Impacts on the housing market from transit corridors – rising rents.

Oped: by zrants

The astronomical rise in property values is caused by removing height limits and zoning restrictions. Add massive evictions and foreclosures and create a new disruptive quasi-hotel business for transient citizens and you can easily create a housing shortage to boost property values even higher.

Forcing people to give up their cars is one of many tools the new building industrial complex uses to force dense stack and pack housing on a population that hates it. City Hall uses your tax dollars to market their vision of your future by trying to shame you into accepting what they have plan to do to you.

Don’t you want to live in a cool condo over a coffee shop with a gym and a cleaning service instead of in a single family home with your own private yard and garage? No? What’s wrong with you? Are you a NIMBY? No one deserves parking, a car, a yard, a view, or protection from shadows and wind.

Don’t you want a nice clean loud obnoxious sports arena instead of a wide open space next to the bay? We’ll decorate a big public yard with public art and plants, and you can hang out in the shade of our arena. We may even let you sit down and rest if you can afford one of our expensive new brews or tasty treats. Just don’t think of parking anywhere nearby. Bring your smart phone so you can figure out how to get in and out of the area. If you don’t have one, stay home.

Back to the bike paths: The anti-car brigade claim their priority is taking dirty cars off the road to improve air quality, but, the car industry is transitioning into clean electric vehicles. It is all the demolition and dirt from construction sites that is clogging our lungs and pores and making us sick, not the cars. Do you want to breath all those obnoxious fumes while pedaling down a clogged street full of angry motorists and bus drivers? I don’t.

The climate control argument is a lie. Scientists say the main thing wrong with electric vehicles is that there are not enough of them. They want to see more electric powered vehicles and 4 or 5 story homes independently powered by today’s solar technology. Every tall building that goes up puts more shadows on more rooftops and keeps those us dependent on the public power grid system. As many people have stated, follow the money.

How Atlanta’s greater emphasis on biking impacts the housing market

… Turns out, there are just as many reasons to love biking as an adult. It’s flexible and affordable, it’s great exercise, it’s good for the environment and it makes you feel like a kid again. It’s no surprise, then, that biking has emerged as a favorite alternate mode of transportation for many Atlantans who are tired of spending so much time behind the wheel, stuck in traffic.

What is perhaps surprising, though, is how a love of biking can translate into higher values for properties along or near a bike path. A 2011 study from the University of Cincinnati found that homebuyers there were willing to pay a premium of up to $9,000 to be within 1,000 feet of their 12-mile rails-to-trails line.

Studies from other U.S. metropolitan areas have come to similar results. While we don’t have that sort of quantifiable data for Atlanta, we are noticing rising interest and values for homes in close proximity to trails. Whether it’s the long-distance, Georgia-to-Alabama recreational route of the Silver Comet Trail or the around-town connectivity of the Beltline, Atlanta’s bike paths are becoming the latest sought-after address… (more)

Once again bizjournals calls it. This time in Atlanta. Watch the rents go up along those transit corridors as the government removes parking and forces people onto public transit the developers build higher buildings and raise the rates, claiming they need to put more people on the public transit system, which now includes bike lanes. Makes no sense but, that is what they claim.
Not surprising to those of us who saw it coming when they started claiming that parking isn’t free and parking is a privilege not a right. We knew that parking was step one in the developers’ plans to create scarcity so they could raise prices.

First they took our street parking, then they took our off-street parking, and now they want our back private yards and views. Next they will want us to leave so they can tear down our homes to rebuild the little boxes we refer to as stack and pack housing. And they call us NIMBYS because we object to being displaced?

San Fran Creates Traffic Hazards for Those That Pay NO Gas Taxes

By Stephen Frank : capoliiticalreview – excerpt

If you drive a car you pay vehicle fees, a driver’s license, gas tax, and surcharges on the purchase of tires, batteries and an oil change. You pay for the roads. If you ride a bike, you are not forced by government to pay anything. Drive a car and you have to obey the rules of the road. Ride a bike and you can create accidents, gridlocks and danger to pedestrians—and no one cares… (more)

San Francisco Gets Ready for Its First Raised Bikeway

By Bryan Goebel, KQED, 10/19/15

A type of bikeway popular in bicycling meccas like Copenhagen and Amsterdam is going to be tested on San Francisco’s main thoroughfare starting next month. It’s a design that transportation officials say will become more common over the next few years, as the city rolls out a number of long-awaited safe streets projects…

A raised bike lane, separated from auto traffic, has a number of benefits, according to Mike Sallaberry, a senior engineer with the SFMTA’s Livable Streets division. First, it raises the visibility of bike riders, improving their safety and comfort level, and is a draw for people  who may feel cycling is a little intimidating.

SFMTA officials say this kind of bikeway also helps prevent vehicles from entering, but will also have to accommodate paratransit vehicles and taxis, which are allowed to enter the bike lanes to drop off passengers with disabilities. Planners also need to figure out how to deal with delivery trucks, and might consider creating drop-off zones… (more)

SFMTA says it needs $21 billion for next 20 years

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

Money makes transit go ’round. And in San Francisco, a new number has been identified to do just that: $21 billion.

That’s the amount it will take to keep Muni, bike lanes and roadside features in San Francisco in a state of good repair for 20 years and to expand service, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s newly released Capital Improvement Plan.

The identified needs arise in a dry spell of transportation funding. California’s state legislature is considering new transportation funding measures in a special session, according to The Associated Press, and Congress has a deadline of Oct. 29 to come to an agreement on a deadlocked transportation funding bill.

At the SFMTA Board of Directors meeting Tuesday, SFMTA head Ed Reiskin laid out the importance of the plan.

“We probably won’t get the full $21 billion,” he said to the board. But,“it’s important that we start to lay out the needs. It’s really the only starting point to be able to participate in future conversations with the state and federal government.”… (more)

They could start by cutting out all the funds they are spending on non-Muni operating costs. If the new “moderate democrats” have anything to say about that, they will have no choice.

Lawsuit says new L.A. streets plan creates more air pollution, not less

Squeezing cars until they squeal

washingtontimes – excerpt

Traffic congestion is the dark lining of the silver cloud of prosperity. There’s good news and bad news for commuters trying to navigate the tangled web of overflowing highways in Los Angeles. The good news, misleading as it may be, is that L.A., the city that first struck up a love affair with the automobile, no longer has the worst traffic congestion in the nation. The bad news is that L.A. seems determined to recapture that dreadful honor. The euphoria of mild weather and extreme politics has a dizzying effect.

The Los Angeles City Council has approved a plan to transform hundreds of miles of automobile traffic lanes into bus lanes and bicycle paths. Mobility Plan 2035 is touted as a strategy for encouraging residents to forsake their cars and learn to love public transportation. Given the barely bearable condition of the L.A. daily grind, the council appears to be throwing in with the green fanatics who intend to eliminate the ability of plain folks to go where they want to go, and do what they want to do, in their gasoline-powered cars… (more)

We know the drill.

//d2uzdrx7k4koxz.cloudfront.net/user/js/rh.js

Menlo Park Fire District Opposes Protected Bike Lanes on El Camino Real

Menlo Park’s Fire District is fighting a trial project to install protected or buffered bike lanes on El Camino Real. Image: City of Menlo Park
Menlo Park’s proposal for protected bike lanes on El Camino Real is meeting resistance from the top brass at the city’s Fire Protection District, who would rather see the road become wider and more dangerous.

In a recent letter to the Menlo Park City Council, Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman completely missed the point of installing protected bike lanes — to make making bicycling safer and more attractive. “I cannot recommend the use of El Camino Real in Menlo Park to bicyclists because it is a fairly dangerous route,” he wrote. “In my 35-year career, bicyclists almost always ‘lose’ when they are involved with an accident involving a vehicle, no matter who is at fault or to blame.”

Instead, Schapelhouman said it would be “interesting” to expand the street-level highway to six lanes and synchronize traffic signals to let drivers speed through downtown Menlo Park.

Three city advisory commissions have endorsed the conceptual plan to install bike lanes, either physically protected from motor traffic by curbs and landscaped traffic islands, or an alternative with just a painted buffer zone.

At an August 25 meeting, Menlo Park City Council members refrained from voting on those proposals but did say they favor a trial version of the protected bike lanes, which would replace 156 parking spaces along all 1.3 miles of El Camino Real within the city… (more)

City proposing new housing development fee to expand transit

By J.K. Dineen and Mi : sfgate – excerpt

Mayor Ed Lee’s administration is looking to tap into the city’s housing boom to help bankroll $1.2 billion in transit improvements over the next 30 years.

A proposed transportation sustainability fee announced Tuesday would apply to new market rate condominium and apartment projects and would add $14 million to the $24 million a year already collected from other types of developments.

The money would be spent on expanding the Muni fleet with new buses and railcars, improving reliability on the busiest routes, retrofitting existing trains, investing in the electrification of Caltrain, and making streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The proposed fee, introduced at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting by Scott Wiener, was crafted by the mayor’s office, the city Planning Department, the Municipal Transportation Agency and County Transportation Authority after years of study.

“As our city grows, we must ensure that our transportation network grows along with it,” the mayor said in a statement from Rome, where he is at a meeting with the pope on climate change. “That is essential to meet the needs of our residents and workforce.”…

The new transit fee is needed to strengthen public transit and get commuters out of their cars at a time San Francisco, which has added 100,000 jobs since 2010, is growing by 10,000 residents a year.

The proposed fee underscores what has become a hot-button issue around the city: complaints that the proliferation of high-end residential towers in neighborhoods such as Dogpatch, SoMa and Rincon Hill has not been accompanied by adequate improvements in open space and transit, not to mention sufficient levels of affordable housing.

While the idea of a transit impact fee is not new in San Francisco — the city’s current Transit Impact Development Fee applies to commercial developments and PDR (production, design and repair) facilities and produces that $24 million a year in revenue — the big difference is that the new fee adds builders of market rate apartments and condos. Making market rate housing developers part of the fee structure increases the amount collected 40 percent, from $720 million to $1.2 billion over 30 years… (more)

Anyone who is watching what goes on at City Hall would have to ask a few questions about the intent of collecting the fees. When will the fees be collected, and will they be turned into in lieu fees as the current ones are? How will this effect the price of housing? When ABAG and MTC can’t agree on a transportation scheme, (or how to figure out the best way to describe their goals), who will determine what the money is spent on?

Adding open space of transit in Dogpatch, SoMa and Rincon Hill is a joke. There is no room left to put any.

King Street Bike Lane, Sharrows May Be Removed

With more and more bike lanes being allocated and painted green across the city each year, it’s rare to hear of one disappearing. But that’s exactly what’s happening at King Street between Second and Third, which will no longer have any space allocated for cyclists because of what SFMTA has deemed a safety measure.

The bike lane on King Street currently extends past MoMo’s, but it ends halfway down the block (between Second and Third streets), and becomes bike sharrows in the center of the lane. For cyclists, this can be confusing: one moment, they have the imaginary barrier of a bike lane, and the next, they’re forced to merge into traffic, which is running at a speed limit of 30mph.

As a result, this small stretch of King has proven to be dangerous. In February 2013, cyclist Diana Sullivan was killed on King between Second and Third streets, after being dragged under a cement mixer. (We wrote an article last week that included mention of her ghost bike.)

While deaths like Sullivan’s often result in a call to action for more bike lanes and safer streets, the SFMTA has determined in this case that the safest course of action is to remove the bike lane and sharrows from that stretch of King entirely.

“The near-term goal is to encourage people biking in the area to use Townsend when appropriate,” the SFMTA’s Ben Jose told us. “In the long-term, staff will be examining how biking can be improved in the area through the larger-scale Embarcadero Enhancement Project.”.

Ben told us that extending the bike lane the full length of King Street was an option the SFMTA considered, but ultimately rejected. “It would require reducing lane widths to below minimum standards,” he said. “This would decrease safety and comfort for all road users, since heavy vehicles would need to straddle lanes.”… (more)

Alameda planners’ anti-car agenda to fail, cause misery

By Mark Greenside My Word : contracostatimes – excerpt

I love bike lanes. I want them. When I ride my bike, I want to be safe and separated from cars and pedestrians. The problem isn’t with bike lanes; it’s with the people who design them.

Not that long ago, a bike lane was a bike lane: a designated place where people could ride their bikes and not get hit by cars. Now, bike lanes are the first line of offense in the war against drivers and cars. Bike lanes aren’t for bikers, they are against cars, with the oft-stated purpose of reducing and/or eliminating vehicular traffic. It’s nuts, and it is not sustainable.
More bike lanes are at the heart of TDM (Traffic Demand Management) systems and “smart” growth philosophy brought to us by city planners like Andrew Thomas, who is not a traffic or civil engineer, though he has plenty of opinions about both. These people speak as if they’re talking science, but it’s hope, belief and faith they’re pandering — and like true believers everywhere, they’re willing to push their beliefs onto the doubtful…
It is an effort that is doomed to fail, though not before ruining the community. Here are the reasons why: …
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission recently issued a report, “Vital Signs” (www.vitalsigns.mtc.ca.gov), that was summarized in the San Jose Mercury News as follows: “Some of the conclusions of the MTC report are depressing for traffic planners. Despite the addition of hundreds of miles of carpool lanes stretching from Marin to Oakland and San Jose, the percentage of those sharing a ride to work has declined about 3 percent since (1989) …. While BART and Caltrain ridership is soaring, overall transit ridership remains low and bus lines have lost passengers.”… (more)
Mark Greenside is an Alameda resident and a retired professor of political science, history and English at Merritt College in Oakland.

People Behaving Badly: wiggle referee quits

By Molly Martinez : kron4 – excerpt – (video clip)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Stanley Roberts caught up with the self-appointed “wiggle referee,” who was reluctant to speak with KRON4.  The wiggle, for those unfamiliar, is a particularly dangerous intersection for cars, bicyclists and pedestrians alike.

Stanley also gets accused of trying to sell papers… (more)