Today’s Headlines

  • More Coverage of the TA’s $7 Million Transfer to the SFMTA (City Insider, Examiner)
  • POP Cops and Real Cops Conduct Sting at 16th and Mission (Mission L@cal)
  • How Historic Streetcars Returned to San Francisco (Market Street Railway Blog)
  • Daly’s Tongue-in-Cheek Legislation Would Keep City’s Streets Honest (Examiner)
  • Does a Palo Alto Traffic Safety Sign Meant to Protect Kids Lack Teeth? (SF Citizen)
  • "Seinfeld" Actor Alexander Strikes Boy on Bike (SF Gate)
  • Sacramento to Spend $2.7 Million on Design That Lets Cars Back on K Street (SacBee)
  • Public to Give Feedback on SMART Station Designs at Meetings (MarinIJ)
  • Group Trying to Daylight Creeks Against Long Odds (Fog City Journal)
  • More Evidence That the American Dream Doesn’t Include a Big Lawn
  • Are you guys working on something about the F-line extension? I don’t ever recall hearing too much about it, but now Alito-Pier is squashing it before it even gets rolling. I think some light shed on the subject would help gather some public support. Thanks.

  • You haven’t heard much about the Fort Mason extension because for the last 5 years there hasn’t been anything new to say about it.

    It was included in the 2003 Prop K expenditure plan and a 2004 study found it feasible and isolated a few workable routes for the track. After a public outreach campaign for feedback on the routes determined to be feasible, a few options were selected to move on for environmental study. That study, now short $500,000, has been languishing since.

    During the Transit Effectiveness Project a few years ago, the F-line (and the any future E-Embarcadero line, which so far has only run as a special service) were identified and adopted as part of the “Rapid Network” (it has a high ridership than the J-Chruch line, runs partially in a dedicated right-of-way and improvements to speed up the F-line on Market would benefit the busses sharing the route too)

  • Thanks Jamison. I always thought the E-Embarcadero would be a huge boon. It could get the tourists straight from Caltrain to the Ferry Building (above ground) and then onto the Wharf and back. I think it would be used a ton.

    I guess there really wouldn’t be much to do a write-up on then if it has been laid to rest for the last 5 years. Maybe Alioto-Pier will just quit since she really doesn’t do anything anyway.

  • E-Embarcadero will happen, just give it time. Special E-line service ran during Sunday Streets in 2008, 2009 (not this year though) which is exactly how the F-line got started as two old trolleys running for one weekend only. It proved popular and grew to weekend service in the summers with more trolleys and longer hours each year until work began on making a permanent full-time service out of it.

  • Nick

    How about an “Upper Market Street” railway? Run it from the Castro Commons out to the top of Twin Peaks.

    Imagine what it could do for tourism; or in relieving those residents of commuting into downtown by car.

    Model it after the Portland style MAX trains. Allow bike access. It would be the first decent alternative to the Wiggle.

  • “Does a Palo Alto Traffic Safety Sign Meant to Protect Kids Lack Teeth? (SF Citizen)”

    Is it just me, or is the article about as detailed as the title?

    Also, what happened to the Sausalito signs?

  • Gregorio

    I’m surprised there hasn’t been more talk about streetcars in San Francisco, since it seems like they’d do well in certain neighborhoods (the Haight, Divisadero, Castro), and it seems logical that to explore the option of converting the J to a streetcar as part of Market Street improvements. I mean, I’d be interested in seeing what could happen with it.

  • I have been trying to get the SFMTA to consider low-floor service on the J-Chruch. One piece of that was trying to get the outbound turn from westbound Market onto southbound Church built. We (the Citizens’ Advisory Council or CAC) spent about a year and could not even get SFMTA to consider installing the turn when they tear up Market & Church next year to rebuild the track.

    Otherwise, everything needed to run low-floor is already in place. On the surface, there are no elevated high-platform stops aside from the wheelchair ramp (every stop could be accessible with no major work) we just need to purchase the streetcars.

    SFMTA is looking to add 12 more streetcars in 2018 for Central Subway and projected ridership growth. That could either be used to buy off-the-shelf, low-floor streetcars like Portlands or we could continue buying giant high-platform LRVs with complicated door and step mechanisms. I spoke with an engineer at Muni today who told me 60% of the LRV issues are the doors.

    I’ve been pushing this for several other reasons Such as the subway being at or near capacity and removing the J-line (which is the lowest ridership line, less than the F-line) would free up capacity for more frequent service on other lines. The J would add more redundancy for when the subway breaks and if you’ve seen what happens to the F-line when the tunnel is out of service you understand.

    A low-floor streetcar to me is also so much more in keeping with the residential character of Church Street than LRVs. Seattle and Portland were able to build new trackway at a rate of a block a week which minimized disruption to local businesses.

    It seems the very logical and cost effective way to begin converting the system to low-floor or if Metro lines remain with larger high-platform trains at least there is an addition option when planning new service like Gregorio suggested.

    Anyone want to help start a campaign?

  • Gregorio

    I’ve ridden the N far less than many people, but in my experience, the N Inbound often is delayed entering the Duboce Portal because of J trains getting in the way. Removing the J from this operation would streamline the N’s entrance into the Market Street Subway, and would also allow more full N trains without increasing the capacity of the subway.

    Also, if the J and E were to collectively duplicate F line service, it would mean running the F at a lower frequency while still offering the same level of service. I don’t see anything but benefit in offering increased service at what, according to my understanding, is a decreased cost. And it would re-introduce the streetcar to San Francisco along a new corridor. If it were to succeed along Church Street, there might be new incentive to add new corridors for streetcar service.

    I can’t understand why SFMTA would not at least explore this option.

  • SFMTA hasn’t explored the option because it’s a policy decision which needs to be made at the top. The operators, managers, repairmen, schedulers, engineers, etc. who have to deal with the problems of our current system day-in, day-out don’t have much say.

    It will be about a year or two before the process of procuring new light-rail vehicles begins, unless we want more of the same we need to get working on something different.