Posts Tagged ‘Sustainable Streets’

Ed Reiskin Refuses to Comply with the SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council, So Let’s Run a Trial on Masonic Ourselves

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Here’s the Citizens Advisory Council’s recommendation that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, has refused:

“Motion 140122.01 - The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic Avenue street design project.”

Why did he do that? Well, because a “success” for him is the SFMTA spending the money it’s been given to spend. So why should he do anything to interfere with that when he’s in the red zone already?

Anywho, you can read what he has to say about a test-run after the jump.

In view of this, let’s run a Masonic “streetscape” trial of our own, shall we?

Let’s start here, northbound, on the 3000 foot stretch of Masonic that will soon be changed: 

7J7C0082 copy

See the bus? It’s stopped at a bus stop, let’s imagine. That means that Masonic will be down to one lane inbound, you know, temporarily, during the morning drive. How will this affect traffic, do you suppose? How many minutes will it add to your commute each way, each day? Mmmm…

Since we’re imagining, imagine a large median filled with trees on either side of the double yellow line. Now is that for safety or for aesthetics? The answer is that it’s for aesthetics. Compare that with the SFMTA’s disastrous, expensive, deadly 105-foot-wide Octavia “Boulevard” / I-80 on ramp. Yes, it’s has a vegetated median as well. So, is “safety” the SFMTA’s “number one goal?” No, not at all. Its real goal is expanding its payroll and spending ever more money. If you pressure it to plant trees in the middle of the street, it will happily comply.

Will any commuters benefit from these soon-to-come “improvements?” No, not at all. These changes are going to slow the commute way down and that will impede people in cars and MUNI buses. Did the SFMTA do any “outreach” to / with commuters? Nope. It didn’t feel like it. The SFMTA prefers to host meetings packed with “urbanists” and San Francisco Bicycle Coalition employees and members. Do these people represent “the public?” No, not at all. Yet the SFMTA claims do have done public outreach.

How will these changes to Masonic, the Great Connector, affect the surrounding area? We’ll just have to wait and see. If you raise any issues with the SFMTA about the negative effects of all their changes, they’ll be all, well, expand our budget even more and we’ll redo the project again to fix this and that.

Of course, the way to run the trial run would be simply take away all the parking spaces for a day or so, right? So what you’d do is just simply shut down the slow lanes as a test. This alternative would satisfry (mmmm, Satisfries…. R.I.P) at least some of the objections that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, mentioned.

Would Ed Reiskin want to try this alternative trial? No, not at all. (See above.) Mr. R will be happy to ignore all the complaints only after the tens of millions of dollars have been spent.

Do I think that a bunch of people riding MUNI and driving cars every day, tens of thousands of people, are going say, wow, my commute has really slowed down now so I’m going to join the handful of souls on bicycles huffing and puffing up this big hill? Nope. Some might, of course, but it won’t be any kind of meaningful number.

And do I think it’s honest for SFMTA employees to tell higher authorities that’s there’s no public opposition to these changes? Nope. Oh well.

All right, that’s the thought experiment. It looks like this one’s going to go like a bunch of other SFMTA-created initiatives, you know, like the ideologically-driven traffic circles,  the absurdly-wide Octavia “Boulevard,” the crazy re-striping of the east end of JFK Drive – they’ll just look at them all and then pat themselves on the back and hand each other awards for these “accomplishments,” these “successes.”

[UPDATE: Oh yeah, a couple people asked me if I approve of this project. And like, I live a block away, but it won't really affect me, myself, I don't think. Seems selfish to think that way, anyway. What happened with Octavia is that they really biased the lights in favor of Octavia, so people have to wait to a long time to get across the whole 105 foot width. So maybe it'll be a 90-second wait to get across Masonic when all is said and done? IDK, it's hard to predict how much the SFMTA is going to mess things up with this arbor project. Then, what will the affects be? Will commuters abandon Masonic? How will they get around instead? IDK]

On It Goes…

Now, as promised, a note from Ed Reiskin, after the jump

(more…)

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.

One-Way Blocks of Hayes and Fell Street in Hayes Valley To Go Two-Way? SFMTA Holds a Public Hearing Friday

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

The NIMBYs and small-time millionaire bidness owners of Hayes Valley don’t want you Sunset District-living Chinese-Americans driving your Toyotas through Hayes Valley when you head home from SoMA.

NOT AT ALL!

So, why not take out lanes, put up No Left and No Right signs and do whatever else they can to prevent west-bound traffic using Hayes to get to Fell, aka The Panhandle Freeway? See below for the deets.

Oh, and speaking of Fell, well, the Hayes Valley Merchants Association doesn’t want you using a few short blocks to jink from eastbound Oak to 10th Street southbound and the freeways beyond neither. They want you using hopelessly-clogged Octavia instead. (Hey, who thunk up our disastrous Octavia Boulevard “Boulevard-Movement” experiment, anyway?)

Look at all these trees proposed for Hayes Street – how many of them are useful fake cell-phone-antenna trees? Probably zero.

Don’t even try it, Sunset denizens. All the outreach meetings are over and done with, and you weren’t invited. You are not a stakeholder. You are the Yellow Horde from the West. So, shut up, pay your taxes and deal. Whether you like it or not.

And who knows, maybe someday the SFMTA will come on up to like 32nd and Lawton or someplace way out there and then outreach you about how tout le monde should pay for your neighborhood improvement project.

Just give it a few decades…

“Director of Transportation Engineering – Sustainable Streets Division will hold a public hearing on Friday, January 21, 2011, at10:00 AM, in Room 416 (Hearing Room 4), City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, SanFrancisco, CA  94102, to consider the following proposals:

Hayes Street Two-Way Proposal

ESTABLISH – TWO-WAY OPERATION

Hayes Street, between Van Ness Avenue and Gough Street (currently one-way westbound)

ESTABLISH – RIGHT TURN ONLY

Hayes Street, eastbound at Van Ness Avenue

ESTABLISH – LEFT LANE MUST TURN LEFT

Hayes Street, westbound at Gough Street

ESTABLISH – RIGHT LANE MUST TURN RIGHT EXCEPT MUNI

ESTABLISH – TOW-AWAY LANE MUST TURN LEFT

Hayes Street, westbound at Van Ness Avenue

ESTABLISH – NO LEFT TURN, 7 AM TO 7 PM, EVERYDAY

Hayes Street, eastbound at Franklin Street

ESTABLISH – TOW-AWAY NO STOPPING ANYTIME

Hayes Street, south side, between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street

Hayes Street, north side, between Polk Street and Van Ness Avenue

RESCIND – TOW-AWAY NO STOPPING ANYTIME

ESTABLISH – PARKING METER AREA 2

ESTABLISH – TOW-AWAY NO STOPPING, 7 AM TO 9 AM AND 3 PM TO 7 PM, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY

Hayes Street, north side, between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street

RESCIND – TOW-AWAY NO STOPPING 4 PM TO 7 PM, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY

Hayes Street, south side, between Market Street and Polk Street

RESCIND – BUS ZONE

Hayes Street, north side, from Franklin Street to 64 feet westerly

RESCIND – TOW-AWAY NO STOPPING 4 PM TO 7 PM, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY

9th Street, west side, between Market and Howard Streets

Fell Street Two-Way Proposal

ESTABLISH – TWO-WAY OPERATION

Fell Street, between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street (currently one-way eastbound)

ESTABLISH – TOW-AWAY NO STOPPING, 7 AM TO 9 AM, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY

Fell Street, south side, between Franklin Street and Van Ness Avenue

ESTABLISH – NO LEFT TURN

Van Ness Avenue, northbound, at Fell Street

ESTABLISH – TOW-AWAY NO STOPPING ANYTIME

Fell Street, north side, from Franklin Street to 90 feet easterly

Fell Street, south side, from Franklin Street to 50 feet easterly

ESTABLISH – NO PARKING ANYTIME

Fell Street, both sides, from Van Ness Avenue to 20 feet westerly

The above items have received environmental clearance from the San Francisco Planning Department through an Addendum to Environmental Impact Report dated December 16, 2010, for Project Title 2003.0347E – Market and Octavia Neighborhood Plan; Hayes & Fell Two-Way.