Meet Muni’s next-generation of Metro light-rail trains, the Siemens S200. The SFMTA Board of Directors will vote on Tuesday to purchase between as many as 260 of the new trains to replace the existing 151 train fleet…

It made a bit of noise last year when the maker of Muni’s current light-rail fleet was disqualified from bidding on the next ones. Since then the SMFTA has been evaluating the options from those which did qualify, opting for off-the-shelf models with a proven track record of reliability.

24 trains will arrive by 2018 to add capacity for the opening Central Subway and a different step mechanism reduces the 200 parts - and points of failure - involved down to just 20.

source: sfmuniverse

Google has a new metaphor for how design works across all of its properties, including Android L, Chrome OS, and the web. It’s based on a fictitious material and it’s going to make everything the company produces more coherent and easier to use.

I’ve always seen Android as a foundation waiting for someone to put a good interface on top of. It’s taken a while, but Google’s finally gotten there.

LeVar Burton wants to bring Reading Rainbow to every classroom and just about every web-connected device there is, there’s only 22 hours left in his KickStarter Campaign.

The original $1 million goal was broken in 11 hours, so they set a much bigger goal $5 million to bringing Reading Rainbow to every classroom and every web connected computer and console. Many reading this can afford and iPad or any of the other latest and greatest tablets, phablets, phones, and laptops, but there are still millions of families who’s only internet access is a computer from the last decade running Windows XP.

Seth MacFarlane is matching every dollar between $4 million and $5 million so there is no better time to support Reading Rainbow than RIGHT NOW!

Our Little Free Library’s inventory manager has a special fondness for Reading Rainbow because being dyslexic he struggled to read and write, but remembers the virtual field trips that helps connect the difficult words with pictures and places.

That inventory manager would be me and being dyslexic reading has always been more pain than pleasure. I don’t want the next generation to go through the same difficulties I did and I can’t think of anyone better than Commander La Forge to for that problem.

Source: noesocute

Rumors have been flying that Apple will soon introduce a wearable computer and according to analysts with no knowledge of the device it run entirely by a voice interface with the surface of the device itself being a touch ID sensor. 

What claims to be a leaked supply chain photo shows the device, which according to sources can be pinned to your shirt. When pressed, the device is reported to respond by prompting the user to “Access library data”.

Rumors have been flying that Apple will soon introduce a wearable computer and according to analysts with no knowledge of the device it run entirely by a voice interface with the surface of the device itself being a touch ID sensor.

What claims to be a leaked supply chain photo shows the device, which according to sources can be pinned to your shirt. When pressed, the device is reported to respond by prompting the user to “Access library data”.

Share: The Icon No One Agrees On

What do each of these symbols have in common? They are all trying to convey the exact same action - share! Sharing to a social network or via email is a ubiquitous action nowadays but designers have still not been able to reach a consensus on what symbol to use to represent it. Not only does each major platform use a different icon, but they’ve each witnessed changes over the years.

A thoughtful look at the diversity of share icons and some recommendations for which may be the best fit for some of the more common situations.

Share: The Icon No One Agrees On

What do each of these symbols have in common? They are all trying to convey the exact same action - share! Sharing to a social network or via email is a ubiquitous action nowadays but designers have still not been able to reach a consensus on what symbol to use to represent it. Not only does each major platform use a different icon, but they’ve each witnessed changes over the years.

A thoughtful look at the diversity of share icons and some recommendations for which may be the best fit for some of the more common situations.

Construction workers have laid temporary concrete to fill in the gaps between the new, widened sidewalk and the remaining bit against the storefronts. The rest of the sidewalk and the amenities like trees and furniture will be completed after Gay Pride. The upside of not having the amenities in place is that we’ve got one giant dance floor for Pride.

Even unfinished we’ve had an opportunity to experience what the Castro will be like with twice the sidewalk space. Up until now the sidewalk was narrow to accommodate the 21,000+ daily pedestrians, less than 4 feet at a few of the pinch points and the lines at the theatre regularly meant walking in the street just in order to get around.

But for the first time in forever there there was room for everyone to easily get around the line of girls in princes costumes for sing-a-long Frozen.

This was San Francisco’s Castro Street just three weeks ago during the most intense point it was torn apart for utility work, part of a rebuild project that will double the width of the sidewalk.

A friend asked me this and if you know me then you know a technical question runs the risk of turning into a 15 minute history lesson. So I turned it into a post on the Muniverse blog:

So Why Did Castro Street Even Have 21’ Traffic Lanes in the First Place?

Once upon a time there were two lanes in each direction…

Until the 1906 Earthquake and Fire the Castro Street Cable Car ran on Market Street from the Ferry Building to Castro Street where it made a left and travelled over the hill to 26th and Castro. With the cables and power-houses in ruin transit operators quickly put up overhead wire to run streetcars on the surviving track.

Streetcars and couldn’t make it over the hill to Noe Valley, so when Cable Car service was restored, it was only between 18th and 24th Streets. That’s where it met the 8-Market Streetcar line that continued the rest of the way down Market Street to the Ferry Building.

With streetcars laying over on one side of 18th and cable cars on the other, the wide lanes we nessacery if cars and trucks were to get around them.

The cable car was replaced in the early 1940s by the 24-Divisadero bus line while the 8-Market continued as a streetcar line, then a bus line, then a streetcar line when it was replaced by the F-Market. It’s only been a bit been over half a century since Castro Street actually needed those 21’ wide streets.

A friend asked me this and if you know me then you know a technical question runs the risk of turning into a 15 minute history lesson. So I turned it into a post on the Muniverse blog:

So Why Did Castro Street Even Have 21’ Traffic Lanes in the First Place?

Once upon a time there were two lanes in each direction…

imageUntil the 1906 Earthquake and Fire the Castro Street Cable Car ran on Market Street from the Ferry Building to Castro Street where it made a left and travelled over the hill to 26th and Castro. With the cables and power-houses in ruin transit operators quickly put up overhead wire to run streetcars on the surviving track.

Streetcars and couldn’t make it over the hill to Noe Valley, so when Cable Car service was restored, it was only between 18th and 24th Streets. That’s where it met the 8-Market Streetcar line that continued the rest of the way down Market Street to the Ferry Building.

With streetcars laying over on one side of 18th and cable cars on the other, the wide lanes we nessacery if cars and trucks were to get around them.

The cable car was replaced in the early 1940s by the 24-Divisadero bus line while the 8-Market continued as a streetcar line, then a bus line, then a streetcar line when it was replaced by the F-Market. It’s only been a bit been over half a century since Castro Street actually needed those 21’ wide streets.

source: sfmuniverse

Construction on Castro Srreet is getting very close to “the worst is behind us” point. Nearly all of the curbs have been completed and two of corners at Castro and 18th have the ramps underway.

Utility work on the East side of the 400 bock is done, buried, the sand leveled out, and framing for the new sidewalk getting underway. Some test strips have already been poured showing it will be a darker gray, and how it will be scored. The standard sized “tiles” will be used to indicate the walking area, but subdivided into smaller tiles in the “streetlife zone” in the first couple feet in front of stores (where people can check out menus and window displays, messaging friends, and waiting in front of restaurants) and outside the walking zone (for hanging out with seating, trees, poles, bike racks, boarding busses, opening doors and loading vehicles, etc. That kind of marking is a thing, it’s called “ambient findability” and with enough room for people to walk comfortable, it saves having to put up any signs, barriers like planters, or using a different material, to mark the

Contractors will be doing some late night and Sunday shifts to make sure the sidewalk is ready before Gay Pride at the end of June.

It used to be the signs would toggle between three rows of text — “N-Judah”, “Inbound”, and “Caltrain” — so that 1/3 of the time could you see what train it was or where it was going.

The N-Judah wasn’t the worst offender. Three of the Metro lines share the same destination, and with all of them heading outbound, 2/3 of the time you couldn’t tell if it was a J-Church, K-Ingleside, or M-Ocean View train. In the other direction, four lines headed “Inbound” to “Embarcadero”.

Outbound isn’t so important because the rider has already managed to find the right platform to wait at for an outbound train (which is a whole different ordeal) so now it’s just a switch between the line name and destination, with the letter shown at all times.

It used to be the signs would toggle between three rows of text — “N-Judah”, “Inbound”, and “Caltrain” — so that 1/3 of the time could you see what train it was or where it was going.

The N-Judah wasn’t the worst offender. Three of the Metro lines share the same destination, and with all of them heading outbound, 2/3 of the time you couldn’t tell if it was a J-Church, K-Ingleside, or M-Ocean View train. In the other direction, four lines headed “Inbound” to “Embarcadero”.

Outbound isn’t so important because the rider has already managed to find the right platform to wait at for an outbound train (which is a whole different ordeal) so now it’s just a switch between the line name and destination, with the letter shown at all times.

(via sfmuniverse)

source: sfcitylights