Parking-First “Save Polk Street” Crowd Attacks Van Ness BRT

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

“Save Polk Street” has aimed its parking-first agenda at Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit. A couple dozen speakers protested the project an SFMTA hearing last week, distributing fearmongering flyers [PDF] claiming that removing some parking and banning left turns would “kill small businesses,” back up car traffic, and make the street more dangerous.

The long-delayed Van Ness BRT project was already approved two years ago by the boards of the SFMTA and the SF County Transportation Authority. Last week’s hearing was on specific street changes [PDF], like removing parking for station platforms and pedestrian bulb-outs. No action was taken by the hearing officers, but the street changes are expected to go to the SFMTA Board of Directors for approval in October…

Save Polk Street, a group of car-obsessed merchants, successfully watered down plans for protected bike lanes on Polk in favor of preserving parking. The group has ignored statistics – like SFMTA studies showing that 85 percent of people arrive on Polk without a car, or a count of 4,300 parking spaces within a block of Polk between Union and McAllister Streets. Only 1,900 of those parking spaces are on-street, and on-street spaces along Polk and Van Ness make up a fraction of the total.

Most of the complaints about Van Ness BRT were about removing parking and banning left turns, and claimed that transit doesn’t need the estimated 30 percent speed increase. Some also complained about removing five of 16 bus stops to streamline the route…

The changes at the hearing are expected to be approved at an SFMTA Board hearing on October 7.

Why the Van Ness BRT is bad flyer:
http://sf.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/vannessflier1.jpg

We shall see in November who is the minority when the voters decide whether to continue funding SFMTA projects or stop them from further traffic disruptions, such as the Van Ness BRT, by voting Yes on L: http://www.restorebalance14.org/

 

 

Stop the Van Ness BRT. Let your city, state and federal representatives know that you oppose any changes on Van Ness. “Van Ness (and Lombard) are considered part of the Federal and State highway system. They are designated as 101 because they form the official link where 101 ends to where it resumes at the GG Bridge.”

 

Palo Alto inks $500K deal to loosen traffic gridlock, explores parking fixes

: bizjournals – excerpt

Try driving through Palo Alto during rush hour and you’re likely in for some quality time behind the wheel.

The wealthy Peninsula city known for its concentration of high-paying jobs is a poster child — along with other Silicon Valley office hubs like Mountain View and Sunnyvale — for the traffic gridlock that results from decades of unbalanced economic development.

Because Palo Alto has a very limited supply of homes priced under $1 million, tech workers, professional service providers, hospitality workers and Stanford academics alike commute into the city each day for work, leading to clogged streets and packed parking lots. As I have reported, the city had 3.1 jobs for every one housing unit as of 2012, U.S…

Recognizing that keeping commuters employers happy is a good thing for the city’s tax base, Palo Alto officials are working on multiple fronts to curb traffic woes and parking shortages fueled by the jobs-housing mismatch.

This month, the city approved a $499,880, three-year contract with Berkeley-based consulting firm Moore Lacofano Goltsman Inc. (MIG) to organize a downtown nonprofit Transportation Management Association, according to a report by Palo Alto Weekly. The city aims for the group to “coordinate incentives for downtown employees to switch from cars to other modes of transportation,” the paper adds.

“The city, employers and transit agencies have already promoted trip reduction and alternative options,” according to a memo on the need for the new downtown Transportation Management Association. “Yet, these initiatives are not comprehensive in nature and have not been effective from a district-wide standpoint.”…

Urban planning advocates throughout Silicon Valley are urging area cities to consider transit-oriented development and other means of reducing productivity-sapping traffic. But with disjointed public transit sometimes forcing commuters to switch between multiple systems — commuter rail, light rail, buses, bike sharing, etc. — the question is whether alternatives to driving are really practical(more)

At some point you have to questions the wisdom of continuing the same tactics when traffic is getting progressively worse. No tactics are in order. November elections will bring a fresh look at the driver backlash in many localities. A list of local election issues is coming soon. Stay tuned to metermadness.