Today’s Headlines

  • Artist Kurt Dalen, 30, Dies After Being Hit by Driver on Valencia Last Week (SFGate, Uptown Almanac)
  • Family Seeks Driver Who Hospitalized Pepe Bolorinos, 25, at Oak and Scott Last Tuesday (ABC)
  • Poll Shows Low Support for Vehicle License Fee Hike to Improve Transportation (SFGate)
  • More on the Supes Hearing on the Abysmal State of Funding for Bike Infrastructure (SF Weekly)
  • SFMTA Issues $75M Bond for Muni Infrastructure and Vehicle Upgrades (SF Examiner)
  • SFMTA Tests Incentives to Encourage Taxi Drivers to Pick Up Wheelchair Users (SF Examiner)
  • SFMTA to Consider Regulations for Private Shuttle Use of Bus Stops Next Month (CBS)
  • People Behaving Badly: Drivers Regularly Block Exit for Fire Trucks at Station on Folsom in SoMa
  • New Renderings of Bulb-Out Plan for Central Irving Street in the Sunset (Curbed)
  • More on the Supes’ Move to Undermine SFMTA’s Ability to Expand Parking Meters (SF Examiner)
  • BART Launches Study of Extension to Livermore (CoCo Times)
  • Richmond’s Movement for Safer Streets for Biking Gaining Traction, Despite Curmudgeons (CoCo)
  • Merc Roadshow: Pedestrians Are Dying Cause They Don’t Walk in Fear, Wear Bright Clothes at Night

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Jeffrey Baker

    BART to Livermore is a great idea. BART to the middle of I-580 in the middle of a field, however, is a terrible idea. This will bring the worst kind of greenfield sprawl to the area. Why can’t the put it across from or on top of the ACE station in the actual town of Livermore? You know, Livermore _is_ a real town with an identifiable center and a walkable downtown street grid. It’s not pure sprawl like Dublin or Castro Valley.!data=!1m8!1m3!1d3!2d-121.799474!3d37.703104!2m2!1f59.67!2f89.45!4f75!2m12!1e1!2m7!1s7xi7f2gRjjyd6NX4GuRDvw!2e0!5sIsabel+Avenue!6f589.21423!!9m1!6sIsabel+Avenue!5m2!1s7xi7f2gRjjyd6NX4GuRDvw!2e0&fid=5

  • Prinzrob

    Looks like the CoCoTimes article on Richmond is gone, but it can still be found here:

  • Jeffrey Baker

    “The group argued an underground route downtown was a bad idea, citing undesirable high-density housing, the planned destruction of 11 homes and possible increased crime though City Council had pledged to build a police substation at the station.”


  • Rogue Cyclist

    Like the 2 Dublin/Pleasanton stations are such a hotbed of crime.

  • voltairesmistress

    The SF public’s polled lack of support for an increased vehicle license fee illuminates just how much all of us need to be educated as to how much each vehicle costs the public in externalized costs. If most people understood the subsidy they are currently enjoying as car owners, they might well tax themselves for their current subsidy. But without hard costs and credible scholarly evidence available and in our faces (think billboard messages), we drivers will continue to think of ourselves as footing the bill for others when the opposite is true. Instead of the mayor rushing to put the increased vehicle registration fee on the next ballot, how about the city launches an education campaign for residents to learn how much each car owner should be paying to cover his or her vehicle’s true costs in road repair, parking, collisions, and pollution/health costs? Speaking personally, I would find that eye opening.

  • david vartanoff

    NO BART to Livermore! vIf they want it “over there” in the freeway, they don’t understand the point of transit. The money can be far more useful where people actually use transit–infill stations in SF, Oakland, Albany. or for serious money the subway under Geary that should have been built 30+ years ago. More people will use that in a day than the Livermore station in 6 months.

  • shamelessly

    And this happened today:

    I’m happy the flyer pictured in the article states a specific demand: Google paying the city usage fees for using bus stops. That seems reasonable to me. And it’s on the upcoming agenda for the Board of Supervisors.

    However, the flyer ends up calling for a ban on tech companies running buses in residential neighborhoods to avoid driving up housing prices, which isn’t the most forward thinking goal I’ve ever seen on a protest flyer (to put it charitably).

  • jonobate

    There is a nasty racial undertone to the ‘Keep BART on I-580’ crowd. Essentially they don’t want a downtown station because they think it will bring in drug dealers from Oakland who will hang around downtown Livermore peddling their wares. A station in the median of I-580 is fine because the only easy way to get between there and downtown would be to drive, thus keeping the car-free riff-raff out of downtown. They are also fearful that a downtown station would induce higher density housing downtown, bringing in new people to their city, some of whom might possibly be different (poorer, blacker) than the existing residents.

    In case anyone isn’t aware, we’ve been through this process before, just 3 years ago. Here are the alternatives that came out of that report:

    And here is the final alignment approved by the board:

    From a regional point of view, there are two reasons to extend BART to Livermore. One is to serve downtown Livermore, as this is an area that is already walkable and has strong potential to absorb lots of medium density residential development and become a destination in it’s own right. This is precisely what the ‘Keep BART on I-580 crowd’ do not want to happen. The other reason is to make a connection with ACE, serving riders coming from the central valley.

    If downtown Livermore cannot be served due to NIMBYs, the only other alignment that makes sense is Alt 5 from the 2010 analysis – standard BART to an Isabel/Stanley station. This would provide the ACE connection at the lowest cost, limit sprawl (east of the station is already developed, and west of the station is mostly undevelopable), connect to the existing rapid bus serving downtown and LLNL/Sandia, and set up an extension into downtown as the only logical alignment for future expansion.

    Spending $3-4 billion on a freeway alignment that does nothing but save park and ride commuters a few minutes on their drive to the station should be opposed, especially as Livermore voted against Measure B1, which would have funded the extension. Spend the money on a Geary subway instead.

    If anyone wants to see the presentation made to the board last week it can be found here (save and open in Acrobat to see attachments):

  • 94103er

    Pretty much the stupidest thing ever. Do any of these jerkwads work for Muni? For the city? So, if they don’t, what the hell do they care if Google pays the city or not? They don’t. They just want to wage ideological warfare and point fingers at something for causing the inevitable economic shift that has been underfoot for almost 20 years. It’s disgusting.

    (As an aside, I think that if the SFMTA wants to work it out with companies and then allocate more space for shuttles or come to some kind of other agreement, fine. But no one has actually proven that the shuttles inconvenience Muni drivers in any way.)

  • aslevin

    Isn’t this going back on the ballot in Alameda’s ballot measure? How are East Bay transit/active transportation advocates approaching the ballot measure given that the uses of funds include BART to Livermore?

  • Gocurrey

    I disagree. I think BART to Livermore is a terrible idea.

    For a few billion dollars, we can get the system to a town of 100,000, few of whom will use it with any regularity (and many of them are already driving to BART in Dublin). Or we could use that money as the first step toward building the improvements the system actually needs, like a new line in San Francisco, infill stations in Oakland, and a new Transbay tube (which we we can’t build fast enough even if construction were to start tomorrow).

    A Livermore extension just enables further growth in places where it’s not sustainable. Let’s focus resources on places where we already have people, and that are more suitable to absorb growth (Oakland comes to mind).

  • Joel

    Charging tech companies to use Muni bus zones is essentially what the city does to shipping companies like UPS to double park. Clearly that isn’t working, so here’s a better solution: repurposing more curbside space for loading and open space instead of parking.

    On-street car parking creates so many negative externalities: double parking, circling, friction with transit. Even building new off-street garages to replace the lost parking is a better solution than what we have now. Imagine having bus zones long enough so that public and private buses wouldn’t have to fight over curbside space. Imagine having more parklets and space for bicycle facilities. Imagine having predictable and centrally located car parking. I feel like Aaron and the crew should write about the issue from this perspective, as I haven’t seen the local media discuss this angle of the story.

    The issues with housing may prove more difficult to solve, but the traffic and loading problems should have been solved yesterday.

  • Andy Chow

    I don’t think Alameda County funds can be spent on a Geary subway, but the outcome is clear that people in Livermore don’t really care about BART. If they treat it has a problem that need to be kept on I-580 then there’s no point of an extension. The value for that extension is to facilitate better land use in Livermore and then as secondary to connect with ACE and potential Altamont HSR.

  • murphstahoe

    I had heard there was a more likely and simple explanation – the 580 station was close to a lot of developable land in the hands of deep pockets…

    Of course, you can’t get up and say “Hey, we need to put this in 580 so I can make $50 Million”, so you whip up the brown people line instead.

  • murphstahoe

    The other reason is to make a connection with ACE, serving riders coming from the central valley.

    as secondary to connect with ACE

    Every time I have ridden ACE it was packed. If there was a seamless connection to BART, and that attracted more potential riders, but they wouldn’t fit on the trains, then what?

    I’ve heard some contentions otherwise, but I don’t really see the expansion of the ACE schedule. There are some pretty sketchy single track sections that don’t look like they could be expanded to two tracks. Once you are in that scenario, service expansion gets really difficult. Just because there is a line on the map doesn’t mean you can just run more trains.

    By the time we get around to some sort of BART connection to ACE in livermore, we might just be running 4 rails down 580 itself for HSR.

  • voltairesmistress

    I agree with your argument in its main points. I would disagree only in why delivery truck drivers double park. In the main the drivers do so out of convenience, not because there is no curb space. They find it faster to double park than to pull into a space. They know they will not get a ticket and if they do, their employer will pay it. Further, they have no intention of paying a loading zone meter. I know, as I was in that business. The delivery truck culture in SF includes a blatant disregard for others’ use of the streets.

  • The Overhead Wire

    Agreed. I’m even skeptical of wasting billions on a single extension into downtown. What about a valley BRT or LRT network. Denver’s whole plan for the region is $4.7B. You could build an amazing transit network that connects Livermore to Pleasanton and Hacienda and other job centers.

  • jonobate

    ACE have some upgrades in the works:

    The upgrade plan is for 6 daily round-trips and extension to Modesto by 2018, and and 10 daily round-trips and extension to Merced by 2022. These actually have a reasonable chance of getting funded due to having high speed rail money behind them (current legal issues notwithstanding.)

  • murphstahoe

    I’ll buy you a beer if that happens

  • Andy Chow

    A good compromise would be a streetcar network that travel within the Tri Valley that would help facilitate downtown growth but still suburban friendly. However there’s that teabaggery attitude in the Tri Valley that helped defeating the Alameda County tax last year. I don’t think there’s any benefit to essentially “give in” to a 580 only alignment that only satisfies the sprawl developers north of 580 (yet still not satisfying the teabaggers). If there’s any hope for any reasonable plan we need to wait until the teabaggery attitude fades.

  • Sprague

    In a related note, as streetsblog has pointed out, some transit agencies (ie. UTA in Utah) market their service by touting its benefit for motorists, too (as in less congested roadways). Better transit and bicycle infrastructure benefits everyone, including those who do not directly use it.

  • Can Streetsblog spell out the details of this line from the Geary BRT story: “The projected cost for Geary BRT is around $200 million with design and engineering currently slated to take until 2017 and construction a couple of years.” What on earth about a bus lane and some streetscape could possibly cost $200 million to plan and require years of study?

  • Richard Mlynarik

    World’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals (ie, Americans) on the job.

    Failure is its own reward.

    Every year of delay and every million dollars of extra agency and consultant overhead is entirely the point.

    Get with the program!


  • Richard Mlynarik

    How are East Bay transit/active transportation advocates approaching the ballot measure

    Exactly the same way as last time! Is there any need to ask?

    Give them a couple million for a couple bike lanes somewhere, and a few tens of millions for paratransit and AC Transit, and a few empty words about “TOD” and “vibrant communities”, and, in a “spirit of compromise”, they’ll endorse billions for freeway widening and BART extensions.

    (Hint: there’s no difference between freeway widenings and BART extensions. Same contracting mafiosi, same massive public-private wealth transfer, just a superficial difference in the layer of stuff that’s put on top of all the concrete.)

  • Rod_North

    The mayor of Livermore claims that 80% of the voters there do not want BART downtown. If he is right, it’s not going to happen, and I doubt that accusing their residents of being racist is going to be persuasive either.

    The people there would rather drive to a BART station by the freeway with acres of free parking than drive into a congested downtown to park.

    If I were a betting man, I’d bet on them choosing a shuttle bus. Like others here, I think the BART funds should be invested somewhere where the local residents actually want it.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    You must be new here.

  • Richard Mlynarik

    Like the 2 Dublin/Pleasanton stations are such a hotbed of ridership.

    BART extensions are, uniformly, economic and environmental basket cases that simply screw actual real transit riders in the Oakland/SF urban core.

  • murphstahoe

    but hey, then I can take BART to go ride on Mines Road without having to truck through Dublin!