Mid-Week Links: Good Times
February 1, 2012 Leave a comment
Local techno/transit geek Eric Fischer wrote a program to approximate travel routes from geotagged Twitter posts, revealing the desire lines of area. Looks like he forgot Marin is there, but apparently we don’t have a whole lot of Twits to track anyway.
- Glad that’s over with: The RepealSMART effort failed to meet its minimum signature requirements and will not be on the next ballot. This frees SMART to use $171 million it had in escrow, although the effort may return for November. (Press Democrat)
- Then again…: Whistlestop has filed suit against SMART over the loss of its parking spaces and the effective loss of its building. SMART and San Rafael are reportedly willing to strike a deal to solve the problem, but there are no details yet. (IJ)
- Novato will give up its affordable housing oversight role to Marin Housing Authority, as it cannot afford the administrative costs without redevelopment funds. (IJ)
- Today, Novato will unveil a model of its new downtown offices, which are proceeding despite newly-elected Councilmember Eric Lucan’s opposition. (IJ)
- The Marin History Museum has received an anonymous 1 to 1, $50,000 matching gift pledge to restore the Boyd House. If you care at all about Marin’s history, and about San Rafael’s old housing stock, this is your time to donate. (IJ)
- The Muir Woods Shuttle, aka the 66 bus, is slated for a fare hike, but the exact details aren’t known yet. A $5 round-trip fare, complete with bus day pass, is the likely outcome. (IJ)
- SMART and California High-Speed Rail are getting their knocks, sometimes deservedly so, but they’re nothing new: BART faced similar criticism before it opened, and Marin lost out as a result. (IJ)
- Marin will upgrade its library lobbies into “market places” for its most popular material. I’ve always figured, though – if Border’s died because people treated it like a library with a coffee shop, why not get coffee shops in the libraries? (IJ)
- San Quentin, currently zoned for 1,500 new homes, could get “priority status” in order to deflect ABAG mandates elsewhere in Marin. It doesn’t change the fact that adding 1,500 homes at San Quentin is, to put it mildly, a little daft. (IJ)
- Marin tweaked its zoning rules, adding an exemption from affordable housing requirements for some unincorporated communities, including Strawberry. Other changes were made to permitting and smart growth planning areas. (Pacific Sun)
- Sausalito will include some of their harbor docks as affordable housing in their Draft Housing Element, as live-aboards pay significantly less rent than their land-lubbing fellow Sausalitans. (IJ)
The Greater Marin
- Windsor has approved their downtown station-area plan, although they won’t see any train service until after 2015. (Press Democrat)
- The House and Senate are moving forward with their respective Transportation Reauthorization bills. Activists, including myself, aren’t so keen on the House version. (The Hill, Streetsblog)
- Nationally, the number of renters has grown significantly, while the number of homeowners has declined, meaning cities are likely well-equipped for the demand. (Atlantic Cities)
- The BART extension to Livermore is giving voice to an existential question facing the system: should it expand ever outward, or should it keep what it already has?
- Mountain View rejected bus rapid transit because it would have taken up left-turn lanes. This is a step back for the city’s efforts to put moving people, not cars, first.
And…: A beautiful new subway in Kazakhstan. (Architizer)… One Bay Area falls flat in San Ramon, too. (San Ramon Express)… Stockton Street survived just fine without any parking for a week. (Streetsblog)