Dick Spotswood: Larkspur ferry parking structure stalled by ideology

By Dick Spotswood : marinij – excerpt

Golden Gate Ferry statistics show that peak-period boats are at capacity. Likewise, the ferry terminal parking lot off Sir Francis Drake Boulevard is jammed. Significantly, there’s demand for increased ferry service on the existing route to the San Francisco Ferry Building and, given water transit’s rising popularity, a new route to South of Market/Mission Bay would be well-patronized.

Expansion of both ferry capacity and parking would enable more commuters to leave their cars before enjoying quick trans-bay travel on new high-speed catamaran ferries. To make that progress happen, an essential component is a new multi-story ferry terminal parking facility. It’ll cost about $35 million. Finance it by issuing bonds and paying them back from parking lot revenue.

It hasn‘t happened because Marin County’s transportation pooh-bahs don’t want it to happen. They dream that new ferry riders will elect to bike to the terminal or take under-utilized but inconvenient ferry feeder buses. The idea of enabling commuters to drive to the ferry is anathema to their purist ideology… (more)

The numbers are in. Public transit is losing ridership. It is time to replace the anti-car attitude and failed system with a user-friendly “the customer is always right” management style. Try catering to the public instead of steering them. If people want parking near transit stations give them parking.

CVP challenges the Draft EIR for the Sir Francis Drake Boulevard Rehab Project

By Bob Silvestri : marinpost – excerpt

Community Venture Partners  has sent the following public comment letter to Dan Dawson, Principal Transportation Planner in charge of the proposed Sir Francis Drake Boulevard Rehabilitation Project and its Draft Environmental Impact Report:

Dear Mr. Dawson:

We have reviewed the SFD DEIR and respectfully submit the following comments:

As you know, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard is one of the most important thoroughfares in the county and it is well known for its intolerable traffic congestion. After reviewing the DEIR, CVP questions whether the improvements being proposed won’t in fact make traffic congestion even worse. The proposed changes to the roadway include reconfiguration of all the major intersections and per your descriptions, “modifications” (narrowing) of the vehicular traffic lane widths for the entire length of the roadway included in the project.

Our review of the DEIR and its attachments finds them to be deficient and in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”)..

The findings from our review are numerous. In summary, the County has:

(1) Violated CEQA by failing to provide an adequate “project description” containing specific information about what the “modifications” of vehicular traffic will actually entail, i.e., the DEIR provides no dimensions or other design specifics about how much lane narrowing will actually occur or where it will occur, though from your correspondence with us, we are informed it will be “throughout the corridor”;…(more)

Interesting suggestion for more better shuttle services instead of costly , disruptive road re-configurations in comments below. This appears to be one of the approaches San Mateo is taking to their traffic problems, according to this article: https://savesfmuni.wordpres…

Marin doesn’t deserve criticism from Sacramento

By Dick Spotswood : marinij – excerpt

Marin-bashing is a popular state Capitol pastime. Look at criticism Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-Greenbrae, endured when he passed legislation defining Marin as — are you ready for this — “suburban” instead of “urban.”

It’s a politically risk-free avocation for glib legislators of both parties whose constituents resent prosperous coastal suburbs in general, and Marin in particular.

An IJ reader suggested a 2016 article by journalist Scott Lucas in the real estate industry news site Curbed-San Francisco. It explained that much of the “housing crisis” lies with planning policies pursued by San Francisco and metro San Jose. Those booming areas successfully lured tax-producing industries without matching them with housing for new workers.

Lucas repeats that “regional planners ought to manage growth to achieve an appropriate ratio (between) housing units and jobs.”

This jobs-housing balance is held out as a planning ideal based on the notion that “cities where the jobs are ought to have housing too.”

The term refers to the ratio of employment opportunities and population in specific places. It illuminates what generates commuter traffic congestion.

It’s a difficult-to-achieve goal. Due to economics and lifestyle choices many humans ignore planners’ command to live close to jobs.

It emerges that at the bottom of the pile of jurisdictions with far more jobs than housing is San Francisco, go-go growth San Jose and San Mateo County.

Which counties are doing the best balancing housing and jobs?

The answer will shock Marin bashers: Marin and Sonoma… (more)

California Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Salmon in Marin


by Joanna Nasar : indybay – excerpt

San Francisco (March 6, 2014) – Marin County Wide Plan Ruled Unlawful: CA Appeals Court Affirms SPAWN Position that County Failed to Analyze Cumulative Impacts and Provided Spurious Mitigation for Destruction of Salmon Habitat

Turtle Island Restoration Network ‘s Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) won a legal battle with the County of Marin to protect the last population of wild California coho coastal salmon…The case will now move to back to the lower court with a clear mandate from the CA Appeals Court to adequately protect California’s endangered coho salmon…

Read the Court’s opinion here: http://bit.ly/1f9e4v3  …

Turtle Island Restoration Network (http://www.SeaTurtles.org) works to mobilize people and communities around the world to protect marine wildlife, the oceans and the inland waterways that sustain them. The Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN http://www.spawnusa.org) is a project of Turtle Island that works to protect endangered salmon and their habitat in the Marin County, CA.  http://www.spawnusa.org

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