DPTwatch tracks bad tickets and the broken appeals process


As you have voiced concerns over the SFMTA ticketing and appeals process, we are sending this advance notice about a site that tracks ticket complaints. Even though the owner is out of the country, he is working on it, and reports a recent uptick in complaints. If you haven’t already done so you might want to log your complaint on the site.
We also suggest you send a message re: your tickets to the Supervisors since they are holding a hearing on Thursday about parking concerns. Even if you sent a letter already, now is a good time to remind them. We anticipate some mentions of the broken tickets appeals process as one of the arguments for requesting a moratorium on expanding parking restrictions. The broken appeals process cannot handle any more tickets or complaints.
It is hardly a fair and balanced judicial process when the department that hands out the tickets is also charged with deliberating on the efficacy of the tickets. Paul Rose admitted that he feels the MTA is justified in magnifying the difficulties in order to force people out of their cars.
SFMTA Media Relations Manager and unofficial captain of obvious observations Paul Rose told CBS5 that “it looks like it’s operational sometimes and not operational others.”
The ticket appeal process usually takes multiple tries before the ticket itself will be dismissed, making for an even bigger hassle than say, taking Muni… (more)

Other places to lodge your complaints are here:

Revised options for Polk Street that exclude bike lanes gain support from merchants

By: Will Reisman : SFExaminer – excerpt

A revamped Polk Street proposal that would include safety upgrades at intersections but few improvements for cyclists has garnered support from residents and merchants.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which manages traffic policies, outraged merchants along the bustling corridor this year by proposing to reduce parking in favor of more access for cyclists. Following the backlash, the agency came back with six new options — three each for portions of Polk Street north and south of Geary Street.
Option A for upper Polk — the densest area of the corridor — has gained backing from the Save Polk Street Coalition, a group of merchants and neighborhood residents.
Dan Kowalski, owner of Flipp, a furniture store on Polk and Green streets, said many cyclists he talked to said they’d be satisfied if the corridor was repaved and markings were made clearer — upgrades both included in Option A…
Spokesman Paul Rose said the SFMTA will analyze feedback collected from an open house meeting last Saturday and another hearing scheduled for today before making recommendations on the Polk Street overhaul… (more)

So get to that hearing if you care about Polk Street.

Polk Street back-and-forth intensifies

by John Zipperer : marinatimes – excerpt

Concern over plans by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to make major changes to Polk Street has stepped up, with more meetings, petitions, and community organizing taking place to sway opinions in the neighborhood and among city leadership.
SFMTA is planning to remove potentially hundreds of parking spaces along Polk Street and replace them with measures including parklets, better protected bike lanes, and increased sidewalk space. But by pitting the area’s drivers and many businesses against bicyclists and mass transit activists, the SFMTA has created a situation that at present appears to be leaving no one happy…
For updates on the Polk Street situation, see the SFMTA’s page at www.sfmta.com/cms/opolk/PolkStreetCompleteStreets.htm; Folks for Polk at www.folksforpolk.org, and SavePolkStreet at www.savepolkstreet.com(more)

SF’s goal of taking its cars off the road hits speed bump

By: Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer.com – excerpt

Enforcement of San Francisco’s 2010 law to reduce city government vehicles was supposed to begin two years ago. Now that it has finally started, the requirement is being put to the test.
Nine city department heads have submitted waivers to protect hundreds of trucks, sedans and other vehicles from elimination.
The total number of vehicles in The City’s fleet is not exact, but an indication comes through a $29 million annual fuel contract for 6,000 vehicles and 700 pieces of equipment, including generators…  (more)

From the “do what I say, not what I do” files. Anyone who has been to City Hall recently noticed the number of preferred parking spots in front of on Polk Street.


SFMTA has BY FAR the most cars:  over 530.  They do not want to give up any cars and have asked the Environmental Commission to give them waivers for all those cars.  WHY DON’T THEY TAKE MUNI  like they are trying to make the rest of us do.  IS THE SERVICE NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR THEM?  TOO EXPENSIVE?  TAKE TOO LONG?  HYPOCRITES!
– Potrero Hill Resident

Golden Gate Park bikeway is confusing

By Ellen Huet : sfchronicle.com – excerpt

When San Francisco officials chose Golden Gate Park for the city’s first separated bikeway, they knew the format – with parallel parking sandwiched between car traffic and bicycle lanes – would take some getting used to. A year later, however, the city’s efforts to educate cyclists and drivers have dropped off, and confusion is still rampant… …  (more)
Who’s responsible: Bond Yee, director of sustainable streets at the Municipal Transportation Agency, bond.yee@sfmta.com

Chronicle Watch : If you know of something that needs to be improved, the Chronicle Watch team wants to hear from you. E-mail your issue to: chroniclewatch@sfchronicle.com, or reach us on Twitter at@SFChronWatch and Facebook.com/sfchronwatch

What do you expect when SFMTA hires the SF Bicycle Coalition to design bike paths and they come up with ideas that run counter to the California highway design standards, as seen here:
Bikeway Planning and Design, p. 15 of the June 26, 2012 edition of the Highway Design Manual, 1003.2 Class II Bikeways (1) a, “Bike lanes shall not be placed between the parking area and the curb. Such facilities increase the conflict between bicyclists and opening car doors and reduce visibility at intersections. Also, they prevent bicyclists from leaving the bike lane to turn left and cannot be effectively maintained.”

Wonder how many rules have been ignored by the SFMTA in their rush to disrupt our lives. Who will file the first to
file a complaint.

San Francisco is no longer tourist friendly.

When natives can no longer get across town easily, how do they expect the tourists to navigate through this city with bike lanes where parking lanes should be and red and green and purple streets. SF has the dubious distinction of being the third most difficult city in the country to navigate. Way to go, SFMTA. Do you feel safer with a lot of stressed out drivers behind with wheel?

To add insult to injury, we hear that a consortium of the SF Bicycle Coalition, Nelson/Nygaard, and individuals working for the SFMTA, have a hired lobbyist to to re-write the rules to legalize the Gold Gate Park disaster. Your tax dollars at work?

Just when your thought the SFMTA was going to work on fixing the muni, they come up with more plans for bike paths and subways, but nothing for Muni riders.
Spot-By-Spot, or Route-By-Route? SFMTA Refines Its Bicycle Strategy
Pricey Central Subway contract leaves little room for future cost overruns, “…$100 million more expensive than originally anticipated…”

Boisterous audience slams One Bay Area Plan

by Richard Colman : halfwaytoconcord.com – excerpt

A wildly incensed audience on Monday night (April 22) vigorously protested plans to have regional bureaucracies determine land use and transportation plans for Bay Area cities. Over 300 people appeared at the Marriott Hotel in Walnut Creek to make statements about plans to force local governments to establish high-rise, high-density housing in Bay Area cities.
The gathering was sponsored by the Association of Bay Area Government (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). The purpose of the gathering was to allow local residents to comment on the activities of ABAG and MTC.
Approximately 60 speakers, many of them from Orinda, called for changes or outright abolition of ABAG and MTC. The respective boards of directors of ABAG and MTC are not directly elected by voters.
With a few exceptions, most speakers strongly opposed plans to have ABAG and MTC construct tall buildings near such transit hubs as BART stations… (more)

Public Hearing on Parking

Supervisor Mark Farrell’s Public Hearing on Parking
Now scheduled for : Thursday, May 2 at 3 PM

WHO: Supervisors Mark Farrell, David Campos, Eric Mar, and Malia Cohen
WHAT: Hearing on SFMTA’s Proposed Parking Meter Expansion Plans
WHERE: City Hall – Board of Supervisors Chambers – Room 250
WHEN: May 2, 2013 at 3:00PM

Agenda: http://www.sfbos.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=45238

Good news! The Supervisors heard our cries for help, comments, and requests for relief from further parking restrictions planned by the SFMTA.
There is a Parking Hearing scheduled for May 2 at 3:00 PM in the Board Chambers – room 250. Please spread the word and get the message out to your friends and colleagues. Everyone is invited to attend and give testimony at the hearing. Bring written statements to leave with the clerk, and/or prepare to speak for around 2 or three minutes at the podium. FILL THE HALL. Raise your flag and wear your colors. You did it before. You can do it again.
Email written statements to the Mayor and the Supervisors.
Don’t forget to text and tweet invitations to join us when you arrive.
If you haven’t already done so, sign the petition to : Stop SFMTA
(Your contact information remains hidden and you can opt out of future emails at any time.)

Edwin Lee, Mayor – MayorEdwinLee@sfgov.org
1 – Eric Mar, District Supervisor – Eric.L.Mar@sfgov.org
2 – Mark Farrell, District Supervisor – Mark.Farrell@sfgov.org
3 – David Chiu, District Supervisor – David.Chiu@sfgov.org
4 – Katy Tang, District Supervisor – Katy.Tang@sfgov.org
5 – London Breed, District Supervisor – London.Breed@sfgov.org
6 – Jane Kim, District Supervisor – Jane.Kim@sfgov.org
7 – Norman Yee, District Supervisor – Norman.Yee.Bos@sfgov.org
8 – Scott Wiener, District Supervisor – Scott.Wiener@sfgov.org
9 – David Campos , District Supervisor – David.Campos@sfgov.org
10 – Malia Cohen, District Supervisor – Malia.Cohen@sfgov.org
11 – John Avalos, District Supervisor – John.Avalos@sfgov.org

$70,000 Digital Counter Expected To Tally Number Of Market Street Cyclists

A bicycle barometer is slated to go up on San Francisco’s Market Street next month to count the number of bicycles that travel through the city’s arterial boulevard.
The measuring device will be built on the south side of Market Street between Ninth and 10th streets after the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors unanimously approved a $20,000 donation from the SF Bicycle Coalition at Tuesday’s board meeting.
The donated funds will go toward the roughly $70,000 total project cost for the building and installation of the machine… (more)

$70K dollars. This started as a $20K gift and now it is costing $70K? Some gift. Send it back. We don’t want or need it. This is not going to win friends and influence people who are already ready to throw the bicycle coalition controlled MTA board under the bus. Earth to MTA Board.

Expect a face off over Central Subway at Wednesday meeting

C.W. Nevius : SFGate.com – excerpt

Jon Golinger, president of the North Beach neighborhood association the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, says he expects Wednesday night’s community meeting about the Central Subway to be “challenging.”
That’s one way of putting it. Asked what she expected, neighborhood activist Julie Christensen, who supports the subway, cracked, “I’m thinking a lynching. It could escalate to that.”
She’s kidding of course. But nearly everyone is expecting a packed house of 100 or more for the 6:30 meeting and you can bet some voices will be raised.
Now that the Municipal Transportation Agency has decided not to tear up Columbus Street to remove the massive digging machines, the focus shifts to tearing down the Pagoda Theater, a perennial eyesore, and pulling the machines out there.
Critics want to know how much this will cost, what provisions have been made to protect surrounding buildings, and how this will affect existing bus lines. And, of course, as Golinger admits, “Some people are opposed to the Central Subway no matter what.”…
Lee Goodin who jokingly calls himself the “Constant Cranky Curmudgeon,” has been peppering interested parties in North Beach with e-mails. When I asked him what he hoped to get from the meeting, Goodin was optimistic.
“MTA backed off on the middle of Columbus extraction. And they backed off on the Polk parking/bike thing. At least we can try to get them to back off on the North Beach extraction and bury the (machines) in Chinatown. Hope springs eternal.”… (more)


Alamo Square neighbors petition for parking perk

Andrea Koskey : SFExaminer – excerpt

Residents of the Alamo Square neighborhood could be required to spend more than $100 each year to park near their houses — an idea that could open up spaces in the heavily visited area.
An online petition is asking the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which manages on-street parking, to add a new residential parking permit zone to the neighborhood.
The proposed permit area would be bordered by Page Street to the south, Masonic Avenue to the west, McAllister Street to the north and Webster Street to the east… (more)