Building high-speed rail in California

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                                                                                                                                                  Issue 461
                                                                                                                                                  June 2007

                                        A MEMBER-SUPPORTED ORGANIZATION

High speed rail essential
to keep California on track
Trains offer best bet for fast, clean transport as state grows
                                                                                                                                         by Stuart Cohen and Carli Paine

       uilding high-speed rail in California              airports. Inspired by the stunning success of high-
       could reinforce cities as the hubs of our          speed trains in Japan and Europe, California began
       economies, significantly reduce greenhouse-        exploring how a high-speed rail system linking
gas emissions, get commuters off congested roads,         the major metropolitan areas could cost-effectively
and will cost much less than highway and airport          sustain the state’s mobility and economic growth
expansion. So why is the proposal languishing?            while reducing the environmental impact of travel.
     There are many complicated reasons, but a few            In 1996, the California High-Speed Rail
are very clear. Term limits force many of the project’s   Authority was established to implement a high-
champions from office, the time frame is too long         speed train system connecting California’s major
for election-cycle ribbon-cutting ceremonies, and         metropolitan areas. By 2000, the authority
an ongoing structural deficit is forcing the state        had developed forecasts of ridership, revenue
to prioritize short-term infrastructure fixes.            and costs for a 700-mile system with nearly
     Though considered down and nearly out by some        30 stations connecting Sacramento, the Bay
prognosticators, the high-speed rail project is gaining   Area, the Central Valley, and the major cities
supporters and momentum daily. An awareness of            and some airports in Southern California.
the train as a critical greenhouse-gas-reduction              Recent 2007 forecasts show the system
strategy is growing. Recent ridership projections         carrying up to 117 million passengers per year by
should attract private investors to complement            2030, with an expected trip from San Francisco
state, federal and local funding, making the project      to Los Angeles taking about two and a half
more economically sustainable. Finally, people            hours. A shorter distance, from San Francisco
are starting to understand that we cannot build           to San Jose, would take about half an hour.
our way out of congestion with more highways.                 Applying inflation to the year 2000
     This article describes California’s proposed         cost estimates puts a $40 billion price tag
high-speed train system and its latest ridership
                                                                                                                           Rail: continued on page 
projections, an analysis of greenhouse-gas benefits,
land-use impacts, and the high environmental
and financial costs of the alternatives.                     TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                             News at SPUR  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 2

Project overview                                             Executive director’s letter  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 3
In the mid-1990s, state leaders were increasingly            Transbay Transit Center/Caltrain extension  .  . 4
cognizant of the capacity limits of highways and             Forums  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 10
                                                             Urban Drift  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 18
                                           the permitting process to open or        the developed world such as Japan
                                           expand a business. At the request        and Western Europe, which are
                                           of the Mayor’s Office of Economic        losing population, the United States
                                           and Workforce Development,               is projected to grow significantly
                                           SPUR’s Municipal Fiscal Advisory         over the next century. America 2050
                                           Committee is spearheading a project      represents a bottom-up attempt to
                                           to map out and possibly reform the       develop a national growth plan for the
                                           process. We’ve decided to start by       United States, one informed by the
                                           developing a step-by-step guide for      realities of the globalized economy,
                                           all the permits required to open or      the imperative of fighting climate
                                           expand a restaurant. In talking with     change and the lessons learned from

                                           city departments, permit expediters      the past 200 years of growth planning
                                           and recently opened restaurants,         in the United States. To see the
                                           the SPUR team may identify where         papers of the Healdsburg conference,

                                           permits often get tied up and            go to
                                           may be able to propose changes
                                           to the system to make it easier.         CiTy’S DRaFT PlaN FoR
                                                                                    ECoNomy EmERgES
SPUR To hElP BUSiNESS                      SPUR joiNS CommiTTEE                     After months of analysis and review,
go gREENER, ClEaNER                        o N T R a N S B ay T E R m i N a l       the full draft of the City’s Economic
Clean tech has been receiving              SPUR Board member Jim Lazarus,           Development Plan has been released:
increasing attention in the Bay Area.      representing the “citywide     
With hundreds of millions in venture       business community,” and SPUR            SPUR has been closely monitoring
financing and thousands of potential       Transportation Policy Director           the development of the plan and
innovations, our region is well-suited     Dave Snyder, representing a “good-       has formed an Economic Policy
for the growth of this industry. Less      government non-profit organization”      Committee whose initial goal will
clear is what kinds of firms and           both have been selected to serve on      be to review and comment on the
jobs within this industry will want        the Transbay Joint Powers Authority      full economic development plan. To
to do business in San Francisco.           Citizens’ Advisory Committee.            receive updates and invitations to
     In partnership with PG&E              Lazarus was elected chairman             SPUR’s Economic Policy Committee,
and the City, SPUR is producing a          by the committee’s members at            email
study of the Bay Area’s clean-tech         its first meeting. Through our
cluster and the opportunities for its      involvement in the committee,            CiTy agENCiES SEEk
growth within San Francisco. The           SPUR will actively participate in        SWEETER STREETS
recommended strategy will draw on          the planning for the terminal. We        The San Francisco Planning
San Francisco’s advantages in access       will continue to advocate for the        Department, the Municipal
to finance, innovation, skilled workers    expeditious construction of an elegant   Transportation Agency, the
and a risk-taking populace to help         multimodal terminal, including the       Department of Public Works and the
spur the growth of a new clean-tech        downtown extension of Caltrain           Public Utilities Commission have been
cluster here. These firms not only will    and, eventually, high-speed rail.        partnering to come up with ways to
help us solve issues related to climate                                             improve San Francisco’s streets. The
change and global warming, but also        PlaNNiNg FoR                             Better Streets plan seeks to prioritize
will become a part of our city’s strong    mEgaloPoliS                              sustainable modes of transportation
export base in knowledge services.         SPUR doesn’t usually report on           while enhancing the role of streets as
                                           conferences that members of its staff    public spaces. A set of “typologies,”
S P U R Ta C k l E S                       attend, but a Healdsburg seminar on      or rough guidelines for different
PERmiT PRoCESS                             “megaregions” requires an exception.     types of city streets, is also in the
Lately, there has been a lot of            As part of the America 2050 project,     process of being developed. SPUR
attention on new laws that increase        academics and policy leaders from        hopes that the plan will improve the
the cost of operating a restaurant         around the country gathered in           experience of pedestrians, bicyclists
or other small business in the city.       Healdsburg in Sonoma County to           and transit riders by making our
While these new laws may directly          look at the 10 or so major population    streets, in the words of Danish urbanist
affect the bottom line, there are other    centers of the United States and         Jan Gehl, “sweet for people.” Y
major concerns affecting the economic      plan for their evolution over the
climate for small business — including     next 50 years. Unlike other parts of

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                      E x E C U T I v E              D I R E C T O R ’ S                l E T T E R

Why high speed rail matters
        nlike Europe and unlike Japan, the               creating communities that are resilient in the
        United States has a growing population.          face of climate change, or will we be creating
        By 2050, the U.S. population is projected        communities where everyone must drive?
to grow by another 41 percent, whereas Europe                 The future of California has everything to
is projected to decline by 9 percent and Japan           do with high-speed rail. Will it get built, and if
by 20 percent over the same period of time.              so, when and where? It is literally the only hope
     The terrible irony is that it is Europe and Japan   we have for structuring the state’s growth in a
that are actually investing in modern infrastructure,    sustainable way. Yes, San Francisco, along with
while the United States is falling increasingly          San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento — the central
                   behind. Europe and Japan have         cities of Northern California — must do everything
                   high-speed rail networks, growing     in their power to take the population growth
                   faster and more extensive every       themselves and keep it away from sprawl. But even
                   year, but it is the United States     if the population of each of these four cities were
                   that desperately needs to create a    to double, California will still see a tidal wave of
                   transportation infrastructure to      new people going into the Central Valley. A high-
                   support its growing population.       speed rail network that links city centers up and
Only the Atlantic Seaboard, with the Amtrak              down the valley, coupled with aggressive land-use
Acela line, even approaches a functional inter-          planning measures to concentrate growth near
regional rail network, although even this great          these stations and along transit corridors that serve
American exception stands out for its annual             these stations, is the best answer we know of.
near-death experience at the hands of Congress.
     California will play a large role in the story           Will we be creating
of the Unites Sates in the 21st century. Already
the source of 13 percent of the country’s gross              communities that are
domestic product and 12 percent of the population,
California will add more than 20 million                      resilient in the face
people, growing to a population of 55 million
by 2050. And we continue to create policies
                                                             of climate change, or
and set trends that spread across America.
     Where will the people go?
                                                              will we be creating
     If current trends continue — meaning that
existing cities refuse to allow significant population
                                                              communities where
growth, the state refuses to enact serious growth-           everyone must drive?
management legislation and we continue to invest
in highways at a far greater rate than transit                As you read on page 1, new numbers have
— the answer is clear: We will pave over large           recently emerged showing just how much of
swaths of the Central Valley with sprawl and Los         a bargain a $40 billion rail network is.
Angeles will jump over the Santa Ana Mountains                SPUR has been working hard to make
and pave over the Inland Empire. The urbanized           statewide high-speed rail happen and to prepare the
land of the Bay Area will increase by 23 percent         way for the eventual extension of the high-speed
by 2050 while the footprint of the San Joaquin           rail network into downtown San Francisco. As
Valley will increase by 133 percent and Southern         you read on page 4, we have made the interrelated
California counties, including LA, will increase         issues of the Transbay Terminal, the extension
their urban footprint by almost 70 percent.              of Caltrain downtown, the regional rail plan and
     Growth in the Central Valley is not necessarily     the high-speed rail network a top priority of our
bad. Many Central Valley towns are desperately in        planning and advocacy efforts. We hope you will
need of revitalization, but the form of this growth      agree that these projects are critical for the future
matters a lot. Will we reinforce historic Central        of our city, our state and even our country. Y
Valley towns, or will we create disconnected
monocultures of housing tracts, shopping malls           Gabriel Metcalf,
and office parks? In other words, will we be             Executive Director

                                                                   j u n e     0 0 7     •     s p u r      •   p a g e   
              Transbay Transit Center to
              become major regional hub
                                                                                                         By Gerald Cauthen

                    ince BART commenced operations                         SPUR hopes that the Transbay Terminal
                    more than 40 years ago, San Francisco             area remains a commercial center. Ensuring that
                    has not added any substantial regional            there are sufficient sites for job growth — that is,
              transportation capacity. Meanwhile, suburban            office buildings — near transit is vital both for the
              counties have added a few BART extensions and           economy of our city and for reducing regional job
              significant highway expansions, accommodating           sprawl. As such, it may be necessary to revisit some
              and attracting sprawling job and housing                of the assumptions for residential uses in the areas
              growth. The Transbay Transit Center is an               immediately adjacent to the Transbay Terminal.
              important first step in reversing that trend.                As a modern transit center in the heart of
                                                                      downtown San Francisco, the new Transbay

                   The completed facility                             Transit Center would make an important statement
                                                                      to the region, the state and the world that San
                  would represent to 21st-                            Francisco remains a major center of commerce
                                                                      and transportation. The completed facility would
                   century San Francisco                              represent to 21st-century San Francisco no less
                                                                      than what the completed Hetch Hetchy water
                      no less than what                               and power system represented 100 years ago.
                                                                           The voters understand its importance, and
                    the completed Hetch                               voted strongly to support the project when
                                                                      it appeared on the ballot in November 1999.
                  Hetchy water and power                              Then, Proposition H asked, “Shall the City

                     system represented                               pursue extending CalTrain from the Fourth
                                                                      and Townsend streets station to a new or rebuilt

                       100 years ago.                                 station on the site of the Transbay Terminal,
                                                                      as well as other improvements in CalTrain
                                                                      facilities and services?” San Franciscans went
                   When completed with the downtown extension         for this proposal overwhelmingly: Proposition
              of Caltrain, the center is anticipated to quickly       H passed by a vote of 69.3 percent.
              take its place among the great public transit centers        Despite the voters’ strong support for
              of the world. It would serve not only Caltrain but      Proposition H, it has not fared well in the
              also all the trans-Bay and West Bay bus systems,        competition for funding. The project is nearly
              including AC Transit, Muni, SamTrans, Golden            $2 billion short of its $3.4 billion price tag.
              Gate Transit and Greyhound. To make things even         This gap has obliged the Transbay Joint
              more convenient, travelers would be able to move        Powers Authority, which is in charge of the
              directly between the terminal and the BART and          project, to divide it into two phases.
              Muni Metro subway systems via subsurface moving              Phase 1 is fully funded. It includes the
              ramps. It would greatly increase capacity in both       Transbay Transit Center building plus connecting
              the Bay Bridge corridor and the Peninsula corridor.    bus-only ramps to the Bay Bridge, surface bus-
                   The redevelopment area surrounding the             storage facilities and provision for a future
              terminal would host dozens of new buildings             subsurface rail terminal. As of March, the
              including 3,400 units of housing or more, at            estimated total cost of Phase 1 was $983 million.
              least 1,200 of which would be in the “affordable”            Phase 2 is considered by many to be the
              category. These units, together with another 6,000      more significant of the two phases because of
              units or so to be constructed immediately to the        the new transit connection it creates between
              south as part of the Rincon Annex development,          the Peninsula and downtown San Francisco.
              would make the Transbay Terminal the center of          Yet Phase 2, which includes a new underground
              the largest transit-oriented housing development        tunnel between the existing terminus of
              in North America west of New York City.                 Caltrain to the Transbay Terminal Center, a

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                                                                                                       New Transbay Transit Center

                                                                                                                                             Tail Tracks

                                                                                                                       Temporary Terminals
                                                                                 Bus Storage
                                                                                                                    Fremont Street Exit

                                                                                                         Ramp         Bus Ramp
                                                                                                        to Bus

                                           Fourth and King Station                                          Caltrain Extension
                                                                                 Begin Tunnel
Photo courtesy URS Corporation

                                           Caltrain Yard Improvements

                                 Temporary terminals will serve aC Transit and other bus passengers while the new Transbay Transit Center is being built .
                                 When complete, the building will bring together bus routes and Caltrain in easy walking distance of BaRT, muni metro,
                                 and tens of thousands of jobs and residents .

                                 new underground train terminal station at the                     by the excavation of the underground train
                                 Center, improvements to the station at Fourth and                 station as part of Phase 1. To facilitate the more
                                 King streets, and new rail-storage facilities, is far             expedient construction of both phases, SPUR has
                                 from fully funded. This part of the project will                  multiple task forces working on a dozen tasks:
                                 cost an estimated $2.4 billion, only about $500                        Cost cutting: Encouraged by SPUR and the
                                 million of which is covered by available funds.                   City and County of San Francisco, the Transbay
                                      SPUR has long supported the Transbay                         Joint Powers Authority has been conducting an
                                 Transit Center and downtown extension of                          intensive value-management exercise to identify
                                 Caltrain. SPUR’s statement in favor of the project                ways of reducing costs without jeopardizing the
                                 in the 1999 San Francisco voters’ handbook                        basic functions of the project. Many good ideas
                                 read, “Proposition H makes it City policy to                      have emerged from this exercise, which have served
                                 bring Caltrain into downtown San Francisco,                       to hold the line on costs. However, the effects of
                                 connecting the Peninsula to San Francisco by                      inflation and delays caused by external factors such
                                 public transit. This means thousands of commuters                 as the conflict between a proposed new building
                                 each day will finally have convenient and reliable                and the path of the new tracks have made it
                                 transit. Proposition H reduces traffic and parking                difficult for the Transbay Joint Powers Authority
                                 problems while providing access to jobs and                       to actually reduce the overall cost of the project.
                                 workplaces. Vote Yes on Proposition H.”
                                      SPUR supports the phasing proposal, but                                                         Transbay: continued on page 6
                                 wants to make sure that Phase 2 is initiated

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                   Transbay: continued from page 5
                                                                                      such as parks and bike paths and a portion of the
                         There appear to be other cost-cutting                        cost of Phase 2 of the Transbay Transit Center.
                    opportunities, relating to certain operating                           Fund raising through Transbay
                    requirements imposed on the TJPA by Caltrain,                     neighborhood value capture: As with the
                    AC Transit and the California High Speed                          area around the station at Fourth and King
                    Rail Authority, the three principal prospective                   streets, upzoning — changing the land-use
                    users of the facility. These operators may have                   rules for the area to allow for greater development
                    defined their operating requirements based upon                   — would accommodate more jobs and housing
                    scenarios not likely to develop in the near term,                 in this very well-served neighborhood and
                    so it may be possible to defer certain elements                   should create a great deal of value to benefit the
                    of the project, thereby achieving initial cost                    downtown extension. This has the dual benefit
                    savings without undue risk to future operations.                  of providing an appropriate land-use response
                    SPUR is actively probing these possibilities.                     to take advantage of the massive transit investment,
                         Fourth and King redevelopment: SPUR has                      while raising money to pay for the investment
                    proposed a land-use plan for the area including                   itself. This money could come from a variety
                    and around the existing train station at Fourth                   of sources such as exactions on development,
                    and King streets. Emulating some of the best train                fees or higher tax revenue based on increased
                    stations in the world, San Francisco can wrap the                 property value. SPUR is working closely with
                    station in a podium platform structure and develop                the San Francisco Planning Department,
                    residential and office towers on the platform above               Redevelopment Agency and Chamber of
                    it. This takes advantage of the massive transit                   Commerce, and the TJPA to identify the best
                    supply and provides value — more than $300                        way to intensify development and capture
                    million — to benefit neighborhood improvements                    that value for transit improvements.

          When complete, the Transbay Transit Center will quickly take its place among the most significant transit stations in the world . Direct
          connections to Caltrain, high-speed rail, a half dozen bus systems, BaRT and muni metro will attract nearly 100,000 daily trips through
          the terminal . above the underground train station and ground-level services, the center will include one of the most elegant bus terminals
          in the United States . Buses will circulate around a center boarding area, which will be separated from the fumes and noise of the buses
          with a glass wall to provide a comfortable passenger experience .

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    Fundraising through innovative local                    Ensuring good design: SPUR is working to
mechanisms: SPUR is considering a variety              make sure that the project will be beloved not just
of new funding sources that have proven                for its transportation benefit, but also its aesthetic
successful elsewhere, but which have not been          and community benefit. We are working with the
implemented here to any substantial degree:            Planning Department to encourage the application
• adding a congestion charge to the Bay Bridge         of green building standards on new development
    to reduce peak-hour congestion and generate        in the neighborhood. We are providing advice
    revenues to pay for the BART connection and        and oversight, where appropriate, to the design
    other aspects of the Transbay Transit Center       and development teams competing for the right to
    project related to the Bay Bridge corridor;        build the signature transit-center tower that could
• a multicounty sales tax, like the one that           become the tallest building in San Francisco.
    funds BART, to pay for the electrification              Including high speed rail: Finally, SPUR
    of Caltrain and the downtown extension;            recognizes that the benefits of the Transbay Transit
• local congestion pricing, to support measures        Center are realized most gloriously when it becomes
    to reduce congestion in San Francisco, such as     the San Francisco terminal of the California
    improvements to Muni, the bicycle network          High Speed Rail system. Imagine walking from
    and the downtown extension of Caltrain.            SPUR’s new Urban Center on Mission Street
                                                       and being on the sidewalks of downtown Los
       Without efficient                               Angeles about two hours and 45 minutes later!
                                                            Join us: Closing a nearly $2 billion budgetary
      connections among                                gap is a daunting task. However, the future
                                                       importance of this project to San Francisco and
   the many public transit                             the rest of the Bay Area cannot be overstated.
                                                       Without efficient connections among the many
    lines including BART,                              public transit lines including BART, Muni Metro
                                                       and Caltrain operating in and around today’s
   Muni Metro and Caltrain                             Transbay Terminal, it simply will not be possible
                                                       to create a viable West Bay alternative to the
   operating in and around                             private automobile. The critically important

       today’s Transbay                                Transbay Transit Center and Downtown Extension
                                                       must be completed and put on line at the earliest
      Terminal, it simply                              possible date. If you wish to help with this
                                                       project, contact SPUR’s Transportation Policy
    will not be possible to                            Director Dave Snyder at 415.781.8726 x135.

     create a viable West                              Gerald Cauthen is a member of SPUR’s
                                                       Transportation Committee. He is the former chief
    Bay alternative to the                             project manager for the San Francisco Public
                                                       Utilities Commission and former deputy director
      private automobile.                              of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority.

     Private financing: Because of the project’s
environmental and transportation benefits, it may                   WriTe To SPUr!
be possible to interest certain private foundations
in helping to sponsor elements of the program.                letters to the editor should be sent
SPUR is also looking into these possibilities.                 to or mailed to:
     State and federal fund raising: The legislation                SPUR Newsletter Editor,
authorizing federal transportation spending is up
                                                                  312 Sutter St., Suite 500,
for renewal in two years. SPUR and the TJPA are
working together with our representatives and other               San Francisco, CA 9410.
congressional leaders to get a funding category for
                                                                  If used, letters may be edited
urban multimodal hubs, for which the Transbay
Transit Center would qualify. State transit money,                   for space and clarity and
including a high-speed rail bond, should also                           will not be returned.
provide some funding for the downtown extension.

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                                             Rail: continued from page 1

              Image courtesy Keith Pomakis

                                             japan’s Shinkansen is well known for providing swift and efficient transportation . What is less well known is that the trains also
                                             feature comfortable and relatively luxurious seating accommodations .

                                             on the system as a whole. But since the                             terminate the project. By backing this project,
                                             project would be constructed in segments,                           Schwarzenegger has a crucial opportunity to
                                             it would also provide public benefits such as                       achieve the tremendous benefits of greenhouse
                                             grade separations and track upgrades even                           gas reductions and more sustainable land use. His
                                             before the entire system is completed.                              support is essential to move this train forward.

                                             on and off the ballot
                                             A $9.95 billion bond to get the system started                         The decision over the
                                             was placed on the 2004 ballot but it was pulled
                                             due to the lackluster economy and the need                               route into the Bay
                                             to resolve some issues, such as route selection.
                                             In 2006 the bond was pushed back to 2008,                                Area looms large,
                                             this time because of the record $43 billion
                                             in bonds on the ballot for projects that Gov.                           and has become an
                                             Arnold Schwarzenegger made a priority.
                                                  Last year, with support from state Sen. Don                        incredibly polarized
                                             Perata and others, the project got a tremendous
                                             boost. The authority received funding to begin                         and politicized issue.
                                             detailed environmental studies and preliminary
                                             engineering work needed to construct the
                                             system. Recently, the authority submitted a                         Building on worldwide experience
                                             $103 million request to the Legislature. This                       Beginning in 1964 with the Tokyo–Osaka bullet
                                             request would continue the environmental                            train (known there as the Shinkansen), Japan
                                             studies and purchase key right-of-way lands that                    proved that high-speed trains could provide major
                                             are threatened with imminent development.                           transportation capacity and deliver significant
                                                  California’s legislative analyst is recommending               operating profits. Today, the Shinkansen carries
                                             that the state either fully fund the request or just                more than 300 million passengers a year.

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                                                                                                                                                                                         THE HIGH SPEED RAIL ALIGNMENT
                                                                                                                                                                                         And Urbanized Land in the Year 2100
                                                                                                               SHASTA                                    LASSEN


                                                                                                                          BUTTE                                                                                                                      Preferred Alignment
                                                                                                                                                         SIERRA                                                                                      Station

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Possible Alignment
                                                                                                                                                    PLACER                     Lake                                                                  Urbanized Land, 2100
                                                                                                                     SUTTER                                                    Tahoe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     County Line
                                                                                                                                                     EL DORADO

                                                                              SONOMA                                                                                        ALPINE
                                                                                                      NAPA                            Sacramento
                                                                                                                               SACRAMENTO       AMADOR                                                 VA

                                                                              SAN FRANCISCO
                                                                                                              Oakland COSTA
                                                                                    San Francisco
                                                                                                                  Oakland Airport                   STANISLAUS
                                                                                                                  ALAMEDA                             Stockton
                                                                                                                      Union City                                        MARIPOSA
                                                                                       SFO Airport

                                                                                            Redwood City/
                                                                                            Palo Alto
                                                                                            MATEO                      San Jose                                   Modesto
                                                                                                                 SANTA CLARA
                                                                                                          CRUZ                                                                 MADERA

                                                                                                Monterey                                                                                           FRESNO

                                                                                                                                                                                        Merced                                                INYO


                                                                  ific                                                                                                                                  TULARE

                                                                         ce                                                  MONTEREY


                                                                         The Altamont and
                                                                         Pacheco alignment                                                                                                                     Fresno

                                                                          alternatives are
                                                                                                                                                             SAN LUIS

                                                                            contained in
                                                                           this study area.                                                                                                                                                                                               SAN BERNARDINO

                                                                                                                                                                                                     VENTURA                           Palmdale Airport

Map courtesy California High Speed Rail Authority

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Industry        Ontario Airport                                                                  ARIZONA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Los Angeles

                                                                                                                                                                                                       Monica Los Angeles                                              Riverside
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Ba     Norwalk



                                                                                                                                                                              el I                                                   Irvine                              Marrieta
                                                                                                                                                                                   sl   ands                                                    ORANGE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Escondido       SAN                       IMPERIAL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Universal City

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          San            San Diego
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Diego                                                MEXICO

                                                    A high-speed rail system connecting Northern California and Southern California is essential to the state’s economy, ecology and quality of life. However,
                                                    considerable disagreement remains regarding the question of the path the system takes in Northern California. one possibility would bring trains to the
                                                    Bay Area via the Pacheco Pass and Gilroy, while another would head west to the Bay Area over the Altamont Pass.
                                                         The blue-colored shading indicates the area projected to be urbanized land in the year 2100. These projections, done by John Landis, largely follow
                                                    the highway infrastructure in the state. in this map, we have shown the high-speed rail alignment on top of the urbanized land to show the potential for
                                                    using high-speed rail as an armature to organize the state’s growth over the next century. in reality, the urbanized land area will be different, and less
                                                    sprawling, if we build the rail network.
                                                                                                                                                                                     Rail: continued on page 12

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               jUNE 2007 SPUR FORUMS
       Please post. All forums are open to the public — free for members and $5 for non-members.

Tues., June 5                                               Wed., June 13
octavia unveiled                                            Tunisian cities
                  The replacement of the Central                                A piece of land the size of the
                  Freeway with Octavia Boulevard                                hide of a cow. That’s what
                  created the opportunity for                                   Princess Elissa of Tyre was
                  new residential development                                   granted in 814 B.C. by a
                  nearby. Recently, the city                                    Numidian ruler to build a city
received proposals for new development. Come                on the North African coast: Qart Hadasht, or
hear from Rich Hillis of the Mayor’s Office of              Carthage. Since then Romans, Vandals, Byzantines,
Economic Development, David Alumbaugh                       Arabs and French have settled there. Urban planner
of the San Francisco Planning Department,                   Eva Liebermann will present impressions of
Robin Levitt of Hayes Valley Neighborhood                   Tunisia in slides and show Phoenician, Roman and
Association and Lou Vasquez of Build Inc, as                Arab cities.
they describe the future of the “Octavia Parcels.”
                                                            Thurs., June 14
Wed., June 6                                                The new good Roads movement
The future of Visitacion Valley                                                 In the 1890s, bicyclists mounted
                       In 2002, the San Francisco                               the Good Roads Movement
                       Planning Department and                                  and demanded paved roads
                       Redevelopment Agency                                     in place of the rutted, muddy
                       began a community                                        and messy streets. Today, the
                       planning process to                  roads are again in disrepair, and again, organized
determine the future of the Schlage Lock site               bicyclists are leading a coalition including AAA
in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood. Come                 and the San Francisco Department of Public Works
hear from Sarah Dennis of the San Francisco                 to gain support for a new commitment to better
Planning Department and Tom Evans of                        pavement on our city’s streets. Learn from Andy
the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency                      Thornley of the San Francisco Bike Coalition,
as they explain where Vis Valley is in the                  Deborah Wong of the California Automobile
planning process and what we can expect for                 Association and Fred Abadi, San Francisco’s
the future of this changing neighborhood.                   director of public works about the revived coalition
                                                            for smooth pavement on our City’s streets.

Tues., June 12     S P E C i a l T i m E / l o C aT i o N
                                                            Fri., June 15
young Urbanists: made in the City                           Notes from the undergrounding
                                                                                  The Utility Undergrounding
                                                                                  Task Force, established by
                   Why do companies continue                                      Supervisor Bevan Dufty,
                   to manufacture locally, given                                  spent the past two years
                   high costs and limited space?                                  examining the state of San
                   How are they using San                   Francisco’s overhead utility wires and the process
                   Francisco’s identity as part             for putting them underground. Join Dufty; Dan
of their branding strategy? Join other Young                Weaver, the task force’s chair; and Dan McKenna
Urbanists for an evening exploring these                    of the Department of Public Works for a review
questions as we hear from company owners                    of what works, what doesn’t, and what’s next,
who have chosen to do some or all of their                  including how ratepayers might pay for more
production within our city’s borders. RSVP                  undergrounding.
to or 415.781.8726 x120.
312 Sutter St., #500, San Francisco, CA 9410   |   T   415.71.726    |   F   415.71.7291 | |

 Unless otherwise noted, all onsite SPUR forums are held at 312 Sutter St. #500 (at Grant) at 12:30 p.m.

Tues., June 19                                                         Thurs., June 21

Planning the inclusive city:                                           Tenderloin-little Saigon
Washington’s general plan                                              new neighborhood plan
                         In December 2006,                                                     Most Tenderloin residents
                         Washington, D.C. adopted                                              walk or take transit for their
                         a new comprehensive plan.                                             trips, yet their streets are
                         It addresses issues like those                                        designed for high-volume
                         San Francisco faces, and                                              car traffic and they are six
seeks to grow more inclusively and retain the city’s                   times more likely to be hit by a car than residents
diverse character. The plan also accommodates                          of other neighborhoods. Rachel Hiatt of the San
more than 50,000 new housing units and 50 million                      Francisco Transportation Authority discusses a
square feet of new office space by 2025. Hear                          plan to calm and slow traffic. Peter Straus of the
about the process, the battles, and the outcome in                     Municipal Transportation Agency will discuss the
a presentation by Washington’s former associate                        transit implications, especially for the intersection
director of planning, Barry Miller.                                    of McAllister and Leavenworth streets.

Wed., June 20                                                          Fri., June 22
Central Subway update                                                  Transit capacity into SF’s downtown
                     Our first new subway in                                                With San Francisco’s
                     decades is nearing the end                                             job base projected to grow by
                     of the planning phase. The                                             40 percent, how will our transit
                     Central Subway will extend the                                         system accommodate all the
                     T-Third Muni line from King                                            new demand? How many BART
and Fourth streets to a subway portal under the                        trains and AC Transit buses do we need at the
I-80 freeway, to its terminus in Chinatown, with                       busiest time of day, and can we get enough of them?
subway stops at Market Street and the Moscone                          Join Chuck Purvis, Metropolitan Transportation
Center on the way. John Funghi of the Municipal                        Commission manager of transportation analysis/
Transportation Agency will present the latest                          GIS and Vamsee Modugula of Cambridge
drawings and plans.                                                    Systematics as they explain how our transit
                                                                       systems will meet the demand.

Wed., June 20                SPECial TimE
                                                                       Tues., June 26
an evening with Fiona ma                                               BaRT capital planning
                RECEPTION: 5:45 P.M.                                                            Thirty-five years after
                PROGRAM: 6 P.M.                                                                 opening its doors, the Bay
                Join us for refreshments and                                                    Area Rapid Transit system
                informative discussion with Assembly                                            is due for maintenance
                Majority Whip Fiona Ma (D-San                                                   and upgrades. BART’s
Francisco/San Mateo). Ma, who formerly served                          Greg Marrama, capital development manager,
District 4 on the Board of Supervisors, now                            and Carter Mau, executive manager for planning
represents the 12th Assembly District and is the                       and budget, will present BART’s 25-year capital
highest-ranking Asian-American woman in the                            plan. Of special interest to San Francisco residents
Legislature. Hear about the exciting future for                        are proposals to upgrade stations and add better
high-speed rail, initiatives to stem human                             transfers between BART and Muni, and BART
trafficking, increased financial accountability for                    and the future Transbay Transit Center.
our schools and much more.
                 Rail: continued from page 9
                                                                                                  Pacheco Pass and a northern one along the
                     In Europe, the first commercial high-speed                                   Altamont Pass. The Pacheco Pass alternative
                 train began operating in 1981. With the addition                                 would travel west from Madera, connect with
                 of new lines in Italy, France and Germany, and the                               Gilroy and travel north along Highway 101.
                 construction of high-speed lines in Spain, England,                                   The Altamont Pass alternative would
                 Belgium and the Netherlands, more than 2,550                                     travel north from Madera through Merced
                 miles of high-speed lines have been completed                                    and Modesto and then head west over the
                 in Europe. The technology is now spreading to                                    Altamont Pass into the Bay Area. The authority
                 Taiwan, Korea, China and Mexico. The United                                      is looking at a variety of options as to where
                 States — and cutting-edge, but crowded California                                the train will terminate and how it will be
                 — are being bested by developing countries.                                      integrated with existing transit systems.
                     These trains aren’t just fast; they are                                           The authority is undertaking an environmental
                 comfortable and convenient. The ride is smoother                                 study, focused on selecting a preferred alternative
                 than that on commuter rail and subways. Typical                                  between the Central Valley and the Bay Area.
                 high-speed trains have specialized cars with                                     In doing so the authority is responding to two
                 reservable rooms for business meetings, dining                                   regional and local concerns. First, the authority
                 cars, entertainment cars, and cars with special                                  is studying routes over the Altamont pass, as
                 activities and accommodations for families with                                  well as the Pacheco Pass, and is participating in
                 children. And with stations in existing downtowns,                               a larger Bay Area regional-rail study. Second,
                 traveling to the train can be quick and convenient.                              the authority screened out routes through and
                                                                                                  just north of Henry Coe State Park and other

                 High-speed rail presents                                                         highly sensitive habitat areas. This document
                                                                                                  should be in circulation by June 2007.
                    the opportunity for
                   California to have the                                                         making the land use link
                                                                                                  The development of a high-speed train linking
                 first truly zero-emission                                                        California’s major cities to each other could
                                                                                                  help retain existing downtowns as the primary
                 high-speed train system                                                          economic centers of California and provide
                                                                                                  mobility for the state’s growing population. But as
                        in the world.                                                             was learned from BART’s early years, good land
                                                                                                  use does not automatically follow new transit;
                     California’s high-speed trains will use state-of                             policies must be in place to link investments in
                 the-art electrified vehicles capable of speeds of up                             the high-speed train with supportive land use.
                 to 220 mph, similar to those currently operating                                      A recent study by the Metropolitan
                 in Europe and Asia. The line will consist of new                                 Transportation Commission found that
                 infrastructure often in or alongside existing                                    people who both live and work within half a
                 transportation corridors. The entire high-speed                                  mile of rapid transit use transit for 42 percent
                 train system will run at a different elevation from                              of their work trips.1 Those who neither live
                 that of parallel and crossing roads. Designed                                    nor work near transit use transit for only 4
                 in coordination with the state’s existing public                                 percent of their work trips. Building housing
                 transit network the trains have the potential to                                 near transit stations will increase ridership by
                 share tracks at reduced speeds with conventional                                 making transit convenient and accessible.
                 trains such as Caltrain and will act as a strong                                      The High Speed Rail Authority has already
                 feeder system to urban transit systems.                                          made what is arguably the most critical land-
                                                                                                  use decision, focusing new stations primarily
                                                                                                  in downtowns at existing transit hubs. Even
                 The Bay area connection                                                          though it can cost more to go through city
                 The decision over the route into the Bay Area                                    centers in areas such as the Central Valley,
                 looms large, and has become an incredibly                                        the authority made a policy decision to avoid
                 polarized and politicized issue. There are two                                   locating stations in undeveloped areas.
                 basic alignments: a southern one along the                                            The authority is also looking at strategies used

                1 Characteristics of Rail and Ferry Station Area Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area: Evidence from the 2000 Bay Area Travel Survey, Volume 1, p. 1. MTC,
                  September 2006.

p a g e   1       •        s p u r            •        j u n e         0 0 7
in the Bay Area by BART and the Metropolitan                       better urban development with policies to protect
Transporation Commission to require that ridership                 open space. Many people believe that open-
support or station area plans be in place before the               space strategies can only work if the authority
authority commits to finalizing station locations.                 requires countywide policies. This is one of the
The principles that they will require include:                     issues that will be tackled over the next year.
• Higher-density development in relation
     to the existing pattern of development
     in the surrounding area, along with                           California high speed rail and
     minimum requirements for density.                             greenhouse gas reductions
• A mix of land uses (retail, office, hotels,
     entertainment, residential, etc.) and                         California is the 12th-largest source of greenhouse-
     a mix of housing types to meet the                            gas emissions in the world, and 41 percent of the
     needs of the local community.                                 state’s emissions come from the transportation
• A grid street pattern and compact,                               sector. California’s landmark legislation, Assembly
     pedestrian-oriented design that promotes                      Bill 32, requires greenhouse gases to return
     walking, bicycle and transit access.                          to 1990 levels by 2020 and to drop to a point
• Context-sensitive building design with new                       80 percent lower than 1990 levels by 2050.
     buildings designed in relation to streets, plazas,                 However, cleaner fuels and more-efficient
     other open space areas and parking structures.                vehicles alone are not anticipated to meet AB
• Limits on the amount parking for new                             32’s requirements: While cars are getting more
     development and a preference for parking                      efficient, the total number of miles autombiles
     placed in structures. Sufficient parking                      travel yearly is increasing so much that it more
     for train passengers would be essential to                    than cancels out the benefits of cleaner fuel and
     system viability, but this would be offered                   more-efficient cars. We need to complement
     at market rates to encourage the use of                       fuel and vehicle efficiency with a wide range of
     access by transit and other modes.                            strategies to reduce the number of cars on the road.
                                                                         A national study conducted last year found
    The authority is now working to further                        that a California high-speed train system had
define land-use policies. Research in this area will               tremendous greenhouse-gas reduction potential. In
be conducted by a team led by Prof. Elizabeth                      fact, building a system in California would reduce
Deakin at the University of California at Berkeley.                emissions more than the reductions from nine
One important issue will be how to complement                      other major regions including Texas, Florida and

The California high-Speed Rail authority has decided to site new stations mostly at existing transit hubs in downtowns, a
decision likely to have a positive impact on ridership and land use . People who live and work within half a mile of rapid transit
use it for nearly half of all their trips .
                                                                                                       Rail: continued on page 14

                                                                             j u n e       0 0 7       •      s p u r         •     p a g e   1 
                 Rail: continued from page 13

                 European high-speed rail got its start in 1981, and there now are thousands of miles of track among several countries . The
                 ride on these trains is smoother than on commuter rail and subways, and trains often include rooms for business meetings,
                 entertainment and dining .

                 the Northeast — combined. By displacing some                                  alternatives to high speed rail: highway
                 in-state airplane trips to the electricity-powered                            and airport expansion
                 high-speed train, the project would result in
                 substantial emissions reduction, especially given                             In the Transportation and Land Use Coalition’s
                 that the Los Angeles to San Francisco corridor is                             discussions with organizations around the state
                 the most highly-trafficked air corridor in the world.                         about the proposed high-speed train, two primary
                      Preliminary calculations indicate that by                                concerns emerged: the price of the system and its
                 2030 the California High Speed Rail system                                    impact on habitat. Many of these groups developed
                 could reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by                                      questions and concerns in response to the program-
                 more than 8.7 million metric tons annually                                    level environmental-impact report several years
                 when compared to the effect of expanding road                                 ago. While these are major concerns, they should
                 and airport capacity by a similar amount.2                                    be considered in relation to the alternatives.
                      Additional emission reductions could be                                       It is anticipated that California is going to be a
                 achieved by running the system on clean energy and                            state of 50 million to 60 million people in the next
                 implementing companion land-use policies. Higher                              25 to 45 years. There undoubtedly will be a growing
                 costs of air and car travel may encourage more                                need to accommodate the growing travel demand.
                 people to ride the high-speed train as an alternative.                        When we don’t provide access to effective transit,
                      To put these numbers into context, AB                                    the demand for highways and airports surges.
                 32’s goal includes 18 million metric tons of                                       The environmental footprint of new highways
                 emission reductions targeted from smart land-                                 is tremendous, and widening existing roads
                 use and intelligent transportation systems.3                                  requires large new interchanges and expanded
                      High-speed rail presents the opportunity for                             feeder roads. In contrast, a high-speed rail system
                 California to have the first truly zero-emission                              will largely rely on existing rail corridors.
                 high-speed train system in the world. Given the                                    When we consider spending public dollars
                 state’s potential for generating clean power, running                         on the high-speed rail system, we must weigh
                 the entire system on clean, renewable energy                                  this project against the costs of alternatives.
                 would be feasible and would not significantly                                 For example:
                 increase the ongoing costs for the project.                                                                            Rail: continued on page 16
                2 Calculations include assumption of reductions of 30 percent increase in fuel economy by 2030, as per California law (Assembly Bill 1493, Pavley) and
                  CO2 reduction estimates from Table S-6.1, Summary of Key Environmental Impacts and Benefits for System Alternatives in the California High-Speed Train
                  Final Program EIR/EIS. March 2007 ridership projections allow for 2030 extrapolations.
                3 California’s total emissions reductions by 2020 are intended to be approximately 174,000,000 metric tons. Recent HSR projections go to 2030.

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        Young Urbanists invites you to a discussion
        about goods made in San Francisco

          MADE IN THE CITY
          tuesday, june 12, 2007

           6:00-9:00 pm
                          the high-speed train speeds
Running on 100% clean energy,
           the city club of san francisco
           155 sansome street, 10th floor
           (located close to the Montgomery St. BART/Muni Station and several Muni lines)
           6:00 pm Registration 6:30 pm Program 7:30 pm Reception

           Why do companies continue to manufacture locally, given the high
           costs and limited space? How are they using the identity of San
           Francisco as part of their firm’s branding strategy? Is this rise of artisinal
           manufacturing indicative of a broader trend towards local production?
           Join us for an evening where we will explore these questions as we hear
           from company owners who have made an explicit choice to do some
           or all of their production within our City’s borders.

           Moderated by: Mark Dwight, Board of Directors, SF Chamber of
           Commerce; Former CEO of Timbuk2

           Steve Bruce, Founder of Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
           Jason Phillips, President of McGuire Furniture Company

           RSVP today to or 415.781.8726 x120.

          Young Urbanists is a new SPUR initiative that seeks to attract people 40 and
          under who appreciate San Francisco and are interested in deepening their
          involvement in civic affairs.

          Gwyneth Borden                        Jane Huynh                        Lawrence Pelosi
          Gia Daniller                          Jonathan Kelly                    Katheryn Pellegrini
          Pamela Brewster
          Roberta Economidis            I haven’t bought this photo
                                                Jessica Appelgren
                                                Jessica Mullens
                                                                                  Michael Powell
                                                                                  Christine Yang
          Hala Hijazi                           Gina Nibbi                        Michael Yarne
                                                            Promoting good government and
                                                            good planning through research,
                                                            education and advocacy.

                                                        j u n e       0 0 7         •      s p u r     •   p a g e   1 
                Rail: continued from page 14

                HigH SpEEd rAiL’S impACT ON grEENHOuSE gASES
                E s timated reduction in annual emis sions per year by the year 2 03 0

                                                                     Annual Greenhouse Gas                         equivalency:
                     High-Speed rail, 2030
                                                                     reductions4 (metric tons/year)                Cars off the road/Year5

                     Baseline Project                                       .7 million                                  1. million

                     With clean, renewable electricity                      .7 million                                 1.91 million

                     With higher ridership due to higher
                                                                           11.9 million                                  2.57 million
                     cost of air and car travel
                    4 Calculations include assumption of Pavley reductions of 30 percent increase in fuel economy by 2030 and CO2 reduction estimates
                      from Table S-6.1, Summary of Key Environmental Impacts and Benefits for System Alternatives in the California High-Speed Train Final
                      Program EIR/EIS. March 2007 ridership projections allow for 2030 extrapolations.
                    5 U.S. Climate Technology Cooperation Gateway calculator:

                 Source: Transportation and Land Use Coalition

                if California builds even a minimal high-speed rail system, use of rail transport instead of air and automobile travel
                could produce significant reductions in the amount of greenhouse gases emitted per year . if trains are powered by
                clean sources of electricity, or if large numbers of people turn to high-speed rail as an alternative to higher costs of air
                and auto travel, estimated emissions reductions would be even greater .

                •       Caltrans estimates it will cost about $6                              before supporting funding in 2008 to build the the
                        billion (2006 dollars) to widen Highway 99                            project. Given the tremendous potential benefits,
                        from four lanes to six. Meeting interstate                            there is an urgent need to get the authority the
                        requirements and widening to eight lanes is                           requested $103 million in the coming year’s
                        estimated to cost between $20 billion and $25                         budget. These funds will help carry out the
                        billion.6 Demand for this project is intense:                         detailed environmental review needed to obtain
                        It was the only project earmarked in the                              the permits necessary for construction, and to
                        recent state transportation bond measure.                             acquire at-risk right of way critical to the system.
                •       The California Transportation Commission                                   As we allow more time to pass, the high-
                        identified $28.5 billion in high priority highway                     speed rail project becomes more and more
                        expansion projects for a 10-year period. Over                         expensive, especially in terms of rights-of-way and
                        two-thirds of these dollars are needed for                            construction costs. This is likely our last chance
                        projects in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, San                            in a generation, or more, to move ahead with this
                        Bernardino, San Diego, and Riverside — all                            fast and environmentally sustainable alternative. Y
                        areas that would be served by high-speed rail.7
                •       The cost of all construction in the Los                               By Stuart Cohen, executive director, and Carli Paine,
                        Angeles International Airport Master Plan                             transportation program director, of the Transportation
                        are estimated to come to $11 billion.8                                and Land Use Coalition. TALC has been hired
                                                                                              by the California High Speed Rail Authority to
                    In a state as built-up as California is, with                             spearhead outreach to environmental and social-
                tremendous land values, providing any kind of                                 justice organizations across the state. Input from
                additional mobility is going to be expensive.                                 these groups is being used to help shape strong land
                The high-speed train costs less than half what                                use policies, and ensure that all communities benefit
                highways would for the same capacity.                                         from the project. SPUR is a member of TALC.
                    The high-speed train project offers a unique
                opportunity for air quality and mobility benefits,
                transit-oriented development potential, and
                reduced greenhouse-gas emissions. Most groups,
                including many members of the Transportation
                and Land Use Coalition, want to see a full plan

                6 Route 99 Corridor Enhancement Plan: Unifying the Aesthetic Treatment of Highway Improvement. Caltrans (2005).
                7 Inventory Of Ten Year Funding Needs for California’s Transportation System. California Transportation Commission (1999). Total cost adjusted to
                  reflect 2007 dollar value.
                8 About the Program: Frequently Asked Questions. Master Plan LAX.

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                                    2007 BAY DISCOVERY CRUISE
                                    A Benefit for SPUR
                                    San Francisco Planning and Urban Research
                                    On May 21, SPUR held its sold-out Ninth Annual Bay Discovery Cruise,
                                    welcoming supporters of our work to promote good planning and good
                                    government in the Bay Area.

The Aquarium of the Bay on PIER 39 hosted a land-based cocktail reception, which was an
opportunity to view some of the Bay’s interesting wildlife from below water, before our view from
above! Attendees made their way to Pier 41 to board the Bay Monarch for our sunset cruise down
along coast to McCovey Cove and then up and around Treasure Island.

SPUR would like to thank all of our members and other supporters who attended the 2007 Bay
Discovery Cruise and invite you to join us again next year. We also extend a very special than you
to the generous sponsors who helped make this year’s cruise such a success, most especially our
hosts at the Aquarium of the Bay on PIER 39 and PIER 39’s Blue & Gold Fleet.

Admiral                                     Captain                                       Claudine Cheng
PIER 39/Blue & Gold Fleet                   AAA of Northern California,                   David Prowler, Inc
                                                Nevada & Utah                             First American Title Ins. Co. / SF National
Vice Admiral                                Avalon Bay Communities                            Commercial Services (NCS)
Aquarium of the Bay on PIER 39              Bechtel                                       Flack + Kurtz
Lennar Urban                                Burr, Pilger & Mayer LLP                      Gordon Development
MBH Architects                              CBRE Consulting, Inc./Sedway Group            Hart Howerton
PG&E                                        Charles Pankow Builders                       HKS Architects, Inc.
San Francisco Waterfront Partners           Christiani Johnson Architects, Inc.           Holmes Culley
Shorenstein Company LLC                     Clark Construction Group - California LP      Hornberger + Worstell
Tishman Speyer                              Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass, LLP            Jim Chappell
Webcor Builders                             Comcast Cable Inc.                            John E. Hirten
Wilson Meany Sullivan LLC                   Cresleigh Homes Corporation                   Kennedy/Jenks Consultants
                                            David Baker + Partners, Architects            Larry Burnett
Commodore                                   DMJM Harris                                   Lightner Property Group
AF Evans Company, Inc                       Economic & Planning Systems, Inc.             Linda Fitz
ARUP                                        EIP, a Division of PBS&J                      Lurie Management, LLC
Bovis Lend Lease                            FME Architecture + Design                     Lynda Spence and Robert Mittelstadt
BRE Properties, Inc.                        Forest City Development                       McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
Cassidy, Shimko, Dawson & Kawakami          Golden Gate Disposal &                        MK Equities Group LLC
CityMark Development                            Recycling Company                         Presidio Bank
Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP                  Hanson Aggregates                             Public Financial Management
Degenkolb Engineers                         MJM Management Group                          San Francisco Marriott
Emerald Fund, Inc.                          Port of San Francisco                         SB Architects
ESA                                         Prado Group                                   Seifel Consulting Inc.
KPMG LLP                                    Reuben & Junius, LLP                          Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
McLarand Vasquez Emsiek &                   Seven Hills Properties                        Terry Micheau
     Partners, Inc.                         Shartsis Friese LLP                           Top Vision Development LLC
Millennium Partners                         Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP       Treadwell & Rollo, Inc.
MPA Design                                  Stone & Youngberg LLC                         Weiss Associates
Nibbi Brothers General Contractors          Westfield San Francisco Centre                Woodring & Associates
Northern California Carpenters
     Regional Council                       Skipper                                       Media Sponsor
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP         Andy & Sara Barnes                            San Francisco Business Times
SKS Investments, LLC                        April Philips Design Works, Inc.
SMWM                                        Baker Vilar Architects                        In Kind Donations
Steinberg Architects                        Burton Kendall and Sally Towse                BPS Reprographics
SummerHill Homes                            Cahill Contractors                            EDAW Inc
Tom Eliot Fisch                             Carter & Burgess                              The Estates Group / Young’s Market
Universal Paragon Corporation               CirclePoint                                   Keilani Tom Design Associates

                                                                    j u n e      0 0 7      •       s p u r          •       p a g e   1 7
                                             S U S T a i N a B l E l i F E V S  .          C a R S ? W h aT C a R S ?
                                             U N S U S Ta i N a B l E S o C i E T y        Big-box poster business Wal-Mart may
                                             We’re all in the same boat when it            have won over some environmentalists
                                             comes to human impact on the planet,          with its recent, highly publicized
                                             says the man who came up with the             series of sustainability measures, but,
                                             term “ecological footprint,” Prof.            argues researcher and author Stacy
                                             Bill Rees of the University of British        Mitchell in the online magazine
                                             Columbia, and if the boat goes down,          Grist, the company’s calculations of
                                             we all go down together. So, time to          its carbon footprint omitted one key
                                             start riding a bike to work and cutting       factor: cars. Autos driven by Wal-
                                             the length of showers, right? Sure,           Mart shoppers likely produce in the

                                             says Rees — but it won’t have much            neighborhood of 15 million metric
                                             impact unless everyone else does the          tons of emissions annually, Mitchell
                                             same. The problem is that one person’s        figures — or about as much as the

                                             well-intentioned efforts to do what’s         company’s estimated 15.3 million-ton
                                             right only make room for someone              carbon output for 2005. Moreover,
                                             else to do whatever is convenient.            Mitchell argues, the company is on
                                             What’s needed, says the professor, is         course to pave over another 20,000
STiFliNg REgimE ChaNgE                       a clearly defined common goal, an             acres in the U.S. alone by 2015, and its
ThRoUgh URBaN DESigN                         expectation of personal responsibility        new stores will more than offset any
Burma’s new capital city of Naypyidaw        for meeting that goal and some big            energy savings from its new initiatives.
is more than just the latest in a long       changes in government, including              Source:
line of isolated, master-planned             better zoning, more taxes to support          soapbox/2007/03/2/mitchell/.
capitals, a lineage that runs from           ecological necessities and a rethinking
Canberra through Brasilia (see               of which industries get big subsidies.        ikEa ExPoRTiNg
January’s Urban Drift). It is also, if       Source:   P R E Fa B h o m E S
observers are to be believed, the most       news/story.html?id=c66e5a75-fab4-             In the United States, prefabricated
recent example of a tradition that                                                         housing has recently begun to shed its
extends from the earliest settlements                                                      trailer-park image. But are we ready
through Haussmann and Eisenhower:            REgRET aND REFoRm                             for an Ikea invasion? The interior
that of defensive city planning. “It has     According to polls, most Oregonians           design giant’s line of manufactured
no city centre, no confined public space     now regret passing Measure 37 — the           homes, BoKlok (translation: “Smart
where even a crowd of several thousand       ballot measure that eliminated most of        Living”), isn’t yet available for sale in
people could make a visual — let alone       that state’s ability to enforce land-use      America, but having already erected
political — impression,” London’s            rules and paved the way for hundreds          3,500 meticulously conceived, sensibly
Independent quoted an Indian                 of millions of dollars worth of claims        stylish and affordable apartments in
journalist, Siddharth Varadarajan            against the state for loss of property        Scandanavia, the company is now
of Himal South Asian magazine, as            value due to regulations — and want it        exporting the concept to the U.K.
saying. “(It) is the ultimate insurance      changed. Oregon’s governor recently           Targeted at households earning the
against regime change, a masterpiece         signed a bill allowing for more time          equivalent of $30,000 to $60,000, the
of urban planning designed to defeat         to process claims that regulations            two- and three-bedroom units offer
any putative ‘colour revolution’             resulted in economic loss for private         high ceilings and windows on three
— not by tanks and water cannons,            owners, and another measure aimed             sides, and are typically fitted into two-
but by geometry and cartography.”            at reforming Measure 37 is working            story, six-unit blocks, each equipped
Among Naypyidaw’s design features:           its way through the legislature.              with its own apple tree. Each also
separate and massive zones for hotels,       Meanwhile in California, supporters           comes with an Ikea gift certificate.
government uses and the military,            of laws similar to Measure 37 and             Source:
the latter apparently incorporating          last year’s defeated Proposition 90           architecture/story/0,,204116,00.html. Y
missile silos, antiaircraft guns, and        continue their campaign to come
roads wide enough to double as               back for another try in this state.
runways. Commissioned by ruling              Source: http://www.friends.
Gen. Than Shwe, the city is in the           org/issues/M37/index.html.
jungle 250 miles inland from Rangoon.

p a g e     1       •      s p u r      •   j u n e       0 0 7
                      Welcome to our New members!
        iNDiViDUALS                                 Eric Robinson                            Bob Boileau
        Michelle Anderson                           Jeffrey A. Willcox                       Jonas Miller
        Samuel Bowman                               Cliff loenardi                           Tonya Ward
        Anita Ettinger                              Richard Hurlburt                         Jennifer Harrow
        Thor Kaslofsky                              William Drypolcher                       Diane Pennington
        Susan Millhouse                             Joyce Engebretsen

Board of Directors

                          BoaRD mEmBERS
                          Michael Alexander
                          Jim Andrew Jr.
                          David Baker
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vincent Hoenigman         Gwyneth Borden
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President                 Pamela Brewster        Brian O’Neill           SPUR is a member-supported organization and
                          laurence Burnett       Brad Paul
Jim Chappell
                                                 laurence Pelosi
                                                                         our work is supported by people like you.
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Vice-Chairs                                      Michael Sangiacomo
William A. Barnes
                          Arthur Evans                                   the policy issues that will shape our city and region.
                          luisa Ezquerro         Nicole Sawaya
Emilio Cruz               linda Jo Fitz          Paul Sedway
lisa Feldstein            Jean S. Fraser         victor Seeto            PRIMARy MEMBER ___________________________________
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Terry Micheau             Chris Gruwell          John Stewart
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Kirby Sack                Patricia Klitgaard     lydia Tan               CITy/STATE/ZIP ______________________________________
                          Richard Kunnath        Jeff Tumlin
immediate Past Chair      Jim lazarus            Brooks Walker, III
Oz Erickson               Ellen lou              Debra Walker            PHONE ______________________________________________
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advisory Council Chair
                          Chris Meany            Paul Zeger
Michael Wilmar
                          Peter Mezey
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                           mEmBERShiP                                                                                                         deductible as provided by
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                                                                                 j u n e        0 0 7         •        s p u r        •      p a g e            1 
                                                                                                                                          SPUR Staff
committees                      SPUR CommiTTEE mEETiNgS — PlEaSE joiN US!
                                SPUR program committees and task forces are open to all
                                SPUR members. Just put the date in your calendar. As committee
                                                                                                                                          SPUR staff can be reached at 415.781.8726 followed by their extensions.
                                                                                                                                          Terri Chang x128
                                                                                                                                                                               BUSiNESS DEVEloPmENT
                                                                                                                                                                               Terry Micheau x114
                                meetings sometimes change, call the office at 415.781.8726 x117                                           PRESiDENT
                                                                                                                                          Jim Chappell x125                    mEmBERShiP CooRDiNaToR
                                to confirm the meeting if it is your first time attending.                                                                                     Mia Moore x116
                                We welcome your participation!                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                          DiRECToR, SPUR
                                Transportation (1st Mon.)                                 Mon., June 4, 12:30 p.m.                        URBaN CENTER                         EVENTS CooRDiNaToR
                                                                                                                                          Diane Filippi x110                   x120
                                Urban Planning (2nd Fri.)                                 Friday, June 8, 8:30 a.m.             
                                                                                                                                                                               PUBliCaTioNS aND
                                Project Review (2nd Tues.)                                Tues., June 12, 10 a.m.                         ExECUTiVE aSSiSTaNT/                 CommUNiCaTioNS maNagER
                                                                                                                                          BoaRD liaiSoN                        Tom Prete x112
                                Sustainable Development (2nd Thu.)                        Thu., June 14, 8:30 a.m.                        Virginia Grandi x117       
                                Board of Directors (3rd Wed.)                             Wed., June 20, 4 p.m.                                                                TRaNSPoRTaTioN PoliCy
                                                                                                                                          PoliCy DiRECToR                      DiRECToR
                                Housing (4th Mon.)                                        Mon., June 25, 12:15 p.m.                       Sarah Karlinsky x129                 Dave Snyder x135

                                                                                                                                          DEVEloPmENT DiRECToR                 CaPiTal CamPaigN maNagER
                                                                Don’t Miss it!                                                            Amie Latterman x115                  Sarah Sykes x123

                                                  Young urbanists:                                                                        aDmiNiSTRaTiVE DiRECToR              ECoNomiC DEVEloPmENT aND
                                                                                                                                                                               goVERNaNCE PoliCy DiRECToR
                                                                                                                                          Lawrence Li x134
                                                  made in the City                                                                                       Egon Terplan x131
                                                                                                                                          ExECUTiVE DiRECToR
                                            Tuesday, June 12, 2007                                                                        Gabriel Metcalf x113
                                                      see page 15 for details.                                                            SPUR is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
                                                                                                                                          Contributions are tax-deductible as provided by law.

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