• News

    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

What the Presidential Election Means for the Bay Area

November 21, 2016 By Gabriel Metcalf, SPUR President
The presidential vote was about many things, but it was in part a protest against what the Bay Area stands for. Our embrace of diversity. Our high taxes and social programs. Our willingness to challenge traditional norms of gender. Our love of cities. What do those values mean — and what should we be doing to support them going forward?

A New Vision for Oakland’s Streets: the OakDOT Strategic Plan

October 27, 2016 By Arielle Fleisher, Transportation Policy Associate
The strategic plan just released by Oakland’s new Department of Transportation reflects the city’s activist spirit and opens a new chapter focused on easier and safer access to walking, biking and transit — for everyone. Here are five priorities in the plan that we think will make the biggest difference for Oakland’s transportation future, along with suggestions for how make sure this vision is realized.

What Would Happen to the Bay Area If BART Stopped Running?

October 26, 2016 Ratna Amin, Transportation Policy Director
BART was created in the early 1970s and over the last 40 years it has become central to the mobility, economic health and sustainability of the Bay Area. Measure RR funds the projects most needed to improve system performance and allow BART to plan for future capacity needs, including track replacement, tunnel repair, and electrical system upgrades, to allow more frequent and reliable service.

SPUR Ballot Recommendations, Now in Haiku!

October 10, 2016 By the SPUR Staff*
This November, Bay Area voters will wade through dozens of ballot measures. As usual, SPUR has conducted in-depth analysis and made recommendations on all local measures in San Francisco — and this year we’re endorsing several in San Jose and Oakland, as well. To simplify the results, we’ve distilled our recommendations into verse. For your enjoyment, we present Voter Haiku.

Modernize San Jose's Outdated Business Tax: Vote Yes on Measure G

October 5, 2016 By Laura Tolkoff, San Jose Policy Director
For years, San Jose had to cut services and staff, defer maintenance on infrastructure and postpone policies that would support its transition to a more urban city. Now is the time for the city to shift toward reinvestment. Measure G would update and restructure the business tax and could double business tax revenue from $12.7 million to $25.4 million in its first year.

Two Things All Successful Cities Do

September 29, 2016 By Laura Tolkoff, San Jose Policy Director
Economically successful cities do two things right: They build and attract talent, and they create urban places. The Bay Area has one of the most dynamic economies in the world — but we can’t rest on our laurels. As Joe Cortright noted during a recent talk at SPUR San Jose, we need to build more and better cities to continue attracting and retaining top talent.

Support Affordable Housing in Santa Clara County: Vote Yes on Measure A

September 28, 2016 By Teresa Alvarado, San Jose Director
Santa Clara County is now one of the most expensive places to live in the country. The median home price is approaching $1 million, and ever-increasing rents have resulted in displacement pressures and a growing homeless population. In November, voters in Santa Clara County have an opportunity to help those who are most in need of housing and improve quality of life for all.

Lessons for Diridon: Rebuilding Rotterdam Centraal Station

September 22, 2016 By Laura Tolkoff and Deike Peters*
Over the next decade, San Jose’s Diridon Station will be remade into the first high-speed rail station in the country and the busiest transportation hub west of the Mississippi. What models can guide the planning for this major opportunity? Rotterdam Centraal, in the Netherlands, has a number of parallels to Diridon and offers an excellent model of what a modern transportation hub can be.

Make Alameda County More Affordable: Support Measure A1

September 19, 2016 By Sarah Karlinsky, Senior Policy Advisor
In November, residents of Alameda County will have the opportunity to make their cities more affordable by supporting Measure A1. This $580 million bond is badly needed, and would fund the creation of permanently affordable rental housing and help moderate-income households afford home ownership.

Taking Care of Basic Needs: Support Measure KK, the Oakland Infrastructure Bond

September 13, 2016 By Robert Ogilvie, Oakland Director
The City of Oakland has $2.5 billion in unfunded capital needs, including a $443 million paving backlog. Libraries and parks need maintenance and upgrades, as do fire stations. And the city’s shortage of affordable housing is displacing long-term residents. But Measure KK, on the ballot in Oakland this November, will help to address these and other problems.

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