Today’s Headlines

  • Outspoken Cable Car Operator Eric Williams to Lead Muni TWU (SF Examiner)
  • Sac Bee: It’s Not Time to Abandon High-Speed Rail
  • SFBG Puts High-Speed Rail in Historical Perspective
  • Bay Bridge West Span Bike/Ped Path Project in the Works (SF Examiner)
  • San Jose Says Ped/Bike Killings Haven’t Occurred in Areas Without Streetlights (Roadshow)
  • GOOD Features the SF Bike Coalition and SFMTA’s “Light Up the Night” Bike Light Giveaways
  • NTSB Recommends Ban On All Cell Phone Use by Drivers (CoCo Times)
  • Regional Planning Is the New City Planning (GOOD)
More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill
  • mikesonn

    I never get on at 22nd St, is the parking bad? Someone started a petition to stop the SFMTA from installing meters around the station.

  • mikesonn

    Not that I want to drive traffic to this site, but maybe we can form some support (if needed, like I said, I’m not sure) for the meters.

  • I used to live on Potrero Hill. Pennsylvania from 22nd to 20th went permit because of the cars for Caltrain. It’s still the preferred place to drive to Caltrain because there is a lot of parking, but with increased ridership the riders are parking further away – along Minnesota and Pennsylvania for 2 blocks.

    Can a metered spot be used for a commuter?

  • mikesonn

    I wouldn’t think a metered spot could be used by a commuter. Also, businesses are starting to spring up around there as well. The ability to have turn over will only help them.

  • mikesonn
  • Seven

    I could certainly support giving free bike lights to children. However, adults should know better than to ride at night without a light.

  • Adults should know better than to drink and drive. Than to shoot guns into the air celebrating New Years. Than to … I think you get my point…

  • I would rather see the cyclists given the light + a ticket for the cost of the light.

  • mikesonn

    Looks like the streets around 22nd are at 85% or more occupancy from morning til night. And it’s SFPark which means the meter rates will be adjustable and hours extendable. Currently the area is unrestricted parking (at a Caltrain stop!) [pg 7].

    If the residents are that worried, then they need to extend the residential parking permits to that area. And commuters, Caltrain is popular for a reason, and limited parking means paying for it. Plenty of people bike or Muni to 22nd, the station won’t be closing due to loss of drivers.

  • Richard Mlynarik

    What makes nearby NIMBYs more legitimate users of PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY than evil commuters?  What makes storing loosely-nearly residents’ excess vehicles a higher economic or social good than temporarily warehousing park-and-riders’?

    Residential permit parking is simply a scam, and one which sends exactly the wrong economic signals.

    If you want to park, pay to build yourself your own parking garage (and don’t use it as a storage unit for non-vehicular household overflow garbage), or pay market rate to rent the public right of way that the commonwealths own and pays to maintain.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, that kinda kills the whole intention of it.

  • Anonymous

    I saw that petition too and think the city should be careful here.

    It clearly makes no sense to have the parking free. I know all those who drive to 22nd St Caltrain are going to complain, and I would too if I drove there … but that doesn’t mean it’s right (once we stop externalizing the cost of driving, it’s funny how all the sudden people find other ways to get where they need to go, myself included). Nobody wants to pay more, but it simply doesn’t make sense that drivers, who are using the least healthy, most polluting, and otherwise most inefficient form of transit (not too much that which takes up the most of limited city space) get free parking. That does nothing to incentivize people to walk, cycle, or take public transit to Caltrain, which is both Caltrain’s and SFMTA’s goal.

    That being said, if they charge “too much” (that amount would need to be discussed) for the parking, then I do think many people will drive instead of taking Caltrain. So the question becomes: how much should they charge? I think a couple bucks for the day is reasonable and probably won’t discourage that many people from taking the train (and for those that argue it will, well then you’re just being irrational because you’ll pay at least that much in gas to drive). Though in the long-term it doesn’t make sense, in the short-term they should set up the meters for commuters so that they allow somebody to pay for the entire day (and so that, if people are late getting home from work, they don’t have to worry about getting a ticket). Long-term, I think even that needs to go away and people will have to find ways to get to the station other than driving.

  • CBrinkman

    Many of the cyclists who stopped to get the lights were new to cycling and knew they needed to get lights but hadn’t yet.  Others had had their lights stolen.  One guy was so grateful for the lights:  he had had his entire bike stolen and just gotten a replacement – he said it was the only good thing to happen to him in a week.  On a positive note, I would say that about 95% of cyclists going by at 7th and Townsend last night had lights on.  Only two unlighted cyclists declined the free lights – not sure what was up with that, but yes, they do deserve tickets.

  • mikesonn

    Nearby NIMBY’s aren’t more legitimate, just more loud. And yes, residential permit parking is so extremely under-priced it is a joke that even exists. But you can chalk that up to Sacramento. Until we can properly price permits, have to deal with parking a different way. And a busy, well used Caltrain station should be metered (especially by SFPark which allows huge amounts of flexibility).

    In the end though, Caltrain will be just fine and 22nd St stop is going to close.

  • jd_x – the Caltrain owned lots are full of people who are obviously willing to pay a $30/month for a pass. But how would the City implement similar pricing… (the Caltrain monthly parking price is too low given the usage of the lots, but that’s a different discussion…)

  • I don’t see why the SFMTA/SFBC has to give them away. 

    Give people riding w/o a light an option: receive no light, and pay the full traffic violation. Or, take the light and receive a ticket for the cost of the light (which has to be what, $10 given the quantity they purchased?).I encounter enough riders with no light to know that the program hasn’t hit a saturation point. So the ones who have been helped by it either got lucky or read one of the online posts announcing where the booth was set up. The latter definately kills the whole intention. 

  • Anonymous

    I just think the whole requiring bicyclists to have a light or else fining them is overly strict. Look, I highly recommend bicyclists use a light, but I guess I don’t feel like it’s an important enough issue to warrant a ticket (and it seems SFMTA/SFBC agree).

    If you think that’s weird, then why don’t we require pedestrians to wear lights at night? They are just as hard to see (even more so, since most bikes have some sort of reflectors). And sure, they aren’t in general going as fast (though certainly joggers can go as fast as a slow bicyclist), but that’s just a different shade of gray rather than a black-or-white thing. Why does going 10-15 mph mean you need a light but going 3-8 mph means you don’t? I just really don’t think it’s a huge deal and shouldn’t warrant fining people.

  • mikesonn

    @jd_x:disqus While I follow your logic, cyclists should have lights because they (more often than not) are in a lane of travel, not the sidewalk. The fine shouldn’t be extreme, but there is a life/death incentive that should be acknowledged by cyclists (e.g. don’t wear all black, have lights and reflectors).

    Now, while we are on it, I see plenty of drivers with no lights on every evening coming up EMB to Broadway to Grant. 2.6 miles and it’s at least 2 a night. Cyclists are just easy prey for cops, though we all know a car without lights on is much more dangerous for multiple reasons.

  • Seven

    @murphstahoe: I agree with you completely.

  • @jd_x:disqus one reason is that there are stretches (take the panhandle, or GGP) where there is very little street lighting. When a cyclist rides without reflectors or front lights (and this happens quite frequently), they might often as well be invisible.

    It’s dark, you are on the road, you need a light. The law is there because being visible actually does a lot of good when it comes to preventing other things on the road from hitting you.

    Also joggers are usually on the sidewalk, and to your point, I actually see a lot of them who do wear some sort of light.

  • Anonymous

    @google-c1054b713ae4d63cc3ebaf620c20fb35:disqus Agreed that some joggers do wear lights, but the point is: it isn’t a law and nobody is talking about fining them if they don’t wear one. Further, way more bicyclists use lights than joggers, so by that logic, the bicyclists are good.

    Look, I get why a light is useful, which is why I personally always use one and, as I said, would always highly recommend it to everyone who rides a bike at night. But how many pedestrians have been hit by cars when the pedestrian was crossing the street at night and the car didn’t see them? I just see it as a classic bias against cyclists, where we hold them to a different standard. I think (though I can’t find any statistics quickly to back it up) that way more pedestrians are hit by cars because the motorist couldn’t see them at night, but nobody is claiming that we should make pedestrians wear lights and ticket them if they don’t. It’s kind like how some states/countries require cyclists to wear a helmet but then do not require the same of motorists even though the #1 or #2 cause of head injuries is motor vehicle accidents. It’s just another manifestation of a society’s bias against cyclists.

    When the day comes where we aren’t killing and maiming millions per year in car accidents, or due to car pollution, or due to wars to fight the oil supply which fuels those cars, then we can get around to minor things like ticketing cyclists for not wearing lights. In the meantime, I think it’s wholly inappropriate for a city to be ticketing cyclist for not having lights. It’s just soooo low on the list of priorities when you take it look at it in the bigger context of the things in our cities that are causing death, suffering, and destruction. Further, we should be given cyclists separate infrastructure from the cars anyway so the issue is moot (though sure it’s still helpful for other cyclists and pedestrians to see bicycles at night … but again, why not require pedestrians to do the same?).

    Out of curiosity, what is the law regarding bicycle lights in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, etc?