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    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

Why We Can’t Leave Transportation Apps to the Private Sector

April 25, 2018 By Ratna Amin, Transportation Policy Director and Arielle Fleisher, Transportation Policy Associate
Uber’s recent announcement that it is adding new travel modes to its platform caught the public transportation sector flat footed. It’s time for Bay Area transportation leaders to start setting a vision for mobility-as-a-service, an approach that makes many transportation choices available through a single platform and payment system. For many reasons, we need government — not the private sector — to take the lead.

With or Without Autonomous Vehicles: 11 Strategies for a Better Transportation Future

April 24, 2018 By Ratna Amin, SPUR Transportation Policy Director
The adoption of autonomous vehicles on a grand scale is not inevitable, and their predicted benefits have not yet been proven. As we plan for the transportation system of the future, we should set goals that we will accomplish with AVs or without them. The following are effective strategies to manage traffic and make it easier to get around — even if AVs never arrive.

The HayWired Earthquake Scenario: How We Can Outsmart Disaster

April 23, 2018 By Laurie A. Johnson*
What would you and your family do if a serious earthquake struck the East Bay? The U.S. Geological Society has released a major study of a hypothetical magnitude-7.0 earthquake striking on the Hayward Fault. Known as the HayWired earthquake scenario, the project uses scientific modeling of realistic impacts to envision what would happen — and what we need to do to get ready.

A Bay Area With Autonomous Vehicles — or Without Them

April 19, 2018 By Ratna Amin, SPUR Transportation Policy Director
Depending on who you talk to, the introduction of autonomous vehicles could be a panacea or endlessly fraught with problems. But AVs are not inevitable: We need to plan for many possible scenarios. As part of the SPUR Regional Strategy , we have launched research on the Bay Area's future transportation system. Here’s a look at our thinking on how AVs could manifest in cities.

What the Bridge Housing Pilot Can Do for All San Jose Residents

April 5, 2018 Jaclyn Tidwell, San Jose Policy Director
With only enough shelter beds to serve 25 percent of its homeless population, San Jose continues to look for short-term housing interventions. One promising step: The San Jose Department of Housing is in the process of piloting Bridge Housing Communities, a micro community of 40 sleeping cabins and community spaces to be placed on city-owned property.

Managing Urban Fires

April 4, 2018 By Andy Bosselman
Before the arrival of cities, what is now the Western United States burned regularly — and urbanization added fuel to this fire-based ecology. Advances in firefighting and building codes made fires less perilous, until recently. At a recent SPUR forum, panelists Charles Scawthorn, of the University of California and Ron Vidal, a fire safety consultant, discussed the history and changing challenges of urban fires.
Cans of soda

How Should San Francisco Spend Its Soda Tax Revenue?

April 2, 2018 By Eli Zigas, Food and Agriculture Policy Director
San Francisco began collecting its soda tax at the start of 2018. As revenue begins coming into the city’s treasury, the question now facing the Mayor and Board of Supervisors is: How to best spend this newly available money?

California High-Speed Rail: Under Construction and Moving Forward

March 28, 2018 By Andy Bosselman, Nicole Soultanov and Egon Terplan
In early March, the California High-Speed Rail Authority released its draft 2018 business plan, which outlines key milestones ahead and updates forecasts for costs, service levels and ridership. The plan has some important changes, including a revised funding and delivery schedule of the first operating segment, which will service in the Bay Area and Central Valley as soon as 2027.

The Encampment Resolution Team Pioneered SF's Navigation Centers 

March 27, 2018
The 2018 Good Government Awards, held on March 21, recognized outstanding job performance of those serving the City and County of San Francisco. The ceremony honored the Encampment Resolution Team, which designed and built the Waterfront Navigation Center in the Dogpatch neighborhood, creating a model for cities such as Seattle and Berkeley.

Jesus Mora Improves SF's Emergency Response Systems

March 27, 2018
The 2018 Good Government Awards, held on March 21, recognized outstanding job performance of those serving the City and County of San Francisco. The ceremony honored Jesus Mora, whose leadership improved the delivery of the city’s emergency response systems.

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