Muir Woods stiffens parking restrictions

By James Lanaras : sfbay – excerpt

The first phase of parking restrictions and an eventual parking registration system at the Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County will get underway early this year, a National Park Service spokeswoman said Thursday…

“The Muir Woods Reservation System enables the park to begin taking positive steps to address overcrowding at Muir Woods,” Golden Gate National Recreation Area deputy superintendent Aaron Roth said in a statement.

The National Park Service has assigned additional law enforcement rangers to educate the public about and enforce the new parking regulations.

The seven-year-plan to restrict parking on Muir Woods Road and start a parking registration system by 2018 was developed by Rep. Jared Huffman.
Muir Woods National Monument draws about 1 million visitors a year… (more)

Bike riders costing more than they contribute

marinij – excerpt

For months now, we have been hearing about bicycle paths and how they will benefit everyone by getting people out of cars, causing less congestion on the roads, benefiting the environment.

Now, let’s look at reality.

Recently, there was a path constructed through San Rafael to Greenbrae.

It cost millions and gets very little use — an unjustified taxpayer expense.

There was a bike path built from South Novato Boulevard to Ignacio. It cost millions and its use? I personally, over a span of at least a year, have seen three pedestrians walking on it. I have never seen a bicycle on that path.

Now, we are being asked to spend multiple millions more of tax dollars for a path across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge for bicycle commuters.

Seriously?

Do you realize how steep the incline is on that bridge, how windy it is and how much fog traverses that span? It would be a daunting task for even the most experienced of bikers…(more)

Political push needed for reopening bridge lane

By Dick Spotswood : marinij – excerpt

A gullible public is frequently told regarding proposed legislation and general plan changes something to the effect of, “Don’t worry. It’s just a plan. The proposal isn’t an authorization to do anything specific.”

While literally true, the whole truth is that such moves are often time bombs. When they finally explode, we hear, “That was done years ago. It can’t be changed. There’s nothing we can do about it.”

Here’s another example demonstrating that intense scrutiny is needed when we hear that a new law or a change in a planning document is just a flexible guideline…

MTC effectively is saying that for motorists to get the third traffic lane reopened, that project must be simultaneously coupled with construction of a hugely expensive trans-bay bikeway. Not only is it expensive, the bike segment will take years to design, obtain environmental permits and then build…

The argument is based on Section 888.2 of the California Streets and Highways Code.

Enacted in 1993, it mandates that the Department of Motor Vehicles shall “incorporate nonmotorized transportation facilities in the design of freeways on the state highway system along corridors where nonmotorized facilities do not exist, upon a finding that the facilities would conform to the California Recreational Trails System Plan … or upon a finding, following a public hearing, that the facilities would conform to the master plans of local agencies for the development of nonmotorized facilities and would not duplicate existing or proposed routes, and that community interests would be enhanced by the construction of the facilities.”…

It’s a bad law that needs to be amended. Under its language, all that needs to be shown is that vague “community interests would be enhanced.”

Even strictly interpreting the statute, there’s nothing in it prohibiting Caltrans or MTC from “decoupling” the lane reopening from the bikeway.

The proper strategy is to first reopen the third auto lane and then, if the law can’t be changed, build the bikeway.

Marin’s representative on MTC’s board, Supervisor Steve Kinsey, has joined the call for decoupling the two projects. So far that has not led to any action.

Kinsey could do much for his 2016 re-election chances if he can convince his colleagues, and more importantly MTC’s powerful executive director Steve Heminger, to promptly decouple the auto lane effort from the bike project and get traffic moving again… (more)

This is a perfect example of how the lobbies control Sacramento, and why the voters need to take it back.

RELATED:
Taxpayers paying for bike riders’ ‘entertainment’?   Since you are printing many letters from the bicycle advocates, and not many of us take the time to comment, I have appreciated all of Dick Spotswood’s informative columns. He is very astute and tells it like it is… The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has been taken over by the bicycle lobby and has managed to tie all new improvements to our highways, railways and bridges to demands for multi-million-dollar bicycle paths that are used by few, if any commuters… Bike coalition needs to get riders to obey the law…

 

Golden Gate Transit to 5 year olds: pay up

By Mark Prado : marinij – excerpt

Bay Area system forcing the change

Five-year-olds who previously have boarded Golden Gate Transit buses for free may have to cough up a youth fare beginning next year.

It’s not that Golden Gate Transit is targeting the children for added revenue, rather it’s a result of a larger Bay Area transportation bureaucracy that determines who pays fares and at what age, officials say.

Traditionally Golden Gate Transit has those 6 through 18 pay a half-price youth fare on buses. Those who are 5 and under ride for free when with an adult. Fares are based on length of travel.

But with the introduction of the Clipper transit card in the Bay Area in recent years, there has been a push by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission — the Bay Area transportation planning agency — to standardize who is considered a youth… (more)

Someone needs to check their facts on this one. All youth do not pay to ride the Muni in SF. Vote on the poll at the source.

Strike called on Golden Gate Bridge bus lines for Oct. 17

By Kale Williams : sfgate – excerpt

Buses operated by the Golden Gate Transportation District will not be crossing the Bay Area’s most famous bridge next Friday as workers from the Teamsters Union Local 856 and 665, which represents dispatchers, supervisors and maintenance crews, announced a one-day strike.

The Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents drivers, is expected to honor the picket line, effectively canceling bus service between Marin, Sonoma and San Francisco for the day. Ferry service and bridge traffic will not be affected… (mari)