Today’s Headlines

  • Governor Brown Kills $9.8M Bay Bridge PR Contract (SFGateCoCoTimes)
  • KQED Forum Talks With SFMTA Chief Ed Reiskin, Transit Historians on Muni’s Centennial
  • SFMTA Installing Audio Recording Devices on Muni Buses for Homeland Security (The Daily)
  • KRON’s Stanley Roberts Visits Muni’s Transit-Only Lane Camera Enforcement Center
  • Cyclist Struck by Street Sweeper Driver at Sixth and Brannan, Trapped Underneath (SFAppeal)
  • Off-Duty SFPD Officer Films Self Speeding Through Broadway Tunnel (SFWeeklyCBSKTVU)
  • Palo Alto Bicyclist Struck, Injured by SUV Driver in “Right Hook” Hit-and-Run (PAWeekly)
  • Doctor Suggests Brain Cyst as Alibi for San Jose Driver on Trial for Double Road Rage Killing (Merc)
  • SPUR: BART Metro Proposal Will Balance Needs of Urban and Suburban Ridership
  • BART to Run Extra Trains, Service Until 3 a.m. on New Year’s Eve
  • SFGate Provides More Details on Bay Bridge Toll Plaza Makeover
  • Palo Alto Weighs Design Options for $10M Bike/Ped Bridge Over Highway 101 (PAWeekly)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    Regarding the Bart Metro plan, while SPUR compares this to the Paris RER/Metro divide, that seems incorrect.. We already have a system (nowhere near as nice as Paris) that fills the urban core: that’s Muni Metro. Bart isn’t proposing new lines in the urban core afaic, they’re proposing increased service in the denser areas. That’s not at all how the RER/Metro divide works.

  • Anonymous

    Good point. Also, is it just a pipe dream to imagine that BART (and MUNI!) could add a second track each direction throughout the system to facilitate running express trains? Just thinking about NYC’s express trains makes me drool.

  • Bradforio

    Quick math shows a gas tax increase of $0.04/gallon would offset toll revenue for the state.  Why do we still have toll plazas?  They cost money to operate and cause congestion.

  • Toll plazas don’t cause congestion, cars do. Easy evidence? Even with toll plazas in place on the Bay Bridge, we still have metering lights for the bridge to deal with the problem of the volume of cars being greater than the capacity of the roadway.

    Tolls specific to crossing the bridge is a disincentive to use the bridge. This reduces the amount of traffic on the bridge which is a specific choke point for congestion.

  • I bet if there were no tolls on the Bay or Golden Gate bridges, congestion would quadruple (i.e. it would take four times as long to cross the bridge as when there are tolls.) And San Francisco would become literally wall-to-wall cars.  We could try it for a fun week and see.

    Actually what San Francisco needs is a way to charge anyone coming north up 280 or 101 a toll ($3?) if they get off at a San Francisco exit. BART and Caltrain ridership would increase dramatically and congestion inside San Francisco would drop the same.

  • Bradforio

    During high traffic times, I agree with both of your comments.  But don’t use a toll as a congestion tax.  Use a congestion tax.  I run in to traffic jams at toll plazas many times, which are followed by an open road directly following the plaza.  Of course, I use my car for recreational activities, not for daily commuting during rush hours.  I find it hard to believe that the golden gate bridge toll cost is actually a deterrence for crossing the bridge for the average resident of Marin county. 

  • Michael Morris

    Hard to say the Muni Metro covers the urban core when it never goes north of market, to the richmond, or really anywhere along geary, we should admit both systems are far from where they need to be for a city with so many regular visitors/residents. My favorite part of the BART metro is splitting the trains

  • Anonymous

    @KarenLynnAllen:disqus commuting between SF and San Mateo/Santa Clara Counties goes both ways. Plenty of people commute south.  I am in favor of congestion pricing, but only if it addresses both commute patterns.

  • a toll is a congestion tax. And it’s a more specific congestion tax now that we have variable pricing by time of day. How else do you propose implementing it? Regardless, in our lifetimes the tolling will be open road anyway. On 470 outside of Denver there is no such thing as a tollbooth, but there is definitely a toll.

    The cost of the toll doesn’t have to be a huge deterrent to have an impact. It might be that we only need to reduce traffic by a few percent, and primarily at rush hour.

    If someone in Marin is just running into SF for a discretionary trip, they probably don’t think about the toll. But the behavior changes dramatically when you are making a repeated, regular trip. At that point, a resident of Tiburon can do an exact calculus of the cost of the toll vs. the cost of the ferry.

    If you doubt that the cost of the toll makes a difference, maybe it’s better to give a more concrete measure – the fact that Casual Carpool exists.

  •  @aslevin:disqus

    You would get the people commuting south when they returned to SF in the evening!

  • Anonymous

    It is not very helpful to compare BART ‘Metro’ to Paris Metro and BART ‘Commute’ to Paris RER. A better comparison would be Muni Metro to Paris Metro (although nowhere near as good, of course) and BART as it currently is to Paris RER. The big difference, and one we should learn from, is that the Paris RER and Metro are much better integrated than BART and Muni.

  • Anonymous

    Not saying Muni metro /succeeds/ at doing what it’s attempting to do, but Muni absolutely is the urban core system. Bart is not, nor does their proposal seem to indicate that they plan to be.