Bay Area Blues

Gabriel Metcalf of SPUR wants to add housing of all types in order to bring down rents in San Francisco and prevent “hyper-gentrification“:

Railing against Google buses, fancy restaurants or new condos—the visible signs of gentrification—will do nothing to stop San Francisco from becoming more expensive. These are not causes of the rising rents; they are symptoms. The root cause is that many people have chosen to live in San Francisco, and we are now all competing with one another to bid up the rents. As long as this remains a desirable place to live in a region that is producing a lot of jobs — while at the same time we fail to produce enough housing to accommodate the demand — then housing prices will continue to rise.... So yes, we should build as much subsidized affordable housing as we can. But most people will never get to live in one of these units. It is not a strategy that will have an effect on the housing costs for the vast majority of the people trying to make a go of it in San Francisco. If we want to actually make the city affordable for most people—a place where a young person or an immigrant can move to pursue their dreams, a place a parent can raise kids and not have to spend every minute at work—we have to fix the supply problem.

Speaking of gentrification: Mid-Market will be getting a big mixed-use complex at Market and Turk, 950-974 Market.

Down the peninsula, the Grand Boulevard Initiative wants to make El Camino Real something more than a 50 mile long death trap for pedestrians.

Because El Camino Real is a state highway, many design features known to improve safety, such as narrower travel lanes, tighter curb radii, and trees planted in the median near intersections, cannot be implemented because they don’t appear in the Caltrans Highway Design Manual. Gaining the necessary approvals from Caltrans adds cost and delay these projects, making funding more challenging to secure and reducing political support for such improvements. Planners in San Mateo County hope to overcome this barrier with the Grand Boulevard Initiative’s Complete Streets Project, which will re-design four short segments of El Camino in Daly City, South San Francisco, San Bruno, and San Carlos.

Today’s nerd candy: a trailer for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special, stuffed with callbacks for the dedicated fan: