City should keep bus line

By sfexaminer – excerpt

“S.F. General faces parking crisis,” The City, Feb. 18, City should keep bus line - On the subject of transit access to San Francisco General Hospital and the shortages it is facing, your reporter stated: “Efforts will also be made to expand bicycle and public-transit access.”

May I bring to your attention the fact that in the last few weeks, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency in public meetings has announced its intention to eliminate direct service on the 33-Stanyan bus line from the Richmond and Mission to General Hospital, a proposal residents overwhelmingly oppose.

The 33 is a crucial bus line, a vital link between the west and eastsides of town. It must not be dismantled so that poorly trained bureaucrats can justify wasting precious taxpayer dollars.

Clearly this does not indicate any expansion of public transit to General Hospital, but the opposite, and more reason to believe that the SFMTA is a grossly mismanaged agency that badly needs overhauling and a clean sweep of its corrupt board of directors.

Is the SFMTA telling The San Francisco Examiner one thing and the public the opposite?

– Nick Pasquariello, San Francisco

As I walked back from the BART station after attending the MTA Board meeting I watched a couple of buses pass by. The 55 had maybe 10 people in it. It was followed closely by the 33 line. That no had a few more people but was by no means full. Comparing that the the BART with standing room only at around 5 PM, I wonder why the buses as so less popular than BART.

Pedestrian, Bicycle Plan Approved For 20-Blocks Of San Francisco’s Polk Street

cbslocal – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency unanimously approved a pedestrian and bicycle improvement plan Tuesday that will span 20 blocks of Polk Street.

The project drew dozens of San Francisco residents, including bicycle and pedestrian advocates supporting the project and residents and businesses concerned about the loss of parking and vehicle access.

Numerous cyclists who spoke during the public comment period said they felt scared traveling on Polk Street and urged the board to approve a protected bike lane in both directions.

The plan approved by the board today includes bike lanes that are not completely separated from traffic… (more)

 

Wiener to SFMTA: Google bus pilot program should consider fair wages, working conditions

By sfexaminer – excerpt

When granting permits to “Google bus”-style corporate shuttles, The City should measure a shuttle provider’s “labor harmony.”

That’s the idea behind a resolution Supervisor Scott Wiener said he plans to introduce at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, in a move dovetailing the growing unionization of corporate commuter shuttle providers.

The resolution urges the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency specifically to consider “the extent to which an applicant can assure Labor Harmony in its operations” when granting an application for a company to take part in the commuter shuttle pilot program. Under the program, tech company commuter shuttles are allowed legal use of nearly 200 Muni stops and a handful of white-zone curbs… (more)

SFMTA Approves Residential Parking Permit Areas For Alamo Square, Panhandle

CBS – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors on Tuesday unanimously approved the creation of a residential parking permit area in the neighborhoods surrounding Alamo Square Park and the Panhandle.

The plan was approved despite concerns expressed by residents at Tuesday’s meeting that the permit harms faith-based organizations and low-income residents, among others.

Residents who opposed the residential parking permit for the neighborhood, referred to as Area Q, said during a public comment period at the meeting at City Hall Tuesday that charging residents to park their vehicles is unfair to those who cannot afford to pay the $110 a year to keep a permit… (more)

What is the Bay Area’s Plan for 21st Century Transportation?

Originally posted on zRants:

– audio clip

As part of our series, Boomtown, we’re answering questions from KQED listeners and readers. Our first one comes from Chris Tann, who lives in south San Jose and gets stuck in congestion when he commutes alone to his job in Cupertino on Highway 85.

Bay Area transportation planners are actually looking many decades into the future, but the changes, as an Orinda city official once put it, will be “evolutionary rather than revolutionary.”

Moving more people around the Bay Area will require us to make better use of our current infrastructure, expand public transit, build dense housing around transit corridors and make the streets safer for people to bike and walk, according to three experts who study Bay Area transportation… (more)

 

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Expect congestion next three years: Lombard, Polk, and Van Ness construction projects to run simultaneously

By Susan Dyer Reynolds : marinatimes – excerpt

In San Francisco, where extensive construction work has taken over the city’s neighborhoods and business districts, it seems almost absurd to attempt three enormous, overlapping projects on and around three major Northside thoroughfares, but that’s exactly what the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has planned. Here’s the latest news on the Polk Streetscape project, the Van Ness Transit Corridor Improvement and Bus Rapid Transit project, and the Lombard Street Invest in Neighborhoods Initiative… (more)

The author wants to know how you feel about these plans so let her know. Also let the city officials know. Save Polk Street has a letter here you can sign if you like:

http://www.savepolkstreet.com/

RELATED:
Future of Polk Street to be decided Tuesday – maybe

SFMTA Cuts Block of Polk Bike Lane Fought By Visionless Mayor’s Optometrist

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

The SFMTA has nixed a block of protected bike lane planned on Polk Street, where merchants including Mayor Ed Lee’s optometrist have vocally opposed it to preserve car parking…

SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin ordered the reduction, as shown in emails [PDF] obtained by Madeleine Savit, who founded Folks for Polk to advocate for a safer street. Reiskin and the SFMTA Board of Directors are mayoral appointees.

The Polk redesign, which is up for a vote by the SFMTA Board of Directors on Tuesday, has been fiercely opposed by a group of merchants called “Save Polk Street,” which has spread misinformation in its campaign to preserve parking. Under the proposed plan, partial bike lanes would be installed by removing about 30 percent of the 320 parking spaces on Polk, or 8 percent of parking spaces within a block of the street…

“I’ve heard from many different groups,” Lee told Streetsblog. “I know we want to make the streets safer, make it bike-friendly, small businesses don’t want to lose parking for their constituents… I can’t have a particular position on it except to endorse the most balanced approach that they have because there’s issues that should not be in conflict. We shouldn’t promote bicycle safety over pedestrian safety over cars and parking. I think they’re all going to be important.”

“We have to look at the future — what is it that thoroughfare suggests to us? And how do we take a look at that future and [find] the safest, expedient route that balances the different modes of transportation people have, but also supports the businesses at the same time. If it takes more time, then I’m going to suggest that more time should be taken.”(more)

Please send a letter to the Mayor and our city officials to let them know how you feel about the disruptions on our city streets, and speak at the March 3 MTA Board Meeting at City Hall, room 400, around 2:30 PM if you can.

For your convenience there is a Form letter here.

Thank you for taking a stand on this important issue.

Dave Cortese Elected Chair of Metropolitan Transportation Commission

MTC : prnewswire – excerpt

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese took over the reins of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) today after the 18 voting members of the 21-member regional Commission unanimously elected him as chair for the two-year term running through February 2017.

The Commission is charged with planning, financing and coordinating transportation for the nine counties comprising the San Francisco Bay Area, a mission that also extends to integrating transportation facilities and services with development while promoting sustainability. MTC oversees several travel resources in the Bay Area, including the free 511 traveler information system (on the phone at 511 and on the Web at 511.org), the Clipper® transit fare card and the FasTrak® electronic toll collection system.

Cortese brings to his assignment two years as MTC’s vice chair, and eight years overall as an MTC commissioner. He was first appointed to MTC in 2007 as the Association of Bay Area Governments’ (ABAG) representative, later transitioning to Santa Clara County’s seat on the Commission. In February 2015 he started his third four-year term as an MTC commissioner… (more)

Are Google Buses Already Legal? Yes and No

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfweekly – excerpt

Disrupt the law, legalize later.

That’s the modus operandi of tech companies such as Airbnb and Uber, which innovate in ways old-fashioned laws often don’t address. It’s also seemingly the tactic used by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to justify its pilot program to legally allow corporate shuttles, like the infamous Google buses, to use Muni bus stops.

Except maybe Google bus illegality is more clear cut than initially thought. California’s state vehicle code right now specifically outlaws any bus from using public bus stops, save for school buses, according to a state lawmaker.

State Vehicle Code 22500(i) was explicitly called out by Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), who is seeking to change the law in favor of corporate shuttles. Allen introduced AB 61, which would change state vehicle code to allow local transit agencies (such as the SFMTA, which runs Muni) to grant permission for private entities to use municipal bus stops. The change would allow for even more Google bus-style shuttles to proliferate on city streets across the state.

But the bill’s existence raises an interesting question: Why seek to legalize something unless it is illegal? And if it’s illegal, then how are those corporate shuttles getting away with pulling over at Muni stops across San Francisco?… (more)

AB 61 – Assembly Member Travis Allen: is sponsoring a bill that many in San Francisco oppose. Read and decide for yourself: https://legiscan.com/CA/text/AB61/id/1055426

Send comments and letters to the committee members:

State reps on the Senate Transportation and Housing Committees: http://stran.senate.ca.gov/

State Assembly Committee on Transportation:
http://atrn.assembly.ca.gov/

More links are here.

 

A’s prioritize parking over development at Coliseum

By Matthew Artz martz : contracostatimes – excerpt

OAKLAND — In another potential blow for transforming the sprawling Oakland Coliseum complex into a bustling sports and entertainment district, A’s co-owner Lew Wolff said that if his team were to build a new ballpark at the site he would want it surrounded by acres of surface parking spaces — just like O. Co Coliseum is now.

Less than a week after the Oakland Raiders announced they were pursuing a stadium proposal in Los Angeles, Wolff said there is not enough land readily available at the Coliseum complex to build a stadium and satisfy the city’s desire for additional development, such as homes, shops, offices and a hotel.

The only way it could work, Wolff said, would be to build multilevel parking garages, but that would leave fans waiting in long lines to exit the garages and begin their drives home.

“Parking is a key issue for us,” Wolff said. “We want surface parking surrounding the ballpark wherever we build it unless we’re in the heart of a downtown.”… (more)