Getting our Money’s Worth: Using Value Capture to Fund Transit – excerpt

Even as the economy struggles, our growing regional population is demanding smarter investments to expand and improve transit. Given the scarcity of available public funds, governments are beginning to tap innovative financing tools such as variable parking pricing, public–private partnerships, and value capture around bus and rail stations. Because transportation networks and land values are closely linked, public investments in transportation infrastructure can increase the value of land surrounding these investments, benefiting landowners, developers and governments. This roundtable will explore how value capture and other innovative financing tools can generate revenue to finance transportation operations and future expansion, such as Bus Rapid Transit and upgrades…

Gabriel Metcalf, executive director of San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) and member of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors, will describe how San Francisco is layering several financing tools, including tax increment financing, a special assessment, development impact fees, and a federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan, to build the new Transbay Transit Center. The new station will coordinate the Bay Area’s numerous transit systems, increase capacity and accessibility, and create one of the most transportation-rich-neighborhoods in the region. Gabriel will also discuss other innovative financing for transit used in San Francisco including sharing parking meter revenues and the Transit Impact Development Fee…


SFMTA continues to pay for new logos, PR, chest-puffing and spin while they cut Muni service.


Dogpatch and Potrero Hill Thick with New Developments

By Brian Rinker : Potrero View – excerpt

Although the 2007 recession temporarily halted most new construction in Dogpatch and Potrero Hill, since 2009 contemporary-style apartments and condominiums have been emerging in the neighborhoods at a steady pace. Mixed use projects that are in some development stage include 2051 Third Street, 2121 Third Street, 616 20th Street, 2235 Third Street, 650 Texas Street and 480 Potrero Avenue. “It’s been a slow steady drum beat,” said Susan Eslick, Dogpatch Neighborhood Association’s (DNA) vice-president.
According to Eslick, when she first moved to Tennessee Street in 1996 crack was being dealt nearby. Today, the drug dealers are gone, replaced by young families and gourmet restaurants. Development is inevitable, though it can be managed, said Eslick. “We are not afraid of development,” she said, “We just want good development.”…


GreenTrust SF Wants a Greener Dogpatch, Central Waterfront

ParkPlease saving spaces for the spot-less

By Paresh Dave : SFGate – excerpt

People unsure of where to park their cars when they head to this weekend’s Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival have a new reservation option this year.

ParkPlease, an online service that lets individual residents, churches and schools rent out their unused parking spots, is centering its launch around the festival…


Dollars into rails

By Eric Young : – excerpt

Two major transit projects already under way depend on federal money that’s not certain

The fate of two major San Francisco transportation projects appears to hang in the balance in Washington, D.C.
Both the Central Subway and the state’s high-speed rail project, which would terminate in San Francisco, have budgets that are heavily reliant on major chunks of taxpayer money coming from Washington, D.C.
The Central Subway has budgeted some $983 million of its $1.5 billion budget — about 65 percent — to come from the feds. Meanwhile the California High-Speed Rail Authority is banking on about $42 billion from federally controlled dollars toward the overall price tag of $68 billion,…


Judge won’t halt Central Subway construction

By Kristen Go : – excerpt

A San Francisco Superior Court judge on Thursday denied a request for a pre-emptive halt to Central Subway-related construction work in North Beach that is scheduled to start Tuesday.

Marc Bruno, a North Beach resident, had sought a temporary restraining order mandating a 12-day delay, saying dust, noise and inconvenience from at least three months of work relocating utilities around the intersection of Union Street and Columbus Avenue would drive away customers and irreparably harm Washington Square businesses.

The larger issue is 10 months of additional construction in the area set to start in January on a retrieval shaft where machines boring the subway tunnel will exit the ground in the middle of Columbus Avenue. Bruno, who just hours after the hearing filed to run for supervisor in District Three, and a separate group of merchants and resident pursuing legal action contend the environmental impact report for the project, approved in 2008, didn’t adequately address the construction that is now planned.

Deputy City Attorney Audrey Pearson countered that the project has not changed from what the environmental report studied and that delaying the work would cost the city $25,000 a day in contractor payments.

The North Beach groups say they will continue their legal challenge…


When SFMTA Suddenly Takes Away Parking Spots

By David LaBua : 7x7SF – excerpt

Dear Parking Guru,

I just received a ticket on Howard between Steuart and The Embarcadero on the South side of the street (the ballpark side). It was for 7.2.25 Red Zone and the fine is $98. There used to be meters here and they suddenly took them away. I was just assuming that they were changing the meters to the new, hungrier meters and that I happened to catch a free day. Much to my chagrin, that was not the case. I cannot figure out why it was for a red zone.  How do I contest this and have half a chance at winning?  Will they just say, “We’re right, you’re wrong, pay the money, MUNI needs a new pair of shoes”?…

Remember the 100-foot rule?… And lastly, it makes no logical sense to take these spots away…It doesn’t seem fair, and it makes interpreting the traffic laws like a game of TEGWAR (The exciting game without any rules)…

(Read more on this well documented parking incident.)

I take a photos of each parking incident  just in case I need to argue my case later.

SFMTA issues statement regarding use of switchbacks – excerpt

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board Chairman Tom Nolan and Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin issued a statement on the San Francisco Civil Grand Jury Report, “Better Muni Service Needed, Without Switchbacks.”

Nolan stated, “Managing a public transportation system in a city such as San Francisco is quite challenging and requires staff to balance multiple and competing needs. When I joined the board, I had an extensive background with several transit agencies, yet it still took time for me to recognize all of the nuances that go into managing this unique system. The Civil Grand Jury report recommendations and findings reveal how tough it is to get a good understanding of the system. This lack of understanding has unfortunately resulted in a report that is superficial at best.”…


Ever wonder why people don’t take the Muni? Maybe they don’t understand the system either.

San Francisco agency’s leaders respond to report critical of Muni’s ‘switchback’ use
Civil Grand Jury Blasts SF Muni ‘Switchback’ Passenger Offloads

The civil grand jury’s entire report on Muni switchbacks is available at:

SFMTA Announces Final Parking Plan for Mission Bay

By Keith Burbank : Potreroview – excerpt

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) director of transportation Ed Reiskin announced the agency’s final parking strategy for Mission Bay last month. Parking meters in the neighborhood will have either a four hour time limit, or no limit. Rates will be based on parking demand, with a minimum of $0.25 an hour charged on weekends; weekday rates will start at $1.25 per hour. SFMTA will consider turning-off meters on blocks with no demand. During baseball games and special events at AT&T Park, meter rates will start at either $5 or $7 per hour, depending on the meter’s proximity to the stadium.

The new meters will be installed over the next two months, and operate from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Saturday. Beginning in 2013, meters will be enforced on Sundays as well, between noon and 6 p.m. SFMTA expects to extend hours into the evening—to 10 p.m.—in March 2013. Starting this month, the port will align its parking policies with SFMTA’s, with rates and hours matched with those the agency will be implementing in 2013…

Mission Bay is being densely developed, with parking pressures exacerbated by the nearby stadium, which hosts baseball games as well as special events. In anticipation of growth, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved meters to be installed in the area in 2002…

In response to the announcement, at least one Mission Bay resident said he’ll be moving out of the neighborhood… (He will be following the new trend.)


One more reason to not trust the SFMTA. All the residents’ requests were ignored. Don’t we want another sports arena in SF to give them more excuses to jack up parking prices in other parts of town?

CA$HING in on Taxpayers

According to the latest SF Transportation Fact Sheet, the city of San Francisco makes $40,520,486 from parking meters and $86,306,584 from parking tickets for a total of $126,827,070.

Note, that the city makes twice as much from parking tickets as it does on parking meters. But if there are no parking meters, the city can’t issue parking tickets, which is why City Hall is putting more parking meters in city neighborhoods.

Note too that the city also makes $38,742,622 from city-owned parking lots and garages and another $9,040,407 from its residential parking permit program, which has people paying for a permit to park in front of their homes. Creating the SFMTA seems to have only accomplished creating one very large dysfunctional organization. If anyone doubts why San Francisco is broke, look no further than the fact that 1 out of 3 public employees make over $100,000 a year, 20% more than the private sector pay, with vastly better benefits and health care…


San Francisco’s meter madness: No quarter given

San Francisco Business Times – excerpt

With too many vehicles and too little space, San Francisco clearly needs good policies on transit, transportation and parking. The problem comes when ideological vehicles are given the right of way, and reality is forced to pull over.
That’s in danger of happening as the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency resumes plans for a wholesale reordering of street parking, most notably by adding thousands of meters to what are currently “free” parking spaces, and extending to as late as 10 p.m. the hours during which meters must be fed…


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