Muni union, SFMTA reach contract agreement

sfexaminer – excerpt

A labor contract agreement between the Muni operators’ union and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency was reached Thursday afternoon, according to a source close to the issue.

The agreement came a few days before Monday’s deadline, and the agenda for a 11 a.m. special board meeting that day, posted Friday, includes a resolution allowing directors to reject the tentative agreement that the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A also had voted down in May.

It also allows board directors to extend the date for the final adoption of a memorandum of understanding. A deadline was not announced Friday… (more)

Good news!


Protected Bike Lanes Bill Passes California Senate Transportation Committee

by : la.streetsblog – excerpt

The Protected Bikeways Act, A.B. 1193, from Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), passed the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee Thursday on a 10-0 vote, despite opposition from some quarters.

The proposed legislation would compel Caltrans to create guidelines for protected bike lanes, a type of facility that is not currently allowed under California law.

A second purpose of the bill would be to give local jurisdictions—cities and counties—the freedom to follow Caltrans standards for bicycle infrastructure or to choose some other guidance. Currently all bicycle infrastructure in California must adhere to Caltrans standards, whether built on state highways or local streets. There are a few limited exceptions to this, generally through cumbersome experimental processes, but overall Caltrans’ antiquated standards have limited implementation of infrastructure that has proven safe in other states and other countries… (more)

This is an example of your tax dollars at work lobbying against you if you own a car in California. This is another reason to support the Restore Transportation Balance initiative. And write to your state representatives to vote against SB 1193. (sample letter)


SF Parking App Warned By SF City Attorney Open-Sources Its Code

by : techcrunch – excerpt

Parking app Sweetch has open-sourced its code this morning in an effort to solve the parking crisis in San Francisco. The free, open-source project, called Freetch is open to any developer willing to work on solving parking problems for the city.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera called out Sweetch and other parking apps earlier this week in a cease-and-desist letter it sent to MonkeyParking. The letter specifically warned Sweetch and ParkModo, both of which the city believes “…similarly violate local and state law with mobile app-enabled schemes intended to illegally monetize public parking spaces.”

These parking apps could also face $300 fines per violation, and both companies are potentially liable for civil penalties of $2,500 per transaction for illegal business practices under the California Unfair Competition Law, according to the letter.

This may be why the Sweetch founders have now changed direction on their approach and opened up their code.

Sweetch users pay a flat rate of $5 for a spot and get paid $4 for notifying another driver when they leave their spot, whereas MonkeyParking works more like an auction. If someone accepts your bid for their spot, you get the spot. It’s unclear how ParkModo’s model will work, but recent Craigslist postings show they may be planning to pay drivers $13/hour to squat on parking spaces in order to save them for users.

However, Police Code section 63(c) states: “It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to enter into a lease, rental agreement or contract of any kind, written or oral, with or without compensation, for the use of any street or sidewalk.”

Sweetch addresses section 63(c) on its most recent blog post about the issue:… (more)

If you are tired of the parking policies the SFMTA and city authorities have brought us, including this legal mess that they will now have to spend time and money cleaning up, support the Restore Transportation Balance initiative and let the voters decide how to fix the parking mess:

Mayor Lee’s Car Found Parked in Muni Bus Stop

by : sf.streestblog – excerpt

Mayor Ed Lee’s Chevy Volt was recently seen parked in a Muni bus stop, while he recently went to eat at La Corneta Taqueria on Diamond Street in Glen Park.

David Black sent in photos of the car, as well as a Muni bus which pulled up to the stop and was forced to load riders away from the curb. Luckily, no Muni passengers in wheelchairs were unable to board due to the situation. Black said that Lee, and several people who appeared to be staffers, waited in line behind him at the taqueria. The license plate number on the car matches that seen on a car identified as the mayor’s in an SF Citizen blog post from 2011.

When reached for comment, spokeswoman Christine Falvey wrote that an SFPD officer, not the mayor, drives the Volt, and that:… (more)

Valet Double-Parking At Private San Francisco Club The Battery Creates Traffic Aggravation For Drivers

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Double-parking seems like a way of life for some parts of busy downtown San Francisco. Now a private club near the waterfront is adding to the aggravation of drivers because of its valet parking service.

The valet service is for San Francisco’s newest exclusive social club, The Battery.

Dozens of the Bay Area’s tech millionaires double park here all the time, handing their keys over to a valet, apparently oblivious to the traffic jam behind them.

KPIX 5 showed video of the street blockage to San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener who has been on the city’s case about double parking for months.

“It’s like the wild west,” said Wiener. “They have turned a lane of traffic into their own private parking lot … and there’s no one enforcing anything.”… (more)