Studies Show Car Traffic in San Francisco is Dropping

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

Car traffic has dropped in San Francisco in recent years, despite an economic boom and a growing population, according to studies by the SF County Transportation Authority.

A newly updated study (reported by SF Weekly) by the SFCTA counted fewer cars at 11 of 15 intersections during evening peak hours this year, compared to earlier counts taken between 2009 and 2012. Driving speeds, meanwhile, are “increasing moderately.”

As SF Weekly’s Joe Eskenazi pointed out, the data fly in the face of anecdotes from drivers — who almost universally feel that car congestion is always getting worse. And given the city’s booming economy, population, and construction in recent years, that’s one scenario that certainly would have been plausible had the 20th-century status quo continued… (more)

Why is traffic getting worse if there is less of it? Because the SFMTA is removing traffic lanes and causing the congestion they claim to be fixing. SFMTA put one over on the drivers this time by claiming they are solving the gridlock problem when they are causing it. How hard is it to figure out the the fewer traffic lanes you have to drive in the more crowded the streets will be?


The Slow Lane: The City’s Anecdotal and Statistical Traffic Studies Collide

SFMTA Make It Easier To Contest a Citation While Going Green

cbslocal – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Anyone contesting a citation for a parking or transit violation issued by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency can submit evidence in an easier, and greener way thanks to a newly launched online portal…

The new process allows the administrative review to be carried out online, instead of in the form of a written protest delivered to the SFMTA office… (more)

About time SFMTA’s appeal process got smart. This should work really well for the Fix folks who fix tickets.


SFMTA Launches Online Protest Platform

SFMTA approves parking, traffic for Van Ness BRT

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

he Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit project moved a step forward after transit officials Tuesday approved the necessary parking and traffic changes along Van Ness Avenue to accommodate the $125 million bus rapid transit system.

The changes unanimously approved by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s directors Tuesday include restricting most left turns on Van Ness Avenue and removing parking spaces where the agency plans to put center bus boarding platforms…

Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit Stations

  • Market Street
  • McAllister Street
  • Eddy Street
  • Geary Boulevard
  • Sutter Street
  • Sacramento Street
  • Jackson Street
  • Vallejo Street
  • Union Street … (more)

Rapid Bus Lanes Coming To San Francisco’s Van Ness Ave.; Expect Less Parking Space

By Barbara Taylor : cbslocal – excerpt

AN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The plan for San Francisco’s first Bus Rapid Transit project is moving forward. San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA) board of directors has approved major changes that will eliminate traffic lanes and parking along busy Van Ness Avenue in an effort to make the thoroughfare more efficient…

The construction is set to begin in winter 2015 and should take two years to complete with the changes expected to go into effect in 2018… (more)

“The construction is set to begin in winter 2015 and should take two  years to complete with the changes expected to go into effect in 2018.”
You know this is a lie. The changes will take effect the minute construction begins.

Lack of parking drives many away from mass transit

Concerns raised over BRT lanes on San Francisco’s Van Ness Avenue

SFMTA falls short with parking meter revenue

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

report from the San Francisco controller’s office shows The City could have potentially collected more revenue from parking meters during the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

The report said that if every one of the 28,000 metered spaces in the city had been fully paid, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency could have generated as much as $190 million in revenue.

Though it might seem to drivers that parking spaces are always taken,  at least 40 percent of parking metered spaces are not occupied at any given time, according to data from the SFMTA’s SFPark program… (more)

They left out the most likely reason for the empty meters, which is that their PR and street diets have have backfired on them. SFMTA has convinced everyone to go somewhere else or take pubic transportation, walk, bike, or stay home. The fewer cars there are on the road, the lower their revenue from cars will be. Get used to it or change the policies to bring the cars and the revenue back.

But it is more fun to blame others than to admit they overplayed their hand, so we will probably get more of the same and they will lose more money and blame us.

Shelter squabble threatens Van Ness BRT

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

key federal grant for San Francisco’s Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit project could be in jeopardy.

A letter dated Oct. 27 sent from the Federal Transit Administration said the project is danger of not qualifying for the FTA’s Small Starts grant program because of recent design element changes to the Van Ness Avenue project.

The letter from the FTA’s regional administrator Leslie T. Rogers explains that the recent changes to the project to not include a canopy or roof-type transit shelters to protect riders from weather elements will disqualify the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency from receiving funding from the FTA program.

he transit agency said it had anticipated receive up to $75 million to help pay for the bus rapid transit project along the Van Ness Avenue corridor… (more)

This is a slightly dated article, but worth looking into for anyone who objects to the Van Ness BRT project. So far it has been slowed down by unmapped underground pipes and perhaps funding shortfalls might delay the project long enough to put a stop or alter it.


The Slow Lane: The City’s Anecdotal and Statistical Traffic Studies Collide

Anecdotally, traffic is bloody awful in this city and getting worse every day. Anecdotally, the roads have never been so clogged and it’s never been easier to leap from rooftop to rooftop of the legions of vehicles navigating San Francisco at a glacial pace…

Bay Bridge auto counts for October indicate around 128,000 cars heading into San Francisco on a daily basis. That is 3,000 to 5,000 more cars than in recent years — but fewer cars than in 2005. The number of vehicles heading into town via the Golden Gate Bridge topped 40 million in the fiscal year concluding in June. That’s more than either of the last two years — but fewer than fiscal 2010 and fewer than any year between 1985 and 2001.

So, it’s busy. But it has been busier.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority has undertaken detailed analyses of congestion and average vehicle speeds along major San Francisco corridors.  Counterintuitively for anyone who traverses this city on a daily basis, traffic counts are down and average speed is up… (more)

This evidence supports our claims that the SFMTA is to blame for gridlock, not the drivers. They planned and engineered traffic jams by eliminating traffic lanes and street parking.

If you agree with us, let the SFMTA and the supervisors know that you do not trust the SFMTA to fix the problem they created. Sign the petition to Stop SFMTA.

SFMTA officials changed legislation. Claimed they were “simplifying and clarifying”

Support the November Ballot initiative: Restore Transportation Balance in San Francisco

It is important to get the facts out about Props A, B, and L. Props A and B will will give the SFMTA license to spend over $500 million dollars as it pleases, and Prop L seeks to Restore Transportation Balance. We contend that SFMTA is out of control and needs to be stopped.

This video explains how unelected SFMTA officials changed street parking legislation while claiming they were “simplifying and clarifying” the language. It is important to understand this process because other unelected government bodies are attempting to do the same thing. We feel the best way to stop these practices is for our elected supervisors to hold public hearings to investigate them. If you agree with us, please sign the petition to Restore Parking Oversight of SFMTA.

In 2007, the citizens of San Francisco gave SFMTA authority to manage and update City parking policies, without ongoing oversight from the Board of Supervisors. But the supervisors can assume more authority if enough of them agree to take it on. We want to convince them that they need to do that.

SFMTA published the ‘Policies for On-Street Parking Management’ document in order to “provide transparency in how the agency makes decisions.” The agency promised the document contained “no new policies” and only clarified “where we do (and do not) use parking meters and residential parking permits.” Public data, internal emails, and dissenting staff memos prove otherwise.

SFMTA staff misled their own Board of Directors and violated the public trust by creating all new policies that favor parking meters over residential parking permits. These new policies include moving forward with neighborhood plans, denying residential parking permit requests, adding parking meters, and removing existing residential parking permit areas. These new policies use zoning, and not citizen input to justify the installation of new parking meters.  

Parking meters, as most people know, are a multimillion dollar cash cow for the city of San Francisco. Mixed use, and high density areas like North Beach, Mission  and Chinatown are areas that have residential parking permits in place. The new parking policiesthat the SFMTA claims are existing policies will enable the SFMTA to remove residential parking permit areas and replace them all with parking meters (without citizen input or approval). These new parking policies will also allow the SFMTA to preemptively install variable rate parking meters in areas that are zoned mixed use (production, distribution, repair) and high density areas like SOMA, Potrero Hill, and Mission Bay.

How much money will the city generate from mixed use and high density neighborhoods? Millions? More like billions! And what if you don’t want your mixed use, or high density neighborhood to be turned into a paid parking lot?  Sorry,  SFMTA policies say that your neighborhood is already zoned for parking meters and according to SFMTA’s “existing policies” your neighborhood should already have parking meters instead of residential parking permits (rpp).   

Even after appeals from 20+ neighborhood and business associations and the agency’s Citizen Advisory Committee to rescind the policies, the SFMTA Board has taken no action. The Board of Supervisors must step in to provide oversight and accountability.

Copy of SFMTA CAC Motion 140311.01 on Parking Policy:

Motion 140311.01
The CAC recommends that the SFMTA Board re-review the On-Street Parking Management Policies document to ensure that the policy and its implementation are in accordance with one another, and that if there has been a change in policy, that a public process be undertaken to review that change. The CAC further recommends that, to the extent the document creates new policy, that the implementation of those policies be suspended until a public process is undertaken.10.
The CAC directs that the CAC Chair to reference the following CAC recommendation, adopted September 6, 2012, in transmitting this recommendation to the SFMTA Board:

Motion 120802.01
The CAC urges the SFMTA to consider the draft policies for On-Street Parking Management, with the understanding that it does not amend or modify existing parking policies or practices, nor modify code. The CAC further recommends that the document be retitled for reflective collection of existing policies and practices and not a set of policies being adopted. In cases where the document codifies existing practices, staff should empirically document that these are in fact, past practices before the SFMTA Board adopts the document.