New House majority leader promises to block Calif. railway funding

By Keith Laing : thehill – excerpt

Newly installed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) promised on Monday that he would “do all that I can to ensure not one dollar of federal funding goes to boondoggles like [California’s] high-speed rail.”

McCarthy and other Republicans in Washington and California have long been opposed to the controversial California high-speed rail project, which has received more than $3 billion from the Obama administration since 2009.

But McCarthy was recently elevated to the No. 2 position in the House Republican caucus following the defeat of former GOP Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in his bid for re-election earlier this year.. (more)

Arts Commission won’t block BRT over shelters

By Jerold Chinn : SFbay – excerpt

he San Francisco Arts Commission will not impede The City’s transportation agency from moving forward with the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit project and the Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc. transit shelters originally opposed by commissioners.

Commissioner Cass Calder Smith, who is the chair of the commission’s Civic Design Review Committee, which opposed the shelters being used for the project, said in a statement to SFBay Monday:…

The SFMTA board will take up the parking the changes related to the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit project at its meeting on Tuesday at 1 p.m. in Room 400, City Hall….  (more)

Not that we thought they could, but… they won’t try.

By the way, the live feed of the meeting appears to be down today. What is up with that?

Report: Uber exec plots revenge on journalists, eliciting outrage

By Kale Williams : sfgate – excerpt

The folks at Buzzfeed dropped big news Monday evening with a story quoting a senior executive from Uber, the popular San Francisco-based ride-services company, as suggesting the company should consider hiring opposition researchers to dig up dirt about journalists who criticize the company — specifically Sarah Lacy, the outspoken editor-in-chief of Pando Daily, an online publication covering Silicon Valley.

Emil Michael, Uber’s senior vice president of business, made the remarks — which he apparently thought were off the record — Friday at Manhattan’s Waverly Inn, according to the Buzzfeed report, at a dinner attended by such high-rollers as actor Edward Norton and publisher Arianna Huffington… (more)

The media is the message.

SFO taxi protest causes gridlock, headaches

By Kale Williams : sfgate – excerpt

A taxi driver protest against ride services such as Uber and Lyft caused gridlock and a lot of headaches at San Francisco International Airport on Monday night, officials said.

The cabbies wouldn’t pick up riders and were blocking lanes starting about 9 p.m., SFO duty manager John Gintry said, and travelers reported long backups coming into and going out of the airport.

Signs were posted on many of the taxis reading, “This vehicle has full-time insurance, ‘TNCs’ (transportation network companies) do not!”

Flyers were distributed among many of the cabbies by the San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance with instructions for the protest, telling them to circle the terminals from about 9 to 11 p.m… (more)

Say Goodbye to Van Ness Avenue, Broadway and Haight Street

What do drivers, Muni riders, Muni operators, taxi drivers, elderly and disabled people, parents, emergency personnel and many families long time residents of San Francisco have in common? A growing distrust for the SFMTA.

Thanks to everyone who voted No on A and B and Yes on L. The voters who were duped into trusting the SFMTA can now enjoy their next bold move. Tomorrow they plan to approve removal of traffic lanes and parking on Van Ness, Broadway, and Haight Street. For details of the plans you can try to read this week’s SFMTA agenda. The meeting is tomorrow, so you have one day to prepare your protest.

RELATED:
Van Ness Avenue next on list for traffic tie-ups in S.F.

 

2 property tax bills: 1 for condo, 1 for parking space

By C.W. Nevius : sfchronicle – excerpt

When a tax measure to help pay San Francisco Unified School District teachers was proposed in 2008, Richard La Rose was an enthusiastic supporter. As a teacher at a private institution, La Rose wouldn’t directly benefit, but he didn’t mind paying the annual fee, which he says is $259.20.

He just didn’t expect to pay it twice.

La Rose, like some other residents, is taxed once for his one-bedroom condo and a second time for his parking space. Since the parking spot was sold separately it has its own deed, which is now a common practice among developers. That means he is considered to have two parcels.

“I went to the tax office, and I said I didn’t see why I should have to pay twice,” La Rose said. “They said, ‘Yeah, we get that complaint all the time, but there’s nothing we can do.’”… (more)

RELATED:
An Unintended Consequence of Unbundling Parking from Housing
Transportation and affordable housing advocates advocate unbundling parking from housing to provide an incentive to own fewer vehicles while reducing housing costs and increasing supply. But should parcel taxes be applied to parking spaces?... (more)