SFMTA considering dramatic changes to parking

By Lauren Martinez : abc7news – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Parking in San Francisco is getting more and more competitive.

On Tuesday, the SFTMA will receive a report on proposed changes that will hopefully make San Francisco’s limited space, less congested.

Titled “Curb Management Strategy,” the SFMTA lays out how they will manage and allocate the city’s limited curb space. It explores how the transportation landscape in San Francisco has dramatically changed in the last 10 years…

Ride-sharing vehicles, electric scooters and on-demand food delivery services are now competing for space on city curb-sides.

Some of the highlights include:

More parking for motorcycles. Special parking for electric scooters. Extending hours on all meters and ending Sunday free parking. Increase and streamline ‘geofencing for TNC’s’ (Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft.) That would mean designating pickup/drop off locations like the ones already in place at SFO. Creating a four-hour time limit on broken meters, which are 20% of the meters in the city on any given day.
To enforce these changes, the SFMTA is proposing using cameras on buses to ticket for double parking. They would use fixed cameras, similar to cameras at red lights, that would ticket those for illegal stopping or parking… (more)

Some of these would require state permission.

Proposed California law aims to close car break-in ‘loophole’

By Karma Dickerson : fox40 – excerpt (includes video)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Across California, more and more people are coming to their cars to find someone has forced their way in and taken their belongings. Almost everyone has a car break-in story to tell.

Many people FOX40 spoke with were surprised to learn that finding the thieves isn’t the only challenge for authorities — holding them accountable in court isn’t is as straight forward as many might think.

When it comes to stealing from cars, California law defines burglary as entering a vehicle “when the doors are locked.”…

“We have to prove the vehicle is locked to make it a felony,” Ronald Lawrence, president of the California Police Chiefs Association, told FOX40…

Assembly Bill 1921 would create a new law that simply makes forcibly entering a vehicle to steal a crime…(more)

SFMTA introduces new curb management strategy

masstransitmag – excerpt

The strategy is a framework to guide decisions regarding curb access across the city.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has developed a citywide Curb Management Strategy, which serves as a policy document guiding the agency’s policies towards the curb across its divisions and recommends specific changes to state and local legislation, along with internal policies and processes…

At the core of the strategy is a framework to guide decisions around the curb across the city, recognizing that different neighborhoods have different needs. For example, the need for goods loading is much higher downtown and on neighborhood commercial corridors than in residential areas. However, throughout the city, the need for safe access to the sidewalk from a bus or a train takes precedence over parking…

The Curb Management Strategy will help the SFMTA think holistically and proactively about this important and limited resource, according to the agency. By making these strides, SFMTA says it can ensure the curb supports the city’s wider goals of Transit First, Vision Zero, the Climate Action Strategy and business vitality… (more)

When did the rights of the public take a backseat to the parking needs of disruptive businesses like Uber, Lyft, pop-up kitchens, offices, parklets and other special interests private enterprises?

Who decided non-rent paying businesses should take curb spaces away form traditional rent-paying retail businesses, shutting down many and turning our retail corridors into ghost towns.

Why are pop-up kitchens and other disruptors allowed to rent parking spaces while people sleeping in RVs and cars to avoid long commutes to work pushed off the street?

If the city can rent out space to pop-up kitchens, they should rent out space to pop-up living spaces to people sleeping in RVs and cars. For all we know people amy be sleeping in the pop-up kitchens to avoid long commutes to work. A while ago we heard of pop-up brothels and witnessed a pop-up hot-tub on Braynt St. with a propane tank attached.

How safe and clean are these pop-ups and how do they hookup to utilities? Why can’t the vehicle dwellers be given the same rights as these pop-up businesses?

Should cars be banned on Broadway in downtown L.A.?

By Laura J. Nelson : latimes – excerpt

Banning cars from downtown streets is beginning to catch on in major U.S. cities, with New York and San Francisco moving to free up space for transit vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

But the trend hasn’t come to Los Angeles — yet.

A proposal introduced by Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar could change that. The councilman asked city officials last week to study the feasibility of a ban on driving and parking along a 1.5-mile stretch of Broadway between 1st and 12th streets…

Broadway was the heart of pre-World War II Los Angeles, and later became the region’s premier shopping destination for Latino families before falling into disrepair at the end of the 20th century.

If the changes were approved, city planners face the challenge of redesigning a street long oriented toward the automobile, while still retaining the energy that families remember, said James Rojas, an urban planner who worked at the May Co. department store on Broadway in high school.

“Broadway is part of the cultural DNA for people whose families have been here for generations,” Rojas said. “You have to find a way to make this major change and still keep the vibrancy, the interest, the activity.”(more)

The push to gentrify“other peoples” neighborhoods continues to spread.

Supervisors reject Page Street Bikeway appeal

By Corey Browning :sfexaminer – excerpt

The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to move forward with plans to build the Page Street Bikeway Pilot despite an appeal requesting an environmental impact review.

The 12-month pilot is designed to reduce vehicle traffic on Page Street and increase safety for cyclists, pedestrians and those at the nearby John Muir Elementary School. But according to an appeal filed by Rob Anderson and attorney Mary Miles—a duo somewhat notorious for their advocacy against bike lanes —the project violates the California Environmental Quality Act by not first conducting an environmental impact review.

Their appeal states that the project will have significant impacts and is not designed to collect data, and therefore is not eligible for a Class 6 Categorical Exemption as The City determined.

“Why are you really doing this? Only the Bicycle Coalition can tell you that,” Miles said during Tuesday’s meeting. “They want Page Street for their own private use.”

The board voted unanimously to reject the appeal…

Miles and Anderson could respond to the Board of Supervisors decision with a lawsuit, which would delay the project. In 2005 the pair filed a lawsuit that successfully halted bicycle infrastructure projects for years using a similar argument, getting a judge to grant a temporary injunction against any bike-related improvements that wasn’t lifted until 2010.…(more)

How much would you pay for a BART parking spot? Changes could double rates

By Nico Savvidge : eastbaytimes – excerpt

BART hopes higher prices will free up spots in crowded lots

How much would you pay to park at your local BART station if you knew you could count on getting a spot?

Or, if you had the choice, how much would that spot have to cost before you’d give it up and walk, carpool or take a bus to the station instead?

Those are some of the questions that could determine how much patrons pay to park at BART in the future, as the transit agency that once surrounded its stations with vast lots of free spaces considers price hikes for a shrinking inventory of spots...(more)

When did our government decide to run experiments on us? BART is losing riders. Their solution is to raise fares and raise the price of parking for BART when they are considering free rides at night and weekends to increase ridership. Who are these people?

People Silicon Valley’s new extreme: The 2:30 a.m. tech bus from Salida

By Lauren Hepler : protocol – excerpt

Tech employees move all the way into the Central Valley. Private tech shuttles follow.

It’s 2:30 a.m. in the Central California farm town of Salida, and the only sound is the tech bus pulling into an unmarked lot surrounded by barbed wire. Men and women in work boots board in the moonlight. Next stop is 11 miles away in Manteca, and then it’s another 55 miles to Fremont on the San Francisco Bay, where — an hour and a half hour later — the 4 a.m. shift at the Tesla factory starts.

Welcome to life on Silicon Valley’s new frontier. When tech companies first introduced private shuttles for their employees more than a decade ago, they served the affluent neighborhoods in San Francisco and the Peninsula. Now the buses reach as far as the almond orchards of Salida and the garlic fields of Gilroy.

Tech companies have grown tight-lipped about the specifics of their shuttle programs in the wake of high-profile protests in San Francisco. But Protocol was able to locate enough stops for company shuttles to confirm that some tech shuttles now drive all the way out to the Central Valley, an agricultural hub once a world away from the tech boom on the coast… (more)

Way to go California. Maybe it is time to move the jobs to the people instead of moving the people to the job?

Why do Hayes Valley NIMBYs want to stop this Page Street bike program?

By Adam Brinklow : curbed – excerpt

City says separating cyclists and divers is good for the neighborhood, but an appeal tried to block the plan on—wait for it—environmental grounds

San Francisco wants to experiment with turning part of Page Street into a bikes-only byway, but some neighbors have raised objections to this project on—of all things—environmental grounds…

Apparently quite a lot, at least according to attorney Mary Miles who this week appealed to the Board of Supervisors to toss out the Page Street bike program’s California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) exemption and force the city to put the plan through the regular environmental-impact report rigamarole…

So, what could anyone complain about? In a six-page missive to the board, Miles laid out objections to the bike program, including:

  • Closing Page Street will allegedly push thousands of cars onto nearby streets like Oak and Fell, “which are already over capacity,” increasing congestion and delays in the neighborhood rather than relieving it.
  • The appeal also claims that, by rearranging traffic this way, the city will add to pollution created by Page drivers thanks to “vehicle idling and residents having to search for parking.”
  • On the latter point, the pilot nixes 36 parking spaces, and the neighborhood has recently lost street parking in other areas, thus creating even more driving hassles.
  • While the city hopes that separating drivers and cyclists on some avenues will decrease traffic collisions, Miles calls this the “city’s Vision Zero fantasy” and complains that this part of Page is not a major hub for accidents.
  • The budget for the pilot program comes in at $350,000, with some of the money going toward city employees assigned to (as Miles puts it) “count cars on Page Street after it prohibits their travel there,” which the appeal mocks as wasteful and redundant. (The monitoring is meant to verify whether or not drivers abide by the new rules.)
  • Additionally, the complaint alleges that such a closure is illegal and that the city doesn’t have the authority to shut a public street to drivers in the first place.

The appeal demands the Page Street program go through the state’s full CEQA process. Miles struck a conspiratorial tone at Tuesday’s hearing—asking board members not to yawn in her face or “make gestures” while she talked—alleging that the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition “wants Page Street for their own.”…

Further attempts at appeal or litigation could hold up the start…(more)

Below-market condos may get parking cost break in San Carlos

By Ryan McCarthy : smdailyjournal – excerpt

Buyers of below market rate housing in proposed San Carlos condominiums will pay $220,000 for a three-bedroom unit — and may get half off the cost of parking spaces expected to sell for up to $75,000 each.

City planning commissioners meet again Monday about the five-story, 35-unit development at 626 Walnut St. but the municipal staff recommends continuing the matter to allow more time for review of parking costs for buyers of the four below-market units.

At the Planning Commission’s Jan. 21 meeting, Chair John Dugan said below market rates should apply to parking as well as housing.

People who need such affordable housing don’t necessarily get to choose where their jobs are located and work might not be on a Caltrain line, Dugan said.

“I bet more times than not they need to drive,” he said.… (more)

Governor’s Theft of Gas Tax Funding: Reduction in Auto Lanes, Increased Bike Fatalities

By Katy Grimes : californiaglobe – excerpt

Bicycle proponents blame large SUVs and more autos on the road, instead of fewer auto lanes

When Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-19-19 September 20, he directed the already controversial, voter-approved gas tax money away from fixing local highways (as voters were promised) in favor of rail projects. Simultaneously, cities have been using the funding not to improve roads or increase auto lanes, but instead for ongoing “road diets” and increasing bicycle lanes.

But the attempt to get California drivers out of their cars and onto public transit or bicycles isn’t working out as central planners hoped.

Is Newsom Punishing More Conservative Regions?…

Bicycles and Cars Fighting for Roadways…

The Problem with Road Diets…

Attempts to force people out of their cars have not worked. Lane and road diets only cause more congestion and pollution – and bicycle fatalities when autos and bicycles are forced to “share the road.”

According to the National Motorist Association, “increased traffic on residential streets is often caused by the mismanagement of the main arterials and collector streets. When cities improperly install stop signs, mistime traffic signals and underpost speed limits that have no relation to actual vehicle speeds, drivers will find other streets that flow better.”…

Motorists are Fighting Back..

In 2016, the National Motorists Association launched a STREETS THAT WORK initiative designed to influence lawmakers and educate the public on the societal benefits of freedom of mobility. The NMA initiative is the antidote for Vision Zero, which aspires by government mandate and at great cost – fiscally and in terms of personal autonomy – to reshape urban transportation.

STREETS THAT WORK advocates for:

  • Improved road safety that is realistic, fiscally sustainable, and doesn’t feel like a government-mandated social experiment.
  • An end to arbitrary mobility restrictions on urban streets that will decrease personal transportation options while increasing travel times.
  • One set of “rules of the road” for all users so that individual and shared responsibilities are clear to all.
  • Intelligent placement of bicycle paths that complement rather than displace motorized traffic…(more)