Four rail concepts to stitch the Bay Area together

The Bay Area is a sprawling region, no doubt about it. It stretches from Napa Valley to Silicon Valley, Pacific Ocean to Sacramento River Delta, is nearly as large as New Jersey or Cyprus. Yet this size means its various economies are disconnected to such a degree that the Census Bureau has split it into […]

Durable Growth, Transportation

Tear down 980 to transform Oakland’s geography

As a practicing urban designer, I’m not that different than any other person in the Bay Area in that I constantly think about how to improve my surroundings. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, but we need to make some big changes so we can preserve what we love about living here. And in […]


Botched BART contract leads to calls for GM’s resignation

by Steve Rhodes, on Flickr

You’d think two strikes was enough, but in true American form, three strikes seems likely.

The saga over BART’s union contracts has entered a rather unexpected chapter. Agency staff are now saying there’s an error in the contract granting six weeks paid family leave. With that in hand, the […]


Delays, headaches reign on an overloaded Saturday ferry

Bikes are piled against the railing. Photo by the author.

The San Francisco Bay Ferry System exists to provide resiliency in the region’s transportation network, specifically for routes connecting San Francisco to the North and East. Since the Bay Bridge and the Transbay Tube are likely to be taken off-line for inspections and repairs […]

Durable Growth

Pleasant Hill BART TOD a mixed bag

Pleasant Hill BART Today. Image from Google Maps.

Contra Costa Centre, which is the name used in marketing the transit oriented development near the Pleasant Hill BART station describes itself as an “exemplary model of Transit-Oriented Development” which “invite[s] residents, workers, and shoppers to drive less and take transit more.” It seems like it […]

Durable Growth

BART TOD: Stoops

Stoop at Pleasant Hill TOD

In my last post, I wrote of touring transit-oriented developments (TODs) along the BART system. A friend joined me in the travel. Our goal was to gather insights that might be useful during the upcoming review of the proposed Petaluma Station Area plan by the Petaluma City Council. In […]

Durable Growth

BART TOD: The range of alternatives

View from Pleasant Hill BART Station

The Petaluma Station Area plan will be taken up by the Petaluma City Council on Monday, May 6. If you care about urbanism, it would be a good meeting to attend. And if you haven’t yet read the final draft plan or the concurrent changes to the Smart […]


Friday transportation open thread: Wrong ways

It turns out people are really driving less and less, yet MTC and local transportation agencies continue to push for more road capacity. What transit projects do go forward are often the ones that return the least – BART running in freeway medians and ferry service to nowhere. How can we move beyond the […]