Today’s Headlines

  • Muni to Launch E-Embarcadero Streetcar Service on August 1 (SF Examiner)
  • SFPD Park Station Plans to Educate Bicycle Riders for 20 Days, Then Crack Down (Hoodline)
  • SFMTA Ramps Up “Box-Blocking” Tickets in Rincon Hill in June; More on Muni Bus Proposals (Hoodline)
  • SFMTA Proposes Daylighting at 13 Intersections on Lombard Street in the Marina (SF Examiner)
  • More on Noe Valley’s 24th Street Bulb-Outs and Crosswalk Upgrades (SF Appeal)
  • Luxury Italian Car Dealer Will Not Open Showroom on Valencia Street (Modern Luxury)
  • Drivers Speed on Presidio Parkway (PBB); Bay Bridge Fires Likely Caused by Road Flares (ABC, CBS)
  • AC Transit to Buy Double Decker Buses for Transbay Routes (SFGate)
  • East Oakland Residents Paint “Fix Me” Next to Potholes (CBS)
  • Oakland Councilmember Kaplan: Coliseum Should Be Re-Developed to Maximize BART Use (SFGate)
  • UC Berkeley Bike Theft Down 45 Percent After Police Amp Up Efforts With Bait Bikes (NBC)
  • Sausalito Resident Wants “Tourism Impact Plan” Ballot Measure to Deal With Rental Bikes (MIJ)
  • Uber Fined $7.3 Million by CPUC for Failure to Report Data (48 Hills, CBS, KQED)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • From the first link:

    Though the launch is close, the “E dream” still is not fully realized. The last leg of the trip — chugging the trolley down to Fort Mason — is still in planning phases.

    That project recently cleared an environmental review process, Laubscher said…

    In this case “recently” means “three years ago.” It’s sad how little attention this project has gotteng, extending the E all the way to Fort Mason would be great.

  • jonobate

    I noticed that the E-line extension was listed as the lowest priority Transit Optimization & Expansion Program in SFMTA’s 20 Year Capital Plan, with a priority score of 8 out of 100:

    https://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/agendaitems/2015/7-15%20Draft%20FY2015-FY2034%20SFMTA%20Capital%20Plan.pdf

    To be honest, I’m okay with that. An E-line extension to Fort Mason would be a fun ride but it wouldn’t provide much benefit for SF residents trying to get around the city on a day-to-day basis. There are other projects that should be higher priority.

  • Justin

    SFPD beefing up efforts of strict enforcement towards bicyclists seems like a waste of police resources and time and it doesn’t fit the idea of achieving vision zero, especially that most traffic collisions and fatalities are at the fault of motorists. This police station’s priorities seems to be upside down in some ways

  • Prinzrob

    The CBS story on Oakland pavement is a little off the mark. East Oakland streets are indeed in bad condition, but no worse (and in some cases better) than the pavement everywhere else around the city. This 2013 pavement rating chart for Oakland streets shows poor conditions all over town: http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Map/PCI/index.htm

    The paving plan map they showed also doesn’t take into account any street work that will be done in East Oakland via other developments or funding sources, such as all of the work that will be done along International Blvd as part of the East Bay BRT project between Downtown and San Leandro.

  • Andy Chow

    On the other hand if things like project readiness is included, the E line extension may be more favorable. Other projects on top of the list are not environmentally cleared and does not have right of way secured. In the rate how projects progress it is not unusual for it to take another 10-15 years.

  • Andy Chow

    While AC Transit may want the double deck buses for transbay routes for now, and require drivers not to move the bus until the stairs are cleared, double deck buses are just as suitable for local service.

    In cities where they’re used for local service, riders are familiar with these buses enough to hold on, and not trying to go to upper level if they don’t have the physical strengths to do it.

    We also have plenty of double deck trains, so eventually we will get used to double deck buses.

  • mx

    I agree. Muni should be investing in basic operational needs, which from the priorities chart are projects like rail capacity strategies and Van Ness and Geary corridor projects. We’re talking about a system where it just took me 15 minutes on the J to get from the Duboce portal to Van Ness, a system where you have to let three trains go by at rush hour before you can find one with room. Fix that stuff before you begin to think about nice-to-have projects like the E-line extension.

  • Jimbo

    there are many many cyclsits that plow through stop signs causing accidents and putting others in danger. we should be very tough on this behavior

  • Jimbo

    agree, need a geary and van ness rail line now . the proposed BRT will not cut it. we should be thinking about transformative transportation. MUNI is a bunch of old beauracrats

  • More tough than we are on autos?

  • An E-line extension to Fort Mason would be a fun ride but it wouldn’t provide much benefit for SF residents trying to get around the city on a day-to-day basis.

    Just because something doesn’t directly benefit you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t benefit other riders or the city overall.

    The National Park Service has provided most of the funding for the extension study, so it hasn’t come at the expense of other projects. The NPS will likely put in for a large share of the construction costs, so even though the project might be low on the priority list, it might be much higher on the “doable” list because of park service and historic preservation funding that the SFMTA wouldn’t have access to for any other project.

  • Justin

    And I wonder how often do these accidents at stop sign intersection by bicyclists occur?

  • alberto rossi

    What’s baffling to me about that SFMTA chart is the highest rank goes to the 19th Avenue subway. I am a big fan of building more subways, but Muni Metro already has an exclusive right-of-way here. Is this just a give away to the developers of Park Merced?

  • jonobate

    It doesn’t directly benefit anyone, except the Fort Mason Visitor Center, who will get a chunk of extra visitors because of it. Even the nearby residents, who might conceivably use it, showed little support for the project; in true Marina fashion they complained that commuters from Marin might park in their neighborhood and ride the E-line to downtown.

    If the NPS or the city’s tourism office wants to pay for it then great, but don’t pretend it’s anywhere near the best use of transportation dollars. Spend the money on existing lines where actual riders have to deal with overcrowded and unreliable service.

  • Richard Mlynarik

    What need to ask?

    SFMTA, SFCTA and MTC exist solely for the welfare of contractors and staff, and never have and never will make any major capital expenditure which places riders’, residents’ and taxpayers’ anywhere other than dead last.

    The Central Subway is the highest and, effectively, sole “transit” SF priority of those criminals, after all. Or cast your eyes upon Doyle Drive, for that matter. Or the catastrophe that is the Transbay Terminal.

    A subway under 19th Avenue fits perfectly with all of the goals of the funding organizations, which means that it aligns perfectly with all of massive agency staff overheads; bloated and expensive perma-temp in-house consultant numbers; huge payouts to “outside” engineering consultancies; and out-of-control construction budgets. Ka-ching!

  • murphstahoe

    That has to be the dumbest Marin commuter ever. $6 for a toll, and $2.25 for a MUNI ride, when a Ferry ticket from Larkspur is $6.75, drops you off downtown, and doesn’t get stuck in traffic.

  • jonobate

    Well, quite. The argument made no sense whatsoever, it was a typical NIMBY response from wealthy Marinaites who just wanted the project out of their neighborhood.

  • There are many, many (most) drivers that plow through stop signs, speed down streets, and make reckless turns, causing accidents and putting others in danger. We should be very tough on this behavior.

    Automobile=3000lbs
    Bicycle=30lbs

    Bicycle ability to accelerate=1/100th of automobile ability to accelerate.

    Automobile danger=100 x bicycle danger

    This does not mean that bicyclists present zero danger to pedestrians. Far from it. But bicycle danger to pedestrians is two orders of magnitude less than automobile danger, and accident statistics bear this out.

    I realize many Americans, even most, have never been introduced to the concept of order of magnitude. I realize many Americans have no understanding that the mass of an object (as well as speed) enormously escalates the likelihood of fatality or injury in a collision.

    I blame the deplorable state of American education for the past fifty years that most Americans over thirty do not understand simple physics and hence are prone to state solemnly that bicyclists rolling through stop signs is worth even thirty seconds of attention by the busy San Francisco police department.

  • murphstahoe

    So dumb. Who wouldn’t want what is basically a private marinaite magic carpet to downtown.

  • alberto rossi

    Wouldn’t there be as much opportunity for graft in projects that actually made good transit sense?

  • There are a lot of motivations behind the 19th Avenue subway. One is traffic, and even though the M-Ocean View has an exclusive right of way, it creates traffic jams pulling in and out of the the median. It’s already an issue, but doubling M-line service to every 4-5 minutes along with increasing traffic from new development is just going to make things worse.

    St. Francis Circle is another problem, where the K and M meeting and competing with traffic at a five-way intersection. Moving the trains underground smooths that out and improves safety for pedestrians who’ll be able to cross under the intersections to reach the trains or just avoid traffic on the surface.

    Finances are only a piece of that charge, but often these priority lists are effected by available funding: Parkmerced has been paying for a lot of the study and will be paying for their section of the subway. SF State has access to funding specific to improving transit access to schools. Stonestown is likewise contributing both land and funding for the project. CalTrans also has a piece of this (and another upside is the space opened up by removing the median trackway makes room for physically
    separated cycle tracks)

  • You’re making it sound as though all “transportation dollars” are the same and can be directed anywhere.

    The Fort Mason extension has gotten as far as it has because the NPS put up “Fort Mason dollars” to complete the environmental study.

    The Market Street Railway is doing the advocacy and drumming up the “Fort Mason dollars” so the SFMTA can spend its time and effort elsewhere.

    The F-line is heavily ridden, exist line with hcrowding and reliability issues. That’s why the E-line made the first round of Muni Forward projects. Besides service Fort Mason there’s a lot of operation up sides that come along with it like extra turnbacks, a storage track, additional stops that better serve Fisherman’s Wharf and alleviate the crowding at Jones.

    At some point the MSR, NPS, Wharves merchants, and other interested parties will probably raise enough that it becomes a good use of general transportation to match the project-specific funds and make it happen. Until then, I think the SFMTA rightly has it at the bottom of the priority list,

  • jonobate

    If you also think that the SFMTA rightly has the E-line extension at the bottom of their priority list, what exactly are we arguing about?

    By “transportation dollars” I mean funding sources such as last year’s Prop A, which is specifically earmarked for transportation improvements. I’m not saying the E-line extension is a bad project, it’s just not a high priority for those funding sources.

    I totally support the E-line service launching next month. Adding service to existing trackage has much greater short-term benefits than building an extension.

  • Andy Chow

    This isn’t going to fix St. Francis circle or West Portal Ave. Original BART bond included putting the rail line on West Portal Ave into a subway. Because of the large cost overrun of BART, as well as opposition from the businesses, that subway was abandoned. I don’t see how to put this line into a subway that doesn’t require street closure, service interruption, or anything that neighbors and businesses cannot accept.

  • alberto rossi

    I read the final report: http://www.sfcta.org/sites/default/files/content/Planning/19thAvenue/19thAve_final_report.pdf

    Park Merced is only paying for the surface extension in their development. The surface extension creates new problems that the subway then tries to fix, namely have to cross southbound traffic on 19th ave and longer run times associated with this and the longer route. Maybe the $70 million free money for the Park Merced extension isn’t such a great bargain if it creates problems that need $500 million to fix.

    The language in the report is vague and confusing, but it doesn’t sound like Stonestown has actually committed any funding. San Francisco State has committed a whopping $1.8 million.

    As Andy already noted, the subway starts south of St. Francis, so won’t help there or in West Portal.

  • jonobate

    If you read the report, you’ll see that availability of funds for construction was not a factor in determining project priority. If it was, the E-line extension would be much higher, and Geary LRT would be much lower.