SF parking plan’s message: Transit first

By Rachel Gordon : SFGate.com – excerpt

San Francisco’s aggressive plan to install thousands more parking meters and to expand the hours they operate has an overarching goal of making the streets friendlier for transit, cycling and walking.
That objective is outlined in a new San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency document addressing on-street parking management strategies that will be used to help the agency navigate the expected prickly public reaction to budding proposals for more meters from the Mission to the Outer Sunset.
The draft document, obtained Monday by The Chronicle and set to be considered for adoption by the agency’s governing board Sept. 18, states clearly that “parking policies are designed to encourage travel by public transit and sustainable modes of transportation…

Drivers unhappy – Some drivers in the city feel unfairly targeted and protective of the dwindling perks they have left. They cite several changes that chip away at their ability to navigate the streets of San Francisco…The report makes little mention of the city’s reliance on revenue from parking fines and fees that generate more than $187 million a year that is pumped directly into the Muni transit system…

Funny how the numbers keep shifting every time you read a report on SFMTA finances.

Fighting back – “People are really ready to fight back. The city is just going too far,” said Mari Eliza, who lives and works in the northeast Mission and is an organizer with the advocacy group ENUF, Eastern Neighborhoods United Front, that helped persuade the city to slow down the planned implementation of new meters in their area…

It (the aforementioned document) summarizes where metered parking is appropriate – commercial areas; neighborhoods near such public institutions as universities, hospitals and libraries; tourist attractions; parks and recreation facilities; major transportation corridors; and high-density residential buildings

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That pretty much sums up most San Francisco neighborhoods. There are not many single family homes in the city.

Letter to NBBA Members, re: Central Subway Project

northbeachbusinessassociation.com – excerpt

Dear Members,

You may have been approached and told that the North Beach Business Association is not actively involved in fighting the proposed extraction of the Central Subway machinery scheduled to take place in the heart of North Beach.

NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

When the MTA gave  the first North Beach merchant presentation to the NBBA in May, we were also the first to sound the alarm about the potential devastation that the project would cause in our neighborhood. We rushed to immediately schedule a general meeting, co-sponsored, with the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, so that all of you would have the opportunity to hear the details of the extraction project. Many of you attended this joint meeting which then led to additional meetings regarding the project.

Since then, NBBA board members have been in constant contact with Supervisor Chiu’s office, working with him to try and find a satisfactory alternative which would not destroy the economy of our neighborhood for a minimum of two years. We have also attended every neighborhood meeting regarding the situation.  We would like to thank Marc Bruno for his leadership in organizing meetings and doing extensive research on the subject of the Central Subway extraction project. His participation has been invaluable .

After much discussion and soul searching, the NBBA has concluded that it may very well be necessary for a lawsuit be filed to force the City to conduct a new Environmental Impact Review for the extraction process as the original one does not adequately address the potential impact this project will have on North Beach. To this end, we have decided to provide funds to retain the law firm of Susan Brandt-Hawley, a well-known lawyer who works exclusively on environmental cases such as ours. She has an amazing track record. If you are interested in researching her, her firm’s website is preservationlawyers.com

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Utility relocation starting in North Beach on August 13

Central Subway construction will take place on this block of Columbus Avenue near Washington Square Park.

Construction associated with the Central Subway tunnel will begin August 13 in North Beach. The work involves relocating utility lines on a half-block section of Columbus Avenue between Union and Powell streets.

The Central Subway tunnel is planned to extend past the last station in Chinatown to North Beach. When tunneling is complete, the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will be removed from the ground on Columbus Avenue. The utility work is expected to take approximately four months to complete and is required to prepare for construction of the TBM retrieval shaft.

Surface construction activity will be take place on Columbus Avenue between Union and Powell streets, with some work at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and Union Street. Construction hours will be Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. To mitigate construction impacts, street sweeping will occur on a daily basis, dust and noise will be monitored and controlled, and a traffic control officer and a flagger will facilitate the flow of traffic during work hours…

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Residents left to deal with Central Subway work

San Francisco Business Times – excerpt

Businesses and residents at San Francisco’s North Beach are struggling to deal with construction that has begun on the Central Subway, the San Francisco Chronicle reports…

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North Beach Central Subway Lawsuit Hopes To Derail Multi-Million Dollar Construction Project

By Aaron Sankin : Huffingtonpost.com – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO — A coalition of North Beach residents and neighborhood merchants filed a lawsuit last week attempting to block construction of the Central Subway they fear will disrupt the neighborhood for years to come.

Starting later this month, crews will begin digging a very large hole in the commercial heart of the bustling, historically Italian-American neighborhood. Even though the nearest station for the long-planned extension of the T-Third line is half a mile away in Chinatown, transportation officials will close multiple lanes on a stretch of Columbus Avenue between Powell and Union streets in order to create a pathway for the boring machines employed in the project…

Interestingly, some doubt SFMTA’s motives in extracting the machines in North Beach, positing that the plan all along will be to extend the subway all the way up to Washington Square. SF Weekly reports: Critics of the Central Subway accuse Muni of attempting to have its tunnel and bore it, too. If Muni is really committed to spending upward of $70 million to recover whatever fraction of the machines’ $24 million sticker price it can recoup, then it’s guilty of bad math, charges transit expert and former Muni engineer Jerry Cauthen. And if Muni is attempting to bore a tunnel and create a large cement footprint that will serve as the future site of the as-yet unfunded proposal to extend the Central Subway to North Beach, it’s doing so ahead of conducting necessary environmental procedures. “To me,” says Cauthen, “this is an extension they are trying to cover by saying it’s an extraction location.”

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Know Your Corporate Buses, You Know, Because SFMTA MUNI DPT Sucks: Genentech and Google San Bruno

Here’s Genentech in its current can’t miss-it-livery with the DNA or the RNA or what have you. Boy, what do you think the area transit foamers did after they saw this design for the first time?…  And here’s the rare Google Bus what doesn’t go to Mountain View – it was labeled SBO-SFO, I assume because it goes to the YouTube facility in the part of San Bruno what didn’t get blown up by PG&E:… I was surprised to see the Genentech bus appear to maneuver to drop off just one employee. What other big local outfits drive interstate-type buses about the 415? Apple? That’s the only one I can think of… Keep on keeping on, our corporate overlords…

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OMG, the SFMTA-Free “Forum on the Future of Transit in San Francisco” is Coming on August 18th, 2012!

sfcitizen.com/blog -excerpt

That’s right, the SFMTA isn’t sponsoring this one-day event next week and it isn’t invited neither.

SAVEMUNI.COM FORUM – THE FUTURE OF TRANSIT IN SAN FRANCISCO

SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2012, 10:30 AM TO 4:00 PM

Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, S.F.

“SaveMuni.com will be holding a Forum on the Future of Transit in San Francisco at the Koret Auditorium, SF Main Library, on Saturday, August 18. Registration starts 10 am; program begins 10:30 am.

The morning session deals with the current state of transit in San Francisco, and the afternoon session takes up ideas for improvements in Muni service and financing.

Speakers include:

transportation engineer Gerald Cauthen,

disabled rights activist Bob Planthold,

Tom Rubin, CPA who has been the chief financial officer of two of the largest transit agencies in the United States,

public policy consultant Bob Feinbaum,

architect Howard Wong, and

foreperson Linda Clardy of the 2010-11 SF Civil Grand Jury.

Co-sponsors of the Forum include the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco Tomorrow, Sierra Club and TransForm.”

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We understand the sponsor of the forum plan a  twitter feedback for the participants.

Central Subway work moves forward despite lawsuit

By: Will Reisman : sfexaminer.com – excerpt

Next week, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, is slated to start a four-month utility relocation project on Columbus Avenue that will close one lane of traffic during business hours…

Despite one lawsuit filed already and another likely, construction work is set to begin next week in North Beach for Muni’s Central Subway.

On Aug. 13, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, will begin a four-month utility relocation project on Columbus Avenue, an undertaking that will close one lane of traffic during business hours.

Then in January, crews will begin a 10-month project to build an underground retrieval shaft, which will allow the agency to pull up its tunnel-boring machines. That project will close down a two-lane section of Columbus Avenue between Powell and Union streets, an area that is not directly in front of any businesses, SFMTA Project Manager John Funghi said. Thanksgiving 2013 is the target date for completion of the work, Funghi said…

Phase 2: Tunnel-boring machine retrieval shaft

Details: Crews will build a 40-by-40-foot retrieval shaft underneath Columbus to pull up tunnel-boring machine to street level…

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We spoke to a resident in North Beach who is concerned that the road is less than 40 feet wide, so the project will infringe on one of both of the sidewalks and parks.