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Pedestrian Safety

Weekend Roundup: Free transit to vaccine centers, Dumbarton project moving forward

AC Transit is one of several operators offering free service for vaccinations. Photo: AC Transit

A few Streetsbloggy news bites for your weekend consumption.

Take the vaccine express for your COVID shot:

Bay Area transit agencies have teamed up and consolidated information about how to take trains, buses and ferries to vaccination locations.

From the "HealthyPlan" vaccination web page:

Bay Area public transportation providers are working hard to ensure coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine distribution locations are accessible. Many systems are offering free rides to vaccine distribution sites. And, some are establishing shuttle services to the vaccination locations for people without a car or those who need mobility assistance.

The site lists vaccination locations accessible by Caltrain, BART, VTA, SFMTA, AC Transit, Golden Gate Transit and Ferry, and SamTrans. Rides are free (in one or both directions, depending on the operator) with proof of a vaccine appointment. There are also free shuttle services to the sites. Be sure to check out the page when your appointment comes.

It's nice to see the Bay Area's transit operators cooperating, if not slightly disappointing to still see variations in their vaccination fare policies. Now let's hope Seamless Bay Area can develop a permanent vaccine to stop the Bay Area's 28 independent transit operators from relapsing to doing everything else in their own silos.

Dumbarton rail connection finally moving forward?

A map of the proposed crossing. Note the rail approaches are already there as is a burned out bridge. Image: SamTrans
A map of the proposed crossing. Note the rail approaches are already there as is a burned out bridge. Image: SamTrans
A map of the proposed crossing. Note the rail approaches are already there as is a burned out bridge. Image: SamTrans

It's quite frankly ridiculous that there's only one rail crossing between the entire East Bay and the San Francisco Peninsula, especially when an albeit badly damaged rail crossing has been left to rot for decades. But there's hope again. A $3 billion project, in development, would rebuild the crossing - providing a mid-Peninsula transit service. Find out more about the project at a public meeting this Monday, March 15, to discuss.

From a SamTrans news release:

The project is currently in the Strategic Planning Process, where the focus is on developing conceptual alternatives to connect Redwood City to Union City using the Dumbarton Rail Corridor. These alternatives will be based upon the community outreach and work with stakeholders that has taken place over the last two years. SamTrans, which owns the rail corridor, and Facebook are working to develop these alternatives analysis to determine what a public transit option could potentially look like using the old rail bridge. This work will be completed by spring 2021 at which time SamTrans will continue its role leading the project for the region.

The goal is to connect Caltrain, ACE, BART, the Capitol Corridor and California High-Speed Rail. According to SamTrans, they are "working with local and regional funding partners on a finance plan for the project going forward. Currently, there is some funding included in Measure W and Regional Measure 3 for the project."

Streetsblog encourages advocates to attend the virtual community meeting, Monday, March 15, 6-7:30 p.m. Link here or use the Zoom Webinar ID: 968 8464 7203. Or do it the old fashioned way and call (669) 900-6833.

San Francisco Mayor Breed wants to make shared spaces permanent.

A 'shared space' on Taraval. Photo: SFPlanning
A 'shared space' on Taraval. Photo: SFPlanning
A 'shared space' on Taraval. Photo: SFPlanning

Last but not least, on Friday Mayor London Breed announced legislation that would make San Francisco's 'Shared Spaces' program permanent. The program allows businesses to set up on sidewalks, curbside lanes, or parts of the roadway - all through a simplified application portal. This has been a lifeline for many restaurants and other small businesses that were otherwise unable to provide food and other goods and services because of the need for social distancing under COVID-19 guidelines.

From the Mayor's statement:

Shared Spaces have brought people so much joy and an opportunity to safely enjoy their neighborhood and support local businesses during an otherwise incredibly challenging time. They have also been a lifeline for business owners, providing restaurants, cafes, and stores with the space they need to offer outdoor services and keep their businesses going. Seeing people dining and enjoying themselves outdoors has been amazing, and I know this program will be an incredible asset for our city as we recover and move forward.

The legislation is co-sponsored by Supervisors Ahsha Safai, Rafael Mandelman, Catherine Stefani, and Matt Haney.

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