If the Fiscal Year 2011 budget debate in Washington has been dramatic, it has also unfolded utterly predictably. But though threats to HSR funding were foreseeable, their ultimate effect is still highly uncertain.
Several weeks ago, I attended a briefing at the SFCTA on the progress of the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit project. BRT along Van Ness is currently in the midst of final environmental studies and preliminary engineering. Public comment will be solicited this spring on the Environmental Impact Report, after which the project team will recommend a preferred alternative for adoption by the Authority and SFMTA boards.
The Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission released their Initial Vision Scenario for growth in the Bay Area at a meeting in Oakland today. By 2035, the scenario assumes the Bay Area will grow by 2 million people (to 9.4 million) and 1.2 million jobs (to 4.5 million).
Largest Mall in the World is a Chinese Ghost Town
The world's largest mall, located in Southern China, is a vast ghost land with occupancy rates that hover at 1%. The mall, built to serve what may someday become a Chinese mega-city, is a glimpse at what can occur when development precedes growth.
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority is working on an update to the city’s Long Range Transportation Plan. As part of the update, the authority has been conducting analysis of transportation patterns in the city, and looking at projected growth, and its implications.
Plans for Treasure Island are moving forward to the Planning Commission in March. SPUR is a big supporter of this plan, which will create 8,000 units of housing, 30 percent of which will be affordable, and 450,000 square feet of retail space; rehabilitate historic structures; create 300 acres of open space; and add new ferry service. We especially like the way in which the proposed new development is clustered around the new ferry terminal, as opposed to dispersed across the island.
Beginning this month, Californians will have a new option for auto insurance. It’s called Pay As You Drive (PAYD), and it could save money and reduce our impact on the environment at the same time.
The next several weeks in Washington promise to offer extremely important insights into the future of public transportation spending in this country. Watershed moments are ahead for most every item on the SPUR agenda. Here’s a quick primer of why and of what’s at stake for advocates of smart growth:
San Francisco might be the cultural center of the region, but in the technology sector the city has generally played second fiddle to the Silicon Valley. That began to change during the dot-com boom and then again more recently, a new generation of startups is setting up in neighborhoods like SoMa and Potrero Hill. (SPUR discussed the trend in its “year in urbanism” recap.)
When it comes to global sporting events, almost as intense as the competition between star athletes is the competition between cities to play host.
That’s because hosting a major international sporting event presents a unique opportunity for a city to redefine its development goals, stimulate investment and boost tourism.
Update: our POPOS guide is now available as an iPhone app, too!
The December 21, 2010 announcement that San Francisco's polluting Potrero Power Plant would shut down by the end of the year was as much a cause for celebration as it was a reason to recount the twists and turns that it took to finally shutter the city's last fossil fuel-burning commercial power plant.
Our new governor is proposing to eliminate redevelopment in California. Yesterday, SPUR's executive director, Gabriel Metcalf, weighed in on the debate with an opinion piece in the Chronicle, arguing that we should reform, rather than eliminate, redevelopment.
[Photo Credit: flickr user Todd Gilens]
The LEED Silver San Francisco Federal Building set a standard for green construction in the city [Photo Credit: flickr user Oldvidhead]