Connect SF

Dubbed Connect SF, the City of San Francisco is about to launch a city-wide effort “to both consolidate and coordinate all transportation-related planning efforts to improve mobility for all people in San Francisco.” And by the middle of 2018, the effort is expected to yield “an overarching 50-year vision for the future of transportation in San Francisco.”

Issues to be addressed will include questions about land use, development and how to best manage and serve existing neighborhoods while laying the infrastructure for future growth.

And while the website for the effort has yet to be launched, the framework for Connect SF will be presented to San Francisco’s Planning Commission and SFMTA Board of Directors on Thursday.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Dave

    Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to have a regional ConnectBayArea effort than this?

    For starters, a decades long plan to merge MUNI, SamTrans and AC Transit – Portalnd had a tri-county bus system way back in the 70s. It would have to span decades as the administrative end of the 3 systems would be consolidated. Many fewer high paying jobs with cushy retirements. To sell something like that you’d need to basically exempt current administrators by doing the consolidation after they are gone.

    • Posted by donjuan

      I think something like that already exists.

      • Posted by Dave

        I realize that, but practically speaking, the MTC has not done all that much to consolidate/merge/co-ordinate Bay Area transit systems. That is critically needed.

        Whatever money SF is spending on this study would, IMO, be better spent if pooled with monies from other cities in the region to do a regional “connect” study. One that is not pie in the sky as this seems to be per pp. 9 as someone quoted.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          I think you’re absolutely correct. But realistically it’s never going to happen. The Bay Area is too divided into different jurisdictions (cities, counties, BART). Not like this is a mystery. We’ve had the same questions 20 years ago, 50 years ago, 100 years ago. I doubt it will ever be solved.

          Until then, expect study after study, each with some Very Serious Conclusions about working together.

          • Posted by Dave

            Unfortunately you are probably right. This is all to the detriment of the Bay Area vs other metro areas that are making better strides at regional governance of issues like transportation and such.

            Dallas Ft. Worth, Atlanta – even LA’s massive planned public transportation hub/grid is facilitated in part as the area as a whole is involved. Its not like this where the SF PTB have a 50 year strategy focused just on SF. One that does not seem serious since no budgetary constraints/reality are included.

  2. Posted by Notcom

    from pp 9: “Envision over 50 years, not funding constrained”

    That should ensure nothing useful comes from this effort (tomes like this once made good doorstops but .pdf’s just don’t fill the roll as well).

    • Posted by Bill

      I completely and fundamentally disagree. With this attitude, we are doomed.

      • Posted by SFRealist

        It’s not us, or our attitude. We have nothing to do with it.

        Get the mayors of San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Palo Alto, Berkeley (etc), along with the supervisors in those counties to agree to surrender actual decision making authority for their mass transit systems. Then we can talk progress.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          (Don’t get me wrong, it would be good for the Bay Area if it happened. But I wouldn’t hope for it.)

  3. Posted by Beigel

    You are so right! Will it really take them 50 years to return all the Muni stops they are eliminating? How can it speed one’s trip by making the elderly and handicapped and those with toddlers walk four blocks at both ends? And do not forget some of those eliminated stops are at transfer points. Not everyone rides a bicycle to the bus or train (not allowed).

    • Posted by Mark

      It makes your heart sink, doesn’t it?

      • Posted by Mark

        ^The 50 year wait I mean. If I didn’t know they weren’t joking, I would probably be inclined to think they were joking.

  4. Posted by Mark

    50 years, eh? Might as well say it will never happen. Funding constraints have been around for eternity hence the short-sighted Central Subway, no much-needed second transbay BART connection, no Caltrain to the overhyped and overbudget TTC, no BRT in place on Geary or Van Ness…to name a few. It’s great to read that their 7×7 focus continues to disregard the need for a regional response.

    @Bill: it’s not about attitude, it’s about being realistic. Look around you. Look at how nothing has fundamentally changed, both in terms of transit thinking or transit implementation, especially when a corrupt and inefficient agency run by people who don’t use transit pushes ridiculous pie in the sky plans just to come off as proving they’re doing something proactive and real to solve Bay Area, no make that SF, transit problems.

  5. Posted by alberto rossi

    The city’s core competence is churning out studies.

  6. Posted by condoshopper

    wow, 50 years to connect a 7 mile square. i doubt that by the end of 50 years, they will have a system that is as seamless as other world class cities (the actual ones) already have Today.

    • Posted by Mark

      I’m still waiting for Weiner’s SF subway plan to surface…

  7. Posted by anon2

    It seems to me, that a lot of transit planners, apparently having no personal experience using transit themselves, do not realize things like speed and capacity are important considerations in transit planning (as evidenced by the T-Third, and as is almost certainly soon-to-be evidenced by the upcoming Central Subway), therefore I’d like to go on record as officially requesting that all future subways be ‘rapid’ and ‘high-capacity’ like for example Bart’s fast 10-car trains, and not ‘slow’ and ‘short’ like for example Muni’s 2-car trolleys.

    I would also like to suggest that for some corridors, a subterranean solution might not necessarily be the most cost-effective solution. Grade-separation is indeed crucial for the aforementioned ‘speed’ criteria, but I would like to remind our planners that grade-separation can also be achieved at significantly reduced cost using elevated track-ways like for example now exists in downtown Miami. Such elevated track, built in a street median perhaps, might in fact be the optimal solution for such extended and wide corridors as Geary Street and 19th Avenue.

    Finally, I would like to remind the citizens that the city has a nearly 10 billion dollar per year municipal budget. I’m not sure to what worthy endeavors all that money is presently being directed, but I can say that for about one tenth of that amount of expenditure, the city could build perhaps one mile of new subway line annually, even without monetary assistance from the state or federal governments.

    That is all.

  8. Posted by jj

    Google and Uber already won this game. I hope they bleed the inept MUNI and its unions that reward.. hell.. demand incompetence dry.

    • Posted by stevenj

      Google and Uber and Lyft (which do not carry 700,000+ riders a day) and all the new delivery services have succeeded in clogging up SF’s streets by their sheer numbers and double parking, especially at rush hours. They are helping to give good reason to plan an underground system.

  9. Posted by hgh

    I’ll vote for anyone that commits to putting a stop to all these “plans”.

    If you work for the city today, you don’t have the right to dictate policy for the next 50 years.

    • Posted by stevenj

      The first underground (and elevated) plan by Muni was in the 1930’s. If only they’d started it then (a 4 track system under Market St was part of the plan) expansions would not be so costly as they are today.

      • Posted by Rick

        This comes under the category of “we have met the enemy and he is us.” Voters overwhelmingly turned down the first Market Street Subway plan…it got less than 20%. They turned down a proper subway on Geary (not BRT or LRT) and a second to SF State (instead of the M-line) in the 1970s. Except for BART, when politicians and planners have thought big in the city, the voters have shot them down.

    • Posted by stevenj

      Just to add…do you also think that city planners should not have planned the street grid that they did over 100 years ago?

  10. Posted by Mark F.

    A 50 year plan? What a joke. Even Stalin limited his plans to 5 years. Why not do a 500 year plan while you are at it?

  11. Posted by Jacobvich

    Bernal Heights wants a stop. Please make us happy!

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