California Legislation Watch: Weekly Update

Among the flurry of votes, the following bills passed out of both the Assembly and the Senate and are now waiting for the governor to sign—or veto:

  • Vehicle registration surcharge for bike paths and trailsSB 1183 from Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) would allow local jurisdictions–cities, park districts–to place initiatives on the ballot to fund bike paths and trails with a local vehicle registration surcharge. Because this fits Brown’s ideals about fiscal responsibility—that is, the surcharge cannot be imposed unless 2/3 of voters approve—let’s say this one is likely to be signed.
  • Bike racks on buses: AB 2707, from Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), would allow newer, longer buses to carry bike racks that fit three bikes. Right now buses are generally restricted to two-bike racks, except in a few places that argued for an exception. This would make the rules consistent statewide.
  • Traffic violation fines in school zones: S.B. 1151, from Senator Anthony Canella (R-Ceres). Despite unanimous passage in both houses and all the committees it passed through, advocates are worried that Brown may decline to sign this bill because it uses fines to generate revenue. In this case the revenue would have been used for active transportation projects.
    The bill originally called for fines to be doubled, to match fines in construction zones. However, the original language would have required new signage and legislators balked at burdening locals with those costs. Now, the bill merely adds a mandatory $35 increase to any other fines a scofflaw motorist would incur for unsafe driving in a school zone.

Meanwhile the following bills passed the Senate and returned to the Assembly for approval of Senate amendments:

  • Higher fines for hit-and-run convictions: A.B. 1532 from Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles).
  • Yellow Alert on hit-and-run perpetrators:A.B. 47, also from Gatto.
  • Vulnerable users defined:A.B. 2398, from Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael). This bill was amended in committee to lower the fine for violations against vulnerable users from $1000 to $300. This is still over three times the current fine which is either $70 or $95 pending the severity of the crash.
  • Active Transportation Program list approved: At its monthly meeting, the California Transportation Commission approved the list of projects its staff recommended to receive funding—a total of 145 projects out of 771 submitted applications. Can you say: woefully underfunded?

Cap-and-Trade Auctions on Track: On Monday, the California Air Resources Board held a successful quarterly cap-and-trade auction, selling out all the available pollution credits at a price slightly above the minimum set by the board. The list of bidders included plenty of fuel companies, who will be subject to the cap come January—unless legislative attempts to delay that, such as A.B. 69 from Assemblymember Henry Perea (D-Fresno), gain some traction in the next week. Perea’s bill is awaiting its turn to be heard on the Senate floor.

Closing hit-and-run loopholes: The L.A. City Attorney and the L.A. Times endorsed A.B. 2673 from Assemblymember Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), which would end the use of civil compromises to remove criminal charges for hit-and-run crimes .

Protected Bike Lane Bill Still Being Amended: A.B. 1193 from Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) is the bill that would add protected bike lanes, or “cycletracks,” to the four types of bike facilities defined in the California Street and Highways Code, and would require Caltrans to create engineering standards for them by January of 2016.

A secondary aspect of the bill, which allows local jurisdictions to choose a different safety criteria than that created by Caltrans, is meeting some resistance on both sides of the liability debate (cities don’t want liability, and consumer advocates want someone to take responsibility). The bill actually passed on the Senate floor on Wednesday, but it was pulled back to make amendments to address those concerns.

The California Bicycle Coalition, the bill’s sponsor, is pleased with the results of negotiations. “We have come to an agreement with both sides of the debate,” said Dave Snyder, CalBike’s director. “We’ve agreed to new language and that this bill will not affect liability.”

A.B. 1193 will be heard again in the Senate. It’s expected to pass, but the Assembly will have to approve the new amendments.

.. (more)

Not all of these are problematic, but people should know all the laws our representatives are working on a decide for themselves which to support and which to oppose.

Anyone who is considering donations to the reps may want to find out where they stand.

Note that not one of these bills has anything to do with public transit. These are the bills that are being tracked by the California Bicycle Coalition. They obviously don’t care about public transit.

Jerry Brown gets bill to OK local fees for bicycle facilities

By Laurel Rosenhall : sacbee – excerpt

Californians could vote to tax themselves to build bike paths, bike parking and other bicycle facilities under a bill heading to Gov. Jerry Brown.

Senate Bill 1183 would allow cities, counties and regional parks districts to put a measure on their local ballots asking voters to approve an annual fee of up to $5 that would be added to their vehicle registration fees and go toward building or rehabilitating bicycle infrastructure. Two-thirds of local voters would have to approve the fee…

SB 1183 passed the state Senate Thursday with no debate, on a 24-9 vote… (more)

Anyone in Desaulnier’s district feel like taking this on? We understand he is running for higher office now. You can go onto the web site or send messages to his aide: Mark Stivers, mark.stivers@sen.ca.gov 

No Refunds For Paul McCartney Fans Who Were Stuck In Traffic, Missed Show At Candlestick

KPIX – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — The promoter of last week’s Paul McCartney concert at Candlestick Park confirmed to KPIX 5 on Monday that they will not be offering refunds to ticketholders who missed the show due to traffic.

About 2,000 of the nearly 49,000 people who had tickets to the final event at the stadium never made it, because of what has been called a horrendous parking situation that had backed up traffic for hours.

Last week, Another Planet Entertainment said it would consider refunds on a case by case basis. When KPIX 5 ConsumerWatch contacted the company on behalf of several consumers, the promoter made it clear that as a general rule, it is not giving refunds.

The promoter has been criticized for not having a parking plan in place.

Many of the concertgoers who attended also dealt with long delays leaving Candlestick Park, in some cases up to two hours, following the show… (more)

A lot of pissed off fans will never come to San Francisco again unless they have to. Great way to treat visitors.

 

S.F. parking fee plan for disabled goes nowhere

By Phillip Matier And Andrew Ross : sfgate – excerpt

Convinced there’s widespread abuse of disabled parking placards, San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency passed a series of recommendations to crack down on the problem – only to have them deep-sixed by the city’s own lawmakers in Sacramento…

One idea was to start charging the placard holders for parking, something that a number of cities already do. The transportation agency said there should then be subsidies for low-income placard parkers.

The locals, however, needed approval from the state Legislature… (more)

Thanks to efforts made by Assembley memebers Ammiano, Yee, and Hernanadez, and San Francisco’s FDR Democratic Club, and Disability Rights California, this is a dead issue for now.

SFMTA doesn’t know when to quit attacking people. Now they have raised the ire of placard holders. The best way to kill the plan to charge placard-holders is to Vote No on A and B and Yes on L.

Traffic nightmare at McCartney Candlestick show

sfgate – excerpt

Here’s an understatement: Traffic to and from the Paul McCartney farewell show at Candlestick Park on Thursday night was awful.

Some ticket holders have even reported missing the show altogether due to the gridlock. One of our reporters on the scene, Peter Hartlaub, said it took him more than three and a half hours to get from Oakland to the show. And it’s clear from Twitter (see below) that traffic afterward wasn’t any better, with some concertgoers saying that cars didn’t move for an hour and a half…

Zarine Batliwalla, a 61-year-old real estate agent based in Hillsborough, was one of those who missed the show. She and a friend drove from the Peninsula, leaving around 6 p.m., but it took them three hours to get near Candlestick. Once there, she said, it took them more than two hours just to get outside of the parking lot.

The lines to get into the parking lot, she said, were five cars deep. At around 11 p.m., they saw cars leaving the show — and they decided to do the same themselves… (more)

San Francisco tourism just took a dive. These fans will never come for another concert. Some demand refunds.

RELATED:

Traffic keeps some fans out of Paul McCartney concert
Thursday night’s final concert at Candlestick Park drew thousands of fans, but left other Paul McCartney fans out in the cold.
Petaluma’s Jennifer Cass spent $800 for four tickets to the Candlestick Park-closing show. She also spent seven hours in traffic with her siblings, viewing a sea of brake lights and disabled vehicles blocking lanes of Highway 101. They never got to see the show.
The concert is billed as the “Out There Tour,” but Cass had a different name for it. “It’s the ‘Stuck Out There’ concert,” she told KTVU Friday.
“All of us had been to many, many events at Candlestick Park and we’ve never experienced such gridlock. There was no police presence once we entered the park, there were no parking attendants telling us where to go,” she said.
Pat Silveri of Novato requested a $374 refund from Ticketmaster and says the city should’ve done better planning for the event. After a three hour wait in traffic, she says a parking attendant told her she should go home.
“The parking attendant that came to my car said that they were turning away thousands of people,” said Silveri

“I’ve Been Stuck in This Crud”: Fan Says of ‘Stick Traffic”
And the headaches weren’t much better for those who took public transportation. NBC Bay Area’s Gonzalo Rojas was in San Francisco, shooting video of long lines and crowded platforms at Muni, with everyone champing at the bit to get to hear McCartney swoon one last time…” (more)

McCartney Concert Traffic Gridlock Frustrates Fans
One of the biggest memories for many fans may be of the concert traffic gridlock before, during and after the show. Anne Makovec reports.

Why drive to McCartney at Candlestick was a long and winding slog

by Michael Cabanatuan and Hamed Aleaziz : sfgate – excerpt

After Paul McCartney‘s big farewell to Candlestick concert turned into the Big Jam, causing countless motorists to miss the show in a huge traffic mess, city and concert officials said the infuriated fans may only have themselves to blame (for buying the tickets?)…

“So, who’s to blame? I’m not sure anyone’s to blame,” Perloff said. “There are a lot of answers. In a sense it was a perfect storm.”

And as that storm raged Friday morning, there were a lot of people to ask…

Need for backup plan

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency officials referred calls to Mayor Ed Lee‘s office, which sent them to Police Chief Greg Suhr.

Suhr blamed the backups on a large number of concertgoers unfamiliar with Candlestick’s infamously feeble transportation system, a concert starting time near the end of a Thursday night commute and people leaving too little time to get to the show… (more)

Is this part of the new SFMTA strategy to blame everyone but yourself. That is the SFMTA way.  Take no responsibility for failing fulfill your obligations.
Did they expect people to know they needed to leave 5 hours early to get to the concert on time?
We heard that taking public transit took almost two hours so there was no real good solution.

 

Jersey City moves toward closing parking authority

AP : sfgate – excerpt

Jersey City is moving closer to realizing Mayor Steven Fulop’s goal of abolishing the city’s autonomous parking authority.

Fulop announced Friday that New Jersey’s Civil Service Commission has granted his request to have parking authority employees given civil service status.

The approval allows the city to move forward with its plan to abolish the authority and have its functions absorbed by other departments.

Fulop plans to present an ordinance to the City Council on Sept. 10.

The parking authority’s enforcement functions would come under the Department of Public Safety, while administrative functions would be handled by city staff who already perform these duties.

Fulop says the dissolution of the parking authority will save taxpayers millions of dollars.

(more)

There’s an idea on how to save Muni money. Abolish the SFMTA by repealing Prop E. What voters create they can dismantle.

Civility and Its Discontents: City Politics Finally Drops the Cordial Bullshit

: sfweekly – excerpt

“…As San Franciscans prepare for Burning Man, the majority of our supervisors prepare to be burned. Because City Hall’s facade of civility has gone up in smoke: Mayor Lee has pledged retribution against the six legislators who greenlit a Scott Wiener transit funding measure he despises.

Meanwhile, sources inform your humble narrator that the mayor’s office told affordable housing developers that success for a Jane Kim housing measure not to his liking would result in the evaporation of their city funding. Like hostages, these organizations were cajoled into pleading with Kim to back down.

And that happened.

Attempts to fund Muni in this city hark to a troop of clowns hauling stacks of custard pies down rickety stairways. It’s always a mess. And the goods never get delivered.

In 2007, erstwhile board President Aaron Peskin’s Proposition A purported to inject $32 million a year into Muni’s bereft coffers. But that didn’t happen: Instead, prevented by the electorate from simply taking the money now earmarked for Muni, city departments began pillaging the transit agency by charging Muni for tasks those departments were already legally obligated to provide. A voter-approved measure to bestow Muni with scores of millions of dollars actually eviscerated its finances to the tune of scores of millions of dollars. Muni continues to be treated as the city’s slush fund.

Your commute continues to suck… (more)

So, who do you trust to fix the Muni mess? Do you think throwing more money at the tiger will tame its appetite?

If you are ready for a change, fight back and tell  SF City Hall know that you have had ENUF !

Vote Yes on Proposition L.

Of Fame and Infamy

By   SF Weekly – excerpt

Paved with Gold

Sadly, Uber czar Travis Kalanick didn’t offer his typical primer on how not to get gouged by Uber during the Outside Lands Festival this past weekend. We could have really used one. According to various reports, Uber’s surge pricing rose to five times its normal fees during peak demand. One customer said he’d been fleeced into paying $290 to get from 30th and Balboa to Gough and Post. Outside Lands did, in fact, suggest other forms of transportation, including shuttles, bike routes (with free valet bike parking), Muni buses, and good old municipal taxis. Apparently, San Francisco commuters had to learn the hard way… (more)

Uber Promises New Drivers $5,000 a Month
By Rachel Swan
New drivers who sign with UberX could earn up to $5,000 their first month, guaranteed.  That’s according to the latest string of Uber billboards, which have been placed somewhat incongruously on Muni buses throughout the city… (more)

Citizens beware of the removal of legitimate taxi service from the streets of San Francisco. You will not like the market rates demanded by the new private enterprise shared economy alternatives. This weekend of price gouging based on demand service will lead to something more sinister. Support your local cabs.

 

Longtime SF Bicycle Coalition chief to step down

By sfexminer – excerpt

One of the strongest San Francisco voices in advocating on behalf of bicyclists is stepping down from her role as head of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and heading to Europe.

Leah Shahum, often seen riding around town on her orange two-wheeler, announced in a letter to the nonprofit’s members Tuesday that after 17 years with the group, 12 of which as its executive director, she is calling it quits by the year’s end.

“It’s time for me to pedal toward new adventures, including participating in a German Marshall Fund Fellowship to research the successes of Vision Zero in Europe,” Shahum said in the letter… (more)

Good news for some of us. One less anti-car voice to counter.

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