San Francisco Considers Charging Drivers to Enter or Leave Downtown

Posted by KQED News Staff – excerpt

…“We’re going to be faced with severe congestion at some point. We’re not able to say exactly when, but it’s certainly within the next, I’d say, 10 years. And if we don’t move decisively now, it might even be sooner than that,” said Tilly Chang with the SFCTA.
Chang said a plan to charge drivers to enter or leave downtown, known as congestion pricing, is again emerging as one solution to alleviate gridlock. She said something more is needed to really slow down the growth of traffic flooding into that area.
“We definitely see parking management and congestion pricing as examples of how we can encourage people to review their choices and to really think about, ‘Do I really need to make this trip in a car?’ ” Chang said…
A congestion pricing plan from the city Transportation Authority will soon undergo an environmental review. Any proposal the city develops would need approval from the Legislature… (more)

How about building some new parking garages as suggested by the Small Business Commission? That would help as much as anything. How about building those garages next to the freeway exists next to public transit  hubs so that people could get into the city and then easily transition to public transit? Wow! They just built a new BART parking garage in Richmond. But, San Francisco would rather eliminate parking than make it easy for folks to use Muni. Do the voters get to decide on this plan? Or will it be part of the Plan Bay Area scheme, financed by federal and state government debt?

Pier 70 plan financing ‘complicated’

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

Transforming 28 acres of rusted maritime space at Pier 70 into a new neighborhood with tech companies and more than 1,000 condo units will require “complicated” financing and more than $160 million to build new roads, three parking garages and a possible new Muni turnaround…
Pier 70 in the Dogpatch neighborhood is Port of San Francisco property, part of which is planned to be converted into housing and retail. Nearly all of the estimated $1.85 billion required to redevelop Pier 70 is coming from private capital raised by site developer Forest City, which built the Westfield San Francisco Centre shopping mall on Market Street…
The Port of San Francisco will need to come up with about $222 million via bond sales, according to Port documents. The bonds will pay for infrastructure improvements, including utility lines, transit improvements and other improvements like parks.
Exactly how the publicly funded side of Pier 70 will be financed — and how the Port plans to raise an additional $98 million that would build three parking garages on the site — has yet to be determined.
“There are challenges with this site,” Brad Benson, the Port’s project manager at Pier 70, told the Board of Supervisors on June 5. “It has very high infrastructure costs.”
The site is not well-served by public transportation, and it might require an “extension” of the T-Third Street line with a turnaround near 20th Street, Benson said.
Rezoning and planning alone will cost about $20 million, Port officials said… (more)

What is the rush? Why not finish one big public project before starting a new one?

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Hosts Hearing on MTA Parking Plans

By Keith Burbank : potreroview – excerpt

Last month the San Francisco Board of Supervisor’s Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee asked San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA) director of transportation, Ed Reiskin, to discuss the agency’s parking meter plans. Committee members presiding over the hearing included District 9 Supervisor David Campos, who represents the Mission, District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar; and District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell, who sat in for District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee, who couldn’t be present, with District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen also in attendance. Reiskin answered questions from the supervisors, provided data on parking revenues, and explained the rationale driving parking meter expansion.
The “MTA is on the wrong track,” said Cohen, who explained that her main frustration with the agency relates to its lack of a comprehensive planning, with SFMTA’s transit, parking and enforcement divisions going in different directions. The supervisor added that transportation and associated infrastructure wasn’t keeping up with development and growth in her district. Worse, complained Cohen, in some instances SFMTA has been considering cuts in service, has been inconsistent in its enforcement of the residential parking permit program, and the agency’s plans don’t adequately acknowledge the parking needs of production, distribution, and repair (PDR) businesses…
Campos said he appreciated the agency’s effort to listen to the community. But he pointed out that the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan calls for protecting PDR businesses, and asked that SFMTA follow this policy…
Reiskin acknowledged that parking management affects the economic viability of commercial districts…
Farrell asked the transportation director how parking management efforts can meet the needs of families — especially ones with multiple children, and both parents working — who depend on cars…
Farrell said residents have told him that SFMTA seems to be making car ownership more challenging, rather than making public transit more attractive. “I hear that time and time again,” Farrell said. The supervisor insisted that making transit more attractive should come first…
Campos told Reiskin that there should be no artificial deadline for the parking meter expansion. Instead, SFMTA should be sure to hear the concerns of residents and business owners.
“We’ll continue to take the time that it needs,” Reiskin responded… (more)

Barnidge: Plan Bay Area will be either the best or worst thing ever to happen to us

By Tom Barnidge : mercurynews – excerpt

Ready or not, Plan Bay Area is knocking at your door. Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Association of Bay Area Governments officials are expected to approve it next month, climaxing a fight that’s produced enough bile to give the entire country acid reflux. In case you’re late to the party, you probably should know that supporters and opponents have slightly different views of this vision for the future:
What’s Plan Bay Area?
PRO: It’s an integrated, long-range transportation and land-use/housing plan that will support a growing economy, provide more housing and transportation choices, and reduce transportation-related pollution in the Bay Area
CON: It’s a conspiracy perpetrated by the MTC and ABAG to socially engineer peoples’ lives, herding them like cattle from their single-family homes and cars into transit villages.
Why is there a Plan Bay Area?
PRO: Senate Bill 375 requires California’s 18 metro areas to plan jointly for transportation, land use and housing as part of a “sustainable communities strategy” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light-duty trucks.
CON: Empty-headed bureaucrats, who couldn’t find a shadow on a sunny day, have swallowed Al Gore’s global warming nonsense and now are using it as their excuse to take control of our lives… (more)

These are not empty-headed bureaucrats. These are calculating property owners, banks and big energy CEOs that fear the independence solar energy provides.

Big energy utilities are the big winner. Crowding people into high rises will protect them from the the single family homes with yards that can be function without them. The big buildings produce more emissions than the cars, especially now that the car industry is producing cleaner, more energy efficient vehicles.

RELATED:
To learn more, visit onebayarea.org.
Contact Tom Barnidge at tbarnidge@bayareanewsgroup.com.
Planning Displacement

Report: San Francisco Bay Area transit official earns $330,000 in 2012 without working one day

 By Associated Press : washingtonpost – excerpt

OAKLAND, Calif. — A top official for the agency that manages the San Francisco Bay Area’s BART system earned more than $330,000 last year — even though she didn’t work a single day for the public transit agency, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Bay Area Rapid Transit general manager Dorothy Dugger resigned under pressure in May 2011, but stayed on the payroll for another 19 months and was BART’s highest-paid employee in 2012, the Bay Area News Group (http://bit.ly/102JORG) reported… (more)