To Win the War on Cars, San Francisco Weaponizes Real Estate

by : wired – excerpt

I’ll start with the bad news, because I think you can take it: You can’t beat San Francisco traffic. As long as people want to live in this idyll by the bay, tech companies set up shop off Market Street, and bars offer expensive drinks made with fruit shrubs, cars and tech buses will choke its roads.

“Anecdotally, the only major cities unfettered by congestion are terribly declining Rust Belt ones,” says Marlon Boarnet, an economist and urban planning researcher with the University of Southern California. (Think Detroit, Buffalo, Youngstown.) “In our most thriving cities, we can’t make the congestion vanish because the cities are thriving.” San Francisco’s booming so hard, the only place in the US where you’ll find worse traffic is Los Angeles.

What San Francisco believes it can do, however, is improve life in the city by making it easier to get around without a car. This week, its Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance requiring developers to stock new residential or commercial projects with more alternative-transport perks than ever before. This is no all-out war on vehicles, but rather an attempt to cut down on the number and length of car trips the natives take each day.

And if it works, San Francisco’s data-driven approach could become a template for other American cities hoping to turn big talk about transportation innovation into big action, and big results…

You’ll have to be patient: This program won’t bear serious fruit for 10 to 20 years, given the pace of development. The first projects built under the new rubric won’t get off the ground for another 18 to 24 months. But San Francisco planners say they’re already getting calls about the ordinance from other cities interested in taking this approach for a spin. And for the family that gets access to an in-apartment storage spot for their car-share friendly car seats (two points!), the lifestyle changes will happen a lot sooner. Too bad they’ll still have to find ways to entertain toddlers while stuck in traffic… (more)

The SFMTA and City Hall have been spinning this wait for results for over 10 years and so far the traffic and congestion both on the streets and on the buses has gotten worse. Taking care of the citizens is an afterthought in the rush to turn San Francisco into a innovative world class city built by and for robots.

The public transit systems are already at capacity. The SFMTA and BART solution is to cram more bodies in to the buses and trains by removing the seats, making it harder for many who rely on public transit to take it.

They really want those old and infirm people to leave and make room for the young and wealthy they think are on the way. This is creating a class war in what used to be the most liberal city in America. San Francisco housing is for sale to the highest bidder.

Today they announced approval of the Traffic Demand Management (TDM), and the sheriff evicted a 100 year old woman from her home. She is being thrown out like trash onto the street. Older people generally don’t survive such a move for long so many see this as a death sentence. Expect a protest at City Hall.

Last time the SFMTA came begging for tax dollars the voters refused to cough it up. Some indication of disgust with that department and an awakening of the populace that no longer blindly trust SFMTA and City Hall.

4 thoughts on “To Win the War on Cars, San Francisco Weaponizes Real Estate

  1. Half truth article. First it is a war on cars. They don’t want them. Second they have been doing this for a while now nothing new. A new development gets about $200-$250 in extra rent for a parking space. No they don’t lose money. It’s a trade off. Less parking moves through the planning process much faster and easier some developments gain an extra floor or two.

    It’s all part of “sustainable development”
    Here’s a wiki link at the very bottom of my. Comment. Please scroll down to the “goals” section and read transport goals. It’s important. You seriously need to read that part first. You’ll have many “wake up” moments after reading that part. It even specifically flat out tells you that what they’re doing to streets and cars will fuck up poor people. Once your done your more then welcome to read the rest of it as it discusses mixed use developments with whole food type stores. No small businesses. Once your done reading the whole thing it will make true sense of agenda 21, agenda 30, The creation of ABAG, plan Bay Area and it full describes exactly what the sfmta is doing and what’s really happening in San Francisco. “Sustainable” “road diets” environment” “accessibility” “walkable” “road diets” “safety” “rideable” “affordable” I could go on with the vocabulary but I’m sure you know the rest of the words. Any existing or new non profit using just one of those words it’s all part of it. The whole “non profit” title is to make you believe that it’s independent. Yet they get paid by the city via “donation” to show up at some public outreach in full force and full support of every project at a time when most folks are at work and can’t make it. The reason why is because showing up to these meetings is their job. That’s their salary and or hourly wage.


      • I would say both. Including the fact that it helps them studies and reports. “The majority of San Franciscans or majority of the neighborhood support the project the meeting was a success.” In other words 70% or 80% of the citizens came out in support which really means the non profit folks outnumbered everybody else by 7 to 1 or 8 to 1.

        Go to any meeting or open forum that starts after 5pm the results would be 80% against the sfmta because most people are off worke and able to attend while the “non profit folks” have clocked out for the day.

        I’ve told you about city care share founder spur ceo. Well now Take sf transit riders union. The supposed grasroots group which up until a few years ago never existed. Chairman is Thea Selby a politician. Who up until last year was on the ca high speed rail board. Peter straus vice chair is a manager of muni service planning. An sfmta employee. I’m not gonna go through the whole list of employees and all I can say is grass roots my ass. but They support Geary brt, Vaness brt, vision zero, bulb outs bike lanes and all that.

        I don’t think your comment space has the room for me to go through every single non profit and every single employee of those non profits. They are all the same crap. 90% you never heard of 3-4 years ago. Now we have more transit affordable housing environment non profits in the Bay Area than we do churches. Where did they come from? BS.


  2. Well I guess it’s official now. Because for many years projects are being built and not much parking. For example, a project in the Civic Center/SOMA Area, near NEMA has 135 apartments and only 15 or so parking spaces. This was about 6 years ago or so. And this is a family building, non-profit.
    As for the wars on cars, yes this is a war that has been going on for a long time!


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