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)

Oakland owes many refunds for overpaid tickets

Will Kane : sfgate – excerpt

Drivers in Oakland overpaid parking tickets by $2.3 million in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and the city is planning to notify those people that they will have 60 days to collect refunds.
A 2012 city audit found that for years, Oakland hadn’t bothered to issue parking refunds for overpaid fines, as they are required to do by state law. City Auditor Courtney Ruby uncovered the practice in an audit of the city’s parking department, finding that in 2011 alone, the city owed residents $316,000 in overpaid fines.
City officials said they have since determined that the cash-strapped city also owes an additional $2.3 million for fines that were overpaid in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The money will come from a general liability account…
In her audit, Ruby checked with four other large California cities, including San Francisco, and found that those cities all have systems in place so that when someone pays a ticket twice, the excess amount is automatically returned – without anyone needing to ask…
For more information about Oakland parking refunds and to file for a refund, go to: http://bit.ly/1jncTjO…. (more)

If you got charged twice of a ticket in Oakland you may have a refund coming.

Is the Latest SFMTA Bike Count Accurate?

By Leif Haven : sfweekly – excerpt

The SFMTA recently released the 2013 Bicycle Count Report, which got everyone excited over what looked like massive gains in cycling share. I’m wondering if these statistics are cherry picking — that they’re painting a rosy picture of radically increasing cycling in the city.

Not so much that they aren’t correct, but that they’re not doing a very good job of actually showing how cycling has truly changed in the city. Here’s what I mean:

First off, let’s look at the big, horn-tooting takeaway from this report: Apparently, bicycling trips have risen 96 percent since 2006.

But, before you go ride a victory lap around the bike friendliest city in the world, consider the fine print: 96 percent represents an increase in bicycle trips from 2006 at only 21 intersections.
We can pat ourselves on the back, but with only 21 intersections reporting — that’s easily less than 1 percent of total intersections — and only during a peak commuter time period, this is far from a complete picture of growth.
The 96 percent number means cyclists now represent 3.8 percent of the commuting mode share, up from 2.1 percent in 2006, according to the report. If you’re keeping track that’s far off from the 2018 goals… (more)

The Future of SFpark

By David LaBua : 7×7 – excerpt

In 2011, The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency established the SFpark pilot, using new technology and policies to improve parking in San Francisco. The pilot aimed to reduce traffic by helping drivers find parking spaces more quickly. More parking availability makes streets less congested and safer. Improved parking meters that accept credit and debit cards and phone payment reduce frustration and parking citations.
As the pilot phase comes to a close in 2014, the project will continue to operate and any major changes will be considered after evaluation is completed in Spring 2014. In the meantime, there will be some changes to the SFpark mobile app. and the data feed that some other private parking mobile apps also use.
As of January 1st, 2014, the parking sensors in the street will be turned off and their data feed will no longer be available as parking sensor batteries have reached the end of their useful lives. This means that the real-time information on parking space occupancy will not be available for mobile apps and similar uses(more)

How much has this experiment costs the taxpayers and what is the net revenue the SFTMA generated from this program? What will become of all those parking apps that are dependent on this system?

Looks as if the taxpayer spent $44 million dollars on the pilot program that installed 6000 revenue generating smart parking meters with a two year lifespan, (since SFMTA claims they have to replace all the meters).
Muni wants SF citizens to approve three billion dollars in new fees, fines and sales tax in November. How much of this is planned for replacement smart meters and other none Muni tech gadgets and planning for future projects, and how much will actually improve rider service?
Voters may decide to end the experiment in self-governing granted to the SFMTA instead of feeding the insatiable giant. Let your supervisors know how you feel. Demand a better system.