Today’s Headlines

  • Should Muni Really Be Footing the Bill for Costly Cable Cars? (SF Weekly)
  • SF Students Pedal to Class for Bike to Work Week (Bay Bikers,, SF Appeal)
  • BART Now Provides Crowding Estimates On Its Trip Planner (SF Weekly)
  • Lamenting BART’s Unbuilt Marin County Line (Curbed)
  • More on the New Book Street Fight: The Politics of Mobility in San Francisco (SF Weekly)
  • SF Weekly Corrects C.W. Nevius on the Cost of Storing the Central Subway Boring Machines
  • Marin General Hospital Wants to Expand With a Five-Story, 919-Space Parking Garage (Marin IJ)
  • State Senate Appoints Malcolm Dougherty to Head Caltrans Despite “Repeated Problems” (Merc)
  • CA Assembly Committee Passes Two Bills to Tighten Restrictions on Teen Drivers (Sac Bee)
  • Sustainable Transpo to Get Largest Share of Cap-and-Trade Funds, and More Updates From Sac (GC)
  • Study: Driving With Voice-Activated Texting Is Still Dangerous (CoCo Times)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • mikesonn

    I’m glad something is finally being done with the Pagoda, but the city’s story just doesn’t add up. I understand you’d prefer to not leave the TBM’s buried in the path of a possible future extension and that the city must work within very narrow ROWs so turning hard right/left out of the path is difficult. But really, they city has no official plans for an extension, there is no official plan for a North Beach station, and there is definitely no funding available for either. Hell, there isn’t even unofficial talks for an extension or station so we are many many years away from both.

    And now we are dipping into surplus operating funds to the tune of $9 million (soon to be $13.5 million) to save $5.5 million? And they city wonders why North Beach is throwing a fit. Again, a station in NB would alleviate a vast majority of the opposition and would give the proponents a foot to stand on, but we are nowhere near getting a station or even near talking about the process of getting a station.

    The Pagoda option will not allow for a station for several reasons. The first being that the new building will begin construction as soon as the TBMs are removed from the ground in 2 years, giving us no time to plan/fund a station stop there. Second and more importantly, a station needs track that runs beyond it for the trains to turn around, etc. The Pagoda is at the very end of the line.

  • Do you know how far they are laying rails? Will the tunnel spur past Chinatown Station work like the “underground rail yard” past Embarcadero?

  • Electric bikes are on the verge of becoming trendy. After four years of owning one, here’s my review,”Pluses and Minuses of Electric Bikes.”

  • mikesonn

    I’m not sure how far past the Chinatown station the tracks will go but I don’t think they’ll be storing trains there, just turning them around. I’ll have to look into that. It probably wouldn’t be a bad thing, if the track is there, to have a train or two located there in case of mechanical failures or capacity needs.

  • Joel

    “the new building will begin construction as soon as the TBMs are removed from the ground in 2 years, giving us no time to plan/fund a station stop there.”

    If a station is built in NB, the entrance is almost guaranteed to be at the south end of Washington Sq. (similar to the Union Sq. station). Where the TBM is removed beyond that doesn’t really affect construction since they’ll have to rip apart some of Wash Sq. to build the station.

    “Second and more importantly, a station needs track that runs beyond it for the trains to turn around”

    Not necessarily true. A crossover can be built just before reaching the station. Tail tracks would, however, add the operational flexibility that Muni usually requires.

  • mikesonn

    “Not necessarily true. A crossover can be built just before reaching the station.”

    Indeed. My mistake. But the way SFMTA operates, they’ll use that excuse. At least we can counter it.

    I personally think that small triangle (at Powell/Union, the name escapes me at the moment) is a waste of space. It is a trash-strewn algae puddle with a few dying trees at makes the 1.5′ sidewalk on Union pretty much worthless. I think it could be a great plaza area with an entrance (add in the closure of Powell on that small block) and could be similar to Abbesses Metro station in Paris.

    But I can see that people would consider that ripping up WSP as many people (for reasons lost to me) want to see zero changes to that triangle. Hopefully someone can convince me of the logic behind that at some point.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think Marin County government should allow Marin General to build more parking and expand their facilities generally unless and until the hospital subsidizes regular, frequent bus service to and from the hospital during visiting hours. When my father was hospitalized there for several weeks, I had trouble visiting unless I got there by car. I biked a couple of times too, but bike parking was minimal. It was clear they were and remain a car-centric institution. Supporting expansion without a change in transportation to/from the hospital is irresponsible.

  • Anonymous

    The fundamental problem with the Central Subway is that they went ahead with the project knowing that they would need to come back later and deploy new TBMs to get a useful subway out of it. Digging a subway is not like building an above ground extension; it’s much harder to stop and start at will. Had Muni included North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf stations in the original plan it would have cost more but might have received more support, and we new wouldn’t be worrying about not leaving the TBMs in the ground so we can go back at a later date and add the last two stations.

    Even now I wonder if it wouldn’t be possible to do a ‘construction variant’ that would continue the tunnel up Stockton and extract the TBMs at the Muni Kirkland Division yard, which is going to be relocated anyway. Then we can go through another EIR which examines whether it’s better to deploy new TBMs and create an extension to the Marina or some other part of the city, or just add track and stations to the existing tunnel and call it good. I have a feeling the latter would win out.