Today’s Headlines

  • Plans for Better Market Street Take Shape (Humanstreets)
  • BART Workers Get $500 Ridership Bonus (CBSLocal)
  • Cable Car Operators Don’t Collect Fares (SFExaminer, SFBay)
  • Reason for Yesterday’s California Street Cable Car Closure (SFExaminer)
  • Green Space vs. Housing in the Portola (SFChron)
  • Oakland Not Such a Deal for Renters (Curbed)
  • Marin Rents Reach SF Levels (MarinIJ)
  • Millennium Tower Can Survive the Big One? (SFChron, SFExaminer)
  • The Big Backlog of Earthquake Retrofits (SFExaminer)
  • Pedestrian Killed in Pittsburg (EastBayTimes)
  • Chinatown Alleyways (Curbed)
  • Another Look at the Embarcadero Freeway (SFGate)

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

  • How many decades are they going to discuss a “better Market St.” They know what the problems are but refuse to address them. Progressive city, my foot.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    The ridership bonus article seems confused. The average weekday ridership is not 373k, it’s 422k (latest, June 2017). 373k must be the average daily ridership because the weekday ridership hasn’t been below 400k in the last year.

    In any case, BART is operating above projections for year 2030, made in 2008. They are near their theoretical carrying capacity. Until there start to be major origin-destination pairs that do not start or end in San Francisco, BART ridership cannot grow.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    BART released their Draft EIR for their 5.5-mile, $1.3-billion extension to the middle of nowhere.

  • Kieran

    To me it’s just stupid that Bart won’t do the original route proposed for this extension-Taking Portola to that downtown ACE station(this section of Bart in downtown Livermore would be in a subway). From there the line would stop at the Vasco Road station(where it’d most likely be elevated) to again connect with ACE and basically terminate near the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear lab, along with having another train yard located near there as well..If I’m correct, both of those Livermore ACE stations also are currently served by buses that operate in/around Livermore.

    But this highway-only extension is truly a waste of time, as you stated…Bart once again fucks up..

  • Jeffrey Baker

    I can see why BART doesn’t want to proceed with an alignment that the city of Livermore rejected, but I don’t see why that forces BART to build this alignment. BART should tell Livermore to either get with the program, or go pound sand. The Isabel proposal does not align with BART’s stated goals in any way.just

  • BART to the middle of nowhere is the agency’s mantra. Forget common sense. If Livermore doesn’t want it to run downtown then screw Livermore. We could take part of that money and build an infill station at 30th/Mission which would be gladly appreciated. But, instead we will get more sprawl-inducing freeway median stations. Bay Area sucks.

  • thielges

    That article about the Embarcadero Freeway (480) really drives home how inertia keeps existing infrastructure in place, no matter how bad. There were multiple attempts to tear it down and as recently as 1986. But since Ma Nature started unpermitted demo work in 1989, the job was finally finished without going to a vote.

    Now that the status quo is no freeway on the waterfront, can anyone imagine a successful proposal to rebuild it? Just as its demolition was solidly opposed in 1986, its reconstruction would also be solidly opposed in 1996. And these are the same voters.

    Change is always at a disadvantage, even when it is the best option.

  • Kieran

    Pretty much…From what I understood, some rich Livermore residents hated the thought of a subway station downtown and thought the construction for the subway tunnel would disrupt the entire downtown. There’s probably more as well..

    Though I agree that Bart should tell Livermore to have a better route proposal since the Isabel proposal is pointless to begin with.

  • Andy Chow

    Included in the study is a alternative for DMU service like eBART. The DMU line can extend all the way pass Altamont as well. The problem of extending BART as-is is that San Joaquin County wouldn’t want BART and everywhere else along 580 is pretty much nowhere.

    ACE studied DMU option all the way to Tracy. The cost for the DMU segment on 580 is far higher than the cost over the Altamont (using existing publicly owned former rail ROW).

  • Kieran

    It’s too bad that San Joaquin Valley doesn’t want Bart extended as is(I personally don’t see a Bart extension to Tracy being anything worthwhile, at least not for a couple more decades). I’m aware that Livermore doesn’t want Bart extended downtown. Interesting. I didn’t know the frequency of the ACE trains at the downtown Livermore station. In that case, that stop isn’t too necessary.

    Since Bart won’t be in downtown Livermore and the Isabel extension would be a waste of time and $, I think ACE could simply run a spur out to the current Bart Dublin/Pleasanton terminus station and connect that way.

  • John Murphy

    Ace runs 4 trains a day each way. today.

    Talk to me in 20 years when this BART extension opens.

  • Andy Chow

    The problem with BART going the Altamont is that:
    – BART is a 3 county district. San Joaquin County would have to pay a premium (like San Mateo, Santa Clara) to get BART.
    – San Joaquin County would have to inherent all the institutional problems with BART, including crime and labor issues.
    – It will cost an arm and a leg anyway, so why not invest something that San Joaquin County can take ownership in and expand beyond San Joaquin County. ACE had considered plans for a HSR-lite, including with tunnels and such. You would want something that can operate at 90 if not 100 mph, with commuter seatings rather than an urban subway set up which is BART going towards with new cars.

    If you think about eBART, it is also something that can be extended all the way to Stockton. The problem is that there’s no readily available right of way to do so. There’s a readily available right of way over the Altamont, but you would have to partially rebuild the freeway to put anything on the 580.

  • Kieran

    20 years minimum with the pace this is going at…I’ll say more like 30-35 years before it’s built.

  • Kieran

    I agree that it wouldn’t make sense to extend Bart into San Joaquin County..I read not too long ago that ACE wants to electrify their trains within a decade and basically have them go between 80-100 mph. I think that’d easily be the best case scenario for them in the long run.

    I like the Altamont route but I doubt the state would let part of 580 be rebuilt at this stage for eBart…So that’s negated for the forseeable future.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    That plan seems outright crazy to me. At least ACE today links several cities: Tracy, Livermore, Pleasanton, Fremont. This DMU plan, bypassing Livermore and “connecting” with several parking garages in the middle of I-580, capitulates to the idea that Tracy is just a bedroom exurb for San Francisco workers. It is really the opposite of what we need.

    I’d really like to see a proposal for some decent interurban service in the Tri-Valley area. A SMART-style DMU running between Livermore and Pleasanton would cost almost nothing, and serve two pretty large downtown areas. You could do it on ten minute headways with only two trainsets. Where’s my zillion-dollar consulting fee?

  • Andy Chow

    The thing is that UP owns the right of way. So basically you can’t run something at a transit frequency without some massive improvements. What UP wants is a dedicated ROW for passenger service that is well away from their tracks. That’s what happened with the Frontrunner service in Utah, and what will happen with HSR in Central Valley.

    The other issue is how to interface with BART? Pleasanton’s NIMBY attitude would certain shut down ideas like using the Iron Horse Trail.

  • There was also an article a few years ago that included an interview with a Livermore opponent of a downtown station because her teenage daughter was having nightmares of “all the horrible things that a subway station would inflict upon her perfect, pristine, insulated bubble.” Please, please keep it as far away from my world as possible, but please do something to ease the traffic congestion.

  • How about extending BART into San Francisco? There are thousands of daily riders who’d love to reduce their hour long commute from the Sunset/Richmond to downtown. Guess not…that would make too much sense.

  • Kieran

    I agree…Ideally, something along the lines of a Bart tunnel that went under Geary branching off at Geary/Market with stations say, at Geary/Jones, Geary/Van Ness, Japantown and Masonic ave. From there, taking Geary til 6th ave with a station underneath 6th/Geary. They could even get rid of the 2 story KFC/Taco Bell building there and have that as a major entrance/exit point for passengers if they built the station there. Then Bart would turn southwest, having a station under the deYoung/Academy of Sciences, before traveling under 19th ave.

    There’d be a station at 19th/Judah, 19th/Taraval, the Stonestown/SF State station would be colossal to handle the crowds of residents, shoppers, students and commuters, followed by it linking up to the main Bart line back at Daly City station and continuing to SFO from there.

    But I digress..My suggestion did make too much sense..It’s a damn shame the upper office levels of Bart are staffed by putzes who obviously have no business being there to begin with. Bart could’ve been so much better than what it presently is that it’s a goddamn shame.

  • Kieran

    See, that’s just sad right there..It’s too bad Bart couldn’t come into Livermore but if ACE gets electric trains as an upgrade and say constructs a spur to the Dublin/Pleasanton terminus station then things might get better out there.

  • p_chazz

    Things in motion tend to stay in motion. Things at rest tend to stay at rest.

  • p_chazz

    It would be difficult to engineer a BART line crossing under the Central Subway at Geary/Powell.

  • p_chazz

    No infill station at 30th and Mission. It would make my commute longer. And there is nothing there worth building a station for.

  • Kieran

    Yea it’d be difficult, obviously yet worthwhile for the long term. At least the area underneath the Central Subway tunnel is natural bedrock instead of landfill/baywater further into the Financial District. That’d make it less arduous in terms of its construction.