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Monday, April 24, 2017

People and car traffic cross Howard Street at 7th Street. Howard has three traffic lanes, a bike lane and two parking lanes.
Howard at 7th Street.

We’re holding two open house meetings this week to show potential designs for a better Folsom and Howard streets in the South of Market area.

SoMa deserves livable streets. With our Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project, we aim to make these SoMa streets safer and more pleasant to walk, bike, shop and live on, and we need your help to make it happen.

This winter, at public open houses and online, more than 500 people told the SFMTA what their priorities were for improving Folsom and Howard streets. Community members gave us feedback on different elements of street design and what they thought made streets great.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Photos of one of Muni’s older, standard-length trolley buses at a stop on the 24 Divisadero route and one of Muni’s new, extended trolley buses traveling on the 14 Mission route.
Left: An older electric trolley bus (standard length). Right: A newer trolley bus (extended length).

You’ve seen Muni’s sleek new extended trolley buses roll out over the past couple of years. Now, it’s time for the rest of the electric bus fleet to get upgraded to the next generation.

All of Muni’s standard-length (40-foot) trolley buses, which you may know by the trolley poles that attach them to overhead wires on routes like the 1 California and 24 Divisadero, will be replaced with a new fleet by 2019. Thanks to an approval from our Board of Directors this week, the first new buses are due to arrive by the end of the year.

Like the new generation of Muni trains (which start service this year), these new trolley buses will go a long way towards making Muni more reliable, not to mention quieter and safer.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Muni bus on the 29 Sunset route on the recently-redesigned Mansell Street in McLaren Park.
A hybrid electric Muni bus on Mansell Street in McLaren Park, which was recently redesigned with a beautiful path for walking and biking.

Earth Day was started in 1970 to foster forward-thinking initiatives that would benefit the environment and the planet. At the SFMTA, we continue to meet that call to action with more achievements each year.

As Mayor Ed Lee announced this week, San Francisco reduced its greenhouse gas emissions to 28 percent below the 1990 levels in 2015, two years ahead of our goal to do so by 2017. Greenhouse gas emissions come from electricity, natural gas, fuel, waste and transportation, which is one of the largest contributors in the city, at about 46 percent (mostly from cars and trucks).

At the SFMTA, where we oversee Muni and all of San Francisco’s surface transportation, Earth Day’s message of sustainability is embedded in nearly every aspect of what we do every day.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Ed Reiskin speaking at a podium.

From the SFMTA’s Director of Transportation:

Not long ago, deaths caused by smoking, plane crashes and not wearing seatbelts were accepted as routine and commonplace in ways that are unthinkable in today’s United States. We’ve proven that, as a society, we can improve safety to achieve once inconceivable outcomes.

Last year in San Francisco, 30 people died just trying to make their way around town due to traffic collisions. The loss of these 30 mothers, sons, grandparents, friends and co-workers left many devastated, as have the similar numbers of deaths that have occurred in each recent year. These deaths are especially tragic because each one is preventable.

That’s why in 2014, we as a city adopted Vision Zero and said that by 2024, we would make traffic deaths a thing of the past. It may seem ambitious, or even unattainable, but no other goal is acceptable. We can absolutely prevent traffic deaths if we have the will to make it happen. We have seen dramatic success toward this goal in other cities and countries, and there’s no reason to think we can’t do it here in the City of St. Francis.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Events

Take advantage of the forecasted sunny weather this weekend by coming downtown to celebrate Earth Day or take in a heart-pounding bicycle race in the Mission.

Here are this weekend’s featured events.

A man and child walk barefoot in mud at the Earth Day Festival in Civic Center Plaza.
Earth Day Fest at Civic Center Plaza. Photo via BARTable

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

One-hundred and eleven years ago, in the cool pre-dawn of April 18th, 1906, a massive earthquake rocked San Francisco, forever changing the landscape and future development of our fair, foggy city.

Among the buildings that never quite recovered from the quake and fires was a handsome brick cable car powerhouse that had stood as a landmark since 1883 at the corner of Market and Valencia streets, which was long known as "The Hub.” The Market and Valencia Powerhouse, owned and operated by the private United Railroads Company, was a key cable car facility, providing propulsion power and a variety of repair services.

Black and white photo taken in June, 1906 of a large brick building on Market and Valencia Streets. The building is partially damaged with the top of a tall smokestack broken off and light black smoke coming out of it.  Surrounding the building are piles of rubble from destroyed and damaged buildings.
A view of the Market and Valencia Powerhouse in June of 1906, two months after the earthquake and subsequent fires, which left residents without basic amenities like potable water. “Boil all water” can be seen scrawled on the side of the building as an impromptu public service notice.

As San Francisco scrambled to get back on its feet after the disaster, most of its cable car lines were converted to electric streetcar lines, and the powerhouse was no longer needed to move cable cars along Market Street. Instead, the facility occupying the block bounded by Market, Valencia, McCoppin and Gough streets became the site of a manufacturing plant for hot, tarry bitumen, a material used in pavement.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Outbound 48 Quintara-24th Street bus driving past a yellow building in the afternoon.

SFMTA Board of Directors Meeting

Tuesday, April 18, 1 p.m.
City Hall, Room 400
Nearby Muni Routes: 5, 19, 21, 47, 49, F Market, Metro-Civic Center Station

The agenda for tomorrow’s Board of Directors meeting includes approval of a parking-protected bike lane along eastbound 13th Street, between Folsom and Bryant streets, and contract amendments to purchase 185 new 40-foot electric trolley buses.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Market Street bike lane with plastic safe-hit posts of different heights and colors, that feature a raised plastic curb at their base.
In a new experiment on Market Street, we’ve installed four types of safe-hit posts along a block of bike lane.

Plastic “safe-hit” posts may be a relatively quick and low-cost way to separate bike lanes from traffic lanes, but to do their job, they need to last.

This week, we started a new experiment to identify the most durable safe-hit post design by installing four different types of them along a block of Market Street, westbound from 9th to 10th Street. It’s part of our efforts to adopt and improve upon the best practices for building effective protected bike lanes.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A corner on Vicente Street with existing “front-in” angled parking and “daylighting.”
A corner on Vicente Street with existing “front-in” angled parking and “daylighting.”

Like most streets in the Outer Sunset, Vicente Street has road space to spare. We’ve proposed changes to Vicente, from 17th Avenue to the beach, that would re-align parking spaces to add more of them, improve visibility at street corners and add bike lanes.

These changes are on the agenda for our bi-weekly engineering public hearing tomorrow, and there will be other chances to weigh in on them before they’re approved.

Here are the changes proposed for Vicente, between 17th Ave. and Lower Great Highway:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Another fun-filled weekend awaits us – you can cheer on the Giants as they wrap up their first home stand of the season, enjoy the second weekend of the Cherry Blossom Festival and take your pick of Easter events with the Union Street Easter Fair or Mt. Davidson Easter Sunrise Service.

Check out this week’s featured events below.

Ladies in gray dresses sit on a red and white float waving to the crowd under a bright blue sky.
The Japan Center Garage Corporation float in the 2013 Cherry Blossom Parade. Photo: Gary Stevens/Flickr