End-Week Links: Circling

A view of our past, this home movie was shot from a passenger airplane in 1941. Though mostly of San Francisco, what looks like a Northwestern Pacific passenger ferry can be seen, as is a still-industrial Tiburon, before landfill built up the downtown we know and love today.

Marin County

  • Contract negotiations between Marin Transit and Golden Gate Transit are drawing to a close. GGT has its final proposal (the proposal), MT is weighing what might happen if the relationship ends (PDF, page 15), and we’ll see what happens on Monday. (IJ, GGT, TAM)
  • While Marin relishes its small-town character, it’s vital that we leave the door open for new history to be written, to allow our downtowns to continue their evolution as vibrant commercial centers for more than just antiques and ice cream. (MV Herald, Joyce Kleiner)
  • There’s now a moratorium on building permits in San Geronimo Valley to protect salmon spawning streams. A judge ordered the moratorium, settling a lawsuit by environmental group SPAWN against the county which argued environmental protections lacked teeth, violating CEQA laws. (IJ)
  • The Marinship building is now on Sausalito’s register of historic places. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs owns the building, but found that it would be extremely expensive to renovate and wants it torn down. Though Sausalito hopes more money will come from the feds to fix it, Congress has begun to micromanage all real estate in the government’s portfolio; it’s unlikely House Republicans would be willing to part with the extra money. (IJ)
  • Marin Sports Academy is pondering a 78-acre sports complex in Hamilton, and neighbors are having none of it. (IJ)
  • This Wednesday, listen to some of the leading thinkers on development in Marin and how to target growth to support Marin’s conservation efforts and character. Wednesday, September 19, 7-9pm, 618 B Street, San Rafael. (IJ)
  • San Anselmo is taking applications for an open seat on the Planning Commission. (RV Reporter) … MTC released its 2012 Getting There Guide, complete with regional transit and rail maps. (Bee) … Visit West End for a culture crawl on Sept. 21, 6-8pm, and find out what you’re missing in the oft-overlooked neighborhood. (IJ)

The Greater Marin

  • Transit is extremely popular among Americans, with fully twice as many supporting its expansion over roads. Whether living in urban or rural places, whether liberal or conservative, young or old, people choose transit over roads. Alas, politicians – local, state, and federal – continue to choose road expansion instead. (Streetsblog)
  • Bicycle lanes will be exempted from CEQA if a new law is passed in Sacramento. The environmental review process has been used to great effect by opponents of the lanes, who say they will unduly harm traffic. (Planetizen)
  • Water taxis and water buses are coming soon to the San Francisco waterfront, and possibly up to Sausalito and Tiburon. The water taxi, run by Tideline Marine Group of Sausalito, is negotiating for landing rights in Marin, and would be an on-call ferry service. The buses, run by the confusingly-named Water Taxi Co., don’t have plans for Marin. (SFGate)
  • Rohnert Park celebrates its 50th birthday this week. The city, deliberately founded as a placeless, centerless suburb, wants to shed that history and found a new town center, just like its older, more urban neighbors. (PD)
  • San Jose’s governance has not innovated like its population, leading to old-school policies that stifle innovation, support big companies over start-ups, and limit downtown to a shadow of what it could be. The suburbs, meanwhile, accommodate innovative companies in sprawling office campuses. (Metroactive)
  • There’s a battle of the parking petitions going on in San Francisco. On one side: people that don’t want to give up their flat-rate or free parking spaces. On the other, people that do. The counter-petition was formed to make the point that neighborhood organizations often don’t represent the whole neighborhood, and that a lot of people really do want things to change. As of press time, the anti-reform petition was about 70 signatures ahead. If you live or park in San Francisco, be sure to sign for reform! (Streetsblog)

The Toll

The roads claimed seven injuries this week, and one person was injured on a bicycle trail. Thankfully, nobody was killed.

  • A woman who was struck by a 13-year-old boy riding his bike on the sidewalk in the city of Sonoma was awarded $1.4 million in damages from the boy’s family and the city. The judge awarded the sum after finding Sonoma’s bicycle ordinance, which allows relatively unfettered sidewalk riding, to be unsafe. (PD)
  • Harry Smith plead not guilty to attempted murder and other charges after appearing court for the first time. He’s accused of running down Toraj Soltani with his car while driving on a golf course. (KTVU)
  • Raquel Nelson, whose child was killed by an intoxicated driver while they were crossing the road in front of their Georgia apartment complex, is still being prosecuted for vehicular manslaughter and faces three years’ prison. She chose retrial over a one year probation in an attempt to clear her name. (Streetsblog)
  • A cyclist in a crosswalk was hit and injured by a driver in Santa Rosa. (PD) … A motorcyclist t-boned a car in Mill Valley, injuring himself. The car driver was fine. (IJ) … A driver fleeing from police injured two people, one seriously, by colliding with the cars they were driving in Santa Rosa. He also hurt himself before being arrested. (PD) … A motorcyclist severely injured himself after leading police on a chase and crashing in west Sonoma County. (PD) … A bicyclist injured himself by crashing near the Marin-Sonoma border. No further details are available. (PD) … A motorcyclist was severely injured in a crash with a car in Santa Rosa. It’s unknown if there were any other injuries, or if the car had a driver. (PD)

About David Edmondson
A native Marinite working in Washington, DC, I am fascinated by how one might apply smart-growth and urbanist thinking to the low-density towns of my home.

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