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.

 

 

SF’s First ‘Protected Intersection’ Breaks Ground At 9th & Division This Week

by Allie Pape : hoodline – excerpt

The city’s ongoing Vision Zero initiative to prevent pedestrian and cyclist deaths has led to a variety of infrastructure changes around San Francisco, from concrete bulb-outs to revamped bike lanes. This week, the city plans to break ground on another experiment: its first “protected intersection,” set to go in at the busy crossing of Ninth and Division streets in SoMa.

Ninth and Division is one of the intersections in the city’s “high-injury network,” the 12 percent of streets where severe and fatal crashes are most likely to occur…

intersection_map

A rendering of the planned changes at the intersection.

As part of the project, Ninth Street will become two-way from Division to Brannan, with a new sidewalk and angled parking on the south side to narrow the roadway. The parking-protected bikeway on Division, installed between Bryant and Folsom last year, will also be extended between Ninth Street and Potrero Avenue in both directions.

The project will also entail some street improvements: roads will be re-paved not only at the intersection itself, but on Ninth between Brannan and Division and Division between Ninth and 10th.

SF Public Works is starting construction later this week, and hopes to wrap up the changes by the end of the year.

Interested in how protected intersections work? Here’s a video guide:… (more)

Go ahead. Do your worst. Create the biggest traffic jam you can. Piss everyone off who is not already pissed off.
Slow traffic on major streets leading to freeway access just as the city is bringing back shipping on the South Side of the Bay. How are all those 200,000 cars going to get to San Rafael from Pier 80? Are you planning to deliver them by drones? Not too many routes to the bridge from Pier 80 that a big truck an take. This is one of them.
This plan along with the Van Ness and Lombard plans, should push the residents over the edge and end the rule of this regime. As long as they know it is coming before the November election.

VTA Sales Tax Promises Transit Lanes On Highway 85

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt – (graphics included)

After planning for the past decade to install express lanes on Highway 85, the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is now pitching its $350 million sales tax funding request to widen Highway 85 as “transit lanes.” On June 24, the VTA Board of Directors [PDF] struck any reference to “express lanes” from the Highway 85 project description that they had approved on June 2 along with $6.3 billion in transportation projects:

This category will To fund a managed lanes project that includes an express lane new transit and congestion relief projects on SR 85, in each direction, and a new transit lane in each direction on SR 85, including a new transit lane from SR 87 in San Jose to U.S. 101 in Mountain View. Additionally this category will fund noise abatement along SR 85 and will provide funding to study transportation alternatives that include, but are not limited to, Bus Rapid Transit with infrastructure such as stations and access ramps, Light Rail Transit, and future transportation technologies that may be applicable.”

Express lanes are free for buses and carpools, but charge a toll to solo drivers during congested hours of the day to keep the lane free-flowing. Transit lanes would allow only transit vehicles – buses or light rail – but not carpools or solo drivers. VTA installed express lanes on short sections of Highways 237 and 880 in 2012 and has been planning since 2007 to convert the existing carpool lanes on Highways 85 and 101 to express lanes, completing Santa Clara County’s portion of an envisioned 550-mile network of San Francisco Bay Area Express Lanes.

Highway 85 is also slated for widening from six to eight lanes between Highways 280 and 87 with a second set of express lanes built in the median “because traffic studies indicated the additional lanes were needed,” according to VTA’s December 2013 State Route 85 Express Lanes Project environmental assessment [PDF]. The study notes that “the ability to accommodate traffic growth will be constrained by the existing capacity of the freeway,” and predicts that the expansion would increase vehicle miles traveled by between five and 14 percent during rush hours. Air pollution and noise would also increase… (more)

Voters must be on the lookout for sneaky tax bills that don’t specify what the money is used for. This is one example of how our government tricks us into accepting “their” plans for “our ” money.

Already they are spending millions of dollars on “smart” highway projects they claim will “calm and control” traffic. On freeways? Who wants to slow traffic on freeways?

The SFMTA’s Restriping of JFK Drive Has Been a Massive Failure for a 100 Small Reasons – Let’s Take a Short Trip

sfcitizen – excerpt

This place is a mess. Many long-time cyclists now avoid using JFK. Is this what the all-seeing all-knowing SFMTA wanted? IDK. Oh what’s that, cycling in San Francisco is going to increase six-fold by 2020 (I’m seriously, this was the goal, this was what was “expected” by local pols not too long ago), so we need to accommodate all the new traffic? But what if that huge increase doesn’t materialize and then you lose a significant chunk of the pre-existing riders?

(Any survey from the SFMTA showing broad-based support for these changes isn’t a real survey.)

Moving on, to this. Where else in the world do they put a kink into double yellow lines… (more)

It gets a lot wore on Third Street south of Evans where traffic lanes weave in and out of light rail lanes and bike lanes without warning.

See the video we shot on crooked Third Street: http://stopsfmta.com/wp/4-tep-projects/folsom

 

Studies Show Car Traffic in San Francisco is Dropping

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

Car traffic has dropped in San Francisco in recent years, despite an economic boom and a growing population, according to studies by the SF County Transportation Authority.

A newly updated study (reported by SF Weekly) by the SFCTA counted fewer cars at 11 of 15 intersections during evening peak hours this year, compared to earlier counts taken between 2009 and 2012. Driving speeds, meanwhile, are “increasing moderately.”

As SF Weekly’s Joe Eskenazi pointed out, the data fly in the face of anecdotes from drivers — who almost universally feel that car congestion is always getting worse. And given the city’s booming economy, population, and construction in recent years, that’s one scenario that certainly would have been plausible had the 20th-century status quo continued… (more)

Why is traffic getting worse if there is less of it? Because the SFMTA is removing traffic lanes and causing the congestion they claim to be fixing. SFMTA put one over on the drivers this time by claiming they are solving the gridlock problem when they are causing it. How hard is it to figure out the the fewer traffic lanes you have to drive in the more crowded the streets will be?

STOP THE STREET DIETS!

RELATED:
The Slow Lane: The City’s Anecdotal and Statistical Traffic Studies Collide

VTA’s Controversial “Bus Only” Lanes Up for Debate

Hearings begin on Thursday in Mountain View to discuss a controversial plan by Santa Clara County Valley Transportation Authority to create dedicated bus lanes throughout parts of Silicon Valley, despite fears that the “bus only” lanes will actually increase traffic on residential streets…

There is plenty of criticism, however. On the article page of the Mountain View voice, several people chimed in to say the bus lanes, would just steer more traffic onto local streets.

One online commenter with the screen name of “PROTEST” wrote: “How GREAT would it be to have an organized protest of this plan, with people blocking the right lane of (El Camino Real) in key spots from SJ to Palo Alto. That would be an epic visual and a very strong message. The ensuing temporary traffic snarl would also show everyone what daily life would be like with a closed lane(s)on (El Camino Real)… (more)

Downtown traffic seems worse, but studies show it moves faster

Michael Cabanatuan : sfgate – excerpt

Statistics, studies and comparisons don’t really matter when it comes to traffic. The worst congestion is the stuff you’re stuck in.

That matter of perception may explain why some commuters are grumbling that the streets of San Francisco are growing more and more congested even though most factual indications show otherwise.

With the economy recovering and technology and construction booming again in the city, it only seems logical that traffic would be slowing. Except that it’s not. Counterintuitive as it may seem, fewer cars are entering the city and they’re finding clearer streets while they’re here… (more)

Who do you believe, yourself or them? Look who is running the tests on their own system? Traffic is worse because they have cut out miles of traffic lanes and made streets impossible to drive on. And, they are doing this with OUR TAX DOLLARS. And, you better sit down for this one,

THEY WANT MORE OF OUR MONEY SO THEY CAN HARASS US MORE! If you are ready to beat them back sign the petition to encourage the Supervisors to support a Charter Amendment to FIX the MTA

 

RELATED:
San Francisco Cuts ‘Cruising’ for Parking in Half With Market-Clearing Prices
More hype on parking created by the same studies that show less traffic.

Steve Kornacki Floats New Theory About Chris Christie’s Bridge Scandal

 huffingtonpost – excerpt

MSNBC host Steve Kornacki floated a new theory as to why New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s staff and appointees engineered the closure of two lanes leading into the George Washington Bridge last year.*
“It wasn’t just the everyday lives of commuters and residents that were altered or in some cases jeopardized by what happened in Fort Lee,” Kornacki explained. “Something else was affected and possibly jeopardized, something of enormous economic and political significance.”
Kornacki explained that there is currently a billion dollar development project in Fort Lee, right next to where the lane closures occurred. The project is a keystone of Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich’s tenure… (more)

New theories on why the closed traffic lanes on in New Jersey are coming out of the woodwork. So far no one is blaming the war on cars, or safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists. People are filing claims against the MTA, and the outcome of those cases could have some wide ranging ramifications.

* Members of both the SF Planning Commission and the SFMTA Board balked at removing traffic lanes from Third street, which most people consider to be a major regional arterial road, connecting to the Bay Bridge.

If you haven’t already done so, send some letters to the members of those boards and the supervisors, reminding them that all regional traffic flows through the city and that traffic should not be impaired in any way.

Also remind them that the funds coming out of Washington and Sacramento are based on claims for regional plans, therefore, there must be a regional plan.

Emails Tie Top Christie Aide to New Jersey Lane Closing Scandal

By Jodie Gummow : AlterNet – excerpt
‘Time for some traffic problems,’ staffer said in leaked email.
 A series of documents has revealed that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was closely involved in the controversial lane closings on the New Jersey side of George Washington Bridge in September, despite the governor denying involvement, NY Times reported.

Top aid, Bridget Anne Kelly sent emails to an executive at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey saying it was “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” to which the executive responded “Got it,” leading to an overwhelming traffic gridlock lasting four days, Wall Street Journal reported(more)

National publications consider deliberately closing traffic lanes on major regional corridors scandalous. How do San Francisco citizens feel about it? What would they do if they knew the SFMTA plans to do just that? They plan to restrict traffic on parts of Masonic, Potrero, Van Ness Avenue, Geary, Cesar Chavez, and 19th Avenue, among others. Who benefits from this? Certainly not the taxpayers.

Mayor to Mayor Advice

By Willie Brown : sfgate – excerpt

I made the mistake when I was mayor of promising to “fix Muni” in 100 days. Now, Mayor Ed Lee has a task force that says it’s going to take another $10.1 billion to get the job done.
Another mistake.
Yes, we clearly need a lot more money for our public transit system, particularly since our clogged streets are making San Francisco almost unlivable.
But I’d like to add a couple of practical yet politically incorrect thoughts that you won’t find in any City Hall report.
For instance, the years-long campaign to make it nearly impossible to build garages is causing probably 30 percent of the traffic problem – those being all the drivers looking for a parking spot.
And for all of you transit-first folks who pushed to ban parking in buildings so people would be “encouraged” to take a bus, I say: Good luck finding a seat… (more)

Thank you Mayor Brown. We appreciate people who admit mistakes. Let’s hope the trend at City Hall to listen to the voting public continues. Here is one for you to chew on.

Since removing parking spots and traffic lanes has not convinced people to get out of their cars like SFMTA claimed it would, let’s try a different approach.
Offer the voters a choice between continuing to finance the anti-car campaign or reverse course.

Most of the traffic jams would be eliminated immediately by re-instating the traffic lanes and parking that have been eliminated, and by timing the lights appropriately.
Building Parking Transit Hubs near freeway exits would take care of a lot the commuters as well. When you invite hundreds of thousands of people to come into the city to work every day, and all the public transit systems are maxed out and unreliable, some people have to drive.

We need to reverse the rules limiting parking garages in new buildings. This is just another windfall for developers that creates a nightmare for everyone else.

Why are we spending more money on BRTs when the ones we have are not working. No one is happy with the T-Line. We don’t need more BRTs. We need more drivers and buses on the road. When Muni has money to hire and train the drivers and can’t get that done, do they think we will trust them with more money?

SFMTA should get us where we need to go not tell us how to get there.