Board of Supervisors to decide on SFMTA fumbled land deal

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

The Board of Supervisors will decide Tuesday whether to approve a costly lease for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s towing operation after missing a chance to purchase the property for itself.
Last week, the board’s Budget and Finance Committee put the brakes on the deal, requesting more details. But Wednesday, the committee voted to send it to the full board for a vote, albeit without a recommendation…
What some supervisors find troubling is that the agency had considered buying the 13-acre Daly City site before the firm Prologis swooped in and bought it, forcing The City into a costlier deal.
Prologis paid $21 million in July 2011. Now the agency is seeking approval for a 20-year lease costing $71 million. The annual base rent of $2.4 million is $690,070 more than the agency’s current rent at Pier 70, which it has to vacate because of redevelopment(more)

Could this kind of reasoning be what is keeps Muni from balancing their budget? If this was the Board of Education they would find a cheaper alternative, such as closing schools earlier each year. This is Muni, so the sky is the limit. They will make up for it by charging everyone higher rates and doubling the tow charge.

Central Subway opponents seeking ballot initiative to nix project

By: Will Reisman : – excerpt

On a day when lawmakers celebrated a $942 million grant approval for the Central Subway, opponents of the project announced plans Thursday to put a ballot initiative before voters that would give the electorate a chance to nix the massive undertaking.
The Fix Muni First Initiative would stop the $1.6 billion Central Subway project dead in its tracks if approved by more than 50 percent of The City’s voters in the November 2013 ballot, according to Quentin Kopp, a backer of the measure.
Kopp, a former Superior Court judge and San Francisco supervisor, said the measure would be an ordinance initiative, meaning its authorizations would overrule all the numerous approvals that the Central Subway project has secured at the local, state and federal levels… (more)

This is a very unpopular project among the residents of Chinatown and North Beach who are most effected by it. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the city feels.

Lawsuit filed – Muni’s Central Subway Project is still not a Done Deal
…Tomorrow’s execution of the federal grant agreement for the Central Subway will formalize the refusal of San Francisco’s politicians to seriously consider the obvious major flaws in the project. For this reason is seeking redress before the SF Superior Court to force these politicians to let the people of San Francisco decide whether or not they want to proceed with the Central Subway project as currently configured.”… (more)

SF Third Street LRT route gets FTA funds

S.F. Central Subway subject of suit

By Michael Cabanatuan : – excerpt

A day before federal transportation officials are expected to give $942.2 million to the controversial Central Subway, opponents of the project on Wednesday filed suit to stop construction of a station with a Union Square entrance.
The lawsuit, filed by subway critics Save Muni, is the latest, and so far most aggressive, effort to stall or kill construction of the 1.7-mile subway from Caltrain to Chinatown. The suit contends that the Municipal Transportation Agency’s plans to build an entrance to the Union Square/Market Street station in the square violated a City Charter prohibition of nonrecreational uses in city parks. It seeks to force the Municipal Transportation Agency to move the station or put its location to a public vote… (more)

Suit filed against S.F. Central Subway project
Lawsuit aims to derail controversial San Francisco Central Subway line
SF Receives $942M For Central Subway Amid Lawsuit By Opponents

Sidewalk Parking Illegal — But Tolerated by San Francisco Parking Enforcement Officers

By Joe Eskenazi: – excerpt

That said, scenes like those above are ubiquitous on street-sweeping days. A pair of parking control officers were in the vicinity of these sidewalk-parked cars. One of them, after shooing away a car that was idling in the street-sweeping zone, confirmed to SF Weekly that parking on the sidewalk is tolerated during street-sweeping hours, so long as the driver moves the car immediately after the sweeper rolls past. The second officer independently offered the same explanation.
This may be the way things work on the street. But it flies in the face of both Muni’s stated policy — and state law… (more)


Muni expects $942 million in Central Subway funding

By: Will Reisman : sfexaminer – excerpt

Muni’s controversial $1.6 billion Central Subway project is poised to receive a long-awaited $942 million federal grant today, a move that will finally secure full funding for construction…
However, the project has attracted criticism for its ballooning costs — original estimates grew from $647 million to $1.6 billion — and its annual burden on Muni’s already-strained operating budget. Former Board of Supervisors presidents Quentin Kopp and Aaron Peskin have come out against the plan, and a local activist group called Save Muni has consistently attacked the Central Subway as an unnecessary spending boondoggle.
“We’ve always felt that the SFMTA’s grant application has been based on falsified numbers that inflate the importance of the project,” said Howard Wong, a spokesman for Save Muni. “The Central Subway will ultimately end up degrading the rest of the Muni system.”
While the project has finally secured its funding sources, it still faces legal hurdles. Lawsuits have been filed against the project’s construction plans in North Beach and Union Square, the latter submitted by Save Muni on Wednesday. The City Attorney’s Office has stated that the SFMTA acted legally in both matters… (more)