Follow-up on the SF General Hospital Plans

September 3o, 2015 Meeting at SF General:  Attended the SF General meeting and met with some of the principals involved in the project. UC Research labs plans to expand by building a new 9-story building in the parking lot. Parking and traffic will be impacted heavily. SFMTA was expected to make a report but no one showed up. Neighbors requested a meeting with Ed Reiskin about the traffic and parking plans. Neighbors are concerned about noise, hazard waste disposal and many other issues. Many would prefer the expansion were in the current brick edifice or in Mission Bay. There are UC facilities all over town. UC is the second largest employer in San Francisco.

Regardless, there will an EIR on the expansion plans as described. I asked about the timeline for the EIR and the project. Public meeting dates are scheduled to start in October and run through March 2016 by which time they hope to have a draft EIR prepared. Nick Q. (Liberty Hill) John W (EMIA), and I were at the meeting. They may have additional information if anyone has any questions.

Traffic and parking:
They announced they will be removing 66 parking spaces from Potrero Ave.
Relating to the proposed UCSF research building they want to add one story to the parking garage and push it out to 24th St.
This will add about 527 new spaces but will only be a net gain of about 307 spaces as they will lose 220 spaces they currently have on campus.
We were told that the garage now (even before the new hospital is opened) is full before noon.
Despite the above the planning department has asked to take 20,000 sq ft of the garage as “retail space”.
They don’t want to build at Mission Bay because the doctors don’t want to take the shuttle between Mission Bay and SFGH.
When the “historic’ brick buildings are eventually retrofitted there are no plans for parking for the new staff and program that will occupy those buildings. (currently 800 people work in those buildings so we can expect at least that many more new staffers to the campus.
Be sure and come to the scoping meeting for the proposed research building on 10/21/15 at 7 PM in SFGH cafeteria.

California unveils amnesty program for unpaid traffic tickets

By Kurtis Alexander : sfgate – excerpt

Millions of California motorists with suspended licenses have a chance to win back their driving privileges at a discount, starting Thursday, under a state amnesty program for unpaid traffic tickets.
The state is cutting fines by at least half and waiving late fees for payments on tickets that were due before Jan. 1, 2013, an effort to eliminate what Gov. Jerry Brown called a “hellhole of desperation” for those who can’t afford penalties and lost their licenses as a result.
Brown signed the amnesty legislation in June. It takes effect Thursday and runs until March 2017… (more)

Great idea but, they have to be kidding. They are waving fees for payment on tickets that were due before January 2013? Who is still around after that long? How will this help the poor folks who were desperate in 2013? Two years late. Sort of like the brand new affordable houses they are building for future residents long after most of those who need them have left. Who is going to get on a lottery for a home that will not be on the market for two or more years? And who is going to benefit after losing their car and or license two years ago?

Vallejo Street Closure For Poets Plaza Now On Hold

hoodline – excerpt

The proposed temporary closure of Vallejo Street between Columbus and Grant avenues has been delayed for a second time, after neighbors showed up at a Sept. 24th hearing for the SFMTA’s Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation for Temporary Street Closures (ISCOTT) to express their concerns…

Kristen Foley, who’s lived in the neighborhood for six years, said she heard “quite a few” neighbors spoke out once again at the Sept. 24th meeting of ISCOTT, which approves or denies road closures. Someone put flyers on cars the previous weekend, she said, which got the word out and might’ve spurred attendance. Foley had previously told us that people who don’t live in the immediate neighborhood aren’t aware of the difficulties the closure will pose for drivers.

“If they did it with thought and weren’t being bullies about it to get someone’s pet project complete, it would make more sense to me,” Foley said. “I feel it would be a community decision, rather than just someone telling us this is going to happen. If they’re claiming this Poets Plaza is going to bring the community together, then why aren’t they involving the community it’s going to affect?”…

“I think there’s some growing concern about what emergency vehicles will have to do,” said Grant Miller, who lives in the neighborhood. He doesn’t have strong feelings about the plaza, but “I’ve heard it may delay response times up to several minutes, and that could be a legitimate concern.” On the other hand, “some people are very much in support of it. It could turn out to be beautiful. It depends on how they do it.” … (more)

Air board approves rule to raise gas prices, open new fuels market

By : bizjournals – excerpt

The California Air Resources Board doubled down on an oil regulation Friday that could raise the cost of gas by up to 13 cents a gallon over the next five years.

In doing so, the low-carbon fuel standard aims to expand markets for fuels like ethanol and biodiesel through blending them into gasoline. It also directs funding to transportation companies to offset the cost of replacing fleets with electric or natural gas vehicles…

“It will drive new technologies, not only in transportation fuel but in hybrid cars, electric cars and other means of transportation,” said Paul Koehler, spokesman for Sacramento-based Pacific Ethanol, who supports the standard… (more)

Lyft Moves Customer Support Team To Nashville To Combat High-Priced San Fran Market

by Sarah Buhr : Tech Crunch – excerpt

Peer-to-peer ride-sharing startup Lyft informed 20 members of its San Francisco-based customer support team this week it will be relocating them to Nashville, Tennessee.

Lyft is building out its new customer service headquarters in Nashville, where overhead such as rent and salaries are cheaper. It will also help Lyft’s east coast support. The ride-sharing startup is asking customer service reps in San Francisco to work out of the capital of country music, instead.

“As we continue to grow we know we need more space for the employees who support our passengers and drivers,” reads an official statement from Lyft. “We chose Nashville as the home of our newest office because it is a great city with a lower cost of living and a growing talent pool.”

The move is part of a growing trend in Silicon Valley to find cheaper space and lower overhead elsewhere. Average office rent in San Francisco nearly doubled from $30 in 2013 to $70 per square foot today. Compare that to the $18-$22 average per square foot rental price in downtown Nashville.

Uber recently bought and plans to grow out its workforce in the Sears building in Oakland, California and other startups have added customer support and sales operations in areas other than San Francisco for a similar reason. Thumbtack, a peer-to-peer services startup sets its headquarters in San Francisco, but the customer support team operates in Sandy, Utah… (more)

Petition Process Underway to Create Residential Parking Permit Area for North Bernal

By TODD_LAPPIN : bernalwood – excerpt

Though opinions on the wisdom of implementing Residential Parking Permit (RPP) in North Bernal appear to be polarized, a process is nevertheless underway to implement an RPP district in Precitaville and Santana Rancho.

SFMTA recently set up a dedicated page for North Bernal RPP planning.  It explains:

Residents of North Bernal, generally defined as the blocks south of Cesar Chavez Street and east of Mission Street, organized two widely advertised community meetings to educate the public about the residential permit process. Both were held at the Precita Neighborhood Center. The SFMTA presented information at both meetings describing the residential permit program so residents could make an informed decision on whether to support permit parking.

The next step in the RPP process is collecting signatures for the North Bernal Residential Permit Parking Petition.  SFMTA says the petition allows residents to express support or opposition to residential permit parking for their block.  To succeed, “the petition requires signatures from at least 250 households (or 50 percent of total households, whichever is less), and must contain a minimum of one mile of street frontage.”… (more)

CA: Marin Lawmaker Wants End to MTC, Regional Transportation Planning Agency

By MARK PRADO : masstransitmag – excerpt

Sept. 24–Marin Assemblyman Marc Levine has introduced a bill to eliminate a powerful regional commission, saying it’s not accountable to the public and has been largely ineffective in improving traffic.

Levine, D-San Rafael, this week introduced legislation that would do away with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and its sister agency, the Bay Area Toll Authority. The commission is the Bay Area’s transportation planning agency, while the authority oversees seven state-run bridges.

In their place a new Bay Area Transportation Commission would be created. Unlike the Metropolitan Transportation Commission — created by the state Legislature in 1970 — whose members are appointed, the new commission would be elected, under Levine’s bill.

Levine said the change would benefit commuters in Marin and around the Bay Area. “Our traffic is some of the worst in the nation. We need a transportation commission that will put their energies into eliminating traffic gridlock,” Levine said in a statement. “The new Bay Area Transportation Commission will be responsive and accountable to our communities’ needs rather than operate as an appointed board. … This commission will provide the transparency and accountability that Bay Area commuters need and deserve.”… (more)

Let Marin Assemblyman Marc Levine know how you feel. And let your representatives in Sacramento know as well. Phil Ting seems to be of like mind of this matter.

Objecting to Bike Lanes as ‘Paint Stripe Pollution’

By ERIC JAFFE : citylab – excerpt

Residents of Coronado, California, marched out a series of absurd anti-bike arguments that somehow won the day.

Bicycle advocates have learned how to respond to all sorts of opposition to bike lanes: they’re bad for business (actually, they’re great for it), they slow down traffic (actually, they can decrease travel times), they take up space for cars (actually, they make roads safer for all). But the type of arguments they heard during a public meeting in Coronado, California, earlier this month might have left them speechless.

At issue in the San Diego County resort city was a master plan to add 12 more miles of bike paths. Historically, Coronado has been a bike-friendly place; the League of American Bicyclists has recognized the city’s commitment to cyclists, and the bike commute share is a solid 4.5 percent—no match for the 70 percent of people who drive to work, but still way above the county and national averages. Adopting the measure should have been an oceanside breeze…


At the meeting, resident upon resident objected to the bike lanes on emotional grounds that had little to do with the safety evidence presented by experts, and everything to do with an inability to conceive of an urban mobility system that opened to the road to non-drivers. Claire Trageser of local KPBS reports a taste of the befuddling comments brought before the council:… (more)

“You are covering Coronado with paint stripe pollution,” said resident Gerry Lounsbury.
“The graffiti on the streets does not help our property values,” declared Aileen Oya.
The lanes “bring to mind a visual cacophony that if you look there long enough it will induce a dizzying type of vertigo,” said Carolyn Rogerson.
Gerry MacCartee asked if the community couldn’t think of a better option than “these black streets with these brilliant white lines everywhere because believe me, it takes away from your home, from your outlook on life.”
And Darby Monger crafted an analogy to describe the addition of bike lanes to her beloved city.
“It’s very similar to personally taking all three of my daughters to a tattoo parlor and having them completely body tattooed,” she said.

Against all that is holy about logic and reasoning, those arguments won the day. In the end, the council voted “to suspend all proposed bicycle striping and pavement markings and directed staff to place on a future agenda the Bicycle Master Plan as a high priority.” The Coronado mayor endorsed the decision, telling KPBS the public should get what it wants “unless what they’re asking for is illegal or unethical.”
My first thoughts exactly when I first saw the hideous bike graphics on the streets of Noe Valley. Not a high traffic area and not heavily traveled streets, except lately there are scores of tech buses creeping up and down the steep slopes. You hardly need to paint anything on those hills to caution people to slow down.



Bay Bridge builder in black despite penalties

Community Meeting on SF General Hospital Parking and Transit

From SF Health Network:
September 30, 2015   6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
SF General Hospital, 2nd Floor Cafeteria
City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) is hosting a community meeting to update you on activities and proposed plans for changes at SFGH and in the surrounding vicinity. This meeting will be next Wednesday, September 30th from 6:00 to 7:30 pm in the 2nd floor cafeteria of the San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.
Topics of discussion will include the following:
·         Status of the new acute care and trauma center
·         Potrero Avenue Streetscape Project
·         Neighborhood Transportation, Traffic and Proposed Garage Expansion
·         Proposed new UCSF Research Building on the SFGH Campus