Today’s Headlines

  • SFMTA Budget Panel Forming Consensus on Recommendations (SFGate)
  • Bicyclist Critical After Getting Caught in Tracks, Falling Under Muni Bus on Market (BCN via Merc, SF Ex)
  • More on the 5-Year-Old Girl Who Was Run Over By Driver Walking to School (SF ExSFGateKTVU)
  • Supporters Plead With SFMTA Board For Free Youth Muni Passes (SF Examiner)
  • Cab Drivers Show Up For Postponed Medallion Discussion (ABC 7)
  • Driver Crashes Into House at Parker and Euclid Streets (ABC 7)
  • Hit-and-Run Driver Knocks Out Fire Hydrant On 3rd St. Between Howard and Folsom (SF Examiner)
  • More on the Downtown Bike Access Ordinance (Bay CitizenBCN via Mercury News)
  • “Wheelz” Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Service Launches on Berkeley Campus (Berkeleyside)
  • Borrowing Costs for CA High-Speed Rail Go Up (AP via CoCo Times)
  • Do Real-Time Updates Increase Transit Ridership? (Atlantic Cities)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • At Howard and Folsom? Those streets are parallel.

  • Aaron Bialick

    Woops, fixed.

  • Gneiss

    After reading the comments section for the SFGate article on the 5-year old who was run over by a driver getting to school, I now see how it is possible for a prosecutor to have successfully convicted the mother in Atlanta for vehicular homicide when she and her son crossed the street where there wasn’t a marked crosswalk.

    It was sickening how many people blamed the mother (and called for her to be charged with child endangerment) for the child’s injuries rather than the bull in the china shop – the culture of driving without awareness of prevailing conditions.  This is one a one-way alley next to a school.  How can a driver not know that there might be people crossing the street in the morning before opening?

  • Congresswoman Speier emailed a PDF entitled “12 Simple Steps You Can Take
    to Save Money at the Pump”. It contains one mention of public transit and zero mentions of walking or bicycling.

  • icarus12

    I was glad to read the SFMTA committee was looking at getting out of the business of paying for traffic officers that should be part of the SFPD’s budget.  That alone could save the SFMTA about 9 million.  But I was disheartened to see every other budget measure relied only on adding costs to driving and parking.  I am not against any of those proposals per se, but their collective revenue addition is peanuts.  To save  and created funding, the SFMTA actually needs to improve service.  And to improve service it needs to speed up all modes it uses.  So if we could just move ahead with separated transit lanes and signaling, fewer stops, ticket booths at all stops, serious incentives for Clipper Card use, and cutting driver absenteeism by 10%, we’d go a lot further toward speeding up the system.  The biggest expense is labor costs, and if muni drivers can get places quickly, there don’t have to be as many of them.  You also get more riders wanting to use the system and pay into it.  There simply is a limit (not yet reached) of how much you can task auto owners with paying for transit.  Yes, we can keep making it more expensive to drive, but it’s not going to produce the savings and productivity and speed and increased usage of MUNI that we want and need to improve the system.

  • Mario Tanev

    I support extended/Sunday meter hours because I think they are a good policy (for drivers as well), and they are much preferable to service cuts (which cause a death spiral of more cars going on the road and causing even more congestion, causing service more expensive to operate). That said, I agree with what you said. Revenue from fares, parking and general fund has increased in the last few years, yet we once again face a crisis, and it seems none of the proposed solutions will solve it in the long term although they may stave off cuts in the short term.

  • “You also get more riders wanting to use the system and pay into it” – certainly it could be argued that raising the cost of driving accomplishes the same thing, though I am a firm believer that a carrot is better than a stick as a general rule. Though there are instances where increasing the cost of driving has positive policy implications outside of “getting people to use MUNI”.

    I had the same discussion with the various agency folks regarding Caltrain – they are giving Clipper card users a discount by raising the price of paper tickets and not Clipper tickets. They said “isn’t that a carrot?” and I said this disregards human psychology. Someone from Caltrain in fact called the paper ticket increase a “stick” and a threatened future increase as a “bigger stick”.

    Meanwhile blog commenters use words like “serious incentives for Clipper Card use” instead of “using a stick”. Keep repeating that, hopefully the message will get through.

  • Anonymous

    “Yes, we can keep making it more expensive to drive, but it’s not going
    to produce the savings and productivity and speed and increased usage of
    MUNI that we want and need to improve the system.”

    Well, if part of making it expensive to drive includes steep (and enforced) fines for blocking buses, or if it leads to a reduction in traffic on bus routes, it really could produce savings and productivity and speed.

  • Davistrain

    If one lives in “suburbia”, walking and bicycling may not be practical in terms of time and/or energy.

  • Yes, so best to pretend they don’t exist.