Durable Growth

How to interpret the Google bus protests

From a Google shuttle protest. Image by Steven Rhodes, on Flickr.

Private shuttle buses have recently become a Bay Area controversy. The buses are usually described as Google buses, although that term is inaccurate because more than 30 companies operate shuttles between urban residential neighborhoods in San Francisco and Oakland and offices in the […]

Durable Growth, Transportation

Steps forward and back in Bay Area parking policy

Circling for parking in downtown Palo Alto. Image by guilherme-pg on Flickr

Parking is one of the lynchpin issues of urban design, and probably the one that gets peoples’ blood pumping fastest. So it’s no surprise that any parking news hits headlines, as it has in a scattering of cities around the region. And, […]

Durable Growth

Micro-apartments revisited

Street of micro-apartments in Venice, Italy

Nearly eighteen months ago, I took a look at “micro-apartments”, which can be roughly described as apartments of 300 square feet or less. Single-occupancy seems the most likely use of such small apartments, although some jurisdictions, by putting an occupancy cap of two people on the units, acknowledge […]


More frequency or bigger buses for commuters?

A new GGT MCI D4500CT commuter bus. Image from Wikipedia

Golden Gate Transit’s (GGT) Route 72X and other commuter buses are packed, and their ridership is rising, up 3% this year. With tolls set to increase on the Golden Gate Bridge, the problem could get even worse. While more transit riders is a good […]


Caltrain’s platforms should match high-speed rail

by LA Wad, on Flickr

Caltrain is reinventing itself, transforming from a commuter rail line into a hybrid Metro/high-speed rail. Integral to this transformation is the otherwise mundane concern of platform height. Matching it to the standard of California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) is the only option that makes sense.


There are two basic […]


Caltrain service driven by data, not gut

Census distribution of jobs and population along Caltrain

The current operation of Caltrain is, to put it mildly, inefficient. With 35 separate station stopping patterns in the broad categories of Local, Express, and Baby Bullet, it is a confusing mess to the uninitiated.

There are a number of reasons for the mess, but Clem […]

Durable Growth, Government, Transportation

Thoughts of a progressive urbanist

The author enjoying a docked Citibike.

When Citibike debuted in NYC in May of this year I happened to be visiting while on tour with a choir I sing in. As a pro-bicycle, three-year car-free San Franciscan I was giddy about the Citibike launch, I even posed for a photo on one out of […]


Caltrain needs higher fares to expand service and reduce overcrowding

by Andrei Z, on Flickr

Caltrain is packed, and its ridership growth shows no sign of abating. Meanwhile, the Caltrain system is struggling to make ends meet, often threatening service cuts.

This is madness. A service so popular that it cannot bear all the passengers also cannot pay its own bills.

The solution is […]


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 […]


Two-way tolling on the Golden Gate could ease traffic in Marin

Rising from the pages of Marin’s Greenbrae Corridor studies is an accusatory finger, pointing east. It is not Marin traffic causing the massive backups on Highway 101 in the evening, nor is it really our antiquated freeway design. No, it’s East Bay-San Francisco commuters cutting through our fair county. Fix that, perhaps, and we fix […]