Local news coverage of the Bay Area’s transportation infrastructure and mobility issues affecting the region. For instant traffic and transit alerts, follow @californiabeat on Twitter.
Traffic & Transit
The California Highway Patrol and local police agencies reported at least a dozen traffic deaths on Northern California roadways over the Thanksgiving holiday, marking a bloody increase in the number of fatalities during one of the busiest periods for travel each year.
One of the deadliest crashes happened Saturday evening when a 2004 Toyota Prius crossed the center line and slammed head-on into a van on Highway 50 east of Placerville.
A three-block stretch of Church Street will become part of an experiment to expedite service on two of San Francisco’s busiest and chronically late transit lines.
The city’s Municipal Transportation Agency will convert the two center lanes of traffic — one in each direction — of Church St. between Duboce Ave. and 16th St. for use exclusively by MUNI vehicles and taxis 24 hours a day.
Police have decided not to charge the driver of the SUV who struck and killed a Novato girl on a busy street in October, the department announced Nov. 8. The girl, who had been riding on West Novato Boulevard, was hit head-on by the SUV and died after she was taken to a local trauma center.
The cause of the accident remains a mystery to investigators. At the time, it was only known the Hailey Ratliff, 12, was new to the area and may have been unfamiliar with the roads.
It’s bad enough that hoodlums decided to set fire to a $700,000 MUNI bus in celebration of the San Francisco Giants’s World Series Championship on the morning of October 29, but it’s the particular bus they chose to destroy that has the city on the hook for more than the original retail price.
The heavily damaged vehicle was one of dozens of buses that have recently returned from a $300,000 mid-life rehabilitation performed at Complete Coach Works in Riverside, the Beat has learned.
SAN FRANCISCO — A major rail replacement project that will eventually make the “clickity-clacking” when crossing Church and Duboce Sts. on MUNI Metro sound and feel less jarring began as scheduled Friday night.
Like a dentist’s drill, jackhammers pulverized asphalt and ripped out the aging streetcar tracks at the intersection and along Carl Street near the UCSF Medical Center.
BART will begin service earlier in the morning May 20 to move runners to the starting line of this year’s Zazzle Bay to Breakers footrace in San Francisco, the agency announced.
Train service will begin at 5 a.m. from most BART stations to bring riders into downtown San Francisco for the race’s new 7 a.m. starting time. San Francisco-bound trains will operate at 20-minute intervals from Richmond, Pittsburg/ Bay Point, Dublin-Pleasanton, Richmond and Peninsula stations.
The project to bring BART to San Jose — dreamed about and discussed for decades — is finally happening.
Santa Clara County transportation officials and a host of local politicians will formally break ground on construction Thursday afternoon on BART’s $2.3 billion Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension Project, which will bring train service from Warm Springs into San Jose’s city limits.
A protest at Powell Street BART station Thursday evening led to dozens of arrests and delayed commuters attempting to ride BART.
BART Police in riot gear lined the entrances to the station at approximately 5:30 p.m., denying entrance to the subterranean courtyard and entrance gates of Powell Street station. More than 30 people were detained, including up to a dozen journalists, the Beat has learned.
BART’s decision to shut down cell phone service in its downtown San Francisco stations August 11 in order to disrupt a planned protest has drawn howls of outrage from civil libertarians and many riders.
The American Civil Liberties Union called the move “glaringly small-minded” and “dangerous to democracy.” San Francisco mayoral candidates Phil Ting and Leland Yee were among those who joined the chorus of condemnation.
But was the move actually unconstitutional, as many say it is? Probably not, according to California Beat legal analyst Preston Thomas.