NMA California Alert: Governor Vetoes Anti-Motorist Bills

via email from NMA

Dear California Member,

Gov. Brown has vetoed a series of anti-motorist bills that were opposed by the NMA and its coalition partners in California. Here’s a brief rundown of the vetoed bills:

  • Assembly Bill 2398—Would have imposed added penalties for injuring “vulnerable road users” such as pedestrians and bicyclists.  Only protected non-motorized road users.
  • Assembly Bill 1646—Would have added a point for cell phone violations.
  • Assembly Bill 1532—Would have imposed massive new penalties on passengers when the vehicle they are riding in does not stop as required when involved in a collision.
  • Senate Bill 1151—Would have enhanced penalties for numerous infractions and misdemeanors committed in school zones.

You can learn more about these bills from our previous legislative alert here.

Thanks to all California members who contact Gov. Brown and urged him to take a more reasonable stance on motorists’ issues.

John Bowman
National Motorists Association

http://www.motorists.org/

Ambulance slow to respond to Mayor wife’s accident scene

By Tara Moriarty : ktvu – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO —

An ambulance responding to a vehicle accident involving the wife of Mayor Ed Lee arrived at the scene beyond the 10-minute time limit standard set by the San Francisco Fire Department for such a response, department sources told KTVU.

The fire department union and other employee groups have been at odds with Lee and Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White over staffing within the department’s ambulance division.

The union claims the staff shortage has delayed response times to emergency medical calls within San Francisco. It and the other fire department employee groups have demanded Hayes-White’s ouster… (more)

The other side tells a different story… Who do you trust?

Fire chief, mayor say ambulance got to crash involving mayor’s wife quickly
 : sfgate – excerpt
One week after critics called for her resignation over ambulance response times, Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White is defending her agency again, this time over whether it got an ambulance quickly enough to a car crash involving Mayor Ed Lee’s wife on Monday afternoon… (more)

 

SFMTA hearing to address near-term service response before new light-rail cars arrive

By sfexminer – excerpt

San Francisco officials have celebrated the contract approval for top-of-the-line light-rail vehicles to improve a dismal Muni service, but before the first new cars show up, riders will have years of waiting to do.

That’s why Supervisor Scott Wiener, who has made Muni and transportation infrastructure one of his top political causes, has called for a hearing to learn what the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency plans to do in the meantime.

“We need to know what the current situation is, what the plan is to get us out of this current situation, and how Muni sees the next three, four, five years going,” Wiener said last week. He said the agency’s response should not be: “Riders don’t worry, at some point in the future it’s going to be all fixed.”…

On Friday, Muni spokesman Paul Rose provided some insight into the transit agency’s short-term strategy for improving service.

“We look forward to working with Supervisor Wiener to help share information about the work we are doing to improve Muni,” Rose said. “The procurement of up to 260 light-rail vehicles is the single most significant thing we can do to improve service and we will continue to try new things to ensure our existing equipment works to the best of its ability.”…(more)

Good to see that someone else is starting to want some relief sooner rather than years later. There is no immediate plan other than to ask for more money. Read the report and see if you can find one. These guys only know how to do one thing. Demand money. JUST SAY No on A and B.

Union Square merchants not digging new subway

It may have been the most fashionable meeting ever held at City Hall — as representatives of Neiman Marcus, Chanel, Barneys New York, Dior, Bulgari and Arthur Beren Shoes met Wednesday with Mayor Ed Lee to tell him that the Central Subway construction was killing some of Union Square’s best-known high-end stores.

At issue is the tearing up of Stockton Street to make way for the Union Square Station — and the loss of parking, deafening noise and dust from the heavy machinery that go along with it. Combine those with narrow and often unlighted walkways in front of the stores, and customers are staying away in droves.

Lee promised a personal look at the situation, but overall the news was not encouraging… (more)

The Union Street merchants will probably want to vote No on A and B (to limit the damage SFMTA can do by limiting their funds) and Yes on L to restore sanity to the transportation system that is wreaking havoc in the city and will be the source of our downfall. http://www.restorebalance14.org/

Neighbor Claims Mark Zuckerberg Hired People To Save Parking Spots Overnight Near His San Francisco House

 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is doing some pretty extensive renovations on his house in San Francisco, and it’s really annoying his neighbors.Round-the-clock construction work has led to disruptive noise, and no-parking signs have blocked off portions of the street, nearby residents have complained. Parking in this part of the city, near hip Dolores Park, is already notoriously difficult.

And now, according to CBS San Francisco, neighbors say they’ve noticed something else going on near Zuckerberg’s house.

According to one neighbor, pairs of people have been spotted sitting in parked cars near Zuckerberg’s house late at night. When one neighbor went to ask what they were doing, several of the people said that they had been hired by the Facebook billionaire to save parking spots for construction workers who would be arriving in the morning… (more)

Do we need any more proof that the privileged few are taking over the city? Do we accept the theory that parking is a privilege not a right? If you do not accept the privilege theory, Vote NO on A and B and Yes on L. Let City Hall know that if they don’t hold the SFMTA accountable the voters will.

Renegade Directs San Francisco Traffic For Free, We Guess?

sfist – excerpt

…The problems with vehicles blocking SoMa intersections are significant ones. In a report from last week, the Chron said that the SFMTA had just wrapped up a six-day test at the intersections of Main and Harrison and Second and Bryant streets, in which MTA parking control officers were directing traffic and ticketing drivers who pulled into intersections and sat there blocking cross traffic.

Depending on the data collected by interns who were also monitoring the intersections, the SFMTA will decide if the best way to prevent intersection blocking might be tickets, traffic directors, or both, the Chron says.

However, it appears from this SFMTA SoMa Intersection Gridlock (Blocking the Box) Enforcement Pilot Update that outside of that six-day test, there wouldn’t be any special effort to direct traffic during typical SoMa conditions.

Which brings us to the video… taken at 3rd and Howard Streets and uploaded on September 25. In the video, we see a man clad in typical streetwear (not the SFMTA uniforms you see traffic directors wearing here) and an unlogoed safety vest (the kind you can buy at Home Depot for less than six bucks) directing not just traffic but pedestrians… (more)

When government fails to do its job, people take matters into their own hands. If you blame SFMTA management for traffic jams, do not trust them to clean up the mess they created by removing traffic lanes all over town, and do not want your taxes used against you, (on TEP projects that reduce lanes and remove parking on major streets such as Masonic, Potrero and Van Ness), send a message to City Hall to stop the war on cars. Vote No on A and B (no money without accountability) and Yes on L: Restore Transportation Balance. Write the supervisors and Mayor and sign the Stop SFMTA petition. All your petition comments go directly to them and become a matter of public record.

How Transbay Transit Center deal’s collapse would alter S.F.

By John Coté and J.K. Dineen : sfgate – excerpt

San Francisco could be left with a very expensive bus station or a new skyline minus a few towers depending on how threatened lawsuits over the city’s plan to fund a new downtown transit hub billed as the “Grand Central station of the West” play out.

The plan was thrown into flux Tuesday, when the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the creation of a community benefit district with a tax structure opposed by a number of developers, some with projects already under construction.

The most damaging impact of any lawsuit — two or three are being considered — is expected to be to the $2.6billion plan to extend the rail tracks from the Caltrain station at Fourth and King streets to the new $1.9billion Transbay Transit Center under construction along Mission Street.

“What’s really threatened is not Transbay, it’s the Caltrain extension,” said Gabriel Metcalf, executive director of the urban think tank SPUR. “There is no point to having built the Transbay terminal if we don’t get Caltrain there. … The good news, if you could call it that, is that there is still time to work it out.”…

The special tax zone, known as a Mello-Roos district, was conceived during the economic boom of 2006 and 2007, but it wasn’t until 2012 that the city proposed a tax rate for the district: 0.55 percent of assessed value, or, at the time $3.33 per square foot….  (more)

Chris Daly Breaks Up With Union, Pro-Car Measure Apparently Not To Blame [Updated]

sfist – excerpt

We don’t have Chris Daly to kick around anymore (again). The bombastic former city supervisor whom everybody loved to hate has severed his ties with San Francisco’s most-visible union, the purple-shirted army of Service Employees International Union Local 1021, for whom he had been working for the past three years…

The longtime friend-of-Daly SF Bay Guardian noted yesterday that Daly parted ways with the union at the same time as it endorsed Proposition L, which has backing from Republicans as well as tech maven Sean Parker. The measure would steer city transit funding towards motorists and make it tougher for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to stick parking meters wherever it damn pleases…

SFist: If you didn’t leave SEIU over Prop L issues (as you told Steve Jones) what was the reason behind your departure?

Daly: Even though I disagree with the decision 1021 made on Proposition L, it had no bearing on my departure. In fact, internal discussions about me leaving my post as Political Director started about 6 months ago — long before Prop L was even a glimmer in Sean Parker’s eye… (more)

30 Stockton Muni station changes changed again

By John Zipperer : marinatimes – excerpt

A change of station stops by the 30 Stockton bus appears to be short-lived, following rider reaction. Several folks complained that Muni failed to respond to their complaints, but apparently those complaints were still heard loud and clear.

The controversy involves the switch of a stop from Divisadero and Chestnut Street to Fillmore and Chestnut Streets. What should have been a simple switch of locations caused trouble for riders who missed connections, were forced to exit the bus in the street because there wasn’t room for the bus to pull up to the curb, and other inconveniences.

The complaints came flooding in; the Marina Times received numerous calls and letters from people upset with the changes. Resident Janet Maslow pointed out that when the driver stops to take a 15-minute break, passengers have to disembark and wait for the next 30 bus. “Sometimes there is a bus waiting and sometimes not. If one is waiting and you get on it you usually have a few minutes’ wait because he is still on break. I don’t have the patience to wait, and I usually walk the rest of the way [home], which is OK during the day but late at night not OK. When I am almost home, a 30 drives past, very often empty because most people don’t wait,” she noted. “I understand that this is a pilot project, but it sucks; even the bus drivers detest it.”… (more)

Reasons why the buses are more reliable than cable cars and trains

In case you haven’t noticed, when their is a problem on a bus line, the buses CAN be rerouted. Every day you see numerous notices from SFMTA about re-routed bus lines due to emergency conditions such as fires – SF Muni Bus Lines 12, 14, 27, 49 Being Re-Routed or other alterations caused by heavy construction or roadwork.

Almost daily you also see notices about stopped trains and cable car lines -
SF Muni California Cable Car Line delayed due to an Accident. There is no way to re-route a rail or cable car so the whole line must come to a halt when such an incident occurs.

If the lower costs of purchasing, and operating a bus line were not enough to convince you that buses make the most financial sense, the reliability factor should be considered as well. That is why many professional transportation professionals favor buses over rail. You need a certain number of buses just to cover for the downtime of rail.

RELATED:
THE ECONOMIST:  “Streetcars and Urban Renewal:  Rolling Blunder”, “Federal subsidies have inspired some silly transit projects”, August 9, 2014:  http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21611123-federal-subsidies-have-inspired-some-silly-transit-projects-rolling-blunder