Berkeley proposal calls for eliminating police from traffic and parking enforcement

By Brett Simpson : sfchronicle – excerpt

A Berkeley City Council member proposed shifting traffic and parking enforcement from the Police Department to unarmed civil servants in a first-of-its-kind measure put forth Monday, the same day the mayor proposed slashing the city’s police budget by $9.2 million.

The legislation, introduced by Councilmember Rigel Robinson, comes on the heels of weeks of nationwide protests denouncing police violence against Black people after the Memorial Day police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. It will be one of several reforms included in the mayor’s proposed “Reimagining Public Safety” plan to redirect $9.2 million of the police budget to community projects and social services… (more)

Golden Gate Bridge Tolls, Ferry And Bus Fares Going Up Wednesday

sfgate – excerpt

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District announced Monday that bridge tolls and Golden Gate ferry and bus fares will increase Wednesday to fund bridge maintenance and maintain transit service.

The bridge’s FasTrak toll will increase from $7.35 to $7.70 and one-time tolls will increase from $8.20 to $8.40. Carpool rates will increase from $5.35 to $5.70.

The fare and toll increases are part of a five-year program the district approved last year to improve transportation infrastructure. The increased revenue will also help the district close an $87 million revenue gap that has opened since the beginning of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic…(more)

RELATED:

Measure raising Bay Area bridge tolls was legal, appeals court rules
Covid-19 Fears Spur More Cars on Roads, Threatening Air Quality

Public toilets—and public corruption

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

The deepening public works scandal, which now involves political connected permit expediter Walter Wong, appears to have links to a big corporation that has been doing business in SF for years.

The Board of Supes Government Audit and Oversight Committee will consider July 2 a resolution calling on the Department of Public Works to immediately end its contract with JCDecaux, the French company that has the contract for “street furniture” in San Francisco – the public toilets, kiosks, and for a while newsracks that have lucrative ad spaces on them...(more)

Down and out in the Bay Area

By Kelly Dessaint : sfexaminer – excerpt

I’m about to become homeless. Barring a miracle, in less than a week, I will no longer have a place to live.

While the past three months of sheltering in place seemed to drag on forever, since giving our landlady notice at the first of June, when it became abundantly clear that we could no longer stay in this apartment, time has been moving at breakneck speed.

Looking for a place in the Bay Area, where affordable housing is nonexistent, is already a terrifying prospect, but these days, in the midst of a pandemic and social unrest, with a 3-year-old in tow, it can make you want to just curl up into a fetal position and admit defeat.

So two weeks ago, my wife and kid went down to stay with her parents in L.A. We put all our stuff, except a bed and a desk, in storage, and crossed our fingers and toes that something would work out.

There was no turning back. But also nowhere to turn… (more)

Buckle up: California’s gas tax is on the rise

By Daniel Gligich : capoliticalreview – excerpt

California’s gas tax is scheduled to break the 50 cent mark in a couple weeks. 

On July 1, the gas tax will increase by 3.2 cents to total 50.5 cents per gallon. 

Given the economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic, a group of California Republican lawmakers are calling for the state to freeze the tax and prevent the increase. 

“Unemployment continues to rise, and all the ways California was unaffordable prior to the pandemic still exist – suspending the gas tax increase is the least that could be done,” Assemblymember Marie Waldron (R-Escondido) told the Los Angeles Times. 

The increase is the third in four years and is due to the automatic inflation-adjustment that was added in the 2017 law… (more)

Get ready to pay more for food and everything you have delivered. When taxes are based on inflation, gas taxes are self-perpetuating because they drive the inflation for alll sales and all deliveries higher. Only politicans don’t care to notice that. The gas taxes get passed on to consumers.

Proposed California law would fast-track environmentally sustainable transit

By Carolyn Said :sfexaminer – excerpt

SB288, the Sustainable Transportation COVID-19 Recovery Act…

Transportation projects focused on public transit, bikes and pedestrians — but not cars — would get fast-tracked for construction under a bill Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, plans to announce on Monday.

His goal is two-fold: ramp up sustainable transportation and stimulate the economy.

“If we’re going to claw our way out of this economic collapse, public investment in infrastructure is a crucial strategy, and we need to get that investment out and implemented fast,” Wiener said. “We can’t afford delays.”…(more)

The last thing California needs is more “investments” in non-essential infrastructure while we are failing to maintain what we have. Where is this investment money coming from? If you have any cash to offer use it to feed people and expand the health care system. if you want to jump start the economy, invest in education because the future depends on an educated public.

When will our civil servants get their heads out of the sand? Senator Wiener should know that his constituents’ number one issue is the condition of homeless people living in tents on the sidewalk. People want to return to clear, clean, safe streets. Cities are scrambling to keep up with high unemployment rates, reduced income and higher costs for social programs.

Politicians are really out of touch with reality when they suggest spending money on non-essential street and sidewalk projects when the streets are full of protestors, food lines and homeless tents. Unpaid rents are piling up debt that is going to push more people out or onto the streets and there is a growing exodus out of the state, as many believe that density and crowded living conditions are responsible for the spread of the virus. A private vehicle is the safest way to travel now.

Ask the Experts Virtual Town Hall: The Future of Cities Post-COVID-19 Pandemic

photo of 280 shot by zrants

Panelists:
Thomas Piechota
Tom Turk
Marshall Toplansky
Joel Kotkin
Richard Florida
Jennifer Hernanadez
Luis Torres
Daniel Young
Steve Pontell
Alex Hayden

Social Activists, The Two Hundred File Preliminary Injunction Against Governor Gavin Newsom Administration to Halt Pre-Pandemic Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), a Restrictive Home Ownership Regulation

PR Newswire : yahoo – excerpt

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., June 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — While the most vulnerable marginalized communities are suffering disproportionately from the Covid-19 pandemic, social change activists, The Two Hundred, are intensifying their efforts to mitigate the state’s growing racial wealth gap through homeownership. Jennifer Hernandez, the lead attorney for The Two Hundred and a partner at Holland & Knight LLP, has filed for a temporary injunction against the Governor Gavin Newsom administration, in the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of San Bernardino (Case No.: CIV-DS-1938432) to halt the prohibitive Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) regulation. VMT regulation, created before the pandemic, and slated to pass on July 1, 2020, continues to bolster the discriminatory California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a law that has been dangerously used as a tool to deny people of color access to homes in their communities. Led by cofounder, Robert J. Apodaca, The Two Hundred, is a statewide organization of community leaders, opinion makers and minority advocates, dedicated to securing homeownership for communities of color.

VMT regulation proposes to increase the cost of new housing by $40,000 to over $400,000 per home, based on making the act of driving any vehicle a negative “impact” to the environment, while incorporating estimated added mileage cost into the overall housing pricing structure. This new fee is intended to force Californians to live in small urban apartment complexes, and ride public transit, to reduce “greenhouse gas emissions” that cause global climate change. In essence, the farther a family has to move to afford housing, the higher their new “vehicle miles travelled” (VMT) fee will be…

This preliminary injunction comes on the heels of The Two Hundred working to defeat another bill, the SB 950. Authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, the SB 950 seeks to strengthen the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and will inhibit access to affordable homeownership in California…Senator Anna Caballero was also recently joined by a cadre of legislators who support The Two Hundred’s effort and sent an urgent letter of VMT delay request to Governor Gavin Newsom…

To learn more about The Two Hundred, log on at http://www.thetwohundred.org. Follow them on Facebook @The Two Hundred and Twitter at @The 200 Leaders.

Check out The Two Hundred video which shows how homeownership housing is being stopped in its tracks at https://vimeo.com/242696428(more)

MTA ‘confounded’ by CDC push for people to avoid mass transit

By David Meyer : nypost – excerpt

MTA Chairman Pat Foye on Friday blasted a new CDC guidance that businesses encourage employees to avoid mass transit.

“The CDC’s latest guidance marks yet another confounding recommendation from the nation’s top health authority,” Foye said in a statement.

“Encouraging people, especially those without cars and in congested areas like New York, not to take public transit is misguided.”

The new guidelines for re-opening office buildings suggest that companies “offer employees incentives to use forms of transportation that minimize close contact with others, such as offering reimbursement for parking for commuting to work alone or single-occupancy rides.”… (more)

If one is following the science and the science shifts, does one ignore the new facts as they are coming out? Stay safe and do what you can to protect others is the message of the day.