S.F. Sunday parking meter charge voted down

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!


FREE PARKING On Sundays In San Francisco Is Back (KMEL)
Free Sunday Parking Returns to SF (funcheap)

The Mayor vs. Muni: The Fight Over Sunday Meters

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.




Car-sharing firms getting 900 S.F. street parking spaces

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)

Fix the MTA!



Fix the MTA!  We support a Charter Amendment to reform the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA / MTA) and request that the District Supervisors support a ballot initiative to let the voters decide. It is Muni’s job to get us where we need to go, not tell us how to get there.

Downtown traffic seems worse, but studies show it moves faster

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.

Bixi Bankruptcy Delays Bay Area Bike Share Expansion Until Fall at Best

by : sfstreetsbog – excerpt

The expansion of Bay Area Bike Share into the Mission, the Castro, Hayes Valley, and Mission Bay planned for early this year won’t happen until fall at the soonest, due to the recent bankruptcy of Bixi, the company that supplies hardware and software for several American bike-share systems.

Heath Maddox, the SFMTA’s bike-share program manager, broke the news to an SF County Transportation Authority Board committee this week. He said the expansion would come in the fall “if everything went very well.”

“Our main technology and software provider is actually for sale,” said Maddox. “We should know what becomes of that sale later this month. Hopefully, it’ll be bought by our current operations and maintenance provider [Alta Bicycle Share], and they could just move, without a hitch, and once again fire up production.”

Maddox said after the sale and re-organization is completed, “it takes five to six months to produce the equipment once it’s ordered.”

In response, Supervisor John Avalos, the SFCTA Chair, said the expansion was supposed to have happened “yesterday,” and asked Maddox to “meet offline to talk more about it.”… (more)

When did the SFMTA decide it has the right to compete against all the private industries it regulates? Why is the agency setting up bureaucratic spinoffs that employ non-profits, to set up high tech alternatives to established businesses such as bike rental shops?

You should promote the private bike rentals companies that have been here for decades instead of competing with them, and complaining about the flaws in the bankrupt high tech international system you prefer. This is one of many projects that sucks the lifeblood out of the community.

This is what the CEQA appeal on the tech bus decision is referring to when they claim displacement is a relative, substantial effective of the tech buses that must be examined as part of the CEQA review. In this case the issue is displacement of jobs.

Private bike rental shops cost the city nothing, provide incomes for people in the city who run them, maintain the bikes, insure the bikes, and contribute to the local economy. When the bike rental demand at those rental stores goes up they will purchase more bikes to rent. Drop your high tech expectations and promote a local bike rental system that works.

SF MTA City Whistle-Blower’s Lament: An Itemized List of How Muni Obscured Its Budget

By Joe Eskenazi : sfweekly – excerpt

LaVonda Atkinson, the cost engineer for the Central Subway project, this year filed a complaint with the city’s whistle-blower program alleging serious lapses in accounting procedures and unethical behavior on the $1.578 billion project. Among her more disturbing charges reported to SF Weekly:

  • A Muni official, in writing, acknowledges plugging a “make-up #” into a federally reported document in order to maintain the desired total budget: a “make-up #” $30 million off from the data within that very document and $43 million greater than the prior month’s reported total.
  • Atkinson claims she was instructed to override computer formulas and manually reduce cost variances to zero — obscuring millions of dollars of month-to-month reassignments of budgets and expenditures, often on projects completed as long ago as 2010. As such, budgets are retroactively altered to match actual expenditures, and then the alterations themselves are hidden by zeroing them out.
  • There is a $40 million gap between the figure Muni reports to the city controller and what it reports to the Federal Transit Administration regarding its spending on preliminary engineering.
  • A $17.1 million computer program purchased, explicitly, for budgeting the Central Subway project is going unused — in favor of Microsoft Excel…

An overrun delayed is not an overrun denied. The reckoning will come.

It turns out there’s a name for this practice: Transit expert and accountant Tom Rubin dubs it “the William Tell school of budgeting.” Rubin, the former CFO of AC Transit and the Southern California Rapid Transit District and a longtime Central Subway skeptic, scoured documents supplied to SF Weekly by Atkinson and came away with the following assessment of Muni’s financial planning for the massive project: “They fire the arrow at the barn and then draw the bull’s-eye around where it hits.”…

…By March, even the feds were aware that this multi-billion dollar transit endeavor was being budgeted on Microsoft Excel — the same program used to tabulate rent and groceries in apartments throughout San Francisco…

In the world of civic projects, the first budget is really just a down payment…. (more)

This can’t help the reputation of San Francisco’s most controversial agency and disliked agency. This allegations  may also affect legal issues winding their way through the courts. Stay tuned…

Covering Their Tracks: The Central Subway Project Buries Millions in a Deep Dark Place Muni Instructs Employees How to Contact Whistle-Blower Program Following SF Weekly Story on Muni Whistle-Blower

Reiskin: Let’s Keep Sunday Parking Meters, But Not Enforce Them

By Aaron Bialick : sfStreetsblog – excerpt

SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin said today that he thinks the agency should keep Sunday parking meters but back off on actually enforcing them.

At an SFMTA Board of Directors meeting, Reiskin said he recommends “that we significantly re-deploy our resources away from Sunday meter enforcement. We have a lot more higher-pressing needs, particularly during the week during the evening rush, for example, in terms of traffic enforcement.”… (more)

April Fools?

Study: Hartford, New Haven Hurt By Abundance of Parking

: wnpr – excerpt
Regardless of how hard it can seem to find a parking spot sometimes, Hartford and New Haven have built a lot more parking over the past few decades. But that can be a bad thing…
But parking isn’t as simple as one might think, said Eric Boone of the Hartford Parking Authority.”It’s actually quite complex,” Boone said. “There’s a lot of human nature involved, as very dry and bland as, ‘I have 20 parking spots, and I need to put 20 cars in’ sounds.”For example, some people will pay regardless of price, some people will spend time to find the cheapest spot and yet others will decide based on the weather and other factors. He pointed out the demand pricing that San Francisco and Los Angeles are trying out is similar to what the airline industry does to distinguish between customers.“You try to adapt pricing to accommodate those concerns so that you always have the maximum efficiency of parking, but you have to balance that maximum efficiency with customer satisfaction,” Boone said. “Right now, airlines are pretty efficient, however there may be some that may argue that there’s low customer satisfaction with the airline industry.”… (more)

Customer satisfaction is at an all time low in San Francisco. Congestion parking, demand response, whatever they call it, does not create more parking opportunities, it just sucks more money into the government net, without voter approval.

Eric Boone is right. Parking decisions are complex, and change as frequently as the weather, often with the weather. Don’t believe any of the hype coming out of SFMTA’s efforts to sell their parking platitudes and claims that their theories work. SF is rated the third worst city in the US for parking, after Chicago and Oakland, all of which have been sold to the private parking industry. San Francisco voters are also irate over the reduction in traffic lanes that have caused major congestion on streets that never had problems before.

Shoup’s theories are not panning out. The anger against SFMTA has spawned at least three bi-partisan efforts in San Francisco to stop, reform, or dismantle the SFMTA.

Anti-car, pro-development legislation being pushed by Democrats around the country is a major reason for a decline in support for Democratic politicians. Financial corruption is the icing on the cake. Nobody trusts the government, and that reflects badly on the present administration.
We have seen the results in Florida of voters who are fed up with regional planning schemes that Democrats have been pushing as a remedy for global warming. Whether or not one believes in climate change, everyone does not agree on the solution. Environmentalists are not buying the pro-development argument, and in many cases are leading the fight against it. Say goodbye to the incumbents because many will not be returning unless they change their tune soon.

San Francisco citizens working to reform the SFMTA:

Bold Vision Needed From SFMTA’s Next Sustainable Streets Director

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

The SFMTA is searching for a new Sustainable Streets Division director to replace veteran traffic engineer Bond Yee, who retired in January after four years on the job. The broad umbrella of Sustainable Streets includes all SFMTA programs that involve street design and parking management, and its next leader will play a critical role in moving San Francisco towards its stated vision of (as the division’s name says) sustainable streets…

The SFMTA expects to name a candidate for the position by this summer. In the interim, the role is being filled by Jerry Robbins, who has served as a transportation planner for the city for 28 years. Robbins said that delivering bold projects without delay is a delicate balancing act that requires “getting everyone on the same page and pushing in the same direction — the funding people, the designers, engineers, planners, the public education people — and staying on focus, not getting distracted. It’s a lot of different balls in the air at one time.”… (more)