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    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

What Will It Take to Deliver Bus Rapid Transit in the Bay Area?

August 26, 2019 By Amy Thomson and Arielle Fleisher
Bus rapid transit has been delivering better transportation options in cities around the world for 20 years — but it’s still a work in progress in the Bay Area. Only one BRT project has been built here, and others have encountered significant hurdles. What will it take to deliver BRT in the Bay Area?

Updating San Jose’s Urban Vision

August 20, 2019 By Michelle Huttenhoff and Hannah Bretschneider
Every four years, the City of San Jose reviews and updates selected elements of its general plan, Envision San Jose 2040. Since the last review in 2015, the city has seen incredible demand for development, which requires the community to think comprehensively when it comes to this year's update. SPUR supports the items the city proposes to focus on and suggests additional items to consider.

How Are San Francisco Schools Doing on Their Commitment to Better Food?

August 15, 2019 By Katie Ettman, Food and Agriculture Policy Associate
In 2016 the San Francisco Unified School District adopted the Good Food Purchasing Policy, setting criteria and goals for sourcing food ethically, providing healthy options and honoring fair labor practices. Recently, Student Nutrition Services Director Jennifer LeBarre came to SPUR to give an update on how the district is doing on meeting its goals.
Eddy and Taylor Apartments

How Has San Francisco Done on Addressing Housing and Homelessness?

August 15, 2019 By Susannah Parsons, Chief of Staff, and Kristy Wang, Community Planning Policy Director
Just before San Francisco’s 2018 mayoral election, SPUR released San Francisco’s Next Mayor: A Blueprint for Change, a policy agenda for the city's next leader. One year later, we took a look back at the progress that Mayor Breed and the Board of Supervisors have made toward those recommendations, specifically on housing and homelessness.

Time to Rethink How Oakland Passes Budgets

July 30, 2019 By Robert Ogilvie, Oakland Director
July marked the beginning of the new fiscal year for the City of Oakland, and with it the end of a rancorous two-month-long adoption process for a new two-year budget. Without a city controller to establish a common set of financial facts, the debate in Oakland is not only over which priorities to fund but whose numbers to believe.

Scooters, Bikes and Buses: Reclaiming Pilot Projects for the Public Good

July 19, 2019 By Arielle Fleisher and Chris Chou*
Hidden beneath the buzz over new transportation technologies is a quiet revolution in the way cities manage their streets. In the face of rapid change, public agencies are increasingly relying on pilot programs to introduce new modes of transportation and new uses of streets. Yet pilots are too often focused on responding to technology trends. It’s time they evolved to focus on cities and people.

What’s Next for Housing Now That SB 50 Has Been Deferred to 2020?

May 22, 2019 By Kristy Wang, Community Planning Policy Director
Earlier this month, controversial state zoning bill SB 50 was denied a committee hearing, meaning the state legislature won't pass it in 2019. But the push to increase housing supply goes on. Quite a number of other housing bills are still under consideration, and SPUR is supporting many of them.

Policy Proposal: Jump-Start Development Near Transit with Temporary TOD

May 16, 2019 By Benjamin Grant, Urban Design Policy Director
The passage of Assembly Bill 2923 means Bay Area cities must change their zoning to accommodate development on land that BART owns around its stations. Long-term plans for building housing will take time. In the short term, using the methods of tactical urbanism could give development near stations a jump start while allowing them to grow and change over time.

The Case for Increased Rail Service in South Santa Clara County

May 9, 2019 By Nicole Soultanov and James Lightbody
Multiple commuter and passenger rail projects are in the works in the South Bay, but most of them target just a few travel corridors. Left behind are many areas with more limited transit options and a high dependence on automobiles. One of them is South Santa Clara County, where the opportunity to expand Caltrain service could greatly improve commute times and reduce carbon emissions.

We All Deserve to Be Counted: The Importance of the 2020 Census

April 25, 2019 By Sarah Jo Szambelan, Research Manager
The 10-year census is a profound expression of who our nation is and who deserves to be included in our political systems and public services. With the 2020 census less than a year away, SPUR is hosting a series of events to look at ongoing local strategies to make sure everyone in the Bay Area gets counted.

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