Weekend Roundup: Telegraph, Cable Cars

...and MTC wants your help

A recently installed concrete loading island on Telegraph--and what the project will look like if finished, rather than rolled back. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
A recently installed concrete loading island on Telegraph--and what the project will look like if finished, rather than rolled back. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

A few Streetsblog stories have advanced a bit. Here are some short news nuggets to start your Juneteenth weekend.

Oakland Bicyclist and Pedestrian Advisory Commission says, “no thanks, we’ll keep our protected bike lanes”

The Oakland BPAC voted unanimously Thursday evening to keep the protected bike lanes on Telegraph Avenue in the KONO, despite a recent push by some merchants and the Department of Transportation to have them removed in favor of painted lanes.

The move wasn’t hugely surprising–BPACs don’t generally support cities wasting precious resources removing bike infrastructure. As Bike East Bay pointed out, Oakland has higher priorities than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to remove parking protected bike lanes that have proven their worth in KONO and elsewhere. “Thanks everyone who called in to voice your support,” wrote Bike East Bay on social media about the vote.

But advocates don’t just want to stop the destruction of this infrastructure–they want to expand it with continuously protected bike lanes from downtown all the way through Temescal, connecting the existing two sections that already have them. “We are organizing to extend protected bike lanes and improve pedestrian safety north through Temescal, creating a continuous bikeway from Downtown to 57th Street,” they wrote on their blog.

This fight, of course, is far from over. The next important meeting on this issue will be the City Council’s Public Works Committee on June 22. Bike East Bay urges advocates to sign up for email alerts and stay abreast of motorist machinations to remove the lanes.

Do you want to help guide regional transportation policy?

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The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is looking for interested Bay Area residents to volunteer for the Policy Advisory Committee to help them figure out how to keep the region moving. From an MTC release:

This committee advises MTC — the region’s transportation planning and financing agency — on transportation-related policies in the San Francisco Bay Area, incorporating diverse perspectives regarding the environment, the economy and social equity. Members will be appointed by the Commission for the term beginning in January 2022. Please complete this application before 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Sunday, August 1, 2021.

If you’re interested in advising the MTC on how to support regional fare integration, new projects, etc. and have the time to serve, click HERE to apply.

Ding, ding, and ding!

Photo: Roger Rudick
A cable car in the before times. Photo: Roger Rudick

Last but not least, this week the Mayor’s office and the SFMTA announced that San Francisco’s soundtrack will start to sound a little more normal starting in August, with the return of cable cars and their signature bells. From the Mayor’s release:

“San Francisco just isn’t San Francisco without the cable cars running, and this is just the latest sign that City is recovering and bouncing back,” said Mayor Breed in a statement. “People are ready to once again visit San Francisco and experience everything we have to offer, and we know that riding the cable cars is always high on the list of things that people want to do.”

SFMTA staff will begin inspections of the cable cars in mid-July and by the first week of August, the city will give free rides, albeit on unscheduled services. Revenue service will be restarted in the fall, assuming all goes well.

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