Today’s Headlines

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

  • re: central subway
    If the MTA knew that the Austrian tunneling method would take longer than “normal tunneling” methods, why wasn’t this factored into the design and build so that we have a reasonable opening date, rather than years of delays? The tunnels themselves were completed a while back and it seems like only the Chinatown station is holding back the target opening date.
    12 stories deep, you say? That’s going to be one heck of a descent/ascent off/on the 30-Stockton bus Unless you’re traveling to SOMA it’s simply easier to stay on the bus until Market St than transfer at Chinatown for a 1-car train to Union Square considering there are maybe two bus stops between Union Square and the Chinatown station. Great planning, folks.

  • mx

    A bunch of new revisions to SB827 dropped last night, and I’ll just point you to this tweet rather than summarize them all.

    Depending on your feelings about the bill, this either waters it down too much or makes it a little more palatable (or, for some, it’s still pitchforks and torches time surely). Lowering the height limit and adding an inclusionary requirement will presumably mean fewer such projects get built, probably without really addressing that much of the harshest criticism of the bill. The definition of “high-quality bus corridor” has changed (once the typo is fixed anyway) to be somewhat more expansive. I still don’t personally consider 4/bph at peak, 3/bph off-peak, 2/bph weekends to be particularly high-quality or enough on its own to convince people to live car-free, particularly when that can just be one line going who knows where, but it’s closer to that goal.

    Free transit passes is a fun perk, though the details seem vague. Does it last forever? What if the building goes condo; does the HOA have to buy passes for its members? If passes cover different zones or fare types which do you have to buy?

    Also tucked in there: parking requirements can be set at .5 spaces/unit if you’re more than a quarter-mile from a major transit stop.

  • p_chazz

    So if a community doesn’t like the height increase on a particular street, all they have to do is get rid of the bus line or reroute the bus?

  • mx

    It sure seems like there’s a perverse incentive to make transit service worse to prevent development, and certainly a lot of reason why NIMBYs would agitate against improved transit service. And given the reactions to SB827, it really doesn’t sound like such a stretch to imagine that communities will just declare no buses will have 15-minute headways to stop construction of new housing.

    I’m curious how that works when transit agencies are separate from municipalities too. Does Atherton start blockading buses to ensure VTA service is too bad to qualify?

  • Maybe if they focused on upzoning transit corridors that will benefit from more people using more transit. Then again, residents are whining about removing a handful of stops on the L-Taraval, so this doesn’t surprise me whatsoever.

  • murphstahoe

    Atherton will certainly not agitate to get Caltrain service reinstated.

  • murphstahoe

    Actually, the winning strategy is to pass SB827 and advocate for transit improvements ELSEWHERE to get more housing built elsewhere.