As San Francisco has implemented its 40-year-old Transit First policy more assertively in recent years, some car-loving residents have grumbled, fumed and quietly plotted revenge.
Their targets are the politicians and bureaucrats who have visited upon the city such evils as bike lanes, transit-only lanes, variable parking meter rates, higher parking charges and enforcing meters on Sundays (recently revoked).
Now, they’re prepared to unleash their fury. An unnamed coalition of San Franciscans, including a Republican candidate for Assembly, submitted papers and started collecting signatures to qualify an initiative for the November ballot that would establish a nonbinding declaration of policy “restoring transportation balance in San Francisco.”
“We realize that motorists contribute a disproportionate share of the funding to the SFMTA while receiving next to nothing in return,” the coalition said in a statement.
The group acknowledges the Transit First policy, which passed in 1973, but says that 79 percent of city households own cars and nearly 50 percent rely on cars to get to and from work.
“The Transit First policy has morphed into one that favors only public transportation and bicycles to the exclusion of any other mode of transportation,” the coalition says in a statement. “Nevertheless, a majority of San Franciscans want the automobile option for its convenience, personal safety and freedom of movement.”
The group’s policy calls for:
- Prohibiting parking meters on Sundays, holidays and outside the hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Freezing for five years fees for parking meters, garages and residential parking permits, and limiting increases thereafter to inflation adjustments.
- Banning new parking meters or variable meter pricing in neighborhoods unless a majority of residents sign a petition in support.
- Earmarking a portion of parking revenue, fees charges motorists and bond monies for construction and operation of neighborhood parking garages.
- Requiring that any “re-engineering of traffic flow in the city should aim to achieve safer, smoother-flowing streets.”
- Enforcing traffic laws “equally for everyone using San Francisco’s streets and sidewalks.”
- Requiring motorists to be appointed to the Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors, and create a Motorists’ Citizens Advisory Committee.
- Having the Board of Supervisors “make every reasonable effort” to adhere to the policy.
Coalition representatives say they need to gather 9,702 signatures by July 7 to qualify their measure for the ballot. Look for them at a parking garage near you… (more)
calbike – excerpt
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s new Bicycle Strategy is the state’s most serious look at what it would take to triple bicycling. The SFMTA’s Timothy Papandreou analyzed what it would take to triple cycling to 10% of trips to work, up from a little over 3% today.
He concluded that the existing bike network is comfortable for only 10% of street users and that from $300 million to $500 million would be necessary to build a complete network of protected bikeways to attract tens of thousands of new riders daily.
The strategy has remarkable support across the political spectrum as a necessary means to continue economic growth in a congested city, according to a Streetsblog article on the topic. Its Board of Directors voted to support an investment of nearly $300 million in the next five years, a huge increase over the current funding of less than one half of one percent of its capital budget on bicycling. Sources tell us that new taxes are being considered that will generate the necessary funds and that key decision makers in the government and business communities are supporting dedicating sufficient funds to bicycling improvements in the next few years… (more)
Remember this in November when they tell you they need $500 million or whatever to fix the MTA and the potholes.
Remember this voters when you get to vote to raise your vehicle license fees, your sales tax, and take on more public debt by selling more bonds.
According to the California Bicycle Coalition, SFMTA intends to continue spend $300 million on bicycling, not expanded Muni service.
Walking and biking were free when I was a kid. Why are we spending billions of dollars on it now?
jobsbucket - excerpt
Parking Meter Revenue Collector (Trainee) for 12.66 an hour
This job opportunity is made available through the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency – Contract Compliance Office’s Employee Training Program.
Retrieve, deposit, secure, load, unload and move parking meter coin revenue from individual parking meters within designated worksites.
Report and record the condition of parking meters during the collection process.
- Walks between 4 to 6 miles per day on sidewalks, ascending and descending frequently on uneven and steep streets of San Francisco.
- Frequently exits and enters the front cab of a truck.
- Frequently exits and enters the cargo compartment of a truck.
- Frequently moves coin vaults horizontally from cart to truck conveyer and vice versa weighing up to 150 pounds.
- Must have a clean criminal record.
- Basic command of the English language is required.
- Must be able to follow instructions.
Typically reports to a crew leader, supervisor or manager.
Position Type: Part-Time/Regular. Hours and days are variable. No weekends.
Rate of Pay: $12.66 per hour
Medical, Dental, Vision, 401K, and other benefits are offered, and will start within 30 days of hire. Paid sick leave will start to accrue after 90 days at the rate of 1 hour for every 22 hours worked.
Pre-employment drug screening and background check for candidates that are selected to move forward in the hiring process.
All resumes must be sent to SFJobs@Manpower.com in order to be considered.
By Sean Havey : sfgate – excerpt
Some anticar ideas are too much, even for San Francisco, where policies limiting driving are a near-religion. After an unhappy tryout, the city will stop enforcing parking meters on Sunday. It’s the right end to an unpopular and unfair plan.
Drivers need a break from worrying about the time ticking down on curb slots. There needs to be a day of rest from swarms of meter-minders dispensing tickets that cost $60 or more. Turning Sunday into another cash-producing day irritates everyone, resident and visitor alike.
By canceling meter collections and ticket revenues, the city is giving up $11 million. (Not according to this article) But there are bigger targets to aim for. In signaling his opposition, Lee worried that the public’s annoyance with Sunday meters could doom plans in November for a $500 million transit bond and a vehicle license fee boost, designed to provide money for Muni, street improvements and other transit fixes.
These ballot measures may net a reliable and supportable stream of money for public transit, right now starved of dependable support. Even in financially flush times, the city’s mix of fares, fees, fines and general taxes is a patchwork system that’s partly to blame for Muni’s ills that make driving a go-to option.
But the answer shouldn’t be more hazing of vehicle owners in a crowded, expensive city. Drivers already pay into this city’s transit-first programs. Nailing them again undercuts the support the city needs to modernize its streets and transportation system… (more)
SFMTA claims they will not lose any money on the Sunday meters, because they will find other ways to ticket drivers. They treat drivers like their personal ATM machines and then beg for more money for vehicle license fees? Do they think we are fools?
Drivers pay. Muni riders pay. Guess who doesn’t pay.
Cara Lui : KTVU – excerpt
Big changes are coming to San Francisco’s parking enforcement policies.
SFMTA announced this week it was doing away with Sunday metering in the city. But that doesn’t mean drivers are off the hook on Sundays.
Agency spokesperson Paul Rose said you can expect the same number of parking control officers on the roads. They will be focusing on things such as responding to red zone or blocked driveway complaints instead.
“We still feel like we’ll make up the revenue lost by Sunday meters, but we will be able to deploy same parking control officers to respond to quality of life issues,” said Rose.
KTVU has also learned SFMTA issued a total of 1.5 million tickets last year… (more)
We can’t believe anything the SFMTA claims. According to these statements the SFMTA never needed to charge for Sunday parking meters and will not be losing the 6.5 to 11 million dollars they have been claiming.
Jaxon Van Derbeken : sfgate – excerpt
After being bombarded for hours from all sides, the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency board voted to give up $11 million in annual revenue and go along with Mayor Ed Lee‘s plan to stop charging for parking in metered spaces on Sundays.
The panel voted unanimously to scrap Sunday parking charges, setting up another showdown at the Board of Supervisors when it considers the MTA budget. The members also voted to prioritize expanded service to low-income seniors and youths, banking on some of a $15 million surplus the agency has, and delayed some planned fare increases.
But parking was the most contentious issue in the budget process.
Mayor Ed Lee and the Supervisors heard us on the Sunday parking meters. Keep up the good work. More letters and comments will get us back our streets. Thanks for all your support. You are great!
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is ratcheting up his opposition to Sunday parking meter enforcement, telling KCBS that he refuses to accept any compromises, and that he is “only willing to consider ‘no enforcement’ and not more or less.” But with Muni considering a budget that includes a fare increase for all adult riders, SFMTA leadership is reluctant to give up the revenue that Sunday parking provides. Who will win?… (more)
The Mayor knows how many people are being effected negatively by the SFMTA policies, and may have seen some evidence that is being gathered by their opponents that could put their entire program in jeopardy. The recent spate of insider claims of accounting fraud, handshake deals, and motions to rescind parking policies is not going unnoticed by the Mayor’s office. He is trying to hold out an olive branch to the angry public as a last ditch effort to placate the growing throng of pitchfork-wielding public mobs who are aiming their anger at the SFMTA, and calling for a major overhaul.
This is not just about cars and drivers paying to park on Sunday. This is about the displacement of San Francisco residents, businesses and cultural centers. “Let the Voters Decide” is the call to action. FixtheMTA has generated over a hundred signatures and comments sent it went live a few days ago. Sign on if you agree that the time has come for a referendum on SFMTA policies. Tell the city officials you have had enuf.
Michael Cabanatuan : sfgate – excerpt
As many as 900 street parking spaces – one of San Francisco’s most precious commodities – will be reserved for car-sharing vehicles and leased at discounted rates. The parking program, which will begin in the summer, is a two-year experiment that aims to spread car sharing throughout the city.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency approved the plan to set aside some of the city’s 281,000 street parking spaces last year but still had to solicit interested companies and negotiate which parking spaces would be reserved for car-sharing vehicles. The agency approved the program after a smaller two-year test, involving a dozen street spaces, was deemed a success… (more)
Taking more public parking off the streets is sure to anger more people. Bring it on. Then ask the voters for more money. See how well that tactic works. When a regulatory agency competes for business with an industry they regulate there is a problem.
It will be interesting to see how they spin the claims that there are less people circling for fewer parking spaces after removing another 900.
See article below. As usual the facts aren’t clear. One story has 900 on street spots. The other has 400 on and off-street spots. Who knows.
Hundreds of SF parking spots could be reserved for car-sharing companies - Car-sharing firms getting 900 S.F. street parking spaces – More than 400 parking spots along city streets and in publicly owned parking garages in neighborhoods across The City could be set aside for use by rental cars operated by car-sharing companies, under a city plan to promote alternatives to private automobiles…(more)
Michael Cabanatuan : sfgate – excerpt
Statistics, studies and comparisons don’t really matter when it comes to traffic. The worst congestion is the stuff you’re stuck in.
That matter of perception may explain why some commuters are grumbling that the streets of San Francisco are growing more and more congested even though most factual indications show otherwise.
With the economy recovering and technology and construction booming again in the city, it only seems logical that traffic would be slowing. Except that it’s not. Counterintuitive as it may seem, fewer cars are entering the city and they’re finding clearer streets while they’re here… (more)
Who do you believe, yourself or them? Look who is running the tests on their own system? Traffic is worse because they have cut out miles of traffic lanes and made streets impossible to drive on. And, they are doing this with OUR TAX DOLLARS. And, you better sit down for this one,
THEY WANT MORE OF OUR MONEY SO THEY CAN HARASS US MORE! If you are ready to beat them back sign the petition to encourage the Supervisors to support a Charter Amendment to FIX the MTA
San Francisco Cuts ‘Cruising’ for Parking in Half With Market-Clearing Prices
More hype on parking created by the same studies that show less traffic.