Two-Wheelers on the Rails

Bicyclists are not the only ones who have problems with rails. All two-wheelers need to be careful around them. We just passed by a motorcyle on the ground with two people wearing helmets standing by it on Third Street. They were straddling two south facing lanes. We were driving north. They were near a well-lit intersection so we assume they were safe.

This is a reminder to everyone on two wheels to avoid driving on the rails. Just avoid them if you can, and if you must drive across them, try to do so at or near a 90 degree angle to avoid a spill. This is especially important in the rain.

California bicyclists would be allowed to roll past stop signs under proposed law

By sfexaminer – excerpt

Cyclists in California would be allowed to pedal past stop signs — without stopping — under legislation proposed by two lawmakers who say it would make the roads safer.

The two-tiered approach to the rules of the road — one for cyclists and one for cars — is unlikely to ease growing tensions over sharing California’s roadways.

Bike advocates have won such victories in the Statehouse as requiring drivers to yield a three-foot radius of manoeuvring room to cyclists or face fines. Motorists meanwhile have expressed frustration that they see certain cyclists pick and choose which laws to follow.

Assemblymen Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia) and Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) introduced their measure on Friday that would allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as merely yield signs — proceeding with caution if conditions are safe.

In effect, it would legalize the so-called California roll, although just for bicyclists…(more)

This law AB-1103 Bicycles: yielding has been through the legislature a number of times and has not passed yet. It will create more problems than it will solve and is not supported by all cyclists:

  1. Will this apply to 2-way stop signs or just 4-way stop signs? How will cyclists know the difference?
  2. Does anyone think cyclists will slow down more than they do now to look before “rolling” through?
  3. Legislators should include a clause that requires cyclists to purchase licenses and insurance to cover damages resulting from passage of this new law.
  4. This will be particularly difficult for drivers of large vehicles like buses and trucks, who can’t easily see bikes or stop on a dime when they do.
  5. How can SFMTA speed buses though intersections when they must worry about hitting cyclists rolling through stop signs?
  6. This will negatively impact the safety of other cyclists, pedestrians, tourists and young people who will find it even more confusing to walk safely on the streets than they do now.
  7. Wait for the lawsuits to come in.

Details on the AB-1103 – An act to amend Section 21200 of the Vehicle Code, relating to bicycles – Introduced by Assembly Members Obernolte and Ting (Coauthors: Assembly Members Bloom, Chávez, and Kiley)

Principal coauthor: Senator Wiener

SF’s Vision Zero: intuitive, radical, and failed

By : sfgate – excerpt

Vision Zero, San Francisco’s declared goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2024, has failed so far. 25 people, including 12 people walking and 3 biking, have been killed on our streets this year, compared to 24 by this point in 2014, when the goal was set.

Like many of the most powerful and attractive ideas, Vision Zero is radical but also deeply intuitive: Of course people shouldn’t die on our streets. It’s not just that they shouldn’t die—they don’t have to die. Sweden, where Vision Zero was created in 1997, has cut pedestrian deaths by half and now has a rate of traffic deaths less than one fourth that of the United States…(more)

This is not news. Ed Reiskin admitted this months ago. The US government has come up with studies showing that a huge uptick in deadly accidents are being blamed on apps. Convincing people to go back to defensive behavior might be a better approach. Everyone needs to look where they are going, not assume they are going to seen.

Residents Blast City For Continued Inaction On Dangerous 17th Street Muni Tracks

hoodline – comments only

Ok. I can’t find any part of this story to repeat. I will just write my own comments and link to the original so people can figure it out for themselves… (more )

Basically we have cyclists complaining about how dangerous it is to cycle near Muni tracks. Someone should inform them that it is SFMTA’s job to promote Muni over all over modes of transit to pay for Muni and the many other transit programs and projects they Muni and the SFMTA promotes.

 

 

Well-Paid SFMTA Employee, Andy Thornley), Proposes Limiting “Access” on JFK Drive – Westbound Travel Banned, 15 MPH Speed Limit

sfcitizen – excerpt

…(A pay package of about $130k a year (TCOE – Total Cost of Employee), well that’s pretty well-paid for a low-stress job, non? It’s not like being a coal miner or anything. Correct me if I’m way off on this, of course.)

This proposal certainly would reduce traffic, overall, by a very slight amount. It would also increase westbound traffic on Fulton, and Lincoln too I suppose, by a significant amount…
(more)

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Fix JFK Drive

Posted by Andy Thornley 32.20sc on July 28, 2016

It’s time to civilize Golden Gate Park roads : Golden Gate Park is San Francisco’s crown jewel of public open space and everyone’s backyard. The eastern portion of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park has enjoyed a marvelous state of car-free happiness and harmony on Sundays for the past 49 years, as well as Monday holidays for the past 29 years. Parking-buffered bike lanes help to tame JFK Drive between Stanyan Street and Transverse Drive on the other days of the week.

However, it’s been clear for a long time that the western extent of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park needs serious intervention to make if safe and welcoming for bicycle traffic, for people of all ages and abilities. There’s no separated space for bicycles and the roadway is a hilly winding slalom course, and motor traffic often speeds along carelessly, bullying bike traffic, or worse…(more)

Andy is running for Supervisor in District One. So far Sandra Lee Fewer is winning that race. Maybe Andy’s lack of popularity stems from his radical anti-car approach. People in the Richmond like their life the way it is and don’t appreciate the disruption his department is thrusting on us.  The last thing we need is Andy on the board.

If you have any parking complaints, Andy is the person you need to reach out to after you file a 311 complaint.  Details here: https://metermadness.wordpress.com/sfpark-compaints/

 

Rose Pak Vows City Hall Blockade To Stop Stockton Street Pedestrian Mall

: sfist – excerpt

Chinatown organizer and activist Rose Pak is much to thank for the Central Subway project, a $1.5 billion, 1.7-mile undertaking to connect Chinatown to Market Street that was pitched in part as compensation for the removal of the 1989 earthquake-damaged Embarcadero Freeway, which was a conduit to her sometimes isolated neighborhood. But to build the Central Subway, Stockton Street has been closed to cars, damaging Union Square surrounding businesses. To make up for that fact, for the last two years the city has paused construction annually and created a pedestrian space between Market and Union square covered in astroturf called the Stockton Street Winter Walk..

Just one problem: Rose Pak is a major obstacle to the plan, having written to SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin to criticize the idea in a letter obtained by Examiner at the end of last month. On behalf of the SF Chinese Chamber of Commerce, she claimed that a permanent pedestrian mall would “make permanent all the problems we’ve experienced,” which would be “unacceptable to our community.” As she told the Examiner with finality, “I consider the issue closed.”

“We have about 300 family associations, district associations, temples, churches,” Pak told CBS 5 with regard to the pedestrian mall. “Everybody is here. 100 percent of our businesses rely on delivery trucks. Look at Chinatown any hour. You can’t move.” Speaking of which, Pak will negotiate with a similar force. “Wait until I have my blockade of the MTA for a week and see how they like it,” she said. “We’ll have thousands of trucks and cars blockading the whole City Hall and MTA area for one week and see how they like it when no one can get in and out.” To clarify, “that’s a promise, not a threat,” Pak added…

However, “A lot of the merchants, a lot of the pedestrian activists and bike advocates are all saying this is something that would work,” the MTA’s Paul rose countered to CBS 5. Streetsblog appears to agree, pushing an effort to mobilize with a petition to move the pedestrian mall project along.

And, to touch on bicyclists, one prominent pro-bike voice, the parody account Bob Gunderson, has been “critical” of the Winter Walk, which is to say he’s clevelry promoted it. Gunderson’s blog, Dearest District 5, lampoons the likes of Rob Anderson, an actual opponent of bikes, by insisting that the Winter Walk has been a “carless nightmare.” In fact, “The Pedestrian Plaza was supposed to be all fun and games and a “relief from cars”, but it’s done nothing but tear apart families, ruin children’s dreams, and tank the Disney, Apple and Ferrari stores,” writes Gunderson. How long, surely he wonders, can this be permitted to endure?..(more)

 

Survey Floats Proposal To Add Parking-Protected Bike Lanes To Oak And Fell Along Panhandle

by Nuala Sawyer : hoodline – excerpt

The North of the Panhandle Neighborhood Association (NOPNA) has released a survey polling the community about a radical plan: to install separated bike lanes on both Fell and Oak streets, running the length of Panhandle Park between Baker and Stanyan. To achieve such a feat, one lane of traffic may have to be removed, and parking would be set back from the curb to create a buffer between the bike lane and car traffic (similar to the setup on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park)…

The Panhandle currently has two paths running through it. The path on the south side, commonly used by pedestrians, is bumpy thanks to tree roots pushing through the soil, and meanders to and fro along the edge of Oak Street.

The north side of the park is a different scene. The wider two-way multi-use path is used by runners, pedestrians (often pushing strollers), rollerbladers, skateboarders, and cyclists. Particularly during the morning and evening rush hour, it can become a highway for two-wheeled commuters, connecting them from the popular Wiggle bike route to Golden Gate Park, the Richmond and the Sunset…

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) supports the work of NOPNA in polling the community about these issues. “It’s so great to see the neighborhood association seeking the community’s feedback on how best to improve the Panhandle and neighboring streets,” said Chris Cassidy of SFBC. “We’re excited to see the results of this community survey, and eager to see streets around the Panhandle reflect the hopes of those who use them the most.”

But it’s likely that not everyone in the neighborhood will be a fan of the proposal. As readers well know, the addition of new bike infrastructure, which can spell less space for cars on the road, is perennial hot topic around these parts (see the discussion around this week’s story on a new Tenderloin bike lane). If implemented, the new bike lanes could require the removal of a lane on both Oak and Fell streets, which serve as main arteries for east/west car traffic in the area… (more)

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?

Being older in a youthful San Francisco

By Sally Stephens: sfexaminer – excerpt

If you listened to a transistor radio in 1966, like I did, you heard James Brown sing, “This is a man’s world.” The song drove many to fight male chauvinism. If it was written in today’s San Francisco, Brown might instead sing, “This is a millennial’s world.”

San Francisco in 2015 is being planned by and for people in their 20s and 30s. Take a look around City Hall and you’ll see mostly young people staffing government and city agencies. Maybe it takes a certain youthful enthusiasm to deal with an irascible public, powerful special interests and noisy opponents.

The San Francisco millennials are designing is one that meets their needs, wants and expectations. Unfortunately, it’s also making life harder for older San Franciscans…

Or consider the ongoing tension between bikes and cars. A bike is a great way to get around when you’re young and fit. But as you get older, it gets harder to ride safely. You might discover that you can’t turn your head as far to the side to see what’s coming up behind you as you once could. The fear that even a minor spill could result in a broken hip keeps many seniors off bikes.

As you get older, you just can’t carry as much as you once could, so taking the bus to shop becomes harder. Uber, Lyft or ride-hail companies get expensive, if used frequently. Is it any wonder many Baby Boomers prefer to drive?

Yet San Francisco’s many millennial policy makers have decided to restrict cars in favor of bikes on many city streets, reduce parking and consolidate bus stops. While the planners’ young friends enjoy the bike lanes and faster transit, my fellow Baby Boomers and I have more and more difficulty getting around The City…

After working here for a few years, many of San Francisco’s young city staffers will likely move somewhere else, either for a job, family or just because they’re young and want to see more of the world. As they age, they won’t have to live with the consequences of the policies they are crafting in San Francisco today.

When they finally do get older, millennials who stay in San Francisco may well find themselves singing a different tune when they discover they designed a city that makes few accommodations for seniors like themselves… (more)

Gov. Brown gives green light to motorized skateboards

By Bill Hutchinson : sfgate – excerpt

Move over bicyclists, e-boarders now have the legal right to share your lanes.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation reversing a 38-year-old state ban on electric motorized boards, giving riders of such mobility devices the same street cred as cyclists.
The legislation, signed by Brown on Sunday, will go into effect on Jan. 1.
But e-boarders aren’t shredding with joy just yet. The law gives municipalities the right accept all, part or none of the new rules.
“In places like Oakland where skateboards are banned on roads and many sidewalks, e-boards could also be banned,” said Ryan Price, campaigns director for the California Bicycle Coalition.
The law will give cities the choice to give operators the green light to roll on any “public bicycle path, sidewalk, or trail,” according to Assembly Bill 604, introduced by Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen of Modesto… (more)