Today’s Headlines

  • Today at Noon: Join Safe Streets Advocates at City Hall in a Rally for Vision Zero (SF Examiner)
  • Mayor Lee Ignores Benefits of Sunday Meters in “State of the City” Address (Exam, SFBG, Weekly)
  • Lyft Driver Hospitalizes Elderly Woman in Crosswalk at Larkin and Jackson (NBC, ABCKTVU)
  • Chronicle Columnist Fields Streetsblog’s Thoughts on Ped Safety; From Last Week: SFBG‘s Overview
  • More From the Hearing on SFPD’s Efforts to Make Streets Safer for Walking and Biking (SF Appeal)
  • SF Weekly Bike Columnist: Elevated Bikeways, Pedestrian Airbags Could Move Us Toward Vision Zero
  • “Pissed Off Voters”: SFMTA Must Up Tech Shuttle Fees (Exam); Google Issues Talking Points (SFBG)
  • Blogger Displeased With SFPD’s Slow Response to Report of Bike Theft, Chop Shop (SFist, ABC)
  • Hearing on Golden Gate Bridge Toll Hike to Be Held Today at 5 P.M. (Marin IJ)
  • Peninsula Transpo Alternatives: SJ Diridon Station Plans Don’t Take Full Advantage of Location
  • 14-Year-Old Girl on Bike Killed by VTA Train at Southwest Expressway in San Jose (Mercury News)
  • One Injured, One Killed by Caltrain at Santa Clara Station (San Mateo Patch)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • jd_x

    Elevated bikeways? Seriously? Who is talking about this crap? Didn’t we learn enough from the mistakes of elevated freeways? Come on: livable cities need all people on the street level interacting. Plus, it’s way cheaper and much more desirable than this aerial crap. Why does our society pick the most complicated and inefficient ways to do things? We need more people bicycling … so let’s build … no, not bike lanes on the street … but aerial bikeways! Wow, the ability of such people to understand what is truly integral to livable streets is what is zero.

  • aslevin

    I really do not get the complaint about the talking points. Everyone who does advocacy, who is encouraging people who may be giving public comment for the first time provides a list of tips and and outline to fill in with their own words, ie. talking points.

    One of the complaints of the Google bus protestors was that tech workers don’t participate in local culture and civic activities. The talking points encourages people to say in their own words why they like San Francisco and how they participate in local volunteer and civic activities – encouraging people who are involved to say so, and implicitly encouraging people who might not be involved to get involved. This is a good thing.

    Now that Google will be paying for the spots and participating with rules, the valid complaint is gone. Want to negotiate for higher fees, that’s fine…

    Having local tech workers advocate for more housing in Peninsula / South Bay communities to avoid the commute would be fine also. Organizing tech workers to participate in local land decisions would also involve dreaded talking points.

    It’s not about the talking points – it’s just scapegoating for problems the people complaining don’t want to own, like housing.

  • coolbabybookworm

    I didn’t bother clicking on the link yet, but I believe there are times for thinking about totally different ways of building places. UC Santa Cruz for example has huge, beautiful bridges connecting parts of the campus between hills. I’m not saying that’s what we need, but it’s worth thinking about sometimes, though not in place of on the ground advocacy.

  • coolbabybookworm

    The talking points that you mention are good examples of good talking points, but I don’t think the problems people have are with talking points, per se, but the overall tone of the email. It was very heavy handed and at least one point, telling SFMTA that without the buses you would drive, clashes with survey data that has been gathered as a way of continuing the greenwashing of the buses.

  • aslevin

    I can see that, and yet, one of the valid concerns has been wanting to see the tech companies get more involved in solving local and regional transportation and housing issues. Constructive comment on how to participate in a helpful way is ok. But I’m mostly hearing scapegoating and NIMBYism instead.

    The whole region has been underbuilding in transit-accessible places. As more Googlers want to live in Mountain View, that is bidding up rents and leading to evictions in Mountain View’s lower-income neighborhoods as well. As more people want to live near Facebook, that could drive displacement in East Palo Alto, East Menlo Park, North Fair Oaks, Redwood City, etc.

    San Franciscans wanting other to also add housing is fine. San Franciscans wanting others to only build housing is hypocritical unless SF wants to give up all the revenue from companies whose workers commute into SF.

    Does anyone have the link to the survey about what employees would be doing without the google bus – I’m not finding it and would like to look at the numbers.

  • Prinzrob

    Yeah, it’s sad to apply that highway mentality of “move as many people as fast as possible with little thought put toward the places they are actually going” to bicycle infrastructure. It also kind of surrenders to the notion that cars are simply an inherent danger that we can’t do anything about besides grade separation. Bridges over barriers such as highways, train tracks, or waterways are one thing, but when built over normal city streets they are an admission of failure for basic accommodation of vulnerable road users.

    On the other hand, propose enough expensive, pie-in-the-sky ideas like these and run-of-the-mill cycletracks and protected bike infrastructure starts looking pretty appealing.

  • murphstahoe

    Here’s my talking point. Our rent was raised to eviction level in SF and we were considering moving to the South Bay. The rents anywhere livable in the South Bay were *MORE* expensive than places we wanted to live in San Francisco. Maybe it’s the techies being displaced from the peninsula, not the other way around.

    Now, we could have moved more cheaply to someplace up in the hills of San Carlos where I would have busted my knees trying to bike home and forget about walking to get a gallon of milk. But I could have also moved to the Excelsior – lost in this whole hullaballoo is that there are plenty of zipcodes in San Francisco that are still affordable and while not central to the hot spots, are quite livable and safe.

  • coolbabybookworm

    Here’s the actual study: http://www.danielledai.com/academic/dai-weinzimmer-shuttles.pdf

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

    Generally I agree with you, it’s not fair or good policy for the peninsula to not build housing but to allow businesses with tens of thousands of employees to find a way to get to work and it’s not fair for SF to do that either. I think it would be great if the buses were not just a stop gap measure, and some real investment on the part of area companies in the region’s public transit were made, rather than just private transit.

    One thing that I think is missing from housing discussions is all of the empty brownfield plots and large landowners who are sitting on empty, rotten, underused buildings or plots.

  • aslevin

    One fact that hasn’t gotten much attention is that Mountain View and other Peninsula/South Bay communities *are* starting to engage local employers in funding to support better use of public transit, last-mile connections, etc. http://peninsulatransportation.org/google-buses-and-the-gap-in-the-public-transit-market/

  • coolbabybookworm

    Good to hear, but with Caltrain and the transbay tunnel reaching capacity though, we’re going to need a lot more investment (as a region) in our transit backbones. Hopefully the transbay center will help solve some of these last mile problems for SF in particular, but that’s presuming a lot…

  • aslevin

    Yeah. The Mayor’s Task Force report has only $4M going to the Transbay project from the city over the next 10 years. Caltrain would get 50% again as much speed from level boarding as from electrification, which will involve changing platforms, which isn’t free. Having cities manage their own commute numbers through Transportation Management Associations is just a first start, but will help them understand the benefits of investments at solving local problems.

  • But everyone loves the elevated walkways over Cesar Chavez, 280, & 101 around Potrero/Potrero Hill.

    I assumed the whole thing was a joke: pedestrians with airbags.

  • aslevin