Regarding the letter about parking in Menlo Park ("A better deal," Dec. 25): I could park for free in Modesto, too, but why would I want to? -Jeff Doane via SF Chronicle
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
City workers have been tearing up four blocks of Valencia Street for the Valencia Streetscape Improvement project for about six months now, and concrete results are now underfoot. The first blocks of wider sidewalks have opened and Pedestrians can now enjoy the extra space as well as the safety of some new corner bulbouts. Click through for a larger picture; you can follow the white line of the crosswalk to see the difference between the old sidewalk width (foreground, South of 17th Street) and the new (North, across 17th Street in the photo).
It's clear that there remains some more work to be done on these first blocks: pouring more concrete, installing street furniture, and planting a row of new trees in what was once the parking lane. And work has yet to begin on most of the blocks in the project area (Valencia from 15th to 19th).
But two blocks are open and usable right now, and the rest will follow before you know it. Go out and see for yourself what a difference a few feet can make.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
The maps above compare the street grid as it was planned from the 19th century and the streets that exist today. The map on the left was made in 1907, but doesn't differ significantly from earlier maps. North-South streets were named for states, and East-West streets were named for the original counties of California (most changed to the numbers they currently bear when the Potrero Hill grid was merged into the existing grid of the Mission District in 1895. The weird little jogs many streets make as they cross Harrison show the boundary between these two almost-aligned grids).
Saturday, December 19, 2009
- March 14: Embarcadero, starting at Fisherman’s Wharf and PIER 39, south to China Basin and Terry Francois Blvd.
- April 11: Along the Great Highway, coinciding with World Health Day's “1,000 Cities, 1,000 Lives” international event, as one of thousands of cities hosting simultaneous car-free events worldwide.
- April 18: Bayview, along 3rd Street from King and 4th (Caltrain Station) to Bayview Playground.
- May 23: Bayview, in conjunction with the 3rd Street Corridor Project and Bayview Merchant’s Association’s “3rd Street Festival.”
- June 20: Mission, along Valencia and 24th Streets.
- July 11: Mission.
- August 22: Great Highway/Golden Gate Park.
- September 19: NEW: Western Addition, exact location TBD.
- October 24: NEW Civic Center/Tenderloin, exact location TBD.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
When was the last time you heard anyone calling for a freeway to be profitable? (Or, for that matter, even unsubsidized?) When did we build our airports and overpasses to provide the best ROI? No, we build all these other transportation projects to provide the most public benefit possible. According to the CA-HSRA's own Business Plan, the way to do that is to set fares at 50% of airfare, producing nearly double the ridership in the first year, and around 30% more by 2035. This gets the most people off our roads and out of our airports as possible, and moves more people by clean, renewable electricity than any other option studied. Fares at 50% of airfare keeps the train operations sustainable while providing the most return-on-investment for the taxpayers, the citizens of California, who asked for this thing to be built. As far as I'm concerned, that ought to be the only criteria evaluated, and Wall Street can suck it. -Riding in Riverside
Monday, December 14, 2009
The parking lanes on both sides of the street were removed to create an expanded pedestrian walkway from the cable car turnaround to Union Square (the block of Powell between the turnaround and Ellis Street is already pedestrian- and transit-only).
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Muni deserves congratulations for pulling that feat off. Even loyal Muni riders love to gripe about every little thing, so it's almost inconceivable that there would be this little grumbling. Muni win.
That said, however, there are a couple of bad side effects of the changes that have made me spend more time on the corner than I'd like to during this cold snap.
The above picture was taken at 2nd and Brannan Streets. It's where I've always waited for the bus, so I was sad to see this sign announcing the stop had been removed.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I imagine anyone with any amount of urban awareness has had their own ideas of what to do with this space as soon as they first laid eyes on it. It's clear the first time you visit that the plaza is just not working right. Crowds choke the area around the cable car turnaround and pedestrians avoid the relatively broad walkways along the old Bank of America building and along Market Street. BART and Muni riders hurriedly pass through the sunken area in the middle, and the area West of Cyril Magnin is an afterthought if it's thought of at all.
And any amateur urbanist's bright ideas for the plaza would probably be an improvement. The plan discussed in Gordon's article, which is apparently being seriously considered by the city, calls for that Western segment to be decked over and converted to a reservoir. That's a very practical use of the existing volume, and it would improve the plaza, to be sure. One disadvantage is that the plan would cut off access to the Powell Street Station from West of 5th Street. Riders coming from, say, the Warfield theater would need to cross either Market of 5th Street to get underground.
I confess to having my own daydreams of what Hallidie Plaza should look like. I can't say I've ironed out the details yet but in response to Gordon's article I'd like to mention some things I think are important to consider in any overhaul plans, vaguely in order of importance.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
More transit means more pedestrians, more people who pay attention to the shape and design of the city up close. That, in turn, means a growing constituency for shared space in Los Angeles and new interest in our long-neglected streetscapes and public sphere.
To put it another way: Transit and the life of the street are inextricably intertwined, and a boost to one is almost always a boost to the other. -Christopher Hawthorne, LA Times
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
ARTICLE 5: SECTION 96. BICYCLE RIDING RESTRICTED.
It shall be unlawful to ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk area, except at a permanent or temporary driveway or on bikeways heretofore or hereafter established by resolution of the board of Supervisors; provided, however, that juveniles under the age of 13 and riding a sidewalk bicycle, exercising due care and giving the pedestrian the rightof-way, may ride and operate their sidewalk bicycles upon the sidewalk, except such sidewalks as are in front of schools, stores, or buildings used for business purposes.
(Amended by Ord. 394-78, App. 8/29/78)
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Without question, street trees fundamentally improve the pedestrian experience along city streets. Their canopies provide shade and shelter from the wind and rain, but they take up a small amount of valuable street space. This space is almost always taken from the sidewalk. Pedestrians can maneuver around tree trunks better than cars, so this makes some sense.
But cities around the world (the Streetfilms piece is about Melbourne, Australia) and those close to home are trying something that might be a lot better, at least along streets with narrow sidewalks.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
This is something a lot of us know implicitly. I lived for almost three years making no more than $18,000 per year and I always knew I could only do that in a place like SF, where I didn't need a car. Sure, my rent was around $75 or $100 per month higher than friends' in the East Bay, but they ate through those savings and then some on insurance, gas, and maintenance of their cars - to say nothing of parking.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Man, that picture takes me back. I remember putting my quarter in one of these on the 49 when I would head home from school back in fourth grade. I can't remember exactly when they switched to the new fareboxes - I think some time around when the adult fare hit $1.00.
If only I had an extra $325 lying around...
Monday, October 26, 2009
This past Saturday was Walk SF's Peak to Peak, an annual hike from West Portal up ~15 of SF's hills, ending at Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill. It was billed as a 12-mile walk but one participant's GPS-enabled cell phone recorded it at 14.9 miles, with something like 4,500 feet of climbing, if memory serves.
I had an absolute blast, although my walk to work today was a bit slower and more stiff than usual as I recover. Take a look at the photos above for an idea of how beautiful, and worth the pain, the walk was. Here's a map of the route annotated with some of the photos I took:
View Peak to Peak in a larger map
If you went and took your own pictures, consider uploading them to Walk SF's fan page on Facebook.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
In Manhattan, creative jaywalking is an environmental positive, because it makes traveling on foot easier: it enables pedestrians to maintain their forward progress when traffic lights are against them, and to gain small navigational advantages by weaving between cars on clogged side streets - and it also keeps drivers on their guard, forcing them to slow down. -David Owen (via Living Car-Free in Big D)I definitely agree with this statement, and not because I like pedestrians more than drivers and somehow feel that rules shouldn't apply to everyone. Legally, of course, traffic laws do apply to everyone. But there is a difference in justice of those traffic laws, a difference that reflects the natural hierarchy of vulnerability among road users.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
He tips his hat to Melissa Griffin, who rightly notes that May's emergency budget was only 'balanced' if you include money from the proposed meter changes.
And Streetsblog has its usual high-quality coverage of this important issue.
It's not too late to head to City Hall and put your 2¢ on the record. Room 400.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Where was their outrage when Muni fares went up in May? A bus ride now costs twice what it did when our spokesmayor took office and, come January, so too will your Fast Pass if you want to use it on BART. Newsom voicebox Nathan Ballard, who apparently has the ear of the Chron's Editorial Board, reacted to the MTA study thusly:
In this economy, we can't ask people to pay more for parking. Our small businesses don't need one more reason for people to stay away.Read the report, Mr. Ballard! Businesses don't get their customers from on-street parking. Across SF, only 14% of customers at local businesses drove to get there, and they spend less per capita per month than any other group of shoppers. These are people you want beating a path to your door, I suppose, as long as you're not interested in making money.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
If they use the money to make sidewalk improvements, one of the most important transportation pieces of infrastructure in San Francisco. I think the sidewalks are almost as important as the bus system. If they said we'll use some of the money to improve the sidewalks and the streetscapes on the metered streets, everybody would see that the city is giving back something and not just taking. I think if you give back something that's very visible and very valuable, the metered communities will see the benefits right in front of their eyes. --Donald Shoup (via Streetsblog)
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
When pressed whether the MTA Board would stand up to Mayor Gavin Newsom if it believed extending meter hours was better for the MTA and the city, [MTA Board Chairman Tom] Nolan admitted the board hadn't opposed the mayor "really in much of anything." But, he added, "We keep turning down revenue options, if it's not going to be on the revenue side, it's going to be on the service side." -Matthew RothI can almost hear Tom Radulovich gently reminding him that the City Charter requires him and his colleagues to "diligently seek new revenue sources" for the MTA.
The SFMTA will discuss this study at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday, October 20th at 2pm. If you can, you should absolutely attend and let the MTA know you support the fair parking meter prices this study recommends.
There's historical trivia and architectural points of interest, as well as some bizarre entries like this one from user 'paugsburger,'
sometimes I drive, I love the view from 280 (at 6th and Townsend)Whatever.
The more time you give yourself, the more meandering the route this app returns. It's definitely designed to be used on an iPhone's web browser, but you can also launch it from your computer.
Check it out!
Friday, October 9, 2009
"San Francisco's plan for progress calls for modern, computer-controlled, 80-mph rapid transit cars to speed Bay Area residents to their destinations."
"Transit cars on exclusive rights-of-way will operate at 90-second intervals during rush periods."
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I do not believe that you guys scared everybody out of Oakland's parking spaces, I believe [Grand Lake Theater owner] Alan Michaan did by getting on the 6 o'clock news and telling everyone to be terrified of parking in Oakland. One of you ought to scold him for the level of invective he brought out here. You guys were accused of extortion for raising the fee from $1.50 to $2, but you were accused of extortion by a man who charges $3 for a small coke. -Max Alstott, to the Oakland City Council at their October 6th meeting (via Streetsblog)
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
But upon closer inspection, the elevated freeway to and from the Bay Bridge has been removed Southwest of 4th Street. Now that's 'urban renewal' I can get behind!
[BART] couldn’t care less whether Oakland gets trashed, as long as they can whisk suburban commuters to downtown San Francisco or the airports with minimal contact with Oakland soil. Elevated BART tracks carry passengers over Oakland’s neighborhoods while elevated freeways carry drivers over Oakland’s streets—a separate transportation grid several dozen feet above ground level, which “sidesteps the mess” below. -Fragmentary Evidence
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
From the Secretary's blog, the Fast Lane:
So today, we’re kicking off a two-day summit that’s going to look at this deadly epidemic from every angle.Watch the webcast of both days' events here, or the live-blog at the Fast Lane.
We’re bringing together top experts in safety, transportation research, regulatory affairs, and law enforcement to help us identify, target, and tackle the fundamental elements of this problem.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I'm stuck in an office in SoMa, so I have no eyewitness account to add. Any comments with your own experiences are appreciated!
Monday, September 28, 2009
The city of Minneapolis is about to return two of its downtown streets to two-way traffic after nearly 30 years of one-way flow. Those streets, like many in downtowns across the country, were converted to one-way couplets by auto-centric traffic engineers in the middle of the last century.
Their goal was to squeeze more cars through older, narrow streets as fast as they could. And that's exactly what happened. The problem is that the fast, thick traffic along these one-way streets has proven to be dangerous to vulnerable road users, especially pedestrians, and has often pushed away much of the street life.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Not sure why the designation change was necessary, but this extra extension makes a lot of sense for this heavily-used downtown feeder express. The new terminus at Geneva and Schwerin streets is technically in Daly City, but that's something of an arbitrary distinction in this part of town. In addition to the operational improvements that the Examiner article mentions, the extra few-block-jaunt will connect downtown SF to a new pool of residents near the Cow Palace.
Of course, it only makes perfect sense for the T-Third to be extended past this stop and down Geneva to the Balboa Park-plex. But this is a small step in the right direction, all the same.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
World Carfree Day was established in 2000 as a grassroots movement by the World Carfree Network to coincide with the European Mobility Week. It has grown to involve official and unofficial participants in over 1,000 cities in 40 countries. -World Carfree NetworkSo if you haven't already - and, so we can still be friends, I'll assume you have already - ditch the car and take the BMW (BART, Muni and Walk) around town today. You couldn't ask for better weather!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
While details are apparently hazy since the crash was so recent, the Appeal reports that, according to police spokeswoman Sgt. Lyn Tomioka,
Apparently, another car had stopped (for the woman) at the intersection and this vehicle went around it.If true, that's a pretty clear violation of CVC Section 21951, which states:
Whenever any vehicle has stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.According to the Examiner's writeup, 'San Francisco Police Officer Barcena' described this as "not an arrest situation." But the Appeal quotes Sgt. Tomioka as saying that prosecutors "could weigh charging him 'because the driver is required to drive with due caution.'"
My thoughts go out to the family and friends of the victim of this driver's negligence.
Friday, September 11, 2009
If you've been down 16th Street lately you've probably noticed these new poles being installed. They seem to be replacements for the poles that currently support Muni's overhead wires (for the 22 and 33 lines) rather than utility poles.
I haven't been able to Google up any info on this project, but I suspect it might have something to do with Muni's planned (TEP) re-routing of the 22 down 16th to Mission Bay.
Anyone have details?
Thursday, September 10, 2009
The traffic changes to be made during this trial are notably stronger that the SFCTA had proposed back in May. The new configuration will leave a virtually car free road Eastbound, East of 8th Street.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I took a minute to check out the progress on SF's next Pavement to Parks pedestrian plaza at 16th and 8th streets. Work on what the Planning Dept calls 'Showplace Triangle' is ongoing, but one can already get a sense of the final product.
Some pics and descriptions after the jump.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Many folks expected the areas around the bridge approaches to see light traffic, and they are. But as it turns out, traffic was lighter than usual everywhere this morning, including the other bridges expected to absorb some spillover traffic. The traffic guy on KRON this morning relayed an anecdote from a Dumbarton Bridge toll-taker who said it seemed like a Sunday morning.
Clearly, an awful lot of the trips people make across our bridges are not necessary. To me, that indicates our transportation policies make driving too appealing an option for transbay travel. The moral of today's story is that the subsidies of driving across the water ought to be minimized. Obviously the sky won't fall if you can't drive across the bridge.
On a related note, BART wants to know how and why you're riding this car-free weekend.
And this year's last Sunday Streets will take over the Great Highway again. Looks like a beautiful weekend in the walkable neighborhood!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Downtown-bound O'Farrell, Jones & Hyde cable car No. 57 swings 'wrong-way' from Hyde into the oncoming traffic of Pine Street, (1954). The overhead neon sign warns motorists that an eastbound cable car is invading the one-way westbound street for two blocks, before it turns south on Jones Street. This mechanism was set up when the City made Pine one-way. Downtown interests longed to do the same with O'Farrell Street where two automobile garages were being built. The pressure for a one-way downtown street grid helped doom this fabled cable car line, which shut down two weeks after Walt Vielbaum took this great photo. -Market Street RailwayIt's interesting to see what's changed and what has stayed the same. The buildings on three of the four corners are still there, but are now fronted with trees. The St. Francis Memorial Hospital has replaced Thomas Coffee Shop on the Southeast corner.
Traffic is still one way, now unperturbed by that pesky cable car.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Similar temporary pedestrian spaces implemented under the city's Pavement to Parks program have been wildly popular in the communities that surround them. But I have to admit I was worried this plaza would become an exception to that experience after a reader left a couple comments indicating the situation in North Beach was bad.
Specifically worrying to me was his assertion
Come by any morning and you'll see a huddle of junkies and alcoholics who have a daily jamboree. -Karl BSince this plaza was between a surface parking lot and a library, and not directly adjacent to cafes or other businesses that could participate in its upkeep, I was a little concerned that the plaza might be run down after only a month.
So I took Mr. B's advice and went down there this morning. Pics after the jump.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Some choice quotes after the jump.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
- Tempers get hot, which is bad for reasoned debate
- I like people who ride their bikes instead of driving cars, and I want more people to do more of that
So you don't like cars, therefore you punish pedestrians?I like walking around San Francisco, and I like not dying. It directly follows, then, that I want fewer people to drive, and for those that do to drive slower and more carefully. Riding a bicycle legally in the road encourages safer driving, improves bike and ped safety, discourages some driving trips and encourages other people to bike.
Your logic is infallible.
Riding your bicycle on the sidewalk does more to encourage the status quo of driving than would not riding a bike at all.
Monday, August 24, 2009
I think the grid of the inner Mission District is one of the most pleasant environments for pedestrians in the city. Most intersections have four-way stops, the streets have wide sidewalks, low car traffic and are lined with trees and beautiful houses. But there's definitely room for improvement, especially along the streets that were handed over to cars during the 20th century (So. Van Ness, Guerrero, 16th and especially Potrero).
Check out the PDF, and continue after the jump for my first impression.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Beyond Chron has been pillorying this article's author, Carla Marinucci, recently and for good reason. The article is a set of facts artfully arranged to support a preordained conclusion. Contrary to what Marinucci would like us to think, public opinion is not dramatically lopsided toward the BART unions or management, the public was not terribly outspoken, and the strike was averted at the bargaining table, not the breakfast table over copies of Chronicle editorials.
But her loud propagation of this meme got me thinking, if the prospect of a strike pisses her off, why isn't she mad about the recent BART service cuts?
This blog cares, however, only because a third of this column is about vocal neighborhood opposition to the Mason Street plaza/horseman-of-the-apocalypse in North Beach. The plaza is formed by a temporary closure of a short block of Mason Street, which is part of a Branch Library Improvement Program project in North Beach.
Monday, August 17, 2009
The results: mixed.
On the way to SFO on Thursday, I tagged my green wondercard only to hear the turnstile screech and display the 'See Agent' message. Not wanting to bother, I used the regular
Today, however, on my way back from SFO I entered the BART station to find the trains mercifully running. This time, when I tagged the card the fare gates parted and displayed my Translink balance. The exit at 16th Street was equally smooth, and showed me the new balance after it calculated and deducted my fare.
I continue to recommend that everyone get a Translink card and try to use it as often as possible.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
What more can be said about the Central Subway? Conceived in some form at least 80 years ago, and put into motion by a vote of the people 20 years ago, the project seems like a done deal despite protests from some transit activists and NIMBYs alike.
One major concern is that the CS as currently planned is less than optimally designed, and way too expensive. Opponents point to the price tag of $1.58 billion for 1.7 miles of rail as ridiculously prohibitive.
Without disagreeing on those points, I'd like us all to pause, stand back and get a little perspective.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
View Larger Map
Streetsblog doesn't give a date for the opening, but according to the Planning Department's website, both the Showplace Square plaza and the one planned for San Jose and Guerrero Avenues are slated for sometime in September.
Monday, August 3, 2009
If it sounds too good to be true, well, maybe it is. BART says a small group of BART-only EZ Rider cardholders are being asked to try the futuristic green transit card as part of the agency's test phase. Translink differs from EZ Rider cards only in that it works on other agencies (Muni, AC Transit, Samtrans, GG Transit right now) and BART doesn't have 100% complete control over it.
But if, like me, you already have a Translink card:
Anyone else with a TransLink card is welcome to use it on BART during this limited rollout period, as long as they have a TransLink card loaded with sufficient e-cash (electronic cash) ... Because passengers are always responsible for fare payment, please be sure to bring along other means of payment such as an EZ Rider card, a BART blue ticket or cash as a backup during the limited rollout of TransLink on BART. -SFBART's BlogThat means I'll be tapping my card every chance I get, and only maybe using my
The future is here!
Friday, July 31, 2009
UPS trucks have nowhere to double-park, and obnoxious bike messengers can’t even ride on pedestrian-jammed sidewalks.
If you can, stop by the new plaza at Mason and Columbus Avenue, in front of the North Beach Branch Library. The space will be open for two months, until September 27th.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Apparently WMATA doesn't collect this kind of ridership data, so author Matt Johnson and a friend of his collected the info themselves.BART does collect this data, and is great about releasing it to the public for analysis and interpretation. Hopefully one of the Bay Area's skilled transit geek cartographers can bust out a local version of GGW's diagram.
Monday, July 27, 2009
From the Facebook group:
The Oakland Urban Paths is a group of dedicated walkers, planners, historians and fundraisers with a common mission: to raise awareness of the paths and Oakland’s heritage through a variety of activities in partnership with Walk Oakland Bike Oakland (WOBO) and the City of Oakland.Oakland Urban Paths is about to undertake an inventory of Oakland's 250+ paths and stairways. The effort kicks off tomorrow at WOBO's volunteer meeting. Deets have been added to the calendar in the sidebar, and listed after the jump
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Good decision, it turns out, since The Overhead Wire can be counted on to make the case against BRT far more passionately than I can. That post and the comments it generated are definitely worth a read, but one remark in particular struck me:
Monday, July 20, 2009
According to Streetsblog, Liveable City Executive Director Tom Radulovich "was hopeful that Valencia could serve as a model for many of the ideas that are in the Better Streets Plan." And indeed we all should remain hopeful that more of our street space is turned over to pedestrian use.
Unfortunately, not all street improvement projects currently underway are quite so admirable.
The project to redesign notorious traffic sewer Cesar Chavez Street will not include wider sidewalks but will instead add 14-foot-wide center median to the expressway. Thus ensuring that cars will continue to speed to and from the "hairball" of on/off-ramps below Highway 101 and the street will continue to divide Bernal Heights from the Mission - albeit under the shade of pretty new trees.
Divisadero will also be "improved" without doing much to address the public pedestrian spaces along the street.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Last month I left right at 2pm, when the street was reopened to cars. This time I waited until the last possible minute to leave the street. It was a little perplexing to hear the cops yelling, 'The street is now open, please get off the street,' or, 'The street is open, look out for yourselves!' After all, aren't they supposed to look out for us?
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
This map was drawn in 1931, two years after the Second Avenue line in New York was proposed. I have a copy of this hanging in my hallway, so I was surprised when I noticed the other day that it includes a couple lines that transit enthusiasts would still love to see built.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I say charge the hell out of them for the privilege of parking close to our museums and public gardens, dirtying the air and choking our green open spaces with their private vehicles. If they don't like it they can take the bus like a normal person.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Those plans include the permanent conversion of that 150-foot length of Mason Street into public open space in order to connect the new library to the playground next door.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 14
100 Van Ness Avenue, 26th Floor (between Fell and Hayes)
Enrique Peñalosa's speech at the Main Library yesterday was time well-spent. If you'd like a summary of his lecture, Streetsblog has a good writeup. In short, he attempted repeatedly to drive home the point that we - in cities across the world, in America and in San Francisco - are wasting our scarce public space by devoting it to private transportation. Our lives would be more enjoyable if we took as much of that space as we can and devoted it to pedestrian space.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
The event is called Sunday Streets to Great Streets. Details after the jumpDate: Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Location: Koret Auditorium, Main Public Library
Street: 100 Larkin St.
City/Town: San Francisco, CA
Valet bicycle parking provided.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
It's not 'We don't have the money,' it's 'We don't want to spend it on public transit.'
Monday, June 29, 2009
Public transportation is one of the team's major concerns with a San Francisco site.
Niners Chief Financial Officer Larry MacNeil said the Hunters Point proposal would require that 25 percent of patrons travel on public transit.
When asked what the percentage is now at Candlestick, MacNeil said 18 percent of fans arrive on buses.
Well, that doesn't sound so insurmountable. Add a few more buses. Maybe Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who wants the team to stay in San Francisco, would help find the cash for a light-rail line. -SF Chronicle
Big freaking 'maybe,' to say the least. But stadium or no,
SF Lennar is building thousands of homes on HP come hell or high water (certainly the latter) and those people will need more transit options than currently exist in that corner of town.
Enter a blast from the past: Muni's old H line
Friday, June 26, 2009
Compare and contrast after the jump
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
A woman accidentally put her car into reverse, sending it through a metal barrier and out of the fourth floor of a parking garage -The Springfield Republican
Apparently the driver is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
How much do you want to bet they let her drive home from the hospital. Scary.
Monday, June 22, 2009
To paraphrase, the list of traits Fikse finds contribute to the "livability" of a neighborhood includes:
- High density
- Smaller linear scale of buildings, blocks, streets
- More and smaller units in those buildings
- High vertical ground level spaces
- Mixture of uses in close proximity
Some local examples after the jump.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The latest addition is called "San Francisco Main Lines" (PDF | GIF). The map shows all of SF's rail lines (BART, Muni, Caltrain) in addition to every Muni bus line that runs with headways of 10 minutes or less on weekdays. The idea being that if you know the bus is going to arrive at your stop less than 10 minutes after you do, most people don't feel the need to check schedules.
These bus lines are the workhorses of Muni's fleet; ridership on these lines constitutes a majority of Muni's ~700,000 daily trips. Many of the lines shown in this map suffer from chronic overcrowding and delays (I'm looking at you, 14-Mission!) and poor performance on these lines has a disproportionate effect on riders' opinions of Muni overall.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Even though I filmed this during the last hour of the event, when crowds had thinned just slightly, it's evident that turnout was high. One really gets a sense for how dense the throngs were along 24th Street, which is a vibrant commercial corridor. Pedestrians were represented in higher numbers here than elsewhere along the route; much higher numbers than in previous Sunday Streets.
Along Valencia people spread out in the wider street, and bicyclists drifted happily through the crowd. Kids on training wheels were at home among roller bladers and skateboarders.
By the time I reached Dolores Park the streets were being turned back over to cars, but as you can see at the end of the video, there was still a demand for the space. Many folks have expressed interest in allowing the event to run later in the day. Who knows, maybe it will.
The next Sunday Streets will again wind through the Mission District on July 19th. I'll see you there!
Friday, June 12, 2009
This shot is of a bus stop bulbout in Barcelona, Spain. Their solution to the potentially expensive prospect of uprooting utility lines and redesigning gutters and storm drains? Just drop a free-standing slab of concrete in top of the asphalt. Viola, instant bulbout!
I had a similar idea for bicycle parking, one that would allow DPT to add bike parking where it was needed quickly and cheaply. My artistically amazing sketch of that idea after the jump.
San Francisco is so sorely in need of bike parking that City Attorney Dennis Herrera went to court seeking an exemption to the bike plan injunction in order to install some new racks (he was denied). And the city is full of narrow sidewalks clogged with patient Muni riders waiting for the bus - sidewalks that need to be expanded.
If opponents argue that the cost of street redesign is prohibitive to implementing such simple complete streets features as bike parking and sidewalk extensions, let's remove that obstacle.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
I was on the street for the full four hours this time. There was so much to see and so many people to stop and talk to that the time flew by! At 10am the first cautious pedestrians and bicyclists ventured onto the asphalt, and before long the crowd had filled the streets.After walking the length of the route and a brief break at Dolores park, I turned around and walked it again headed East. As I turned the corner at Valencia and 24th Streets i was amazed at the volume of the crowd on 24th. These are people who don't get the chance to appreciate the public spaces in between buildings very often, and who were taking full advantage of the brief opportunity.
Businesses on 24th and Valencia had tables on the sidewalk and people in their shops. Folks on their bicycles intermingled calmly and freely with pedestrians, roller skaters, hula hoopers, and at least one unicyclist.
If you missed your chance to enjoy the neighborhood, then mark your calendar for July 19th. On that Sunday the streets of the Mission District will be opened to people again.