It's been a while since my last Pedestrianism video. The spectacle of last June's Sunday Streets in the Mission District was hard to top!
But I took a trip to New York City over New Years and had the chance to see some of the cool new pedestrian spaces there (check out the photos in my Flickr stream in the sidebar). Despite the freezing cold, I walked the length of the first phase of the High Line. This elevated, linear park opened last year on an abandoned railroad track. The city of New York and its private partner have done an amazing job on the landscaping, and the space is well-used even on days as cold as the one shown above.
Be sure to watch in fullscreen with HD on (and scaling off if you have a larger screen) for the best effect.
As Ihopeyou'veheard, BART and the MTC are in some deep federal trouble as a result of their handling of the Oakland Airport Connector.
In short: BART mismanaged their planning of the project, changing it extensively over the years without adequately reviewing the changes. The MTC gave a large chunk of the federal stimulus money it received to the project, because the MTC totally hearts BART. Some local transit advocacy groups complained to the feds. The feds took a look at the project and were all like, 'Woah, we can't give money to a project that hasn't been thoroughly vetted under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act,' and told BART and the MTC to meet the Title VI requirements by March 5th or give up the money.
BART has pledged to meet the March 5th deadline and proceed with the OAC as planned. But the MTC is really the agency with the right to the money. They could choose to stand with BART and risk losing the money if the feds aren't happy after the deadline. Or they could re-appropriate the money to other regional transit projects so agencies like Muni and AC Transit don't have to make some seriously awful service cuts.
Please let all your Muni-riding friends know about tomorrow's SFMTA Board of Directors meeting. The Board will be discussing ways to close a nearly $17 million shortfall in its budget before July 1st. Specifically, they will be responding to MTA staff recommendations to:
-Raise the cost to ride the F-line to $5
-Require riders to buy the $70 Fastpass in order to ride the Cable Cars and Express Buses
-Raise the fares for seniors, disabled and youth passes to $30/month (Triple what it was just 6 months ago)
-Reduce the frequency of buses along some lines as well as the operating hours.
Join the event on Facebook, and post it to your Facebook Wall to let your friends know. If you can attend the meeting at 2pm tomorrow, please do so! If, like many of us, you work at that time please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com telling them:
-How the fare increases and service changes have affected you
-Riders should not bear the brunt of the current financial meltdown
-Extended hours meters and Sunday meters need to be a part of any solution
Stay tuned to Streetsblog's Facebook and Twitterpages; they will be updating them during the meeting so that you can figure out if its worthwhile to stop by City Hall after work to testify.
Six months ago I highlighted a wonderful piece of work by Greater Greater Washington that took a look at ridership on the DC Metro. Well I finally got off my butt and did a similar thing for BART. I asked someone at BART who was affiliated with the recent rider survey for data on trips by station entry and exit.
Ask and ye shall receive; BART sent me an excel file containing average weekday origin/departure numbers for the spring and summer of 2009. I crunched the numbers a little and came up with the following