 8, each of the six SPUR experts spent just a few minutes on each decision–and it still took nearly two hours to get through them all.

Thankfully, they also offered bottles of beer at the door.

Here’s a sampling of some of the most Streetsblog-relevant “yes” recommendations:
Read more…

Streetsblog USA
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Edmonton’s Quick-Build Protected Bike Lane Grid: “A New Model” for Change


pfb logo 100x22Michael Andersen blogs for The Green Lane Project, a PeopleForBikes program that helps U.S. cities connect high-comfort biking networks.

Two years ago, the sprawling Canadian prairie metropolis of Calgary decided to buck tradition and test an entire “minimum grid” of protected bike lanes through its downtown, all at once. Calgary’s proposal survived a nailbiting 8-7 council vote thanks to a first-rate campaign by local advocates and the swing vote of a suburban conservative who said he’d simply been persuaded that for just $7 million, a quick-build biking network was worth a try.

It worked. Bike counts doubled almost immediately; at last count they’re up 132 percent across downtown and biking is up citywide by every available measure, a win in Calgary’s war on congestion.

On Monday, Edmonton proved how contagious a good idea can be.

Edmonton’s council voted unanimously to do essentially the same thing, creating a connected system of comfortable bike routes in its downtown.

An overhead view of the post-protected bike lane planned for 102nd Avenue. Image: City of Edmonton.

“A new model of public consultation”

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Via Streetsblog California
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Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Projects Funded by SGC

Screen Shot 2016-10-11 at 10.34.48 AM

The Downtown Loop was one of 25 projects awarded funding under the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program.

Today the Strategic Growth Council approved 25 projects for funding under the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program. All of them combine affordable housing development and transportation improvements for either transit, walking, biking, or a combination of all three modes.

The council also briefly discussed preliminary rulemaking for a new program, the Transformative Climate Communities program (TCC), and draft guidelines for a pilot grant program to encourage local governments and agencies to plan for sustainable development.

The TCC is funded from a one-time allocation of $140 million from cap-and-trade as specified by A.B. 2722. Currently the proposed rulemaking calls for investing half of the money in Fresno, 25 percent in Los Angeles, with the remaining portion to be determined. Representatives from Fresno, including Mayor Ashley Swearingen and Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula, showed up to praise this decision to invest in Fresno’s efforts to revitalize itself.

There will be a meeting on the proposed rulemaking, which precedes development of guidelines, on November 7 in Fresno. The SGC is welcoming comments until then by email to: tccpubliccomments [at]

The main event at today’s meeting was the vote on AHSC allocations. The goal of the AHSC program is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled by bringing housing closer to destinations and providing ways for residents can get around without adding to the overall amount of driving. This is in keeping with the program’s funding source, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which is fed by money the state raises through its cap-and-trade program.

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SGC staff showed this map of the distribution of projects awarded AHSC funding for 2015-16.

The projects recommended by staff and approved today by the council—see list after the jump—went through a complicated scoring process that took into account the presence of disadvantaged communities and differing urban and rural needs and realities. The approved projects are more or less evenly distributed throughout the state, with a similar number of projects awarded in the Bay Area, L.A., and across the Central Valley, with a few scattered farther north and throughout the state.

From an original 130 concept proposals, staff narrowed the field to 74 invited applicants requesting a total of $691 million. Of those, 25 projects were awarded a total of $289 million. The AHSC is one of the few sources of funding for affordable housing since Governor Brown closed redevelopment agencies, and this amount doesn’t come close to fulfilling the need.

Comments at the meeting reflected frustration from applicants who were not awarded funds, but there were other issues raised about this second round of funding.

Read more…


Today’s Headlines

  • Last Train and Ferry Problem Puts Sports Fans in a Bind (CBSLocal)
  • More on Van Ness Streetlamps (SFChron)
  • SF One of the Most Active Cities with Parks and Cycling (ABCNews)
  • Open Air Workout Stations on Sunset (Hoodline)
  • Pedestrian Critically Injured in Nob Hill (Hoodline, SFBay)
  • Possible Solutions to Bay Area Housing Crisis (SFBizTimes)
  • BART Extension On Track (CBSLocal)
  • Candidates for BART and AC Transit Boards (DailyCal)
  • Bay Bridge Eastern Span Bike Path Not Quite Finished (KQED)
  • Bicyclist Killed in San Jose by Alleged Drunk Driver is Identified (MercNews)
  • Dog Walker Gets Messy Revenge on BMW that Blows Through Intersection (SFChron)
  • Commentary: Stop Building Roads and Expand Rail (MercNews)

Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA
Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA


Rail~Volution: All-Things-Rail Conference Comes to San Francisco

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Press-Release-Header-1200x565Some 1,200 planners, engineers, managers and transit journalists crowded into the San Francisco Hyatt Regency this week for the Rail~Volution conference. From the conference press release:

The…conference brings together thought leaders and innovators to discuss the relationship between public transit and land-use, examine best practices in transit-oriented development, and look at how to maintain diversity and inclusion in the face of a changing urban landscape. With 22 mobile workshops and over 75 thought-provoking presentation and discussion sessions, the conference goes beyond the traditional sit-and-listen experience. Workshops will focus on such topics as “Anti-Displacement: Tools for Preserving Affordability Near Transit,” “Hot Topics in Streetcar Systems” and “All Hail Car Sharing! Shared Use Mobility From an Environmental Perspective.” Other sessions include “Two Wheels Are Better Than Four: Expanding Your Network Through Bicycle Connectivity” and “Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Smorgasbord: Three Cities Dish on Their BRT Experiences.”

Yesterday morning’s plenary session featured SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin. He welcomed the attendees, who came from all over North America. The morning session focused almost entirely on housing cost and supply issues–and transit’s role in solving them. “We can really think about how and what we do can address those challenges,” said Reiskin. “Not to say transportation and planning are magic bullets, but I do think they can and should be part of the solution and we should use a lens of not just how can we make our cities more livable, but can we make our cities more livable for everyone?”

That tack continued with a chock-full-of-data presentation by Kim-Mai Cutler, journalist and columnists for TechCrunch. She explained that Eichler-built, single-family homes were once available to working-class families in the Bay Area. “In 1950, a home in Palo Alto was 1.5 times the median income, or about $9,400,” she said. “Today if you looked at an Eichler, it’s more than $2 million.” Read more…

Streetsblog USA
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Sprawl Is a Global Problem


Even in the places with the best transit systems, there’s a steep drop in transit access once you venture outside the central city. Graphic: ITDP

Sprawl isn’t just a problem in car-centric America. Even cities with the world’s best transit systems are surrounded by suburbs with poor transit access, according to a new report by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. As billions of people migrate from rural to metropolitan areas in the next few decades, these growth patterns threaten to maroon people without good access to employment while overwhelming the climate with increased greenhouse gas emissions.

For 26 global cities, ITDP looked at the share of residents with access to frequent, high-capacity rail or bus service quality, rapid transit within 1 kilometer of their homes, or roughly a 10- to 15-minute walk. Then ITDP looked at the same ratio for the region as a whole. The results suggest that coordinating transit and development will be a major challenge in the fight against global warming.

In Paris, for instance, fully 100 percent of residents have access to good transit. But the city of Paris is home to only 2 million people in a region of 12 million. And looking at the region as a whole, only 50 percent of residents live within walking distance of good transit. That still manages to beat most other regions ITDP examined.

In New York, the highest-ranked American city, 77 percent of residents live within reach of high-quality transit, but region-wide only 35 percent of residents do.

Read more…

Streetsblog USA
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There Will Never Be “Enough” Parking

Graphic: DMC

To accommodate everyone expected to come to downtown Rochester, Minnesota, by building more parking, you would have to pave over downtown Rochester. Graphic: DMC

Employees at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, have to accumulate 13 years of service time before they get an on-site parking permit. To get a sense of how much employees become invested in this system, check out this YouTube video of one man’s elation the day he gets his parking privileges (and notice how towering parking garages dominate the landscape).

With the clinic planning a major expansion, the days of convenient downtown parking are never coming back, writes Adam Ferrari at But some people are still going through the five stages of grief — denying that transportation problems have to be solved without relying on more car storage, and lashing out in anger at people who suggest otherwise. It’s time to accept that parking isn’t the answer, Ferrari says:

Here me out: there will never be enough parking.

What isn’t unique to Rochester, is that there is actually far more parking than there are people. In America, the estimate is roughly 800 million parking spaces (for a population slightly over 300 million in our country, and far fewer drivers than that).  We don’t have a supply problem. This is a demand problem…

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Today’s Headlines

  • More Guerrilla Safe-Hit Posts Coming (Hoodline)
  • Parking Protected Bike Lanes for Turk (Hoodline)
  • Van Ness/Polk Open House (Hoodline)
  • Future Subway Station May be Named after Rose Pak (Curbed)
  • SFMTA Responds to Trolley Bus Problems (SFExam)
  • Could Self-Driving Cars Become Weapons? (SFChron)
  • Water Taxi Service Approved for Berkeley to SF (SFChron, BusinessInsider)
  • Who’s this Clown Riding Muni? (SFExam)
  • Grade Sep Options for Menlo Park (Almanac)
  • Rocking the Bus (KQED)
  • BART Mocks Trump (NBCBayArea)
  • Commentary: City Must Prepare for Sea Level Rise on Embarcadero and Elsewhere (SFChron)

Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA
Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA


Endorsement: Reinvest for a Safe and Reliable BART

Image: Wikipedia Commons.

Image: Wikipedia Commons.

Streetsblog San Francisco recommends a yes vote on Measure RR, the $3.5 billion bond measure to keep BART safe and reliable.

Measure RR will replace and repair the core infrastructure of BART by upgrading its 1960s train-control system, renewing existing stations, replacing over 90 miles of worn-down rails, improving electrical power systems, and enhancing BART’s ability to withstand earthquakes.

Not only will these investments deliver essential safety and reliability benefits, they will also allow BART to increase capacity. A modern train control system will enable BART to run trains faster and closer together, accommodating nearly 200,000 additional daily riders. With BART ridership set to grow 75 percent by 2040, we need to act now to meet the demands of the future. Additionally, moving more people by train relieves pressure on our congested roads, so whether you ride BART or not, Measure RR benefits you.

Measure RR also has environmental benefits. Electrical upgrades will allow more on-site solar power at BART stations and yards, and help BART deliver on its goal of being the first subway system in the country to power itself with 100 percent renewable energy. With fewer drivers on the road, Measure RR will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

Realizing these positive policy efforts hinges on the passage of Measure RR.

Read more…