Los Angeles: The City Of Whining About The Car

By Susan Shelley : capoliticalreview – excerpt

There was something very strange about the Los Angeles City Council debate on the day they adopted the Mobility Plan 2035.

On August 11, the council was rushing to pass a 20-year plan that called for removing traffic lanes on busy streets to make room for 300 miles of protected bike lanes. Councilman Mike Bonin told his colleagues how much safer the roads would be once traffic was slowed by the lane reductions.

“Only 5 percent of those hit by a car going 20 miles per hour die,” Bonin said. “Over 80 percent of those who are hit by a car going 40 miles per hour die.”

You don’t typically hear an elected official arguing for slowing city traffic to 20 miles per hour. And then the council members began to hint that the plan wasn’t binding on anybody.

“Every particular project will need to be vetted by you, in your district, with your constituents,” Bonin told his colleagues.

“This is a concept,” council president Herb Wesson said. “If you choose to vote on this today, it will not be put in place tomorrow.”

They called it “a vision statement,” and “an aspirational document.” And then the truth came out.

“This is a document that also helps us get a lot of money from somewhere else,” Bonin said. “This is a document that can help us get active transportation funds from the state. This is a document that can help us tap into cap-and-trade funds because it will help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is a smart thing to be doing.”

Sacramento has more than a billion dollars available for projects that reduce greenhouse gases, money that is pouring in from new fees on gasoline and diesel fuel that began on Jan. 1. The cash goes into a fund for politicians to hand out to anything green, or greenish.

And that’s why officials have turned Los Angeles, the city of the car, into the city of whining about the car… (more)

Sound familiar? No doubt they plan to take over the city transportation legislation the way they did in San Francisco. By lying about it. Review that here if you missed it. https://metermadness.wordpress.com/actions/

Moderate Democrats Hold the Balance in CA

Some Democrats in the California Assembly are bucking the leftist tide of their party by voting down or stopping bills cherished by those wishing to spend more and more money.

Realizing that many of the proposals offered by their compatriots in the state legislature would cripple businesses, some Assembly members have tacked against the leftist gale from their party. According to the Sacramento Bee, some examples include:

  1. SB 350, pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown and Sen. President Pro Tem Kevin de León, which originally wanted a 50% reduction in petroleum use in motor vehicles by 2030, but elided that language before it was considered by the Assembly;
  2. SB 32, from Se. Fran Pavley, which wanted the state’s greenhouse gas emissions limit to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 but stalled in the Assembly;
  3. SB 3, which wanted to raise the state’s minimum wage to $11 an hour in 2016 and $13 in 2017, then index it to inflation in 2019. It stalled in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
  4. SB 548, championed by de León, who capitulated by taking out language authorizing state-funded child care workers to engage in collective bargaining;
  5. SB 23, which wanted to reverse a law barring welfare families that bear more children from getting more funds. The bill was left for next year;
  6. Bills pushing the legal smoking age to 21 and to regulate e-cigarettes; both stalled in the Assembly;
  7. SB 788, which wanted a moratorium on offshore drilling in protected coastal lands, stalled in the Assembly.

In addition, SB 406, which proposed expanding the state’s unpaid family leave policy, barely passed; the Bee reported that there was “stiff resistance from business-friendly moderates in their party.”

De León defiantly insisted that the stalled bills will eventually pass.

Should the regional transportation agency be elected?

By Zelda Bronstein : 48hills – excerpt

A new twist in the power struggle over Bay Area planning


This fancy ABAG graphic shows the commute flows into and out of the nine Bay Area counties.

The power struggle between the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments got a lot more complicated over the past week.

Since MTC voted in late June to fund ABAG’s planning staff for only the first half of fiscal year 2015-16—an action followed by revelations that the regional transportation planning agency wants to take over ABAG’s land-use planning functions before their joint December move into fancy new digs in San Francisco—the two entities seemed destined to consolidate by the end of the year. Only the Sierra Club had registered its opposition to a merger.

But with ABAG’s Executive Board meeting on September 17 and MTC convening on September 23, several other influential parties, including SPUR, the League of Women Voters of the Bay Area, SF Planning Director John Rahaim, and ABAG Executive Director Ezra Rapport, have come out against hasty action, if not against consolidation, while the SF Labor Council has warned MTC not to take over ABAG’s planners, period.

Meanwhile, the state Legislature could be dramatically changing the entire regional planning picture. A bill by Assemblymembers Phil Ting and Marc Levine, ABX1-24, would turn MTC into an elected board, forcing the organization to accept a level of democracy that has never remotely existed in the past.

The bill would re-name MTC the Bay Area Transportation Commission and replace the body’s current 21 appointed members with commissioners elected by districts of about 750,000 residents. Each district would elect one commissioner, except a district with a toll bridge, which would elect two. A citizens’ redistricting commission would draw the district boundaries, and the campaigns for commissioners would be publicly financed. Elections would be held in 2016, with new commissioners taking office on January 1, 2017.

“It’s time to take a hard look at reforming this agency,” Ting told us. “We need to make it more accountable to the voters, the state, and the region.”… (more)

Continue reading

Making up for a lost generation of Muni improvements

By and : sfexaminer – excerpt

Around Potrero Hill, buses sleep, but they hardly run.
There are two Muni yards in the Mission near Potrero Avenue and two more in Dogpatch. Buses, trolleys and streetcars return to these yards after lumbering for hours throughout
San Francisco.

With all this metal resting nightly around our neighborhoods, one would think it would be relatively simple to improve transit service on this side of town, especially in the midst
of the current building boom in Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, SoMa and Mission Bay.

But instead, east side residents have had to ponder a riddle over the last two decades: How do you accommodate so many new residents, many without parking, while failing to expand transit?…

The Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association, in our efforts to design a community-serving public shuttle, identified significant unmet transit demand among this precise route. We know that a complete 11 route would have the residential, commercial and employment density necessary to fill the buses.

The SFMTA has the same data we do about our neighborhoods’ explosive growth and ridership potential. But so far, the 11 route is still designed to die in Mission Bay.

The City and the Warriors are getting well-deserved public pressure to fully plan for the local transit and traffic impacts of their proposed arena, welcoming up to 17,000 people a night for up to 200 nights a year.

Around Potrero Hill, we are bracing for a similar amount of new residents and workers each and every day and night of the year. The neighborhoods need a full-court press for transit and traffic planning, just like the Warriors do.

Over the last two decades, there has been a lost generation of potential Muni improvements for The City’s eastern neighborhoods, even as those same neighborhoods absorb the overwhelming majority of San Francisco’s growth.

The City has a chance right now to begin correcting this longstanding failure, and all it has to do is accept the solutions being handed to it by the neighborhoods.

J.R. Eppler is president, and Tony Kelly is vice president, of the Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association...(more)

New Muni changes may leave Lake Merced residents stranded

By : sfexaminer – excerpt (includes map)


Far out in San Francisco’s western and southern neighborhoods lies the “Outerlands.”

As the crow flies, they’re not so distant from The City’s urban core. But a lack of direct connection to BART, Muni’s train lines and Muni’s main commuter buses, make the so-nicknamed Outerlands feel worlds away from the rest of San Francisco, residents say.

Amid this transportation drought the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced new transit increases on the west side as part of its Muni Forward plan.

For those living south of Lake Merced, however, the changes are a double-edged sword.

Residents say the re-routes will further distance them from downtown, stranding them at the southern tip of the lake.
Hundreds in the southern and westernmost corner of San Francisco will soon lose access to the 18-46th Avenue line, a crucial connector between Lake Merced and more robust transit options near Stonestown Mall.

Starting Sept. 26, the 18-46th Avenue will reroute to better serve Lowell High School and the dense neighborhoods near Sloat Boulevard.

Route changes to 18-46th Avenue and 57-Park Merced lines
•The 57 Parkmerced will run every 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes.
•The 18 46th Ave will run every 20 minutes instead of 25 minutes on weekends.

Lake Merced will connect to Daly City BART
•The 57 Parkmerced will pick up and drop off at Daly City BART.
•18-46th Avenue customers along Lake Merced will now be served by 57 Parkmerced.

57 Parkmerced customers on 19th Avenue from SF State to Stonetown, use the 28/28R 19th Avenue… (more)


The map shows clearly the concerns of a defunct system capacity wise needing change. The problem is how much change is needed, and who did not pony-up when prior asked to resolve the concerns. (Developers/Institutions/Business Interests)

We stated clearly in past memo’s and submitted documents that their is a distinct need to solve the major jumps, and missing connectivity on the city’s SW and SE corners. 19th Ave and 101 @ Candlestick up through the hospital curve both require more solid planning transit work.

The SFSU-CSU masterplan increased enrollment, reduced shuttle services and left 60-80 people in line for shuttles daily. The SFSU team painted the poles purple and yellow at the prior Parkmerced/SFSU-CSU stop, not much more was done to improve two-sided access to the platform and the overwhelming crush that occurs there daily.

The Lake Merced area is completely underserved, while Parkmerced pressures to build alongside the 800 Brotherhood way developments at 19th and Brotherhood there is no significant planning efforts that produce up front changes to connect link and loop the transit systems to provide these areas with secondary connectivity to major transit hubs.

Parkmerced’s changes strand seniors further from the main line, and reduce access to the disabled. The Parkmerced changes wait 30-40 years to do the connectivity needed across brotherhood way and to any future intermodal facility at Daly City BART.

The L-Taraval shown on the map shows how short a distance it would be to connect direct up Sloat Blvd. the L line and possibly link it along Lake Merced Blvd. out to Daly City and possibly back up John Daly Blvd. as a Bi-County project to improve cross county traffic concerns. Even routing it up Brotherhood Way or looping it around the lake to the Pomeroy Center, Golf Course, and housing areas, would make sense even if a secondary system around the lake.

Development of many sites in D10 requires more adequate public transit systems to solve the accessible issues for many low-income families needing to get downtown or across town for jobs and schools. Meanwhile the SFMTA/SFCTA propose BRT transit along Geneva when its already obviously clear the LRV route is needed sooner and not later, with proposed projects, cummalative impacts, and the new projects near Balboa Park Station that will bottle up the access to any future planned intermodal facility at this location near the Geneva Car-Barn and major highway access areas of the SE-SW corridor.

The systemic problem is that we need funding, and we also need resolve. We need a bit more creativity in solving the problems, and a stronger will to not just take a developer’s plan as the holy-grail, but make sure we vet the suggested options and alternatives that can provide these residents and existing neighborhoods with the proper public transit levels needed.

Its not out of the financial possibility to get our systems in such a small city up to par, it just will take the public demanding that the city is not adequately serving the public’s needs and put the focus on the planners to get those links, loops and connections in the system built first, and not post more subway tunneling that may drain funds for outside areas of SF at the behest of downtown interests.

Taxation of business, institutional growth (SFSU-CSU), and market rate housing development is critical to ensuring that the developers don’t rely on the public taxation to fund their growth.

Raise the tax amount by 50% over the currently submitted amounts proposed by the SF Planning Commissioners, its time we think about the cities future, and if we will strand the public and force them to take cars, or adequately plan for a system-wide improvement especially in districts currently under-served by the system.


Aaron Goodman D11 Resident