I've covered everything from gleaming buildings and extraordinary coffee to unreliable buses and cops abusing their power. Click my personal website for a condensed roundup of my best stories.
Shortly before the Bay Area appeared on lists of the worst traffic in the world, the region set an ambitious plan to move millions of daily car trips to public transportation by 2040. But local transit agencies pay some of the highest subway and train construction costs in the world, which will limit the impact of $21 billion the nine counties pledged to expand the transit network. ”If your costs are higher you will build less,” says Alon Levy...
For many Americans, the never-ending stream of texts, notifications and breaking news creates a compulsion to look at their smartphones often. Although people feel frazzled and fatigued, cutting ties with their devices can be difficult. For those who want a break, Branch, a San Francisco industrial design firm, offers an idea. It’s a new ritual, a series of methodical actions centered around placing your phone inside a handsome concrete box...
If San Francisco's new mayor is going to throw the city's transit chief under the bus, she certainly knows not to count on it arriving on time. Only about half of the city’s buses show up according to schedule, a benchmark that no mayor in recent memory has been able to budge. Any transit boss will fail unless firm, decisive changes are come to City Hall. Mayor London Breed should make one thing her first priority: Creating a bold vision for Muni.
The celebrated architect, who passed away last week at the age of 102, built three projects in Colorado. But only one—the Mesa Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research—remains intact.
The Bay Area’s Clipper card system, a reloadable transit fare payment method that can be used on numerous Bay Area transit agencies, will soon get an overhaul. But when the new version launches in 2020, known as Clipper 2.0, it will likely serve as an example of local government failing to live up to the region’s reputation as the tech capital of the world.
On Wednesday, officials will likely approve a $461 million contract to upgrade and maintain the region’s Clipper card transit pass. But Cubic, the the company that operates the system today, was the only outfit to submit a bid for the project. Eight other vendors quit the bidding process, many after asking the Metropolitan Transportation Commission [MTC] to remove crushing requirements they claim favor Cubic
Before transportation officials started planning the $461 million upgrade to Clipper, which was approved Wednesday, transit advocates repeatedly argued that the region must first streamline the jumble of some 19,000 transit fares, passes, discounts, transfer policies—and their many permutations—all of which cram onto every one of today’s Clipper cards.
But from BART and Muni to ferries and the new SMART train, the transit agencies that are a part of Clipper each set their own fares. The result is a hodgepodge of policies so confusing and costly that many riders choose to hop in a car instead
Proposition C, the measure that would raise around $300 million per year to fight homelessness in the city, triggered a spat between billionaire CEOs, unified the city’s vocal progressive wing, and even won support from more moderate organizations like YIMBY Action and urban think tank SPUR. But politicians with reliable track records of supporting homelessness programs have joined the Chamber of Commerce and several tech companies to oppose the initiative.
As San Francisco Design Week looks to the future, one of the city’s old-school design treasures, William Stout Architectural Books, offers a refreshingly analog form of discovery: browsing a smartly focused selection of books about design, art and photography.
A few years ago, John Maeda, designer, technologist and author, gave away all his books. “I’m fascinated by all the things that aren’t in books,” he said. “One thing I’ve learned about my knowledge of design is that it’s been heavily skewed towards men.”
Four years ago, Mokhtar Al-Khanshali had never tried good coffee. Now the Yemeni-American imports coffees consistently rated among the best in the world. As he helps to rebuild Yemen's coffee industry, he must return there often. In 2015, civl war broke out and he was forced to make a dangerous escape. But he kept going back. Today his coffees cross cultures, boundaries, and messy politics to bring people together over a wonderful experience.
In 1954 a young architect named I.M. Pei stood before city officials and media to unveil his plans for Denver's first high-rise hotel complex. Pei, who would become one of the world's preeminent architects, pledged that no expense would be spared in order "to make Denver proud of the development."
In the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, the San Francisco Police Department prevents injection drug users from getting clean needles. That could violate the department’s own guidelines — and have deadly consequences.
As any regular rider knows, Muni does a lot to earn its status as the least reliable major transit system in America. For many of its 300,000 daily riders, the one thing that makes it workable is real-time arrival information accessed via websites, mobile apps, or NextBus displays at transit stops. But soon after the new year arrived, the system started showing wildly inaccurate information.
San Francisco's population of injection drug users—estimated at 22,500—are more likely to contract HIV, hepatitis C, and skin infections, which are costly to treat. A new task force will look at whether the city should provide safe spaces for them to shoot up.