SF transit agency director dies

by baycitynews : sfexaminer – excerpt

A member of San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors has passed away, Mayor Ed Lee announced Friday.

Jerry Lee, who joined the SFMTA board in 2008 and has no relation to the mayor, was serving as the chair of its policy and governance committee…

Jerry Lee’s service to San Francisco dates back to 1988, when he was a special assistant to then-Mayor Art Agnos to help establish the newly formed Department of Parking and Traffic. He also served as chairman of the Taxi Committee and, prior to joining the SFMTA board, was the manager of community affairs for UPS… (more)

Let Mayor Ed Lee know that you want a more balanced board. He should appoint someone from the small business community, the taxi industry, the faith based community, or one of the other groups of citizens who are constantly showing up and complaining about the lack of support they get from the SFMTA Board.

How BMW cracked the streets of San Francisco

By Gabe Nelson : autonews – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO — A prime downtown parking spot here costs $3.50 an hour.

Stay for 12 hours a day, and it adds up to $250 a week, or $13,000 a year.

Most car companies don’t worry much about the cost of parking, but in a garage under a San Francisco overpass, a group of BMW employees is figuring out how to factor those costs into a new business model. Three years ago, the company chose San Francisco for the U.S. debut of DriveNow, a car-sharing program that presages a future in which car companies won’t just sell cars — they’ll sell rides, one trip at a time…

Selling rides is sharing?

But the rollout in San Francisco has not gone as smoothly as BMW hoped…

In most cities where they operate, Drive-Now and archrival Daimler’sCar2Go users can pick up a car from the curb, drive across the city and park at any legal street spot. They can do this because those cities will sell DriveNow and Car2Go a “superpermit” — a master parking pass that serves as payment for parking meters and permission to ignore time limits.

San Francisco still has not granted a superpermit, after years of lobbying… (more)

It appears that BMW can only operate successfully with “superpermits” that allow their drivers to park in any neighborhood without or fear of getting a ticket. We all had that deal until 2012 when the SFMTA implemented their anti-car campaign by eliminating parking and traffic lanes.

BART parking fees to jump starting Jan. 20

By Jamey Padojino : sfbay – excerpt

Parking fees at multiple BART stations are expected to go up by 50 cents later this month, transit agency officials said.

The increase comes after an assessment of parking lot usage that is conducted every six months, agency officials said… (more)

Read the source for more details on the fees.

Vision Zero advocates push forward as pedestrian deaths decline in 2014

By sfexaminer – excerpt

Pedestrian fatalities in San Francisco in 2014 were down slightly from the previous year, but still higher than the past several years, a figure that traffic-safety officials and advocates hope to drive down with Vision Zero projects planned throughout 2015.

According to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, 18 pedestrian fatalities and three bicyclist deaths involving motor vehicles occurred in 2014. In 2013, there were 21 pedestrian fatalities — with seven in December and three on New Year’s Eve alone, including the death of 6-year-old Sofia Liu who was hit by an Uber driver — and four bicyclist fatalities…

Prop. A allows The City to borrow up to $500 million by issuing general-obligation bonds for improving its transit infrastructure and aging roads, while Prop. B amended the city charter to allocate a greater amount of the general fund toward the transit agency each year based on population growth.

The Vision Zero coalition’s goal for this year, Schneider said, is to complete 18 miles of street-safety improvement projects on high-injury corridors, which account for 6 percent of The City’s streets and 60 percent of severe and fatal injuries on average… (more)

Roadshow: Strange new parking spaces called ‘traffic nightmare’

By Gary Richards : mercurynews – excerpt

Q The new parking lines on the west side of Stockton Avenue between The Alameda and Julian Street at the new Whole Foods in San Jose seem to be facing the wrong way. This requires vehicles traveling south on Stockton to stop and back in. … What is the logic behind this? … This certainly must be incorrect? The lines need to be changed and quick; it is a traffic nightmare. … I have never seen this before. Half the people don’t do it and it seems to make no sense. Yet I have to believe there was some thought behind it… (more)

Yeah, how to driver drivers crazy while putting everyone on the road at risk and blaming it on the drivers. That is the thought that went into it.

Read the comments and guess who likes this crazy parking scheme – cyclists who don’t drive cars! We should start a poll to find out how many car drivers like it.

I know someone who hit a car as she was driving out of one of these “nightmare” sparking spots. The visibility sucks.

Mass transit study seeks solutions to traffic in Bay Area

EL CERRITO >> A study to evaluate mass transit alternatives to the automobile-saturated Interstate 80 corridor has been put out to bid by the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee.

The WCCTAC board unanimously approved a request for proposals earlier this month to evaluate several transit options, including express buses, ferries and wBART, an extension of BART to northwestern Contra Costa County. The goal is to come up with the best high-capacity alternative, or combination of alternatives, to automobiles along the I-80 corridor from the Alameda County line to the Carquinez Bridge, according to a WCCTAC staff report. That stretch includes parts of Richmond, El Cerrito, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Pinole, Hercules, Rodeo and Crockett.

I-80 between Highway 4 and the Bay Bridge has consistently placed in the top five most congested travel corridors in the region, but has not received a fair share of regional transit investments, BART District 7 Director Zakhary Mallett, who has championed a study since his successful election campaign in 2012, noted in a news release.

“This study is an important first step to bringing long-overdue relief to this heavily trafficked corridor,” Mallett said…. (more)


County transportation authority encourages public feedback for five-year plan: The San Mateo County Transportation Authority is crafting its new five-year strategic plan and wants to hear from Peninsula residents about the transit and infrastructure issues most important to them.
The agency is responsible for administering Measure A funds, which come from a half-cent sales tax approved by voters and earmarked for transportation programs and projects across the county. In a series of town hall-style meetings this month, the agency is encouraging residents to provide input to determine how it will allocate those funds during the next five years.
When county voters re-authorized Measure A in 2004, they also approved the Transportation Expenditure Plan, which guided the transportation authority’s allocation of funds in its previous five-year plans… (more)