Muni Proposing Major Changes To L Taraval Line

cbslocal – excerpt – (video)

Don Ford reports on planned changes to L Taraval Muni line in SF’s Sunset District… (more)

RELATED:

SFMTA approves contentious Taraval Street changes | SFBay :: San Francisco Bay Area News and Sports

With Unanimous Vote, SFMTA Approves Changes To L-Taraval Corridor | Hoodline

Unpopular Taraval Street plan approved in the name of safety – SFGate

SFMTA approves controversial L-Taraval changes in name of safety – The San Francisco Examiner

SFMTA Board Unanimously Approves L-Taraval Boarding Islands | Streetsblog San Francisco

 

Sunset Tunnel’s crumbling interior may end $19 million renovation

The cost of building San Francisco’s Sunset Tunnel has just grown by $3 million more, after the discovery of a crumbling interior inside the tunnel has the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency doling out even more money to see if the project is salvageable.

The Sunset Tunnel tracks for the N-Line were built in 1928 and are now used for the city’s N-Judah light-rail vehicles.

A report from the SFMTA has found that the during the tunnel’s renovation last winter, the conduit began to crumble and exposed “live feeder cables,” adding that there is a “high probability of hidden damages” that might cause the Muni to stop operating in the location for good… (more)

Looks like SFMTA has more important things to do than they can keep track of. Why are they spending money on Red Lanes and BRTs when they need to shore up tunnels and bridges? It boggles the mind sometimes where the priorities lie. If they can’t take care of this problem a lot more people will start driving again.

L-Taraval changes head to SFMTA board

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

Contentious changes along Muni’s L-Taraval route could get decided Tuesday.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors on Tuesday are expected to vote on a final proposal on the L-Taraval Rapid Project.

Residents and merchants have been at odds with transit officials on proposed improvements including adding boarding islands at some stops, and removal of other stops altogether…

The original proposal had called for boarding islands at all L-Taraval transit stops that did not have them, but transit officials comprised with businesses to instead pilot a program for six months that does not remove any parking on Taraval at 26th, 30th, 32nd, 35th and 40th avenues.

Instead of transit boarding islands, a large sign will get placed to warn drivers that they must stop to allow for passengers to board and disembark trains, along with a painted white solid line in the traffic lane where vehicles must stop behind the train. Both treatments would be placed along Taraval to match the configuration of a two-car train.

Additionally, painted markings will also be present in the traffic lane to warn drivers ahead of time of transit stops ahead…

Documents from the transit agency said transit officials will work with merchants to develop an education campaign alongside working with the San Francisco Police Department on enforcement at these five transit stop locations during the evaluation of the pilot.

New flashing lights on trains when the doors open will also be part of the pilot, to bring more attention to drivers that they must stop.

The pilot changes will be installed in Fall 2016. If there is not at least a 90 percent compliance rate of drivers stopping where they are supposed to, or if there is a collision with a pedestrian and vehicle during the six-month evaluation, officials will pursue boarding islands at those five locations, SFMTA documents said…

Paula Katz, a resident in the Parkside neighborhood, started a petition to save all of the L-Taraval stops, which she has submitted to the transit agency. She said the removal of the transit stops would put a burden to riders especially for the elderly who shop at places like at Safeway on Taraval and 17th Avenue.

Early implementation

SFMTA documents show the transit agency wants to carry out specific positions of the project earlier than what was originally proposed.

Officials plant to start the transit-only lane early, with signage and painted symbols, but no red paint. Officials said they will monitor the effects of traffic flow and congestion for one year to due to concerns from the community that a loss of a travel lane would cause traffic congestion.

Painted clear zones will also be implemented early at locations where the transit agency are proposing boarding islands. Vehicles would shift to the right as if there were a boarding island present at 10 locations. Parking spots at those locations would no longer be available.

The public can still give public comment on the final proposal of the L-Taraval project at the SFMTA’s Board of Directors meeting Tuesday at 1 p.m. in room 400 of City Hall… (more)

Major L-Taraval changes up for vote Tuesday

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

taravalcard

Taraval Street is about to transform in the name of transit.

The proposed changes are contentious. As transit officials have proposed to make the L-Taraval line safer, neighbors in the sleepy Sunset district have booed and hissed at transit officials in community meetings…

Now, a hard-won compromise was reached between those who want the L-Taraval line to be safer, and those fearful businesses will be harmed.

Most sides still have gripes with the project…

“We’re not saying we want no islands, we’re saying we got to this point and let’s test it out,” Chow said. “Because every implementation [the SFMTA has] done so far has upset every community they’ve been in.”…

As a compromise, the SFMTA plan up for vote on Tuesday would paint stripes that would ban cars from being in part of a lane, instead of creating boarding islands at four of the proposed locations closest to businesses.

Lighting the way..

On a recent tour of Muni Metro East, a light-rail vehicle repair yard, the San Francisco Examiner was shown L-Taraval train No. 1428.

Train 1428 is a guinea pig for new ultra-bright LED lights running along the door and on the front and back of the train. It will likely be a “modest” cost, Haley said, to help car drivers better see trains and pedestrians in the foggy stretch of Taraval…(more)

This really is a case of neighborhoods uniting to fight the giant street eater. Citizens are tired of this constant disruption and changes in their lives. There is no point to most of it. Why is SFMTA spending money they don’t have to harass the voters? Yes on L and No on J and K and if you can show up to protest tomorrow, September 20th at the SFMTA Board meeting, please do. See above for details.

 

 

Bay Bridge rainy-day fund runs low, leaving toll-payers on hook

By Michael Cabanatuan : sfchronicle – excerpt

The new Bay Bridge span, beset with construction problems, could cost as much as $270 million to complete.

Three years after it opened, the eastern span of the Bay Bridge has been beset with so many problems that a multimillion-dollar rainy-day fund set aside for unanticipated expenses has been nearly devoured, leaving toll-payers responsible for any additional costs.

In a report sent to the Legislature on Thursday, the three-person committee that oversees the $6.8 billion bridge project said just $67.7 million remains in the contingency fund, far short of the estimated $184 million bridge authorities say they need. The fund was $900 million when it was created in 2005.

The committee said the estimated cost to complete the span — including any remaining repair work — could run as high as $270 million or as low as $100 million. But in any case, the Bay Area Toll Authority will have to pay the bill — with money collected from drivers crossing the Bay Area’s seven state-owned toll bridges.

Toll hikes will not be needed, according to officials with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which operates the authority.

“We’re not going to raise the tolls to pay for this,” said Randy Rentschler, a commission spokesman. “There’s no question about that.”

Instead, cash that the authority has already banked for improvements on the region’s toll bridges and their approaches will cover the costs…(more)

Nearly three decades after Loma Prieta earthquake, Folsom Street sees new life

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake wreaked havoc throughout the Bay Area.

But nearly 27 years later, one part of its legacy — the removal of a controversial freeway — may finally lead to the revitalization of Folsom Street.

Part of Folsom Street runs in the shadow of what was once the Embarcadero Freeway, which was torn down after a bitter public battle ended in the 1989 earthquake that rendered the freeway unsafe.

Down came the freeway. But, now, Folsom Street will rise.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on Tuesday approved a series of bike and pedestrian changes to Folsom Street, a key approval in a project that aims to transform the roadway into a hub of nightlife and walkability by early 2018…(more)

Which universe do these people live in? Take a look at the photo at the top of the page and tell me what is wrong with the story. This is a major construction zone. No sidewalk work and no road work will make this safe for pedestrians until the construction is complete.
Why is the SFMTA or DPW or whoever is responsible for scheduling work on Folsom starting a sidewalk or street project before the big construction projects are complete?
I walked past a rather small construction project on 17th Street today and was forced to walk into the street to get around the site and the rather large truck parked next to the site.
How is working on streets or sidewalks in front large construction projects under way on Folsom a good idea or a safe way to proceed?
Folsom Street is a major arterial that connects the Embarcadero with Cesar Chavez. There is a Fire Station at Folsom and 19th Street and two hospitals nearby. All this gridlock in a construction zone will make access for emergency vehicles very difficult, if not impossible.
Enough of this gridlock. Let’s pass Prop L so we can demand the SFMTA limit itself to one large project at a time instead of three or four. stopsfmta.com
And do not give them any more sales tax dollars. No on Prop K!

TAKE BACK OUR STREETS!

Continue reading

Muni’s $2.4 Million Mission Transformation Saves 2 Minutes, Costs Shopkeepers More

Phil Matier : cbslocal – excerpt – (video)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco’s plan for Muni in the Mission District promised to speed up commutes, but the time saved has come at a startling cost: a million dollars a minute…

For the past five months crews have been busy remaking 23 blocks of Mission Street to make it more bus friendly, putting transit only lanes, taking out parking and rerouting traffic.

The price tag on the project? $2.4 million.

Muni says the transformation will save commuters about two minutes.

Local business owners say the money, along with the time saved, is just not worth it.

“We support better service for Muni riders, but this is basically hurting the businesses and the economic vitality of this community,” says Roberto Hernandez of the Mission Merchants Association.

The trouble is faster buses also means fewer cars coming in to shop.

Take, for example, the busy intersection at Cesar Chavez Boulevard.

“They created what we are calling the “Trump wall” – people cannot drive onto Mission street. They are forced to make a right-hand turn,” says Hernandez.

Drivers are forced to go around the block to get back on Mission Street. No sooner than you get back on Mission, you’re ordered off again, and the again , and still again…

“What it has done is stopped people from coming onto Mission Street,” says Hernandez. “Consequently, for over 300 businesses revenue has dropped drastically over the last five months.

City Hall feels the time-saving project is worth it…(more)

If you don’t agree with City Hall that “it’s ok to spend 2.4 million dollars to save 2 minutes”, cut off the normal flow of traffic on a busy commercial cross-town street, put hundreds  businesses and employees at risk, force elderly and young people to walk longer distances to catch more crowded buses with less seats, support Proposition L, the SFMTA Charter Amendment, that calls for changes on the SFMTA Board. Get the details and join the campaign: stopsfmta.com

 

 

Meet the SF man responsible for more than a quarter of all tech bus complaints

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez :  SFExaminer – excerpt

Edward Mason is on the hunt, and his target is the elusive tech bus.

But Mason does not seek out his prey merely once. Instead, he catches the gleaming metal vehicles in the act of violating city rules on the “Commuter Shuttle Program,” repeatedly…

Employees of many tech companies hire commuter buses between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, which weave in and out of city neighborhoods to pick up employees.

Tech workers defend the shuttles, and often say Caltrain is too full to use in a Silicon Valley commute. Tech workers frequently say in meetings that the shuttles take many cars off the road…

A pilot program to monitor and regulate shuttle use began in August 2014, and that’s when Mason began his hunt. He’s been enormously effective…

Overall, Mason has provided information on commuter shuttles 282 times, according to the SFMTA.

Mason’s emails detail scores of infractions, including a shuttle idling in a narrow street it’s not allowed in, shuttles staging in Muni stops, shuttles blocking access to Muni buses, incorrect permit decals, incorrect license plates and more.

“The plan says buses are supposed to avoid deep and narrow streets,” he said, “but what else is there in San Francisco?”…(more)

The New Muni Cars Have Arrived—See What They Look Like Inside

By Kelly Bonner : upout – excerpt

After the April announcement that we’d be getting new BART cars, SFMTA announced that Siemens, the developers of San Francisco Muni cars, are ready with a fleet of 260 new vehicles that are set to be delivered by end of 2016 to replace the current fleet of 151. This means that by 2017, you could be looking at these new designs that were previewed in the Embarcadero recently. They feature a new seating configuration, new color schemes (including green instead of red!), new exterior design and a host of other features. Shiny…

But one big change is that the majority of seats will most likely be laid out longitudinally, instead of transverse like they are now:…(more)

BART seats.JPG

New BART seat arrangement, photo by Zrants

The Siemens vehicles are rail cars but seats are also being eliminated on BART and probably the new buses as well.

Do you really want people standing on buses going up and down steep hills and stopping and starting constantly? If public vehicles have standing passengers they should move slower and start and stop slower, not faster. I practically fell into a wheelchair when BART started suddenly the other day. How many people can reach the hangers? What is the plan for children and short people who can’t grab onto a seat or pole? Hang onto strangers?

Removing seats is not the way to convince more people to take Muni to run errands that involve moving stuff. We have seen anti-backpack comments from bus riders who feel backpacks take up extra space. Packages, wheelchairs, baby carriages, luggage, pets, and bikes, among others, take up space and displace humans. How long before Muni starts charging extra for the stuff?

We insist on all private vehicle passengers wearing seat belts. Where is the protection for public vehicle riders?

Port Of San Francisco Signs Deal To Process Car Shipments

cbslocal 740AM 106.9FM News – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — After losing most of its cargo shipping business to Oakland in recent decades, the Port of San Francisco has signed a 15-year deal to process car shipments at Pier 80.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth reports on the agreement celebrated today that city leaders say brings back maritime jobs to the waterfront.

Pier 80 is the city’s primary cargo terminal, but ship traffic had nearly disappeared since the recession hit.

Interim Port Director Elaine Forbes said the new lease deal with San Rafael-based Pasha Automotive Services will be a boon for the city.

“The Pasha Group will build an import and export business that will include preparation of these automobiles. Think of a mini auto plant. The vehicles will be trucked from Pier 80 to Northern California to dealerships,” Forbes said.

At an inaugural celebration Monday, Mayor Ed Lee said the agreement will help revitalize the city’s waterfront, and that at least 50 percent of the jobs will go to residents in the Bayview neighborhood.

“These are jobs for our present, our future. They’ve been working-class jobs that we always said we’re going to bring back to San Francisco. It’s not just tech jobs, hotel jobs, and hospital jobs,” Lee said.

Pasha has similar operations at several other U.S. ports, and plans to process up to 200,000 vehicles here per year…(more)

Don’t know how City Hall plans to move the new cars being unloaded at Pier 80 through the streets of San Francisco to one of the bridges to get them to San Rafael. I can’t think of a wide street that will accommodate large trucks capable of handling the trucks that SFMTA is not planning to “slow and calm” this year. It is not easy for large trucks to take tight turns or narrow streets.