Report No. 2 from the Southeast Bay

Here is how things look to a young BATWG activist:

reportfromse2I believe to get bay area residents out of their cars, we need good public transit, a network of safe bicycle/e-scooter trails and more safety for pedestrians.

I think good public transit is a must, but the bay area has a unique challenge because it was built out with low density developments. Frequent service for mass transit needs high density developments for both housing and office space so that ridership can be high enough to make the dense network of stations and routes that run frequently economically viable. We don’t have that and there is also little support for high density developments … and that is where bikes and e-scooters etc. … come in. In essence, e-scooters and bikes turn low density developments into places with higher “effective density” since they increase a person’s non-automotive range. Continue reading

An Update on AC Transit

busonlylaneBecause of the sluggish pace of Bay Area infrastructure development it is estimated that a half a century will slip by before another transbay passenger rail service is up and running. In the meantime it is incumbent on AC Transit to carry a much greater share of the transbay travel load than it currently is. According to AC Transit sources, with the addition of 40 new double decker buses it would be possible to expand its transbay peak period operation from today’s 150 buses an hour to 190 buses an hour. This is still far below the 300 buses an hour that AC’s grossly oversized bus deck in the new Salesforce Transit Center is capable of handling. More buses would help, but the big challenge for AC Transit is to boost its transbay ridership from today’s puny 14,500 riders a day to something closer to the 24,000 riders an hour that the new bus deck is capable of handling. Continue reading

Providing Adequate Security on BART

Honorable Bevan Dufty
President of the BART Board

Subject: Providing Adequate Security on BART

Dear President Dufty and other members of the BART Board of Directors:

It is come to our attention that in recent hearings, the BART Board, bowing to intense pressure from people who claim to be privacy advocates, has backed away from previous efforts to ensure security and safety in BART cars and in and around BART stations.

BATWG strongly supports reasonable security arrangements conducted in accordance with established State and federal law. From our review of case law and elements of the Government Code it appears to be quite legal to visually monitor people in legitimately public areas. These would include the interiors of BART trains, the public areas inside BART stations and the BART-owned public areas around BART stations. If BART believes that statutory and/or case law; or contractual or other legal requirements exist that contradict our findings, we ask that we, and the public, be made aware of the specifics thereof. Continue reading

Who Should be Sponsoring DTX?

Caltrain1In recent years San Francisco City Hall has taken a lot of heat from BATWG and other groups for its lack of commitment to bringing the Caltrain trains downtown and into the new Salesforce Transit Center. While past and present municipal officials have often been effusive in their praise of the extension project (DTX), no one actually does much. The City of San Francisco’s financial contribution to the new Transit Center and DTX extension stands at less 2% of the project cost, compared to its 37% allocation to the Third Street/Central Subway project.  In any event, for whatever reason the government of San Francisco has been unable to advance DTX. Continue reading

RAB and DTX: A Letter to the S.F. Board of Supervisors

The below letter, which was hand-delivered to the SF Board of Supervisors on September 4, 2018, outlines the damage to San Francisco that would be caused by relocating Caltrain’s 4th and King rail yard to some distant location and/or by delaying the extension of Caltrain into the new SF Terminal. Please feel free to contact any of us if there are questions or a need for discussion.

Dear Supervisors,

It is our understanding that the S.F. Board of Supervisors will shortly be called upon to approve the Department of City Planning’s Rail Alignment Benefit (RAB) Report. As you evaluate it, please consider the following:

The RAB planners have been planning the full build-out of Mission Bay for over four years. They have used up their $1.7 million budget and are now looking for add-on work. Most of the RAB proposals, first revealed by the Chronicle’s Matier and Ross on May 18, 2015 and first publicly presented by RAB on February 23, 2016, have since been quietly dropped. Two remain:

Continue reading