Today’s Headlines

  • Lawmakers Consider Raising Bay Bridge Tolls, But Uncertain Where Money Would Go (CBS)
  • New BART Cars to Include Three Doors, Testing Begins December (CBS, ABC, SF Gate)
  • MTC and ABAG Vote Unanimously to Analyze Potential Merger (Biz Times, The Daily Journal)
  • DUI Driver in Fairfield Hits and Kills Pedestrian in Crosswalk (SF Gate)
  • New Housing Planned for Laurel Heights Site With More Than 500 Parking Spaces (Biz Times)
  • SoMa Parking Garage on Townsend to Become New Hotel (Biz Times)
  • Caltrain to Hold Public Hearing Nov. 5 on Increasing Station Parking Fees (Palo Alto Online)
  • Caltrain to Replace 100-Year-Old Tilton Ave Bridge; Street Closures Planned Nov. 6-9 (The Daily Journal)
  • Peninsula City Councils Oppose Dedicating Two of Six El Camino Real Lanes to BRT (Palo Alto Online)
  • CA Bullet Train Timetable and Budget Still Uncertain (Contra Costa Times)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Good article on how pedestrians and bicyclists subsidize car drivers.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/driving-true-costs/412237/

  • 94110

    Regarding “Laurel Heights Site With More Than 500 Parking Spaces”, is that a count of the number of spaces on the site currently? The article does not mention parking.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    Raising the bridge toll makes a lot of sense, but they also need to extend carpool hours and stripe the carpool lane down I-580, probably all the way back to Tracy. The existing carpool hours (and pricing) seem to be based on a fantasy where congestion ends at 10AM, which is plainly incorrect.

  • HuckieCA

    I disagree that raising the bridge toll makes sense. It’s basically a tax on only about 1/3 of the commuters and might raise a paltry $125M per year. If we want real money for real improvements to our transportation system, we need to look at raising the money from everyone, e.g., vehicle milage based fees and/or higher gas taxes, not to mention public bond measures. Let’s face it, we’ve had three decades of under-investing in our transportation infrastructure. Raising a few bridge tolls is a drop in the bucket and a political slap in the face to a handful of commuters. The only reason this is being considered is that you need a supermajority to pass new taxes, and since 2/3 of the people don’t use our bridges regularly, it’s a politically expedient way to raise a few bucks for a few pet projects. Where’s the ferry to Berkeley that was promised over a decade ago when bridge tolls were first raised from $2 to $3?

  • Jeffrey Baker

    I didn’t get the feeling that the toll increase was to raise revenue. Indeed, the fact that they don’t know what to do with the money indicates that revenue is not the main idea. It seemed to me that raising the toll is being done to reduce congestion, which is a negative externality paid even by people who don’t drive (for example, riders of the AC Transit transbay bus service today sit in epic traffic jams behind single-occupant vehicles while approaching the bridge, even at 6AM).

  • New BART Cars to Include Three Doors…

    Only three? You might want to check that math there.

  • HuckieCA

    Except that raising the tolls and even implementing congestion pricing on the Bay Bridge has done literally nothing to reduce congestion. All congestion pricing did was shift a little bit of traffic during the tails of the peak hours earlier or later to avoid the increased cost. Also, I think that it’s a poor characterization to call a bus using a bridge as a negative externality. They are not external to the system, they are participating in the transportation system and trying to use the same scarce resource as everyone else. Without providing a comprehensive transit system alternative that is both fast and convenient, I doubt that even doubling the current bridge tolls would dent traffic. Even at double the bridge toll, I’m looking at 35-45 minutes driving vs. a minimum of 1.5 hours by transit. Everyone must do their own math, but gaining 1-2 hours a day is worth quite a bit.

  • SF Guest

    Whenever there’s a tax or toll increase proposal and arguments over who gets the money the main goal can only be to raise revenue.

    The DPT was an agency who prided itself for not being revenue-driven, and we all know how that story ended.

  • Flatlander

    That’s really not a thoughtful economic view though.

    Congestion charging is intended for economic efficiency, not revenue raising. Similar to how red light cameras are to achieve safety (by addressing the externality of people running red lights), not to raise revenue

  • p_chazz
  • Alexander Vucelic

    then raise the toll during peak hours even more

  • griependerp

    Note to any and all involved in El Camino “BRT”: only one of these is BRT.