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    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

San Jose Approves Big Plans for Diridon Station

July 9, 2014 By Kristy Wang, Community Planning Director
San Jose’s City Council approved the Diridon Station Area Plan (DSAP) after a five-year process. The DSAP focuses on dense mixed-use growth in a transit-rich infill location, includes needed improvements to the pedestrian and bicycle network and commits to better transportation management planning. However, close oversight will be important moving forward to ensure that Diridon Station becomes the transit-rich hub it was envisioned to be.

SF Poised to Create State's First Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone

July 7, 2014 By Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager
San Francisco is once again poised to be a pioneer in urban agriculture policy. In June, Supervisor David Chiu introduced an ordinance that create California's first urban agriculture incentive zone and allow property owners who contract their land into urban agricultural use for at least five years to receive a property tax reduction

Can a New Law Free Cities From Car-Oriented Development?

June 26, 2014 By Libby Nachman and Ratna Amin
Why is it taking so long to retrofit our car-oriented cities to make them more walkable and bikeable? In part, it’s because of an antiquated engineering concept called “auto level of service” or LOS. Here’s how LOS came to control our built environment — and what the State of California is doing to release the hold this little-known metric has had on our cities.

How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Roundabouts

June 25, 2014 By Maria Bakali and Benjamin Grant
SPUR is leading a transportation study at Ocean Beach to further develop the access and circulation recommendations of the Ocean Beach Master Plan. The transportation design team has proposed a new solution for Skyline Boulevard: a series of well designed modern roundabouts.

El Niño Brewing: Rough Waters Ahead for Ocean Beach?

June 19, 2014 By Benjamin Grant and Shannon Fiala
Recent data suggest that an El Niño weather pattern may develop in the Pacific Ocean this year. El Niños typically generate wetter and more frequent winter storms in California, with potential implications for erosion at Ocean Beach. What will these storms mean for the future of the beach, and for the recommendations in SPUR’s Ocean Beach Master Plan?

Why We Need the Central Subway in North Beach and Beyond

May 28, 2014 By Julienne Christensen
The Central Subway extension of the T-Third light rail to Chinatown doesn’t include a plan for future service to North Beach or the neighborhoods beyond. A community-led movement is ensuring the proper evaluation of the light rail extension. Residential, commercial, transit and tourist hubs are heavily concentrated on the eastern side of the city, yet not enough fast and reliable transit connections exist between them.

What’s Happening With California’s High-Speed Rail System

May 20, 2014 By Ben Tripousis and Boris Lipkin
California's high-speed rail project, which will connect Los Angeles to San Francisco in under three hours, is making progress on numerous fronts. There are updates surrounding the project's construction, routes, funding, lawsuits and new business plan.

Show Us the Money: How Will Cap and Trade Revenues Be Spent?

May 6, 2014 By Laura Tam, Sustainable Development Policy Director
Between 2013 and 2020, California will earn between $12 billion and $45 billion in cap-and-trade revenue. The state has already received hundreds of millions of dollars from auction revenues over the last 18 months, with that number poised to be in the billions annually within a few years. Now the state needs to decide: How will the money be spent?
Fort Mason Community Garden. Photo courtesy of Flickr user greychr

San Francisco’s New Urban Agriculture Program Up and Running

May 5, 2014 Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager
After many months of planning, San Francisco’s new urban agriculture program launched in January . The program, designed to coordinate and increase the city’s support for city farmers and gardeners, recently released details about its first year priorities.

Can We Make Bay Area Transit Make Sense?

May 1, 2014 By Ratna Amin, Transportation Policy Director
SPUR recently hosted a charrette to look at how we can make the region’s array of transit operators function more like one clear, understandable system. Transit operators, regional planners, transporation experts and private transportation providers gathered to share what they've learned and where the opportunities lie.

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