• News

    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

Putting the “Me” in Transit: Six Tools to Figure Out What Riders Want

June 28, 2017 By Arielle Fleisher, Transportation Policy Associate, and Ratna Amin, Transportation Policy Director
What would it look like if we put people at the center of transit planning — if we designed a friendly system grounded in the needs, wants and preferences of all riders? Would transit be more useful? Would more people ride it? To help transportation planners understand riders as customers, SPUR recently hosted the third annual Transit + Design Workshop.

Making Bay Area Transit Affordable for Those Who Need It Most

June 26, 2017 By Arielle Fleisher, Transportation Policy Associate
For most households in the Bay Area, transportation is the third-biggest monthly expense, behind housing and food. When transit is out of reach, its promise — access to other people, goods, jobs, education and opportunity — cannot be realized. How can we ensure that transit fares remain affordable for the region’s low-income residents?

Remaking Diridon: Principles to Plan and Grow By

June 22, 2017 By Laura Tolkoff, San Jose Policy Director, and Teresa Alvarado, San Jose Director
Over the next decade, more than $10 billion of transportation investments will start to remake San Jose’s Diridon Station into the first high-speed rail station in the country and the busiest transportation hub west of the Mississippi. This historic opportunity has the potential to reshape the entire South Bay. SPUR proposes seven principles that should guide planning, land use and transportation decisions at Diridon.

HOME-SF: New Law Aims to Spark More Affordable Housing

June 21, 2017 By Kristy Wang, Community Planning Policy Director
Last month, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signed the HOME-SF program into law. The new law encourages housing developers to provide 30 percent of new units to low- and moderate-income households in exchange for permission to build bigger. The program will help to fill San Francisco’s growing need for housing, particularly for middle-income households that have not been well-served in the past.

Keep Building Oakland

June 15, 2017 By Robert Ogilvie, Oakland Director
As the pace of residential development picks up in downtown Oakland and the Broadway-Valdez area, it’s worth remembering that Oakland is much, much bigger than those two small neighborhoods and that very little is being built anywhere else. If we really want to alleviate the housing shortage, we need to build much more housing, in many more parts of the city.

Why Brisbane Baylands Matters to the Bay Area Housing Shortage

June 14, 2017 By Kristy Wang, Community Planning Policy Director
The Brisbane City Council will decide this summer whether to allow 4,400 housing units and 7 million square feet of commercial space within walking distance of an underutilized Caltrain station. Seems like the perfect place for homes, amenities and jobs, but so far the Brisbane Planning Commission has favored a low-density plan with no housing. Here’s why this matters — to all of us.

How Caltrain’s Business Plan Can Reinvent the Railroad

May 25, 2017 By Ratna Amin, SPUR Transportation Policy Director.
Now that Caltrain’s electrification project has federal funding, leaders and the public can start designing the Caltrain of the future. Finishing the $2.25 billion modernization project will mark the beginning of a completely new era for the railroad. As Caltrain begins the process of developing a business plan, here are five important questions we think the business plan should tackle.

What’s Going Up in Downtown San Jose? Our Take on Three Trends

May 11, 2017 By Laura Tolkoff, San Jose Policy Director, and Joshua Brett, San Jose Policy Intern
The number of proposed developments in downtown San Jose is up — but only one project broke ground in the last year. Blocks are filling in with new businesses — but beloved Camera 12 Cinemas has shut its doors. These mixed signals make it hard to predict what the market will do next, but we’ve seen three clear trends play out in recent months.

Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones: Four Years In

May 1, 2017 By Eli Zigas, Food and Agriculture Policy Director
The Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act is about to turn four years old, and the California Legislature is considering a 10-year extension to allow the program more time to develop and give other jurisdictions more time to start incentive programs.

How Is Oakland Doing on Its Affordable Housing Goals?

April 26, 2017 By Robert Ogilvie, Oakland Director
The rate of increase in rents and home sale prices may have slowed, but Oakland still has the fourth highest rents in the nation, and housing remains unaffordable to too many. In 2016, the city set high goals for addressing the housing shortage — but how much progress has been made since then?

Get Email Updates

Get SPUR news and events delivered straight to your email inbox.

Sign up now