Posts Tagged ‘lyon’

Meet Your San Francisco Bike Sharing Program – 500 Bicycles and 50 Stations Coming Next Year to FiDi, SoMA, Civic Center

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

I guess they have the money now and they’re working on figuring out who’s going to run the thing.

Appears as if the SFMTA has given up on a giant Parisian Velib-style program with 5000 bikes strewn all over town – they’re starting small. Regardless, some of this free advice still applies.

The deets:

“…the pilot service area will be centered in San Francisco’s employment- and transit-rich Downtown/SOMA corridor between the Financial District, Market Street and the Transbay and Caltrain terminals.  This area is notably flat, has the densest bikeway network coverage in San Francisco and enjoys the highest levels of cycling, yet those who commute by transit from cities to the east and south encounter difficulties bringing a bicycle with them on BART or Caltrain.”

El Mapa:

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So the stations might end up looking a little half-assed, owing to CEQA:

“Heath Maddox, senior planner for the Livable Streets Subdivision of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), says the defining characteristics of the service they’ve outlined in an RFP draft is that the bike system be solar-powered with no need for external AC power and no requirement for excavation that would turn the installation process into a construction project.”

Remember, sharing is caring.

All the deets:

“The map of the pilot service area presents northeast San Francisco. The highlighted area in the map is the bicycle sharing pilot service area bound by South Van Ness Avenue and the Ferry Terminal along Market Street. To the north, the service area boundary includes the Federal Building at Turk Street, Union Square at Post Street, the Broadway and Columbus Avenue intersection, and The Embarcadero at Sansome Street. To the south, the highlighted service area includes the Embarcadero to Mission Bay, Townsend Street and Concourse Exhibition Center.”

Bike Sharing

Bike sharing is coming to San Francisco! A regional pilot program led by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) in partnership with the SFMTA will bring approximately 50 bike share stations and 500 bikes to San Francisco’s downtown core beginning in spring 2012. The SFMTA is working with a regional team to implement this pilot along the Caltrain corridor in San Francisco, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City and San Jose and shown in this Regional Bike Sharing System map. The project is funded through a combination of local, regional and federal grants with major funding coming from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Innovative Bay Area Climate Initiatives Grant Program (BACI).

What is bike sharing?

Similar to car sharing, bicycle sharing is a term used to describe a membership-based system of short-term bicycle rental.  Members can check a bicycle out from a network of automated bicycle stations, ride to their destination, and return the bicycle to a different station.  Bicycle sharing is enjoying a global explosion in growth with the development of purpose-built bicycles and stations that employ high tech features like smartcards, solar power, and wireless internet and GPS technologies.

Who is involved with launching the San Francisco bike sharing system?

The BAAQMD is the overall regional project lead, coordinating the planning and implementation efforts of the local partners: the City and County of San Francisco, the Cities of San Jose, Mountain View and Palo Alto in Santa Clara County and the City of Redwood City in San Mateo County. The SFMTA is leading the project in San Francisco, and we are working in cooperation with our City and County partners, including the Planning Department, Department of Public Works, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the Port of San Francisco. The regional partners will be selecting a contractor in fall 2011 to install, operate, and manage the system.

Where will bike sharing be located in San Francisco?

As the San Francisco Bicycle Sharing Pilot Service Area map (PDF) presents, in San Francisco, the pilot service area will be centered in San Francisco’s employment- and transit-rich Downtown/SOMA corridor between the Financial District, Market Street and the Transbay and Caltrain terminals.  This area is notably flat, has the densest bikeway network coverage in San Francisco and enjoys the highest levels of cycling, yet those who commute by transit from cities to the east and south encounter difficulties bringing a bicycle with them on BART or Caltrain. Much of San Francisco’s densely urbanized northeastern quadrant is similarly well-suited to bicycle sharing.

When will bike sharing launch in San Francisco?

The regional partners will be selecting a vendor to install, operate, and manage the bike sharing system in 2011 with the goal of a system launch in Spring/Summer 2012!

Further Information

If you have any questions, comments or feedback about bike sharing, contact the SFMTA at sustainable.streets@sfmta.com.

MUNI Hires a Herd of Goats to do a Little Landscaping up at the Hilly Masonic Maintenance Yard

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Muni Diaries has a nice shot posted today of the herd of goats that have recently been maintaining the Masonic Maintenance Yard, the one right next to the Masonic Trader Joe’s.

You’ve seen these critters about town, right?

Via Mark Wallace

Anyway, speaking of MUNI goats, here’s a nice portrait in white from dragonflypath from a few days back and here’s a good shot of a  flock of MUNI workers dealing with a goat by majarogers from a few years back. Enjoy.

NOPNA 10th Annual Block Party a Huge Success on Lyon Street in 2010

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

This is what Lyon Street looked like today at NOPNA‘s (yeah, they probably could use a real website and “RESPECT THE NEIGHBORHOOD” does come off a little sanctermonious, but what can you do?) Tenth Annual Block Party today.

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Complete with a fire truck…

…moon bounce….

and an open mike. (OMG, could this be Performance Art in the Panhandle?)

“I’ll be here all week,” he says. Hilarious.

Yes, of course, there were NIMBYs there. And yes, there were elements and/or known sympathisers of that horrible PRO-SF Panhandle Residents Organization Stanyan/Fulton (they’re On The Record as being against Performance Art – can you believe it?) in the house. But what can you do?

A good time was had by all.

See you next year!

The Parkside/Nopna Annual Block Party celebrates its 10th anniversary, Saturday, May 15, with day-long all-ages activities and live music from 11 – 6pm. The Nopa Little Ones section features, clowns, jumping houses, arts & crafts, face painting, kid snacks and demonstrations with Tae Kwon Do, fire trucks and police squad cars. The adult section will feature live and DJ music, tarot card readings, magicians and local crafts offerings. Along w/ Parkside BBQ will be the Kung Fu taco truck.

Pithy Advice for the Person Who Ends Up Running San Francisco’s Bike Share Program

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Remember back in the day, back when Clear Channel “promised” that they would provide a Velib-style bicycle sharing program for San Francisco? Let’s dig up a press release crowing all about that from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). Ah yes, from the “Transit Shelter Advertising and Maintenance Agreement” with Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc.:

“The agreement also requires Clear Channel to provide a Bicycle-Sharing Program, at the SFMTA’s request, details of which will be negotiated in an amendment to the Agreement.”

Details! Oh noes. Well Clear Channel looked at the details of running a bike share program and decided that they didn’t want to do it. Of course, they were not “required” to do Jack despite what the SFMTA thought. Isn’t that funny?

Now let’s imagine that you’re in charge of San Francisco’s bike-share program. What should you do? Let’s start with the good stuff and then worry about the details, the gritty nitty.

But first, let’s check in with Jessica Alba in Paris on a Velib. She’s in your corner:

All right, let’s go:

1. Junkets, junkets, junkets!

Try to get in as many “fact-finding missions” as possible early on. You’re the CEO, right? So, first thing you do is jet off to France, or D.C. or Montreal, bidness-class. Start a blog to post vacation photos of you on a Velib and complain about how you have to spend so much time away from your kids. Enjoy yourself, it’s going to go downhill from here.

2. Make the program as small as possible.

This is key. The bigger the program, the more headaches you’ll have. If you listen to people who tell you that you need to have a “critical mass” to be sustainable, you’ll have 5000 bikes on the streets – that means 5000 things to fret over every day. The Feds might give you millions to get started, but they’re not going to give you millions every year. As far as you’re concerned, a bike share program is a bike share program.

3. Think of a catchy name for your program.

I don’t know, BikeConnect (if Alex Tourk would license the name)? How about City BikeShare, CalBike, BikeCal, SFBike, BikeSF, FoggyBike, or Frisco a Go Go? I’m at a loss…

And now, decisions to be made:

1. Which bikes to use?

In the Parisian program, the heavy bikes come from Hungary and they cost $1000 per. This is both good and bad, because you want to have the bikes well-built in order to survive the rigors of heavy use, but you don’t want to lose too much money every time one disappears. I think it’d be impossible to charge $1000 to a San Francscan when the bike s/he just checked out got lifted by a thief, so you’re going to lose big bucks on theft. On the other hand, if you go the cheap route and use inexpensive mountain-type bikes, they’ll get stripped for parts with a quickness. You want bike thieves to think these are custom-made with no reuseable parts. Bixi bikes are cheaper (I hope) – perhaps they’d be a good starting point?

2. How much to charge users who don’t return bikes?

The Parisian government now subsidizes share program operator JC Decaux’s losses to the tune of millions of dollars per year. This is despite the fact that this company makes a mint from the 1600 advertising spaces given to them to pay for the program. If you are “too nice” to customers and only charge $50 for a bike they don’t return, then the customers won’t really care if their rental goes missing. On the other hand, if you try to charge the full replacement value, your customers won’t stand for it.

3. What about vandalism?

What about it – the little monsters are going to mess you up. They’re going to make it their business to make you want to go out of business. How will you react to the taggers who will paint over whatever they can? Now, program operators don’t have to deal with this issue in La Rochelle or Lyon, but in Paris, that’s a different story. Well guess what? We’re going to be just like Paris, having bikes with broken keels and lost keels. Deal with it. How about getting the City to cover all vandalism costs? That would help.

4. What about helmets?

You know, France has different attitudes about certain things. For example, they’ve got 58 nuclear panner plants and they’re building more, and they have a huge nuclear waste dump in Champagne, of all places. So, when you talk to the French about helmets for non-Tour-de-France-bike-riders, they don’t like it. Could San Francisco somehow rent out a smelly used helmet along with the bike? Doubtful. Could customers carry their own helmets? Sure, some of them would, but carrying around a helmet goes against the very nature of the whole program, which is designed to appeal to the general non-bike-riding public. In France, they tolerate deaths due to share program customers not having helmets. Will San Francisco?

5. What about hills?

Now let’s say your customer wants to go from a bike station at the top of Nob Hill down to Embarcadero Station – that’s a straight shot down California, it would take about five minutes, easy peasy. But who’s going to pay for the right to pedal a heavy bike back up to the top of Nob Hill? Should you give people who turn bikes in at the Nob Hill station more time? Certainly. Should you go ahead and just make that a free ride? Should you give these hardy souls a credit for future trips? Should you just pay jobless people to ride bikes uphill? Should you load up a truck and have an employee redistributing bikes all day long? Should you just not have a Nob Hill station? Don’t know.

There are no easy solutions for you. You’ll be made sport of in the pages of SFist and SFGate, San Francisco’s online newspaper. It’ll be endless. The Velib program works in Paris because of all that sweet, sweet street advertising money from all those signs. You won’t have access to that kind of dough, not in San Francisco.

Oh well, that’s why you’ll get paid the big bucks.

Good luck, Chuck.

After the jump, all the places you should junket to, before the cash runs out.

(more…)

Inaugural NoPA Velo a Huge Success – Monthly Bike Ride Kicks Off With Patty Hearst Theme

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Bike NOPA organized a successful bicycle ride yesterdayjoin them on the last weekend of the month, why don’t you? They’ll always start and end in the North of Panhandle Area, conveniently located just west of the EaPA .

Organizer Lenore is Patty Hearst:

She matches up well with this awesome WANTED poster, anyway. (Warning: Photoshop just might have been used here, albeit more skillfully than what you can see in similar materials from Mayor Gavin Newsom’s inchoate gubernatorial campaign.)

But let’s start at the beginning, at the ridiculously popular Central Cofee Tea and Spice at the corner of Central and Hayes. Owner Ali was impressed with the early-morning turnout:

40+ cyclists began the trek:

It almost looked like Critical Mass, that monthly illegal bicycle parade, except that NoPA Velo riders actually stop at red lights to let cross-traffic through. And that makes all the difference…

And then the handsome crowd…

…went up the hill to visit the secure undisclosed location where Patty Hearst’s kidnappers* kept her in a closet on Golden Gate Avenue in the NoPA:

Off the riders go, through Golden Gate Park and on up to the Presidio to hear of recent developments from Ranger Dale:

And then it was over to Jannah on bustling Fulton for an apres-velo lunchtime bite.

See you on the next ride!

*Patty Hearst Shaw managed to get pardoned by two different U.S. Presidents. Here she is, just after the second pardon, on the Larry King pwning local attorney Stuart Hanlon:

“KING: People not happy with your pardon, Stuart Hanlon, the defense lawyer for the former SLA fugitive Kathy Soliah, now known as Sara Jane Olson.

HEARST: What a surprise. He’s also my kidnapper’s lawyer, too.”

Pwned.

NOPNA 9th Annual Block Party a Huge Success on Lyon Street

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

This was the scene yesterday outside of beloved Parkside Market on Hayes in the North of Panhandle / NOPA area of San Francisco - it’s the 9th Annual Block Party for the neighborhood, with “MUSIC and BBQ!”

Didn’t see any bubbles this year, oh well. Here’s what it looked like yesterday.

This pooch was on best behavior and was soon able to gain access to the nearby burger. One chomp and it was gone.  

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A moonbounce for the kids

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This one got a little too much electric Kool-Aid

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Speaking of electricity, see this band? They were loud.

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All thanks to sweet, sweet AC electricty – that sure beats a shopping cart full of car batteries.

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There’s your NOPNA Block Party 2009.

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Creative San Francisco Motorist Uses Pizza Box to Repair Broken Window

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

The plaintive wail from the owner of this green Ford Ranger pickup on the mean streets of NOPA / Western Addition:

“EVERYTHING HAS BEEN STOLEN ALREADY. [Sobbing Ninja Turtle icon, possibly Leonardo.] DON’T BOTHER!”

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The Vélibs are Coming, The Vélibs are Coming to San Francisco!

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Globetrotting San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced today in France that a Vélib’-style bike share program is coming to San Francisco. The plan is like ZipCar for bicycles - you could find a bike locked up in one of five areas around town, swipe your card, ride it to another bike lot, and then go about your bidness.

The French program has had its ups and downs. The little monsters of France (where “destroying property is a national pastime“) have found no end to what they can do to these built-to-last 50(!) pound bikes. In Paris, thousands of them have been lost and destroyed.

A satisfied Vélib’ customer in gay Paree. Cliquetez ici:

(¡Zoot alors! Their trash cans look just like ours!) via autsinevan

Who knows how this pilot program will work out here in San Francisco. Certainly, it will necessarily be different than what they have in Paris or Lyon. (The seven-mile trip between the CCSF Main Campus to the flat part of the Presidio – hoo boy, that’s a journey much longer than the typical Parisian jaunt, for example)

As they say in France, le bon Dieu est dans le detail.

 

  MAYOR GAVIN NEWSOM ANNOUNCES SAN FRANCISCO BIKE SHARING PILOT PROGRAM
PARIS, FRANCE – Mayor Gavin Newsom today used his visit to the successful
bike sharing network in Paris to announce that San Francisco will implement
a bike sharing pilot program in 2009. San Francisco’s bike sharing program
is intended to build on the recognition of San Francisco as a gold-level
bicycle friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists-the largest
United States city to receive such an honor.
“Bike sharing will help connect thousands of residents and commuters to
their workplaces and shopping destinations by providing bikes that they can
easily borrow,” said Mayor Newsom. “This bike sharing pilot project will
allow us to test and perfect the bikes and technology that will be used in
our citywide network.”
The pilot program will include 50 bikes located at five stations on
non-city property (as required by a Court injunction until environmental
review of the City’s Bicycle Plan is complete). Each station will have
either nine or 12 bikes and will provide approximately 50 percent more
bicycle parking slots to help ensure proper distribution between available
bikes and open, available drop-off spots. The stations will be in the
Financial District, Mission Bay, the Presidio, Civic Center and the City
College campus.
Bike sharing customers will sign-up through an online registration system
linked to the website of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
(SFMTA), which manages the City’s Bicycle Program.  Registration will
require a valid credit card to charge an annual user fee, hourly fees, and
to provide security for lost bikes (which will be the responsibility of the
user). A subscription will provide members access to all rental stations
and the use of a bike for a limited period of time per day.
“We are committed to the vision of increasing bicycling in San Francisco
through innovative programs like bike sharing,” said SFMTA Executive
Director/CEO Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr.
According to the 2007 Census update, 2.7 percent of San Franciscans commute
via bicycle compared to an average of 0.5 percent in the United States and
0.9 percent in California.  The SFMTA’s 2007-2008 Bicycle Count found a 25
percent increase in bicycling over the previous year, and a 2008 survey
showed that fully 6 percent of all trips in San Francisco are made by
bicycle.
The start-up costs for the pilot program are estimated to be between
$400,000 and $500,000, while the annual operating costs are projected to be
$450,000.  As provided for in the SFMTA’s Transit Shelter Advertising
Contract with Clear Channel, these costs are for Clear Channel to staff the
pilot program and have responsibility for installation and maintenance.
Today in Paris, Mayor Newsom received a briefing on the history,
organization and success of the “Velib” or bicycle share program in Paris,
and toured the repair, design and showroom facilities along with the
research and development facility. The “Velib” program was introduced by
Mayor Bertrand Delanoe as a way to reduce traffic and environmental
degradation in Paris by having a shared bicycle program encompass the
entire city. Today Paris has over 20,000 bicycles as part of the “Velib”
program and it has proven to be very popular and successful.