CFAH

The SE corner of Pacific and Polk (www.SocketSite.com)
A reader asks and we don’t have a clue (hey, it happens):

I live in Russian Hill and noticed that the corner of Pacific and Polk there is a small parking lot, frame-o-rama (which is moving), a temporary space that Linen Outlet has been using (the old jug shop sore), and an empty small building (old Little Bug store). In the last year, all three of those places have announced they are moving or have already shut. The jug shop moved across the street, the Frame-o-rama store is moving up a few buildings on Pacific, Little Bug business closed and is empty, and the temporary Linen store has been had a “closing sale” for a while.

Anyway, all of this just has development written all over it.

Didn’t know if you knew anything about it. I know there is a ton going on in SoMa [Editor’s Note: And along Van Ness], but when a lot this size appears to have something going on in a small neighborhood, it makes me wonder. Just didn’t know where to start to find out what is up. Makes me nervous that something bad and horrible is gonna happen on that corner.

Any plugged-in readers have the inside scoop (or care to pass this along to somebody who might) in order to assuage (or amplify) our reader’s intial nervousness?
UPDATE: Okay, it’s kind of frightening how quickly this one got answered. One reader points us in the direction of the Pacific Terrace website which quotes six-stories, 38 condominiums, 2,900 sq. ft. of ground floor retail, and 38 parking spaces; while another emails us directly (for the record, two minutes earlier) with slightly different totals (43 units and 45 parking spaces including 29 car lifts). The drawings:
Pacific Terrace: Drawings
Not that there was ever any doubt (at least not on our part), but you guys (in a non gender specific kind of way) are the best. Thank you for plugging in.
JustQuotes: A Reminder That They’re Not Just Building Down In SoMa [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by PR

    I’m friendly with the guy, David, who runs the parking lot there after hours. He says it’s turning into your traditional mixed-use condo development. That is all I know.

  2. Posted by bts

    Yup, that’s it. I live across the street and get notices about it every now and then. I believe the last thing I received was the ‘environmental report / impact’ was going to take place.

  3. Posted by scurvy

    Why is it bad that retail has moved or is closing? What’s wrong with more housing? I just don’t understand the no-more-housing NIMBY’s.
    That area has an over abundance of retail. Up and down Polk St and California St you have tons of retail and service. I’d almost say too much. The entire country and overbuilt retail and commercial to a large degree and you’re going to see some contraction. How many nail salons, hair salons/barbers, dry cleaners, and liquor stores can one area support?
    FWIW, I’m actually starting to see some hair salons/barbers close their doors. That is truly the sign that the economy is weak.

  4. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    This looks like a very positive change for the block. But it brings up the question about the loss of parking.
    I often see MLS listings where parking is labeled “leased, $200” and the like. I take it that the buyer is taking the chance the the lessor may “go out of business” as the owner of this parcel has.
    Is there such a thing as “guaranteed leased parking” ? Someone dependent on a car would be in a bad situation if their parking spot got pulled out from under them.

  5. Posted by S&S

    “‘Is there such a thing as “guaranteed leased parking’?” Yes, there is. I can’t remember which new SOMA development (I’ve seen so many), but one of them, while it does not have deeded parking, has guaranteed leased parking for X-number (sorry, don’t remember how long either, 2 or 3, maybe) of years.
    Then what happens after that? The garage gets condos built over it and I no longer have parking, or my lease gets raised to $600/mo.? Yeah, I’m one of those selfish SFers who MUST HAVE parking AND a car.
    No deeded parking = no buy.

  6. Posted by Dede

    I like the work by WMS. This spot has been attractive for development for a long time. The parking was parking for the Linen Outlet (and the Jug Shop before that) as far as I know and not an issue for neighborhood parking. The housing will be welcome in this neighborhood and help create a stronger intersection on Polk.
    Tip: Check out Cheese Plus across Polk on the opposite corner for a good sandwich and specialty foods. Lots of good things in that small store.

  7. Posted by scurvy

    Dede +1
    Cheese Plus ftw

  8. Posted by Joe

    Glad to see something actually being built to the height limit! I’ve lived down the block from this parcel for the last 6 years. A few months back, some neighbors threw a block party to celebrate their success in lobbying Napoleon peskin to lower the height limits on pacific to 40′ from its former skyscraping status of 60′
    NIMBYs abound in these parts.

  9. Posted by zig

    S&S you seemed obsessed with this parking issue always proclaiming that you aren’t buying without, ok we get it
    Now it is a persecution complex. Most people advocating for less parking don’t think you are selfish. What’s so wrong with having the choice? Certianly there are plenty of units that meet your requirements

  10. Posted by Zig

    I am also glad to see this area getting some more buildings and density
    Moving down Polk it was always strange to me how low density some of this corner gets with its surface parking lots and weird little stores

  11. Posted by tipster

    Yea S&S: keep up the pressure on these developers: more parking, not less.
    And Zig (and others), if you were REALLY “no parking” zealots, you’d buy a condo WITH parking, and then, NOT USE IT, just to take a parking space out of the mix!!
    This would be sort of like buying carbon offset credits just to take them off the market, or like buying a suburban home with a 2 car garage and then using it for storage, while parking your cars on the street.

  12. Posted by Zig

    Sorry it hard to read sarcasm in your post tipster.
    I am saying I am not a zealot, I own a car and think modest parking restrictions in the busiest parts of town are fine
    We zone everything else why should parking be different

  13. Posted by Brutus

    I am fine with eliminating parking maximums as long as we also:
    1. Eliminate parking minimums
    2. De-couple housing prices from housing for cars and sell spots separate from units
    3. Mandate market-pricing on parking throughout the city – meters, city-owned lots, residential parking permits
    4. Market price car movement on at least major streets to prevent mind-boggling congestion
    Without these market mechanisms, we get people asking why we’re considering developing a Bay front property into something more than parking (SWL 337) – simply because parking is expected.
    I’m honestly surprised that more car-owners in the city haven’t come out strongly in favor of parking caps for new developments in their neighborhoods.

  14. Posted by fluj

    Wow. Impressive response. Kudos, S.S.
    OK, I got one then. What is going on with the space that used to hold the Oak st. on-ramp? That is a completely wasted block in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.

  15. Posted by anonfedup

    Why wouldn’t the anti parking zealots be happy that new buildings include garages? You have less cars driving constantly around the block over and over again searching for a space, plus the cars are “out of view”. What is it about Bay Area Liberalism that wants to force their lifestyle choices on the rest of us. If you don’t want a car, don’t buy one.

  16. Posted by anon

    anonfedup – I like to be able to drive my car on the streets, rather than sit in traffic because of more cars. Cars are typically driven, not parked in garages 24/7.
    It has nothing to do with wanting others to “go without cars” – it has to do with our streets being at capacity. If we could widen the streets, maybe I would support more parking.

  17. Posted by Zig

    the parking issue is also not a Bay Area thing. A number of cities are starting to look into this in their downtowns because cars take up space and don’t facilitate the density that they want
    Do you pro-parking people feel that parking should be unlimited in commercial buildings as well? This has been restricted for decades in SF. Our downtown would not be successful in fact with unlimited parking. North Beach wouldn’t, Nob Hill wouldn’t, nor would the Mission
    The spatial aspect of parking people seem unable to wrap their minds around
    I drive a car and haven’t ridden a bike for a decade. I just see the common sense in modest parking restrictions. There are still plenty of units that have parking even downtown as well as just about every unit outside. Its going to be ok for people with cars
    And as a personal anecdote my uncle was a corporate lawyer and lifelong San Franciscan would made good money and his family never had a car. There are people who live this way in cities

  18. Posted by Jules

    “the parking issue is also not a Bay Area thing. A number of cities are starting to look into this in their downtowns because cars take up space and don’t facilitate the density that they want”
    Zig, you couldn’t be more correct.
    It is funny because we are not the only city real estate blog to have these parking arguments. I enjoy Cribchatter as well and in this thread people are trying to convince someone not to buy in a building without parking, even though it is in a very dense neighborhood which would be very similar to North Beach or Russian Hill.
    http://cribchatter.com/?p=372

  19. Posted by ex SF-er

    “I like to be able to drive my car on the streets, rather than sit in traffic because of more cars. Cars are typically driven, not parked in garages 24/7.”
    This doesn’t make sense, unless you are a severe sort of NIMBYer.
    You want to be able to drive YOUR car, but you DON’T want other cars on the street getting in your way?
    Until you can truly live in SF without a car, I won’t support parking restrictions.
    This could easily happen (a viable carless SF) if SF got its act together and improved MUNI/Bart/Public Transport.
    the easiest first step to do this IMO:
    -change some streets to BUS ONLY routes. Later they could be converted to underground train routes.
    if there were several “BUS ONLY” streets then the busses wouldn’t be held behind car traffic. And if there were enough of them they could connect the city better. It would also localize an area where residents would know there is a bus every 5 minutes or so, instead of having to wait 10-20 and sometimes 30 minutes for a bus.
    you could also integrate the BUS ONLY streets to be BUS ONLY and BIKE LANE and possibly TAXI streets too.
    This would encourage people to take busses and bikes, and taxis if you so chose.
    of course this will never happen because:
    1. the businesses on proposed BUS ONLY streets will protest due to fear of loss of business
    2. people who live/work in less traveled streets will protest busses running by day and night on those streets.
    thus the NIMBYs will prevent any such thing from happening, since no proposed street will be acceptable.
    instead, they’ll block any type of transportation progress and then moan that they can’t find parking for THEIR car when they go to eat.

  20. Posted by anon

    This doesn’t make sense, unless you are a severe sort of NIMBYer.
    You want to be able to drive YOUR car, but you DON’T want other cars on the street getting in your way?

    No, I’m not a “severe NIMBYer” – I just know that our streets are full and at capacity. Either we expand streets, make transit better so more people use it, or not build anymore housing with parking to clog streets more. I bought years ago before we added thousands and thousands of cars, and feel that we shouldn’t overwhelm infrastructure knowingly – especially when I helped pay for all that infrastructure and have the right to use it.
    No more parking!

  21. Posted by anonoldtimer

    I am not sure I understand your thinking. Are you saying if you bought here “years ago” you have the right to parking and a car, but if you have recently moved to the city, you cannot expect to have parking?
    Here is another thought, why not help encourage a better public transit infrastructure so that people do not feel they need cars. I have a buddy who just moved to Chicago and the first thing he did is sell his car. He did go car free because of difficulty parking, or because Chicago has bad traffic, but he found that it was easier to use the existing public trains, subways, and transit.

  22. Posted by Dede

    I happen to agree with Brutus on his parking points.
    1. Eliminate parking minimums
    2. De-couple housing prices from housing for cars and sell spots separate from units
    3. Mandate market-pricing on parking throughout the city – meters, city-owned lots, residential parking permits
    4. Market price car movement on at least major streets to prevent mind-boggling congestion
    …except for #2. If I was buying a unit and a space, I would want one purchase – easier to finance, and to underwrite as a lender. Try and get a conforming loan on a parking space – pay HOA dues on your space…it starts getting funny. But hey, maybe a new business model.
    Market forces are a good thing.

  23. Posted by ex SF-er

    anon at 455pm:
    yes you are a NIMBYer. You want to be able to drive YOUR car but you don’t want others to be able to drive theirs, because they get in your way.
    your SF arrival date is irrelevant
    the other cars on the road also helped to pay for the infrastructure, so they have just as much right to the roads as you.
    driving in SF sucks. If SF concentrated its efforts at improved public transport then people would abandon their cars because the cars would become cumbersome.
    but for me, waiting 25 minutes for the J-church or N-Judah to decide to come, and then having it so packed you can’t get on it isn’t adequate public transport.
    thus living in SF=need car unless you are fortunate enough to be able to walk to work, or if MUNI decides that it wants to take you to your job.
    reducing parking spots doesn’t help that much IMO. It just leads to people circling and circling looking for a parking spot. That= INCREASED traffic, not decreased.
    the other problem: the goal is to get higher density in SF so that we can create adequate public transport. all these SOMA units without parking discourage people from moving to SOMA.

  24. Posted by anonoldtimer

    Thank you Ex-SFer! This is what drives me crazy about people who want to control the lifestyle choices of others. Some seem to think that going car free in this city is an option, which it is not. We do not have the public transportation built up to where one can find SAFE CLEAN trams, trains, and busses available with only a SHORT WAITING TIME. I posted the CTA (Chicago) subway map because you can click on any station and see how REGULAR their train service is. During most weekdays at stations in the more urban neighborhoods the trains run every 3 minutes MINIMUM. Downtown they run almost every minute. In Chicago it is faster for my friend to take the train (subway) from his flat in Lincoln Park to the loop, than for him to get in his car, and drive to the loop, and park. Click on my name to see the interactive map. This is a LOT better than hoping the N-Judah shows up within the next 45 minutes.

  25. Posted by anon

    ex-SF-er,
    Building fewer parking spots certainly means fewer cars, based on the comments on Socketsite – why? Everyone here seems to say: “No deeded parking=no buy for me” or “I need a car, so I’m not buying here”
    This is my reasoning (and the reasoning that I think I deserve to have a say in how much parking is put into new developments):
    Say you’re at any building. Every building has a maximum occupancy enforced by the fire department. Why don’t streets? Streets overwhelmed with traffic are obviously a grave danger in emergency situations, therefore, the city should be able (and specifically the fire department) to regulate how much traffic flows onto the streets to avoid overcapacity and dangerous operating situations. I bought here years ago before the streets were over capacity.
    If you buy a ticket in a movie theater, it sells out, and people still want in – guess what? They don’t get in! Even if they want to spend fifty times as much. The only way they get a ticket is if the theater opens the balcony section (increases road capacity), the theater opens another alternate theater (builds units without parking), or someone in the existing theater sells their seat to the highest bidder (sells their house/condo with parking). It’s really quite logical, and safety-minded, not NIMBY-minded.

  26. Posted by Brutus

    Dede,
    It’s funny that you picked out the one thing that is already starting to happen as the one that you have a problem with! 🙂
    To clarify, just because the parking is sold separately from the unit does not mean that it has to be separately financed – in the resale market it is likely that a unit that was originally bought with parking will keep it – I have no problem with that, it only applies to new construction.
    One more thing from me – I don’t view the city restricting parking in certain areas as “forcing lifestyle choices” – we’re not talking about taking existing garages away! This applies only to new construction, and is no different than any other zoning statute. In my mind, the idea isn’t to “get people out of their cars” – it’s more to attract those looking for a car-free lifestyle – the same as the Mission attracts more South Bay commuters than the Marina does, for example. We’re not talking about car-free living in the Sunset – we’re talking about building SOME housing without parking near downtown, where the city and region have invested billions in transit infrastructure. Developers know the restrictions before they develop – it’s not like they’re being swindled or something.

  27. Posted by anonfedup

    “If you buy a ticket in a movie theater, it sells out, and people still want in – guess what? They don’t get in! Even if they want to spend fifty times as much.”
    WOW! Welcome to Carmel by the Bay, except we get trash, crime, and homeless camps. If anon’s comment at 7:26am is not the definition of NIMBYism, I do not know what is.
    Here is a thought, why not let the market decide about parking? There are PLENTY of units in this city without parking, why force those who are willing to spend more for parking to be restricted?

  28. Posted by ex SF-er

    Building fewer parking spots certainly means fewer cars, based on the comments on Socketsite – why? Everyone here seems to say: “No deeded parking=no buy for me” or “I need a car, so I’m not buying here”
    good point. I’m still concerned that it will just lead to circling looking for parking, but you may be right on this point.
    That said: I also think this is one reason why ORH is FILLED with “investors” and “speculators”. Because they’re the ones who will do valet parking.
    I bought here years ago before the streets were over capacity.
    bad point. again, I repeat, your SF arrival/purchase date is irrelevant.
    are you saying that everybody who bought in SF prior to you has more of a right to drive their car than you?
    I’m pretty sure my grandmother has been in SF longer than you have… so does she get to use 2 cars? what about me? I’m born and raised SF’er, but now left the city for who knows how long. If/when I come back, am I more or less deserving to have a car? is there some sort of calculation as to who deserves to drive their car?
    I don’t technically have a problem with parking restrictions. I have a problem with the fact that SF does little to ameliorate the problem except to put down restrictions.
    it is SF’s very poor policies that have created the housing shortage as well as the driving/parking congestion.
    it would have been far better had they:
    -made dedicated bus or train routes throughout the city, not just down/under Market street
    -allowed more dense building in certain parts of the city. (finally this is being done in SOMA)
    -improved the safety and efficiency of BART/MUNI/CalTrain, and CONNECTED them for god’s sake.

  29. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Just catching up here with a load of comments on other’s comments :
    “thus living in SF=need car unless you are fortunate enough to be able to walk to work, or if MUNI decides that it wants to take you to your job.”
    Ha ! Hardly. I know people all over the city who commute crosstown without a car. Even in the far western Richmond. Personally I can count on one hand the number of times I drove a car to work in 2007. This “need” to drive is purely a product of consensus reality.
    “reducing parking spots doesn’t help that much IMO. It just leads to people circling and circling looking for a parking spot. That= INCREASED traffic, not decreased.”
    … and increased circling for parking day after day gets one thinking of alternatives to driving doesn’t it ? Over the long run the street transportation system falls into equilibrium. A decrease in the people/parking ratio will cause the amount of parking orbits to increase in the short term but that will taper off eventually as everyone has a limit to the amount of time willing to spend on that part of the transport task. Increasing parking causes a short term lull in parking frustration but ultimately attracts more drivers, bringing a return of parking orbits. Build it and they will come, unfortunately. Unless we build double, triple, etc decked streets (or level the city to model it after Phoenix) congestion will be a fact of life in SF no matter how many parking spots are available. There is one other solution : London style congestion pricing.
    “This is what drives me crazy about people who want to control the lifestyle choices of others. Some seem to think that going car free in this city is an option, which it is not.”
    double-ha ! Actually I see it the other way ’round. Part of my tax dollars goes to subsidizing the billions of dollars invested in real estate to provide “free” streetside parking. Why should I subsidize those who’s lifestyle choice includes automobile dependency ?
    I totally agree with Brutus’ 4 point plan to let market forces guide parking policy. Decouple the cost of parking from the other necessary real estate usages (shelter, workplace, commerce) and let the market establish the true cost of parking. As the value of raw dirt appreciates with density, parking costs will also increase. Let people choose whatever lifestyle that they like so long as they are willing to pay for their decisions and not lean on the taxpayer base to subsidize their choice.
    Using a car to get around is a lot more expensive than the cost of gas + insurance + depreciation. Most of us are blind to the hidden costs yet everyone pays.
    “driving in SF sucks. If SF concentrated its efforts at improved public transport then people would abandon their cars because the cars would become cumbersome.”
    Exactly.
    I agree that Muni and other transit agencies are a mess right now. That doesn’t mean that they will always remain a mess. There’s a lot of simple changes that could be made to improve things. As many other cities have shown, an efficient transit system is not rocket science. The Muni mess has nothing to do with our geography, density, or demographics. It has everything to do with our politics.
    The unfortunate reality is that we’re going to have to endure years of frustrating commutes regardless of the mode (transit, car, or other) until the gub’ment wakes up and tries something positive and innovative. Encouraging more parking is just a band-aid that just digs a deeper hole for us to climb out of.

  30. Posted by Brutus

    anonfedup – While I certainly don’t agree with much of what “anon” has said, I can’t believe your statement either:
    Here is a thought, why not let the market decide about parking? There are PLENTY of units in this city without parking, why force those who are willing to spend more for parking to be restricted?
    Requiring a minimum is just as much of a market manipulation as requiring a maximum. Add to that the other market manipulations that exist in the city regarding parking (below market street parking and city-owned lot parking) and you have an incredibly distorted market.

  31. Posted by anon

    The best way to get people to give up their cars is to create a less expensive, more easily available alternative. MUNI as it currently exists, is not an alternative. Not enough connected lines and routes, not enough safety, not clean enough, not often enough. You don’t hear people in most European cities demanding parking.

  32. Posted by Brutus

    The best way to get people to give up their cars is to create a less expensive, more easily available alternative. MUNI as it currently exists, is not an alternative. Not enough connected lines and routes, not enough safety, not clean enough, not often enough. You don’t hear people in most European cities demanding parking.
    Again, the goal is not necessarily to get people to “give up their cars” – it’s simply to attract those that may WANT to live car-free. What makes more sense in a dense city – developing a zoning policy that works at attracting those that do not want a car, or trying to rebuild the city around cars? We’re talking about new buildings here, not “stealing” parking away from those buildings that have it or telling people they can’t buy a place with parking. I mean, c’mon, most of these developments still at least have parking for 75% of the units.

  33. Posted by Brutus

    ex-SF-er,
    You do have the right ideas in mind regarding bus-only lanes, etc – but those will NEVER happen, and it has nothing to do with the Board of Supervisors or whatever. It has to do primarily with NIMBY small business owners preventing GOOD projects and special interest groups lining up to the trough for BAD projects.
    Just look – we’re facing delay after delay of putting dedicated bus lanes on Geary and Van Ness (hello, no-brainer), but the pork-laden, almost worthless (in terms of new ridership and speedier service for existing riders) Central Subway is sailing full speed ahead.

  34. Posted by Amen Corner

    There are two other condo buildings going to be built in close proximity of this building. One about 100 ft up Pacific towards Larkin on the opposite side of the street (old building recently demolished and site cleared). The other on the south side of Pacific between Polk and Van Ness (where there’s currently a car repair place).

  35. Posted by ex SF-er

    You do have the right ideas in mind regarding bus-only lanes, etc – but those will NEVER happen
    yes, I know.
    It has to do primarily with NIMBY small business owners preventing GOOD projects and special interest groups lining up to the trough for BAD projects.
    I know this as well (I elucidated this above in my post about creating the bus lines)
    I said:
    “of course this will never happen because:
    1. the businesses on proposed BUS ONLY streets will protest due to fear of loss of business
    2. people who live/work in less traveled streets will protest busses running by day and night on those streets.”
    Again, I would not be irked if we decided to make severe parking restrictions in certain areas of the city. Heck, we already have parking restrictions all over. (an example of parking around Parnassus comes to mind. Non-inner sunset employees just leave to move their cars every 2 hours to avoid a ticket).
    what I disagree with is the idea that we can do HALF of the solution (restrict parking) without the quid pro quo, which is better public transport.
    I maintain that it is VERY hard to get around the metro area without a car unless you are LUCKY enough to be able to walk, or to have a transit system that actually works.
    i have some friends who live near ORH who will move into ORH. they both work just off Market so can work. so that is a “parking restriction success” story.
    however, many people can’t do that, as the public transport doesn’t go where they need it to go.
    I waited for almost 30 minutes the other day for a J-church to go by. this was on church st right by dolores park, so it’s not like I was in the middle of nowhere. When it arrived, it was PACKED so I couldn’t get on. thus, I had to wait for the next one (that came about 2 minutes later). the station there didn’t have the “this much time till the next J-church) scrolling red electric sign.
    the N-Judah is SUPER PACKED every morning by the time it gets to 9th going downtown. it is rediculous.

  36. Posted by Irrational Exuberance

    If I were mayor, I’d overturn (by decree) the rule that says that some parking must be supplied for every so many units of new residential construction. My new rule would be: build more apartments, and to hell with the parking! (That’s how New York and Paris were built, after all.)
    The commenters above who love parking so much should move to Walnut Creek–where they have plenty of places to park.

  37. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Unfortunately unless we have a coherent holistic organization managing all elements of transport (parking, transit, roads, etc.) it is unlikely that the transition will be without pain. There is the MTC though that organization is pretty much inert when to comes to enacting coordinated transportation change.
    I forget who said this : “Every city worth living in has a parking problem.”

  38. Posted by anon

    Uh, New York and Paris have “world class” public transportation. We get the Central Subway? Case Closed. I will need a parking space please.

  39. Posted by diemos

    I forget who said this : “Every city worth living in has a parking problem.”
    Jane Jacobs. Brilliant woman.

  40. Posted by ex SF-er

    yes, paris has world class public transport.
    I can get from any place in Paris to anywhere else in Paris using the Metro EASILY.
    it is rarely more than a few blocks walk to any metro station, and they run all the time.
    I used to live in the 5th and work in the 18th which is clear across town.
    it was EASY to do and I could make the trip in less than 30 minutes.
    the Muni by comparison is a joke.
    as for the RER (their version of BART) it is clean and reliable and it was a joy to take and it goes RIGHT TO the center of the city as well as the far suburbs and other places of interest. (that said, I’m not too down on BART)
    The SNCF (their version of CalTrain) was always on time and has the TGV which is a supertrain which goes 300km/hr (187 mph)
    there is no comparison between that and SF’s piss-poor transit.

  41. Posted by ex SF-er

    oh yeah, and not to be outdone, the TGV is being replaced by the AGV which is FASTER, LIGHTER, and uses LESS ENERGY.
    It will go 223 miles/hour and will use 30% less energy.
    unveiled recently, it will start in 2011
    Imagine getting on a train at Embarcadero Station, and arriving in Downtown LA 2 hours later.
    THAT is public transportation.

  42. Posted by anon

    Yes, Paris has great public transit. But Paris is also a NATIONAL capital, has density four times that of SF, and has very strict limits on parking, and the French are not afraid to spend money on transit.
    We could have great transit here, but it won’t be underground – we don’t have the money, density, or projected growth to justify extensive subways. And…every time we try to improve ground transit everyone (especially Socketsiters) screams about how it will hurt THEIR time in their cars. We can’t have it both ways people! If we want to improve transit, we have to make it “harder” to drive personal autos by reallocating some street space. Demanding billiong dollar subways everywhere before you give up your lane for your BMW is never going to happen – ever.

  43. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “..we don’t have the money…”
    Oh we have plenty of money, we’re just blowing it on band-aid after band-aid to improve the existing freeway network. The price tag on a typical freeway interchange remodel runs $50-300 million. I say typical because there’s always a few of those freeway projects underway at any given time.
    I totally agree with the rest of anon@5:22’s post though. It takes some serious political will to get us out of this transpo funk.

  44. Posted by anontreehugger

    I am trying to figure out some of the “logic” flying around here.
    First we hear that San Francisco is one of the highest density urban areas in the country, that the Bay Area is among the wealthiest, that cars are not helpful for such a large affluent urban enviroment of a powerful region of 7 million.
    Then we here that we don’t have the money, that there is not the density, and that the city is too small (forgetting about the regional #’s).
    If the Los Angeles area can build a huge and constantly expanding urban rail network in the last 15 years, there is no reason the Bay Area cannot do the same. There is no excuse for why there is not high speed rail down to San Jose along the peninsula, and there is no excuse for the city not building a subway to the residential neighborhoods on the western side. This city has YET to have a COMPLETE CONNECTED transit network!
    All of those Soma condo dwellers and Noe Valleyites that crawl into their cars and Google busses every day to go 30 miles down the freeway are not living the type of life “urban walkable lifestyle” the fantasy writers claim. Long periods of one’s day spent on the freeway put Bay Areans more in common with Houston and Orange County than Paris, Chicago or N.Y.C.

  45. Posted by sashok

    BTW, the Linen Outlet that used to include “store closing! redevelopment coming to this corner! last two weeks left!” in its junk mail fliers stopped doing that recently and just includes the addresses of both of its stores, including this one. Project killed??

  46. Posted by Whole Wheat Toast

    It sucks that they’re going to tear it down, because there’s some hearing process going on. Will update as soon as I get more information

  47. Posted by Whole Wheat Toast

    UPDATE: Linen Outlet is still closing, but some new muscle training facility moved into the little shack there.

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