Today’s Headlines

  • Bay Area Bike Share Set to Begin Expansion Into New Neighborhoods (SFGate)
  • KTVU Dredges Up the Terrible Idea of Bicycle Taxing, Licensing
  • Dispatch From a SF-Amsterdam Transplant on How SF Could Become a Bike Mecca (SFBG)
  • SF Weekly Bike Columnist Questions the Accuracy of the SFMTA’s Bike Counts
  • SFpark’s Pilot Period Over, Sensors Off (Exam); Examiner: City Should Use Data to Improve Transport
  • With a Growing Population, SF Examiner Looks at the Transit Challenges That Lie Ahead for SF
  • BART Fares, Muni Passport Rates Go Up (SF Examiner)
  • SamTrans to Study BRT Along El Camino Real From Daly City to Palo Alto (SF Examiner)
  • AC Transit, Unions Reach Labor Agreement (NBC)

Traffic Carnage Over the Holidays

  • In 2013, 20 Pedestrians Were Killed in SF, a Six-Year High (SF Examiner)
  • New Year’s Eve: Ride-Share Driver Hits Family in Crosswalk at Polk and Ellis, Killing Girl, 6 (SFGate)
  • Also on NYE: 87-Year-Old Man Killed by Pickup Driver in Crocker-Amazon (CBSSFGate)
  • Dec. 29: Pedestrian Killed by Driver Near Fourth Street On-Ramp in SoMa (ABC)
  • Dec. 20: Recology Truck Driver Backs Over, Kills Elderly Man in Tenderloin (NBC, SFGate)
  • Dec. 20: In Chinatown, Driver Hits Car, Power Pole, Two Peds, Killing Isabel Huie, 84 (SF Appeal)
  • NYE: SUV Driver Hits and Injures Woman at Turk and Leavenworth, Flees (CBS)
  • Dec. 30: Muni LRV Driver Hits and Injures Girl, 17, Fails to Stop at Third and Hollister (SF Appeal)
  • Firefighter, Car Passenger Hospitalized in Fire Truck Crash at Fifth and Howard (ABC)
  • Survivor of Horrific New Year’s Day 2013 Crash in the Mission Walking After Nine Surgeries (ABC)
  • Gina Eunice Gets Four Years for DUI Crash That Killed Yuee Yao, 56, in Dec. 2012 (KTVU)
  • San Jose Sees 21 Pedestrians, Five Bicycle Riders Killed in 2013, a Two-Decade High (MercNBC)
  • Woman, 62, Killed on Bike by Trucker in West Oakland Was Susan Watson, Scientist (Mercury News)
  • Menlo Park Driver, 90, Blames Twins, 6, for Getting Hit by His Car on the Sidewalk (Almanac)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • mikesonn
  • ladyfleur

    Re: the Menlo Park twins hit by the driver on a sidewalk.
    The idea that anyone with a human heart could claim children standing on a sidewalk “‘carelessly, recklessly and negligently conducted and maintained themselves’ in a way that contributed to the accident” is unbelievable. I’m so shocked that I’m staring at the screen, not even able to shake my head.

  • murphstahoe

    I don’t think the “Lawyers have to mount an aggressive defense even if the argument is generally invalid” really holds here.

  • ….anyone with a human heart…

    Did you skip the part where it said he was a lawyer?

  • Andy Chow

    At the end it is likely to have this ended up in a settlement rather than a jury trial. The issue ultimately is how much this will cost him. Unfortunately this is one of those legal “drama” that’s part of that process.

  • murphstahoe

    The value of that settlement will not be altered by this ridiculous “strategy”. As such, it’s just a flat out jerk move.

  • 94103er

    So Murph, I’m curious–you left a sort of snarky comment on the ECR BRT article while at the same time I was thinking “duh, it’s freaking about time they get BRT on ECR going.” I’m not very to-date on my Peninsula transit knowledge, but do you think the money’s better spent on SamTrans local service, or what’s your take on this?

    I would think BRT would be super popular and well-patronized for its hop-on-hop-off capability. I think I would’ve used it a lot back in ye olde dayes when I lived there.

  • murphstahoe

    That article lost me at “In an effort to reduce congestion”. This implies that SamTrans believes that an ECR BRT will get people currently driving on El Camino to switch to buses. I just don’t buy it. And I’m someone who is religious about usage of public transit.

    I sadly don’t believe that this induces a big mode shift on that corridor. It certainly offers better service to the current ridership, but that’s not the stated goal.

    When I read this I think of two things. The cost per mile being quoted in San Francisco for BRT, and the blowback in Santa Clara County from making dedicated lanes for BRT on El Camino down there. This project ends up being expensive and fought by all sorts of people who crawl from under rocks to fight it if for no other reason than “I’ll never ride it so I don’t want more buses on El Camino and I don’t want any of my taxes going towards it”

    If I were the dictator and I had a pool of money, I would use it to lower Caltrain and BART fares on the exact same corridor, and beef up the ECR local service. Door to door travel time will be faster if we exploit the train.

    A lot of ridership on SamTrans could use Caltrain but take the slower SamTrans service because it’s cheaper. If I ran the world fares would solely be a function of distance traveled, regardless of mode. This reduces the need for duplicative service and gives more equity to the transit dependent.

  • murphstahoe

    Additionally, I’ve had the “pleasure” of riding El Camino from San Francisco to Palo Alto a couple of times, done with a group at 6 AM when traffic was light. There are a few spots in San Mateo County where there will be a bottleneck and SamTrans won’t be able to work around it. Burlingame/Hillsborough and Atherton primarily. 2 areas which won’t really care about that bus 🙂

  • aslevin

    SMC cities have been adding housing along El Camino per the Grand Boulevard Initiative, so there will be more new customers who start and end right there. Given the politics in SMC, I do not see a dedicated lane this go-round – rather, signal priority and limited stop, an express service more like the VTA 522.

  • murphstahoe

    Unless the new residents will also be working along El Camino, I don’t think the housing is going to change things. Discretionary trips are the last ones to switch from car to transit. At least with commutes, the less inclined to use transit can at least establish a routine of sorts.

  • jonobate

    I agree with Murph. Run a local Caltrain every 15 mins during the day and every 20 mins in the evening, use distance-based fares rather than zones so that people don’t get gouged for riding from Millbrae to San Bruno, and you’ve got a far superior ‘rapid’ service in the same corridor without any capital cost.

    BRT might make sense in Santa Clara/Sunnyvale/Mountain View as El Camino is further from the Caltrain line, but in the north you’d just be duplicating BART/Caltrain. One high-quality service is much better than two mediocre services running parallel to each other in the same corridor.

  • aslevin

    The bizarre thing is that SamTrans and Caltrain think of themselves as different services addressing a completely different customer base. Rich people use trains, poor people use buses. So the thought is that improving the bus service would help a completely different population. Rather than having the side effect of making the bus also complete better with driving. You see, vehicles with rubber tires appeal only to the poor, unless they are tall white vehicles in which case they serve the elite.

  • aslevin

    The question is whether residents in El Camino housing will be more likely to be carfee/carlite, and therefore more likely to use train for long distance commute and entertainment, AND use bus for shorter distance errands.

  • mikesonn

    Except it sucks to walk on ECR, not just because it is a 6 lane highway, but because it also is littered with parking lots and set back buildings. There is no “feel” to ECR, it is cars uber alles, and a BRT lane sadly won’t change that.

  • aslevin

    Yeah, the new standards are for wider sidewalks and buildings to the street with parking in back. It will take a long time to change. And the details matter, for example Mountain View is working on its plan for ECR now.

  • murphstahoe

    What do you believe the answer to that question is?

  • aslevin

    I think so, based on a few bits of evidence and demographic trends. The good news is that City of San Mateo is starting to gather data, and Mountain View is just starting to gather data, so we’ll see.

  • aslevin

    I strongly agree with you on fares. A way to get started is to offer discount Caltrain passes to the residential developments nearby (Caltrain has just opened GoPass for residents).

  • p_chazz

    Does Murph ever leave any other kind?

  • 94103er

    Yeah, I think I recall those sections you’re describing. So a bus-only lane wouldn’t even work there, would it.

    I dunno, maybe putting a bus-only lane down that whole stretch (if feasible) and calling it a day is a good pilot project–Peninsula drivers tend to be a bit more obedient from what I remember.

    I’ll never stop being frustrated at the reality that transit projects always get pitted against each other while Rome burns–that is, 101 turns to a parking lot, companies run more shuttles, hooligans start throwing rocks, etc etc.