SFMTA Agrees To Dismiss (Some) Tickets Issued Even After They Said They Weren’t Enforcing Meters

sfist.com

“ATTN: No meter enforcement today,” the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency tweeted Thursday morning. The official Twitter account for the City of San Francisco followed suit, tweeting “No Parking Meter Enforcement Today Due to #sfstorm.” Heck, we even reported it, quoting a Bay City News report in which SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said that “parking control officers are more focused on keeping traffic moving and keeping people safe.”

But apparently not all of them had the same focus, as some drivers who didn’t feed the meter yesterday still got tickets, much to their dismay…

Well, that’s certainly frustrating, as that reader will not be one of the alleged nine who will have their slips dismissed. My advice to him, as dissatisfying as it is: Start the dispute process (now available, kind of, online) now, go take a picture of the parking space, and print out those tweets.

And, for the rest of you — watch the mail for those dismissals. And let me know if you don’t get ‘em, OK?… (more)

Need more proof that you can’t trust the SFMTA?

Proposed CEQA changes could push development to disincentivize car use AirTalk | December 4th, 2014, 10:58am

airtalk : scpr – excerpt

A change to the formula used under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) could have a large impact on development throughout the state. Currently, the CEQA process views projects as having a negative environmental impact if they slow traffic. The proposed changes would change the perspective from one focusing on stemming traffic to one with an eye towards decreasing the amount of cars on the road and the temporal length of transportation.

If the proposed changes become final, the slight difference in priorities may change the way developers treat the city and suburbs. Whereas previous attempts under the act expanded car lanes and synchronized streetlights in order to lessen traffic, new attempts would discourage suburban sprawl and instead incentivize options for alternative transport. Those who bike and use mass transit may benefit from the proposed regulatory process, and supporters of green development are supporting the changes with the belief that it will lower greenhouse emissions. Yet for drivers who already have long commutes, driving through the city could become more onerous.

How should the state of California regulate development under CEQA? Do you think your commute could be affected if the development process changes?.. (more)

Thank you for expressing so clearly the objectives of the SFMTA to slow traffic and snarl it. We just had an election in SF where the SFMTA claimed the cars were causing the congestion. Now you have helped us prove that they are causing it on purpose. Thanks once again for proving us right and exposing the SFMTA’s lies, and explaining how the state is s*****g drivers.

We claimed the SFMTA is using taxpayer dollars that should be used to enhance MUNI to harass drivers and your statements support our claims. – ENUF, SaveMuni, Yes on L, No on A and B campaigns.

Safeway Parking Lot Service Issuing Potentially Unlawful Parking Tickets

hoodline – excerpt
Retailers at the shopping center parking lot at 2020 Market Street that is home to Safeway, Starbucks, and Jamba Juice have hired a private company to issue what appear to be unlawful parking “tickets” on cars parked in the shopping center…
The private company that is issuing the notices, Parking Control Services, Inc., settled a lawsuit with the Marin County District Attorney in 2007 when consumers complained that the company was placing parking tickets that looked like government-issued citations on cars parked at free public and private parking lots. Parking Control Services did not respond to our inquiries.

According to an opinion filed by California Attorney General Kamala Harris in 2011, it is unlawful for “private property owners to issue parking citations imposing monetary sanctions to the owners of vehicles parked on their property.”
Absent express statutory authority, a private property owner may not issue a citation to a vehicle owner, and this remains the law even when the owner issues a preprinted ticket claiming otherwise. Moreover, absent legislative authorization and regulation of the practice, allowing private property owners to issue their own parking citations would circumvent many of the consumer-protection purposes embodied in the Vehicle Code statutes governing towing and parking citations… (more)

SFMTA chief signals free Muni for seniors ‘very likely’

By sfexaminer – excerpt

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is “very likely” to approve free Muni service for seniors and people with disabilities as early as January, SFMTA Transportation Director Ed Reiskin said Tuesday.

The revelation comes on the heels of a news conference called by Seniors for Disability Action and supervisors Eric Mar and Norman Yee to put political pressure on the SFMTA board of directors to approve the program. A similar program is in place for low- and moderate-income youths up to age 18.

“Free Muni is an umbrella on a rainy day,” poet and activist Tony Robles said. “Seniors so often are isolated, and can barely afford to pay rent or get around town.”

Monthly Muni passes are currently $23 for seniors and people with disabilities, discounted from $68 for adult passes… (more)

Who said Prop L lost? One of our requests, for restoring transportation balance, is to help seniors and disabled people. Now they just need to re-install the seats on the buses and transport vehicles they want the seniors and disabled people to use, and re-establish the Muni stops they plan to remove, so more seniors and disabled people can take advantage of the free Muni.

S.F. port official, a friend of mayor’s, cited again

By John Coté : sfgate – excerpt

Port Commissioner Mel Murphy and his company were fined for illegally reinstalling car-parking stackers in the garage at his San Francisco condominium building after the Department of Building Inspection ordered the equipment removed.
San Francisco Port Commissioner Mel Murphy, a politically connected developer and friend of Mayor Ed Lee’s, has been cited for illegally reinstalling parking equipment that increases the value of his new Mission District condominium building after city inspectors had directed him to remove it, city documents show.

The violation is the latest in a string of problems for Murphy’s projects both before and after Lee appointed him in 2013 to the city’s influential Port Commission, which has a central role overseeing one of San Francisco’s most precious resources: 7½ miles of public waterfront.

“I feel like this is on Ed Lee for appointing him to the port,” said Building Inspection Commissioner Debra Walker, a political progressive and adversary of the mayor’s. “I think Mel should be asked to resign or be removed. … The mayor needs to draw a line to make sure things are done by the rules.”… (more)

M

I Made A Mistake: Went to San Francisco

By Peter Wallace : hngnews – excerpt

I won’t be back to San Francisco again unless my work requires it.

When I was in San Francisco on business last week I made a mistake.  I feel especially foolish because I know the city’s reputation – no, not that one – the one about parking.  In fact, a comedian does a routine about how the parking signs in San Francisco are so convoluted that it takes a lawyer to decipher them.

So, here’s what happened.  You tell me if you would have done the same thing…

So, while I did not leave my heart in San Francisco, I did leave $88 for the ticket, $4 for the money I put into the meter, and whatever I paid for lunch.

I find it interesting that cities that depend on tourism also predate on tourists, but I guess that’s another topic all together.

I won’t be back to San Francisco again unless my work requires it.  I’ll also encourage people who do go there to park wherever they want, since they’ll probably get a ticket anyway.  Just budget for $88.  Unless, of course, you plan to park on an elderly nun, in which case you might want to bring $98… (more)

More fallout from the San Francisco parking wars of 2014.

Opinion: On-street car sharing is San Francisco’s future

By Scott Wiener : sfchronicle – excerpt

The Municipal Transportation Agency recently began implementing an on-street car-sharing program to improve access to car sharing in San Francisco. The program has caused some controversy, given the many challenges surrounding parking in our city. However, this program is central to San Francisco’s long-term transportation success. Studies suggest that car sharing will induce some residents to give up their cars, which will reduce competition for parking…

Some have objected to the program as privatizing public space. However, the city has long allowed private entities to monopolize street parking spaces if the use serves a practical purpose. Private businesses reserve curb space to receive shipments. Passenger loading zones for taxicabs occupy space in front of hotels. Similarly, homeowners are permitted to eliminate on-street parking by privatizing curb space via a curb cut for a driveway. We allow these privatizations of curb space in an effort to balance our community’s varied transportation needs. Allowing a small amount of curb space for car-sharing services is no different. Car sharing is a valuable service to the public… (more)

The fact that a District Supervisor is hawking an enterprise that completes with private businesses is alarming. Since when is the city and everything in it for sale? Since when is it ok for a city regulatory agency to complete with the businesses that it is regulating? Call it what it is. City Car Share is a rental business.

There are a number of problems with the sharing economy, which we will not go into here. We will mention the fact that car manufacturers rely on car sales to pay for the R and D that got us to the point we are now with cleaner more efficient engines. If you want better products you will need to boost sales, not cut them off.

 

 

SFpark Project Proves Smart Parking System Efficiency

By Marcin Maroszek : gpsbusinessnews - excerpt

Technology development on one hand and increasing traffic problems on the other, lead to a situation where authorities are more willing to invest in Smart Parking Systems (SPS). Example of San Francisco proves that SPS are effective for fighting both – traffic jams and virtual parking deficiency problem… (more)

Don’t believe the SFMTA. Traffic and parking are far worse than they were before anyone introduced any digital parking systems. You can’t use virtual digital solutions to solve actual physical problems. Parking with an app is like withdrawing cash from an ATM. It only works as long as there is money in the account. This is a PR job written by one PR firm to another and published on a trade site. A lot of back slapping going on here.

Muni’s Sluggish 30-Stockton Finally Set to Get Greater Priority on the Streets

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

Muni’s notoriously sluggish 30-Stockton line is finally set to get some upgrades that will give buses higher priority on streets through the dense neighborhoods of Union Square, Chinatown, North Beach, and near Fisherman’s Wharf…

Wu noted that it’s “still important to listen to community input” on the bus upgrades. A recent public outreach open house held in Chinatown by the SFMTA about the project was sparsely attended, but it’s unclear why.

One attendee, Jim Fong, said he rides the 30 and 45 regularly, and that he’s concerned about longer walking distances for seniors once stop spacing is increased from every block to every two blocks. Citywide, a 2010 Muni survey of riders found that 61 percent would consider walking a longer distance, if it meant the overall ride would be quicker and more reliable.

Aside from stop consolidation, the only point of contention for some seems to be proposals to remove car parking for transit upgrades. Chinatown residents and merchants don’t seem to depend much on car storage, and they’ve been happy to ban car parking on Stockton Street to boost business during the busy Lunar New Year shopping season.

It’s unclear how many car parking spaces would be removed in total for transit amenities, like 11 transit bulb-outs that allow for faster and easier boarding. Crosswalks at 18 intersections along the route would be made safer with bulb-outs, whether or not those intersections have bus stops.

The plans also include a two-block road diet on one-way Kearny Street, where the northbound 30 runs between Market and Sutter. Removing one of the street’s four narrow traffic lanes would allow for wider traffic lanes that better fit buses, the SFMTA says. It’s unclear if the road diet would extend beyond Sutter… (more)

Bold Visions for the Embarcadero Emerge at Public Design Workshops

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

Ever since the Embarcadero was uncovered from beneath a freeway more than two decades ago, San Franciscans’ appetite for a more people-friendly waterfront only seems to have grown.

At a series of recent public design workshops this month, groups of attendees were asked to put together a display of how they’d re-allocate street space on the Embarcadero. The main idea was to figure out how to provide a protected bikeway, so that riders of all ages can enjoy the popular waterfront without having to mix it up with either motor vehicles or crowds of pedestrians on the shared sidewalk.

At one of the workshops, two groups suggested that half of the roadway, on the waterfront side, be dedicated primarily to walking and biking, even if it includes a shared-space zone where delivery drivers can move through slowly for loading. Finding a design that allows deliveries to safely co-exist with the bikeway seems to have been the main challenge since the SFMTA launched its redesign process in July

If you want to keep your lifestyle alive, you better get out and let the SFMTA and your Supervisors know that roads are not for walking and biking. Most of the people are still getting around by cars and if they want to get more people out of their cars, they should quit cutting Muni service.

The Supervisors to contact about this plan are:

D-3 David.Chiu@sfgov.org and D-6 Jane.Kim@sfgov.org and D-10 Malia.Cohen@sfgov.org

You can also contact the SFMTA project managers if you can figure out who they are. We couldn’t find any information. You can always send your comments to the Mayor: mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org, Ed Reiskin: Ed.reiskin@sfmta.com and the MTA Board members:
MTABoard@sfmta.com