Future Oakland on BART

New work obligations have kept me from posting as much as I'd like of late, but I just wanted to flag this new post at Future Oakland on the problems with BART.

On the whole I like BART quite a bit, but that doesn't mean I'm not aware of it's problems. And FO outlines most of them, especially about the whole system being a tremendous subsidy for suburban commuters and therefore promoting increased suburban sprawl in the Bay Area. I'm amazed every time I look at a BART map and see all the studies underway for reaching the system even further out, rather than filling in with new lines (down the I-580 corridor for example). And I can't believe BART typically charges a dollar for parking at their lots, far below the market price, or wants to expand to the Oakland International Airport when ridership to SFO has been disappointing (though I love that service myself, and would take it to the OAK too).

I do have a quick qualm with what is a throw away line at the end when FO claims that "AC Transit is relentlessly criticized for buying nice busses," likely referring to the Van Hool debacle. FO, those buses suck! They are cheap, plastic concoctions that nearly everyone I talk to from drivers to riders hate, and especially the elderly, who have trouble navigating their 12 inch steps(!) up to the seats.

That minor issue aside, definitely go check out the new post at Future Oakland.


AIA SF 2009 Awards

Today in Place, an architecture and urban design column appearing Tuesday in the San Francisco Chronicle, John King highlights the American Institute of Architects San Francisco 2009 Design Awards. Christ the Light Cathedral in Oakland, which I discussed briefly a few months back, received an honor award.

King also mentions an exhibit at UC-Berkeley's Wurster Hall on Benisch Architeten, whom he reports has begun work on new dorms for the campus. I haven't seen the exhibit, but there work is definitely worth checking out. The exhibition closes on March 20.