The Grand Plan And Timing To Transform SF’s Second StreetDecember 2, 2014
In the works for over a decade, San Francisco’s Second Street Improvement Project intends to transform Second Street, from Market to King, into a pleasant “multi-modal corridor” and “green connector,” with separated bike lanes (cycletracks) on both sides of the street, sidewalk and streetscape improvements, and a complete roadway repaving.
Planning’s preferred plan would limit general parking and relocate some commercial and passenger-loading spaces along the corridor, a plan which would result in a proposed reduction of roughly 10 percent of the existing 1,700 on-street parking spaces within a one block radius of Second Street.
And in terms of timing, the draft plan and Environmental Impact Report for the project is now slated to be published early next year with construction anticipated to commence in 2016. The exact timing will be dependent upon the number of comments on the Impact Report and any challenges to which the City will need to respond.
Once the ground is broken, the Second Street Improvement Project should take around a year to complete.
A key connection though SoMa between downtown, Mission Bay and the Central Waterfront, cycling along the Second Street corridor has increased over 35 percent since 2011.
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
Reduced parking. That means more cars circling eternally looking for a spot.
The war on cars continues, as the population (including our very patient tourists) using them increases.
In these really congested downtown areas there should be no street parking.
There is no war on cars, but there is apparently a war on common sense.
There will never be MORE on street parking… and the imagined/interpreted need will always exist—no matter how much there actually is.
Someone should create a new Godwin’s Law based on “war on ___” hyperbole…
Street parking is a stupid waste of space, most of the time. We should build more garages, and turn parking spots into outdoor cafes and secure bike parking lockers.
The demand for street parking is inelastic. It will always exist, but should it in the most dense urban part of the city?
Also, I highly doubt your point that residents’ and tourists’ car usage is increasing. Do you have any sources?
U.S. motorization may be in a permanent decline.
I truly believe there is something fundamentally going on in our society that is causing these rates to go down. I don’t think the rates of vehicle use, by various measures, will ever recover to the levels we last saw in about 2004.
Who circles the blocks looking for parking downtown? It is prohibitively expensive and inconvenient to park on the street and there are garages and lots along the corridor. Anyone circling the block deserves it.
Not in SOMA, people don’t circle for parking there because there is always parking available — remember the meters in this area are demand based pricing to try and guarantee one parking spot free per block. In some cases I have seen it go up to $6/hour during non event days, when three or four blocks away $0.50/hour parking can be had.
What tourist would come to SF and want to drive around. You would have to be a pretty foolish tourist. I have travelled the world, and I have friends from dozens of countries that regularly visit me. Not one of them has ever come to SF and rented a car to get around. Similarly, I would never use a car to get around any of the dense metropolises that I have visited around the world. Instead, I save driving for visits to the country, where there are fewer options to get around in and little traffic. The only time tourist rent cars to drive around is to leave the city, not get around in it. Think about it. Have you ever been to New York, and then foolishly rented a car to get around Manhattan. SF is the second densest city in the USA, after NY. Clearly you don’t travel, and you certainly don’t interact with tourists much, and if you foolishly choose to get around San Francisco’s dense downtown and SOMA areas in a car, then you deserve to circle the same streets, going around and around looking for parking, sorta like a dog chasing it’s own tail.
What a disaster. Removing traffic lanes from one of the busiest approaches to the Bay Bridge is going to create massive automobile congestion. And with non-existent traffic enforcement, it just means blocked crosswalks and intersections. Less safe for everyone.
And that’s why ANY new residential or commercial construction needs a certain amount of off street, below grade parking. The ratios can be debated but parking will be needed.
I agree that off street parking is the way to go – much easier to use, and much more efficient use of space – in a city where efficiency means going vertical so should parking. I certainly don’t want parking skyscrapers and ideally want that integrated in underground garages of existing buildings.
However, the whole notion of – what is this going to do to traffic? Well, if you live in that are, do you want your neighborhood street (e.g. 2nd) to be a busy unsafe highway or a place where you want to spend some time? If you are suburban commuter you may not care about that aspect and just want to go home quicker, but that is at odds with what the local community wants. This should be well understood.
This plan allows cars to queue on 2nd Street northbound to turn right at Bryant, Harrison, and Folsom to get to the Bay Bridge. And so they will. Instead of a two-lanes wide queue, it will be a one-lane wide queue. As long as those right turns are allowed during the PM commute hours, there will be a long slow crawl of cars filling the only NB traffic lane on 2nd.
you post doesn’t follow logically.
Off street parking is going to prevent people from queuing for the Bay Bridge? I can’t imagine why. More off-street parking is going to make it cheaper and more convenient to drive, so more people will do it, so you’ll have more cars queuing up each night to get on to the bridge. That seems pretty obvious.
i agree . this is idiotic. this will create gridlock every day, but just imagine how bad it will be during giants games.
Have you been on 2nd Street before a Giants game? it’s flooded with people going to the ballpark. But not in their cars. They walk from BART. More people do this every year. It causes much less gridlock than if they were all in cars. Why not adjust infrastructure to support this shift?
Yo…..Send your complaints to David B. , AIA and his bike zealots who have infiltrated the MTA. BTW his office is located in the Clock Tower condos on the corner…2nd and Bryant ground zero for gridlock and the entrance to the BB. He’s been a driving force to remove the gridlock in front of his block for years.
Yeah there is going to be a loss of street parking……but wait until you all find out most of the left turns along 2nd from Market to AT&T park have been eliminated …..(in both directions!) Right turns only! Seems like a dumb way to eliminate gridlock. Make drivers turn right three times to go West to W. SoMa. Make drivers cue up in rush hour traffic so they can travel West on Harrison, Howard, Mission….
You are so right. It makes me glad I don’t commute. Many days I can’t get out of the neighborhood
because the intersection of 2nd and Brannan is blocked by cars trying to get to the Bridge.
One of the busiest approaches to the Bay Bridge? What? Not even a little bit true.
The only disaster is the large numbers of people that drive the streets of SF because they are too lazy to get around in other means. 90 percent of the people who work at my jobsite, have the option of taking public transit, walking or bicycling, yet half of them stubbornly drive their cars, and feel entitled to think they deserve to park for free on the streets. How ridiculous. If you drive, then deal with the inconvenience of parking and traffic.
This is great! making that stretch safer for bikes is a big benefit for the city and helps grow the dense network of bike lanes that is required of any great livable city that will survive growth past the density stage where private cars make sense as the primary means of transport.
Private cars as the primary means of transport? Gee, given the crap public transit and inept coordination among the dozens of Bay Area transit agencies, driving is a necessity for a lot of people. Also, a livable city isn’t defined solely by a dense network of bike lanes. How about growing a dense network of mass transit lines, too.
BTW-for those who cried for dedicated bike lanes…use them. Not the sidewalk, not the rest of the street. YOUR dedicated bike lanes. And obey traffic laws, please. Just because you’re on a two wheeler doesn’t give you special privileges.
yes, this is a gift to the 3% of people who commute on bikes.
Yes, 0.1% of street space for 3% of commuters. Those bikers better be thankful for all the tax largesse and civic space dedicated to them!
4% of San Francisco residents commute by bicycle and 4% of overall trips are by bicycle. 6% bicycle every day. You are using outdated data spencer.
Jake has provided numerous links to show that you (NoeValleyJim) use false statistics. Why not post a link to back up your claims. Just because Aaron on Streetsblog makes a claim does not make it so. The MTA has the best statistics on bike use in the city, and they do not show a bias and do not back up NoeValleyJim’s claims.
I have proved my point over and over again with valid information, but here you go again.
Binder Poll The poll itself indicates that 6% ride daily and 25% ride “regularly”, meaning a few times a month or more.
2012 State of Cycling Report has multiple sources (both ACS and MTA consultant counts) that have bicycling at 3.5% in 2010. 3.5 rounds to 4, not 3, as anyone who is numerate knows. This report also states that 17% of San Francisco residents use a bicycle every week.
The 2013 Bicycle Count states that cycling increased 14% from 2011 to 2013. 3.5 X 1.14 = 3.99.
I have multiple links proving you wrong. I expect an apology afterwards.
Jake has shown that MTA counts San Francisco commuters and ignore out of town traffic. If you include it in you have a lower percentage of trips appearing to be by bicycle, since not too many travel from out of town. He never did include tourist bike rentals or Caltrain bicycle commuters in his numbers though, they should make some difference, but any attempt to do so would have to be original research.
But you say the MTA is the hold grail on bike usage and I cite their studies to back up my claims. I don’t want you to back track afterwards.
Mark – There are several legitimate reasons why a bicyclist might need to be outside of the bike lane. I’m not saying it is always the case but if you see a biker outside of the lane please consider that they may have a legal and safe reason for doing so.
Car drivers are more likely to disobey the law than bicyclists. Neither are very law abiding.
and car drivers are piloting 3,000 pound plus weapons of mass destruction while disobeying said laws!
My point is that as a driver, pedestrian and biker I’ve seen bikers blow through intersections without stopping, ride against traffic/on the sidewalk, and use the traffic lane instead of the bike lane (for reasons that are clearly not legal or safe). That’s just my personal experience, but I really would love to see some statistics to back up your statement about car drivers disobeying the law more than bicyclists.
There are a thousand cars parked in bike lanes, not using turn signals, running stop signs and talking on their cell phone for every biker that blows through a stop sign.
I’m not disagreeing with you, Brad. In fact, you’re right, and it pisses me off when I’m walking or riding my bike and have to deal with jerk motorists. However, my comment was solely directed to the topic of bike lanes. Your comment just proves that the bike community can dish it out, but can’t accept that its members make mistakes too.
Cyclists are perfectly aware that bikers break the law, but are annoyed by people that try to use it as justification for their anti-bike opinion, while ignoring that drivers do the exact same thing, in far more frequency, operating far more dangerous vehicles.
There are no statistics to show that drivers disobey the laws more than cyclists. Cyclists just like to make up this bs.
I see cyclists ALL THE TIME blow thru stop signs and lights full speed without slowing down at all. How often do we see drivers completely blowing thru those signs and lights? Rarely. Yes, we see drivers sometimes roll and slowly go thru signs, but not flying thru like cyclists.
The cyclists continue to make up lies to justify their behavior. Most of them ride like 12 year boys out for a good time.
Lyqwyd: as expected, your response proved my point. sadly, too.
Car Break The Law More Than Cyclists Even
I have posted this and many other studies on the topic numerous times, but here you go again. Car drivers almost universally break the speed laws and most of them don’t come to a complete stop at stop signs. Almost all cyclist disobey stop sign laws. But motorists are slightly more likely to be lawbreakers.
NoeValleyJim, I have seen your views posted on many different Bay Area sites and am just curious, do you work for Streetsblog, the SF Bike Coalition, or some other similar organization? How do you have the time to write so much?
Are you a stalker Anon? Why do you care? Should I be worried about your obsession with me?
@Mark said “My point is that as a driver, pedestrian and biker I’ve seen bikers blow through intersections without stopping, ride against traffic/on the sidewalk, and use the traffic lane instead of the bike lane”
That’s not actually a point, just a statement.
“I really would love to see some statistics to back up your statement about car drivers disobeying the law more than bicyclists.”
NVJ posted a good link, just look at police traffic violation tickets, or deaths caused by cars, or injuries caused by cars, or open your eyes on the street. The statistics are easily available. How about you provide some statistics proving your claim, since that’s the one that’s far less believable.
It looks like the new sidewalks would be less wide than the existing sidewalks?!!! Pedestrians need to form an advocacy group to counter-balance all the people from the Bike Coalition who now have management and planning positions at the MTA. How did 3.5% of commuters (bike riders) get to be so powerful? Are not more journey trips in San Francisco taken on foot, on Muni, or in a car than on a bike?
No need to get so excited. The project includes a number of pedestrian improvements, including wider sidewalks from Harrison to Townsend, raised crosswalks across all alleys from Market to Townsend, curb ramps, and modified timing of signals to improve pedestrian crossings. None of the existing sidewalks would be narrowed.
This is a great idea, by limiting the amount of traffic lanes they actually will drastically increase parking…Hundreds of thousands of people will get to park there while they wait to get on the bridge. This is in a word, insane, worked in this neighborhood for years and the streets are a parking lot starting at about 3pm, removing lanes only multiplies the bridge overflow out and mess gets even bigger.
Well…maybe people will begin to reconsider their “right” to impact the neighborhoods of central San Francisco through the pollution and ugliness of single occupancy commuting.
Hey, Brian M…what’s your take on the pollution and ugliness of suburban sprawl? What are your solutions for improving how people move about the Bay Area?
his solution is to execute and have everyone either ride bicycles or unicorns. your pick? and no one who lives outside SF is allowed to work in or visit SF and no one who lives in SF is allowed to ever leave.
You got it! My vision is to set up guilotines at most key off-ramps. The guillotines will be POWERED by spandex-clad warrior cyclists who have all been survivors of encounters with entitled car drivers who just HAVE to get through that light in their 6,000 pound surrogate penii machines! So there will be a surplus of energy in the operation of the chopping machines, I can assure you!
Mark: There are of course no easy answers. The suburbs may be lost, or they may provide an alternative for those who live a car centric life.
I can only say that you should not make things worse by insisting that central San Francisco should cater to drivers just like Concord. Because it is simply physically impossible unless one demolishes all of the urbanity imperfectly realized in SF to service, move, and store more cars at vast costs.
my wife just takes BART
Brian, the plural of penis is “penises” or “penes”.
I believe the penal code dictates this.
I’m delighted. I live nearby in South Beach. 2nd St has so much potential as a lovely corridor connecting the neighborhood around the ball park with downtown. The sidewalks are way too narrow (crowded with pedestrians during commute hours, impossible before/after Giants games). The lack of bike lane makes it very dangerous for cyclists around rush hour. The new bike path will make a safe route for commuters to ride from Caltrain to downtown.
I love this. Anything that makes the city more pedestrian friendly and limits car traffic is a good thing.
Taking yet another street that works, and constricting it.
And even if these changes to 2nd could be done without material negative impacts, what’s the cumulative impact of these changes plus those proposed for 6th, and for Folsom, and especially the 280 tear down? Individually each of these (other than the 280 tear down) might make some sense, but collectively they create massive capacity constraints on streets at the very same time that density in this area is increasing by a level of magnitude, or more.
And yes, without any substantial major massive upgrades to our public transit system. We should be building subways under SEVERAL major roadways to reach the north, west and south portions of San Francisco.
But we are not.
subways are the only real answer
Certainly a big one!
completely agree, subways are the only answer to all this and yet we waste so much time talking about distractions like Prop L and arguing over lost street parking and bike lanes when we just all need to swallow the pill of a massive infrastructure investment in Muni and/or Bart.
Wow something we can all agree upon. We need subways, but they take decades to build and cost billions of dollars. In the meantime, we need stopgap solutions.
Did you see the article yesterday (Tuesday) – the SFMTA completed the study on the extension of the Central Subway to Fisherman’s Wharf – surprise, the conclusion is that it’s a great idea that would see heavy usage. So what’s the official response? That it would take “10 to 20 years” just to put the extension into the pipeline for planning purposes! WTF! If anything calls for a ballot proposition, it’d be gutting all the transportation planning agencies and mandating immediate action on issues such as Caltrain to Transbay, extension of Central Subway, a Geary subway, and similar “so obvious a Caveman could plan it” transit projects.
2nd doesn’t work for cars, bikes or transit, I take it daily and it’s so gridlocked that even on a bike it’s very difficult to get down. Part of the problem is that people use it as an alternative to 3rd because that road is a mess of shifting lanes and bikers. Take the bikes off 3rd, put them all on 2nd, straighten the lanes on 3rd and eliminate the parking and traffic will move a lot smooth for everyone.
A rational argument, good sir! Thank you!
I’m also assuming an issue with 3rd, hence putting additional traffic on 2nd, is that its one way northbound from King to Market. For those drivers to (relatively speaking – quickly) get back southbound its either 2nd or 4th. Maybe making 3rd two way or 2nd one way southbound could help?
FAIL. Aside from manufacturing congestion, this does nothing. There is virtually no demand for North>South bike lanes as is already evident on 8th street. Empty huge bike lanes all day long. The demand that does exist, along Market connecting the Mission, western SOMA, Castro, etc. with downtown is in place. This is just going to make the already hobbled process of going from NOMA to SOMA even worse – for everyone. Bad plan, and no amount of “densification and livable” lingo makes it otherwise.
Ha no demand for bike lanes, jesus christ.
Well, at least we know that Jesus would have stopped at lights and stop signs, used hand signals, had lights on his bike and didn’t act like a wild banshee from hell.
Ha please, cite me anything supporting that. Fatalities are caused by cars, sorry if occasionally you car drivers have to lift your right fight a few inches off one pedal and place it down a few inches onto the other. Sounds like tough work
And he would have done the same while driving, so he’s not like real world drivers either.
I hope Jesus would have the common sense to not park his car in bike lanes. Sadly, that can’t be said of most drivers, who see bike lanes as nothing more than a loading zone.
Jesus did not bike. He walked. Even on water. He worked in carpentry, not tech.
totally agree. besides market street, most of the bike lanes in the city are empty. this makes the city LESS livable for the 96.5% who dont commute on bikes.
Valencia Street, Townsend Street, The Wiggle, Fulton Street, Marina Green, Embarcadero Way, Fell Street, The Panhandle, 2nd Street, Golden Gate Bridge all have hundreds of cyclists per hour between 4:30-6:30 PM. If all those people were in cars, car drivers life would be a lot more miserable.
Valencia has just as many as Market.
Except, of course, when it rains or too cold outside. then the cyclists all shut down, run to their cars or crowd on Muni. If it’s not sunny and warm they can’t wear their Italian racing gear and enjoy a fun ride to work.
Cold has little impact on cycling, and there were loads of cyclists on my commute home today…
i take fell and fulton daily and only see a very small handful of cyclists during rush hour. the embarcadero and marina greens are both sidewalks.
Im sure you are right about valencia and the wiggle. I never go there anymore. i used to spend a lot of time in the mission before it became so fake
Most cyclists are on McAllister for commuting, not Fulton, since it’s much less steep, and goes to Market St. I have no idea which part of Fell you are referring to, but there are lots of cyclists on Fell every day between Scott and and Baker while connecting between the wiggle and Panhandle. The same is true for Oak in the same stretch. The rest of Fell and Oak will of course have much fewer cyclists as there are much better alternatives for most trips.
Haha, ‘Im..like…too hip for the mission district man’ Move to portland
You probably only don’t include Market street because there was literally a bike counter on it providing proof of the number of bikers using it. If you are near Valencia or the wiggle and you aren’t seeing bikers you may want to remove your hands from your eyes
Wrong. Just wrong.
Spoken like someone who drives to the ‘burbs with blinders on.
Love the bike lanes — more safe curbed (sort of) lanes. Less chance of being killed by a vehicle. We’re hardly scratching the surface, but this gesture is great.
Removal of the traffic lanes on 2nd can only work if they also prohibit access to the bridge from Second Street. That could be done fairly easily from the south direction by no right turns on Bryant, Harrison, and Folsom which would force cars to use 3rd to get onto these streets that feed the bridge. If you don’t shove that traffic onto 3rd, this will just make 2nd even worse from around 2:30 PM on work days.
Routing traffic from downtown is more difficult. This plan adopted a truly bizarre routing which is also in the Bike Plan. It routes cars from New Montgomery to Hawthorne to get to Folsom. In practice it would just force more cars onto 1st.
FWIW, there are many good pedestrian safety improvements in the plan, the amount and locations of parking they propose removing will affect delivery trucks more than cars, and there aren’t any good/safe N/S bike routes in eastern SOMA aside from the Embarcadero.
Also, the photos you see here are in the section furthest from downtown, bucolic South Beach where I live and the zoning is mostly 65 feet. A few blocks away it is over 300 feet along 2nd and sits like a slot canyon between the Transbay megaliths and the Moscone massif.
I work at 2nd/Mission. It’s true..after 3pm the area turns into one huge cluster-f.
just noting a few things —
-4th Street and Stockton is basically closed because of construction, so its hard to evaluate the true nature of the traffic ‘clusterf*ck’ when key freeway-bound streets are missing from the auto network.
-2nd street will be a great bike improvement for people bike commuting from dogpatch, mission bay, soma to the financial district. (time savings vs embarcadero or 7/8th)
-the turn restrictions proposed (maybe approved?) would eliminate the southbound right turn from montgomery to market to second to improve pedestrian safety (and subsequently take some cars off 2nd)
-of all the streets east of 5th, 2nd is the most “neighborhood-commercial-esque” so people, bikes and transit should be priority over cars/freeway traffic anyway.
-walking and biking from this area and south is much more convenient than most transit today.
-traffic on game days will always be hectic. traffic in dense urban areas will always be hectic. traffic during commute hours will always be hectic. take a breath and deal.
No! No! No! I demand the ability to drive my single occupancy vehicle to my suburban home at no cost in delays or incovenience to myself, no matter the impacts! I am DRIVER hear me ROAR!
or im a cyclist. i respresent the small minority, but have infiltrated and arrested power in city government to help me and all my rich white yippie hipster buddies. We own the city and are better than everyone
Rich? lol. I love comments from people who have zero knowledge of that which they criticize.
Talking about a revolution! To the Barricades, Bicyclists. We have only our SUVs to lose!
You guys lost prop L massively. You are a noisy minority, not a silent majority. It’s time to move on.
Unless I missed something, Prop L was not a decision on whether to rip out all street parking and make the City a bike haven. It’s focus, and hence its failure, has nothing to do with ill-guided decisions to make functioning streets into multi-colored inefficient bottlenecks.
Maybe you should pay more attention. Prop L was very much about more subsidized parking and pro auto. It lost dramatically.
This proposal is definitely in line with the majority’s clear desire to prioritize pedestrians, cyclists, and those who live in the neighborhood over private auto commuters.
@lyqwyd, the problem is that this proposal won’t actually do that. It should make it better and safer for cyclists and pedestrians to get around, but not better for the road congestion in the neighborhood because this proposal still allows car commuters to clog 2nd Street.
Currently, the two-lane right turn from 2nd onto Harrison routinely backs up on 2nd Street all the way back to Brannan. Sometimes the backup runs past Brannan to Townsend and also extends in both directions on Brannan. It also backs up Bryant at 2nd, sometimes the full block back to 3rd 3 lanes wide.
This proposal not only does nothing to address any of that backup, it will make it worse in how often it happens, how deep it backs up, how long it takes to clear, and how difficult it is to get around it. Remember, there are people that live in the neighborhood that need to drive or to have vehicles reach them. There were two car accidents on my block last week. One of them had serious injuries. Multiple emergency vehicles had to get here during the PM commute peak.
If we want to make 2nd street a non-commute street then we have to prohibit the right turn from 2nd onto Harrison and possibly the one onto Bryant as well. Otherwise, all you are doing is stuffing what was already too much traffic into even less space.
I have no problem with making 2nd a non-commute street, but pedestrian improvements definitely improve things for those that live in the neighborhood, so yes it does make improvements for those that live in the neighborhood. On top of that, these changes will most definitely make 2nd St less desirable as a commute street as well.
Sure, the pedestrian improvements benefit the neighborhood and everyone that walks there, especially the new light at South Park and removing the turn lane cut through of the sidewalk at Harrison.
The pedestrian improvements can be done and still have the existing two traffic lanes in each direction. But then the bike route would be a sharrow both ways.
The only reason the two traffic lanes have to be removed is to create the separated cycle track. It is impossible to widen the sidewalk and create dedicated cycle lanes without removing traffic lanes.
The current plan will make 2nd less desirable for all vehicular traffic, except bikes.
The issue here is that there’s a lot of traffic feeding onto 2nd Street as well, being pointed out already. I liken this to squeezing air in a balloon – squeeze in one place and the air will just show up some place else.
There will always be congestive commute traffic on 2nd, and on Folsom and Bryant as well. If this proposal goes through as planned, all that traffic, including daily local, event, and commercial will need find a nearby alternative route. If traffic gets pushed off 2nd, then the city better be planning in parallel on sopping up the overflow somehow on the surrounding streets – (I’m guessing) bounded by Embarcadero to Market to King to 5th or 6th.
if 95% of the city voted, do you really think people would vote for more bike lanes and less parking for cars.? IF you do, then you’re living in Lala land. The bike coalition and its deciphels are mobilized to vote. most of the people in SF dont vote for some reason, so in my opinion, none of the city elections are ever mandates here.
“impossible to widen the sidewalk and create dedicated cycle lanes without removing traffic lanes.”
It’s impossible to widen the sidewalk alone without impacting either traffic lanes or parking lanes, so your point is invalid. Even without cycling improvements will impact drivers.
“The current plan will make 2nd less desirable for all vehicular traffic, except bikes.”
And as pointed out already that makes things better for those who live in the neighborhood.
Yes, but pedestrians aren’t vehicles and it will be massively improved for them. On an average day there is far more pedestrian traffic than vehicular traffic. SF has chosen to make pedestrians, transit, and cyclists higher priority than private autos. The prop L result has dramatically reinforced this, as well as props A & B.
I’m perfectly aware this doesn’t improve things for private autos. I’m fine with that, as are many others. It doesn’t bother me in the least if the traffic lanes lost are done solely to create bike lanes, although that is not true, since the sidewalk widening would also impact cars. So I ask, what is your point?
No, my point is still valid. I never said anything about not taking away some of the parking. I went through the alternatives with members of the project team. They can widen the sidewalks and keep both traffic lanes, just as I said. They would have to remove about the same number of parking spaces as is in the current plan.
Again, the only improvement that requires removal of the traffic lanes is to create dedicated bike lanes. That is just a fact, not my fact, but from the engineers on the project team. Even without widening the sidewalks, the street is not wide enough for 4 traffic lanes plus 2 bike lanes, unless you remove all parking from most blocks.
Removing those lanes will make traffic worse for all vehicles other than bikes, including MUNI buses, unless they force the bridge commute traffic off 2nd St, which they could but have chosen not to do in this plan.
I still don’t know what your point is Jake. If it’s that you want auto lanes rather than bike lanes, then we will just have to disagree and leave it at that.
“They would have to remove about the same number of parking spaces as is in the current plan.”
Right, so like I said, sidewalk widening alone would impact drivers, since drivers need to park somewhere.
“the street is not wide enough for 4 traffic lanes plus 2 bike lanes, unless you remove all parking from most blocks.”
Ah, so we could have 4 traffic lanes and 2 bike lanes, thanks for clarifying!
“… will make traffic worse for all vehicles other than bikes, including MUNI buses, unless they force the bridge commute traffic off 2nd St, which they could but have chosen not to do in this plan.”
So it’s the preservation of private auto priority over MUNI, not the bike lane, that is the problem. I have no problem with removing commute traffic from 2nd st.
@lyqwyd, I’m not so certain this will make things better for those who live in the neighborhood. The neighborhood butts up against the Bay Bridge. Commuting won’t change or stop. I also doubt that the south/north bound traffic throughout the day will go away – although as I mentioned, if the plan is implemented as is, the traffic will simply reroute itself to other nearby streets causing congestion on those streets. And I don’t see the dozens of daily commercial deliveries being made on 2nd Street changing as well (the current double-parkers), since those businesses will still be there and will continue to need those services.
I know this looks great on paper, but in reality, its simply going to cause headaches for the neighborhood. 2nd Street will continue to be congested, albeit with less traffic, but less traffic on 50% less roadway will still feel the same – congested, and the congestion will spread throughout the neighborhood as spillover traffic which previously used 2nd Street looks for alternative routes.
I believe 2nd Street really needs to be kept a four lane street.
“I’m not so certain this will make things better for those who live in the neighborhood.”
Wider sidewalks and bulbouts are improvements that make it better for those that live in the neighborhood.
And I don’t see the dozens of daily commercial deliveries being made on 2nd Street changing as well (the current double-parkers), since those businesses will still be there and will continue to need those services.
“2nd Street will continue to be congested, albeit with less traffic…”
That’s another improvement.
“… but less traffic on 50% less roadway will still feel the same”
I totally disagree with that, it’s exactly the opposite, more space dedicated to pedestrians and cyclists and fewer cars is a great improvement! The road will feel completely different. If your claim were true then a packed freeway would feel just the same as a packed single lane street with 40 foot wide sidewalks.
“I believe 2nd Street really needs to be kept a four lane street.”
We disagree on that as well.
@lyqwyd, all I can say is that a few minutes after my last post to which you responded, I was at the corner of Howard and 2nd Street. At roughly 1130am, traffic was backed up northbound from Howard to Market, with cars blocking the box on 2nd. A few hours later I saw one FedEx truck and two food/beverage delivery trucks double parked on southbound 2nd between Bryant and Brannan, forcing southbound traffic (auto, bicycles and the 10-Townsend) to use the inside southbound lane practically the entire block. Note that the 10-Townsend stop on 2nd and Brannan is on the north side of Brannan, so passengers had to get on/off in the middle of the street.
I know that what I saw is anecdotal evidence, but having been watching how 2nd Street has changed over the years, its undeniable that it has become a major north/south artery to and from the city core. Even during non-cummute peaks, the street is still busy. And I can’t see this changing.
Since a neighborhood in my definition is more than a single street, the current changes planned for 2nd Street won’t really help the neighborhood because all the traffic in the neighborhood will still be there, but squeezed through a two-lane 2nd Street with excess spilling over onto other streets in the neighborhood. I don’t see that as improvement for the neighbors since they will still need to get around the neighborhood regardless of mode and have to deal with all kinds of traffic spread out over a greater area and over a longer period of time. I don’t see that as an improvement.
The plan is a noble idea, but better suited to another part of the city where the targeted street is less busy throughout the day.
Sure there are deliveries on 2nd st. The plan takes commercial vehicles into consideration. From the presentation: “prioritizing commercial and passenger loading”
There are also improvements for MUNI with boarding islands. So pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders all get improvements. People in the neighborhood probably spend some time on 2nd st. So it benefits the neighborhood, not just the block.
Don’t worry folks — artificial intelligence will replace most workers soon enough so all of this will be moot. In the meantime, technology has enabled us to do our jobs efficiently so figure out non-commute times, or live somewhere closer to work so you can do the reverse commute. I drove into the Financial District this morning @ 7:30 AM from the Sunset area. Minimal traffic (even with all of the construction work and lane closures.) Didn’t see any bicyclists.
Makes sense for small to medium sized companies to move out to this area of town where it is nice and quiet, and rents are much cheaper.
All of these complaints about traffic backed up for the bridge would be easily solved with a simple fastrak-only eastbound toll. The only reason it’s f’ed up today is because it’s free.
That has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read.
So according to you, the east-bound level of the bay bridge gets busy simply because it’s free, and not because tons of people have poor or no public transit access (or public transit won’t work for whatever reason), and need to use the ridge to get to and from work/friends/family/shopping/nightlife/etc. LOL..whatever you say.
yeah, unless there’s a lot of traffic travelling counter-clockwise around the bay, cars leaving S.F. via the Bay Bridge likely entered S.F. via the Bay Bridge, and paid a toll then as part of that process. How would adding a toll in the eastbound direction too make any difference. Sheesh.
because it would reduce demand, obviously.
again, how is that different than the existing toll at the eastern end?! you’re already taxing the traffic there.
As noted elsewhere, I’ve seen backups begin on 2nd & Bryant/Harrison/Folsom just about every weekday now (it used to just be Tuesdays and Thursdays) starting around 3pm. And this doesn’t account for any new auto traffic the two new office buildings on Brannan that bookends 2nd will generate. No need to mention Giants games as everybody knows the situation after games are over.
The reality is that 2nd street is more of a boulevard than a calmed side street. When I look at the work to date I just see a mess getting much messier.
This is a great improvement, I used to use Second Street all the time in my commute and the car drivers along there are the worst I have ever seen. I had one guy in his Mercedes try to ram me just be I was going faster than him. Bring it on car drivers, you want to try and run us over, we will keep taking lanes away from you!
Great attitude. Thanks for being a cooperative, contributing member to society.
Hey NVJ. we see the real you comes out. You’re not funny any more. For you, it’s a constant game of who’s gonna win. And if you “lose”, you’re determined to get back at someone.
You represent the classic attitude of most urban cyclists. and that attitude contributes nothing to making our city a better place.
The guy drives his car all the time and looks down on others who do the same thing. I mean, ’nuff said.
You are the picture yourself of the arrogant and entitled motorist who believes that the entire roadway belongs to him and erupts with rage at the suggestion that even one lane of traffic should be dedicated to anyone else. People are sick and tired of being bullied by you and your 2 ton weapons. You will continue to lose at the polls.
Fortunately you are wrong in those statements. I have gone on record supporting a “balanced” approach to transit, including bike lanes, a vastly improved transit system and pedestrian safety. I have always been outspoken however to the overwhelming law breaking attitude of almost all cyclists. Others would agree with me.
But your narrow attitude is just “bring it on”: That’s the real bully. the one who wants to fight, rather than work on solutions. And others now see your complete hypocrisy with owning and driving a car, and yet completely outraged at others who do the same.
Your last sentence sums up your entire belief: it’s about winning and losing, not working together.
Remember these statements?
“Hopefully, the pro-car ballot measure will qualify and pass. Time to stop wasting any more money on bike lanes.
The trouble with biking infrastructure implemented here in SF is that it is out of balance, and has NOT taken into consideration the negative impact “some” bike lanes have had on traffic congestion and loss of parking.
I’m against the imbalance our city leaders are promoting for bikes without doing anything to create a great transit system…and make it easy drive here.
The bike coalition and other bike centric groups cannot control ALL of the roadways.
I vote against the bike lane changes.
The SF Bike Coalition is full of smug, immature, rogue, law-breaking cyclists who, due largely to their youth and privilege, just simply don’t give a rat’s ass about traffic laws.
I’m pretty sure we are not going to start adding concrete barriers and FULLY separate lanes here; Not wide enough streets, tremendous cost.”
Real balanced opinion there Futurist.
Woah, posting incessantly about the evils of automobiles, and then being outed for owning and using a car yourself. NoeVallyJim, what do you hope to gain by posting 24/7 here and on other sites against cars? Why not let the change begin with you and get rid of your own car ? ( really, spending so many hours posting on SFGate?). I have no problem with bike lanes, but it would be nice if the MTA would allow more dialogue with neighbors and business owners before dumping these plans on us.
NVJ spends the majority of his time here deriding others and their choices. He wants to bring it on. he wants a fight. he wants to win. It should never be about that.
And he spends time digging up past statements by others. I will stand by my comments in the spirit that many others believe: The pro-bike supporters and their cohorts at the MTA have and ARE developing an unbalanced plan for the future here, which will increase congestion, add to traffic backups, add to parking space challenges and ESPECIALLY is doing nothing to revamp and create a superb public transit system.
There is no balance in their direction, at the moment.
There’s loads of dialog with everything the MTA does, too much dialog as far as I’m concerned. Did you miss the part where this won’t start until 2016, which includes and extended comment period?
“The exact timing will be dependent upon the number of comments on the Impact Report and any challenges to which the City will need to respond.”
Ah, dialog with (self selected and amazingly self righteous) neighbors. San Francisco SUFFERS, suffers I say, from a LACK of PROCESS and DIALOG. There is always another :”environmental study” or “public outreach program” to be implemented!
People should start reaching out to that group that brought prop L to the ballot in last election.
Even though it lost (I voted for it) it was brought to the ballot to people who questioned the wisdom of the traffic planners @ MTA. There are a lot of bike advocates and the bike advocates have too large a voice in planning today. Public transportation in SF sucks big time and some of us need cars to make appointments around the city as part of our job. I accept the need for bike lanes, not the amount or sometimes where they are placed, for instance on streets that are busy traffic corridors. Additionally, the Alice in Wonderland idea that reducing parking in buildings is going to cause people to take public transit when the transit system is so bad is totally irresponsible.
Bike improvements are quick, cheap fixes that cost a fraction per capita of the alternatives. Mass transit improvements take much more thought, resources, beaureaucracy, and cooperation, which is why they take a lot longer to be seen in the real world. Just because it doesn’t happen in an instant doesn’t mean it is not currently being developed.
That ballot measure failed miserably because the people of SF are smart enough to know that traffic here is bad but returning to car focused urban planning and policy is a recipe for more traffic and congestion. The only real solution is to invest in a massive BART/muni expansion and create a much more encompassing public transit system like NYC or London.
While I certainly agree with the sentiment, I’m afraid the reality is that it is far too late (financially and logistically) to put in place the kind of subterranean system which would make a meaningful difference.
UPDATE: Photos of the existing conditions along Second Street to compare to the post-improvement project renderings have been added above.
Exactly when did the people of SF vote for all of this new development, the elimination of bridge access and the elimination of street parking? I do not recall Mayor Lee running on a pro-development platform. I do recall Willie Brown’s pro-development position … Hmmmm who was it that helped get Lee into office? It seems that a small group of appointed ‘planners’ and politicians aligned with developers have chosen to remake the landscape of San Francisco. And now, a pedestrian boulevard at a major bridge entrance down the block from the ball park. These issues should come up during re-election.
The residents of SF do NOT benefit by having the roads clogged with people commuting back to the ‘burbs.
OK tear down hwy 280 from the 101 split to King and Brannan. Now problem fixed!
No more cars on our surface streets at rush hour.
It’s not rocket science, most of the rush hour traffic on our surface streets flows from commuters jumping off 101 to the 280 by pass……hello!
The whole mess is the fault of that evil CalTrans……….
Once we remove the evil 280 we can turn Brannan into a boulevard with trees planted in the middle and wide sidewalks on each side………think outside the box for a change.
Don’t forget the unicorns
Thanks for the uninformed blather. Tearing down 280 would have zero impact on traffic headed to the Bay Bridge.
Obviously you don’t live in this neighborhood there Sierrajeff…..
Your clueless as to how the SoMa street grid works…..but that’s OK…..I’ve read some of your comments in the past…it’s your typical “uninformed blather”…..
270 Brannan – new building going up with over 1000 employees and less than 15 parking spaces inside building. The planning commission would not permit developer to have more spaces in the building. How does someone get onto this committee anyway?
you must be white, male, under 40, hate cars, have little life experince, ride a fixie, look down on 97% of the population and wear skinny jeans
And you, good sir, must be obese, over sixty, have experienced life only as a driver, and fervently daydream about how DELICIOUS it would feel to pilot the M Class over that dirty hippy who is IN MY WAY.
Under 40, scientist, bike thousands of miles per year (in marin) and run about 20miles per week. You are right about the dirty hippies though
Using a bike only for recreation is lame.
foisting your views onto others (as well as using the word “lame” to describe them) is lame.
bikes are made for recreation. thats what i use it for. thats what my kids use it for and thats what the vast majority of americans use it for.
im sure as hell not going to commute down 101 on my bike
“bikes are made for recreation”
– Says who?
“Bikes are made for recreation”
Um, I’m pretty sure the vast majority of the world’s users of bicycles would laugh at this statement.
Actually this brings up some questions about bicycles in regards to this proposal:
– How many bicycles are owned within the city limits?
– How many of those bicycles are used for commute to/from work via a route using 2nd?
– How many those bicycles are used for any use via a route using 2nd?
– If the lanes are implemented, any idea on bicycle use growth over next 5 years on 2nd?
I don’t see that level of detail in any of the 2nd Street proposal on the SFDPW web site. I’m not anti-bicycle but given that 2nd is a de-faco thoroughfare right now and I don’t see that changing, is the level of bicycle usage on 2nd enough to require dedicated lanes and remove two traffic lanes? Could the bicycle lanes be implemented on another street?
anon, i live in the US, where bicycles are, by far, mostly used for recreation. i dont live in the developing world
Well if London, Amsterdam, Kobenhaven, Paris, and Berlin are in the developing world then I can’t wait to see what they develop into.
Consider that that main reasons more people don’t cycle for utility in the USA are that we massively cater to and subsidize automobile use while creating roads that are hostile to bicyclists. The two are tightly related.
@CToCN: The 2013 bike count included 3 intersections on 2nd Street. I’m not sure if they count all directions for both streets as one number, but the manual count for 4-6PM at 2nd and Folsom was 278 bikes.They don’t provide an on-street vs on-sidewalk/crosswalk breakdown, so I guess they count them all. Given how hostile the current conditions are at that intersection, I think there is the potential for a much higher bike usage if they get anything like what is proposed.
Just about everyone uses the US Census ACS commute-to-work data to estimate the bike commute mode share. Nearly 18k SF residents bike commuted in the 2013 ACS estimate, maybe it is as many as 20k now. The absolute number has been increasing ~100% every 10 years since they started the count. Wayback in 1970 it was about 1k. Also, in SF males are 2-3 times as likely to bike commute as females.
Surveys have found roughly two-thirds of SF residents never bike, about half of the third that do (one-sixth of all residents) bike regularly (at least once per week). That’s probably the target demographic to increase the commute bike share. Only about a quarter of the SF residents that bike regularly use a bike to commute.
FWIW, the growth in the number of SF residents that work from home is greater in absolute numbers than the growth in bike commuters. Increasing Internet bandwidth to the home may be the cheapest way to reduce commute congestion.
I guess spencer doesn’t live in SF, where bicycles are predominantly used for transportation.
So they should have added another 200 parking spaces, so that another 200 cars could pack themselves onto the freeways and streets every day and every afternoon? If bridge traffic is backing up as it is, how would it help to add more cars to that?
Of course, when you get down to it, the answer will be that streets should be reconfigured and more freeways should be built to handle the traffic, or–if that’s undesirable or impossible, as it is in SF–that any buildings which add any significant office or housing space, like 270 Brannan, should be banned entirely, because there’s too much traffic. You see that argument every day.
And severely restricting new office space and housing in SF… well, I think most people here agree that that’s a bad idea.
…and lately how many bikes have you seen trucking up and down 2nd street in the downpour?
Driving down this street is terrible. This plan will only make it worse. As for all the people saying we don’t need the parking spots, you must have never needed to park in the area – sometimes you just need to pop into your office to pick something up and all of the parking lots are full; sometimes you need to find a spot for less than $35 (or more) to park in a garage while you go shopping or see a Giants game; and sometimes you need to visit a friend and will only be there for a short amount of time. Obviously, you have no car, no friends, and no sense when it comes to the need for street parking.
If you’re driving to a Giants game you’re doing it wrong. I’ve been a season ticket partner since it opened in 2000 and I see roughly 30 games a season. I’ve never driven, despite owning a car. Not once.
I own two cars, work, shop and hang with friends downtown but I also have enough sense to take the bus, ride a bike or take an Uber to get there. And when I have to grab something from my office I go at off hours and park in the loading lane with my hazards, it’s not that hard. Traffic is never going to get any better, only worse with our booming population and the only way to solve it is with alternative transportation and for those stuck in their cars to realize driving a car in a downtown area is a last resort.
But it is sooooo inconvenient, man. I need a parking place right in front of my office, right in front of every shop I need to visit, every friend I am hanging out with. I need, in other words, for San Francisco to be just like FREMONT!
oh well, I have fond memories of 2nd St and the unique small retail and the one time escape from the FIDI, and now , even tho I have snow, sub freezing temps, and locals who are sub-acheivers, I am SO GLAD I have GONE ON
Yet here you are, posting from your snowy redoubt, which is an amazing thing because we care so much what someone who lives thousands of miles away has to say about local transportation planning! CARRY ON, GONE ON, CARRY ON!
I can’t wait for this, I ride my bike to work or take the bus down third and a dedicated bike N/S bike route linking Mission Bay (and subsequently the neighborhoods south) to the jobs in the Union Square, SOMA and the financial district is desperately needed. Not only will this be good for bikers, it will be good for cars on 3rd because it will take bikers off an already packed road. I think as part of this plan they should take all parking off 3rd as well and straighten the lanes out so traffic will move more smoothly there for cars and transit.
In theory you are correct that it would take bikers off of 3rd, but all it takes is *one* cyclist to take a traffic lane to a crawl and back up an entire street for blocks.
3rd St. is 3 lanes plus. If one cyclist is on 3rd, you can one of the lanes to move at 12 mph or so. Driving the width of SOMA at that speed would take five minutes, instead of the two and a half minutes it would take if you were somehow able to drive at the speed limit the whole way with no stopping. Which you can’t, unless it’s free of traffic– in which case you can just use one of the other two lanes anyway.
So, the entire city should come to a halt at the speed of a bicycle?
During commute hours I’m faster on my bike than in a car, especially on the streets most impacted by congestion, so I guess that would be an improvement.
I love electricity! I didn’t know whether I could shower or eat tonight because the lights have flickered on and off until it finally went dark. Thank goodness it came back on and I rushed to heat up dinner and showered. Holiday lights on. Turns out PG&E’s box had corrosion. Puts everything into perspective when you are hungry, dirty, and in the dark.
Screw the bikes versus car issue.
If the MTA planners wanted to solve the problem they would build some parking structures near the Central Freeway to allow East Bay visitors to drop their cars instead of circling around looking for nonexistent parking. Parking structures are a perfect use for the noise impacted, air polluted zone around the Central Freeway. MTA planners want traffic to be horrible so they can continue to demonize automobile drivers and further promote their anti-car crusade.
putting all the BS aside of this whole “war” between cars and bikes, 2nd street has a lot of safety issues.
Third street is all cars and buses – no room for bikes.
First street stops at the highway and doesn’t continue to South Beach.
Fourth street is one way, away from Caltrain.
Second street is the flattest, most straight forward route one can take biking from Caltrain/South Beach into downtown. Many commuters are fit enough to bike the one mile from Caltrain to downtown and since most are novices, they should have a safe way to do so.
The only congestion on Second street is the queue of cars waiting to get on the bridge and this is only in the evening. Having two lanes getting on the bridge is a disaster for anyone crossing the street or trying to bike around it. It even sucks for cars as they routinely block the intersection and cut in front of each other.
I really don’t believe there will be additional congestion. If parking is removed, I’m sure travel lanes will be mostly preserved. There are also no buses on this street. The addition of left turn lanes will also help keep car traffic flowing smoothly and bike lanes and bulb outs will make it safer for other users of the street.
This is a great idea and long overdue!
4th Street is one way *towards* Caltrain.
4th and 3rd are both flatter than 2nd (which still rises over remnants of the original Rincon Hill).
Thanks for swallowing the propaganda, though.
4th street is still one way. third street is full of car and bus traffic. 2nd makes the most sense to add a bike lane
@S, I’ll take the flip side of your congestion comment. I believe that the new condos going up on Folsom and Fremont near Harrison will generate some level of auto traffic daily on 2nd, but I have no idea how much. The new office buildings on Brannan will do the same, but probably not a lot though.
In addition, I’ve noticed over the last few years that on Sunday game days at Candlestick, the 2nd Street/Bay Bridge congestion appeared as 49er fans heading east elected to drive all the way up 3rd street to King, turn right then left up 2nd to get to the bridge. Others continued up 3rd to either Bryant or Harrison. While this is no longer an issue, the Warriors arena will be right on 3rd, and I’ll bet that a certain percentage driving to events there will do the same as what the 49er fans did. Granted, this won’t be at the same volume, but with 200 events planned there, it will generate additional volume. My belief based on my observations of this area over the years is that congestion will continue and grow some unknown volume.
Since SFPW will be taking recommendations for the 2nd Street planning, I’d recommend that we let 2nd be what it’s trying to be – a boulevard feeder to/from the Bay Bridge. Redesign 2nd in such a way to as best possible get as much traffic that we have (and I feel will not dissipate any time soon, and as I mentioned above may grow in size) into and out of the area as quickly as possible.
your argument about planning 2nd street to accommodate warriors traffic is the same logic big box stores use when they make parking lots big enough to handle traffic on their busiest day. Most of the time, those spaces are empty and the rest of us are left to deal with the consequences.
@S, let me elaborate. I would like 2nd to accommodate multiple types of traffic – commute, event (Giants & Warriors), local, Muni (10-Townsend, 12-Folsom), and commercial. As I mentioned, I don’t see the congestion easing, but growing some undetermined amount. 2nd Street is a mess today Monday through Friday, as I’ve seen over the years and others have mentioned elsewhere.
That said, when you look at the currently proposed design for 2nd Street on the SFDPW web site, you’ll see the proposal shows that 2nd between King and Market will be reduced to essentially two traffic lanes. The current four lanes is reduced to accommodate the bi-directional bike lanes and sidewalk widening. As I see it, when that’s paired with what I believe is a volume of traffic that will grow from the amount today, I can’t see anything but gridlock. Plus, the bike lanes are on the outside of the street, so bridge traffic turning off 2nd onto Bryant, Folsom and Harrison cut across the northbound bike lane. Accident(s) waiting to happen…
So, my feedback would be to keep 2nd four lanes as it is today, and either drop the bike lane idea or somehow incorporate a bi-directional bike lane in the center of the street (if that’s even possible) to reduce the chance of accidents from auto traffic cutting over the lane.
The bottom line is that 2nd street now carries a lot of traffic daily (weekends are obviously lighter) and I feel the amount it will carry will only grow. I’m not real big on the current 2nd Street proposal because I feel it just exacerbates an already poor situation. Even though people don’t like it, 2nd Street has in fact morphed into a major daily north/south thoroughfare.
And the 12-Folsom heading inbound on a weekday afternoon just sits in traffic on Folsom between 4th and 2nd before turning left on 2nd.
FYI#1, 4th St is two-way at the Caltrain station and in Mission Bay. In SOMA it is 6 lanes wide. It should be on top of the list for SOMA streets needing a redesign. It could accommodate a dedicated two-way bike lane. It could even be made a two-way street with two through lanes each way and dedicated turn lanes (right on Mission, Howard, Harrison; left on Folsom, Bryant). It is flat and straight and goes directly to the Caltrain Station.
FYI#2, 2nd street has MUNI bus service and has had it for decades. It also has Academy of Art buses and at least two other private bus services. BTW, helping the MUNI busline is part of the justification in the plan for reducing car traffic on 2nd.
FYI#3, 2nd Street has congestion throughout the day, particularly chronic north of Folsom. And that area is going to get much denser in the near future.
FYI#4, the key to the entire design is that they are removing half the “travel lanes”. That was the only way they could fit the dedicated and separated bike lanes. Widening the sidewalks and other pedestrian safety improvements can be done without cutting 2nd down to a one-lane each way road.
FYI#5, 2nd is the least flat street that connects to both Market and Townsend. Have you ever been on 2nd at Bryant?
Did you even read the plan?
@Jake, and an FYI to your FYI#2 that hasn’t been mentioned anywhere is that there is a lot of commercial traffic daily during the week on 2nd. Deliveries of all kinds (UPS; FedEx & food and beverage). And right now these delivery vehicles double park since 2nd is unlike some other cities that utilize alleyways for deliveries. If 2nd ends up basically a two lane street, its going to get really interesting for the businesses that count on those deliveries – many times multiple deliveries per week to the same business.
Please run for mayor.
I’d be extremely supportive of making this city more bike-friendly if somebody started to enforce traffic laws for cyclists. As long as cyclists are entitled to do whatever the heck they please I don’t mind a few of them ending up under a Muni bus now and then.
Glad to have you on board then. The police do ticket cyclists. Of course they don’t catch or ticket every infraction nor do they ticket every motorist violating the law.
Start ticketing drivers and delivery trucks who block and double park in bike lanes.
And that’s an interesting rub @sfw. There are a lot of restaurants, bars & pubs on 2nd Street that need food and beverage deliveries – several per week (I’ll leave aside all the UPS/FedEx deliveries for now). Right now there’s no other way for those deliveries to be made unless those vehicles double park. With four lanes on 2nd, its a mess, but traffic eventually flows around double parked delivery vehicles using the non-blocked inside lane.
If 2nd is redesigned as proposed as a two lane street, that calls into question where all these delivery vehicles park to deliver to all the businesses on 2nd Street without causing a major traffic flow stoppage. And given that the current SFDPW 2nd Street proposal for the bike lanes show them as elevated, but not curbed off from the traffic, you know some frustrated delivery drivers will indeed block those bike lanes so they don’t stop auto traffic, which they will assume is greater in volume than bike traffic. I’m sure their thinking will be auto and bike traffic will simply go around me in the unblocked auto lane… Like I said elsewhere, its just going to be a bigger mess than today as currently proposed.
Wow, after reading the negativity and hatred in these posts (mostly from the pro-biking community), it’s safe to say there will never be a middle ground on the topic of bike lanes. Too much needless attacking. Most of us have better things to do.
Im pretty happy with the new bike lanes. I can go much faster on my Triumph in bike lanes than weaving through car traffic on the main street. Utilizing the bike grid for motorcycle trips has made my trips across the city much faster over the past 2 years. although i like the bike lanes, i am in favor of off street car storage in buildings. the biggest pain in the but for a motorcycle driver is cars circling for parking. nightmare accidents happen that way.
Have you ever received a traffic violation for using a motorcycle in a dedicated bike lane? I may just need to get a motorcycle!
no never been ticketed. I see a lot of bicycles with little motors on them to help the cyclist, so i dont see the difference. Most of the bike lanes are empty most of the time so not a big issue. It keeps me safer from cars and I can move faster in the bike lanes. in the few cases where there are cyclists, they seem to move with a little beep of the horn. Bear Bicycle Coalition: keep building those lanes for me
Disclosure: I have an SUV, a motorcycle and a bicycle.
SUV for trips with wife, kids and dog and groceries.
Motorcycle for solo ventures around city and for commuting
Bicycle for racing and centuries
my biggest pet peeves are that
cyclists never stop at lights or stop signs, and frequently dont pay attention (probably stoned)
drivers circle parking too much and that causes a lot of issues with my maneuverability and possibilty to get hit by parking space swervers and uturners.
the separated bike lanes fix both problems for me.
Never say “never”. I stop at about 30 stop signs on my daily commute. And the only red lights that I ever run (legally and safely) are those that are broken and don’t detect bikes. That is very rare, like once or twice a year. When I encounter such a broken stoplight detector on my usual routes, I report it to the city and they fix it.
Oh please. Spare us. broken stoplights fall under your category of ok to ignore? Yea, like there’s a LOT of those in SF. Stoplights that don’t detect bikes? Huh?
So you run red lights. Then you fit the profile.
Futurist – please get off of your high horse and study the vehicle code. CVC 21800 (d) (1) addresses this situation:
Basically you can treat a broken stoplight like a stop sign. I’ve confirmed that 21800 (d) (1) applies to sensor activated stoplights that don’t sense bicyclists by discussing both with a LAB instructor and a high ranking senior PD officer.
I don’t expect this to change your deep rooted bigotry against bicyclists though,
I stop at all stop signs too and signal as well, when it is safe to do so. I do agree that I am in the minority though.
My pet peeves are:
Drivers that turn right across a bike lane without signalling or looking. This is the only close calls I have ever had.
Drivers and delivery trucks that double park in the bike lane, often when there is a parking spot or driveway right there. I guess they would rather risk the lives of dozens of cyclists than potentially inconvenience one driver.
Cyclists who go to the front of the line, then blow stop signs, forcing other people to stop for them even though they have gone out of turn. I think it is fine to go to the front (split lanes) and then go through with a car that is going straight.
If I ever see a motorcycle driving in the bicycle lane, I will take down its driver license and report it to the police as a potential drunk driver. You have no business being in the bike lane, it is dangerous and illegal.
@NVJ, in regards to your comment about the right turn issue (which is a concern to me as well), I’m looking at the rendering for the proposed street layout and I’m counting:
– 11 northbound right turns across the east side bike lane on 2nd (Stevenson, Mission, Minna, Clementina, Folsom, Harrison, Stillman, Bryant, Federal, De Boom, & Brannan).
– 12 southbound right turns across the west side bike lane on 2nd (Stevenson, Mission, Minna, Howard, Tehama, Folsom, Dow, Harrison, Stillman, Taber, South Park, & Brannan).
It’s probably worth mentioning the left turns off 2nd (Folsom, Harrison & Bryant) cutting across the east side bike lane to access the Bay Bridge as well since we’re talking about north/south traffic flow in this example.
It looks me that the bike lanes seem to start/end prior to/after Townsend, but I could be wrong. If I am, Townsend can be added to the count in both directions. I didn’t mention Market and King, but if we want to be technical, toss both of them in as well for both directions. Total-total count: 14 north, 15 south plus the left turns. That’s a lot of crossovers on roughly one mile of street.
Also, given the volume and frequencies of delivers I see on 2nd throughout the day, even if deliveries are somehow prioritized (and if they are, what is deliveries prioritized over in the design), my guess is that you will see the delivery vehicles parking in the bike lanes, since the lanes are not curbed off from the street.
It might be possible to mitigate the lane conflict issue by having separate signals for bicycles and cars, like they do now at the off ramp to the Central Freeway. Of course this only works if everyone obeys them.
Ugh, I hope you get ticketed for using a motorcycle in the bicycle lane. That is dangerous and irritating.
having bicycles in the wrong and running stop signs and lights are dangerous too. for each his own. I dont consider cyclists to be a danger to me so happy to share the bike lane with them
Yes. Agreed. Sometimes when I drive down Folsom in the morning there are cyclists weaving in and out of the bike lanes into traffic lanes: no signal, no concern for others.
Typical cyclist behavior.
This is by far the dumbest thing I have seen in a while. I live/work in the area and as it has been mentioned many times, between 3-7pm 2nd street is SHUT DOWN because of traffic trying to get onto the bridge.
Then this won’t make congestion on 2nd St any worse. Not seeing the issue.
@anon, one word – spillover. The traffic volume of all types in my opinion based on my experiences with 2nd Street over the years, is that it won’t go away but actually grow. If it is hampered by 2nd Street losing 50% of its lanes, it will attempt to find alternate routes. And that would be more congestion over a wider area.
This will make congestion on 2nd much worse, as I have explained above.
Shawn claimed the street was shut down. You can’t have worse congestion than a street that is shut down.
if you took Shawn’s statement literally, well, all the more fool you.
It will make congestion much worse.
Cyclists need protected Class 1 bike lanes to safely travel across The City. If not here, where would it be Jake?
Sorry that comment was directed at Jake, not you.
I’m all for separating bikes from the car/truck crush as feasible. I haven’t seen any stats or studies on the results, but as a regular on Folsom it sure feels safer since the bike lane. Particularly, cyclists seem more visible to drivers and the double parked trucks stick out even more obviously as a problem. Well worth a little slower drive.
I did outline the potential of 4th St for dedicated bike lanes above. It is huge, has many dangerous and wasteful designs left over from the car-supremacy era, including numerous two-lane wide turns across sidewalks with heavy pedestrian traffic and using multiple surface street lanes to feed a single highway on-ramp lane. It needs a redesign and could include dedicated bike lanes.
If done properly it could be a safe route for cyclists from Market to Dogpatch with well placed connects to Folsom and Townsend bike routes. It also has connections to through secondary streets that would afford bikes more sheltered east-west paths, such as Minna and Stevenson, when we finally get around to putting in more mid-block traffic lights to make SOMA more of a place and less of a thoroughfare.
Yes that makes sense, thanks for the reply. I would be just as happy with 4th as 2nd, and it does seem like there is more room there.
What in the world is a “Class 1” bike lane? Would that be the same as if auto drivers asked for an exclusive Class 1 protected lane that busses, trucks, bikes and emergency vehicles could not use as well? Also, if over 50% of bike accidents are solo falls, this new “protected” lane could not solve the safety problems associated with biking vs. driving or using public transit.
Um, it’s similar to when drivers ask for a limited-access freeway instead of a road with a bunch of cross streets.
San Franciscans have been arguing about what to do with 2nd Street for 150 years. The reason is the geography: it is the first street in from the waterfront that runs from downtown to the southern areas of the city. From foundsf.org (namelink):
“The Second Street Cut through Rincon Hill was made in 1869. Behind the plans for a cut was the wealthy land owner, John Middleton. He felt that a flat passage to the Pacific Mail Wharves at the southern end of Second Street would increase that street’s commercial appeal and the value of his own lot at Second and Bryant (now 501 Second, an office building).”
The current plan dedicates half of this roadway to the sole use of bicylst with no more justification than their own long-expressed desire for it and without any traffic analysis. Perhaps if they do a competent traffic study they can adjust this plan before they make a bad situation worse.
^^^Fascinating background about Second Street. I just read on a Marina neighborhood site that the removal of parking on Chestnut for dedicated bike lanes is back on the MTA planning horizon again. As Jake mentions, where is the traffic studies for these type of projects before they are created?
“The current plan dedicates half of this roadway to the sole use of bicylst”
No it doesn’t. A bike lane is much narrower than a auto lane. Your position looks pretty weak when you need to resort to falsehoods.
Removing two of four traffic lanes sure sounds like taking half of the roadway away to me. If you remove two lanes AND parking and put two bike lanes in their place I would say Jake is right.
It might sound like it to you, but it’s still false.
Half of the current road allocated for autos to drive on is being converted for other uses, but that is not half the roadway, nor is it being used solely for cyclist use. The parking lane is part of the roadway, and technically the sidewalk is as well, as there are many roads with no sidewalk at all.
A driving lane is generally 10-12 feet, a bike lane is generally 3-5 feet, so a two way bike lane would at most take away a single lane, so at least half of what is being changed is not for cyclist benefit. And therefore the majority of the project is in fact to benefit those other then cyclists.
In this plan the MUNI bus platforms are located between the bike lane and the traffic lane. MUNI buses are scheduled every 10-20 minutes both directions during the peak commute. When a MUNI bus stops it will be in the traffic lane – fully in the traffic lane. Because the space was given to bikes, there will not be a left lane to get around it like there is now.
Wherever there is a MUNI bus on 2nd, the entire one-lane-wide column of vehicles behind it can only travel down 2nd at the speed of the MUNI bus, stops and all. But none of this will impair the cyclists in their buffered lane: they are separated and more than equal.
If you are going to set yourself up as some arbiter of the truth, you may want to check the actual plan instead of relying on your generalities.
The plan is for two Class 1 bike lanes aka cycle-tracks, which include 2-4 foot wide buffers to physically protect bikes from all other road traffic. Look at how pretty it is with plants in the second picture above.
As to the roadway configuration, consider the northern section from Market to Harrison, which is more than half the length of 2nd Street. This plan will not widen the sidewalks from Market to Harrison because they are already 15-feet wide on both sides of the street. Along there the existing 4 traffic lanes take up 36.5 feet of the street. The proposed bike lanes on this section of the road will take up 19 feet, 13 feet for the two bike lanes and 6 feet for the dedicated motor-vehicle free buffers. It is all in the plan if you look.
Now you can parse and calculate this however it pleases you, but the result would be the roadway goes from a configuration with four traffic lanes shared by all vehicles (bikes, MUNI, cars, trucks, motorcycles, taxi/Uber) to two bikes lanes for the exclusive use of cyclists and two traffic lanes for all other vehicles.
If you find yourself arguing about how many square feet of the road surface are occupied by bike lanes, then you have already lost either whatever argument you think you’ve been making or the attention of your audience. Few care how many hectares of San Francisco are bike lanes, very many care about the effects of the bike lanes.
In the next post I will explain one of these effects: the MUNI bus procession.
So the argument is about auto throughput rather than space given to different uses, in other words, traffic sewer talk rather than holistic city-building.
Yea, right. “holistic city-building” is the Deeprak Choka heebie-jeebies talk of how the SF Bike Coalition as bullied and intimated many of our supervisors as well as the leader of the MTA in believing all their bs.
As Jake has pointed out very clearly with some solid posts, the MTA is not taking into consideration in a very serious way exactly HOW the bike lanes and parking space removals are benefitting our city.
“rather than space given to different uses”. Wait a minute, traffic lanes are now SHARED by cars, bus vehicles, BIKES, trucks and emergency services vehicles. The bike lanes take away two lanes of traffic and parking all so that they can use part of the street exclusively. I like Moto Mayem’s idea of motorcycles starting to use bike lanes as well. Let’s see how much the bike crowd is willing to share their lanes with other two wheeled vehicles.
Ok, so I spelled the self-styled wacko guru’s name wrong. It should be Deepak Chopra. Same belief system, same craziness.
Um, folks, the sidewalks are being widened too. That’s what I was referring to.
The sidewalk widening doesn’t justify the bike lanes, nor do they in any way require each other. All the pedestrian improvements in this plan can be made without creating these dedicated bike lanes. Why do bike lane advocates change the subject to pedestrian improvements when challenged to justify the bike lanes in this plan?
As I already mentioned above, from Market to Harrison this plan will not widen the sidewalks at all because they are already 15-feet wide on both sides.
The critical pedestrian improvements in this plan are from Harrison to Brannan: adding a traffic light at South Park, removing the two-lane-wide right hand turn cut through the sidewalk at 2nd and Harrison, widening the sidewalks from 10 to 15 feet on both sides, and reducing the left turn from Bryant onto 2nd and the right-turn from 2nd onto Harrison from two lanes to one.
To achieve these changes, this plan will eliminate all car parking along this segment except for 5 parking spaces in front of 21st Amendment. This segment has a public parking lot underneath the freeway and most of the perpendicular streets have parking, so it should be easier to absorb the lost parking in the immediate neighborhood than the parking lost north of Harrison.
The planned one-way cycle tracks along this segment would each be 7-feet wide and the two buffers would total 6 feet, resulting in 20 feet of the roadway dedicated to cyclists. So, again the dedicated bike lanes displace existing traffic lanes shared by all and the pedestrian improvements can be made without creating dedicated bike lanes.
Correct, the two are unrelated. But Anon is still wrong that 20′ is taking “half the roadway”. Half the vehicular throughput is a totally different topic.
My two post above got out of sequence…
Here is the rest:
Now consider how this will work at the bus stop infront of the new Linkedin building at Howard. The bus stop is just after the bus passes through the very wide Howard intersection. Depending somewhat on the length of the bus and exactly where it stops, there should usually be about enough space to fit the bus and one car behind it without the car being in the crosswalk or stuck out in Howard. If you are the car behind the bus, then you could expect there will be enough space for you to follow the bus across Howard.
The car or two behind you could end up blocking Howard while hundreds of cars, bikes, and pedestrians swarm around them from three directions. It’s not going to be very easy for the driver of that now gridlock creating car to have anticipated their fate because the view from 30 feet behind a MUNI bus wouldn’t enable them to see the bus stop on the next block and they really should be paying attention to the nearby pedestrians and bikes and the cars passing them on the right in the dedicated turn lane. Somebody should put a webcam there to catch the follies.
Of course they could move the bus stop to the middle of the block to reduce this problem, but then the stop would have been moved uphill to a lesser place for the bus riders to help car/taxi/truck drivers handled the loss of a traffic lane to cyclists. They also need some of the midblock space for the commercial parking for delivery trucks, which there isn’t any on this side of the street in this block in this plan.
There are more of these kinds of bound-to-happen snafus and impossible-to-engineer-around apparently over constrained problems, but I think I’ve made my “point” or points. This might all be tolerable if Second was a lightly used road or there were easy alternate routes that weren’t congested, but it isn’t and they aren’t. Being a horse and wagon era street, Second just isn’t wide enough for all of these uses of a single traffic lane.
Don’t get me wrong, the few pedestrian improvements are long overdue and I am genuinely intrigued by the potential of getting the bridge traffic off Second, completely unrealized in this plan.
The vehicle part of the plan is half-baked though: baked to order for/by cyclists, still raw for everyone else.
@Jake, I went back and took another long look at the SFDPW presentation and the design for 2nd street. One reason was that there was a comment mentioned elsewhere that the plan accounted for deliveries (which I believe will be an issue). The other reason were your last two posts. A few things of note…
– In regards to your comments about the bike lane buffer zones – and your previous comment about the plants in the buffer zones, what I noticed looking at the design is that those physical buffer zones with plants are only for planned bus stops and the sporadic parking. The “buffer zone” for the majority of the bike lanes is a simple grade elevation from the traffic lane to the bike lane. Any vehicle will be able to cross those buffer zones with no problem.
– And that leads me to deliveries. I couldn’t find any detail on supporting deliveries in the presentation. But as I mentioned previously, 2nd Street businesses get a lot of deliveries, some multiple times per week. Anecdotally, I mentioned I saw three delivery vehicles at the same time stop on 2nd Street between Bryant and Brannan this past week, effectively eliminating the outside southbound lane on that block. Note too that one of the trucks was a 3/4 semi Coca-Cola truck; not exactly a small delivery vehicle. Given that the majority of bike lane buffer zones are simply grade elevations, and these trucks just can’t stop dead in the vehicle lane, there’s without a doubt going to be a lot of bike lane blocking by delivery vehicles. There’s no way around it I can see from looking at the proposed design. I think this will be a key, unforeseen issue.
– From what I can tell, there’s been three community meetings to date, based on the posted presentation. Between meeting two and three a survey was given. From what I can guess looking at the graph of distribution by zip codes, I’m guessing eighty to ninety people responded to that survey. I don’t know how the survey was distributed, but if I had to guess, it may have been given out to the attendees of the second community meeting. The results were shown at the third meeting. The greatest amount of respondents were from zip code 94107. That zip code represented approximately sixty respondents; 2nd Street cuts right through the middle of the zip code. The next greatest respondents came from 94105. This is a neighboring zip code to the east covering the South Beach and Rincon neighborhoods. Here’s the kicker from the survey results: 31% of respondents liked bike lanes, 45% disliked bike lanes and 24% had no opinion. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m not anti-bicycle at all, but looking at those results, I can’t see bike lanes being a mandated design requirement when neighborhood residents of strong enough conviction to understanding this plan to actually show up to those community meetings (if that’s how the survey was distributed) basically say otherwise.
– I don’t remember anybody participating in this thread talking about how to handle SFPD, SFFD, and first responders that quite frequently use 2nd Street as a major north/south thoroughfare to/from the city core. I’m willing to bet that the bike lane grade elevation buffer zone grade is “the out” the planners and designers made for traffic so that traffic could pull into the bike lanes to let these vehicles pass in cases of emergency.
Having looked at the plan, and reading through these comments, I’ve come to the conclusion that while this is a noble plan, its severely flawed as is and is the wrong solution for 2nd Street at this time. And that’s my bottom line…
Both the deliveries and emergency vehicles were discussed during their community presentations. Basically, what parking remains on Second St in this plan is for deliveries. It is kinda sparse and maybe too little. Also, has about a 10 foot cycle track between it and the sidewalk. Some business owners are unhappy because they are on sides without any parking. Also, the parking isn’t sited to optimize ease of deliveries, it is just where they had room after other constraints. For example, the FedEx/Kinkos would lose about 5 parking spaces near it and the FedEx trucks will have to stop toward the midblock instead of at their front door like now.
The graded buffer is designed to allow cars to use it to get out of the way of emergency vehicles. It also allows bikes to maneuver out of the bike lane to the traffic lane if needed. I think they said that would be the only situation when a car is allowed on either the buffer or the bike lane. No pulling over in the bike lane to dropoff/pickup, etc. Not legally anyway.
every person i know who drives a motorcycle takes the bike lanes. its only fair. they are often totally empty and I am just doing my civic duty to ease congestion put some use to the little used space that the city wasted money on
I agree. And since bicyclists are ALLOWED to share the auto traffic lane with cars, it only makes sense that the bike lanes can be shared. There are plenty of times when a driver has to move into the bike lane on Folsom: 1) to make a right turn. 2) to stop and pull into a parallel parking spot. It’s legal.
FWIW, I just got home after driving down Folsom in SOMA. There was/is a big backup from construction taking away a lane on the left. Many cars were using the bike lane to get to the right turn onto 5th. The last third to half of the block before 5th the bike lane was a slow stream of cars, while all the rest of the street was barely moving as far as could see.
There weren’t any bikes there at the time I was around, but I had passed several a couple blocks back. I had never seen that before on Folsom, but once the first car did it many followed.
I don’t. I lanesplit.
“when neighborhood residents of strong enough conviction to understanding this plan to actually show up to those community meetings (if that’s how the survey was distributed) basically say otherwise.” most of the neighbors are working professionals who are to busy to show up to meetings in the middle of the day. The Bike coalition members have a much higher unemployment rate, and are much more mobilized to create noise at these meetings.
its similar to how the 1% of wealthy people have the most influence in politics.
here, the 3% who are cyclists have more free time and incentivized to show up. they have a very disproportionate share of voice
@moto, if that was true, then why did only 31% surveyed about bike lanes want bike lanes while 69% had other thoughts about bike lanes? You would have thought the reverse based on your assumption.
While I could be wrong, these particular community meetings could have happened in the evening; I know the ones I’ve attended all had evening (typically 6/630pm) start times. My bet, based on the survey results at least on bike lanes is that those meeting did get a good share of local residents and it wouldn’t surprise me if a few people representing some 2nd Street businesses showed up as well.
weell, i think if cyclists were’nt overrepresented at these meetings, then number would be more like 10% and 90% vs. the 31 and 69
There have been some great articles in the past about how the best way to get a 6 figure management job at the MTA is to work your way up through the S.F. Bike Coalition organization first. I seem to remember reading that a surprising number of planners and project managers (over 30%) were former S.F.B.C. employees or volunteers. The former director, Leah Shahum, has just resigned after receiving a huge grant to live in Europe and “study” how they do transit planning (nice government money if you can get it). Leah, Noah, Aaron, and most of their staff have no transit planning or engineering experience, no training, or any professional degrees in transit engineering, yet they are now in charge of writing policy and creating plans for this city. I think this begins to explain the lack of focus on MUNI by the current MTA and the obsession with bikes and restricting on and off street parking.
Yes, and those people you mentioned at the MTA are and were a large part of the “corruption” and “nepotism” that is part of the culture there.
Strong allegations like corruption and nepotism need actual facts to back them up.
Well, MOD. what do you think? Some pretty damning evidence by the comments from FedUp.
The latest Bike Coalition employee to join the MTA is Kate McCarthy. She is the “public information officer” now for the Van Ness BRT project. Others I can think of off the top of my head are Andy Thornley (who also worked at Streetsblog before 7 years at SFBC), he is now with the SFMTA “SFPark” program. (7 years at a bike organization qualifies you to manage auto parking issues?). Then there is Neal Patel….who after 6 years with the bike coalition was hired by the MTA to work on “traffic calming projects”. How many more would you like me to list?
Still waiting to hear about corruption and nepotism.
I think the nepotism is fairly simple to prove. All you need is the org chart for the MTA at the time that the individuals @FedUp! mentioned were hired. If the hiring manager(s) for those individuals also came from the SFBC and had a personal relationship with those individuals at the SFBC prior to the hiring at the MTA, then you have your answer.
You’re describing something other than nepotism. Hiring someone you’ve worked with before is a common occurrence in any organization and if done fairly there’s nothing wrong with that. Hiring your nephew is nepotism.
I pulled this from the dictionary:
“the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.”
Of course, what’s a “friend” and what’s a “colleague?”
OK then by that definition pretty much every organization was built on nepotism. We’re doomed.
BTW, that’s not the primary definition of nepotism and you know it. Next up: corruption.
MoD..I never used the words “nepotism” or “corruption”. Go back through the thread and see what I wrote, and what I did not write. (Was it “futurist” who wrote those words?) What I did say is that the MTA managers hired from the SFBC (Bike Coalition) have no professional qualifications to be transit engineers re-creating transit systems and streets. Why would a Bike Coalition employee now be managing parking garages and street parking revenue issues as an example? I would like to say I have no doubt many of these people hired from the SFBC are passionate and sincere in what they believe San Francisco should become, and I would imagine they are hard workers at trying to achieve their goals, whatever they may be. (removing cars? building bike lanes? who knows)
My problem is I do not believe people responsible for fund raising and membership at the Bike Coalition should be in charge of transit engineering and planning for the entire city. If you want to balance this group with pedestrian and transit advocates, as well as auto drivers, homeowners and business owners, then we may achieve a more comprehensive and sensible solution to transit and traffic in the city.
nepotism or not, it is a disgusting practice to hire your friends for a job they are not qualified for, all in the vain of shifting policy to what you and your friends like.
Jane Jacobs had only a high school education, yet stood up to Dr. Robert Moses and stopped him from building a freeway through the West Village in Manhattan. Guess whose books are read by City Planning students all over the world?
You can be self taught and know as much about a topic as the most educated person on the subject. Someone who has been doing transportation planning for a decade as a grass roots advocate certainly knows more than a recent college graduate, as anyone who works in the field can attest.
FedUp – Apologies if there was confusion and I was indeed replying to futurist’s still unfounded allegations.
As for qualifications as transportation engineers, I don’t know the specific details at the SFMTA but in general there are not very many qualified graduates out there who’ve had an academic exposure to multimodal transportation issues, something important to SF’s growth. The last time I looked at the state of affairs of how transportation engineers were educated was about a decade ago. Then most universities were still stuck in the old mode of designing for cars only. Most cities are still staffed with people educated this way. They use metrics like “Level of Service” for evaluating a project’s effectiveness. LOS measures automobile delay and throughput only and completely ignores impacts on pedestrians, bicyclists, and surface public transit. It is how abominations like the Cesar Chavez/101 hairball and the I-80/Harrison/Bryant/5th intersections came into being.
Given that there’s a dearth of people formally trained in non-automotive transport it is not too surprising that they’re hiring from grassroots organizations like SFBC to bring relevant experience onboard. Lord knows that there’s an overabundance of engineers experienced with designing 4 lane city streets that can accommodate 45MPH automobule traffic and nothing else.
Our universities are transforming and expanding their scope to beyond designing high volume expressways and freeways. There are more graduates hitting the job market every year with relevant skills. It will take time.
futurist – we’re still waiting for the evidence on those allegations. And while you’re at it scroll up and see if you still think it is not OK for a bicyclist to ride through an inoperative red light. Otherwise it is just the classic “futurist crickets”.
Hey MOD. Ah..we’re not in court here and these are opinions, yours and mine. So chill out. Yea, I think there is nepotism and corruption going on at the MTA because of what I and others have said: hiring friends from the bike coalition who are NOT professionally qualified to make policy within the MTA. That’s my opinion.
You just don’t like the words I use, cause they scare you for their directness. Deal.
Wow, this is choice. The guy who regularly berates people for posting their opinions on architectural aesthetics, a very subjective topic, is now asking for relief for posting an unfounded opinion on very objective legal terms.
You’re flippantly accusing people you don’t know based on no facts but that’s OK because it is only an opinion. Glad we cleared that up.
If there’s really corruption involved here then I’d be right with you in condemning this hiring activity.
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