S.F.’s Prop. A is first step on road to put driving last

By Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross : sfgate – excerpt

There’s a lot more to San Francisco’s $500 million Proposition A than fixing roads — it’s really the first step in a master plan to put buses, bikes and pedestrians on the fast track and move cars into the slow lane.

A close look at the projects that would be funded by Prop. A shows the overall plan calls for reducing miles of traffic lanes for cars, removing an unknown number of parking spaces and reducing stops on several Muni lines to enable the buses to cross town faster.

The biggest chunk — $142 million — would go into new traffic signals, crosswalks and other projects to speed Muni and make it safer to cross the street.

Market Street would get $90 million for rehabbing and upgrading Muni boarding islands, bike lanes, sidewalks, traffic signals and bus and streetcar service between Castro Street and the Embarcadero.

Prop. A would also provide $30 million to help repair or replace 40 escalators and elevators that are forever breaking down, many of them at stations shared by BART and Muni Metro… (more)

Don’t know if this is the first step, it is definitely the next step. SFMTA and their supporters are really on the block. Most critics of Prop A point to language that states the SFMTA “may” spend the money this way, which is not the same as saying the money “shall be spent this way.”

According to the city controller, passage of this bond will result in higher property taxes and those taxes may be passed through to renters.

The bottom line is do you trust SFMTA to do what it promises based on past performance? If the answer is “no” and you want the right to own a car, you will want to vote No on A and B and Yes on L. For more on why go here: http://savesfmuni.wordpress.com/

Prop. A aims to help city with transit upgrades

by sfexaminer -excerpt

One of three transportation measures on the November ballot, Proposition A would allow San Francisco to borrow up to $500 million by issuing general-obligation bonds to go toward improving its transit infrastructure and aging roads…

Prop. A permits a property-tax increase to pay for the bonds if necessary, and landlords could pass up to 50 percent of the tax increase to tenants. According to projections from City Controller Ben Rosenfield, the highest estimated annual property tax for a homeowner with an assessed value of $500,000 would be about $91.02.

Groups including Save Muni, the San Francisco Taxpayers Association and Libertarian Party of San Francisco allege the proposition will raise property taxes and rent. Save Muni founding member Howard Wong said the proposition would incur $1 billion in new debt over a few decades with no guarantee of making Muni more reliable…

SFMTA funding, parking fees are on ballot with Props. B, L

Joining Proposition A, which transit officials and advocates are counting on for a reliable source of funding for infrastructure work, two more transit measures are on the November ballot. These, propositions B and L, seek to take The City’s transportation system in different directions.

A transit-funding measure like Prop. A, Proposition B would amend the City Charter to allocate a greater amount of the general fund toward the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency each year, based on population growth…

Opponents argue Prop. B would take general fund money away from other programs.

Prop. L was sparked in April from a dozen San Francisco residents who wanted to reboot transit policies back to 2009, before Sunday parking meters and demand responsive meter pricing went into effect and meters got installed in certain neighborhoods.

“It’s simply getting back on a balanced course in San Francisco which we have had for 50 years in The City until then,” said Chris Bowman, 68, a Twin Peaks resident and one of the original proponents of the proposition… (more)

California readies pay-as-you-drive tax test, coming soon to a road near you

By Justin Hyde : motoramic -excerpt

It won’t happen immediately, or even within the next year, but not too far into the future you might pay a tax for every mile you drive — thanks to California.

Three weeks ago, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the first test of mileage-based road taxes in the Golden State. The bill, which passed the state legislature with the backing of transit agencies, environmental groups and most major automakers, creates a 15-person panel to oversee a pilot of pay-by-the-mile taxation by 2018.

The move makes California the largest state to explore how modern technology might replace the dwindling money from gasoline taxes used to build and maintain roads, thanks to ever-more efficient vehicles and less driving overall. Congress has been forced to fill the gap at the federal level with billions of dollars in temporary funding; in California, where residents pay 48.5 cents on the gallon in state gasoline taxes worth more than $3 billion a year, the state has borrowed from those revenues in recent years to cover shortfalls elsewhere… (more)

This gets into so many areas that we find repugnant. Do we want our every move tracked? Why don’t they just raise the gas tax and get it over with? People are using less gas which is what they wanted. Now they are punishing us for using less gas. There is something wrong with this plan.

Measure seeks to raise revenue for Alameda County transportation improvements

By Sierra Stalcup : dailycal – excerpt

In November, voters will decide the outcome of Measure BB, which would increase the county sales tax by 0.5 percent in order to raise revenue for Alameda County transportation improvements.

If approved, Measure BB would secure the sales tax for 30 years with revenue allocated to transportation groups such as BART and AC Transit in order to modernize and improve transportation options within the county…

Jerry Cauthen, a transportation engineering consultant and volunteer for the Bay Area Transportation Working Group, said he does not support the measure because the plan fails to set concrete, reliable goals.

Community groups supporting the measure, however, emphasize the importance of improving and expanding access to public transportation in Alameda County…

“Berkeley used Measure B money for bicycle boulevards which provide a safe crossing to a busy street,” said Dave Campbell, program director of Bike East Bay. “Even a parent with a kid feels comfortable. If cyclists think it is safer, they are more likely to ride.”… (more)

This has a familiar ring to it. Could be because it is part of the Plan Bay Area.

Postseason baseball made parking rates near AT&T Park skyrocket to $100

By Mike Oz : sports.yahoo.com – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO — With the Giants making a run at another National League title, October baseball is all the rage here. Fans are skipping work for day games. Black-and-orange T-shirts are being hawked all over the place. And parking-garage owners are making out like bandits… (more)

Higher parking rates will drive more people into cabs.

Parking control officers in a huff over violent public, want city protection

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

photo of a San Francisco parking control officer on the hood of a moving car that went viral last month seems to have captured the mood of The City’s parking enforcement officers.

Things are so bad, the workers and their union picketed outside of the Hall of Justice on Thursday afternoon — along with nurses who work for the city — to pressure city leaders to do something. Dealing with assaults and attacks on these city workers are increasingly becoming a part of their jobs, nurses and officers say, and they want The City protect them.

Even though there is no indication that such violence has increased dramatically recently — there were only 12 reported incidents of parking control officers facing assault or battery this year, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency — workers feel too little is being done… (more)

Chicago Quietly Allows .1 Second Shorter Yellow Lights, Makes $8M Off 77,000 New Tickets

By Elliot Hannon : slate – excerpt

How long is a yellow light? Most people would—reasonably—have no idea the exact length of time before a traffic light goes from yellow to red. The answer is: A minimum of three seconds, according to federal safety regulations. What happens when a mere tenth of second is shaved off that time and a yellow light lasts 2.9 seconds? If you thought, not much, you’d be wrong.

The city of Chicago and its mayor, Rahm Emanuel, are taking heat—thanks to a Chicago Tribune investigationfor ever-so-quietly sanding that measly tenth of a second off of the length of yellow lights in the city this past spring. The impact was substantial: 77,000 additional red light camera tickets were issued, at $100 a pop, which added up to nearly $8 million forked over by unsuspecting drivers.

Yellow Light Time Standards

shortyellowlights – excerpt

Legislation mandating proper yellow light times is mostly non-existent. It is one of the goals of this project to establish national standards to protect motorists.

For the purposes of this project, we have put together a general guide to appropriate yellow light durations.

This guide is intended to help identify potentially dangerous short yellow light times. Whenever possible, suspicious timings will be confirmed by a trained, objective traffic engineer.

Recommended Yellow Light Times
Three seconds should be the absolute minimum time for any intersection.

25 MPH — 3.0 Seconds
30 MPH — 3.5 Seconds
35 MPH — 4.0 Seconds
40 MPH — 4.5 Seconds
45 MPH — 5.0 Seconds
50 MPH — 5.5 Seconds
55 MPH — 6.0 Seconds

For your information, a technical explanation of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) formula for calculating yellow light times is included below (source): … (more)

Yellow Light time standards are largely missing. Some people are calling for some new standards. This is an important issue for a number of reasons so we will post a number of articles.

RELATED:
http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/yellow-lights

City Park’s Tim Leonoudakis is Featured Speaker at The National Parking Association’s 2014 Convention and Expo

parking-net – excerpt

Tim Leonoudakis, CEO of City Park, San Francisco, Cal. will address parking professionals attending the National Parking Association’s 63rd Annual Convention & Expo, on smart parking and multimodal transportation for parking operators.

Tim Leonoudakis has served as CEO of City Park since 1985, growing the family-owned business founded by his father and uncle in 1953. City Park is an industry leader in high-end, award-winning parking operations and multi-modal transportation solutions. The parking company currently manages parking operations in the San Francisco Bay Area for 25 Five-Star hotels, 6 hospitals, 20 mixed-use/commercial facilities, 16 office parking towers and Levi’s Stadium. With over 90 locations currently under contract and 900 people on staff, City Park is the largest parking operator in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A national leader in green transportation practices, City Park offers over 38 electric vehicle charging stations to the public, and leads the industry in providing commuter shuttles for Bay Area employees at Google, Apple, Twitter and Salesforce. As a result, traffic on Bay Area highways has been reduced by almost 5,000 cars per day… (more)

Golden Gate Bridge district asks Marin Airporter to vacate Larkspur site

By Mark Prado : marinij – excerpt

Bridge district ending lease to create more ferry parking

The Golden Gate Bridge district is terminating its lease with the Marin Airporter in Larkspur so it can use the site for ferry parking.

Late-morning weekday ferry trips leaving Larkspur have limited ridership because there is nowhere for people to park after commuters fill up the lot, officials said.

The bridge district’s Transportation Committee voted Thursday to give the Airporter a 180-day lease termination notice. The same approval is expected Friday from the full bridge board…

The district will collect parking revenue of up to $60,000 a year when it charges for parking at the new lot as it does in its main lot. Expanded parking will allow for more passengers and increase revenue between $300,000 to $450,000 a year… (more)