As 2012 Ends, So Does Free Sunday Parking In San Francisco – excerpt

If you happen to be in San Francisco this weekend, be sure to enjoy the free parking in metered spots this Sunday, it will be your last chance. As of 2013, all meters run by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will operate on Sundays from noon to 6 pm, a change which is projected to yield an extra $2 million a year for the Agency… (more)

Some interesting comments by “Plugged In” readers who are outraged by the SFMTA’s restrictive parking policies. My favorite: Then we should all do our best to boycott the SF meters on Sundays; then let’s see how much money they’ll make. Unbelievable.”
The merchants on Lakeside in Oakland got parking enforcement rolled back. How long will Sunday meters be enforced if we boycott metered neighborhoods?

SFMTA factsheet – how the city makes a LOT of money from drivers
About the San Francisco County Transportation Authority
Citizens Advisory Committee
Funding Opportunities – Check out how SF plans to spend their money.
One out of 44 items involves Muni Maintenance Facilities. This is why they are broke and the system doesn’t function.

The 2012 SF Streetsies, Part 1

by Aaron Bialick : – excerpt

Here we present Streetsblog SF’s first annual Streetsie Awards to recognize the highlights of 2012. In case you missed it, check out the voting results from last week’s polls in the reader’s choice categories…
Following close behind in the “best story” category were Chinatown’s successful week without car parking and San Franciscans’ embrace of parklets as an institution in the city’s urban fabric. Both stories helped debunk — yet again — the myth that re-purposing car parking space for other uses will hurt businesses… (more)

Enough backslapping. Time for people who feel differently to speak up. Let your Supervisor know how YOU feel about  parklets and how your business is faring after restrictive parking policies were implemented in your neighborhood.

Valencia Street traffic poses risk to cyclists

By Ellen Huet : – excerpt

When the sun sets on San Francisco’s Valencia Street, the corridor comes alive with cars and bicycles – and with the resulting friction between them.
Regular bicycle commuters see the scenario play out each evening: A car driving slowly along Valencia darts suddenly across the bike lane to nab a coveted parking spot or to double-park, forcing a cyclist to swerve into vehicle traffic…
San Francisco city officials transformed Valencia Street into a bicycle-friendly corridor in 1999 by eliminating two traffic lanes and adding two bicycle lanes plus a series of left-turn lanes down the center of the street…  (more)

So the cyclists aren’t happy with the bike paths on Valencia. Drivers and residents aren’t happy with them either. Maybe the problem is not the drivers but the bike paths.
Rather than sharing all the major thoroughfares in San Francisco and slowing down traffic all over town, the cyclists would be safer on smaller side streets that cars, trucks and buses do not travel on.

Putting transit first

We are finally facing up to the reality that our declining transportation system hurts us all. OPINION Every day, San Franciscans pay the price of an underfunded transportation system. We have all experienced painfully overcrowded bus rides … or, worse yet, the bus that never shows up. Now, Muni is reducing service during Christmas week, as it is faced with a $7 million deficit this fiscal year...
We should be investing more and expecting more from our transit system. Our organizations are proud to be doing just that. It’s time to help San Francisco finally live up to its transit-first policy — because that means putting people first.
Stuart Cohen works with TransForm, Leah Shahum with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Rob Boden with the San Francisco Transit Riders Union, and Elizabeth Stampe with Walk San Francisco... (more)

Putting transit first starts with a moratorium on all non-Muni related activities, until the Muni system functions for those who need it.

About The Bay: San Francisco’s Parking Costs For 2013 – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The beginning of the new year will bring some changes to the streets of San Francisco – and you’ll need some change to deal with the changes.
After all, there will soon be no free ride on Sundays in San Francisco. Well, technically, it’s no free parking – at least in metered spots…
“I’m very troubled over this and there was no consideration given,” said The Rev. Amos Brown of the Third Baptist Church…
“All the time limits on Sunday will be four hour time limits,” said Rose
Metered parking will be in effect on Sundays until 6 p.m. The policy kicks in the first Sunday of 2013, and by the City’s estimates will bring in an additional $2 million in revenue… (more)

Keeping track of that? The time limits refer to how long you are allowed to park at a meter without having to move your car. This means on Sunday, you can park from noon to 4 PM in one spot. Then you must re-park, in another block, pay for another 2 hours at that meter.

If you don’t have any meters in your neighborhood yet, SFMTA is are working on putting them in soon.

And, we aren’t sure how long people who double-park on Dolores and Valencia will have before they are tagged.

Don’t you just love Transit First and the SFMTA!

Smart meters v non-smart meters – what difference does it make

by zrants

This article is in response to some recent stories from folks who profess a preference for Smart parking meters because they believe the rates are lower. We are also sharing a few facts we uncovered by attending public SFMTA meetings and talking to people who have experienced the destruction of their neighborhoods by the SFMTA.

SMART v DUMB meters: The non-smart meters started out at 25 cents an hour. They have been re-programed and can be re-programed again to raise or lower the rates. Parking rates are set by policy and have nothing to do with “smart” technology. Do you care what the rates are now when the SFMTA’s stated purpose for managing parking is to make driving and parking in SF difficult? How likely will they remain low?

The SFMTA admits to mistakes? Anyone who has attended public SFMTA meetings with neighborhood groups can attest to the fact that SFMTA officials freely admit their system is flawed in a number of ways:

Reiskin hands the floor to Funghi at the North Beach meeting.

SFMTA admits they lack proper public outreach: At a public meeting In North Beach SFMTA apologized for waiting four years after they signed the contract with the project developer to inform the neighborhood that Columbus Avenue would be closed down for an extended period of time while the contractor extracts boring equipment.

SFMTA admits they are digging a tunnel and they don’t know where they are aiming it: At the North Beach meeting SFMTA admitted their extraction plan lacks any clear benefit to the neighborhood since they have no exact station location, funding or clearance to build past the China Town station. This project represents billions of taxpayer dollars and a number of lawsuits are pending. Now we see why. Look at tapes of public meetings in North Beach and North East Mission decide for yourself how you feel the SFMTA:

SFMTA rates are subject to changing times and rates without notice:
Meters in Mission Bay run from 7 AM to 11PM at night on some streets and the rates are subject to change during the day so you never know how much you are paying to park.

What is SFMTA doing with the additional money? SFMTA has raised rates on Muni, cut back service and taken in more money from parking rates, fines and fees, or at least budgeted to to so. Where is the money going? Not into Muni. Lines are being cut and service is at an all time low.

Ask people in negatively impacted neighborhoods: Ask the folks around Valencia how they like SFMTA parking policies. First they removed the Muni lines on Valencia, then they installed parking meters and put in bike paths and parklets to further eliminate parking. The final blow came when a developer got approval to build a higher denser apartment on Valencia with no off-street parking and no RPP rights. As soon as the ink dried on the permits, the developer switched the address to a side street so the residents can apply for RPP, further squeezing parking in the neighborhood.

What will they want next?

District5diary Video – Because They are So Special

I was telling a friend about bicyclists in Amsterdam wanting heated paths and he didn’t believe it, but, you need go no further than Virginia to find cyclists who want special treatment…

Arlington bicyclists want paths plowed when it snows
Washington Examiner
Arlington County bicyclists are demanding that the county start plowing snow-covered bike paths in much the same way that it now clears highways. Hundreds of county residents rely on bikes year-round to get to work and need clear roads
Susan Kalish, a spokeswoman for the Department of Parks and Recreation, said the county explored using existing snow-removal equipment and staff in the past but learned they needed more specialized equipment for the bike paths, which are typically much narrower than local roads…

Where does this end?  Next they will want air-conditioned paths in Florida and Vegas. How green is that? And check out the link below. How can ploughing roads in Swedencreate more danger for motorists? How many people can you evacuate on a bicycle in an emergency situation?
Sweden’s bike paths neglected after snowfall: A new survey shows the majority of Swedish municipalities prioritize ploughing roads over bike paths after snowfall, despite experts warning that this can create even more danger for motorists… (more)

Vehicle license fee would generate $70M-plus for San Francisco

By: Will Reisman : sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco lawmakers and agencies are working to put a vehicle license fee increase before voters in hopes of generating more than $70 million for city coffers.
California Senate Bill 1492 allows local municipalities to put on the ballot a fee of up to 2 percent of a vehicle’s value — the rate before former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reduced it in 2004.
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors will have to decide whether to put the fee increase before voters. It would then need a simple majority to pass, and would probably go on the November 2014 ballot.
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors will have to decide whether to put the fee increase before voters. It would then need a simple majority to pass, and would probably go on the November 2014 ballot.
The board has the option of setting the percentage fee for the initiative — anywhere from its current rate of 0.65 percent to the maximum of 2 percent. Increasing the rate to 2 percent would generate $72 million annually for The City’s general fund, said bill author state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco. A motorist with a vehicle valued at $15,000 would see his or her annual fee increase from $97.50 to $300 if the 2 percent rate is restored… (more)

Let Leno know drivers want more if they increase the fees. Amend California Senate Bill 1492 to include the RPP for all residents of the city in which they reside. Add your ideas and send them to the California state representatives.

See for more info.

Public Comment on Uber, etc. at CPUC

By Mark Gruberg – excerpt

Thursday’s meeting of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has on its agenda the approval of a rulemaking proceeding involving Uber, Lyft and SideCar.  This “rulemaking” (as it’s called) is of critical importance, since it will determine whether those services will be legalized, and under what conditions.

The meeting is at 9 a.m. in the auditorium of the CPUC building at 505 Van Ness (McAllister and Van Ness).  Public comment is allowed, but if you want the full 3 minutes of speaking time, you must register in advance.  Otherwise you may only speak for one minute.

You can register in advance of the meeting at the CPUC’s Public Advisor’s Office, but the easiest way to do it is online.  Here’s a link to sign up to speak (courtesy of Barry Korengold):
Click on “You can sign up to speak at a Commission meeting online”, fill in the form, and you’re signed up.
SideCar and Lyft provide service through private drivers using their own non-commercial, uninspected vehicles.  There is no telling what kind of insurance they carry.  Uber uses state-licensed vehicles, but the company itself is unlicensed — and now it is parasitically feeding off the taxi infrastructure to expand its service into city-regulated territory.  These services are accountable to no one.  They pretend they’re not transportation services at all, and deny responsibility for anything that might go wrong.  Is this in the public interest?
It’s really important that we get the message across that these services are unlawfully and unfairly competing with taxis.
– Mark Gruberg

The Art Of Obstruction

By Annie Tittiger : – excerpt

Call them neighborhood activists when you agree with their cause, Nimbys when you don’t. Either way, these San Franciscans have the power to stop or stall all manner of projects— and they’re not afraid to use it.

Mari Eliza – Eastern NeIghborhoods United Front (ENUF)
Street cred: a relative novice when it comes to neighborhood activism, this graphic designer/ car owner and her group have nonetheless driven rings around the SFMTA. Current crusade: Keeping the streets safe for long-term parkers in Dogpatch, Mission Bay, Bernal Heights, Potrero Hill, and the Northeast Mission. The wrench thrown: Since its founding in January, ENUF has stopped the city from installing smart parking meters in the area. The principle of the thing: “The SFMTA is trying to make it impossible to own a car,” Eliza argues. “[installing meters] would just make the Eastern Neighborhoods a parking lot for commuters coming from the South Bay.” Allies: area residents, “every” neighborhood group, and supervisor David Campos. On the other side: The SFMTA,  whose 2011 deficit hovered around $17 million, but which has now supposedly (and miraculously) balanced its budget. Sniffs spokesman Paul Rose, “a parking meter is a management tool [that] allows for better parking policies to ensure there’s turnover and better parking available.”… (more)

Thanks to all our supporters and all those who are helping get the word out to the public that there is an effort to push back against restrictive parking policies in San Francisco. ENUF is working to unite all the stakeholders who have a grievance and seek relief.