On March 17 I tweeted from a forum about San Francisco’s Central Subway at the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association. But all my tweets about the meeting subsequently disappeared from Twitter. A couple of people (including the excellent Transbay Blog) have asked me to repost the tweets, so here they are, with the misspellings and fat-thumb typing cleaned up. Thank goodness for the fact that I tweeted by text message, since my phone retains sent messages.
12:34 p.m. At SPUR forum on San Francisco’s Central Subway: John Funghi of SFMTA and SPUR’s Steve Tabor.
12:37 50 people not counting staff at SPUR’s Central Subway talk.
12:53 Funghi sez Central Subway designed so it could accommodate surface travel to Fisherman’s Wharf.
12:56 The proposed temp traffic realignment to extract Central Subway boring machine looks like it will be a puzzler for area near WashBag …
12:58 … But Funghi sez disruption at that triangular park across from WashBag will be only about 18 weeks.
1:08 SPUR’s Steve Tabor: “I have grave doubts” the Geary rapid buses could ever go farther downtown than Laguna.
1:10 Tabor sez SF is the densest population and destination center in the nation not already served by a Metro-style system.
1:13 Tabor explaining possible expansion of Central Subway all the way to Doyle Drive. Pie in the sky?
1:14 Wait, that pie is higher in the sky: Central Subway to Golden Gate Bridge?
1:17 Another Central Subway option could send line toward Presidio but route a spur line off to Fisherman’s Wharf.
1:18 Tabor: Success of Central Subway hinges on ability to accommodate three-car trains.
1:23 Funghi: $1bln / mile is as cheap as Central Subway can get.
1:30 Though Tabor sez three-car trains needed, Funghi says two cars are where Muni is headed. In part because stations planned for two cars only.
Regarding the 1:23 and 1:30 tweets, I think they bear some clarification.
When Funghi said that $1 billion per mile is as cheap as the Central Subway can get, he meant that’s as cheap as the city can do it by bore tunneling instead of cut-and-cover tunnel construction. He explained that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency went with bore tunneling because of concerns about the potential social and economic disruption that might be caused by a lengthy process of tearing up city streets.
About the disparity between Tabor’s three-car statement and Funghi’s caution that that isn’t what Muni’s going to do, Funghi said that Muni thinks it can make up for the reduced capacity by running trains more frequently. Besides, he said, it costs more time and money to have two drivers couple and uncouple three-car trains than to just run more trains. Make up your own mind about whether you buy that explanation.