SF businesses seeing red over new transit-only lanes

By : examiner – excerpt

Few foods are as synonymous with Mission Street nightlife as bacon-wrapped hot dogs.

The tantalizing smell of sizzling meat often emanates from Leo’s Hot Dogs, a 19th and Mission streets cart run for more than eight years by husband and wife Adan Gonzalez and Lucero Munos.

“Sometimes when people show up when they’ve had a few drinks, she makes them dance!” Gonzalez said of his wife, smiling, through a Spanish-speaking interpreter Wednesday.

Gonzalez has less reason to smile nowadays. Leo’s may be kicked off its Mission Street corner following the roll-out of one of The City’s new red-painted transit only lanes, the latest in a growing trend of businesses resisting the transit lanes.

San Francisco police told Gonzalez his permit to operate was no longer valid because of the new red Muni lanes, he said. The lane was installed by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on Mission Street from 14th to 30th streets in late February.

“Vendors, such as this, can receive a permit from Public Works to occupy a parking space. In this case, one vendor is located in the new right turn pocket, not the transit lane,” said Paul Rose, a spokesman for the SFMTA.

But the new turn changes accompanied Mission Street’s new red carpet lane. Cesar Ascarrunz, a former mayoral candidate and owner of Leo’s Hot Dogs, said the SFMTA did not contact him about any needed permit changes.

The lanes are for bus and taxi use only, to help transit avoid double parked cars and vehicles waiting to turn. The SFMTA has publicly said these are among the key ways Muni is snarled.

This newest conflict rises as SFMTA’s red Muni lanes meet resistance elsewhere in San Francisco.

On Taraval Street, a proposal to create a transit-only lane to speed up the L-Taraval was critiqued by neighbors for only saving two to three minutes per trip on the L. Those who supported the lane noted that two to three minutes adds up quickly for the line’s 29,000 daily riders.

In February, the SFMTA decided to implement the transit-only lane as a pilot.

And earlier this year, the agency backed off installing a red lane on Chestnut Street in the Marina that was intended to speed up the commuter-heavy 30-Stockton and 30X lines. Nearby businesses were worried a reduction in parking spaces would drive customers away.

Ariel Kelley, the past president of the Marina Community Association, was a key neighborhood negotiator with SFMTA throughout the process… (more)

Interesting that the SFMTA’s survey differs so radically from the merchants survey. They must be asking different questions of different people. We need details about how the surveys are conducted.

Telling business  how to conduct their business is not the business of the SFMTA. They work for us. We don’t work for them.

We are not surprised that the SFMTA has an anti-business attitude when it comes to small businesses and local merchants because they are part of the plan to displace the citizens and the non-tech jobs and rid the city of the unworthy citizens. We get that. Everyone else is starting to get it too. First they took our parking, then they took our cars, now they are taking our jobs and homes. What is left?

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