Will a “front door” help San Francisco steer the stampede of emerging technologies testing on its streets?

By Hannah Norman : bizjournals – excerpt

Electric scooters. Delivery robots. Uber and Lyft. Even the soon-to-be shuttered van service Chariot started operating without the approval of San Francisco, with city policies as a secondary thought.

Now San Francisco, which has been ground zero for many emerging technologies, is looking to better keep tabs on the various startups keen on testing or operating their new products in the city. After six months of meetings attended by representatives from over 100 companies, city agencies, think tanks and community organizations, a new report was released Thursday by the Emerging Technology Open Working Group, led by city administrator Naomi Kelly.

“It is clear that technology is part of the social fabric of life in San Francisco,” the report says. “Yet as keepers of the public right-of-way and other public spaces, we must develop appropriate policy measures to mitigate risks and unintended impacts on San Franciscans and our infrastructure.”

The report will next be presented to city’s board of supervisors, likely sometime in January, followed by a hearing… (more)

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Show us the Contract

Show us the Ford/GoBike/Motivate/Lyft Contract

17thArkansas

Corporate takeover of 17th Street at Arkansas by zrants

Show us the contract and explain why it immune to amendments. We have witnessed a lot of amendments to a lot of contracts that were signed by the SFMTA on our behalf. What is sacred about this Ford/GoBike/Motivate/Lyft contact? Where is that contract? Who signed that contract? When and where and under what circumstances?

A number of surveys and recent public polls have shown a preference for station-less bike rentals such as Jump and Scoot. If that is the preference of the renters and that is the preference of the general public, why are we expanding Ford/GoBike/Motivate/Lyft stations in San Francisco? Is this another failed business model being propped up by investors at the public’s expense?

If the state CPUC is involved, it is time to talk to our governor wannabe’s about how they plan to fix that problem when they are elected. This is one of the largest thorns in our sides and it appears to be one of the governors’ responsibilities to release that entity from controlling our “shared” rental corporate entities tight control over our streets. http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/

We are happy to report that our Board of Supervisors has taken some steps in the right direction to engage the public by creating a process that the public can use to review and appeal the planed sites. See details here: https://metermadness.wordpress.com/actions/process/

RELATED:

Uh oh! They’re using the ‘share’ word again: Ford GoBike Expansion

Op-Ed By Patrick Maley : sfexainer – excerpt

San Francisco has a resource curse. We are walking, biking, and riding (and also sitting or lying) on the most valuable public right-of-way in the world. Just as oil rich countries suffer waves of invasion and corrupt leadership as others seek control of their wealth, San Francisco has seen waves of extractivist companies bundling cash to elected officials for control of the road, leaving the traffic, the pollution, and the noise for the unlucky residents to deal with. If the companies can take the public commons and reserve it for the use of the wealthy (while paying nothing to the city but “cost recovery” for rubber-stamping this plunder) they’re as good as gold. This is the story of most of what the SFMTA calls “emerging mobility services and technologies.” A good rule of thumb is that if a company is using the word “share,” it probably means they’re robbing you… (more)

 

Corporate Bike Rentals in the Mission

Open letter to the Mayor Breed and District Supervisors Cohen and Ronen:

Re: Corporate Bike Rentals in the Mission

We just got word that Motivate/Lyft is planning to install GoBikes on the southwest corner of Utah and 25th St. where there is a school and a Healthy San Francisco building. The East Mission Improvement Association, residents and nearby neighbors oppose this installation and request that the Board of Supervisors stop further installations of GoBikes in the neighborhood around General Hospital, where both neighbors and hospital employees are struggling with difficult problems on the street and violent behavior has escalated.

We understand that the SFMTA CAC passed two motions last week that will be presented to the SFMTA Board that detail important changes in the “shared bike program” that they would like to see considered. Please review these prior to approving more station installations.

There has been a huge backlash against corporate takeover of public streets in the Mission, there have been at least three public meetings to discuss the loss of public access to curb space, and more are anticipated.

Sincerely,

Mari Eliza

Download document SFMTA CAC motions
or read them online

Send letters and comments to the Mayor and Supervisors. Contacts are here: https://discoveryink.wordpress.com/san-francisco-officials/

 

Charter amendment targets mayoral seats on SFMTA board

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

Acharter amendment introduced by San Francisco Supervisor Norman Yee could threaten the mayor’s appointment power over the Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors.

The charter amendment proposed by Yee would allow the mayor to appoint four SFMTA board members and the Board of Supervisors would to get appoint three. It would also lower the number of supervisors it takes to reject the transit agency’s budget from seven to six.

Currently, the City Charter allows the mayor to nominate all seven of transit agency’s directors, but nominees still need approval from the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisors Eric Mar and Malia Cohen voted in favor of the charter amendment at the board’s Rules Committee on Wednesday. Supervisor Katy Tang voted against it. If approved by the full Board of Supervisors, it would appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Last I checked only six supervisors are needed to put a charter amendment on the ballot.

Yee said at the board’s Rules Committee on June 30 that his constituents from District 7 are calling his office over concerns about some of the decisions that the transit agency makes on The City’s streets: (more comments below.)

“…this is why I am introducing this legislation to see if there is a way to actually change the dynamics so that maybe we could reduce the types of complaints that we get.”…

“There’s an expectation from the public that the Board of Supervisors share the burden of SFMTA’s decisions when we have very little do with who sits on the Board of Directors.”…

“I think a split appoint process allows for a broader, more diverse level of engagement from the public as we have seen at this very committee.”…

“I’m always searching for answers. For me, this is one way to change it. It’s certainly not the only way and I’m willing to sit down with the director, Mr. Reiskin or any of the other Board of Directors to continue that discussion.”… (more)

This is a welcome development in a situation that is rapidly turning into a disaster for many residents and merchants who are lashing out at the Mayor and Supervisors. Complaints are coming from everyone, including drivers, Muni riders, people with families, the elderly and physically challenged. Removal of bus stops and seats from buses is only the last straw.
Plausible deniability is not protecting them from the public anger. This is the year of discord and San Francisco officials are reacting by giving the voters a lot of options to shift the balance of power. The voters should take this opportunity to do just that.

Keep the MUNI Lines Up on Market Street During Super Bowl Week

November 18, 2015 by

SF confident in traffic plan for Warriors’ planned arena despite concerns

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt – from April 30

A newly formed group is predicting a traffic nightmare around the proposed Warriors arena in Mission Bay, but city officials say they have it under control. For nearly a year, city officials and the basketball team have worked to finalize plans for the 18,000-seat arena and development of two towers and commercial space at Mission Bay, considered a biotech and medical hub. The project has enjoyed wide support, but this week a group calling itself Mission Bay Alliance has emerged to announce opposition, threatening lawsuits and a ballot measure, arguing the traffic will impair hospital and research operations. The group is not affiliated with UC San Francisco, which has a large Mission Bay medical campus. The criticism comes even before the project’s environmental impact report is due out next month.

Today, (April 30) the team and city officials will present a traffic management plan to the Mission Bay Community Advisory Committee.

In a Wednesday briefing, city project managers Adam Van de Water and Ken Rich outlined the steps being taken to mitigate the traffic impacts. The arena site has 950 parking spaces planned, with a majority reserved for office and retail buildings, but city officials say they will be freed up after-hours. And there would be another 132 leased from a nearby garage…

City officials said the project’s environmental analysis will show that even in the worst-case scenario — when a Giants baseball game is held at nearby AT&T Park and it’s a peak commute time — they are short about 300 spaces. To address the shortfall and traffic congestion overall, The City is working on securing parking on two Port of San Francisco properties. Those who park there would be brought to the arena via a shuttle. The sites under consideration include a 250-vehicle lot near the future Crane Cove Park and Pier 70 at 16th and Illinois streets. And an overflow lot for up to 1,000 spaces could be available at Pier 80, which city officials said would divert cars from entering Mission Bay…

The arena project would generate $14.1 million annually in revenue, which includes a $2.50 fee per ticket sold, according to The City. The City would expend $5 million in city services, most of which would go toward Muni service… (more)

Ed Reiskin Refuses to Comply with the SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council, So Let’s Run a Trial on Masonic Ourselves

sfcitizen – excerpt

Here’s the Citizens Advisory Council’s recommendation that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, has refused:

“Motion 140122.01 – The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic Avenue street design project.”

Why did he do that? Well, because a “success” for him is the SFMTA spending the money it’s been given to spend. So why should he do anything to interfere with that when he’s in the red zone already?

Anywho, you can read what he has to say about a test-run after the jump.

In view of this, let’s run a Masonic “streetscape” trial of our own, shall we?

Let’s start here, northbound, on the 3000 foot stretch of Masonic that will soon be changed: … (more)

SFMTA officials changed legislation. Claimed they were “simplifying and clarifying”

Support the November Ballot initiative: Restore Transportation Balance in San Francisco

It is important to get the facts out about Props A, B, and L. Props A and B will will give the SFMTA license to spend over $500 million dollars as it pleases, and Prop L seeks to Restore Transportation Balance. We contend that SFMTA is out of control and needs to be stopped.

This video explains how unelected SFMTA officials changed street parking legislation while claiming they were “simplifying and clarifying” the language. It is important to understand this process because other unelected government bodies are attempting to do the same thing. We feel the best way to stop these practices is for our elected supervisors to hold public hearings to investigate them. If you agree with us, please sign the petition to Restore Parking Oversight of SFMTA.
http://petitions.moveon.org/embed/widget.html?v=3&name=restore-parking-oversight

In 2007, the citizens of San Francisco gave SFMTA authority to manage and update City parking policies, without ongoing oversight from the Board of Supervisors. But the supervisors can assume more authority if enough of them agree to take it on. We want to convince them that they need to do that.

SFMTA published the ‘Policies for On-Street Parking Management’ document in order to “provide transparency in how the agency makes decisions.” The agency promised the document contained “no new policies” and only clarified “where we do (and do not) use parking meters and residential parking permits.” Public data, internal emails, and dissenting staff memos prove otherwise.

SFMTA staff misled their own Board of Directors and violated the public trust by creating all new policies that favor parking meters over residential parking permits. These new policies include moving forward with neighborhood plans, denying residential parking permit requests, adding parking meters, and removing existing residential parking permit areas. These new policies use zoning, and not citizen input to justify the installation of new parking meters.  

Parking meters, as most people know, are a multimillion dollar cash cow for the city of San Francisco. Mixed use, and high density areas like North Beach, Mission  and Chinatown are areas that have residential parking permits in place. The new parking policiesthat the SFMTA claims are existing policies will enable the SFMTA to remove residential parking permit areas and replace them all with parking meters (without citizen input or approval). These new parking policies will also allow the SFMTA to preemptively install variable rate parking meters in areas that are zoned mixed use (production, distribution, repair) and high density areas like SOMA, Potrero Hill, and Mission Bay.

How much money will the city generate from mixed use and high density neighborhoods? Millions? More like billions! And what if you don’t want your mixed use, or high density neighborhood to be turned into a paid parking lot?  Sorry,  SFMTA policies say that your neighborhood is already zoned for parking meters and according to SFMTA’s “existing policies” your neighborhood should already have parking meters instead of residential parking permits (rpp).   

Even after appeals from 20+ neighborhood and business associations and the agency’s Citizen Advisory Committee to rescind the policies, the SFMTA Board has taken no action. The Board of Supervisors must step in to provide oversight and accountability.

Copy of SFMTA CAC Motion 140311.01 on Parking Policy:

Motion 140311.01
The CAC recommends that the SFMTA Board re-review the On-Street Parking Management Policies document to ensure that the policy and its implementation are in accordance with one another, and that if there has been a change in policy, that a public process be undertaken to review that change. The CAC further recommends that, to the extent the document creates new policy, that the implementation of those policies be suspended until a public process is undertaken.10.
The CAC directs that the CAC Chair to reference the following CAC recommendation, adopted September 6, 2012, in transmitting this recommendation to the SFMTA Board:

Motion 120802.01
The CAC urges the SFMTA to consider the draft policies for On-Street Parking Management, with the understanding that it does not amend or modify existing parking policies or practices, nor modify code. The CAC further recommends that the document be retitled for reflective collection of existing policies and practices and not a set of policies being adopted. In cases where the document codifies existing practices, staff should empirically document that these are in fact, past practices before the SFMTA Board adopts the document.
 

 

Neighbor Grumbling Over Street Parking for Mercado Plaza Plan

Alex Bevk : sf.curbed – excerpt

The Mission Community Market is looking to expand their farmers market space on Bartlett Street into a permanent civic plaza, with permanent market stalls, pedestrian lighting, and street greening. Through a 2011 bond, the city has already dedicated $1.6M to pedestrian and public space improvements on Bartlett between 22nd and 21st streets. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?…
Interestingly enough, the project is sponsored by the New Mission Theater developers as an in-kind agreement for their project that backs up to Bartlett. The Planning Department, DPW, and SFMTA held a meeting last night on the proposed… (more)

Any time you see in-kind agreement, that means the SFMTA has agreed to re-direct transit fees from Muni operations to non-Muni projects. You can assume that every street project such as the Mercado Plaza project is going to drain milllions of dollars from Muni.

 

After draining millions of dollars from the Muni into these complete street projects, the SFMTA will claim they are broke and must raise the rates, (they just did that), and must sell more bonds or raise new taxes to pay for Muni operations.

 

Report: Muni Breakdowns Cost Commuters $4.2 Million Last Month Alone

by Dan McMenamin : sfappeal – excerpt

San Francisco Municipal Railway service disruptions cost commuters at least $50 million in economic production annually and the system remains far away from its on-time service goals, according to a report released today by city officials.
The quarterly report by San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency officials and city economist Ted Egan was requested earlier this year by Supervisor Scott Wiener, who held a hearing of the Board of Supervisors’ land use and economic development committee to discuss the report’s findings.
The report, which Wiener said he believed was the first of its kind in the city, found that Muni breakdowns cost at least $4.2 million in lost productivity for commuters in April, or at least $50 million each year…
Wiener is also considering various ways to boost revenue to fund Muni improvements.
Last week, he asked the city controller’s office to assess the economic impact of a surcharge of $1 to $3 that could be added to prices of tickets for large events such as baseball games and concerts and would go toward maintaining the Muni system… (more)

Suggestions for other revenue sources:
Portland City Club Report Recommends Taxing Bike Sales to pay for bike lanes

Time for SFMTA to quit spending all their money and their time on future perfect projects and get down and dirty with the engineers and mechanics and help them do the job of getting the people who need the Muni where they need to go. Leave the rest of us alone.

Comments welcome on the source site.