Posts Tagged ‘program’

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood Comes to Oakland to Check Out an All-Electric Zero Motorcycle

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Here’s what you need, a sweet ride from Scott’s Valley, or, in other words, an electric two-wheeler from ZERO MOTORCYCLES.

Secretary of Transportation Roy LaHood* in Oakland yesterday:

“Don’t say Solyndra, don’t say Solyndra…”

The deets:

“ZERO MOTORCYCLES DEMONSTRATES ITS ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLE TECHNOLOGY - TO U.S. SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION RAY LAHOOD

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood viewing Zero S Motorcycle

OAKLAND, Calif., (Sept. 14, 2011) – Zero Motorcycles the global leader in electric motorcycle manufacturing, today announced that United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood received a personal demonstration of Zero’s 2011 electric motorcycle product line. The program was held in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2011 (APEC) Senior Officials Meeting being held this week in San Francisco. Zero participated in the Innovative Technologies in Sustainable Transportation program hosted across the bay at FedEx Oakland Airport.

“We are honored to be here and to see the interest from Secretary LaHood. Not only did he see the potential for these electric motorcycles, he was very encouraged by the green transportation jobs Zero Motorcycles is creating here in America,” said Jay Friedland, Vice President of Strategy and Sustainability for Zero Motorcycles. “Our motorcycles are truly game changing and once you ride one, you immediately realize that electric motorcycles are here to stay. Our motorcycles are high performance, fun to ride and the best part is, you can buy one today.”

Besides an overall interest in the Zero product line, La Hood showed particular interest in the efforts to extend Federal Tax credits for electric motorcycles. In a brief discussion with Zero staff, La Hood expressed support for seeing that these valuable incentives remain available to consumers and help create more American jobs.

About Zero Motorcycles
Zero Motorcycles is the next step in motorcycle evolution and represents the ultimate electric motorcycle technology. Unencumbered by conventional thinking about how they design, manufacture and sell high performance electric motorcycles, they are on a mission to turn heads and revolutionize their industry by combining the best aspects of a traditional motorcycle with today’s most advanced technology. The result is an electric motorcycle line that’s insanely fast and environmentally friendly.

Media information: For more information, contact (951) 719-1040, media@zeromotorcycles.com.”

How does Zero compare with our home-grown Mission Motors? I know not.

*The man who stupidly told Toyota drivers to park their cars and not drive them, back in the day – that’s all I know about him. Would he have made an offhand remark like this about GM products? Nope, IMO.

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:

Click to expand

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.

“Let’s Keep Not Paying Taxes – YAY!” Taiwan’s NMA-TV Takes on the Amazon v. State of CA Sales Tax Fight

Monday, July 18th, 2011

NMA-TV out of Taiwan, Free Republic of China, well, they’ve got us pegged. They know all about what goes on in California and they show that with pithy animated videos.

As here, with the whole Governor Jerry Brown vs. Jeff Bezos / Amazon.com sales tax / “use tax”* issue. NMA already has a proposed slogan for the statewide initiative that’s coming our way from Amazon.

See?

And here’s Jeff Bezos (fresh from swimming in a pool of his money) explaining things to California Governor Jerry Brown and our Official State Animal, who looks hungry for a little tax money.

It’s going to be a tough row to hoe getting people to vote for the Amazon tax next year, IMO.

Anyway, good job NMA-TV.

*The tax is on your “use” in CA of whatever you buy. It’s pretty much like a sales tax except it’s based on the tax rate of where you live (as opposed to sales tax, which is based upon where you buy something). 

Audi Avenue: Powell Street Promenade is a Big Fat Joke – A Series of Eight Parklets to Market Audi’s Cars

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

[During all of this Powell Street Promenade stuff, please remember:

"...the benches draw their inspiration from the aluminum chassis of the all-new A7, the Audi ASF® frame."

There will be a test later.]

[Chronicle Urban Design Critic John King just weighed in. Uh, John, the original plan was supposed to relieve "pedestrian congestion," as this recent design concept from Audi shows, but the current design won't do that. And "parklet" is a pejorative in this case. And those "abstract oars" you see are "inspired by" a 2012 Audi. Thusly:

The hockey stick behind the rear wheel - see it? That's where your oars came from.]

Get up to speed on the new Audi Avenue / Powell Street Promenade Project right here.

Let me tell you, the Powell Street Promenade in Union Square will look nothing like this:

Click to expand.

Instead, it will look like this, with aluminum grating and paddles and twisted things. See?

Are these tables? I think they’re tables:

We were promised no advertising, but you make the call:

“…like much of the promenade, the benches draw their inspiration from the aluminum chassis of the all-new A7, the Audi ASF® frame. While the twisting and sculpting of the metal is intended to reflect the dynamic styling of the luxury sedan…”

Is this why Audi owners make such bad drivers, generally, the boldness? (I’d call it hubris, frankly.) Anyway, let’s let Audi make the case:

“We believe that a boldly designed car, like the new Audi A7, deserves a boldly designed world. So today we’re breaking ground on an urban design initiative to re-imagine Powell Street in San Francisco.”

I’ll tell you, the last thing Audi drivers need is anything to do with boldness.

Oh, and Foursquare too: Audi Powell Street Promenade

This is the primary surface. Number one will pass right through, number two not so much:

Now, the original idea was to have a widened sidewalk but that would have caused issues with area hotels (like them suing the City and County for starters). So we’re going to get cutouts on both sides of both blocks. Thusly:

Here’s parklet eight of eight, near the Cable Car turnaround:

Now let’s thank Gaia that the aluminum hasn’t been arranged in interlocking rings to further advertise Audi and its million-dollar Audi Avenue. But there will be Audi’s name onsite and that’s too much, IMO. Oh well.

And I can’t think of any other carmaker that’s as closely associated with aluminum as Audi, so there’s that.

Was this marketing deal put out to bid, like maybe some other car companies might want to market their vehicles using the streets of San Francisco as well, right? Anyway, I don’t know.

Feel free to share your thoughts with SFGov – oh, whoops, comments be closed, just like the way they have it at BeyondChron, which is also financed with your taxpayer dollars.

All right, which particular Audi did the Powell Street Promenade draw its inspiration from? All together now, the A7! Get one today – starting price is merely $60K.

Hurray!

Lively SocketSite has some deets along with reaction from the commonweal.

SF Streetsblog

Progress on Powell 

[Earworm of the day: We're going rock down to-oo/ Audi Avenue.]

[UPDATE: And a commenter from FineInternets.com frets over the metal theft issue. I wonder how much this aluminum would be worth melted down. See comments.]

I Don’t Know, Is It Really So Sad That the Wasteful Space Shuttle Program Just Ended?

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

I don’t know, is it really sad that the Space Shuttle program ended?

Uh, not really.

And, really, there wasn’t a chance that it could have worked out – check out this prescient bit from three decades ago from college-boy Gregg Easterbrook, if you want.

And realize that each launch ended up costing $1.5 billion.

Oh well.

Adieu, Space Shuttle:

The Riding Public Has Discovered the Nx Judah Express – It’s Like a Bus Bridge Shuttle that Runs All the Time

Friday, June 17th, 2011

These days, there’s no need to wonder when the next Nx Judah Express is coming, as you can see them queuing up betwixt First and Second streets on Market.

Anyway, MUNI has a starter directing bus traffic on the evening drive starting at 4:00 PM, so the drivers are keeping schedule down to the minute.

Click to expand

Yesterday’s Nx’es appeared to be rather full with riders, so that means that this program is more successful than the CultureBus already.

That’s the update for now…

Introducing Audi Avenue! (Nee Powell Street) Or, Should We Call It Powell Street, by Audi USA?

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Will Reisman has the deets about how Audi USA is spending seven figures to buy Powell Street, or something.

So now, Audi, adding to its reputation of selling its wares to the most extreme jackass drivers on the planet*, will also be known for having its own street in the 415.

Wouldn’t it be cool if they took down all the Powell street signs and replaced them with just the four rings of Audi’s logo? There’d be no text at all but everybody, tourists and citizens alike, would know exactly how to say the name of the street. Hurray!

It’ll look a little like this unfinished model – seems as if they forgot to add in the bodies of dead German tourists shot down on the street, but anyway:

Click to expand

Now of course “Audi of America”** is claiming credit for the entire idea, but actually, we had this thing going 1.5 years ago.

Check it:

It wasn’t a success.

Anyway, here’s Audi’s spiel. Apparently, this whole thing was their thang all along, even before they knew about it, somehow:

“The Audi Design Project: Progress on Powell Street was launched with the purpose of improving the pedestrian experience on Powell Street in a way that transforms it into a vibrant destination and alleviates the congestion. So, working with the city of San Francisco, we’re doing something that might normally be considered unfathomable for an automaker — removing cars from the road. That’s right, we’re eliminating the parking lanes on both sides of the street and, in their place, creating a new public space that sits on top of the pavement.”

Read along after the jump to see how extra wide sidewalks on two blocks of Union Square Are Going To Change Everything.

*Yes, even worse than BMW drivers. The problem is that Audi drivers think that they’re extra special, that’s the problem…

**Is that your new name, Audi? Guess you have bad memories of the old one, Audi USA? Remember that whole unintended acceleration (sudden acceleration) thing back in the 1980′s and 1990′s? On behalf of America’s idiot drivers, I’d like to apologize for that whole deal. You were right, we were putting our feet on the wrong pedals. Our bad :(

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Know Your Nx Judah Express Bus – Photos of the Debut – But Mostly Empty, By Design – Getting a CultureBus Vibe

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Well here it is, the debut of the Nx Judah Express, designed to whisk people to the fog-enshrouded West Bay, you know, to give a little more elbow room for the denizens of San Francisco Proper – the Inner Sunset and Cole Valley.

All right, Chapter I: Know Your Nx.

Anterior. Rather a bright bleu, non? Redolent of the bright orange-wrapped CultureBus one might think:

Click to expand

Lateral. Rather patriotic, redolent of the 1976-era bicentennial scheme:

Posterior. Rather less blue, but that solid-colored rectangle is your visual cue to start running for the Nx before the driver takes off.

I don’t see a bunch of people clamoring to get into these things just yet. We’ll see.

All right Chapter II: Empty by Design.

After the drivers drop off passengers way out there near La Playa or 47th Aveneue or whatever, they turn around and head back to the Financh empty.

What? Really. The plan is for the drivers to “dead-head” on back downtown sans passengers.

(Wonder if you could get on at the last stop outbound with the intent of coming into the Financial without any stops at all? That would be the Nx Judah Express to the Second Power, or something. But, they’d probably kick you off, so oh well.)

Like I say, this program reminds me of the failed CultureBus, which Nat Ford still hails as a success.

Obviously, you can’t have an N Judah streetcar run an express route on the same tracks as regular N Judah service. And obviously, the SFMTA just can’t add more N’s, for whatever reason. Oh well.

And in mitigation, MUNI’s not out there cheerleading for this saying how great an idea it is, you know, the way it happened with Gavin Newsom’s CultureBus. And, when I checked the Next MUNI today, those Nx’es looked verily like rabbits, easily outpacing the N Judahs that started at about the same time.

On Time Will Tell how bad this latest SFMTA program is…

Casting Judgment on the New NX Judah Express Bus – Another SFMTA MUNI Fail Whale Already?

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Pretty much.

The thing is is that if you are going to Montgomery Street as your final destination anyway, then the Nx might be for you.

Or, if you feel guilty about sitting down on an N Judah streetcar while you’re passing by those Cole Valley suckas, then the Nx might be for you.

Otherwise not so much.

Per jallenhere:

“The N judah is racing the new N judah Express and the N judah is winning. The experiment failed.”

Ooh, harsh.

Now here’s panicpandapanic:

“Tried the N-Judah Express today. Nice not having a bunch of stops but it took about the same amount of time due to the walk from Bush St.

And here’s Madge707:

“Caught sight of the n Judah express this am. It was moving fast. Too bad it ends at Montgomery :-(“

What MUNI needs to do is to get its act together.

This band-aid approach, this NX Judah Express does not constitute getting your act together, MUNI.

Just saying.

Now here’s my question for people living way out there in the West Bay – is it your patriotic duty to wait for the new Nx Judah Express instead of taking the N-Judah streetcar, you know, to free up more space for people living in the InSet, the Inner Sunset?

‘Cause if you fix on the idea of taking the bus everyday from the 48th Ave. or La Playa area, it’s going to take you longer to get to work, some of the time, anyway. Transit First

So, even though the bus line is just for you, you personally won’t benefit all that much from it. Consider taking this bus as your patriotic duty to benefit those poor devils who live in the Inner Sunset or Cole Valley and might get passed up up by a totally full N Judah streetcar.

Oh well.

In other news, the CultureBus is considered a success by the people at MUNI, still.

Oh well.

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Let’s Just Pronounce the MUNI’s New Nx Judah “Express” Bus a Failure Right Now – Service Starts June 13th

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Now here’s my question for people living way out there in the West Bay – is it your patriotic duty to wait for the new Nx Judah Express instead of taking the N-Judah streetcar, you know, to free up more space for people living in the InSet, the Inner Sunset?

‘Cause if you fix on the idea of taking the bus everyday from the 48th Ave. or La Playa area, it’s going to take you longer to get to work, some of the time, anyway. Transit First

So, even though the bus line is just for you, you personally won’t benefit all that much from it. Consider taking this bus as your patriotic duty to benefit those poor devils who live in the Inner Sunset or Cole Valley and might get passed up up by a totally full N Judah streetcar.

Oh well.

In other news, the CultureBus is considered a success by the people at MUNI, still.

Oh well.

(more…)