Front page of Issue 16Get the winter 2015 print editionwith a special report on school segregation. Plus an insert commemorating the now-defunct S.F. Bay Guardian.

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Transportation

Ever-changing population predictions frustrate Bay Area smart-growth planning

Maureen Nandini Mitra, SF Public Press — Jun 25 2012 - 12:38pm

State and regional planning agencies have produced differing predictions of how many people will migrate to the Bay Area in coming decades. The disagreement is frustrating efforts to forge a consensus on how many hundreds of thousands of new homes to build across the region, and where. In May, the California Department of Finance took a fresh look at economic forecasts and officially backed away from its prediction that 9.5 million people would live in the Bay Area in 2040. The state now says it is likely to be closer to 8.4 million. But the Association of Bay Area Governments pegged the population for the same 2040 target date at a robust 9.3 million. The agency is charged with developing Plan Bay Area, an ambitious agenda to reshape the sprawling region by building 660,000 new homes in the urban image of walkable, transit-friendly San Francisco.

Tea partiers and Occupiers make strange bedfellows opposing sprawl control

Maureen Nandini Mitra, SF Public Press — Jun 21 2012 - 1:22pm

So far, Plan Bay Area — an ambitious regional blueprint for dense urban communities convenient for walking and public transit — seems to have more strident critics than defenders. Some libertarians, liberal Democrats, environmentalists, professional urban planners and anti-capitalist Occupiers have all found issue with parts of the plan, and the way its authors have sought public opinion.

Muni asks drivers to hold it in while new bathrooms get approvals

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Jun 20 2012 - 5:19pm

Bus operators looking for a toilet after hours sitting in the driver’s seat will have to hold it just a little longer. That’s because Muni’s plans to build seven new free-standing bathrooms needs to be approved not just by the transit agency, but also Public Works and the Arts Commission. All told, it’s going to take six months.

Officials say planning for regional smart growth prevents ‘a world of hurt’

Chase Niesner, SF Public Press — Jun 15 2012 - 10:21pm

The leaders of Bay Area planning agencies are struggling to persuade local governments and community groups that joint planning will make the region more socially, economically and environmentally healthy. Dealing with sprawl, the focus of the summer print edition of the Public Press, was front and center on Friday’s edition of “Forum,” the daily public-affairs talk show on KQED Radio.

After a decade-plus of planning, San Francisco finally sets 2016 date for bus rapid transit

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — May 25 2012 - 3:16pm

It took the United States eight years to get a man on the moon, but it’s going to take transit officials almost 12 years to get a new high-speed “bus rapid transit” system onto one of San Francisco’s busiest corridors. The Van Ness Avenue project, which in 2006 was projected to open at the end of this year — in time for the Muni centennial — has been pushed back four more years, largely because transit planners had underestimated the time needed to complete the environmental work and project planning.

Express bus eyed for Caltrain to mid-Market run

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — May 14 2012 - 2:23pm

Muni officials want to start an express bus route to speed workers from the downtown San Francisco Caltrain to a revitalized mid-Market jobs hub. The rush-hour service would cater to what the city anticipates will be a growing technology business cluster near the new headquarters of social media giant Twitter.

Drivers to pay for Sunday parking; low-income youth will ride Muni free

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Apr 18 2012 - 9:25pm

Drivers who plan to spend a day in the city on Sundays should remember to bring their change to pay the parking meter. San Francisco’s transportation agency approved its two-year budget Tuesday, which included making motorists pay at parking meters on Sundays, handing out free Fast Passes to low-income youth and funding for more maintenance on Muni.

Muni brings back first streetcar from 1912

Hyemi Choi and Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Apr 5 2012 - 5:23pm

Mayor Ed Lee, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and city officials joined to celebrate Muni’s centennial year by re-introducing the transit system’s first streetcar from 1912. Muni turns 100 on Dec. 28.

Rerouted bus through heart of Mission District hurts business, neighbors say

Jerold Chinn and Sandy Lopez, SF Public Press/Mission Local — Mar 29 2012 - 8:36am

Riders and businesses in the Mission District say the rerouting of  major Muni bus lines is causing confusion and hurting commerce. The 14-Mission, 14L-Mission and 49-Mission/Van Ness, which usually travel along Mission Street, have been rerouted to South Van Ness since the beginning of March because of a repavement and infrastructure project by the Department of Public Works and Public Utilities Commission. The project affects Mission Street between 16th and Cesar Chavez streets.

America's Cup may be scaled-down, but transportation challenges are unchanged

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Mar 28 2012 - 5:47pm

City scrambles to invent temporary bus and train lines for legions of yacht race spectators

A version of this story appears in the Spring 2012 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

The effect of a scaled-down America's Cup plan on an ambitious transit effort is unclear as the city continues to view the expected flood of visitors for America’s Cup pre-events this August and October as a chance to experiment with new transit options. On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved an agreement with America's Cup organizers that will put more of the spectator activity along the Marina Green. The transit plan for the game calls for an estimated 300,000 spectators around the waterfront — the equivalent of almost half the average weekday Muni ridership of 637,000 — city planners said they have to get nearly everyone out of cars to prevent transportation chaos.

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