A solution for Mission District parking

By Tony Kelly : SFGate – excerpt

It’s 8:30 a.m. on a Wednesday, and all over San Francisco’s northeast Mission District, people are arriving for work. But most of the people driving into the neighborhood aren’t going to work in the Mission.
They are commuting here, parking their cars for the day, and then biking, walking or hopping on a private shuttle bus to their jobs. For them, the Mission is their free public parking lot.
San Francisco’s parking enforcer, the Municipal Transportation Agency, tells us that on a typical day more than 80 percent of the cars parked on crowded northeast Mission streets arrive from elsewhere.
In other parts of San Francisco, this would lead to residential parking permits, which for $104 a year, allow residents to park all day. Cars from outside the area can only park as long as the posted time limit allows.
For decades, that’s been a key part of San Francisco’s “transit-first” policy, which is designed to keep residents’ and commuters’ cars at home. As the MTA says, “the goal is to provide more parking spaces for residents by discouraging long-term parking by people who do not live in the area.”
But apparently, that policy doesn’t apply to the Mission.

Take note of that map. As of yesterday, the map has been expanded to cover more blocks that have not been a part been a part of this plan. They are now given NO TIME to consider what they are dealing with and NO NOTICE about what is planned for them. This is an example of the infamous lack of public outreach all the neighborhoods are complaining about.

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How to Fight the SFMTA and Win: True Story (“Evading Fare”)

SFMTA in San Francisco is well known for its tight rules, aggressive ticketing and even aggressive towing. Locals know towing zones are serious things which is why you often see people staying in cars or even double parking with the Hazard signs on or “San Francisco valet”, but what surprised me most was when 1/05/13 I got a handwritten ticket for “evading fare.”
The scene was something out of a horror movie: I used my Clipper Card to get on a train near Dolores Park, my card signaled it was low so I had planned to reload it upon arriving at the next station since my entry station didn’t have any machines. Upon arriving at Montgomery Station, all three of my friends exited the station and I get held back by an officer who said the machines were “broken” and to “come here” Upon walking near her she scanned my Clipper Card and announced that I am evading fare. Totally confused I try to reload the card with monies, or pay my fare in cash or even get the machine but she doesn’t let me, “You are evading fare.” I even open my wallet with cash asking to pay because I don’t understand the issue. “Its a $103.00 ticket not to mention my pride as a hardened criminal now that I am known to be “evading fare” I’m pissed but I also know that NO ONE FIGHTS THE SFMTA AND WINS.
My roommate a few weeks earlier had a hearing regarding one of her rental cars that got towed. She lost. Every single friend I know who either protested or appealed lost, but despite my low odds my pride could not swallow this $103.00– I would spend the next few weeks dedicating my life to fight this ticket as if my life depended on it. Continue reading

Castro Whole Foods project’s streetscape plan up for vote

BAR – excerpt

The Prado Group, the developer behind the upper Market corridor housing project that will include a Whole Foods, is seeking a fee waiver totaling $510,000 in exchange for paying for a number of streetscape, pedestrian safety, and public space improvements on Dolores and Market streets.
The site at 2001 Market Street at Dolores will include 85 units in addition to the upscale grocery store. It is set to open in late 2013.
The proposed street changes include sidewalk bulb-outs at the Market Street and Dolores Street intersection on both the southeast and southwest sides and at Dolores Street and 14th Street on the North-West corner.
A public plaza, including seating and landscaping, would be built on the southwest corner of Dolores Street and Market Street adjacent to the future Whole Foods grocery store. It is estimated to cost $29,000 to build.
The Dolores Street median would be extended to Market Street and special paving materials would be used in the crosswalk across Dolores Street at Market Street. A raised crosswalk and bulb-outs would be added to Clinton Park alley where it intersects Dolores Street on the east side…
The proposal is set to be voted on by the Planning Commission at its meeting Thursday, March 14… (more)

Here is an example of a project that may or may not have been vetted with the community prior to the Planning Commission blessing it. Will anyone show up to voice their opinions on what will amount to a loss of residential street parking in a area that is a major intersection with a separated street. Why do we need bulb-outs, and a raised crosswalk on an alley?

RESULTS: Many people did object, but, The SF Planning Commission voted to allow the developer to spend up to $510,000 dollars of the project’s impact fees on street improvements, (read that traffic slowing and congestion building), essentially transferring public transport funds from Muni to the contractors. Multiply this decision a few times and you see why Muni is under-funded why Muni riders and automobile drivers are angry and growing numbers of people want to break up the SFMTA.

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