Polk Folks Poke Back

marinatimes – excerpt

Folks for Polk, a citizens group supporting the redesign of the Polk Street corridor to improve the pedestrian, biking, and mass transit arrangements on the busy commercial and residential street, issued its final recommendations for the project. Undeterred by the release by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) of the “preferred alternative” plan for the Polk Street Improvement Project (see Marina Times, “News Briefs,” August 2013), Folks for Polk presented in December the results of a series of meetings with residents and issued its own summary of the preferences expressed in those meetings.
Its recommendations get more specific than the City agency’s summary; they include environmental-focused details for the “bulb-outs” at street corners and real-time transit information screens at various locations on the busy street. Folks for Polk’s recommendations can be found online at www.folksforpolk.org.
http://www.folksforpolk.org/static/pdf/prefRecs.pdf (more)

If you can change the plans to take away more parking and traffic lanes, you can change the plan to add more. It is not too late. Let the supervisors know how you feel about the Polk Street plan and SFMTA plans to cut traffic on major regional traffic corridors, like Van Ness, Potrero, Geary, Market Street, Masonic, Cesar Chavez, and 19th Avenue.

SFpark losing real-time street data

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

The City’s SFpark app will lose its real-time information feature for on-street parking occupancy beginning Monday, but the service will continue to be available for garage parking.
The loss in real-time data, which is due to parking-sensor batteries being drained, comes as the pilot phase is being evaluated through spring 2014. Transit officials say key services of the parking app feature have included demand-responsive pricing, longer meter time limits and meters that make it easier to pay… (more)

The SFMTA doesn’t need data to lower the parking rates any more than they needed data to raise them.

One wonders how this loss of data will effect the multitude of parking apps that have sprouted up lately. Are they dependent on this data? One also wonders how much this study costs. Did they break even? When will we get the results of the study?

A city walk that can’t be beat

By Tom Stienstra : sfgate – excerpt

What you’ll see: It would difficult to improve on the recent days on the San Francisco waterfront. That is, unless you could improve on perfection. The weather, views and recreation have been stellar. Marina Green is your launch point. From along the Golden Gate Promenade, you get waterfront views that extend to the Golden Gate Bridge and across to Sausalito and Alcatraz…
Easy walk: From parking, take the San Francisco Bay Trail west along Marina Green and work your way around the yacht harbors (you’ll see lots of docked boats on your right) toward the St. Francis Yacht Club. Then continue toward the harbor entrance, past the Golden Gate Yacht Club, to the point at the end of the jetty and to the Wave Organ…
Cost: Parking, access free… (more)

 Free parking access will disappear soon if the SFMTA and the SF Bicycle Coalition gets their way. If you think it should remain free, let the supervisors know. They have the power to keep it free when it comes to financing new contracts. They stopped the expansion of parking meters into the neighborhoods because citizens acted and they can stop the elimination of parking and traffic lanes if you continue to tell them ENUF already! Don’t cut traffic lanes, parking and Muni services. Contact Supervisors

Supes Hamstring SFMTA’s Ability to Expand Progressive Parking Policy

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

In a setback for progressive parking policy in San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors voted last week to eliminate the SFMTA’s ability to install any significant amount of new parking meters under a new five-year contract to upgrade existing meters… (more)

News that bears repeating. We are surprised at the number of people who don’t know about this. Leave it to the Bike Coalition to keep the story alive. If you haven’t already done so, thank the Supervisors.

Continue reading

Tax Credits for mass transit set to expire

By : huffingtonpost – excpert

With a little help from Congress, commuters relying on mass transit to get to work could lose a significant chunk of change next year.
Starting on Jan. 1, the federal commuter tax benefit will drop from $245 to $130 per month. According to a Friday Washington Post report, that could cost some regular users almost $1,000 in 2014.
While mass transit riders are facing reduced benefits, the same can’t be said for drivers. The Post noted that commuter parking tax benefits will rise from $245 to $250 per month.
“This is the biggest disparity between the two components of the commuter benefit that we have ever seen,” Natasha Rankin, executive director of the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation, told the paper. “For those who rely on mass transit, where you also have increasing costs, this is a double hit.”… (more)

Transit credits expire while local fares increase, and Muni plans to request an additional $3 billion in November. Voters may vote for a shift in priorities instead.

RELATED:
New Year Brings Bay Area Transit Fare Increases   
Bay Area Commuter Check Benefits To Be Slashed In 2014

Chris Christie Officials Messed With Bridge Traffic Despite Being Warned About Congestion Problems

huffingtonpost – excerpt

WASHINGTON — New documents reveal that a high-ranking official in the administration of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) knew that Fort Lee, N.J., had issues with traffic congestion around the George Washington Bridge, long before he authorized a seemingly unnecessary study that closed down lanes to the bridge and made traffic even worse.
Fort Lee is an essential access point to New York City, serving as the gateway to the George Washington Bridge, which is the busiest bridge in the United States. In November 2010, Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich (D) wrote to Bill Baroni, deputy director of the Port Authority of New York and Jersey, and complained of traffic problems in the borough. The letter was obtained by The Record in a public records request
“On approximately 20 occasions in the last forty days, our Borough has been completely gridlocked,” wrote Sokolich to Baroni, who was Christie’s top official at the Port Authority. “Traveling from the south to the north end of our Borough takes upwards of one hour. Our safety vehicles are unable to traverse our own thoroughfares to attend to emergencies which place our residents in harms way.”… (more)

Alleged planned traffic congestion makes the national news. Public records request revealed enough evidence to resulted in layoffs, and may mushroom into a bigger disaster for the accused perpetrators.

Protesters block Silicon Valley shuttles, smash Google bus window

By Sean Hollister : theverge – excerpt

The Google bus is a symbol of inequality

One of the perks of working at a major Silicon Valley company is a shuttle ride to work. But as housing prices rise in the San Francisco Bay Area, angry activists are targeting those shuttles to protest the region’s gentrification. In Oakland, protesters attacked a Google bus today, smashing a window and distributing fliers reading “Get the fuck out of Oakland” to Google employees on board…
One of the perks of working at a major Silicon Valley company is a shuttle ride to work. But as housing prices rise in the San Francisco Bay Area, angry activists are targeting those shuttles to protest the region’s gentrification. In Oakland, protesters attacked a Google bus today, smashing a window and distributing fliers reading “Get the fuck out of Oakland” to Google employees on board.

My Gbus got hit by protesters in Oakland and they broke a window. pic.twitter.com/VGCyhBLgyd

— Craig Frost (@craigsfrost) December 20, 2013

And in San Francisco, demonstrators blocked an Apple bus, holding signs and even carrying a wooden coffin bearing the message “Affordable housing.”
“We want the ruling class, which is becoming the tech class, to listen to our voices and listen to the voices of folks that are being displaced,” said one SF protester…
These aren’t isolated incidents. Just last week, some of the same San Francisco activists protested another tech industry bus at the same street corner, though an alleged Google employee at that rally turned out to be a fake. A small group of protesters also smashed a Google bus pinata back in May

Catherine Bracy gave a speech at the Personal Democracy Forum that does a good job of explaining the current economic inequality in Silicon Valley, and some reasons why the Google bus might inspire a certain degree of hatred. You can watch it here. (more)

If you think people are upset now, wait until the Federal unemployment checks stop coming. The pitchforks are out and will not be going away soon.
The best explanation we have seen so far for why the anti-eviction folks are attacking the buses came from someone on the local news who said, “We want the folks on the bus to join us in protesting the problems.”
Media can easily ignore the poor folks in the Mission who are losing their homes, but they can’t ignore anything that threatens the tech industry. Next trip to the Bay Area Obama might want to talk to the leaders of the protestors and listen to their concerns as well as the CEOs of Silicon Valley.

 

RELATED:
Via pandodaily
Source Craig Frost (Twitter, 1)(2)(3)
SF and Oakland, activists block tech buses to protest displacement
Indy Bay
ReutersKQED
oakland san francisco politics shuttle bay area bus protest transportation gentrification silicon valley Google

San Francisco Meter Maid Gets Parking Ticket

By Erin Sherbert : sfweekly the snitch – excerpt

This image of a parking ticket slapped on a parking enforcer’s vehicle. It’s what we like to call meta parking drama. We came across the beautiful image posted by Reddit user “BattleRoyali” who provided an equally eloquent caption: “MTA gets a taste of its own medicine.”… (more)

Related:
Even Cops Get Parking Tickets

At Car-Free Marina Path Meeting, Parking-First Boaters Balanced by Sanity

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

Marina boat owners riled by the prospect of removing underused car parking from the Marina Boulevard bicycle and pedestrian path got a bit of a reality check at a meeting last week. Some neighbors in attendance made the case for moving the parking, and planners presented some enlightening data about the path’s use.
Update 12/19: DPW now has an online survey you can take about removing parking on the Marina path... (more)

2009 San Francisco Bicycle Plan Update

sfmta – excerpt

The 2009 San Francisco Bicycle Plan outlined 60 improvement projects and long-term opportunities for bicycle route upgrades.

The following is a list of near-term projects that remain and are anticipated to be constructed within the five years following the completion of the Bike Plan’s final environmental review:

  • Project 2-1: 2nd Street bicycle lanes, King Street to Market Street
  • Project 2-3: 14th Street eastbound bicycle lane, Dolores Street to Market Street
  • Project 2-7: Fremont Street southbound bicycle lane, Folsom Street to Harrison Street
  • Project 3-2: Masonic Avenue bicycle lanes, Fell Street to Geary Boulevard
  • Project 3-4: Polk Street northbound contraflow bicycle lane, Market Street to McAllister Street
  • Project 5-6: Cesar Chavez/26th Streets corridor bicycle lanes, Sanchez Street to US 101
  • Project 5-13: Bayshore Boulevard bicycle lanes, Paul Avenue to Silver Avenue
  • Project 7-1: 7th Avenue at Lincoln Way intersection improvements

… (more)