Today’s Headlines

  • Removing the 280 Freeway is the Topic of Today’s KQED Forum
  • SFMTA Issued 1,800 Tickets on First Day of Enforced Sunday Parking Metering (SF Examiner)
  • More Meters to Upgrade to SFPark, and Other Updates From the SFMTA’s Strategic Plan Meeting
  • Driver Injures Man Exiting Muni Train at Taraval and 19th Avenue (SF Appeal)
  • Rising SFMTA Payments to BART for Local Trips a Ripoff, Supervisors Say (SF Examiner)
  • BART Sees Major Delays This Morning Due to Loose Boards Knocking Off Connectors (CoCo Times)
  • More on the Bike Theft Hearing Called by Supervisor Mar (SF Examiner)
  • Drivers Are Navigating the Central Freeway Without Lane Stripes (SFGate)
  • “Save Our Parking!” Flyer-Happy Resident Mad About Parking Removal in Masonic Plan (SocketSite)
  • Berkeley Approves Downtown Plan for Plazas, Traffic Closures and Greenery (Berkeleyside)
  • Palo Alto’s California Ave. Road Diet Project Growing Larger and More Costly (PA Online)
  • Two-Thirds of Menlo Park School District Kids Get to School Without a Single-Family Car (Peninsula)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    Continuing my series I suppose, here’s another great article; an interview with Eco-Critic Ursula Heise on how we talk about the weather:

  • David

    BART should not charge Muni riders anything extra to use their subway within city limits.  And now that we have Clipper, BART should honor ALL Muni fares for service within the city.  

  • Mario Tanev

    The driver who struck a Muni passenger exiting a train must do jail time. Let’s see if our DA is up to the task. This is unacceptable.

  • SteveS

    Given that Muni can’t provide rail service for anywhere even close to $1.21 per passenger, you’d think that they’d be encouraging everyone with a fast pass to always take BART instead of the metro instead of complaining about the reimbursement rate.

  • From the article listed above on the SFMTA’s Strategic Plan Meeting:

    “Muni is over capacity — no surprise to anyone who’s ever tried to
    ride the N-Judah — and the agency is actually looking at how to
    encourage people who could easily walk or bike to their destinations to
    do that instead, clearing room on the buses and trains.”

    I could scream.

    Okay, SFMTA, first off, to deal with capacity issues, you could increase your throughput by implementing your own TEP recommendations, especially the stop consolidations. More throughput=more capacity.

    To encourage people to walk, increase their safety and enjoyment of walking by 1) reducing speed limits of non-arterial neighborhood streets to 20 mph (so that they will live if a car hits them) and 2) have police start doing stings of failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Moving vehicles really should come no closer than 5 feet to a pedestrian. (In my neighborhood, Noe Valley, when there are no other cars around, the majority of motorists will roll through stop signs or come to stop a half way across the crosswalk. This does not bother me if there are no pedestrians around, but some do it even when I’m in a crosswalk. Since cars have more blindspots than most drivers want to admit, drivers really, really need to take more care driving through residential streets. Even more concerning are the 1 in 20 drivers who blast through stop signs at speeds greater than 10 mph. Again, the frequency of this behavior decreases when there are other cars around, so your average driver isn’t aware of the surprisingly high number of irresponsible drivers.)

    To encourage people to bike, especially with the idea of clearing room on crowded bus and train lines, the SFMTA really need to consider each line and figure out what is most impeding people from bicycling on that route. Two routes I am familiar with:
    –for the N-Judah, it’s pretty obvious that the protected bike lane needs to go in on Oak ASAP.  Also the connection from the Panhandle across Stanyan is still too dicey for less than confident bicyclists. In addition, reducing the number of cars cutting through GG Park would make the park a true biking refuge that everyone a mile north or south (a lot of people!) could use to travel east-west. (Cars traveling east-west should use Fulton and Lincoln.) Many N-Judah riders, if they were to become bicyclists, would use MLK Jr Dr, and this road has far too many cars for bicycling comfort.  N-Judah riders, what do you think?
    –to encourage those taking the underground line from Castro and all points east to bicycle:  get rid of private cars on Market east of Van Ness and create physically-protected bicycle lanes from Castro to Van Ness. East of wherever the last forced right turn lane is (6th Street?) Market is perfectly hideous for bicyclists because of cars as well as awful pavement.  West of Van Ness, wherever the bike lane isn’t physically-separated there are constantly double-parked cars and trucks and cars swerving in and out of the bike lane in order to park.

    Make the changes and then advertise the improvements that make bicycling safer and more pleasant along that route to the Muni riders of said route. 

    I’m sure others could also suggest ways to encourage people on crowded Muni lines to make their trips by bicycle.

    I agree with Steve S below that due to greater efficiency of transporting people underground, people should be encouraged to take BART in San Francisco rather than surface Muni routes wherever possible.  In fact, Muni should probably stop duplicating routes that BART serves better–the J Church (perhaps just leave a short shuttle-type line between 30th st and Market) and the Mission Limited buses north of 24th street. In addition, BART should put an infill station at 30th and Mission as soon as possible. 

  • Ted King

    Are you advocating the return of the 26-Valencia bus ? San Jose Ave. from Ocean to 30th St. would be otherwise unserved if the J-Church were truncated. And the two-block rule would be stretched to the breaking point. I’ve walked from the Excelsior Branch Library to San Jose Ave. in order to catch the J-Church heading downtown and it’s more than a couple of blocks. So a pocket of houses would be uncovered by your suggestion.

    A BART station at 30th St. is a particular type of dream – a multi-horse nightmare. The BART tunnels in the area are not level and would require a rebuild of a mile or more to get a sufficiently level stretch for a legal platform. Also, the political equivalent of a nuclear war would be triggered by starting the formal process for an infill station there. You’ve got residential NIMBY’s, businesses, car commuters, and other drivers who would fight to the death over major construction near 30th and San Jose. The final nail in the coffin is BART itself – their studies show that an infill station there would have a substantial slowing effect on the San Francisco routes.

    If you want a realistic target get BART to build the Van Ness pocket tracks. This would give them a place to stash broken trains until they can be sent to a yard with minimal disruption. It would also permit short turns during commute hours without using the 24th + Mission station.

  •  Ted, 
    From Bosworth to 30th Street, the Mission buses parallel the J very closely, so that demographic is served. And the J-Church is so slow, anyone who lives within a ten minute walk of either the Glen Park or Balboa Park BART station would be crazy to take the J-Church rather than BART.  From Baden to Cotter, folks are within 2 blocks of the 36 and the 23 (and also not bad walking distance of Glen Park BART). What that really leaves is the three blocks between San Juan and Baden, which could be better served (for less money and with more frequent service) by a small shuttle running these people to the Balboa Park or the Glen Park station. So the J-church provides a great deal of expensive, slow duplication of service for a very small number of people. I’m not sure why anyone would take the J-Church to get from the Excelsior Library to downtown? It’s a ten minute walk to the J Church and then a thirty minute J Church ride to Powell. It would’ve taken half the time to walk to the Glen Park Bart station and taken BART, or taken the 52 to the Glen Park BART station and then taken BART.  Or taken a  Mission bus to 24th street and then BART. (Even taking a Mission bus all the way downtown would have been a little faster.) The J-Church is just so very slow and BART is so very frequent and fast.

    Because BART is so frequent and fast and has the greatest reach of any transit system in the Bay Area, BART is going to become preeminent in the next half decade. Everyone who can possibly wangle access to it will do so. So yes, I think a station at 30th and Mission will prevail because it will give both upper Noe and Bernal Heights much better commute times, access to downtown, access to the airport (though this will lessen in importance), and access to Caltrain/High speed rail. A 30th street station would increase housing values for these two neighborhoods quite dramatically as well. The tunnel may indeed need to be revamped but it is already there and we will find any and all transit tunnels too valuable not to put to maximum use. In the end, even the NIMBYs will want access to BART. It will happen.

  • Ted King

    The J-Church offers decent frequency, better than the 23-Monterey and the 36-Teresita, and transfer alternatives that the Mission corridor doesn’t offer without adding an extra link. Also, those tracks are the fallback to the Twin Peaks Tunnel and the yard route for the F-Market streetcars. Taking them out of revenue service would be pretty lame even for SFMuni.

    The hills are another factor. Glen Park BART Stn. is a stiff climb from the San Jose Ave. side (I’ve done the stairs from the LRV platform). Also, the walk from 24th + Mission to Noe Valley along 24th St. is respectable. I did it one evening when I didn’t want to wait for a 48-Quintara and was heading for Whole Foods.

    I suggest to anybody that is dead set on a 30th-near-Mission station be prepared for a severe case of sticker shock – way worse than the Central Subway. My WAG for a price tag would be in the range of five to ten billion dollars ($5B – $10B) and it could easily go higher. I mentioned the sloping tunnels that would have to rebuilt – the rebuild might also impact the Glen Park BART Stn.

    And are you ready for severe traffic jams during construction along Mission and San Jose in that area ? Our rail transit services are NOT in the habit of using their networks for construction support during their down times. That leads to all of the construction supplies and debris traveling on the surface. And where would you put the work yard ? The only half-way reasonable place is the gas station / repair shop bounded by Mission / Randall / San Jose / Brook. But is that site big enough ? Is it close enough to the tunnels ?

    P.S. The ugly reality of rail transit in San Francisco is that what we have is a straightjacket. Several omissions (Van Ness pocket tracks, Moscone Center tunnel box, Mission Creek routing) have left us with hugely expensive projects and lengthy delays. I hope I’m still around when BART gets serious about platform upgrades at the Embarcadero and Montgomery St. Stns. That will be an epic furball.