S.F. supervisor, fire chief clash over street widths

by Marisa Lagos, John Coté : sfgate – excerpt

San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White is not a fan of Supervisor Scott Wiener‘s plan to limit the width of streets through a new city law that would require city agencies to request permission from the Board of Supervisors to go beyond guidelines.

Wiener and the Fire Department have been at loggerheads for years over fire officials’ reticence to support pedestrian-friendly improvements such as narrower streets and corner bulb-outs, a situation that has boiled over as the city nails down street engineering plans for the new Candlestick and Hunters Point developments.

On Tuesday, Wiener said he was fed up by the department’s insistence that streets in those new developments be 26 feet wide and announced the new legislation. He also asked the board’s budget and legislative analyst to examine whether the Fire Department could use smaller trucks citywide.

Hayes-White said she never agreed to narrower streets, as Wiener charged Tuesday, and that she’s not the only one pushing for the wider roadways: City engineers and experts at the Department of Public Works agree…

It’s not just about getting fire trucks down streets, or navigating corners, she said: It’s also about how the department configures its rigs when they are actually fighting fires. On a 20-foot-wide street, Hayes-White contended, firefighters couldn’t squeeze another truck past if an aerial ladder is there.

Besides, she said, 26 feet is the standard under both state and international fire code… (more)

Now here is your chance to tell the Mayor what your spending priorities are…

Lee is holding an “online budget town hall” meeting Thursday to get public input as the city prepares its next two-year budget in advance of the fiscal year ending June 30.

Sure, San Francisco’s economic recovery is the envy of mayors around the country, but even with tax revenue surging, the city still has real problems to address… (more)

The SF Fire Department is responsible for saving lives and property and nothing else. Who is qualified to tell them how to do that? We put our lives in their hands each time they are called. Slowing down traffic and creating traffic gridlock is adding to their response time and if they don’t object they may be held liable for not doing their jobs. If you feel the SFMTA has done a lousy job of fixing the traffic congestion and parking problems they claim to be working on, join us and let the city officials know you support a Charter Amendment to Fix the MTA: http://fixthemta.org/

Supervisor Wiener requests hearing to study need to widen streets
Fire chief says narrow streets requested by supervisor could harm public safety

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