Today’s Headlines

  • SFMTA Chair on Board With Ending Sunday Parking Meters, SFMTA Open to It (SF Appeal, KTVU)
  • SFBG: Mayor Lee is Pandering to Motorists With a Regressive Move That Undermines Muni
  • More on Lee’s Ped Safety Press Release (Exam); Walk SF, SFBC: Where’s the Mayor’s Vision? (Exam)
  • SFPD Chief Suhr Acknowledges Drivers at Fault in Most Ped Crashes, “Cars Are Most Lethal” (CBS)
  • SFPD Traffic Company Commander Ali Blames 3 of 4 Cyclists Killed Last Year. What? (SFGate)
  • Athlete Meredith Kessler Appears in Court for Felony Ped Hit-and-Run Charges in South Beach (CBS)
  • Once Again, Stanley Roberts Wags His Finger at “Distracted” and “Jaywalking” Pedestrians
  • Sup. Wiener: 1050 Valencia Debacle a Prime Example of SF’s Broken System of Housing Approvals
  • Study Says 30 Percent of Tech Shuttle Riders Wouldn’t Live in SF Without Them (SFBG)
  • SF Chronicle Reviews Major Transpo Projects, Completed and Ongoing
  • New Santa Clara 49ers Stadium to Get 10,000 More Existing Parking Spaces (Mercury News)
  • Major Development Plans Around Millbrae BART/Caltrain Move Forward (SM Daily Journal)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Prinzrob

    Re. the SFGate article on 2013 cyclist deaths in SF, I remember clearly at least two of them in which the person on the bike was determined not to be primarily at fault. Aaron, can you provide the correct total number of fatalities for 2013 and the actual breakdown of how the PD finally assigned fault?

    Beyond this, I’m tired of media reporting fault/no fault as if it is a black and white determination. In most cases even when a cyclist or pedestrian is found primarily at fault there is still some level of negligence found on the part of the driver without which the collision could have also been prevented or mitigated.

  • Upright Biker

    When bicyclists and pedestrians are forced to navigate infrastructure designed almost exclusively for motor vehicles, how can we ever say it is “their fault” except in the most extreme cases where people run or ride into oncoming traffic?

    Whatever happened to the public right of way? It was handed over to multi-ton machines, that’s what.

  • Prinzrob

    I totally agree, especially considering that the bicyclists or pedestrians involved in the crash are usually unable to speak for themselves. Unfortunately the ones responsible for determining fault on site are often police officers with very little practical experience navigating the city by bike or on foot themselves. This could easily be changed via incentives for officers to commute by transit/bike/foot along with required vulnerable road user sensitivity training. A clear directive for the mayor’s office could have a significant impact as well.

    One of the interesting lessons from the open streets events movement is that non-motorized traffic can manage just fine without intersection controls, right of way assignments, and so on. It just proves that all of the crazy traffic infrastructure we deal with is 100% designed to manage cars, and the rest of us are just living in their dangerous, overbuilt world.

  • JeffreyY

    Can someone find the study about the 30% of tech shuttle riders? Previous articles have said things like “30% of shuttle riders wouldn’t drive to work”, but that’s different from moving out of SF. The BG’s reporter didn’t include it.

  • david vartanoff

    Shuttles/techie buses exist because the employer or business (whether UCSF or Google)sees that public transit is not either fast or reliable enough for their needs. As to whining about the techie influx, perhaps someone should dredge up the whines from older SF residents when WWII production drew thousands of new workers into town. And I would ask why people are angry that someone with enough salary to afford the suburban wastelands chooses urban culture.

  • coolbabybookworm

    Here’s a post about it: http://svenworld.com/2014/01/15/the-google-shuttle-effect-on-san-francisco/

    At the top is a link to the berkeley summary and full study.

  • Jamison Wieser

    Are the businesses that saw an uptick when Sunday enforcement started on board with loosing that revenue? It hurt everyone to have drivers parking in front of businesses and preventing any turnover by leaving their cars for the day.

    This isn’t just a matter of loosing $6 million for Muni, it makes it transit less appealing. The traffic slows down service only making the matter worse for the riders who are delayed and costs more to run Muni, because the longer the trip, the more people are onboard at any given moment, the more busses/trains are needed to handle the added load, which in turn creates more traffic from added busses pulling in and out of st… you get the idea.

    It punishes drivers who didn’t get there early enough to get a sport for the day.

    It hurts merchants’ bottom line which comes back to everyone in lower sales tax revenue, and you see how that goes as well.

    Many people forget very quickly how much they have enjoyed and benefitted from changes they protested beforehand. This excerpt comes from a KPIX story right after sunday enforcement went into effect:

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/01/23/sf-to-start-issuing-real-tickets-for-expired-parking-meters-sunday/

    “The [SF]MTA cited increased turnover in business areas as the main benefit of Sunday meters.

    Store owners seem to agree. Alissa Anderson said Sunday meters have improved foot traffic at Foggy Notion, the boutique she opened last year just off Clement Street.

    ‘The first Sunday it happened, I noticed turnover immediately,’ she said. ‘Before there was someone that lived nearby that just parked their car there all day long because they could.'”

  • shamelessly

    I read the report linked at that URL, but as far as I can tell it doesn’t address the question of how employees would get to work if there weren’t shuttles. The study mainly quantifies the increase in rental housing prices around stops for the Google shuttle.
    Any other leads? I’m interested in reading the source material on this as well.

  • Bing Wu

    Unbelievable. Either Mayor Lee is off his rocker or, more likely, a calculated political move to shore up support. The results are going to be tragic for transportation policy in this city. Sunday metering has been a huge success, particularly for drivers. It’s now possible to find parking in most metered areas so if you wanted to go shopping, have lunch, enjoy local SF businesses, you could, as long as you were willing to pay ~$2 an hour. The problem is that once Sunday metering is gone, parking will be difficult to come by at ANY price in some areas, because residents and visitors will park their cars from 6pm Saturday thru 9am Monday morning on prime commercial streets. That’s horrible for business. Where are those Polk St merchants who are so concerned about loss of parking? The loss of Sunday metering is the loss of available parking for business on one of the busiest shopping days of the week!

  • I think that’s the only argument that could get Mayor Lee’s attention. I don’t drive that much, but when I do I’ve definitely benefited from Sunday metering by being able to quickly find a spot next to a commercial destination in the Mission or elsewhere.

  • mikesonn

    Shuttles exist because of suburban office parks having traffic impact fees. Plain and simple. The protests need to be in the south bay, not in the city.

  • aslevin

    I don’t think anyone here is in favor of more driving, safety hazards, and pollution. People driving from SF is surely worse. The Bay Area, San Francisco and Silicon Valley have underbuilt housing for decades, and promoted “drive til you qualify” sprawl. Time for everyone to stop pointing fingers and support transit-accessible housing where you vote.

  • murphstahoe

    Studies like that tend to be incomplete.

    I know hundreds of people who take the shuttles. Not a single one would say they would move if there were no shuttles. But that’s easy to say until the rubber leaves the road. Some would eventually give up and move, but that’s easier said than done. We considered a move to the South Bay and simply could not find suitable housing. It’s all expensive, but anything in walkable distance of a gallon of milk is prohibitively so. Forget about it if you want to live near a train station.

    A lot of them say “I guess I’d have to suck it up and take Caltrain”. But Caltrain has no room. My best guess – if the shuttles were outlawed we’d see a huge jump in telecommuting, and a LOT of driving.

  • Sprague

    If the mayor is successful in his plan, it will be so very difficult to ever reinstate Sunday metering. Great consensus building and compromise was expended in order to get to where we are now; how foolish it is to consider squandering this.

  • JeffreyY

    I mailed the project manager who got quoted, and she sent back http://www.danielledai.com/academic/dai-weinzimmer-shuttles.pdf and corrected it to “40% would move” based on page 12.

  • shamelessly

    FWIW, I just found a link to the “40% would move” study:
    http://www.danielledai.com/academic/dai-weinzimmer-shuttles.pdf

  • murphstahoe

    I’m going to read this study but I question its rigor. It’s a lot different to ask someone “What would you do if the shuttles shut down” and actually shutting down the shuttles. When we lost our place in SF and decided to move closer to work, it turned out that moving closer to work was actually pretty difficult.

    Take the shuttles away and some Google employee living in a rent controlled San Francisco apartment says “screw this, I’m moving to Palo Alto” and finds out similar living arrangements are 2-3x the cost will begin to rethink their options.

    Moving is difficult. Driving to work is not.

  • jd_x

    I think many more people would move back to the South Bay than they say they do. However, I think it would take a few years. As a Caltrain commuter myself for many years, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met over the years who get sick of the commute and cave either by getting a job in the city or moving down south. I really think the shuttles essentially have induced demand.

    Also, I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that rent and housing prices exploded in the city at the same time the shuttles started taking off. I firmly believe they enable people to live in SF and work down south who otherwise wouldn’t buy into that arrangement.

  • murphstahoe

    The shuttles took off because the companies took off. The companies taking off produced more jobs, therefore more population.