Five Story BART Parking Garage Opens In Richmond

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Commuting just got a little easier for residents of Richmond and surrounding cities with today’s opening of a 750-space parking garage at the Richmond BART station.
The five-story garage adds 120 parking spaces to the station and is now the only parking option at the Richmond station, located at 1700 Nevin Ave.
A surface parking lot on the east side of the station has closed to make way for a commercial development, said Chad Smalley, a development project manager for the city of Richmond.
Commuters parking in the garage are required to pay $1 between the hours of 4 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday… (more)

Park and ride in Richmond. If Richmond can build parking garages and rent out spaces for $1 so can San Francisco. Time to take it to the ballot and let the voters decide.

Days like today when the BART system melts down, we need to be able to rely on our cars.

SFMTA pushes for revised Polk Street renovation

by John Zipperer : marinatimes – excerpt

Following an at-times contentious round of back-and-forth with community groups regarding a planned remake of Polk Street’s traffic and parking design, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has issued revised proposals for the redo of the busy street and is looking forward to an early fall demonstration project.
“The thing we had to work hardest on Polk Street was to meet [the] need for everyone to be heard and to be valued,” said Seleta Reynolds, who leads the SFMTA’s policy analysis and innovation team, whose work includes the Polk Street project. “I feel that is what we missed at the beginning of the work.”…
After (the) group digests the results of the survey in June, it will wrap up some feasibility and technical analysis, and then move to make a recommendation. That will require four to six months to get environmental clearance before it goes to SFMTA’s board, which could take place by late fall. At that time, people will have a final chance to weigh in with their opinions at the public meeting before the board. If approved, the plan will go into full design work by the engineers.
Before that, however, Reynolds hopes to conduct a demonstration of the project on a short portion of Polk in September or October 2013. For information on the project and to give input on the demonstration, Reynolds invited Polk residents to give their thoughts to the agency’s Darcie Lim at… (more)

Your BART Breakdown of the Week – excerpt

This week’s BART breakdown is brought to you by the letter “T,” as in Truck. As in truck stuck on a ruck. Or more like stuck on one of those track switercheroo things that lets trains move from one track to another. D’oh!. No word yet as to whether or not there were any mother—— snakes on the goddamn truck.
As a result, twenty-four out of fifty-five trains ran late. There was no train service from Richmond into San Francisco or down to Daly City and everything but the Dublin-Pleasanton line was turned back in SF. Those poor people stuck on the trains when the problems started up were evacuated.
As for us, the 101 was free and easy this morning as we made it to work in record time. And yes, we point this out not to rub it in to those poor folks who still try and do the right thing by taking public transportation to work, but because it’s things like this that make people give up on riding pub trans. Like us. Trust us, getting stranded on a train miles away from your destination with no knowledge of when things will start up again or without any other way to get into work SUCKS. We took pub trans down to the Peninsula for almost two years before constant delays and missed connections got to us. So far, driving into work has made our lives much mellower and lowered our stress level. Yes, we kind of miss being able to read the paper and a book on the way to and from work, but we also enjoy not taking over an hour to get anywhere… (more)

Our sentiments exactly. In fact the BART breakdowns demonstrate the need for alternative transportation, like CARS,  to get around in an emergency situation.

Google map shows where San Francisco tax dollars are going

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San Francisco residents have a new way to see their tax dollars at work.
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority unveiled a new website — MyStreetSF — that tracks projects funded by the authority, which gets its money from sales tax dollars…
The SFCTA has a 30-year expenditure plan that calls for spending $2.35 billion and it plans to get an additional $9 billion during that time from the U.S. government, state and other local tax sources for transportation improvements…  (more)

Not sure how accurate it is, but here is an interactive map of your tax dollars at work.

Details on 2nd Street Protected Bike Lanes, Ped Upgrades Come Into Focus

by Aaron Bialick : sfstreetsblog – excerpt

The plan for raised, parking-protected bike lanes and pedestrian safety improvements on Second Street is shaping up after the Department of Public Works presented new details [PDF] last week…
Despite surveys showing broad support for the proposed improvements, as well as praise for DPW’s extensive community outreach from residents and city officials, discussion at the latest meeting was hijacked by a contingent of residents from a building at 355 Bryant Street who said they were recently caught off guard by the project…
Those residents mostly voiced fears about traffic congestion and problems with loading that they claimed would result from the project. When one man argued that the proposed safety improvements couldn’t be made because car commuters need all four existing traffic lanes to get to and from the Bay Bridge, Olea said the improvements should discourage those drivers from using Second as an alternative to the main motor routes like First and Third Streets…
“Our overall vision is to de-emphasize Second Street as a route to the freeway,” said Olea. “It’s not an arterial.”… (more)

Mission’s People-Friendly Block on Bartlett Faces Fire Code, Parking Hurdles

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

One day each week, the block of Bartlett Street between 21st and 22nd Streets bustles for a few hours when it’s transformed into the Mission Community Market. On all the other days, however, it mostly serves as a parking lot.
The Planning Department and organizers from the Community Market held a packed public meeting yesterday to start off the design process for the Mercado Plaza project, which would include greenery and physical traffic calming improvements to make the block a more inviting place to be at all hours…
Narrowing the wide roadway on the one-way street is key to the expansion of public space and the traffic calming effect planners hope to achieve… (how can you claim you need street calming when there is NO TRAFFIC?)…
With a new package of proposed legislation, Supervisor Scott Wiener hopes to cut through some of the bureaucratic red tape that hinders pedestrian safety improvements…
Patrick Siegman, (a principal at the transportation planning firm Nelson/Nygaard, who was consulted in drafting Wiener’s legislation), said the state-adopted fire codes are crafted by the International Code Council, a Texas-based nonprofit. The regulations do allow for local municipalities to determine what counts as unobstructed roadway, and they don’t apply retroactively to streets that are narrower than 20 feet, he said. Requests for comment from SF Fire Marshal Thomas Harvey weren’t returned...
The project will be funded by $1.6 million in Prop B bond funds and the developers of the nearby New Mission Theatre project. Construction is expected to begin in mid-2014.
(How much will the New Mission Theatre project cover and will this come out of Muni transit fees? See the $510,000 transfer details on the Dolores Street project?)


Accoriding to this article, Nelson/Nygaard is involved in the Mercado Plaza project and Wiener’s  legislative efforts to push it through by altering, or bypassing fire and safety standards. And how much will the taxpayers will pay the consultants.

According to the SF Guardian’s, “Planning for Displacement”, ABAG anticipates around 2/3rds of the citizens currently living in SF will have to leave “the area” to make room for the all new high tech millionaires moving into to the new infill projects they claim will make the air cleaner and more bicycle friendly. For whom? When should “displaced” speak up and demand a voice? Today they want you to give up your parking space, next it will be your car, and then they will evict you or foreclose so they can take your home. When should we start complaining?