Google Bus sewers - Page 2

Bulky shuttles belong on car-centric corridors, not neighborhood streets

|
(131)

There's a lot of opportunity to combine these new bus stops with traffic calming at dangerous intersections such as Fell and Masonic or Oak and Octavia, all without mucking up Muni or diminishing the walkable human scale of nearby neighborhood commercial streets. And hey, since this is all a "pilot program," no pesky and expensive EIR is needed — right?

Thinking long-term, this scheme could be a template to jumpstart making this ridiculous private transit system into a regional public bus system modeled on AC transit or Golden Gate Transit, a service open to all. Our car-centric streets are ripe for express bus service and this would help relieve parallel lines like the N-Judah, while enabling the city to attain its aspiration of 30 percent mode share on transit.

And for Mayor Ed Lee and pro-tech-bus members of the Board of Supervisors, it helps with their "vision zero" rhetoric of increasing pedestrian safety because placing the buses on car-centric one-way couplets can help calm traffic.

With a little cajoling by the mayor, he could get his tech sponsors to underwrite streetscape and beautification at the bus stops along these kinds of streets.

After all, Mayor Lee needs to find the money, because last month he betrayed pedestrian and bicycle safety and Muni when he abandoned support for increasing the Vehicle License Fee locally this fall, all the while misleading the public about the important role of Sunday metering. Perhaps it's time for a tax or license fee on the ad hoc private transit system?

SLOWING DOWN

Speaking of vision zero, Sup. Eric Mar deserves hearty thanks for proposing to reduce speed limits citywide. This is one of the most effective ideas to come from the progressive wing of the Board of Supervisors in a long time and should be implemented yesterday. Higher speeds maim and kill, and the faster cars go the more voracious the appetite for both fuel and urban space.

With reduced speed, the motorist would still be able to drive, just more slowly, perhaps with less convenience than now. But over time the options of cycling, of walkable shopping, and improved public transit would synchronize more seamlessly as car space is ceded to separated cycletracks and transit lanes.

My suggestion is to make the city navigable by car at no greater than 15 miles per hour, a speed deemed not only to be comfortable on calmed pedestrian streets, but also to minimize injury and fatalities when there are collisions. Ultimately, our efforts to curb global warming, reduce injury and death from automobility, and make the city more livable obliges us to slow down, so looking at speeds is a step forward.

Street Fight is a monthly column by Jason Henderson, a geography professor at San Francisco State University and the author of Street Fight: The Politics of Mobility in San Francisco.

Comments

Posted by Guest on Jul. 02, 2014 @ 12:35 pm

It's a pilot. Things can and will be altered based on real life conditions and hopefully also thoughtful commentary like this.

Grow up.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2014 @ 9:13 am
Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2014 @ 9:36 am

The only reason they created a pilot is to evade scrutiny under CEQA.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 03, 2014 @ 10:23 am

That would be a misuse of CEQA, just like the BofS recently ruled in relation to removing Sunday parking

Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2014 @ 10:49 am

You are 1000 % correct Marcos. And they are trying to ramrod this "study" through. This program stands to impact thousands of SF residents. What's the rush?

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 11:11 am

This is not a change. It is merely the ratification of an existing practice that tens of thousands of your fellow city residents enjoy.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

Except.......it isn't working well. No. Not at all.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 12:16 pm

So why change?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

Enjoyment has nothing to do with it.

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 12:26 pm
Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 1:09 pm

You wish.

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 1:20 pm

If a majority of San Franciscans can't "enjoy" our neighborhoods because monster 60,000 pound diesel spewing busses are wrecking our roads and polluting our air, it's pretty certain you won't enjoy your commute. Cities are about hundreds of thousands of people living together. A small sliver doesn't get to decide for the rest.

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 1:24 pm
Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 3:15 pm

Are you daft? Oh right. The world is flat and global warming and climate change are conspiracies. I get it.

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 10:01 pm

Except that it won't endure. And the reason why it won't endure is because the more San Franciscans who learn that the SFMTA, the private shuttle bus companies and the tech companies have fast tracked this misguided experiment through, the more opposition to the program builds. Word is getting out. Residents and neighbors are outraged. That is the reality.

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 11:34 am

And a recent opinion poll showed about 70% of SF residents like them.

Can you actually explain why you wish to deprive others of a transit choice? The shuttles are entitled to operate.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

Care to cite that poll and stat?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 12:17 pm

Everyone i know likes the shuttles. Very convenient.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

Convenient for whom?

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

Still waiting for your source. 70%?????

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 1:19 pm

Residents are outraged that some people have a comfortable way to get to work?

There are some people who think that the shuttles should be regulated in terms of how they interfere with other traffic and where they drive.

And yes, there are also some people who can't deal with seeing someone get a better deal than they have.

Also, the author of this story attempts to deceive via the $1 a stop thing. The truth is that the amount is limited by California law. Knowing this, Google agreed to pay $6.8 million dollars to buy free rides for low income minors for 2 years.

But hey, let's never mention that and just keep talking about the $1

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 12:26 pm
Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 1:09 pm

I find it funny that the two of you are trying to make this an "envy" and "sad" snark fest instead of making cogent and thoughtful points to support your argument. It reflects poorly. It adds to the outrage against you. You will never win folks over to your side with that tone :)

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 1:31 pm

OK, Guesthope.

This is a city. Huge vehicles of all types use it and the roads must be able to handle them. Garbage trucks are heavier than these buses, Muni's fleet is about the same as these buses and is much, much, much more active than these shuttles. Look around you, there are plenty of these same model buses driving people (mostly visitors) around that have nothing to do with Google.

So rational people would like to do the pilot study to see what regulation might be needed. Google stands ready to pay a reasonable fee and has already given the city $6.8 million dollars for low income minors.

I know....you could not care less.

Meanwhile, people like you just prefer to throw tantrums saying things like "San Franciscans can't 'enjoy' our neighborhoods because monster 60,000 pound diesel spewing busses are wrecking our roads and polluting our air"

Yeah. With everything going on in this city it's great that you figured out that it is these buses that are polluting our air. And, as everyone knows, before these buses the city streets were absolutely smooth. We never had a pothole before we had these buses.

We want information to make an intelligent decision, you prefer to block the pilot study so that you can say whatever you want and expect people to believe you.

They don't.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 3:35 pm

First of all: I am not throwing a tantrum. And secondly: since when are 60,000 pound double decker diesel spewing gasoline busses the same as non polluting electric busses? That is just complete hooey.

I and a majority of San Francisco's neighbors and residents oppose this program because the proper channels for democratic decision making have not been used. Because no kind of impact report or environmental assessment has been done. Because these private monster bus shuttles serve a tiny sliver of people who live in San Francisco and because residents were never properly notified of the details of this program. No transparency. No disclosure. No notification. Just fast tracking, ram ridding and back slapping. Not democratic.

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 10:08 pm

>"since when are 60,000 pound double decker diesel spewing gasoline busses the same as non polluting electric busses? "

Oh, OK. All of Muni is 100% electric buses powered by renewable electricity sources. As are all of the recology and delivery trucks trans versing the city.

Thanks so much for the, um. education, Guesthope. We learn so much from your fertile imagination.

Look, you don't want any type of impact report. That is exactly what would come out of the pilot program.

You want to kill the shuttles because you are biased against tech workers. You don't want to have to live amongst their ilk. Get over it.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 05, 2014 @ 7:38 am

Wow. Just wow. Now you are actually trying to put your words into my mouth. Your argument makes no sense. Your points have no basis. And you are insulting. Do you realize that this is a public forum where reasonable, thoughtful people can read your comments and see how baseless and snarky you are being? I will not be bullied. We aren't going to back down. You and the "pilot's" supporters are not making cogent arguments in support of the issues. You are trying to shove this down our throats and that isn't working.

The fact remains: NO ANALYSIS OR ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY OF THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF THESE PRIVATE SHUTTLE BUSSES HAS BEEN DONE AND TRANSPARENT AND PROPER NOTICE TO SAN FRANCISCO RESIDENTS WAS NOT DONE. That is not how we roll in San Francisco. It's a democracy, not a meritocracy.

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 05, 2014 @ 7:55 am

here before SFMTA's technical change.

All that has changed is that the shuttles are now paying for the use of muni stops.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 05, 2014 @ 8:14 am

Where was the CEQA on the Academy of Arts shuttles? Where were you then, Guesthope? There are 4 times as many intra-city shuttles as sillicon valley shuttles. I'm sure that you fought for a CEQA then because, after all, you are not simply afraid of tech workers living in your neighborhood.

Look, Guesthope, rational people understand that the way to manage the manner in which these San Franciscans commute to work is to analyze it under controlled circumstances, see how it can be optimized and identify all costs to the city.

In other words, the pilot program.

Other people want to stop the shuttles at all costs because they carry, heaven forbid, tech workers. They want to block the issue with a circular reference where you first have to document the results of a test before you do the test. CEQA wasn't intended to block progress or from finding new ways to get people to commute.

Sorry, you'll just have to live with a changing city. Try to deal with it as best you can or seek help if you need it.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 05, 2014 @ 8:28 am

Contrary to your rabid comments: I do not hate tech workers. I do not fear them or dislike them. Also: change is the only constant in life. What I don't appreciate is your demeaning, snarky tone and your privileged attitude. These is plenty of room for all of us at the table. I and the San Franciscans who oppose this misguided slapped together joke of a plan aren't going anywhere. This is our city too. Read up on the history of SF. It is a town of diversity: racial, economic, sexual persuasion and age. Mono cropping and genuflecting to a sliver of our residents doesn't work in the long run.

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 05, 2014 @ 9:02 am

I am perfectly entitled to be annoyed by your pettiness about them.

It's a free country, and you are free to be irked. And you are free to not take a shuttle yourself.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 05, 2014 @ 9:10 am

Actually: no one but i.d. card carrying folks are permitted to ride these shuttles. If someone other than a tech employee attempts to ride these private shuttle buses they will be kicked off and ticketed. That is hardly freedom of choice. That is elitism, in that it excludes a majority of fellow residents who are not given the same privileges. And that right there is one of the problems most residents have with the private shuttle busses. You are using public transportation stops on public roads (which are both paid for by tax paying residents) but you are not paying for this privilege. That is cronyism and discrimination.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 05, 2014 @ 11:52 am

however these folks get to work, it will cause pollution. And buses are generally cleaner than the tens of cars they replace.

This is really about envy, class warfare and hatred. Most people see that but there will always be a miserable minority of whiners.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 05, 2014 @ 8:16 am

I am sorry that the basis of your argument and your comments here is demeaning anyone who doesn't agree with you. Calling us "haters" or "whiners" is immature and insulting. And tedious. It reflects poorly on you and your cause.

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 05, 2014 @ 8:26 am

is that you are speaking from a place of envy.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 05, 2014 @ 8:57 am

We are not outraged that you desire a comfortable commute. We are out raged that a fair, transparent and democratic process wasn't used in the decision making here. No disclosure. No impact studies. No transparency. Why the rush? Why the secrecy? Why the elitism?

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

This has been in the works for months, your just crying because you didn't get your way.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 1:38 pm

Why so snarky? The article raises excellent points. If you want to debate the merits of the "pilot" fine. But statements like "grow up" are unnecessary and uncivil.

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 11:09 am

when Daly did his thing to close Market street that was supposed to be a pilot/test then became permanent on the sly.

Pretty much the same process around the bus thing. Was the a study on all the fumes created as people were forced down to Mission?

Progressives don't care about the process unless it's not them getting over, they take their orders and are upset.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

Actually this is new news to the residents of the neighborhoods where the "pilot" is slated to expand. And that is nothing to be smug about. People are outraged by the lack of transparency by the SFMTA and elected officials in the decision making process. You can try to minimalize it but it's a HUGE miscalculation.

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 11:08 am

with peoples' ability to travel to work, and seek to suppress that for no coherent reason that I have heard.

The shuttles have been around for years. Why have you suddenly decided that they are a problem to you? And why should I care?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

The expansion of the "pilot program" is new. And as much as you want to deny it, the fact remains that thousands of San Franciscans have not been properly notified of its expansion to our neighborhoods. You can deny it all you want. That is a glaring miscalculation and oversight in a democratic city like SF.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

It's simply a formal acknowledgement of what is already happening.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 1:07 pm

The expansion of the "pilot program" is new. And as much as you want to deny it, the fact remains that thousands of San Franciscans have not been properly notified of its expansion to our neighborhoods. You can deny it all you want. That is a glaring miscalculation and oversight in a democratic city like SF. And the opposition is building. So is the outrage. The more you deny, the worse it gets.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 12:21 pm

All I've seen is a few trolls who want to restrict commuting choices for hard working people

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 3:14 pm

Hmmmmmm. And all we see is a small sliver of people who want to ram rod a misguided, poorly planned and lame "pilot" through to the quiet tree lined streets of our neighborhoods. Go experiment on a campus somewhere. Once you have some tangible stats get back to us. Until then: we will not be your guinea pigs. You are welcome.

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 10:12 pm

When all else fails and you have no facts or credible points to make in support of your position, resort to name calling. Are you have a fifth grade flash back? I'm sorry.

Posted by GuestHOPE on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

You must get your news from Rush Limbaugh or FOX news.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

Shouldn't the fact that they are diesel buses be a problem? I've never even heard it mentioned, these are huge diesel buses where there were none before, that's a problem for me.
!8th st is also the designated bike route from the Mission to the Castro, now we have to dodge the behemoths as if it isn't bad enough?
Also, I ride a bike but I also drive a car (and was a cab driver for a few years) 15 miles an hour for cars is the silliest idea I've heard in a while. You do yourself a disservice by tacking that on to an otherwise reasonable article.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2014 @ 10:00 am

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Related articles

  • Carmageddon cometh

    San Francisco needs to radically rethink its transportation system to avoid gridlock

  • Bicycling and equity: Heed the call, expand the movement

    Street Fight covers the National Bike Summit and its outreach to women and minorities

  • Climate fight is a street fight

  • Also from this author

  • Carmageddon cometh

    San Francisco needs to radically rethink its transportation system to avoid gridlock

  • Bicycling and equity: Heed the call, expand the movement

    Street Fight covers the National Bike Summit and its outreach to women and minorities

  • Climate fight is a street fight