Car Sharing Widens the Lanes of Access for City Drivers

Josie Garthwaite : National Geographic News

Behind Valencia Street’s widened sidewalks and bike lanes, San Francisco has another tool ready to cut traffic and transit crowding. Nestled in the neighborhoods surrounding this longtime transportation corridor are hundreds of parked cars—available for sharing.
Brian Scates, creative director at a Silicon Valley startup, rented out his 2000 Audi All-Road last year for $50 to $60 a day, rather than let it sit unused while he biked around town and commuted to work by train. Meanwhile, Sebastien Rouif throws his surfboard into the back of his neighbor’s pickup truck on Saturdays to drive down the coast and catch some waves. The fee and gas total about $40, cheaper than other rental options—and it’s a lot less expensive than owning a car…
Scates has since cut back on sharing his car, but still believes in the idea: “I’m all about fewer cars on the road, and maximizing the value that we get out of those vehicles.”… (more)

Second Life for Old Electric-Car Batteries: Guardians of the Electric Grid

Ed Lee takes new track on Muni management from previous mayors

By: Will Reisman : sfexaminer – excerpt

In December 2009, during a routine news conference to announce the unveiling of some painted bike lanes, former Mayor Gavin Newsom somehow managed to create a morsel of news out of a ho-hum event.
Frustrated by the lack of progress in his cherished citywide bike-sharing network, Newsom told local reporters that Nathaniel Ford, then the director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, would be looking for a new job if the cycling project wasn’t completed.
The remark was typical of Newsom, a hyperkinetic manager who often immersed himself in matters related to The City’s transportation agency… Newsom loomed large over all transportation-related matters — an approach that made him very different from his chosen successor, Mayor Ed Lee…
“Mayors can use their bully pulpits to really stick up for their agency and make transit-first policies a priority. Mayor Lee has potential to lay out that big vision for Muni, but frankly, he’s never done it before. We’re still unclear about what he wants for the agency, and his leadership definitely leaves a little bit to be desired.”… (more)

6 U.S. Cities With The Most Expensive Parking Spots

Matthew Cadrin, provided by : investopedia : SFexaminer – excerpt

As anyone who has had to park downtown can attest, parking rates in many cities often seem egregiously high and few alternatives exist to save on parking. This has likely prompted the question as to what factors are influencing the prices for these spaces. A recent survey from Colliers International has uncovered the cities with the highest monthly parking rates in America. Listed here are some ideas as to why such spaces are so highly sought after that they can fetch up to $1 million…
San Francisco
It’s a small comfort perhaps, but expensive parking in San Francisco can be attributed to an improvement in the economy. Due to its technology and energy firms, San Francisco has benefited from the recent drop in U.S. office vacancies. As demand for its office space has increased, the number of commuters to the city has increased… (more)

We just learned that cable car tickets are now $10.00 making them more expensive than a cab ride. So much for Muni’s cable cars being family friendly.