Trees, historic trolley poles to be removed for bus project

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

A challenge to The City’s Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit project was shot down Wednesday night, in a blow to those looking to preserve trees and historic trolley poles on Van Ness Avenue.
The fight pitted residents who wanted to preserve historic fixtures against transit advocates and others interested in paving the way for faster bus service for thousands.

The trolley poles were first constructed in 1915 for the Pan Pacific International Expo, which drew thousands to San Francisco’s Marina district.

The San Francisco Board of Appeals voted down an appeal by the City’s Historic Preservation Commission, which previously granted the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency permission to remove trees and historic trolley poles for the construction of traffic medians as part of the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit project.

The project would convert the two center lanes of Van Ness Avenue into red-painted bus-only lanes, and construct medians that act almost like train stops, in an effort to speed up Muni’s 47 and 49 bus lines.

The Historic Preservation Commission issued SFMTA a “certificate of appropriateness” to allow the project to move forward in November last year, but it was conditional. The SFMTA was told to preserve four of the historic trolley poles — two in front of City Hall, and two in front of the War Memorial building, and to create a plaque commemorating their historic significance.

The Board of Appeals decision to deny the appeal upholds the Historic Preservation Commission’s original decision to allow the SFMTA to continue, conditionally, with the Van Ness BRT project… (more)

These are the US cities doing away with parking minimums

by : greatergreaterwashington – excerpt

Under DC’s new zoning code, there will be fewer requirements to build parking next to new buildings. Lots cities are making similar moves, with some doing away with parking minimums altogether…

Cities originally mandated parking minimums out of fears that without them, nobody would have anywhere to park. But we’ve since learned that parking minimums lead to greater congestion and higher housing prices in cities and neighborhoods. Matthew Yglesias sums it up nicely in his book, The Rent Is Too Damn High:…(more)

Claims that removing parking requirements will lower housing costs and increase affordability have not played out as predicted. Property values have increased where limits have been lifted, not decreased. Don’t believe the lie that parking minimums will have the desired effect.

California fines Uber $7.6M on rider, driver reports

northjersey – excerpt

AN FRANCISCO – California is penalizing Uber’s state subsidiary by $7.6 million.

California’s Public Utilities Commission said Thursday that Uber had been too slow to provide the state with detailed information on the ride-hailing company’s riders and drivers.

The state had sought more information on driver accidents, and on how often drivers turned down disabled passengers and passengers in general.

Uber spokeswoman Laura Zapata said the company will pay the penalty but appeal the amount in a California court.

Zapata said Uber is now providing all the ridership and driver detail sought by the state… (more)

Uber will give people whose felonies have been reduced to misdemeanors a chance to drive


Fixed on ‘Shark Tank’: Interview With Owner

heavy – excerpt

Fixed, an app that takes the stress out of getting tickets, entered the Shark Tank on January 15. Users simply take a picture of their ticket and through the app, they are connected with a lawyer. Heavy interviewed David Hegarty about his San Francisco-based business that has expanded to New York and expects to be in more cities in the near future.
To read all of Heavy’s Shark Tank coverage, click here. (more)

Fight parking tickets with Fixed. Goood to hear FIXED is getting media attention. Beating tickets and fighting the SFMTA is by far our most popular subject, even though the stories are not on the front page, but listed under Complaints. Illegal tickets are handed out to both car drivers and Muni riders and all are mad about that.


Got something to share? Let us know! available on the iPhone AppStore Study Suggests You Should Just Park Your Car In Noe Valley

A new study looking at the availability of parking by neighborhood tells us a lot of what we already know about San Francisco — parking is terrible! The study’s intended purpose is to inform car-owning potential renters what neighborhoods are the most accommodating, however, the data also tell us where street parking is purportedly most available. Perhaps the largest takeaway is that, at least according to this study, parking in Noe Valley is relatively easy.

The report was compiled by residential real estate site Trulia, and the company attempted to combine street parking data with availability of garages for rent to form a complete picture of where owning a car is difficult and where it is easy as San Francisco pie… (more)

Please attend the appeal of the permanent commuter shuttle program

Tuesday January 26, 2016; 2 PM
Room 250, City Hall SF Board of Supervisors Meeting – The Commuter Shuttle Program Appeal will be heard. You support is requested. If you cannot attend, please send an email to the Board of Supervisors. Emails contacts:

To be sure that your correspondence becomes a part of the public record send a copy of everything to:

Edwin Lee, Mayor –
1 – Eric Mar, District Supervisor –
2 – Mark Farrell, District Supervisor –
3 – Aaron Peskin, District Supervisor –
4 – Katy Tang, District Supervisor –
5 – London Breed, District Supervisor –
6 – Jane Kim, District Supervisor –
7 – Norman Yee, District Supervisor –
8 – Scott Wiener, District Supervisor –
9 – David Campos , District Supervisor –
10 – Malia Cohen, District Supervisor –
11 – John Avalos, District Supervisor –

We want a comprehensive EIR on the displacement impacts of the commuter shuttles in San Fransisco. Why should there be an EIR?

  • There are NO LIMITS on the number of shuttles that the SFMTA can permit;g
  • There are NO LIMITS on the number of stops the private shuttles might be able to operate in;
  • The demand for private access to public bus stops is likely to increase — Apple’s new Cupertino campus will employ 13,000 people and another North San Jose campus, for which Apple paid $165 million in cash, will employ 18,000. Other Silicon Valley companies are also expanding. What are the housing plans for the new employees?
  • Evidence indicates that the availability of private shuttles nearby drives up housing costs and contributes to evictions and displacements and the suburbanization of low- to middle-income people (so do they really get cars off the road?);
  • The shuttles obstruct access for senior citizens and people with disabilities (see photo);
  • According to the permanent program, shuttles of fewer than 35 feet might be able to operate on residential streets;
  • Shuttles now pay a small at-best revenue-neutral cost-recovery fee of $3.67 per stop per day, while the companies (Google, Apple, Facebook, Genentech, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and others) that provide these free employee shuttles get TAX WRITE OFFs. You pay $2.25 when you board Muni, and all other private vehicles that stop in public bus zones are fined $271;
  • The majority of the shuttles are diesel buses; and,
  • All parts of the program that involve stopping in public bus stops are AGAINST STATE LAW.

Please attend the appeal of the permanent commuter shuttle bus program on January 26, 2016. The appeal will start at 3 p.m., but please arrive early. We expect many people to be there. – Sue Vaughan

BART Offers San Francisco Super Bowl City Commuting Tips

sbclocal – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Getting to and from downtown San Francisco during Super Bowl week may become a challenge and Bay Area Rapid Transit says riders will need to take into account some changes.

While Super Bowl 50 will be played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on February 7, main activity during Super Bowl week will be at the foot of Market Street in San Francisco.

The Super Bowl City fan village at Justin Herman Plaza is located just above the Embarcadero Center Station. BART says it will close the Embarcadero station entrance/exit to Market Street at Spear Street from January 30 through February 7, except during the hours of 6:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

ALSO READ: Getting Around For Super Bowl 50

BART says the other five entrances to Embarcadero Station would remain open during business hours during Super Bowl City.

Montgomery and Powell stations are also expected to be busy as it will be the stop for attendees to the NFL Experience at Moscone Center, a few blocks from Montgomery St.

The agency says it anticipates the highest ridership on BART will be Saturday, January 30; and Wednesday, February 3 through Saturday, February 6.

BART plans to add additional cars to trains during non-commute periods, especially on lines that serve San Francisco and Oakland airports. Monday, February 8 is expected to be especially busy on lines serving the airports.

Tips for BART Travelers

BART recommends buying round trip tickets when possible. BART staffers may also set up tables to augment ticket sales at six stations: Fremont, Dublin/Pleasanton, Millbrae, El Cerrito del Norte, Pittsburg/Bay Point and San Francisco International Airport Station.
Use a Clipper Card to avoid lines at the ticket machine. For the Super Bowl, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission is offering limited edition collectible Clipper Cards with images of the Super Bowl 50 logo, Levi’s Stadium and the San Francisco skyline.
Plan for limited parking. Unless riders have a monthly parking permit, BART strongly encourages riders to avoid driving themselves to BART station as lots are expected to be busier than usual. Consider mass transit, carpooling, bicycling or having someone drop you off.
More information on Super Bowl week commuting can be found at and… (more)

Video: Golden State Warriors new San Francisco arena delayed

(KRON) — The Golden State Warriors arena in San Francisco has been delayed by one year. The NBA’s best team will now move from Oakland in the fall of 2019.

KRON4 News has confirmed the delay with the Warriors spokesperson Lisa Goodwin.

The delay is due to a recently filed lawsuit.

The 18,000-seat arena will occupy the site of what is currently a parking lot across the street from the University of California at San Francisco’s newly built medical center at Third and 16th streets.

The Warriors were supposed to move to the new arena for the 2018 season….

Mission Bay Alliance has issued a statement…: “This is a victory for the Mission Bay Alliance and the people of San Francisco who steadfastly opposed this massive arena and entertainment complex next to a children’s hospital in Mission Bay. The proposed 18,064 seat arena with parking spaces for only 200 vehicles would cause gridlock throughout San Francisco and harm the vulnerable patients of UCSF, biotechnology research, and neighborhoods that stretch from the Bay Bridge to the Bayview… (more)