Today’s Headlines

  • Safer Polk Street Advocates, Parking Defenders Spar at SFMTA Hearing (ABC, SF Examiner)
  • Chronicle‘s Nevius Cites Study to Argue Ped Countdown Signals Are Dangerous, Ignores Other Studies
  • Anti-Terrorism Funds Boost Muni Fare Enforcement (Exam); Muni/Car Crash at 16th & Mission (SFBay)
  • Muni Service Increases (SFBay); Debate Continues Over Transit-Priority Signals on Haight (Hoodline)
  • D3 Sup. Christensen: Central Subway Extension a “Savior”; “Better Transit Shouldn’t Be Controversial”
  • “SFBARF” Group Wants to See High Rises on City College Reservoir Near Balboa Park BART (Weekly)
  • Survey: BART Rider Satisfaction at 16-Yr Low (KTVU, ABC); More on Second Transbay Tube (SFGate)
  • School Parents Park on New Oakland Bike Lane (GJEL); More on Richmond-SR Bridge Bike Path (SFG)
  • South SF Steps Up Traffic Enforcement (SM Daily); Caltrain Commuter Coalition Calls for Support (Chron)
  • Apparently Drunk Driver Hits Five Peninsula Cyclists on Mendocino County Road (Press Democrat)
  • Marin County Planners Look at Ways to Make Highway Interchange Safer for Walking, Biking (Marin IJ)
  • Three Killed in Solo Car Crash on Highway 101 in San Jose (ABC)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Mario Tanev

    Anyone have a details about the service increases? How does frequency change for the 14 Mission, 24 Divisadero and 33 Stanyan?

    Here is something I could find, but it doesn’t have many details about the service increases:
    http://www.sfmta.com/news/project-updates/january-31-2015-muni-forward-service-changes

  • Prinzrob

    Re. the Nevius article. Couldn’t the same argument be used to get rid of yellow traffic signal lights, or ban drivers already in the middle of the intersection from finishing a left turn on red? We have a weird double standard when it comes to what is considered okay for drivers to do versus what anyone else on the street does.

    Beyond that, our pedestrian signal laws are pretty draconian, as the typical phase is the equivalent of a few second long green light (white walk signal), then a 15-20 second long yellow (red countdown signal). This makes very little sense, especially considering that pedestrians can move at very different speeds from one another. A better concept would be to get rid of the white walk signal altogether, and only have a “don’t walk” phase and then a countdown phase, showing however many seconds are being given to cross. This way people could decide for themselves if they have enough time to make it across, based on their individual speed, as opposed to making everyone obey a signal timed to accommodate the slowest users.

  • murphstahoe

    From the PD.

    “The accident was reported at 5:10 p.m. on Old River Road about 6 miles
    south of Talmage, according to the California Highway Patrol. The road
    is popular with bicyclists, drawn to its scenic views. It’s also
    dangerous, Franklin said.”

    Old River Road near Talmage is popular with cyclists because it is next to unused. I rode it in 2004 with my wife – we were behind schedule due to fatigue and a flat tire, we rode the last 3 miles in fading twilght to near darkness with only one blinkie. I was a little concerned about potholes, but we saw no motor vehicles. The road is not dangerous.

    I find it very odd that the Hopland Fire Captain mentions that the road is dangerous – and never mentions that drunk driving is dangerous. It would not surprise me however, if he made such a comment and the Press Democrat omitted it.

    “Bicyclists from across the United States flock to the scenic North
    Coast, where collisions on narrow backcountry roads are not uncommon,
    according to a 2014 Press Democrat analysis of CHP data.”cir

    I find it interesting that the Press Democrat used their time and money to study cycling collisions in the North Coast – where is the study on drunk driving collisions? And what metric do they use to determine “not uncommon”?

    “In 2013, Brown signed a controversial law requiring motorists to give 3
    feet of clearance when passing a bicyclist, something proponents said
    would help remove ambiguity over what is considered a safe distance.”

    How does the Press Democrat determine that the law is “controversial”?

  • Sprague

    Excellent points and great suggestion. The current laws regarding pedestrian crosswalk signals are extremely car-centric. With a renewed focus on pedestrian safety/Vision Zero, I imagine that a fair number of pedestrians have been busted for entering the crosswalk with ample time to cross but after the red hand has begun flashing. The letter of the law should change, especially since it’s common practice for people to enter the crosswalk after the red hand has begun flashing but still make it across before the countdown is over (ie. joggers and many others).

  • Elias Zamaria

    I have actually seen something like your idea at many intersections in Washington DC. The countdown timer becomes visible as soon as the walk light turns on. I haven’t seen this anywhere else. I wish they had it here in SF.

  • Sprague

    Mario, the little bit I noticed weren’t service increases (but presumably minor schedule adjustments) – at http://transit.511.org/schedules/ where at least some new schedules (effective 2/2/15) are posted.

  • CamBam415

    More on increased Larkspur service:
    http://www.marinij.com/marinnews/ci_27430200/new-larkspur-ferry-run-starts-monday-ease-passenger

    It is great that GGF is adding service (and using a current boat for another run makes sense), but I would love to see more service between the peak hours (7-8am and 5-6:30p). I know it comes with many challenges, but hopefully this test is a step in the right direction.

    PS – Adding high speed and more frequent service in Sausalito might pull some people off the Larkspur boat, opening up seats to new Larkspur riders. I know I would gladly switch to the Sausalito ferry if there was more frequent & faster service (or even if Tiburon added frequency, tho that isn’t a GGF operation).

  • gneiss

    It does not surprise me that a Fire Chief would say this. We bend over backwards to protect drivers, even drunk ones, from every tree, sharp curve, and narrow lane that it has become “common knowledge” among safety professionals that any road which has not be subjected to these “improvements” is dangerous. In all likelihood, the Fire Department has probably been advocating to the County that Old River Road needs to be “improved” so as to reduce response times, forgetting that making the roadway safer will allow increased vehicle speeds that would make crashes even more tragic when they happen along this roadway.

  • Gezellig

    Speaking of dangerous/underdesigned bike routes crossing 101 in Marin, another one I encounter frequently is here:

    https://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/1655/6396/original.jpg

    http://goo.gl/maps/D76Gj

    –> Amazingly, the Donahue St underpass is the only entrance/exit road to all of Marin City.

    –> Marin City is an important bus hub for GGT buses, and also is quite close (as the crow flies) to the heavily traveled north-south Sausalito-Mill Valley bikeway.

    –> However, there is no bike facility in or around the underpass to get from Marin City to the north-south bikeway. This either forces a:

    1) daredevil vehicular bike ride through a narrow, twisting underpass (pictured above) with little visibility to cars fast approaching behind (few people choose this option).

    or

    2) riding on the protected sidewalk (more people choose this option).

    –> Donahue west of the underpass has 3 car travel lanes in each direction, yet even during commute hours it is relatively sparsely traveled by cars. 2+2 car travel lanes + protected cycletrack would see no loss in car LOS.

    –> As a community with on-average lower socioeconomic status Marin City has a disproportionate number of utilitarian bike/pedestrian as well as transit usage, yet its lack of connecting infrastructure isolates it from great active transport infrastructure nearby.

    –> In addition, Marin City has comparatively high rates of POC residents who know they’re more likely to be harassed by police for biking on the sidewalk:

    http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/communities-of-color-bear-the-brunt-of-sidewalk-biking-enforcement

    Yet if you’re brave enough to bike vehicularly there you get harassed by drivers! (and still get weird looks from cops).

  • Gezellig

    Yeah, it’s funny that SF~Larkspur is 30-35 minutes due to the high-speed ferry while the much shorter SF~Sausalito trip is 25-30 minutes!

    In addition, there are some odd time gaps in the Sausalito ferry schedule that make it difficult for some people’s work schedules.

  • CamBam415

    Exactly! Those time gaps drive me nuts. My preference is to NOT take the Larkspur ferry because it is so crowded (and sells out regularly), but with the frequency & schedule it is really the only option that works.

  • CamBam415

    Yeah, the accident and the comments are sad. What is most disheartening is the comment thread following the article. You’d think the cyclists were at fault based on the small-minded comments posted on the PD.

  • hp2ena

    Mario, just an FYI, the service adjustments on the 14 are probably resulting from recent retirement of 28 New Flyer 60′ articulated trolleybuses, of which they’ve been making up for by pulling articulated trolleybuses off the 41 line and running more shorter buses. The problem is, unlike the shorter buses, the retired buses actually had machines that allowed for signal pre-emption.