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    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

Bay Area Bike Sharing Moves Closer to Reality

March 25, 2013 By Molly Schremmer
After a number of delays, the wheels are finally turning on a bike-sharing program for the Bay Area. Earlier this month, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) signed a contract with Alta Bike Share, which runs successful programs in Washington, D.C., and Boston.

Good Government Awards: How Jaime Flores-Lovo Modernized SF Public Works

March 21, 2013
Jaime Flores-Lovo was honored at SPUR's 33rd annual Good Government Awards for his vision and leadership in the development of enterprise-level technology projects for the Department of Public Works, most significantly in the system migration for the department’s contract automation.

Good Government Awards: How Lea Militello Tamed the Streets of San Francisco

March 21, 2013
SPUR’s 33rd annual Good Government Awards , held March 19, 2013, honored City of San Francisco employees who have performed exceptionally, becoming models for other agencies and cities around the country. Lea Militello was honored for her critical leadership in building a security plan for San Francisco streets, especially during public events. Her accomplishments over the October 2012 “busiest weekend in San Francisco” — when more than 1 million people converged to stress the city’s street infrastructure to maximum capacity with events including America’s Cup/Fleet Week, the Castro Street Fair, the Italian Heritage Parade, Giants and 49ers games, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and the Double Ten Parade — exemplify her ingenuity and creativity. Her skills in staff management and resource allocation help to create world-class venues that generate visibility and income for the city. Lea implemented the federal government’s Incident Command System, which is now the model for San...

Making Better Places: Urban Design Lessons Along the Peninsula

March 11, 2013 By Benjamin Grant, Public Realm and Urban Design Program Manager
How do we create the kinds of compact, walkable environments that can have a real impact on car use and carbon emissions? SPUR San Jose’s Urban Design Task Force is working to foster well-designed new development that will support the city’s 2040 General Plan goals of a more walkable, livable and transit-friendly built environment.

Sacramento County Approves New Sprawl, Rejects the Sustainable Communities Strategy

March 5, 2013 By Egon Terplan and Ethan Lavine
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors is facing heavy criticism and a lawsuit for its decision to approve the Cordova Hills subdivision , a new development for 25,000 residents on what is now rolling hills and ranch land 22 miles east of downtown Sacramento. The development would add thousands of new homes far from the region’s center, violating the Sustainable Communities Strategy that every city and county in the region agreed upon last year. As the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) observes, the approval goes against decades of smart growth planning in the greater Sacramento area. Senate Bill 375, the 2008 statewide law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, requires each region in California to develop a coordinated plan — called a Sustainable Communities Strategy — to guide its long-term land use decisions and transportation investments. When the California Legislature approved SB 375 in 2008, many planners thought the law might...

Discovering San Jose by Bike

March 5, 2013 By Leah Toeniskoetter, SPUR San Jose Director
An enthusiastic group of 45 urbanists on bikes kicked off a crisp Sunday morning to tour a few of San Jose’s historic neighborhoods with SPUR. Using the new bike lanes on 10th and 11th streets, along with a number of established bike routes and separated bike paths, we wove our way through three amazing gems — Naglee Park, Palm Haven and Willow Glen. Setting off from the San Jose State University campus downtown, we made our way to our first stop. Naglee Park The first subdivision in Santa Clara County, Naglee Park was developed and marketed in 1902 as a complete neighborhood with paved streets, gas, water and sewer. Following the new bike lanes on 11th Street brought us to the oldest house in the area and the neighborhood’s namesake, the Naglee Mansion, built by Brigadier General Henry Morris Naglee in 1864. The original lot lines of the estate reached...

Reimagining the Caltrain Railyards

February 26, 2013 By Tomiquia Moss, Community Planning Policy Director, and Sarah Karlinsky, Deputy Director
Could the Caltrain station and railyards at 4th and King streets be San Francisco’s next big planning opportunity? The right type of development here could knit toogether the surrounding neighborhoods, capitalize on the extensive transit access — and even help pay for important transportation projects. We explore three scenarios for the site.

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