Push to Organize SF Transit Riders Proving Difficult

By Alex Wolens : sfweekly – excerpt

Last month’s well-publicized service rollbacks at Muni were long anticipated by unhappy bus riders, motorists and regular transit activists, but at least one man has tried to capitalize on the transit agency’s woes.
Longtime transit activist Dave Snyder has used Muni’s most recent meltdown as an opportunity to organize its riders into the San Francisco Transit Riders Union. We spoke to Dave Snyder–the project coordinator of SFTRU–about the progress of his recent unionizing efforts. They have been slow… (more)


Polk Street bike, pedestrian plan scaled back to keep car parking

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

After an outcry from merchants, San Francisco’s transit agency has unveiled a new plan for Polk Street that backpedals from an earlier proposal to remove swaths of on-street parking to help improve the bustling street for bicyclists and pedestrians.
A new plan that was developed following a caustic merchant response during a March community meeting preserves most of the parking on the segment of Polk Street from California Street to Union Street — the stretch about which criticism was the loudest.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which has a goal of significantly increasing the number of bicyclists in The City, originally proposed eliminating parking “fully from one side and partially from the other” and removing street parking altogether along lower Polk Street to make space for dedicated bike lanes. The new proposal removes up to 20 of the existing 168 parking spaces on the Upper Polk segment, between California and Union streets, mostly near intersections. It also calls for a painted green bike lane along one side of the street and a shared bike lane with painted green bike sharrows on the other… (more)

SFMTA, Chiu Stand By Unprotected Bike Lane Proposal for Polk Street

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog.org – excerpt

The SFMTA is moving forward with a plan for Polk Street with no protected bike lanes, except for one direction of an 11-block stretch. SFMTA planners and Supervisor David Chiu maintain that the plan is sufficient to make the street safe enough for a broad range of San Franciscans to bike on, though the design has been guided less by safety considerations than the desire to appease merchants who oppose the removal of any car parking(more)

Bay Area Climate Change Plan Won’t Actually Reduce Emissions

by Angela Hart : SF Public Press – excerpt

Bay Area planning officials say efforts to encourage dense development will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.
But what they rarely mention publicly is that their goal, a 15 percent per capita reduction of carbon dioxide from cars and light trucks by 2035, actually represents an overall emissions increase.
Essentially, it’s a math trick: The per capita figure hides a predicted regional population growth of 28 percent. That means total passenger vehicle emissions regionwide would actually rise by 9.1 percent — an indication that regional planning is not helping California’s efforts to become a model in combating climate change… (more)

Comments on the source welcome

S.F. experiment to create parking for car sharing

By Michael Cabanatuan : sfgate.com – exceprt

As many as 900 on-street parking spaces in San Francisco will be reserved for car-sharing vehicles as soon as January under a two-year experiment approved Tuesday by the Municipal Transportation Agency.
The test, which aims to increase the number of people using car sharing and expand it to all neighborhoods of the city, will set aside as many as 450 spaces for the first year of the program and up to 900 during the second. There are 281,000 on-street spaces in the city.
Car sharing is thriving in San Francisco, and rising in popularity, so the city wants to accommodate that growth by making it easier for the car sharing services to find parking spaces. Except for a small experiment involving a dozen on-street spaces sprinkled across the city, operators park their shared vehicles in city garages and lots but mainly in spaces rented from private property owners.
But in San Francisco, where parking is at a premium, taking away hundreds of parking spaces is certain to engender controversy. Each parking space converted for car share use will require neighborhood outreach, a public hearing and approval by the MTA Board of Directors.
“It will take months,” said Andy Thornley, the project manager, who said he was ready to start the bureaucratic process immediately. “Everybody feels a proprietary connection to that parking spot” in front of their home or business… (more)

Countless Masses: The Number of Commuting Bikers Remains a Mystery

By Joe Eskenazi : sfweekly – excerpt

How bad did things get during last week’s Great BART Strike of 2013? So bad, the Los Angeles Times reported, that a put-upon commuter named Wayne Phillips was forced to pilot his yacht to work.
This may explain why you saw so many more yachts tethered up in your building’s yacht parking area.
All kidding aside, you may well have seen more bikes in the bike parking area. You can’t cycle to the city from Pittsburg. But you can bike to downtown from near Balboa Park and Glen Park stations with relative ease and from the Mission with great ease. But how about some hard data? What does the much-ballyhooed Visible Bike Counter on Market Street reveal?
Alas, as with BART employees last week, the Visible Bike Counter is not working…
If BART employees in the near future return to the picket lines, perhaps the Market Street Visible Bike Counter will be online to reveal cycling trends. In the meantime, we eagerly await the data from the city’s Visible Yacht Counter…  (more)

A new game we can play – count the wasted dollars. How much was that Market Street bike counter? Was it $20K ?

Another waste of money are the traffic islands. Some have already been removed. Probably a bicycle ran into them and took a tumble. How much does it cost to install and remove them? Send us your favorites.


Bike parking could get boost as San Francisco looks to increase two-wheeled trips

by : sfexaminer.com – excerpt

Proposed rules would require builders to create more private and public parking spaces for bicyclists.
San Francisco wants people taking more bike trips in The City, but parking for cyclists is already scarce. However, city planners say they have an answer.
Amid population growth and an ongoing construction boom, proposed new bike parking rules would require buildings to set aside space based on use, size and the number of dwelling units. And the rules would distinguish between secure parking for employees and residents and highly visible parking for public use, requiring elements of both.
Instead of requiring one bike parking space for every two units in a residential building of more than three units, one change in the proposed rules would require one spot per dwelling unit for buildings of between four and 100 units…
The proposal also would create an in-lieu fee of $400 per public bike space, with the money going into a new fund to pay for bike parking where there are deficiencies. The fee would apply to up to 20 spaces… (more)

Details on these fees are lacking. Who pays the fees? To whom? Is this a one time fee for each project? Very vague language in the the ordinance that we have seen so far. The SF Bicycle Coalition is happy, but not too many others.

San Francisco is blocking the most innovative transportation company

Rakesh Agrawal  : venturebeat.com – excerpt

Bay Area Bike Share started selling memberships today at noon, bringing bike sharing to San Francisco…
But as great as bike sharing is, bikes can only take you so far. And with San Francisco’s hills, for many people biking is out of the question.
That’s why I’m disappointed to see that San Francisco isn’t even considering one of the most innovative transportation schemes yet: Car2go. I wrote about Car2go last year. It combines the benefits of carsharing services like Zipcar and Getaround with the point-to-point service of bike sharing. Unlike Zipcar and Getaround, which require you to make reservations and return the car to where you picked it up, Car2go lets you walk up to a car, get in, drive to your destination, and leave it. When you’re ready to return, you find another car using an app. And you’re not on the clock during the time you’re not using the car.
Car2go wants to come to San Francisco, but the city isn’t having it. Despite a proposed program to increase the visibility of car sharing by allocating on-street spaces, one-way car sharing is specifically excluded. “The proposed pilot will not include the one-way car share model,” the draft report, from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority, says. “While promising in many respects, the potential benefits and effects of the one-way model are still insufficiently documented and understood at this time.” In other words: It hasn’t been out long enough and there hasn’t been enough research, so we’re going to ignore it… (more)

Bay Area Rapid Transit police investigate amateur pornography video shot on San Francisco train

AP: therepulbic – excerpt

Deputy Chief Ben Fairow tells the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/12wMxxi ) the cell phone video shows a “partially disrobed” couple having intercourse on a seat at the end of a BART train car…
Fairow says lewd conduct on BART is a misdemeanor and can result in a system-wide banning… (more)

Shooting porn on BART is a misdemeanor. Who knew?

SFMTA Looks to Tame Sixth Street With Road Diet, Temporary Parklet

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

Sixth Street, which has one of the highest rates of pedestrian injuries in the city, could receive a road diet after the SFMTA analyzes the impacts of removing two of its four traffic lanes to improve safety.
In the meantime, the agency is planning a pilot project this fall on the street’s northern end at Market Street, likely in the form of a parklet-style installation in the parking lanes, to test out “gateway” treatments to signal freeway-bound drivers to slow down… (more)

Who thinks a road diet, wider sidewalks and parklets will make Sixth Street safe?