Saturday, March 12, 2016

Crayonista Dreams

Crayonista, n. One who performs strategic transport planning with a box of coloured crayons, using them to draw lines on a map, without thinking through the implications.
“Bald Rick” on

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency…. Think big.
— Urban planner Daniel Burnham

I used to strongly disagree with Daniel Burnham, thinking that "make no little plans" was a reflection of the hubris of its author, and that the proper goal of planning was to come up with the right-sized answer, not to “Think big.”

But lately I’ve begun to think about what Burnham said differently. I am reminded of another quotation. Pierce Butler, a delegate to the convention that wrote the Constitution of the United States, said that the convention “must follow the example of Solon, who gave the Athenians not the best government he could devise; but the best they would receive.” Maybe the right way to read “make no little plans” is to read it not as a heroic call to grandeur, but as a resigned acknowledgement that people are irrational and that quality of a plan is less important than its appeal.

Naturally, I think of the East Bay Bus Rapid Transit project, which was originally intended to operate from Berkeley through Oakland and San Leandro via Telegraph Ave., International Blvd., and East 14th St. The analysis was that BRT was much more cost-effective than light rail would have been in the corridor studied, and I have no doubt that this is true. But community opposition truncated the route, and now it will not serve North Oakland, Berkeley, or most of San Leandro. Was this a case of giving people the best plan that could be devised, not the best that could be accepted? Maybe light rail would have been a better option after all, despite the extra cost, not because it’s inherently better but only because community members who couldn’t imagine themselves riding buses could indeed imagine themselves using light rail.

That’s how airport transit works. People who don’t use transit very much, or at all, always wonder why the train doesn’t go to the airport -- because that’s the one place they can imagine using it. In fact, usually the number of airport travelers per day is small compared to the number of people normally needed to justify a large transit project. But that doesn’t matter, and so we got BART to SFO in the 2000s and BART to OAK in the 2010s: both poor projects from a cost-effectiveness standpoint, but good projects in that people who don’t normally ride BART think they might make an exception to use them.

To me, the most important questions are “How can we use our transportation infrastructure funds most cost-effectively?” and, not incidentally, “What is the standard by which we should measure the cost-effectiveness of transportation infrastructure projects?”

But are those fun questions? Do the results lend themselves to pretty schematic maps with lines in bright primary colors? They do not.

So here is a post to say, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Link to PDF.

Aside from being a way to show off my mad Adobe Illustrator skillz, this map represents proposals which are almost certainly impossible, but I thought were interesting to think about.


First, some background to all this.

Muni Metro

I lived near the N-Judah from 1980 to 1984, just after Muni started Muni Metro. Sadly, over the years it has become more and more clear that it has not been a success. It's not anybody's fault at Muni -- it's just that streetcars in mixed traffic are inherently slow and unreliable. They're even more so than buses. I've got caught in my share of streetcars stuck behind automobiles that were just a bit over the line; of course, streetcars can't move out of the way the way a bus can. The unreliability caused by street traffic carries through to the tunnels, too, making that expensive capital infrastructure much less useful than it should be.

To me the ultimate proof of Muni Metro's lack of success this lies in the existence of the "NX Judah Express" bus. If it's faster to take a bus, why do we have such expensive infrastructure?

Of course, that infrastructure itself isn't even being used to its full extent. Many of the Muni Metro stations are much longer than any Muni Metro train; they were designed to be as long as BART's 10-car trains. To deal with this, Muni is experimenting with having two trains stop in the station at the same time, one in the front of the station and one in the back. I'm sure eventually they will get this to work, but it still seems like it will be confusing and difficult for passengers, since they won't know in which part of the station their train will stop.

Someone writing at Next Muni Metro have proposed a more radical alternative. They suggest operating the existing Muni Metro subway on its own, without operating on the street. The other streetcar lines would operate only on the surface. People would require transfers to get downtown, but the system would be much more reliable than the current mixed subway/streetcar system.

It's a good idea to start with, but what if redoing Muni Metro were combined with some other ideas?

Second Transbay Tube

There has been much discussion lately about the need for a second Transbay Tube, to provide for redundancy with the existing tube and increase capacity. I think this is a reasonable long-term project (although there are many interim steps that could be taken in the meantime). However, it's not clear where the second tube would be placed. A number of recent proposals have the second tube traveling from Mission Bay under Alameda to meet BART somewhere in downtown Oakland.

Adding redundancy is a good idea, but I question the value of running a new tube south of the existing one. It seems to me that people taking BART from south of downtown Oakland already bypass the busy 12th and 19th stations, so a new tube wouldn't help them get to San Francisco faster. A new tube could serve Alameda, but it seems unlikely that Alameda will end up having enough urban development to justify the costs of building a subway there.

"Saddlebag" platforms

Actually, constraints in capacity in the current BART system have a lot less to do with the Transbay Tube than they do with the stations on either side of it. Dwell time, the time trains take waiting at the platform for people to get in and out of the cars, is the real constraint. This is why during very large events BART has some trains stop at Embarcadero and other trains stop at Montgomery. It's also why BART's new cars will have three doors instead of two.

One idea proposed by BART is to add extra platforms at Montgomery and Embarcadero, the two busiest stations. These platforms, on the outside of the stations (called "saddlebag" platforms), would allow people to exit on one side of the car while people enter on the other side. If people could enter and exit at the same time, the trains wouldn't have to wait so long in the stations. Of course, this doesn't add as much capacity as an entirely separate subway.

M-Ocean View subway

SFCTA has recently proposed an extension of the underground portion of the Muni Metro. They propose taking the M back underground just southwest of Saint Francis Circle, and running it in a new subway along 19th Ave. until it reaches Parkmerced. It would then travel on the surface through Parkmerced and go on a bridge over Junipero Serra Blvd. to reach Randolph Street.

This is a a nice plan, but even at a projected cost of $3 billion, is it really thinking Burnham Big? It would solve traffic problems on 19th Ave., but traffic at Saint Francis Circle and on West Portal Avenue would still remain a problem, as could conflicts between K, L, and M streetcars.


North Transbay access tracks

A new set of tracks would head west from just south of MacArthur station. Trains heading south from MacArthur could turn on this track to head to San Francisco via the North Transbay Tube.

I imagine this would be an elevated track in the I-580 corridor, but it might be over MacArthur Blvd. if there is room to turn the trains there.

The trackway follows I-580 over the I-580/I-80 interchange where it descends to the surface on its way to the subway portal.

North Transbay Tube

The North Transbay Tube would be a two-track tube laid in a trench dug on the floor of the bay, similar to the existing Transbay Tube. It would begin from a portal near the north side of the Bay Bridge toll plaza, and travel on the bay floor until it reached Treasure Island. It would continue in a subway under Treasure Island, where a new station would be built. The tracks would then continue west through another similar tube until it reached San Francisco.

Converting Muni Metro subway to BART

The North Transbay Tube would connect to the upper level of the Market Street Subway. The existing portal used by N and T Muni Metro trains would be closed. The upper level of the subway would be converted to use by BART trains rather than Muni Metro streetcars. This would involve altering the platforms, moving the rails and adding a third rail, and removing the overhead wire used to power Muni Metro trains. Walls and stairways would be altered to allow free transfers between the upper and lower levels.

Probably, it would be too difficult to build interchanges between the tracks, either east of Embarcadero, west of Civic Center, or at a point in between.

From Civic Center to west of Forest Hill, the subway would be converted to BART use. The portal at Duboce would be closed. I don't have information on the length of the Muni Metro platforms west of Civic Center, so I assume they would need to be lengthened to allow for long BART trains. I don't know if the Twin Peaks Tunnel is large enough to allow for BART use, but if not, it would need to be enlarged, or a one-track parallel tunnel dug beside it.

19th Avenue Subway

A new deep bored tunnel would travel between the Twin Peaks Tunnel and an interchange with BART tracks south of Daly City station. One way to do this would be to have BART trains exit West Portal Station and head underground just south of Ulloa Street. This would however entail a great deal of disruption along West Portal Avenue and require the closure of Ulloa Street there. Probably a better alternative would be to begin the bored tunnel northeast of West Portal Station. It would intersect the Twin Peaks Tunnel at the circle near Claremont Blvd., and follow Claremont Blvd. and Portola Drive south to Saint Francis Circle. A new station to be called West Portal would be constructed where the subway crosses Ulloa Street, with a new subway entrance where the 76 gas station now stands. The current West Portal Station and the portion of the tracks up to the circle would be used as a Muni streetcar storage facility.

A new station would be constructed at Saint Francis Circle. The subway would follow the M-Ocean View right of way to 19th Ave., where it would continue underneath 19th Ave. to Parkmerced. A station would be constructed at Stonestown and another at Holloway St., which would serve both Parkmerced and San Francisco State. It would then continue via 19th Ave. and Junipero Serra Blvd. to an interchange with the existing BART tracks near (presumably just south of) the Daly City station.

Proposed BART service patterns

The idea here is that because there are more tracks, service can be split up between them. Ideally all the lines would operate at the same frequency, except the Daly City-Fremont (green) and Daly City-Dublin/Pleasanton lines (blue), which would operate at half the frequency but be scheduled together along the main areas they have in common. Ideally everything would run every six minutes in the peak commmute hours, which would yield a train every three minutes across most of the map. My view is that automation could make it possible to keep high frequencies even in less busy hours. Subway automation is common throughout the world today.


I put Caltrain on the map as a pair of lines: limited-stop service at (generally) existing Baby Bullet stations, and regular service at (almost) all the other ones north of Tamien. The idea is that Caltrain should be upgraded to rapid transit from Tamien northward. I removed a few infrequently used stations. I don't really know what the service pattern or frequency should be, other than it should be a lot more than what it is now.

Infill stations and extensions

I added a number of infill stations:

  • Albany
  • 30th St./Mission in San Francisco
  • UCSF/Mission Bay in San Francisco (on Caltrain)
  • Oakdale in San Francisco (on Caltrain)
  • Oakland/San Antonio (it's got "Oakland" in the name to distinguish it from San Antonio Caltrain)
  • Shinn St. in Fremont (for convenient transfers to conventional rail)
  • Irvington in Fremont

Other than the changes associated with the North Transbay Tube and Muni Metro conversion, I didn't add any new extensions of my own, but I put in the San Jose BART, Transbay Caltrain, and eBART extensions. For San Jose, I eliminated the Santa Clara station which seems redundant, but added a new SJSU/City Hall station in San Jose, since I think downtown San Jose is large enough to justify two stations.

Station name changes

All the name changes are intentional, except that I left "Mission" out of the 16th, 24th, and 30th stations only because putting them in screwed up the spacing, forcing Caltrain even further east. Most of them are just because I didn't want to use the same name for a BART and Caltrain station. For one or two, it's just because I didn't like the current names.

Muni streetcar changes

This plan would entail a lot of changes to Muni streetcars. Eventually I may do a map for this too, but I imagine that initially, the N-Judah would turn right on Church and terminate at Market, while the K and L would be combined into a single line (it was called "K/L" during Twin Peaks Tunnel reconstruction in the early 1980s, but since this would be permanent I imagine it would be called something else.)

The J would use historic streetcars or other streetcars modified with poles, to run on the surface of Market Street. It would operate beginning at West Portal Station and follow what is now the M line to Balboa Park Station, and then follow the current J route to Market Street. From there, it would travel up Market Street and then serve the area of Embarcadero between 4th & King and Market Street.

The T line would operate in the Central Subway, as is currently planned.

The Map

Aside from determining what changes should be made, I had fun drawing the map, as I hadn't done a diagram like this from scratch before. The Transit Maps blog had a number of very helpful tips, without which this would have been much more difficult. The font is Source Sans, a free (in every sense) high-quality font from Adobe.

I think some of the spacing of labels and stations could use some more work, and I'm not thrilled with omitting "Mission." But I think it turned out OK. (I did try another version that kept the Colma-Pittsburg/Bay Point line straight at MacArthur, without the zigzag there, but it made the other lines zigzag more and I didn't think it was better.)

Thanks for reading this far!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Transit-oriented development and BART parking

My understanding is that BART, when allowing its parking lots to be developed, has always required a one-to-one replacement for parking: development is allowed on the parking lots but developers must replace every parking space they take. This is typically by building a multi-story parking structure.

I am skeptical of the need for this replacement in many cases, but where it is required, I believe it should be allowed to have the replacement parking be at a nearby station rather than at the station where the parking was originally placed. For example, if development occurs on the Hayward station parking lot, it would make sense to allow that parking to be replaced at the South Hayward or Bay Fair stations rather than finding space at the Hayward station for it.

There are several reasons for this:
  1. There are few downsides to asking a customer to drive two or three extra miles in their car rather than parking at the nearest station. It's not a big inconvenience for the driver, since the driver isn't going any further, just doing it in the car rather than on the train. The carbon dioxide and air pollution emissions differences are also minimal, since the biggest emissions result from starting the car in the first place.
  2. The areas around some stations are more amenable to being made walkable, livable urban spaces than others. Hayward and South Hayward are good examples of this. Hayward station is located in downtown Hayward and has traditional walkable storefronts in the development to the east. South Hayward, on the other hand, is a suburban, automobile-oriented area. People living in future transit-oriented developments around Hayward Station are likely to own fewer cars and use them less frequently than people living in similar developments around South Hayward station.
  3. It is likely that people living in automobile-oriented areas around stations would be more amenable to having garages in their neighborhoods, which they can imagine themselves using, than transit-oriented developments, which they cannot.
  4. Structured parking is expensive, so it makes sense to get economies of scale by building them larger. It's probable that a single large garage at South Hayward would be less expensive per parking space than two smaller garages replacing parking at Hayward and Union City stations.
  5. It's very likely that if land needs to be purchased for the replacement parking, it will be substantially less expensive at some stations than at others. It may be substantially less expensive to buy land at a nearby station and use it for surface parking than to build structured parking at the station with transit-oriented development.
  6. Some stations are more accessible to nearby roads than others, making them easier and more convenient for parking. For example, El Cerrito del Norte Station has much better access to I-80 than either El Cerrito Plaza Station or Richmond Station. 
Not every station where there's a demand for transit-oriented development has an obvious pair station where parking should be placed instead. But this is a practice that should be encouraged where possible.

Update: I have been informed that BART no longer has a one-for-one replacement policy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

AC Transit has a job opening working on public transit information. Come check it out! Maybe it would be good for you or someone you know.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Applescript to save InDesign pages as outlined EPS files

Today I wrote an Applescript that saves InDesign pages as EPS files, with text converted to outlines. It's kind of sad that I have to do this, but unfortunately that's where we are at this point. Anyway, I thought somebody might find this useful.

To use it, open up Applescript Editor and save as an application.

If you double-click on the application it will take the current InDesign document and:

  1. create a new subfolder inside the folder where the InDesign document is, called “PRINT”
  2. save the InDesign document as a “High Quality Print” PDF in that folder
  3. Open each page of the PDF in Illustrator, in turn, and then save it as an outlined EPS, in the same subfolder.

If you drag one or more closed InDesign files to the application icon, it will open each file in InDesign, do the above steps, and then close the document.

Here's the script...

on SaveAsEPS(indd)
    set thePrintDirName to "PRINT"
    tell application id "com.adobe.InDesign"
        set inddFolder to file path of indd
        set inddName to name of indd
    end tell
    -- the following sets basename to be the InDesign filename 
    -- without the .indd extension
    set AppleScript's text item delimiters to "."
    set TextItms to text items of inddName
    set LastItem to item -1 of TextItms
    if LastItem = "indd" then
        set TextItms to reverse of rest of reverse of TextItms
    end if
    set basename to (TextItms as string)
    set AppleScript's text item delimiters to ""
    -- make a PRINT folder underneath the InDesign file's folder
    tell application "Finder"
        if (exists folder thePrintDirName of folder inddFolder) is false then
            make folder at inddFolder with properties {name:thePrintDirName}
        end if
    end tell
    tell application id "com.adobe.InDesign"
        set theFileName to (inddFolder & thePrintDirName & ":" & basename) ¬
                    as string
        set thePDFName to (theFileName & ".pdf") as string
        tell PDF export preferences
            set page range to all pages
        end tell
        tell indd
            export format PDF type to thePDFName without showing options
        end tell
        set pageCount to count of pages of indd
        tell application "Adobe Illustrator"
            repeat with thePageNum from 1 to pageCount
                set user interaction level to never interact
                set page of PDF file options of settings to thePageNum
                open (thePDFName as alias) without dialogs
                set theEPSName to ¬
                     (theFileName & "_" & thePageNum & "_outl.eps") as string
                convert to paths text frames of current document
                save current document in (theEPSName) as eps ¬
                      with options {CMYK PostScript:true, ¬
                      embed all fonts:true, preview:color TIFF, ¬
                      compatibility:Illustrator 8}
                close current document saving no
            end repeat
        end tell
        display alert "Done exporting." giving up after 10
    end tell
end SaveAsEPS

on run {}
    tell application id "com.adobe.InDesign"
        set theInDD to active document
        tell me to SaveAsEPS(theInDD)
    end tell
end run

on open Lst
    tell application id "com.adobe.InDesign"
        repeat with zItm in Lst
            set Itm to zItm as alias
            set theInDD to open Itm
            tell me to SaveAsEPS(theInDD)
            close theInDD saving no
        end repeat
    end tell
end open

Good luck. Some of this was inspired by code on macgrunt.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Six Californias: An Excuse for More US Highways

As many people know, Tim Draper’s Six Californias plan is now expected to be on the California ballot in 2016. This plan would split California into six separate states: “Jefferson,” “North California,” “Central California,” “Silicon Valley," “West California,” and “South California.”

I want to make it clear that I do not support this plan. It is true that many state government services and programs operate on a local level and could be provided by smaller state governments. But many do not. Water is the elephant in this room, since many areas get their water from other parts of the state, and of course this is especially important in drought years like this one. However, there are other subject matters, such as prisons, pensions, and universities, where splitting the state would cause real problems.

Moreover, it seems to me that any of the potential benefits of smaller, more responsive state governments would be outweighed by the problems entailed by the insane boundary divisions that Tim Draper chose for this particular split. Dividing metropolitan regions into multiple states causes serious problems for regions such as New York and Philadelphia (requiring the creation of unwieldy entities such as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to manage metropolitan affairs) and it is a terrible idea to intentionally reproduce those problems here by creating state lines dividing the Los Angeles and San Francisco urban areas.

Nonetheless, it will be on the ballot, and while it’s extremely unlikely to pass a vote of the people (much less be approved by Congress), it’s fun to think about what might happen if it did pass.

The Highway Network

Transportation probably wouldn’t suffer much from a state split: highway construction and maintenance is highly localized anyway, and federal entities already exist to handle interstate transportation. But it’s not clear that the new states would retain the California numbered highway system. Certainly some of them, at least, would adopt new highway shield signs, and the unity of the system would be lost.

What’s the solution? More U.S. highways! The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has tried to eliminate US highways that were within one state, but now – after the passage of the Six Californias plan – there are a number of state highways that will cross new state boundaries. Surely it would make sense to give these US highway numbers.

Of course, I don’t actually support the expansion of California’s already expansive automobile infrastructure, not with the terrible deficits in infrastructure for less environmentally harmful forms of transportation. But re-signing existing highways isn’t all that significant an expense.

U.S. highway numbers

Wikipedia articles on the US highway system and California highway system are helpful for the uninitiated.

The US highway numbering scheme is as follows: primary routes have one or two digits, and spurs of those have three digits (with the exception of the main route US 101, where 10 is the first “digit”). For primary routes, even numbers run east and west, starting with low numbers in the north, and odd numbers run north and south, starting with low numbers in the east. (The opposite of the later Interstate numbering system.) The most important primary routes usually end in 0, 1, and sometimes 5, but there are many exceptions. Spur routes have three digits, with their "parent" route being the last two digits of the number: so US 199 is a spur route of US 99. Originally the first digit was in order, east to west, but this has been lost over time. Increasingly in recent years, numbers have been given that break the original US highway scheme, such as US 400 (which would have been a spur of nonexistent highway 0) and other three-digit US highways that go nowhere near their "parents".

Where I've suggested a US highway number, it's generally the next available spur number from a nearby US primary route unless noted otherwise. In some cases, I've given spurs from primary routes that have since been converted to Interstates nearby (such as US 240, numbered as a spur of US 40, even though US 40 was entirely changed to I-80 in California). I've avoided using existing US highway numbers and tried to avoid using any existing California highway numbers, but I've felt free to suggest reusing numbers that once were in use but have since been retired.

State highways to be given U.S. highway numbers

CA 1 - The Pacific Coast Highway from Leggett to San Juan Capistrano is one of the most iconic highways not just in California, but in the world. The division of California into several states will divide this highway into five pieces, in the states of Jefferson, North California, Silicon Valley, West California, and South California. This highway should be upgraded to US status to preserve its iconic nature rather than being divided up among all those states. The one problem is, what number to give it? US 1 is already used, of course, on the East Coast. The first branch of US 101 would be the unwieldy "US 1101." I suggest US 999, the highest three-digit number; it does touch branches of US 99 and goes close to US 99's historic range. Another solution would be US 111 -- after all, if ten can be the first "digit" in 101, why can't this one go to eleven? This would require renumbering existing CA 111 in South California, however.

CA 12 - This is an imporant route connecting Sonoma, Napa, and Solano counties in North California with San Joaquin and Calaveras counties in Central California. It intersects what would be US 40 if it had not been replaced by I 80, so should be given a number such as US 740.

CA 14 - This was once part of US 6, when US 6 continued south all the way to Los Angeles. While just re-extending US 6 would entail an unacceptably long stretch where US 6 and US 395 would go together (these are "concurrences" in highway-speak), CA 14 plays an important role linking Central and West California. It could be given a US number such as US 295, as a split from US 395, or US 206, honoring its historical connection with US 6.

CA 20 - This is an important east-west route connecting Fort Bragg, Clear Lake, and Colusa in Jefferson, and Yuba City, Grass Valley, and Nevada City in North California. This highway should be US 240; this would have been a branch from historic US 40 if US 40 still existed.

CA 29 - This is the main highway through the world-famous Napa Valley and is a connector between this area in Central California and Clear Lake, in Jefferson. This could perhaps be US 540, as a branch that runs from US 240 (CA 20), above, to historic US 40 in Vallejo. (Some part of CA 29 runs along what was once historic US 40.)

CA 33 - US 399 once covered what is now CA 33 between Ventura and Taft, and CA 119 between Taft and CA-99 near Bakersfield. (CA 33 began at Taft and continued northward.) The segment of CA 33 between Maricopa and Ventura is still very important in linking Ventura County in West California and Kern County in Central California. I suggest restoring US 399 as it was. The remainder of existing CA 33, although long, is entirely within Central California.

CA 41 - This is a main roadway between the coast near San Luis Obispo in West California, to Fresno and Yosemite in Central California. It is an important tourism link, and is important enough to be given a US number. The westernmost part between Morro Bay and CA-46 was formerly part of US 466. It is an important link to US 99 (CA 99), and so should be given a number such as US 599.

CA 46 - Between its intersections with CA 41 and CA 99, this was formerly part of US 466, which also included CA 41 between Morro Bay and CA 46 and CA 58 between Bakersfield and Barstow. I suggest establishing a restored US 466 with an only slightly different route: CA 46 between Cambria and CA 99 (US 99), then following US 99, then following CA 58 from Bakersfield to Barstow. The western segment of CA 58 would retain that number.

CA 49 - This is another highway of importance in California, connecting parts of the Gold Rush country, which spans Central California, North California, and Jefferson. Unfortunately there is already a US 49, and the number itself is important since it commemorates the Forty-Niners, the pioneer gold miners. US 499 is probably the best alternative available.

CA 57 - The Orange Freeway connects areas in West California and South California. It could be seen as a spur of former US 70, which once extended to Los Angeles, and so could be given the number US 570, close to its current number. Alternatively it could be given a branch number of US 60, such as 560.

CA 58 - See CA 46

CA 60 - Like Highway 14, CA 60 was a part of a US highway when that continued all the way to Los Angeles, in this case US 60. As with US 6, restoring US 60 for its original length would entail an unacceptably long concurrence between I-10 and US-60, which begins far to the east in Arizona. However, there is another alternative. The east end of CA 60 is reasonably close to the west end of CA 62, an important highway connecting I-10, Yucca Valley, Twentynine Palms, and the Arizona border. CA 60, CA 62, and AZ 95 from Parker to Quartzite could all be renumbered as US 60, re-extending US 60 into California and covering part of its former routing.

CA 70 - This road in North California and Jefferson paralleling the Feather River railroad route was formerly US 40 Alternate, and should be given a number such as US 440, commemorating its tie with US 40.

CA 88 - This highway acts as an alternate to US 50, connecting Stockton in Central California to Sutter Creek and Jackson in North California, then back through Alpine County in Central California through to Nevada, where it becomes NV 88 until it reaches US 395. This should be given a number as a branch of US 50, such as US 650. Alternatively, it could just be US 88, since 88 is one of the few two-digit numbers that are not used for US highways.

CA 89 - This road spans the Sierra from Topaz Lake on the Nevada/Central California border, serving as the main road in the Lake Tahoe and Truckee area in North California, continuing through to areas in central Jefferson. This should perhaps be given a number that marks it as a branch of US 50, such as US 750.

CA 91 - The Gardena Freeway is an important link between West California and South California. (It is not associated with historic US 91.) This should probably be given a number associated with US 60, such as US 660.

CA 99 - While much of the historical length of this highway is now I-5, a long stretch of CA-99 exists in the Central Valley which was once US 99. Now it will pass through three states — Jefferson, North California, and Central California. While there has been a movement to change this highway to an Interstate, that would entail significant expenses to bring the road up to Interstate standards. Until and unless that happens, now that it will run through three states, restoring its status to US 99 seems like an obvious move.

CA 119 - See CA 33.

CA 128 - This is an important route between Mendocino in Jefferson, US 101 near Healdsburg, and Winters in the the Sacramento area. This would primarily be a branch of US 101; however, since 101 doesn't have good branch numbers, perhaps this should be US 640, given that it is concurrent for a time with CA 29 (proposed US 540).

CA 152 - The Pacheco Pass highway is an important highway, on the main route between San Jose and Los Angeles. It will be divided between Silicon Valley and Central California. It should be given a number such as US 699 signifying that it is a spur of US 99.

CA 160 - There are only five direct connections between North California and Silicon Valley; all are toll bridges and all are on US or Interstate highways -- except this one. It should be given a number showing that is a branch of US 50, such as US 850.

CA 166 - This was never a US highway, although with a number ending in 66 it looks like it might have been a branch of US 66. (US 166 is in Kansas and Missouri.) This is an important link between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties in West California and Kern County in Central California. Although perhaps not as important as some other roads, this still could be given a US number. As a branch of US 99, it could be given the number 799.

CA 210 - This is a freeway crossing from West California to South California, is an extension of Interstate 210 and would most logically be considered part of that Interstate. It is certainly important enough to be given a US number. Although it technically violates the US numbering scheme, because it is not near US 10, I suggest using US 210 for the segment that is not an Interstate.

Summary: Proposed new or extended US highways

Proposed US highwayExisting CA highwayFromTo
US 60CA 60, CA 62, AZ 95Los AngelesQuartzite, AZ (continuing to Virginia Beach, VA)
US 99CA 99Wheeler RidgeRed Bluff
US 210CA 210San DimasRedlands
US 240CA 20Fort BraggEmigrant Gap
US 295 (or US 206)CA 14Santa ClaritaInyokern
US 399CA 119 and part of CA 33VenturaBakersfield
US 440CA 70SacramentoBeckwourth Pass
US 466CA 46CambriaFamoso
US 540CA 29VallejoUpper Lake
US 570 (or US 560)CA 57Santa AnaGlendora
US 599CA 41Morro BayYosemite National Park
US 640CA 128AlbionWinters
US 650 (or US 88)CA 88, NV 88StocktonMinden, NV
US 660CA 91Redondo BeachRiverside
US 699CA 152WatsonvilleChowchilla
US 740CA 12SepastopolSan Andreas
US 750CA 89ColevilleMount Shasta
US 799CA 166GuadalupeMettier
US 850CA 160AntiochSacramento
US 999 (or US 111)CA 1San Juan Capistrano Leggett

Other state highways, considered but rejected

CA 4 - Highway 4 exists in both Silicon Valley and Central California, and parts of it are important, but as a link between the two states it is relatively minor.

CA 66 - This is a small remainder of what once was US 66. It does cross the border between West California and South California, but is not really an important route at this point, given that it is a surface street where parallel freeways exist. Still, the romance around US 66 might be sufficient to bring US 66 back in this area, which now will span two states. I can't actually recommend this, though.

CA 120 - This road is an extremely important tourism route from the outskirts of the Bay Area to and through Yosemite. However, its length is entirely in one state, Central California, and this makes it inappropriate as a U.S. highway. It could, perhaps, be designated as a western extension of US 6, and the the current US 6 between Bishop and CA 120 could be redesignated as a state highway (106 is available, or it could be called "US 6 Alternate"). This is true whether or not California is divided, however.

CA 198 - The portion of this in Silicon Valley and connecting that state is relatively unimportant compared to other east-west highways.

A number of other significant highways exist in only one of the proposed states: 36, 96, 139, and 299 only in Jefferson; 78 and 111 only in South California; 168 and 190 entirely in Central California. I can see only one solution for this: more states! I see that someone has already started the @58Californias Twitter account.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Xcode kept asking for license agreement

This may be incredibly specific and boring for most people, but: It turns out that if somehow your /Library/Preferences folder isn't world-readable, Xcode will ask you for license approval every single time you start it (or you run any of the command-line development utilities).

I thought somebody out there besides me, searching the web, might want to know that. I don't know how the permissions of my /Library/Preferences folder changed, but it did somehow.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tweets from the past year (or so)

I've been using Twitter this year a lot, and I thought the hypothetical readers of this blog might want to see the Best Tweets By Me of 2013. Or at least the ones I liked, anyway.

Since I've never done this before I'm actually going further back than 2013, but I'm thinking maybe I'll make this an annual tradition.

Driving by outlet mall, I think I want to start a store for middle-aged men called “Forever 42”.

➡️ Tea partiers decry "fiat money" backed by noting but government while bitcoiners want money backed by nothing at all

I feel bad sometimes going to the megachain for iced tea, but didn't expect the chain itself to agree

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Brings the boys to the corporation yard MT The Communications Milkshake

Having a Jean Valjean moment

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Gettysburg Address not what most people think.
I want to see "Captain Phillips." I hear it's not as square as "Captain Robertson."

Pet peeve: people who include a little logo or vcf file with every email, making it hard to look for real attachments

Finally cracked the all-important 50 followers! I'm sure my "verified user" check will be required any day now.

Misanthropic camp song: Lose old friends, don't new ones win / One is leaden and the other, tin

Do cats use the hashtag ?

Still waiting for the sequel to "March of the Penguins" (to be called "April of the Penguins")

After rewatching 1st epsiode, now I think I should watch rest of DS9 out of order, so will be "not linear."

I was looking for an emoji character that was appropriate for Star Trek, but couldn't find one. The character called "space" is misleading

What would happen if you took old Bob Dylan recordings and used Auto-Tune on his voice?

I am no longer -- I am now . I'm sure this is a huge deal for everyone.

If there were a comic book series called "Anger," I would go to the used comics store and unload my anger issues

Peeve: saying "make a URL" when they mean "make a web page." Might as well say "make an address" when they mean "build a house."

Golden age of area codes: If we must have overlays, I think it should be everything in those borders

In an independent bookstore, waiting for a lecture to start, ashamed to do what I'd really like and pull out my Kindle.

Watching my nephews play "Polar Express". More sophisticated than "Cartesian Express. "

They say if it feels like an elephant is sitting in your chest, call 911. But how do I know how that feels without an elephant trying it?

Someone said I have "solid character", but maybe it would be better liquid: not fixed to a shape but incompressible under pressure

To appreciate "Pitch Perfect," disbelief cannot simply be suspended; it must be expelled.

Personality Quiz: I know why the caged bird (a) sings (b) bangs its head against the bars over and over until it cracks its skull.

"Thank you, but in our home we don't celebrate Garbage Day."

Takes a worried man to tweet a worried tweet. I'm worried now, but won't be worried longer than 140 characters.

I've been playing Tom Paxton's "Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound" lately. Probably not ideal for someone in the transit info business

Msg from year 2022: Remember before fold-out screens, when half an inch made a big difference in our smartphone screens? Boy was that lame.

Looking at my wife's Frommer's France 2005. Wonder if the Tardis has a whole library: France 1992, France 1993, France 1994, France 1995…

Still trying to figure out how Panorama can take really wide pictures of my cat.

Alameda/Albany/Clayton/Danville/Emeryvl/Hercules/Martinez/Moraga/Newark/Piedmont/Pinole/San Pablo/Sn Ramon all paid for BART. Why Livermore?

So just remember whenever you exchange data via NFC with someone you're exchanging data with everyone they've ever exchanged data with.

Curiosity has landed... those Martian cats are gonna be *taken down*.

New catchphrase "Yours to Discover" is at least better than Friendster's "Je me souviens"

I hadn't a new freezer bag, so put the Berkeley Bagel Co bagels in with the Noah's in their freezer bags. Relations between them are frosty