On May 4 SPUR released a major report, "Climate Change Hits Home," that lays out what the Bay Area must do to start preparing for the coming effects of climate change. This project, a multi-year effort by a team of top climate scientists and government leaders, represents a turning point for SPUR.
The back window of our office here at SPUR looks out on a building with an entertaining tenant, a green Pacific Parrotlet who has free range of his studio apartment and an impressive collection of plastic toys. After observing his activities, we became curious about our feathered neighbor and Tweeted him the old-fashioned way. We taped a note up in the window:
Hi green bird!
We think you’re awesome.
What’s your name?
Tomorrow, April 27, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) will vote on a final Committed Funds and Projects Policy for Plan Bay Area. This policy mouthful is an important step in defining which regional transportation projects will receive funding and which ones must undergo more thorough analysis.
Skyways -- enclosed, elevated sidewalks -- have protected pedestrians from the brutal weather in Minneapolis and St. Paul for decades. But these 1970s relics have also been accused of killing pedestrian activity on city streets.
While the Bay Area is still climbing out of the great recession, we’re simultaneously experiencing the makings of a second dot-com boom. The Chronicle reports that tech jobs have climbed near to their year 2000 peak of 34,116. Silicon Valley is hiring again. And so is San Francisco.
Known for its quality of life and access to nature, Seattle has long prided itself on refusing to be “world class.” But rapid growth and a diversifying population mean Seattle is changing — whether it wants to or not.
The City of San Francisco owns 1,625 parcels of unmaintained paved land, odd alley-like spaces behind industrial buildings and beneath overpasses. Most are no wider than a city street, but together they have a combined surface area half the size of Golden Gate Park.
Co-working studio [Photo by flickr user ahopsi]
According to a piece in Sunday’s Chronicle, tech employment in San Francisco is approaching its dot-com peak:
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: