Commuter Shuttle Pilot Launches Today

San Francisco’s Commuter Shuttle Pilot program launches today. Approved in January, this 18-month pilot will test sharing a limited network of specifically selected Muni zones with permitted commuter shuttles. For the first time, commuter shuttle pick-up and drop-off locations will be regulated.

The SFMTA has created a network of zones for permitted shuttles to use. The designated network of is comprised of shared Muni zones and Commuter Shuttle permit-only white zones. Check out the pilot network as a map or in list form.  Signage on shelters or bus poles indicates which zones are included in the pilot network.

Commuter shuttles with permits will bear placards on the front and rear of their vehicles. Placards include unique 5-digit number that will help SFMTA resolve questions and complaints.

Feedback is important!
Please let us know if you see:
·         Shuttles using stops outside of the network
·         Unsafe behavior
·         Shuttle use of restricted streets
·         Locations where conditions are improved

Please provide location, time, direction, placard number, photograph (if possible) to help us follow up appropriately.

Use the 311 e-form to submit feedback.

In the Know provides brief updates on agency issues, initiatives and key projects in the news.

2 Investigates: Fighting Unjust Parking Tickets

by Melanie Woodrow : ktvu – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO — There’s a system in place to fight tickets, but some frustrated drivers who spoke to 2 Investigates say navigating the bureaucracy is next to impossible.

Know the code
“I’ve only lived here for two and a half months and I’ve had four tickets,” said San Francisco driver Deckel Israeli, who lives on a street where the parking signs are covered in graffiti.

“It’s complete B.S. that they have a sign like that and they’re not making a decision to either fix it or not ticket people,” he continued.

According to San Francisco Transportation Code Section 1.3, parking tickets aren’t enforceable if parking signs can’t be seen by an ordinarily observant person.

Rules for parking in San Francisco and elsewhere are clearly outlined in city and state transportation code. The code is hundreds of pages. It’s available online but 2 Investigates found many drivers aren’t familiar with the code.

SFMTA says you can report a sign covered in graffiti to 311.

Parking tickets by city

City Citations Issued
2013-14
Contested -
Initial Review
% Dismissed –
Initial Review
Contested –
Admin Hearing
% Dismissed –
Admin Hearing
Contested -
Superior Court
% Dismissed –
Superior Court
San Francisco 1.5 Million 77,248 28% 13,085 38% No Data No Data
Oakland 745,581 24,914 35% 2,454 19% 47 45%
San Jose 214,842 9,048 26% 1,008 17% 34 38%

(more)

One of the most popular rants against SFMTA is agaisnt the ticketing appeals process. We suggest that you vote to Restore Transportation Balance so the voters can take back control of the streets from the forces that are destroying them and feeding the car wars. Donations are needed to win at the ballot: http://www.restorebalance14.org/

 

Should S.F. make it easier or harder to drive and park in the city?

Business Pulse – Polls and Surveys : bizjournals – excerpt

Easier. Most people still drive; deal with it. 41%

Harder. More cars will just mean more gridlock. 25%

Neither. Transit vs. cars doesn’t have to be either/or 33%

Votes Cast: 221

VOTE NOW: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/poll/poll/15073351#comments

This survey is not a scientific sampling, but offers a quick view of what readers are thinking

Separated bikeway along the Embarcadero

Can you envision a separated bikeway along the Embarcadero?

A bike lane laces most of the roadway of the Embarcadero in either direction, but it’s not complete, and sections like the Third Street Bridge are less than ideal, to put it mildly.

Casual riders and family-style tourists often don’t feel safe on the bike lane, so they ride along the promenade itself. This is perfectly legal, btw: The promenade along San Francisco’s waterfront is a shared-use path, which means both pedestrians and bicycles are allowed to use it, from Third Street to the south going north to Powell and Jefferson streets. (There is some signage that declares this, but not enough.)

Cyclists and peds usually co-exist on this popular stretch without a second thought: the path is expansive and there’s plenty of room.  But in some parts it can get congested, with cyclists traveling in both directions trying to weave around pedestrians.

This situation can be improved —  and you can attend an open house meeting Thursday, July 24 at 6 PM, to find out what might be in store for the Embarcadero:

The Embarcadero Enhancement Project Open House

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014
  • 6:00 PM
  • Pier 1 – The Embarcadero (map)
  • The Embarcadero & Washington
  • San Francisco, CA 94111

You might recall that for a short time during the America’s Cup races, a section of the Embarcadero was temporarily cordoned off into a separated two-way path from The Ferry Building to the Cup’s main public pier.

Below are a couple rendered images from SPUR that give an idea of what a separated bicycle pathway might look like. More ideas can be found in their document building the emBIKEadero waterfront bike path (PDF)… (more)

Let ‘s make driving on the Embarcadero more difficult than it is now, eliminate more parking spaces, and spend more money while asking the citizens to take on another half a billion dollars in debt to wreak more havoc on our streets.

That is the plan, but voters who are fed up with it can vote to Restore Transportation Balance in November instead.
Now is the time to let the contestants for Supervisor in District 6, and Supervisor Chiu of District 3, know how you feel about the plan. District 3 and 6 Supervisors should have a say about what happens in their districts. The Eastern Neighborhoods stopped the parking meters when our Supervisors said NO.

RELATED:
Coping with the throngs on S.F.’s beloved Embarcadero
July 9 Port Commission Meeting – (video) Item 12B Embarcardero Bike Lane Project – The presenter claims this project will require an EIR and additional design reviews. The public can participate and should let the Supervisors know how they feel.

This app will guide you to parking — and may get you a ticket, too

SAN FRANCISCO — A parking app that reliably helps find open spots in this congested city was coded on a turn-of-the-century tugboat in Sausalito.

The Terrapin served David LaBua as a coding den for VoicePark, a free app that uses sensors to monitor parking spots. It’s the only one we’ve tested to date that guided us to viable public spots on the busy streets of San Francisco.

“Parking is probably San Francisco’s biggest stressor, and writing about it has been very therapeutic for me,” says LaBua, who holds a master of science in psychology. “I had no intention of getting into the app game, but there was a real need for it.”

LaBua became a self-taught expert on parking in the town known for its hills, restaurants and arbitrary parking laws while living in the notoriously hard-to-park North Beach neighborhood. Such was his obsession that he penned a book about parking titled Finding the Sweet Spot and writes a gripping column where readers ask him for advice on their most pressing parking conundrums.

San Francisco’s parking pinch is a sign of the city’s tech-fueled growing pains. While the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency counts more than 442,000 free and paid parking spots, it’s evident from a map the city produced that most spots are concentrated downtown, not in tech-boom areas like the Mission, where workers often circle pointlessly searching for a spot in a neighborhood that’s part residential, part industrial.

A bunch of parking apps — including the transportation agency’s own app, which gauges availability and pricing — aim to smooth over the bumps in finding a spot. Push came to shove recently when the city attorney cracked down on parking apps based on the concept of drivers selling spots, which means the race for the best parking app is still on.

Right now, the VoicePark app monitors 18,000 parking spots in eight pilot areas with about 11,000 of those spots on the street. Each spot knows its built-in rules (street cleaning times, passenger loading zones) so the app will never guide you to a spot that’s not legal. “Ideally, someday, it’ll drive you to every spot in the city,” LaBua says… (more)

Many SF residents differ as to why the parking in SF is such a problem. Many blame the SFTMA not the techies, for eliminating  parking spaces all over the city.  Their latest scheme is to privatize the streets by selling or leasing parking rights to corporations who “share” their profits with the SFMTA. That is where the “sharing economy” concept comes from. Only apps that “share” their profits with the SFMTA are allowed.
If you feel as many do that privatization and commercialization of our streets is wrong and want to  change that, vote yes on the Restore Balance Transportation Initiative in November. Passage of this ballot will send a strong message to city authorities that the citizens disagree with the SFMTA program of eliminating public parking from pubic streeets and are demanding a halt to these practices.

Potrero Hill Democratic Club: D10 Supervisorial Candidates’ Debate

youtube – excerpt – (video)

PHDC’s July 2nd debate at the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House. Shortly after the debate the club voted to endorse Tony Kelly for District 10 Supervisor.

 

Nobody Wants My Spot: An Hour in Haystack’s Nonexistent Predatory Marketplace

By Austin Tedesco : boston.com – excerpt

The Haystack parking app launched in Boston last week, and to test out the service I did exactly what the city doesn’t want. I used it. Or, I tried to use it.

I held two public parking spots hostage creating a “predatory private market,” as a San Francisco city attorney called it, that would benefit almost nothing except my credit card balance. That was the goal, at least. It failed miserably…. (more)

This is one of many stories about the “sharing economy”. Stay tuned for more, including a graphic illustration of how it works and what it does and does not mean.

D10 Supervisor Candidates Weigh in on Muni, Parking, and Bike Lanes

by : sfstreetsblog – excerpt

The candidates running for District 10 supervisor this November gave some telling responses to transportation questions last week. The first debate of the D10 race was held at the Potrero Hill Democratic Club and moderated by SF Chronicle reporter Marisa Lagos, who asked some pointed questions on issues around Muni, parking, and bike lanes in SF’s eastern and southeast neighborhoods…

The five candidates, as seen seated from left to right in the video above, included Ed Donaldson, Marlene Tran, incumbent Malia Cohen, Tony Kelly (the close runner-up in the most recent election), and Shawn Richard. The video was provided by Kelly’s campaign… (more)

Fee Increase for Commuter Tech Shuttles Using SF Muni Stops Approved

By Bay City News : nbcbayarea – excerpt

Companies using San Francisco city bus stops to pick up and drop off passengers on commuter shuttles will have to pay more than triple the cost to the city.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors voted to approve a fee increase from $1 per stop per day to $3.55 after realizing that the cost of enforcing the pilot program was more than originally anticipated.

The new fee would take effect later this year and rise to $3.67 next year.

The pilot program, which went into effect on July 1, allows companies operating shuttle buses to use San Francisco Municipal Railway bus stops for a fee to limit the impact of the shuttles on city bus service… (more)

 

Parking Shared Cars Instead of Private Cars Isn’t Exactly “Privatization”

The SFMTA’s endeavor to reserve on-street car parking spaces for car-share vehicles has yielded complaints from some car owners who, ironically, decry the “privatization” of space currently used to store private cars.

But the greater point that some folks seem to be missing is this: No use of public street space is more “private” than dedicated storage of private individuals’ automobiles. To decry converting comparatively few of these spaces to welcome a much more efficient form of auto storage – making each space useful for dozens of people, rather than one or two – is absurd.

Yet that’s what Calvin and Michelle Welch argue, in flyers they distributed that protest two on-street car-share spaces in the Lower Haight, as Hoodline recently reported. ”It would privatize a shared, currently free, scarce public resource making it available only to paid members of a car share program,” the Welches wrote. (It’s worth noting that Calvin Welch is a longtime activist who opposes the construction of new market-rate housing (more)

The comments on this article are off the rails. We need a serious discussion about the privatization of public property among people who know the legal facts.