To See the Future of Cities, Watch the Curb. Yes, the Curb

By Aarian Marshall : wired – excerpt

When Greg Rogers left his gig as a Washington, DC, lobbyist in 2015, he did what any savvy, mid-20s kid with a car and a light wallet might: He signed up to drive for a couple of ridehailing services. “Living the millennial dream means quitting your job, driving for Uber and Lyft, and trying to figure it out,” he says…

Space Wars

Rogers, the driver-turned analyst, was inspired by his struggles to come up with a new curbside management concept, one that Washington and other cities are beginning to take very seriously. He calls it “shared use mobility zones,” and you can think of it as flex-space: At certain times of day, the city reserves the curb for specific functions. During rush hour, maybe, it’s a pick up stop for a microtransit service. In the afternoon, it’s a spot where trucks can pull over and drag in deliveries without double parking. At night, it’s a designated point where a for-hire car can meet passengers pouring out of the bar on the corner. “The best part is that cities can adjust based on what their goals are,” says Rogers.

And even though Rogers hasn’t actually approached any local governments about his personal zoning idea, cities are acting on similar notions: In October, Washington rolled out a year-long pilot program modeled on the concept of flex-space. Monday through Thursday, a stretch of Connecticut Avenue in the busy Dupont Circle neighborhood is a great place to shop or grab lunch. Thursday through Sunday, 10 pm to 7 pm, it’s one of the most zoo-like nightlife spots in the District.

That’s why the city reserves four blocks on those evenings for ridehailing pick-up and drop-off zones. “Folks were spilling out into the travel lane,” says Evian Patterson, the DC Department of Transportation’s director of parking and ground transportation. Now, just a few months on, he says the city has seen safety improvements. The traffic has gotten better, too. San Francisco and Fort Lauderdale have similar pilots in the works…

Or, faster transportation overall. In 2015, Chicago’s government reserved curbside lanes on a major downtown thoroughfare for buses only, painting them a bright red. In the following year, moving and stoping violations on the road fell. Standing and parking violations almost disappeared. Bus riders were getting to where they needed to go, closer to on time—and so was everyone else… (more)

‘Temporary’ No Parking Signs Stay Up For 4 Years In San Francisco Construction Zones

by Brian Webb : cbslocal – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX)–In a city where parking is one of the hottest commodities, construction crews are hogging street-side parking with temporary “No Parking” signs for weeks, months, and even as long a four years, forcing those who actually own homes here to walk several blocks just to get to their front door.

In one construction site found by KPIX 5 at 26th Avenue and California in the Richmond district, signs prohibit parking from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m., six days a week.

“It’s gotten very frustrating for a lot of us in the neighborhood,” said a neighbor who was worried about giving out his name for fear of creating a feud… (more)

Traffic Alert: New traffic configuration starting next week in SoMa – excerpt

To avoid traffic congestion on this section of 4th Street, we suggest using the detours described below…traffic configurations at a construction site in SoMa will be modified next week, starting Tuesday, September 4.
4th Street between Folsom and Howard streets  – At the future site of the Yerba Buena/Moscone Station, the contractor will start work on the east side of 4th Street.

Traffic impacts: Two lanes will remain open to traffic on the west side of 4th Street. (Currently the two open lanes are on the east side of the street.)  Temporary lane striping will be in place at and around the intersection of 4th and Howard streets to direct traffic to the appropriate lanes.
Parking impacts: Parking will be impacted on 4th Street between Folsom and Howard streets and on Clementina Street near the intersection with 4th Street.
Suggested detours for freeway access: Traffic delays are anticipated. Motorists are encouraged to use the on-ramp at Harrison and 7th streets as an alternative to access westbound I-80 while launch box construction is in progress. Those traveling to the peninsula may prefer to access the I-280 via 6th Street or Highway 101 via 10th Street.
Pedestrian impacts: The sidewalks on the west side of 4th Street will be restored for pedestrian use.
More information about the work currently underway at this site is available here.