Next plan: parking meters at SF Zoo

Rachel Gordon : SFGate – excerpt

San Francisco transportation officials are quietly exploring the possibility of installing parking meters on the streets around the zoo, as they increasingly move to eliminate free parking at curbside spaces in neighborhoods around the city…

Just when you thought you could go and spend a nice relaxing day at the beach and the zoo…

They’re also looking at adding meters around San Francisco State University…

As if the poor students don’t have enuf to worry about with rising tuition.

The destinations “generate significant parking and traffic demand in their respective areas, and it’s our responsibility to manage that demand,” said Paul Rose, spokesman for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

One goal of the city’s meter strategy is to get people out of their cars as part of San Francisco’s transit-first policy, Rose said.

“This is not driven by revenue,” he added.

If he says that one more time…

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A group of residents and business interests on the east side of town formed an advocacy group this year called ENUF (Eastern Neighborhoods United Front) to voice their concerns and opposition to the transportation agency’s parking management plans. The MTA has slowed implementation of the proposed plans to allow more time for community outreach.

As for the parking meter strategy for the streets around San Francisco State and the zoo, Rose said there is no formal plan, and no timeline has been set to make a decision. “We’re carefully vetting the plan with stakeholders. The discussions are in the very early stage.”…

Who isn’t a stakeholder in this parking game. Is anybody keeping a record of the dollars they are quoting? Never the same amount twice. Now they are claiming they will make 50 million dollars off the meters? Where are there fluctuating numbers coming from?

SF Central Subway Construction Creating Union Square Traffic Headaches

CBSNews – excerpt

The SF Muni central subway tunnel construction project has shifted traffic on busy streets around Union Square, including Stockton, Geary and Grant. Joe Vazquez reports.

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Surprise, surprise. Try leaving a comment on CBSNews. I couldn’t.

Related articles:
Part of Stockton Street to close for central subway construction
This Stretch Of Stockton Street Will Be Closed For The Next Five Years
Years Of Street Closures Begin Near SF Union Square Construction

Neighbors want more input on Warriors arena proposal

By: Ari Burack : SFExaminer.com – excerpt

The Warriors may have forged a deal with Mayor Ed Lee for a new, privately financed arena along The City’s waterfront, but the team still faces the thorny city approval process and neighbors with many questions about a project initially presented as a foregone conclusion.

Supervisor Jane Kim — whose district includes the proposed site and who along with the rest of the Board of Supervisors has expressed support in principle for the development — introduced legislation Tuesday to set up a Citizens Advisory Committee to weigh in on the project…

The South Beach/Rincon/Mission Bay Neighborhood Association — representing one of the last major neighborhoods in The City yet to be fully developed — has not taken a formal position on the proposed site on Piers 30-32.

“We’ve never seen anything, any plans or architecture, so we still don’t have anything to react to,” association President Katy Liddell said. Her group has expressed “serious concerns” about adding an arena near AT&T Park, and the accompanying traffic, parking, crime and cleanliness issues…

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SoMa plan under review by SF officials

By John Wildermuth : sfgate.com – excerpt

A blueprint for the future of San Francisco’s Western South of Market neighborhood goes to the Planning Commission on Thursday after years of intense study, heated negotiations and hard-fought compromises by the residents who helped draw it up…

One of the principles listed in the plan requires that “proposed new land use development shall primarily serve the needs of existing residents and businesses. Citywide and regional needs are subordinate to existing local needs.”

The emphasis on preservation of the neighborhood’s character, including a special effort to provide more low-income housing, has brought complaints. The EIR, for example, includes a “greater growth” alternative that calls for taller buildings and more residential density north of Harrison Street…

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Parking plan puts squeeze on Giants fans

By Kevin Fagan : SFGate.com – excerpt

Like a barracuda hunting prey, Scott Rothstein slowly tooled his car down Varney Place not far from AT&T Park. All along the tiny alley sat open spots beneath “No Parking” signs where he could park if he wanted to risk being towed – but he wasn’t that desperate. Yet.

The Giants’ first pitch was still an hour away. Plenty of time for a practiced parking-space hunter like Rothstein to score a choice, legal spot – a skill he and his ilk will soon need more than ever.

The cost of parking is set to blow through the roof around the ballpark under a city plan to increase the number, price and hours of meters in the area during games. That means finding cheap or free parking spaces will become astronomically harder…

Big plan
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s big parking meter expansion will be rolled out between this summer and next spring.

Agency officials say the goal is not to thwart wheeled whizzes such as Rothstein. Instead, it’s to stem the crippling traffic congestion during games, encourage mass transit use and bring order to an area where meters inflict differing prices and timings.

The city’s plan is to install about 200 new parking meters in the Mission Bay area south of the ballpark in the next few weeks, all initially carrying rates from 25 cents to $1.25 an hour, which could be adjusted slightly up or down every six weeks.

Then next spring, the prices on all the meters in Mission Bay and in a 10-square-block area west of the ballpark will rise to $5 to $7 an hour during games and other special events. Operating hours on those meters will be extended to 10 p.m., seven days a week…

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If they get tired enough of the parking problems they will just stay home and watch the game on TV.

Youth Groups Rally SFMTA To Convert Parking Lot To Affordable Housing

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News : sfappeal.com/news – excerpt

San Francisco youth rallied together in front of city transportation offices Thursday afternoon to persuade top transit officials to convert an old rail yard into an affordable housing complex.

Communities United for Health and Justice, or CUHJ, announced a report at the rally showing the need and ability to develop affordable housing near the Balboa Park BART station in the Excelsior District….

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A Parking Rule Even SFMTA Doesn’t Know

By David LaBua : 7×7.com – excerpt

Dear Parking Guru,

I have been soooo good and haven’t gotten a parking ticket in a long while, I’ve done everything that you said and I’m more than a step ahead of the parking police, but I just received a $72 parking ticket for violation “7.2.23 – Over Limit Meter Violation” and I am really po’d for several reasons. Number one, when did tickets for a meter violation become 72 effin dollars? Secondly, I thought you were allowed to park at a broken meter for free. Can I contest this ticket?

Yours Truly,
PO’d in SF…

To answer your second question, I have good news. The SFMTA website states: If a meter is broken you are allowed to park at that meter for the posted time limit. But actually, this is not entirely true. Not knowing the rest of the law could result in a ticket. Many people, even parking officers, are unaware of the ordinance that was passed by the Board of Supervisors on June 14, 2011 that amended the limit for parking at an inoperable meter. It set a max time of 2 hours. It was rationalized that because some of the new electronic meters now allow drivers to park for up to two hours, vandalism to make them inoperable would be encouraged. So, you are allowed to park at a broken meter, but, only for the posted time limit (or if trumped by another street restriction sign), or two hours max, whichever comes first.

Of course, the answer to a parking question never quite stops there, so here is the rest of the answer to the question. If you parked at one of the new meters that accept coins, the SFMTA Smart Card, and/or a credit card, and the card feature was malfunctioning, you are still required to put coins in the meter.  If coins are not making the meter work, then and only then are you allowed to park at it without paying…

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Sponsored by state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), endorsed by AAA, and now signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate Bill 1388(sponsored by AAA)  says meter maids can no longer slap you with a ticket if you are parked at a broken meter.

Transportation Commission Shoots Down Free Youth Muni Plan

By Andrew Dalton : sfist.com – excerpt

The plan to offer free Muni service to low-income kids was apparently killed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission Wednesday, where the Bay Area-wide agency shot down a motion to fund several programs to provide discounted fares in several public transit systems. The 8-7 vote means San Francisco’s $9.4 million plan, which would have provided free Muni to kids for almost two years starting with this school year, will be about $5 million short…
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The Free Muni plan was pushed by the Board of Supervisors earlier this year and could be effectively dead without the extra funds from the regional authority. Although the SFMTA won’t say the plan has been killed yet, they have already said they can’t spare the funds to cover it. “We’re disappointed in the outcome,” MTA Spokesman Paul Rose told the Chronicle. “We’re going to have to regroup and go back to our board and see where we are without funding from the region.”…

Maybe they could cut out some bike lanes?

How many transit commissions, departments, and agencies does it take to run public transit programs in SF? We have SFMTA, SFParks, and MTC, any more? How many executive salaries are represented here?

Contra-Flow Bike Lane May Finally Come to Polk Street Next Summer

by Aaron Bialick : sfstreetsblog.org – excerpt

An SFMTA Bike Plan project would install a contra-flow bike lane on Polk Street, separated from motor traffic by a concrete median, where a car parking lane now exists..

A long-awaited bicycle connection linking Market Street to northbound Polk Street is on the horizon. The two southernmost blocks of Polk, which currently only allow southbound traffic, could get a protected contra-flow bike lane by this time next year.

The project, which would add a northbound bike lane separated by a concrete median [PDF], was part of the 2009 SF Bike Plan but left unapproved by the SF Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors — one of 15 such projects. The space for the contra-flow lane would come from a car parking lane and some existing buffer space, and it would extend as a painted bike lane past City Hall to connect to the existing bike lane which begins at McAllister Street…

Construction on the contra-flow lane is roughly scheduled for the first fiscal quarter of 2013, which runs from July to September, according to the 2011 Prop B Street Improvement Bond funding plan [PDF] approved last week by the multi-agency SF Capital Planning Committee. Of the estimated $959,369 needed for the project, $240,000 would come from the Prop B bond. The majority, $584,000, would come from a Safe Routes to Transit grant also approved last week by the SFMTA Board. “The remaining $375,369 will be secured from SFCTA Prop. K funds ($88,039), San Francisco Red Light Photo Enforcement Program ($10,000) and from Metropolitan Transportation Commission Regional Bike and Pedestrian Program funds ($37,630),” according to an SFMTA grant document [PDF]…

Although advocates had hoped a protected bike lane might come to Polk in time for America’s Cup, construction on the Complete Street project is scheduled to take place from July 2014 to July 2015, according to the list of Prop B bond streetscape projects. $5,356,000 of the bond money has been set aside for the project

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Are there any SF streets the SFMTA deems worthy of free flowing cars without restrictions? If so where and when should cars be given preference to other vehicles?

Where are the millions of dollars for these bike lanes coming from?

What is the Complete Street Project?

Voters beware of approving any more Muni bonds if you want to keep any lanes for cars.

Kenneth Harding, Jr. Shutdown MUNI Day

hellaoccupyoakland.org – excerpt

Exactly one year ago, San Francisco police shot and killed Kenneth Harding, Jr. over a $2 MUNI fare. The city, SFMTA and the SFPD are stonewalling on the investigation and aren’t releasing videos they confiscated. The family of Kenneth need answers. They shot him the back but can’t look us in the eye? Kenneth Harding didn’t have to die. To mark the occasion, activists gathered at key intersections to temporarily block MUNI and block traffic before marching to a rally at MUNI headquarters.

(video)