Today’s Headlines

  • More on Delays on Bay Bridge Bike Path (SFist)
  • SFWeekly Recaps Grisly and Disturbing Weekend on Transit (SFWeekly)
  • More Debate on Costs of Superbowl to City (SFBay)
  • Oakland to Establish an Arts District? (KQED)
  • Politician Attacks El Camino Dedicated Bus Lane Project (MercNews)
  • Pro Sprawl Professor Predicts Density Bad for Bay Area (SFWeekly)
  • Governor Asks Drivers to Pay for Road Repairs (CBSLocal)
  • Transportation Options for Apple Campus (MercNews)
  • Welcome to the Bike Lanes Hoverboards (SFist)
  • Novato to Discuss Adding Train Station (MarinIJ)
  • Caltrain Delayed Last Night by Unoccupied Car on Tracks (MercNews)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA
Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA

  • murphstahoe

    Joe Simitian – the “columnist” – is a State Senator

  • Roger Rudick

    Actually, he’s a supervisor now. But thanks for the catch.

  • Roger R.

    Actually, he’s a supervisor now. But thanks for catching that.

  • murphstahoe

    Who can keep track with these career politicos

  • Prinzrob

    Re the SFist hoverboard article, they are incorrect. The bill refers to electric skateboards, defined as being no wider than 18″, and since all hoverboards are wider than 18″ this legislation does not apply to those types of devices.

    From the bill:

    “313.5. An “electrically motorized board” is any wheeled device

    that has a floorboard designed to be stood upon when riding that

    is not greater than 60 inches deep and 18 inches wide, is designed

    to transport only one person, and has an electric propulsion system

    averaging less than 1,000 watts, the maximum speed of which,

    when powered solely by a propulsion system on a paved level

    surface, is no more than 20 miles per hour. The device may be

    designed to also be powered by human propulsion.”

    There’s been a lot of bad information on this and other new California laws so far in 2016. I recommend ignoring most of the articles until news organizations actually start reading the legislation and reporting on it correctly.

  • murphstahoe

    The problem of course being that the SFPD digests bad information as truth from god.

  • gneiss

    It’s really quite shocking to see a “Progressive” newspaper like the SF Weekly tout the study by Joel Kotkin, a known apologist for suburban sprawl, to “prove” how SOMA should have been built out with single family homes or duplexes rather than larger multi-family dwellings as a way to ease the housing crunch. This is patently false. There are plenty of examples from other locations where steel and concrete construction can create four story and above units economically for a range of incomes. Otherwise cities like Singapore and Hong Hong would never be able to support the diverse economic conditions that they currently enjoy. The major determining factor is space. Sure, if you want to create apartments that have 1,200 sq ft. per individual then yes, that’s expensive. But people living in multi-story condos rarely want that kind of space per person and if the public space outside is engaging, then they don’t need or desire as much personal space as suburbanites.

  • Jimbo

    the hoverboards shouldnt be allowed on sidewalks. Its either the bike lane or nowhere. Interesting that they are required to wear helmets when top speed is 10mph, while bicyclists travelling north of 20mph do not. personally i would never ride without a helmet, but i care about my brains and beleive in the darwin awards for those hurt without a helmet.

    how do you all think cyclists will treat hoverboards if a bunch start showing up in bike lanes?

  • Like fellow travelers if there’s someone piloting it and it’s not just a hoverboard sitting there in the bike lane. Same as we do for the fellow humans riding skateboards of the manual or electric variety today.

  • CamBam415

    “Sonoma County planners unveil option for Sonoma Valley bike path” — 13 mile path from just east of Santa Rosa to near Sonoma (Agua Caliente) adjacent to Hwy 12:
    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/home/5055056-181/sonoma-county-planners-unveil-option?artslide=1

  • Prinzrob

    The SFist article was incorrect, as the legislation in question only applies to devices less than 18″ wide, which does not cover hoverboards.

    Hoverboards are likely not explicitly legal on any public streets or sidewalks yet, since that type of device isn’t defined in the vehicle code. However, they will probably eventually be classified as “mobility devices” similar to segways or electric wheelchairs, subject to similar laws as pedestrians.

  • chetshome

    hmmm you’re assuming that the hoverboard’s width/depth measurements are with respect to a certain orientation; turn it 90 degrees and it’s less than 18 inches wide.

  • Prinzrob

    That’s just silly. Of course the orientation of the device while it is in use is the only one that matters.

    The federal width & length maximums for motorized vehicles are 8.5 feet and 48 feet respectively, so are you trying to say that a 48 foot-wide truck would be okay as long as you just measured it differently?

  • gneiss

    This article by Brian Coyne has to be one of the best analysis of the problems our suburban street grid that I’ve read in some time: http://blog.sfgate.com/bicycle/2016/01/11/dangerous-by-design-what-one-crash-tells-us-about-bad-street-planning/ The observation that you are 3 time more likely to be injured or killed on streets and roads built after 1950 show how badly the post war transportation profession has failed to create a safe product, despite their contentions that road widening, street straightening and other “improvements” are necessary to prevent collisions and save lives.

    Can you imagine the outcry if it was three times more dangerous to fly than in 1950? Or if it was 3 time more likely that you’d get sick from a current medical treatment than one in the 1950’s? But because it’s cars and streets we collectively stick our heads in the sand and ignore how they have been killing and maiming ourselves because we have been effectively branwashed into believe that fast travel on straight, wide, roads is “safer” than the alternative. It’s mind boggling how blind we have become, all because we all think it’s better to get to the Mall in 15 minutes rather than 25.

  • CamBam415

    Re the Kotkin article. Assume for arguments sake that he is correct that up to 4 story buildings are affordable to build. Okay, fine… so much of SF is only 2-3 story buildings (often with a parking garage, not living space, on the ground floor).

    Thus, according to Kotin’s assumption we could build housing that is affordable to developers in the Sunset/Richmond/Outer Mission, etc by upgrading current housing stock with 4 story buildings (and near transit use the ground floor for living space, not car parking). So yes, we can improve things with increased supply side.

    Kotin’s argument also ignore the policy side of things. We have a defacto two tier taxation system where new property owners are paying a huge amount in taxes and long time owners are paying pennies on the dollar by comparison; thus long term owners have little incentive to sell/move out, reducing turn over. Not to mention there are similar constraints on the rental market that keep rent low for long term tenants which creates little demand for turn over and so what is available is priced very high. Now, I am not saying that Prop 13 needs to be cancelled or rent control needs to end, I am just saying that Kotin’s article is woefully lacking.

  • chetshome

    I don’t claim to know. I just noticed that the language seems ambiguous.

  • murphstahoe

    I’m on the board of Sonoma County Bike Coalition and have seen presentations on this thing. It’s gonna be ZOMG awesome.

  • griependerp

    Will you be at the Strong Towns events in Santa Rosa next week? If so, see you there!

    http://www.strongtowns.org/eventspage/2015/11/10/santa-rosa-ca

  • the_greasybear

    Car storage spaces–almost always required by code–also make housing units in multifamily buildings much more expensive to build and to buy, and reduce the overall number of units built.

  • @gneiss – I don’t think the Weekly has made any attempt to define itself as progressive. Their market niche was as a weekly focusing on lifestyle and snark, an “apolitical” alternative to the Guardian. Of course, “apolitical” is nothing but an affectation, and they actually had some informed politics going on when Vince Bielski was there, but that was two decades ago.