CA State Senate Bill 827, which would remove local control over housing near transit, is generating a lot of press:
- Curbed has a good interview with the bill’s author, Scott Weiner, who addresses much of the flat-out-wrong arguments that SB 827 opponents like Berkeley mayor Jesse Arreguin are using
- Ethan Elkind points out how hypocritical the Sierra Club has become as this environmental organization opposes a bill that would reduce environmentally-harmful sprawl – just to keep the donations rolling in from wealthy urban NIMBY homeowners
- 130 tech executives have signed a letter in support of SB 827. But why stop with tech companies? Nearly all the UC campuses are having difficulty attracting and retaining tech talent due to the extraordinary cost of housing. My employer, UC San Diego, has a 15-month waiting list for ‘affordable’ off-campus staff housing at $1500/month for a one-bedroom. While new on-campus staff housing is planned, it’s still several years off. Shouldn’t the University of California be advocating for more housing in their communities, and bills like SB 827?
- Meanwhile, the Raise the Balloon folks in Bay Park are rallying support against the bill, and housing near the $2.2 billion dollar Mid Coast Trolley in general. These trolley stops are exactly where large-scale new housing is needed for UC San Diego and UTC employees:
- Voice of San Diego printed a remarkable opinion piece from a suburban author opposing smart growth housing near transit while offering no alternatives. It was flabbergasting to read a long-term San Diego resident proclaim that urban, multi-family housing made her feel “unwelcome”, and that it shouldn’t be built because of poorly-planned development in San Carlos and Mira Mesa (that her own family lived in). Translation: “The cheap, car-dependent suburban sprawl that my parents and I benefited from should prevent housing near transit for my kids”. She then went on to criticize the low quality of public transit in sprawl areas, and low transit ridership – while failing to acknowledge that the poor public transit quality likely caused the low ridership. Seattle is a great example of robust transit growth when transit riders are given priority, but no suggestions on how to improve transit (funding) were provided.
Speaking of transit:
- MTS has a progressive new director, Georgette Gomez – a refreshing change from the unnecessary anti-bicyclist comments from former Republican director Harry Mathis
- The first phase of the MTS Transit Optimization Plan has increased frequency on urban routes and brought Sunday #11 bus service back to my neighborhood! I’ve been taking the 11 to the new Trader Joe’s at SDSU and it’s really convenient.
- SANDAG will have a grand opening ceremony for a new segment of the Bayshore Bikeway on Saturday, February 17, 10:00 a.m. at 1400 Tidelands Avenue, in front of the Port District general services building. At Bike SD we’re hoping to do a post-event ride to check out the IB Bikeway Village, now open for business.
- The Union Tribune covered last week’s groundbreaking for the Rose Creek Bikeway.
- Drivers only pay half the cost of roads, and they’re falling apart as a result. California’s new gas tax, which tried to address this, could now be overturned by drivers opposed to paying their fair share.
- San Diego’s Vision Zero seeks to greatly reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths, but this week brings another example of its Traffic Engineering Department giving zero shits about the cause. When told of drivers ignoring a “Yield to Pedestrians” sign, endangering street-crossers, their answer was, “The yield sign tells drivers to stop“, and that traffic flow necessitated green lights directing drivers to plow into people in a crosswalk. Well done! Maybe we can go back to removing crosswalks in San Diego for pedestrian safety.
- Lots of coverage of the Mid-Coast Trolley construction on Genesee Ave last week, so here’s lots of pictures of the construction further west on the UCSD campus (and a shot of the Gilman Dr. bridge): :