Powell Station death serves as a grim reminder. BART doors don’t stop for anyone

By Veronica Irwin : sfexaminer – excerpt

What you need to know about safety sensors on the trains

The death of San Francisco resident Amy Adams last Monday serves as a reminder: BART doors do not have motion sensors to keep them from closing when something’s in the way.

Adams, 41, had boarded a Dublin/Pleasanton town train at Powell Street station a little after 3 p.m. Monday with her dog, before exiting “at the very last second,” according to a BART press release. The doors closed with her dog on the train, its leash wrapped around Adams’ waist. When the BART train left, Adams was dragged onto the tracks and to her death.

It’s a horrific tragedy, raising many questions. Don’t BART doors have motion sensors that could have detected the presence of a leash caught between them? Shouldn’t there be a button by which passengers could reopen doors in an emergency?…(more)

Parking fee proposed for Stinson Beach

By Ike Allen : ptreyeslight – excerpt

The Stinson Beach parking lot may soon become one of the first in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area with parking fees. High operating costs coupled with a dramatic increase in visitation prompted the National Park Service to propose charging visitors $3 an hour to park at Stinson Beach, where they currently park for free.

The daily maximum would be limited to $10, and the fees would take effect in mid to late 2022. The National Park Service is accepting public comment on the proposal until Sept. 26. Comments can be submitted via email to goga_business or phone at (415) 561.4700.

“The National Park Service is committed to ensuring underserved audiences have access to parks and all of the inspiring opportunities they have to offer,” Julian Espinoza, a spokesman for G.G.N.R.A, said in a statement. “We have worked hard to ensure the proposed fees are affordable and in keeping with costs for similar nearby amenities offered by other organizations.”

Yet Jesse Peri, chief of the Stinson Beach Fire Protection District, said his department is concerned about the potential impacts of the proposed fees on street parking in town, and said he hopes the park will give Stinson Beach residents more time to raise their concerns.

“It is too short of a window to allow for adequate public comment,” Chief Peri said.

Walking, biking or taking a bus ride to Stinson Beach is to going to happen. This is patently redlining beach access by keeping lower income people off the beach. Guess what happens next? No double developers are already salivating ready to swoop up property rights. Why else would they cut people off from the beach.

The state of the streets of SF

Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods (CSFN) is hosting two programs on the State of the Streets of San Francisco in September on Zoom. Meetings will be taped. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 6:30PM – Zoom meeting
SFMTA Director Jeff Tumlin is our featured speaker at the General Assembly meeting. There will be some time for Q and A. We are inviting people to put questions and comments in the chat or to send them in ahead of time for inclusion in our discussions. Any items that we don’t have time to cover at the first meeting will be raised at a second meeting a week later. Request an invitation to the  meetings. zrants@gmail.com.  See details and updates here: 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021, 6:30PM – Zoom meeting 
We scheduled a second meeting a week later to allow for more public discussion on the State of the Streets of San Francisco. You may send comments and questions ahead of the meeting to: zrants@gmail.com. Details and updates will be posted here:

Download Streets Flyer

CA: S.F. leaders mark Transit Month by riding Muni. But how will they fund the transit service?

By Ricardo Cano : masstransitmag – excerpt

The city’s transportation agency wants riders’ input on whether they value restoring more lines or making existing ones run more frequently as it decides the next wave of limited service restorations next year.

Sep. 8—Jeffrey Tumlin was running late.

The director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency rushed to the West Portal station fare gates, about 30 minutes behind schedule for a rally outside of San Francisco City Hall that was meant to highlight Muni’s importance to the city and coalesce support to fund the financially struggling transit system.

“I missed my 48 (bus line), and it’s running on 20-minute headways,” Tumlin told a group of city officials and transit riders waiting to board a shuttle train from West Portal station to City Hall.

Tumlin’s morning encapsulated the state of Muni 18 months after the pandemic worsened the transit agency’s perpetual financial crisis…(more)

San Francisco taxis look to compete with upfront ride cost

By Jerold China : sfbayca – excerpt

San Francisco’s taxi industry is taking a big step in the effort to compete with Uber and Lyft.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors, which regulates taxis, approved a pilot program that will allow taxi companies to quote passengers travel costs before ride requests are made, as Uber and Lyft have done for years now.

Kate Toran, director of taxis at the SFMTA, said the app will quote fare based on the meter rate and an algorithm, and enables passengers to accept or reject the ride. Toran said providing fare upfront will help avoid “meter anxiety” passengers experience as they watch meters continue to tick up, adding:

“This is a functionality that other types of services allow. Moving the taxi industry in this direction we think is a real benefit.”…(more)

Good to see taxis using the technology to their advantage.

$10 Parking Could Be Coming to Baker Beach, Other Park Service-Managed Parks

By Joe Kukura : sfist – excerpt

You might be shelling out $10 to park at Baker Beach, Land’s End, and a host of other SF and Marin County parks under a new proposal from the National Park Service.

The patchwork of San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin County parks known as the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) has welcomed more than 12.4 million visitors over the course of the pandemic, as people have looked to get out of their indoor Zoom-wormholes and get some fresh air. But those 12.4 million visitors have kind of taken a toll on the place. “There’s so much trash and the dumpster there is just overflowing all the time there now,” nearby SF resident Lucy Sogard told KTVU(more)

The poor Fedreal government has found one more way to charge families for yet another family fun day outdoors. What will happen to all those families finding themselves left out of free access to the beach and local parks? How likely will they be to support the government that takes away their free access to public lands?

Nation’s First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Ferry to Launch in California

By Skip Descent : govtech – excerpt

The 75-passenger ferry is nearing manufacturing completion at a ship facility in Washington state, and will launch in the San Francisco region in the fall. From there, the ferry will undergo a three-month data collection and testing phase where the boat will operate in a number of different service profiles to test the fuel cell system in different modes and applications. The project was awarded a $3 million grant by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

“The objective of that is to make public this data, and for the state to understand a techno-economic analysis on the fuel cell system, and the viability of that to apply to other hovercraft and the like,” said Elias Van Sickle, director of commercial development and operations at SWITCH Maritime…(more)

SWITCH Maritime is set to launch the Sea Change, a hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric ferry in the San Francisco Bay. The zero-emission vessel is designed to accommodate around 75 passengers.


San Francisco’s Cyclists Cheer a Road Less Traveled. Museums Mourn It.

By Adam Nagourney : nytimes – excerpt

Though pedestrians and cyclists are rejoicing at a Golden Gate Park ban on cars, rebounding museums fear the detour will keep visitors away.

SAN FRANCISCO — From the top of the Hamon Observation Tower at the de Young Museum, with its sweeping views of San Francisco, John F. Kennedy Drive cuts a gentle curve through Golden Gate Park below. It is, these days, a road without cars, set aside for pedestrians and bicyclists since the beginning of the pandemic, which forced the museum to shut down for nearly a year.

But as the de Young comes slowly back to life, this six-lane road has become a flash point, pitting two historically influential constituencies — cultural institutions and park enthusiasts — against each other in a divisive debate about public space, the arts and the priorities of a city rethinking its future after the pandemic.

For park-goers, closing the road to cars has shown what can be and should be: A broad boulevard that cuts through the city’s premier park, transformed into a safe, quiet refuge for people to enjoy on foot, Rollerblades, skate boards and bicycles.

For the museum, the closed road has become another obstacle as it tries to draw people back to an institution slightly off the beaten path. The road closing has cut off the vehicular approach from the north side of the park, made it more difficult for trucks to make deliveries and eliminated free parking spots, including some set aside for people with disabilities…

Megan Bourne, the chief of staff for the museums, said they were confronting a coalition that had been organizing for 20 years. “It has a large voice in the city,” she said. “It has a great deal of influence of how the roads are used.”…

Shamann Walton, the president of the board of supervisors, argued in an op-ed in the San Francisco Examiner that banning cars was “recreational redlining”; cutting off the park to people with disabilities and minorities who do not live near Golden Gate…

The board of supervisors, which will make the final decision on the road later this year, has asked for more study of the issue in the face of high emotions on both sides, but particularly from Golden Gate denizens who have been fighting this battle for decades.

“They are less experienced at advocacy and this type of civic engagement than the bicycle coalition and the other groups of activists who are pushing for a car-free J.F.K. Drive,” said Gordon Mar, a member of the board of supervisors whose district abuts the park. “The leadership of institutions like the de Young and the Academy of Sciences don’t engage in local policymaking and political efforts as much as the folk on the other side.”…(more)

The terms park enthusiasts and park-goers is inaccurate. The term should be anti-car groups, lead by the Bicycle Coaltion and SFWalk brigade. Park enthusiasts and park-goers include people who arrive or arrived by motor vehicles, including private and public vehicles. The widespread media hype about the closure of this and many other streets and parking difficulty and the car break-ins and muggings in SF has cut the number of visitors considerably.

The streets are not needed by the cyclists or pedestrians for days access and recreation as there are miles of bike paths and pedestrian walkways throughout the park that fully accommodate the needs of bikers and hikers.


Dear CRS: SUCCESS! Ed Wright, Mar’s legislative aid just called me to give heads up that Mayor Breed is announcing the reopening of the GH Aug. 16 to vehicles on weekdays and keeping it closed on weekends. Thank you Sup. Mar for listening to us. Ed said it would never have happened without our 16-month advocacy, so thanks to every one of you for helping to make this happen.

Now kids going back to school will be safer and the commuters will not be gridlocked to work and back! This is a great victory, but we still have to win the war, and that is the decision of what a pilot, if any, will look like. Now it should be easier to quash any notion of two more years of permanent closure! That is the next campaign, the pilot decision. But for now, be happy that the system did work finally for equity. The Great Walkway people are as we speak bombarding Mar’s office with outrage for taking away their playground, so please send emails to his office thanking him. Below I have reprinted the Press Release from the Mayor’s office.

Write to Mar and thank him!


– Patricia Arack

Press Release:

Stretch from Lincoln Way to Sloat Blvd will continue to be closed to car traffic on weekends and holidays, but will open up to car traffic during the week

San Francisco, CA — Today Mayor London N. Breed and Supervisor Gordon Mar with support from Supervisors Connie Chan and Myrna Melgar, announced that starting Monday, August 16th, the Great Highway will have an adjusted operational plan tied to the pandemic emergency closure. The Great Highway between Lincoln Way and Sloat Blvd will be open for weekends and holidays for pedestrian and bicycle use only, and open to car traffic on weekdays. The timing of this new operational plan is to combine with the first day of school to support students and families getting to and from school, as well as people returning to getting to and from work during the week.

Starting Monday, August 16th, the Great Highway will be closed to car traffic and open to pedestrians and bicycles only from Fridays at 12:00 pm until Monday at 6:00 am, and will be open to vehicular traffic from Mondays at 6:00 am to Fridays at 12:00 pm. On holidays, the Great Highway will also be closed to vehicular traffic. This modification phase to the emergency response will be in place until the Board of Supervisors considers legislation to establish a one- or two-year pilot in this or in another configuration that would extend beyond the pandemic emergency closure.

“The use of the Great Highway during this pandemic has revealed what we can do to provide our residents and families more opportunities to enjoy the west side of our city,” said Mayor Breed. “Having the Great Highway closed on weekends and holidays will make sure that residents and visitors still can enjoy this incredible space, while recognizing the needs of our families and residents who need to get to school and work during the week as we reopen. There has been a lot of ongoing community discussions and meetings about the long-term future of the Great Highway, and I look forward to that continuing over the coming months to inform the next phase of the project.”

“The creation of an oceanfront promenade on the Great Highway during the pandemic has been transformational, with incredible benefits and real challenges,” said Supervisor Mar. “It’ll take new and robust investments in westside transit and transportation to truly address the traffic impacts, and it’s unreasonable to continue a 24/7 closure without them. Meanwhile, a weekday roadway and weekend promenade is a meaningful compromise and the right road forward. We’re balancing the benefits of this unique open space with the real need for safe and efficient traffic flow, and maintaining an oceanfront promenade when it’s used the most while offering some relief during weekday commute times. I’m grateful to Mayor Breed for listening and working with us on this adjustment to the pandemic use of the Great Highway, while outreach moves forward to decide the post-pandemic use.”

“As the supervisor for the Richmond District, I have heard from most of my constituents the need for more travel access and connectivity in north-south directions, and the Great Highway has been a key roadway for access. The future of Great Highway must also include an increase of public transit routes and service frequency for the Richmond,” said Supervisor Chan, whose district includes Lone Mountain, Richmond and most of Golden Gate Park. “I want to thank Mayor Breed for hearing the Richmond District residents’ concerns and applaud her leadership for a solution to serve the purpose of outdoors recreation and travel access.”

In April 2020, the Great Highway was closed to vehicular traffic between Lincoln Way and Sloat Blvd as part of the City’s response to the pandemic and the need for there to be more space for people. Moving forward, San Francisco officials are undergoing a long-term process to plan for the long-term future of the Great Highway. These changes are being made to align with the reopening of schools and the City’s emergence from this pandemic.