Congestion pricing will damage S.F.’s economy

by : – excerpt

Charging fees for drivers entering and leaving San Francisco during rush hours would be an inefficient and economically damaging way to manage traffic. Effectively managing traffic flow is the problem, not banning cars. Better traffic management — especially at intersections leading to and from the bridges — and better enforcement — especially against double parkers and those who block intersections — would greatly reduce congestion. Allowing a full roll-out of the SFPark program will further improve traffic flow because drivers will know where to find on and off-street parking.
The economic growth our city is fortunate to be experiencing has brought new construction, temporarily constricting traffic. This isn’t a permanent disruption and a new tax won’t improve traffic flow.
We need a mass transit system that quickly and reliably gets people from one place to another…  (more)

The SFMTA’s primary objective should be getting people where they need to go, not telling them how to get there.Transit First means FIX MUNI FIRST. Not eliminate parking and harass drivers first. Tell the Supervisors to quit using transit funds to fund Non-Muni projects. (Comments on the source article are appreciated.)




Muni Exempted from Requirements to Create Plan to Cease Idling Buses for Hours

By Joe Eskenazi : – excerpt

Update: Read Muni internal directive regarding idling of hundreds of buses for hours.
Last week, SF Weekly revealed that, in gross violation of state law, Muni idles its diesel buses for hours in the morning before sending them out to pick up riders.
This was, indeed, a violation of the law. But it didn’t violate Muni policy. How’s that work? The Bay Area Air Quality Management District today informed us that while Muni is bound to follow the law regarding idling buses for no longer than 10 minutes, it has been exempted from having to develop policy indicating how it intends to follow that law… (more)


BART Management Turns Down 60 Day Cooling Off Period, Would Rather Have Strike Now Than In September

by Jeff Shuttleworth : – excerpt

BART’s two biggest labor unions announced today that their members have voted to authorize a strike against the transit agency.
Members of Service Employees International Union Local 1221, which represents 1,430 mechanics, custodians and clerical workers, and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents 945 station agents, train operators and foreworkers, voted on Tuesday but the results weren’t announced until today.
The votes give union leaders the power to call a strike, but they don’t necessarily mean that one will occur.
The unions’ contracts with BART expire on Sunday, so a strike could potentially begin as soon as Monday morning… (more)

Plan “B”. Share a car. Then try to park it. Maybe SFMTA could help by relieving parking restrictions during the strike. One of our suggestions has been that the SFMTA only enforce parking restrictions when and where public transit options currently exist. Not where the “plan” to have them in the future.

AC Transit Union Says Fleet Can’t Handle BART Strike
Gridlock Fears: MTC Discusses Possible Impact Of BART Strike

Muni Is Both Smearing for Uber and Shilling for it

It turns out the SFMTA, which has publicly objected to the new car-hire apps in ongoing proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission, is now running uberX ads on Muni buses. This morning local blogger SF Citizen posted photographs of the gleaming placards, which promoted a “better, faster, and cheaper” service than SFMTA’s regular taxis.
So who gave the greenlight on that one?
Muni did… (more)

That sounds about right. Insanity rules at the SFMTA. Supporting “their” Taxis and Taxi competitors at the same time. Is that like shooting yourself in the foot because the shoe is too tight?

SFMTA Hikes Fees And Fines For Muni And Parking Starting July 1

By Barbara Taylor : – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — In order to keep up with rising costs, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will impose new prices for fares, fees and fines starting July 1… (more)

Just like the SFMTA hiking Muni fares, fees and fines as the impending BART strike threatens to disrupt bay area transit systems, sending more people to their cars.

Boomers on the Move

Boomers moving into urban areas


By Maria Bartiromo : cnbc,com – excerpt

Richard Florida, “The Atlantic Cities” Co-Founder & Editor-At-Large and “The Rise of the Creative Class Revisited” Author – Today’s seniors are steering clear of the once popular golf communities when they hit retirement. Where is this wealthy demographic migrating? “The Atlantic Cities” Co-Founder and Editor-At-Large Richard Florida reveals the new hotspots for seniors and this trend’s economic impact… (more)

Boomers moving into cities driving up property values

According to this report, the majority of people moving into urban areas are NOT young high tech professionals. Retiring baby boomers  are moving in, driving up property values, and pushing young professionals and families out. So, where will the displaced  live, and how likely is this new population to walk or ride bikes?

As soon as they get here they will figure out what is happening and make some changes in the political arena to…

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Few Alternatives For Commuters Ahead Of Possible BART Strike

By Tim Ryan : – excpert

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Bay Area Rapid Transit’s unionized employees will meet on Tuesday to vote for a strike authorization that could lead to a walkout within a week. The result, transit officials said, would become a regional transportation emergency that will have commuters looking for alternatives of which there are few…
“It’s unused seats in people’s cars that can provide the capacity that make up for 400,000 lost BART trips,” he said… (more)

But where will those cars park?

This is the perfect storm that many of us have been dreading that will prove the point that the public transit system IS NOT READY to replace cars. People cannot walk and bike to work from all over the bay. BART, AC transit, and Caltrans are all at capacity.

SFMTA spends millions of dollars on PR to try to convince the world that SF has the answer to traffic management and everyone should buy their program.

This week may prove our point that removal of parking spaces is premature, at a time when the County Transportation Authority is weighing which transit projects to finance. We hope they will NOT finance Masonic and Second Street “improvements” at this time.

Question: Will Muni add back the lines they took out during the “slow months” while the students are on vacation?

Commute Crisis Could Hit Bay Area if Labor Negotiations Fail

by KQED News Staff and Wires: KQED – excerpt

A commute crisis could hit the Bay Area next month if two of the region’s major transit agencies fail to negotiate contracts with their unions.
Labor contracts for both BART and AC Transit will expire June 30th.
What would be the impact of the strike? And how many Bay Area riders could be stranded if both agencies shut down?
Reporter Stephanie Martin spoke with San Francisco Business Times reporter Eric Young, who has been looking at what’s at stake for the region’s mass transit riders… (more)

This is the reason why we need a balanced transit approach. Without two major transit systems, there is no way people can get to work easily, and in some cases, get to work period.  This is why we need to keep all transportation options open. We sometimes MUST rely on our cars. On days with limited public transit there should be limited parking enforcement.

BART Employees Unions Holding Strike Authorization Votes Tuesday

by : sfappeal – excerpt

BART union workers are distributing leaflets to patrons today that highlight safety issues that they say aren’t being addressed by management at the bargaining table.
Leah Berlanga, a spokeswoman for Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents 1,430 mechanics, custodians and clerical workers at BART, said the safety of the transit agency’s employees and customers is being compromised by inadequate lighting in tunnels, a substandard electrical system and other problems.
Berlanga said the lighting in some tunnels is so bad that train operators can’t see fellow employees who are doing repair work…
Trost said she believes the fact that the unions are holding strike authorization votes “validates the signal they’ve been sending that they are prepared to strike so they don’t have to pay more for health care and pension costs.”… (more)

How will a BART strike effect the daily commute? They are having accidents and incidents now.

Warming Up: Muni Starts its Wastefulness Early Every Morning

By Joe Eskenazi : sfweekly – excerpt

Steve Foti is a great big teddy bear of a man who resembles a retired football defensive end. But he’s a retired bean-counter with the office of Harvey Rose, the Board of Supervisors budget analyst. On most days, Foti would find himself parked across from a pile of forms and files. But now it was 3 a.m., and he was parked across from the Muni yard on a chilly morning in 1996. He grins at the memory and explains his accounting adventure.
“It was like clockwork,” he recalls. “We’d heard rumors about this — they started coming in and turning the bus headlights on. And we were blinded by the headlights of hundreds of buses staring at us!” Some of those buses were allowed to idle for four-and-a-half hours; 15 minutes would have easily sufficed…
Cheney wants a charter amendment barring this practice in San Francisco. Ordinances in this city find their way into the blue, green, or black bins of history. Charter amendments, however, require six supervisors to place them on the ballot, and subsequently carry the gravitas of a vote of the people.
“Who on the Board of Supervisors is gonna say ‘We ought to be idling buses for hours’? Who’s gonna stand up for that?” says Cheney. “If they want, I’ll even help them write the legislation.
“We can turn the wheel,” he continues. “Even a little bit.”… (more)