This category contains 13 posts

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Last week was a week of contrasts for the commuter rail line that connects San Francisco to the Peninsula and South Bay.¬† At the start of the week, Caltrain was poised to certify an environmental impact report, thus formally approving and adopting its electrification project. ¬†This would be a big milestone, as it would finally … Continue reading

Another Year, Another BART Service Change

You’ve probably already heard, but just in case you hadn’t, BART will revert to its pre-2008 headways starting Monday, September 14. The longstanding dream of 15-minute off-peak headways — that sweet spot where more riders are willing to head to a station spontaneously, and use the system like a true metro service — lasted less … Continue reading

Peninsula Investments

It’s funny how things sometimes turn out. In terms of funding, BART has long been the Bay Area’s favorite son. Year after year, BART is allocated a major piece of the region’s transit funding pie, a piece that is disproportionately large for the number of people it moves. Meanwhile: slow, antiquated, dirty, screechy Caltrain has … Continue reading

The Pedestrianization Fever Moves South

University & Bryant, in downtown Palo Alto. Courtesy of Flickr user ikkoskinen. Has the new 17th Street pedestrian plaza in San Francisco’s Castro District set off a spark? San Francisco is not the only Bay Area city that dreams of creating bustling new pedestrian open spaces, nor is it the only one that isn’t quite … Continue reading

Open Thread and Early May News Roundup

I have been too busy lately to post regularly, but there is still plenty going on in the world of Bay Area planning and transit. My guess, and hope, is that people will still want to discuss the news, even though I am unable to pull enough time together to prepare full posts on these … Continue reading

Shifting Funds, Shifty Priorities

First, A Few Numbers (and Acronyms) Regular readers may recall our previous discussion of Transportation 2035, the latest update to MTC’s ongoing efforts on the Regional Transportation Plan. Earlier this year, we wrote a special feature that describes the multifaceted plan, fleshing out how MTC has proposed to allocate $226 billion of local, state, and … Continue reading

BART to San Jose (Volume 2): The Shadow of the Past

Dashed dreams at Millbrae Station. Buried in the middle of the introductory post about BART to San Jose was the project’s ridership projection for the year 2030: about 104,000 riders. That number was settled on in 2006, but in 2005, the official projection had even gone as high as 111,500, before the two downtown stations … Continue reading

Celebrating a Milestone and Biding Time

Hey, Caltrain: nice work. This past fiscal year, the underappreciated regional rail corridor linking Santa Clara, San Mateo, and San Francisco Counties has enjoyed the highest annual ridership in its history (now 145 years and counting): close to 12 million riders, or an average of almost 38,000 each weekday. The average weekday ridership in May … Continue reading

On Walkability, Density, and Transit Villages

It’s official: according to the rankings, San Francisco has been determined to be America’s most walkable city, as reported by the Chronicle. Our fair city’s score of 86 out of 100 just edged out New York’s 83, Boston’s 79, Chicago’s 76, and Philadelphia’s 74. The WalkScore algorithm does have some shortcomings (which the site … Continue reading

June 2008 Election: State Legislature Roundup

This post will provide some information on the Democratic primary for the California legislature campaigns. The blurbs that follow are essentially endorsements, but I hesitate to use the word “endorsement” here, because to my mind, use of that word ought to be supported by a fuller discussion, drawing on a large range of issues. Because … Continue reading


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