BART tests new Oakland Airport tram

By Samantha Clark : insidebayarea – excerpt

 

OAKLAND — BART has begun testing its sleek, driverless trains that will whiz riders between the Coliseum station and Oakland International Airport beginning in November.

 

This week, the transit agency ran all four of the Oakland Airport Connector trains simultaneously on the new elevated tracks, which will provide the first rail connection to the airport. The tram uses automated three-car trains pulled by cables set inside a steel guideway held up by concrete columns.

 

“It’s going to be like riding on a cloud,” said project and operations manager Dean Hurst of Doppelmayr, a ropeway technology company based in Austria. “The trains are lighter, the guideway is lighter (and) the availability is easier because you have a controlled environment.”… (more)

 

2 Investigates: Fighting Unjust Parking Tickets

by Melanie Woodrow : ktvu – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO — There’s a system in place to fight tickets, but some frustrated drivers who spoke to 2 Investigates say navigating the bureaucracy is next to impossible.

Know the code
“I’ve only lived here for two and a half months and I’ve had four tickets,” said San Francisco driver Deckel Israeli, who lives on a street where the parking signs are covered in graffiti.

“It’s complete B.S. that they have a sign like that and they’re not making a decision to either fix it or not ticket people,” he continued.

According to San Francisco Transportation Code Section 1.3, parking tickets aren’t enforceable if parking signs can’t be seen by an ordinarily observant person.

Rules for parking in San Francisco and elsewhere are clearly outlined in city and state transportation code. The code is hundreds of pages. It’s available online but 2 Investigates found many drivers aren’t familiar with the code.

SFMTA says you can report a sign covered in graffiti to 311.

Parking tickets by city

City Citations Issued
2013-14
Contested –
Initial Review
% Dismissed –
Initial Review
Contested –
Admin Hearing
% Dismissed –
Admin Hearing
Contested –
Superior Court
% Dismissed –
Superior Court
San Francisco 1.5 Million 77,248 28% 13,085 38% No Data No Data
Oakland 745,581 24,914 35% 2,454 19% 47 45%
San Jose 214,842 9,048 26% 1,008 17% 34 38%

(more)

One of the most popular rants against SFMTA is agaisnt the ticketing appeals process. We suggest that you vote to Restore Transportation Balance so the voters can take back control of the streets from the forces that are destroying them and feeding the car wars. Donations are needed to win at the ballot: http://www.restorebalance14.org/

 

Mayor Vows to Punish Supes Who Backed Wiener’s Transit Funding Measure

By Aaron Bialick : sfstreets – excerpt

Mayor Ed Lee, who has cut into transportation funding by nixing Sunday parking meters and abandoning a proposed vehicle license fee increase, now says that he will punish the six supervisors who voted to approve a ballot measure to increase transportation’s share of the general fund. Supervisor Scott Wiener proposed the charter amendment as a stop-gap measure to fund the city’s transportation needs, while SF waits two years for the mayor to support a vehicle license fee measure…

The SF Chronicle reported on Sunday that ”the mayor’s office seems to be hinting that it will target programs important to the six supervisors who voted to place Wiener’s proposal on the ballot — Wiener, David Chiu, Jane Kim, London Breed, Malia Cohen and David Campos.”…. (more)

S.F. voters likely to give each other finger as Sean Parker’s pro-auto measure drives onto November ballot

By : bizjournals – excerpt

San Francisco voters will have their say on one of today’s hottest debates, whether the automobile provides unprecedented personal freedom or is the root cause of all that’s wrong with America.

The measure put forward by auto enthusiasts is designed to rein in San Francisco’s transit first policy by “restoring transportation balance in San Francisco,” as the initiative is titled. The full text is posted on the city’s Department of Elections website. Tech giant Sean Parker is providing the financial firepower behind the measure, TechCrunch reported. That’s likely to further inflame the tech backlash in San Francisco…

San Francisco voters will have their say on three traffic measures this November.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said Monday that he’s putting a $500 million bond measure on the November ballot to pay for transportation improvements. Supervisor Scott Wiener has placed a measure on the ballot that would tie Muni funding to the city’s population growth, with a 10-year retroactive feature.

The pro-auto initiative on the November ballot notes that 79 percent of San Francisco households own or lease an auto and that nearly half of the city’s residents who work outside their homes get to work by car… (more)

 

Should S.F. make it easier or harder to drive and park in the city?

Business Pulse – Polls and Surveys : bizjournals – excerpt

Easier. Most people still drive; deal with it. 41%

Harder. More cars will just mean more gridlock. 25%

Neither. Transit vs. cars doesn’t have to be either/or 33%

Votes Cast: 221

VOTE NOW: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/poll/poll/15073351#comments

This survey is not a scientific sampling, but offers a quick view of what readers are thinking

Here’s Another Chance for You to Pay More for Better Buses and Safer Roads

: sfweekly – excerpt

Funding for public transportation has never been based on population in San Francisco, believe it or not. That might all change in November if a new charter amendment passed by the Board of Supervisors this week makes it to the general ballot. This bump in cashflow won’t just fund Muni – it’ll also help finance street safety measures that benefit cyclists and pedestrians.

Until now Muni and other transportation funding has come from the federal government and the city. While the fares that riders pay helps to adjust for population, it’s not all enough money to run the buses and the streets. With the recent rapid growth citywide, both Muni and the streets (and BART, but that’s another matter) struggle to keep pace with the demand. To put all this into content: San Francisco has grown by about 100,000 residents in the last two decades, and 20,000 residents in the last four years.
The additional cash would add up to about $23 million, with 25 percent going to pedestrian and cycling-related infrastructure. The rest would go to increasing Muni capacity. That roughly $5 or $6 million in cycling infrastructure could buy plenty of bike elevators or some new sidewalk bulb-outs, bike lanes, green boxes — all things that would make streets safer for the more vulnerable road users (bikes, moms with strollers).

That figure would dramatically increase the money that’s currently earmarked for bike and pedestrian projects by about 15 percent. According to the city budget, San Francisco spends some $24.9 million on bike projects and $3.7 million on pedestrian safety projects.

Jeff Cretan, legislative aid for Supervisor Scott Weiner, who proposed the charter amendment, said that, based on the City Controller’s estimates, funding from the ballot measure would pump in $22 million initially, and increase up to $25 million in the following two years. Cretan said that this measure was effectively a stop-gap to get more money to public transportation in lieu of the Vehicle License Fee(more)

$24.9 million on bike projects and $3.7 million on pedestrian safety projects seems like a rather unbalanced distribution given that there are so many more pedestrians that cyclists, but, then both biking and walking used to be free, so we’re not sure why they are so expensive.

Railyard Alternatives and 280 Boulevard Feasbility Study Among Projects Funded Through Community Grant Programs

 

MEDIA RELEASE

RAILYARD ALTERNATIVES AND I-280 BOULEVARD FEASIBILITY STUDY AMONG PROJECTS FUNDED THROUGH COMMUNITY GRANT PROGRAMS

More than One Million in Funding
Will Benefit Second Phase of Analysis

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The San Francisco Planning Department announced today that its Railyard Alternatives and I-280 Boulevard Feasibility Study (RAB), a multi-agency program studying transportation and land use alternatives around the existing 4th & King Caltrain Railyard, received grants totaling $1,190,000 from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) to continue the second phase of the Study, projected to begin in 2015. The RAB study areas also include the interface of Mission Bay, South of Market, and Showplace Square/Lower Potrero Hill.
“With the multitude of projects currently underway in San Francisco, it is imperative that we create a coordinated vision for the future of this area; one that links state of the art transit systems with future growth,” said San Francisco Planning Director John Rahaim. “These grants allow us to continue our efforts on behalf of the future of transportation and land use. We are grateful to the MTC and SGC for these grants, and in recognizing the importance of this work to the future of the city and the Bay Area.”… (more)

This is where the transit funds are going. To plan things like tearing down the 280 Freeway. How many of these plans are given priority over Muni operations and services? Can you add them up and figure it out?

Let you Supervisors and Mayor know how you feel about spending millions on plans to tear down the 280 Freeway while asking voters to take on $500 million more bond debt.

The Unpopular SFMTA Used to Poll Neighbors Before Permanently Installing Traffic Circles, But Not Anymore – Why’s That?

sfcitzen – excerpt

I’ll tell you why.

It’s because the SFMTA dramatically overestimated its popularity and the popularity of traffic circles being plopped down in the middle of intersections.

Isn’t that pathetic? It held all these mini-elections and it lost every last one.

So these days, there are no more mini-elections and the SFMTA is free to spin however it wants…

See how that works? Instead of trying to win community support the way it did ten years ago, today’s SFMTA simply assumes whatever it does has “community support.” ‘Cause if the SFMTA had any more neighborhood plebiscites about traffic circles, it knows that it would lose once again…  (excerpt)

That is why voters are expected to vote for the Restore Transportation Balance initiative and vote against the $500 million dollar bond measure. Cutting off the money supply is the only way to stop them. It stopped the escalation of parking meters and is the only thing, short of a Charter Amendment, that voters and Supervisors can do to stop the SFMTA.

When you vote in November support Supervisors who share you opinions on the SFMTA.

Muni gets red carpet treatment on Market

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

Market Street drivers are going to start seeing red on the roadway very soon.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will start painting red transit-only lanes Friday night on Market Street between Fifth and 12th streets to let drivers know that the lane is for Muni use only.

Work for the $1.8 million project will begin from 10:30 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. on Saturday, which will require a partial lane closure of the eastbound track lane of Market Street between Fifth and Mason streets…

The westbound center lane of Market Street — currently open to all vehicles between Steuart and Eighth streets — will become transit-only from Fifth to Eighth.

The SFMTA has already painted red transit-only lanes on Church Street, Third Street and on Geary Boulevard and O’Farrell Street transit-only lane… (more)

Drivers are already seeing red. They will get to have their say in November when they vote to Restore Transportation Balance to the city. Having learned not to trust the SFMTA to do the right thing with bond money, many will not support the $5oo million bond measure either. That one needs a two thirds  majority to pass.

Here is a good example of what SFMTA does with bond money:  5 Fulton Capital Improvements

Separated bikeway along the Embarcadero

Can you envision a separated bikeway along the Embarcadero?

A bike lane laces most of the roadway of the Embarcadero in either direction, but it’s not complete, and sections like the Third Street Bridge are less than ideal, to put it mildly.

Casual riders and family-style tourists often don’t feel safe on the bike lane, so they ride along the promenade itself. This is perfectly legal, btw: The promenade along San Francisco’s waterfront is a shared-use path, which means both pedestrians and bicycles are allowed to use it, from Third Street to the south going north to Powell and Jefferson streets. (There is some signage that declares this, but not enough.)

Cyclists and peds usually co-exist on this popular stretch without a second thought: the path is expansive and there’s plenty of room.  But in some parts it can get congested, with cyclists traveling in both directions trying to weave around pedestrians.

This situation can be improved —  and you can attend an open house meeting Thursday, July 24 at 6 PM, to find out what might be in store for the Embarcadero:

The Embarcadero Enhancement Project Open House

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014
  • 6:00 PM
  • Pier 1 – The Embarcadero (map)
  • The Embarcadero & Washington
  • San Francisco, CA 94111

You might recall that for a short time during the America’s Cup races, a section of the Embarcadero was temporarily cordoned off into a separated two-way path from The Ferry Building to the Cup’s main public pier.

Below are a couple rendered images from SPUR that give an idea of what a separated bicycle pathway might look like. More ideas can be found in their document building the emBIKEadero waterfront bike path (PDF)… (more)

Let ‘s make driving on the Embarcadero more difficult than it is now, eliminate more parking spaces, and spend more money while asking the citizens to take on another half a billion dollars in debt to wreak more havoc on our streets.

That is the plan, but voters who are fed up with it can vote to Restore Transportation Balance in November instead.
Now is the time to let the contestants for Supervisor in District 6, and Supervisor Chiu of District 3, know how you feel about the plan. District 3 and 6 Supervisors should have a say about what happens in their districts. The Eastern Neighborhoods stopped the parking meters when our Supervisors said NO.

RELATED:
Coping with the throngs on S.F.’s beloved Embarcadero
July 9 Port Commission Meeting – (video) Item 12B Embarcardero Bike Lane Project – The presenter claims this project will require an EIR and additional design reviews. The public can participate and should let the Supervisors know how they feel.