SANDAG’s regional bikeway program delayed a year, $79 million over budget

By Joshua Emerson Smith : sandiegouniontribune – excerpt

The San Diego Association of Governments plans to complete 70 miles of bike lanes and other traffic improvements throughout the region by 2024 at a cost of $279 million.

A $200 million plan to build 77 miles of bike lanes and pedestrian improvements throughout the San Diego region by 2023 is now behind schedule and millions of dollars over budget.

Top planning officials with the San Diego Association of Governments — which took up the ambitious project in 2013 — said that unforeseen delays in project approvals and rising construction costs are largely to blame.

In all, SANDAG now expects to construct 70 miles of bike lanes by 2024 at a cost $279 million. Officials said they hope to complete the remaining 7 miles at some point in the future.

“We’re committed to the entire program,” said Linda Culp, principal planner at SANDAG working on the Regional Bikeway Program. “The reality of it is, things happen.”…(more)

Yeah, like forest fires and a population that wants bigger cars to move more stuff faster in an emergency. Bikes are not going to cut it when you need to evacuate the area and as we are seeing, neither will public transit systems. There is a good reason to keep your own vehicle in running order powered up and ready to go. And a reason to keep the streets open to flowing traffic. There are also good reasons to keep open green space between buildings.

Plans unveiled for 50 percent affordable development atop Potrero bus yard

By Abraham Rodriguez : missionlocal – excerpt

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency unveiled new plans Saturday for a mixed-use development above the Potrero bus yard: a 13-story building with 560 residential units. At 50 percent, this plan doubles the percentage of affordable units from prior proposals.

That increase came after residents repeatedly asked for more affordable housing, including at a February community meeting.

Saturday’s three-hour event drew more than 75 Mission residents to the open house at The Archery, an art space at 498 Alabama St…(more)

Coming to you from the public transit agency that know s how to spend your money on everything but public transit. It should be noted that this will be another first. No where in the world has housing been built on top of a bus yard, or at least, SFMTA could not find an example of such a project.

Smart Trains Cancelled Monday For Safety Reasons

By Bay City News Service : sfgate – excerpt

Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) has canceled commuter train service for Monday because of the ongoing Public Safety Power Shutdown impacts on local city traffic signal systems governing roadways that cross SMART railroad tracks, and to clear trees downed by high winds from the tracks.

When PG&E turns the power back on, local jurisdictions will have to reactivate all traffic control systems and synchronize them with SMART railroad crossing warning lights and gates, according to a SMART news release.

For updates, visit SMART’s website at SonomaMarinTrain.org or call (707) 794-3077… (more)

This is why people don’t want to give up their cars. You can’t trust the public transportation service to get your out when you are told to evacuate. You can only rely on your own vehicle, and in some cases, the bigger the better.

RELATED:

Golden Gate Transit Makes Changes To Southbound Bus Service
Escalators Out Of Service At Four Bart Stations As Precaution

Why are our gas costs so high?

By Dan Walters :calmatters – excerpt

It’s déjà vu all over again, to quote the inimitable Yogi Berra and pay homage to the baseball World Series that began this week.

For the umpteenth time, California politicians are complaining about the high prices that the state’s motorists pay for gasoline and suggesting that it’s because of nefarious behavior by big bad oil companies.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is the latest complainer, asking Attorney General Xavier Becerra, to “open an investigation into whether false advertising or price fixing are occurring and contributing to the mystery surcharge imposed on Californians.”

Newsom cited a report on fuel prices that he had requested from the California Energy Commission (CEC) last spring, saying it “suggests big oil companies are misleading and overcharging customers, leading to Californians paying as much as 30 cents per gallon more than residents of other states.”… (more)

RELATED:

Newsom fumbles on transportation

https://calmatters.org/commentary/newsom-fumbles-on-transportation/

BART reportedly considering extension to Richmond District

By Mike Moffitt : sfgate – excerpt

BART wants to build a second transbay tube by 2027 to ease overcrowding in the Bay Area’s already stressed rail system, but its expansion plans may not stop there.

According to the San Francisco Examiner, the agency is also looking at a possible extension to the west along Geary Boulevard.

BART General Manager Bob Powers told the Examiner last week that the agency will explore running a line down Geary as part of its upcoming study of a second bay rail crossing…

State Sen. Scott Wiener told the Examiner, “I would love to see subway service, whether it’s BART or Muni, on the West Side of San Francisco.” Weiner would also love to see such an expansion accompanied by new high-density housing along its corridor(more)

What high density Housing corridor? the one Scott wants to build? Would this extension go in after SFMTA spends a fortune on a Red Lane or would this be instead of the Red Lane? Oh I forgot, money isn’t an issue for BART. They are spending OPM (other peoples’ money).

Solar Car Chargers Continue to Charge EVs During California Outage

SF CEQA

solarnovus – excerpt

Envision Solar International, Inc., a producer of infrastructure products for electric vehicle charging, energy security and outdoor media, today announced that its EV ARC, off grid, solar-powered EV charging infrastructure products continued to charge EVs and provide available emergency power for first responders during the recently announced power shutdowns in Northern California.

Envisions’ EV ARC products deployed in Marin County, Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, Livermore and other locations in Northern California have provided vital electric vehicle charging without interruption during the recently announced precautionary power black-outs, almost two million people were without power when the state’s largest utility cut power due in an effort to prevent wildfires caused by high winds in the region. At least one death linked to the outages was reported in the press. A leading manufacturer of EVs advised its customers in the affected areas to fully charge their vehicles in advance…

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Electric-Car Owners Hard Hit by Massive California Power Shutdown

By : caranddriver – excerpt

Tesla’s Elon Musk promises battery and solar solutions for the many EV owners who can’t charge their cars.

  • Nearly a million Californians are now without power as the electric company deliberately shut it off this week, fearing high winds would spark wildfire.
  • The affected area in Northern California surrounds Fremont, home of Tesla, and a great many electric-car owners who can’t charge their vehicles as usual.
  • Tesla’s Elon Musk is swapping in battery Powerpacks and solar power for Superchargers in the region as fast as he can get permits, he claims on Twitter…(more)

Of course if they have solar installations on their roofs, they can charge the cars using their own power during the day and suck off the car during the night. That is if they are free to arrange a schedule to fit that reality. If their job is reliant on energy anyway, they may be off work. Many possibilities for off-the-grid power solutions will no doubt surface soon.

SF’s quiet war with alleged scofflaw scooter company

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

The scooters scoot, The City impounds them. Nominal fines are paid, the scooters scoot again.

Round, and round, and round they go — with no end in sight.

Such is the cat-and-mouse squabble between scooter company Go X and San Francisco, which has issued numerous citations to the company and impounded its vehicles since its “soft launch” in January this year.

But Go X founder Alexander Debelov claims his company does not need a city permit to operate since its electric scooters deploy from private businesses like Fisherman’s Wharf hotels and can only be returned at the 55 private businesses that partner with the company…(more)

Wow! What is wrong with the old business model of humans renting vehicles out of their shops? Is human interaction no longer legal in this tech town? Are retail businesses that rent bikes, skates, scooters and other vehicles breaking the law now? Does each brand need a permit to operate on the street? No wonder the criminals are running rampant and the police don’t want to take the time to write incident reports. They are too busy moving boulders and chasing down retail shops that rent scooters to protect the public. We need a re-boot.

Market Street is only the beginning of drive to clear city streets of cars

by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

Car-free streets won’t stop at Market.

At least, that’s the intent of San Francisco transit leaders, who on Tuesday approved plans to make Market Street car free and said the effort will continue on other streets.

A super-majority of the Board of Supervisors told the San Francisco Examiner on Tuesday they would support SFMTA studying which streets could become car-free in their neighborhoods…

Supervisors Shamann Walton, Gordon Mar, Aaron Peskin, Rafael Mandelman, Catherine Stefani, Sandra Fewer, Matt Haney, and Vallie Brown have all signaled some support of exploring car-free streets in their neighborhoods, though their responses range from luke-warm to red-hot.

Supervisors Ahsha Safai, Norman Yee and Hillary Ronen did not respond to requests for comment…(more)

Time to speak out if you want to is now.

The Death of Cars Was Greatly Exaggerated

wired – excerpt

The founders of Uber and Lyft, among others, declared that people would no longer need to own cars. Instead, car ownership is rising.

Throw your driver’s license out the window. Better yet, don’t get one at all…

Municipal officials joined the chorus. Earlier this month, New York City banned cars from busy 14th Street, in favor of bus-only lanes. San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency voted on Tuesday to transform Market Street, its main downtown artery, into a place for bikes and scooters and buses—and definitely not personal cars. Similarly, some real estate developers tout apartments without parking spaces but with built-in Uber pick-up spots and leases with monthly ride-hail credits. Cities and companies say such moves can help take emissions-spewing cars off the street, make it easier to get around by foot or by bike, and unburden riders (if not the drivers) from the drudgeries of car maintenance. And Census data suggests that the number of households without cars, and those with fewer cars than workers, has grown.

But here’s the funny thing: Personal car ownership in the US has actually increased in the past 10 years, even in the frenzied urban places where Uber and car-share have become verbs. According to research from former New York City transportation official Bruce Schaller, the number of vehicles has grown faster than the population in some of the cities where ride-hail is most popular: Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago.… (more)

It is not hard to see why people want to own their own private vehicles, and why larger SUVs and trucks with 4-wheel drives are popular given the spike in disasters requiring fast evacuations from fires, hurricanes, and floods. Who trusts a public transit system to come to the rescue after watching the aftermath of the Katrina residents who got stuck? Nobody wants to rely on the government if they can save themselves and the authorities are better off having less responsibility for the safety of all their citizens so they can concentrate on saving the helpless.