Today’s Headlines

  • Mayor Lee Says He’ll Push for Second Transbay BART Tube (SF Examiner)
  • Protesters Plan to Jam BART at Montgomery Station This Morning (ABC); Spoons to Play a Role (KTVU)
  • Funds Lacking for Panhandle Path Renovation (Hoodline)
  • Caltrain Delayed After Hitting Unoccupied Car on Tracks in Burlingame (SFGate)
  • San Mateo Planning Commission Approves 599-Unit Development at Hayward Park Caltrain (SM Daily)
  • Berkeley Man on Bike Seriously Injured By Hit-and-Run Driver at University and McGee (Berkeleyside)
  • Marin County Considers Funding a Car-Share Program in San Rafael’s Canal Neighborhood (Marin IJ)
  • Antioch Widow Sues CHP for Letting DUI Driver Go Before Causing Crash That Killed Husband (SFGate)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • BBnet3000

    Protesting for disruption rather than disability is definitely not a contributor to a cause.

  • Andy Chow

    I think the 2nd BART tube should connect with the existing line on Mission Street. Trains from the new tube turn north from SOMA and serve the 4 downtown stops. Some trains from the old tube turn to the new line south of Civic Center and return to the East Bay:


  • SFnative74

    “Though a potential new tube may be ’30 to 50 years off,’ Ellen Smith, BART’s acting manager for strategic and policy planning, told The Examiner…” 30-50 years off, for something nearly everyone thinks is a good idea and for something we actually need now. I think Ellen Smith is smart for managing expectations, but a timeline like that for a project of this importance is pretty sad.

  • Mario Tanev

    30 to 50 years off means it’s not a priority. HSR is a massive undertaking but there’s no “30 to 50 years” off. It gets started and funding is gradually obtained. There needs to be a conceptual design and an EIR happening now, with funds obtained over time.

  • How’s about that 2nd tube makes a quick stop at Treasure Island?

    All we’d have to do is move the island. Seems doable within that timeframe.

  • Andy Chow

    It is not unrealistic since the whole 3rd Street LRT corridor took 20+ years from concept to reality. This also applies to other BART projects in the past. Caltrain electrification and DTX still has a way to go since the concept was proposed and studies began in the early 1980s.

  • Mario Tanev

    Yet Geary BART was proposed 50 years ago and it’s still 50 years away. Zero studies means not serious at all. Once the first study is done (i.e. we’re willing to shed a few million $ for it), then perhaps we can take it a bit more seriously.

  • Andy Chow

    But sometimes for these marquee projects to get to the EIR and engineering study stage, there needs to be funding identified. SFMTA can probably do a feasibility study, but before the concept going beyond that study, part of the funding needs to be secured (such as voter approval of new taxes).

  • FDW

    I have different priorities. This project could also enable a Caltrain/HSR extension to the East Bay, something that I would think to be a good idea. Thus, my ideal tube would resemble yours in the East Bay (with some alterations to the wye), but would touch down at the foot of Howard Street in San Francisco to serve the new Transbay Terminal directly. It would then cut west via either 3rd St or New Montgomery to go out Geary. (because Geary should be the single top priority with this project)

  • IHeartPandas

    Instead of a second Transbay tube that costs billions and is 30-50 years off, why can’t we:

    1. Create bus-only lanes in both directions on the bridge?
    2. Extend said bus-only lanes to the on ramps and streets leading to/from the the bridge
    3. Implement London-style congestion pricing to fund BRT from SF to the East Bay and expanding BART service.
    4. Commit to getting this done in 2-3 years instead of 30-50?

  • FDW

    I would support that as an interim solution, but not as a substitute for the Second Tube itself. (and you’ll probably end up spending in the 10 digits anyways)

  • Andy Chow

    As explained in the my blog post, the alignment to Geary cannot be phased, and there’s no tie in with the existing BART network (i.e. no yard access). The project would be too expensive.

    If we have laws like the People’s Republic of China and pays construction workers like they do in China, may be we can have a long single corridor going across the Bay, down Geary, and down 19th Avenue. But if we have to pick one, we should pick one that works right away without itself requiring further extension to work (but can be extended if money is there)

  • FDW

    Without Geary, the Tube project itself is pointless IMO. A Geary Subway could potentially have a non-revenue connection to the Mainline between the Montgomery and Powell stations. (Or we could just suck it up and build the entire segment from Colma to the Transbay Terminal all at once) And Sunset Blvd is better than 19th Ave IMO for a North-South BART line on the West Side, due to a better potential walksheds and a less awkward crossing of the Park.

  • Andy Chow

    Why would it be pointless? Geary and the 2nd tube serves two different travel markets. Either one can be done without the other.

  • FDW

    Because we really don’t absolutely need a second Tube right now. We can enhance signaling and order more spacious BART trains to squeeze more capacity out of what exists and we can also jack up Transbay Bus and Ferry service, making the former more reliable with dedicated lanes, and get as much in the way of new ridership as we would from the Second Tube itself without Geary BART or Caltrain/HSR.

    Geary on the other hand has been screaming out for actual Rapid Transit for the last 70 years now, and it’s cost and construction issues are ultimately small potatoes in the face of the incredible benefits this project will most certainly have. Geary first, then the Second Tube.

  • Andy Chow

    If they had actually screaming for it they wouldn’t have removed the streetcar on Geary. They quickly accepted the concept of BART to Geary as an excuse to remove the streetcar for an auto only expressway.

    Most intra SF rail extension (except Caltrain DTX) can be fulfilled by Muni technology. If the price is right (probably still lower than BART), Muni can behave just like BART running underground.

    The two major problem with rail on Geary is lack of political support (which is partly shown by the willingness to up-dense the area around the stations, and how they react to projects like the BRT), and lack of good alignment and track connection in Downtown. I think the idea of BART running up 3rd and turn to Geary is going to be problematic given the Central Subway on 4th Street. There may be a feasible track alignment but without room for a station it isn’t going to work. This applies to both BART and Muni. I think the most feasible Geary alignment is to go up to Hayes Valley, have a stop near Van Ness, and then turn west to Geary.

  • FDW

    The concept of BART was already around and well developed before they got rid of the streetcars on Geary. In fact, Streetcars were removed under the likely assumption at the time that a Grade-separated replacement was 10-15 years around the corner at the time.

    My understanding is that there is room for a Downtown alignment, including stations, but that it would have to be either very shallow (better for a Third/Geary alignment between Transbay and Japantown), or a very deep one (better for New Montgomery/Post in the same area). Either option would mean a station box South of Market St connecting to Montgomery St Station. Crossing the Central Subway at Stockton won’t be all that hard on Geary, but probably more complicated on Post, and either option will likely mean tearing up Union Square again. We can deal with the relative narrowness of Geary and Post by having the tunnels be in an under/over Shotgun pattern, rather than side by side (some of these concepts are things I’m lifting directly from the earlier proposals for the Central Subway).

    Now, the thing about up-densing is that the Richmond District is already dense by most standards, and the line would actually work out fine without much in the way of upzones (though I would still call for them).

    And getting to the prospect of ideal technology, Light Rail on Geary still has the same issues in terms of Yard Space and Grade Separation costs that Heavy Rail would. And frankly, BART’s current arrangement as a commuter subway is a tremendous waste of resources and potential, and any other Transbay alignment would likely disappoint compared to Geary. Geary BART would be a huge step towards having BART be more like the metro it really should be.

  • BART is studying a lot more than just the two potential routes through SF mentioned in the article.

    There’s a matter of where that’s going to connect into the existing system in the East Bay. It will be a more complicated project if it means adding a fourth bore to the Broadway Subway. It likely will require a new maintenance facility for the new trains, which adds more perquisites.

  • FDW

    And if you throw in the potential for Caltrain and HSR also crossing the Bay, then this project gets even more complicated.

  • murphstahoe

    Maybe they know that in 50 years, the second tube will be “the bay bridge”. $aving$!