Alcohol, Traffic Top Neighbors’ Concerns About Pro Soccer At Kezar Stadium

by Jonathan Gerfen :  hoodline – excerpt

As we reported yesterday, the new North American Soccer League has proposed to make Kezar Stadium the home field for its first West Coast professional team, the San Francisco Deltas.

If the proposal is approved by San Francisco Recreation and Parks, the Deltas would host 15-20 home games at Kezar Stadium, beginning in 2017. The games would mostly take place on Saturday evenings, with the occasional game on Wednesday evening or during the day on Saturday.

Representatives for the Deltas shared more details on their plans at a recent meeting of the Inner Sunset Park Neighbors. Though the team’s owner, Brian Andrés Helmick, was unable to attend due to an NASL event on the East Coast, director of stadium operations Alexis Haselberger and PR representative Sam Lauter were on-site to talk to neighbors. Both of them live within walking distance of Kezar, and made the case that they’ll also be affected by any changes.

As predicted, the two major topics of concern expressed by neighbors were the league’s request to sell alcohol during games, and how thousands of soccer fans coming to the games might impact traffic and parking issues in the neighborhood (more)

SFMTA to consider changes to ‘Google bus’ program

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

Protesters block two buses, transporting workers to Facebook and Yahoo in Silicon Valley, at the corner of Valencia and 24th streets on Tuesday.

The future of the “Google bus” program may no longer include the use of Muni stops — instead pointing the commuter shuttles toward hubs in the downtown area and elsewhere, according to legislation introduced Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors.

After two weeks of negotiations, seven supervisors supported a resolution calling on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors to approve the commuter shuttle program for one year, with key provisions resulting from a tentative deal reached during talks this week between stakeholders.

The provisions would set the stage for modifying the program, possibly within six months.

Among the provisions is the analysis of disallowing commuter shuttles to use Muni bus stops citywide. Instead, the shuttles would use hubs, such as parking lots in the South of Market Area, and commuters could take public transit to those hubs. Another provision would require a review of the program within six months.

The transit agency is expected to take up the issue on Feb. 16, according to SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose. “We look forward to working with both boards, the community and other stakeholders to finalize an effective and responsible commuter shuttle plan,” Rose said.

If the brokered deal is ultimately agreed upon, the environmental appeal filed by SEIU 1021, a labor union with 6,000 members, would be dismissed by the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 23. The appeal has forced the negotiation.

A formal commitment from those involved in the negotiations — including technology companies Apple, Google, Facebook and Genentech, as well as the Bay Area Council — remains outstanding on some aspects and talks are expected to continue.

Those supporting the resolution included board President London Breed, along with supervisors David Campos, Jane Kim, Norman Yee, Aaron Peskin, John Avalos and Eric Mar… (more)

 

 

New plan for M-Ocean View subway line unveiled

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

By moving the M-Ocean View subway line underground, Muni hopes to avoid delays and decrease travel times.

Nearly 45 years ago, Muni trains boldly went where no San Francisco train had gone before: underground.

That underground network travels underneath Market Street and Twin Peaks. But there it stops.

Trains west of those hills unearth at West Portal Station, mixing with cars, pedestrians and more. Planners say that slows the subway systemwide.

“I think we built half a rapid transit system,” Liz Brisson, told the San Francisco Examiner, “now we need to build the other half.”…

The train would remain underground through the rest of its route to Parkmerced.

The previous plan ran the train underground mainly underneath 19th Avenue, but not at West Portal or at the line’s end by Parkmerced.

“This is a dramatic increase in the scope of the project,” Brisson said.

It’s also a dramatic increase in cost. The project is estimated to run $2.5 billion to $3 billion. The last time San Francisco ventured to build a new train tunnel of this magnitude was the Central Subway, the hotly contested linkage between Union Square and Chinatown…

That future may be far off. Right now, the project is in the “pre-environmental study” phase, according to the SFMTA…(more)

Lee’s strange transit policy

by Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

How are we supposed to run the buses without any drivers?

Here’s a strange one that’s mostly under the radar: Mayor Ed Lee has introduced a ballot measure that would direct all future increases in revenue for Muni into capital projects, not ongoing operations.

I don’t get it: You can’t run buses without bus drivers. Investing in new rolling stock, rails, and train cars is lovely, but not if nobody’s around to run them.

But that, as I read it, is what this measure says. Check it out for yourself:

It shall be the official policy of the City and County of San Francisco that proceeds from any revenue measure passed by the voters between 2016 and the year 2030 that the City decides to spend on transportation should be directed towards San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency infrastructure and vehicles, road repaving and pothole repair through San Francisco Public Works, “Vision Zero” safety projects and other bicycle and pedestrian safety infrastructure projects, and investment in regional transportation infrastructure improvements and vehicles that serve San Franciscans such as BART and Caltrain and/or a second Transbay train tunnel, and that such proceeds shall not be directed to general administrative and personnel costs other than what is necessary to implement the aforementioned capital projects.

Interesting to see what the unions representing Muni works have to say about that.

The measure comes before the Rules Committee Thursday/11 at 11am(more)

 

An Uber Labor Movement Born in a LaGuardia Parking Lot

By : newyorker – excerpt

Last Tuesday afternoon, at LaGuardia Airport’s Lot 7, fifty Uber drivers logged out of the app and staged a strike. Lot 7 is where drivers typically wait to pick up arriving passengers, and it was full of rows of black and gray sedans and S.U.V.s. The protesters stood at the entrance to the lot, holding hand-drawn signs that read, “Support us we have family too” and “Bring back rates to where they were!” Any car leaving to take a job had to pass through the gauntlet. If the crowd determined that the driver was working for Uber, it slapped signs against the driver’s windows, blew plastic whistles, and shouted, “Shame!” and “You work for Uber; you are a slave!”

On January 29th, Uber had reduced fares in more than eighty cities in the U.S. and Canada. Drivers in some of those cities, including San Francisco, San Diego, Tampa, and New York City, have reacted with strikes and protests. One of the many barriers to sustainable organizing for those working for sharing-economy apps like Uber and Lyft is that the flexible, cloud-based nature of the service creates a relatively tenuous connection to other workers. Uber drivers have protested policy changes in the past, but this round appears to be more widespread and intense than before… (more)

Add this to the fact that Uber was one of the Super Bowl sponsors that was supposed to be the driver of choice for the audience, and they could not pick people up after the Super Bowl because they couldn’t get there. All the traffic was moving against them.

Transportation Sustainability Program February 2016 Updates

Public letter from the SF Planning Department

Dear San Franciscans,

Exciting news!

On September 27, 2013, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 743 making changes to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Provisions of the bill affect the environmental review process in San Francisco, specifically how the Planning Department analyzes aesthetics, parking and automobile delay impacts.

State officials are proposing a new method of measurement regarding transportation analysis that recognizes the benefits of projects that reduce vehicular traffic. This guidance, last released in January 2016, calls for a measurement known as “vehicle miles traveled.” Vehicle miles traveled, also known as VMT, measures the amount and distance that a project might cause people to drive, including the number of passengers within a vehicle. The measurement aligns better with adopted state and City policies, it’s easier to calculate, and it will give us a better picture of the environmental effects of projects.

Given the inevitable change at the state level, the time is right for the City to make the change to this new measurement for environmental review. On March 3, 2016, a resolution will be in front of the Planning Commission that, if adopted as presented by staff, will remove automobile delay as a significant impact on the environment and replace it with a vehicle miles traveled threshold for all CEQA environmental determinations, including active projects, going forward.

Check out our updated Align page for more information.

More Updates : The Transportation Sustainability Fee has been approved!

The Transportation Sustainability Fee is projected to provide $1.2 billion in transportation improvements over 30 years, funding projects that help relieve traffic congestion, reduce crowding on buses and trains, and create safer streets. Specific improvements could include more Muni buses and trains; improving reliability on Muni’s busiest routes; more comfortable and faster regional transit; a better-connected bike network and safer sidewalks and intersections.

Proposed amendments to the fee program are currently under review at the Board of Supervisors. Be sure to visit our Invest page for updates.

Transportation Demand Management: SHIFT
On February 11, 2016: Planning Department staff will provide a brief overview on the Transportation Sustainability Program’s Shift component, the proposed Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Ordinance. TDM describes strategies or measures that incentivize sustainable ways of getting around. These types of travel choices are good for the environment, help manage congestion and improve the efficiency of the transportation network.  It’s about shifting people from driving alone in their cars to taking transit, biking or other efficient travel methods. Visit our Shift page for more information.

Upcoming Meetings:

Thursday, February 11, noon:
Noon – City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 400
Planning Commission Informational Hearing regarding the Transportation Sustainability Program, with a focus on feedback regarding SHIFT

Thursday, March 3, noon:
Noon – City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 400
Planning Commission Resolution regarding ALIGN (removal of automobile delay from environmental analysis)

If you have specific questions, please contact: TSP@sfgov.org
中文詢問請電: (415) 575-9010
Para información en Español llamar al: (415) 575-9010
Para sa impormasyon sa Tagalog tumawag sa: (415) 575-9121

Angry Uber Drivers Threaten to Make a Mess of the Super Bowl

wired – excerpt

This Sunday, Super Bowl 50 will thrust San Francisco—and Silicon Valley—into the national spotlight. Though the city is officially hosting Super Bowl festivities, the game itself will be played a long drive to the south at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, the suburban home of tech giants such as Intel. One of the easiest ways to get from the city to the stadium is to summon an Uber. But that might not be so easy tomorrow, if drivers follow through on their pledge to protest their wages by turning off their apps ahead of the big game.

A movement to boycott the Super Bowl is bubbling up among Uber drivers in online forums and on social media threads. Protesters at a recent demonstration outside Uber’s San Francisco headquarters also called for a driver protest.

One flyer circulating online urges drivers to take Sunday off to make the point, and to spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #UberSuperBowlStrike. Another calls for drivers to convene at Candlestick Park—where the NFL’s 49ers used to play in San Francisco proper—likely in order to replicate a  driver caravan protest that snarled traffic on Monday in San Francisco.

All of which puts Uber in a particularly delicate position. The company snagged an official partnership with the Super Bowl Host Committee, stealing away an exclusive lot for pick-ups and drop-offs 15 minutes away from the stadium, plus a special “lounge” for riders after the game—a move seemingly designed to draw good publicity for the oft-criticized company. But that positive attention will fade quickly if drivers leave Super Bowl fans stranded… (more)

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving company.

‘Google Bus’ pilot program nets last-­minute extension

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

The trial “Google Bus” program will stay in place for a few more weeks, receiving an extension from The City’s transit agency.

The Commuter Shuttle Program, as it’s known, was supposed to go into effect Feb. 1. Now it rests in regulatory limbo because the Board of Supervisors was scheduled last week to vote on an appeal under the California Environmental Quality Act.

The appeal, filed by SEIU 1021 and others, argues the shuttle program should have a full environmental review.

But the board postponed the ongoing debate until Feb. 9. Until that appeal is voted on by the board, shuttle enforcement will continue as usual, the San Francisco Examiner learned in a memo from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Ed Reiskin, director of transportation for the SFMTA, issued an “enforcement directive” to the agency on Friday to continue “current enforcement” of commuter shuttles, more commonly known as “Google Buses.”

The enforcement can only continue until March 18, Reiskin wrote, which SFMTA planners said was the extent of an extension of the program issued by the Planning Department.

The SFMTA Board of Directors on Tuesday was briefed on the future of the commuter shuttle program.

Many commuter shuttles operate inside The City, but the shuttles subject to the most criticism ferry tech workers from San Francisco to Silicon Valley daily.

Hank Wilson, program manager of the Commuter Shuttle Program, explained to the SFMTA board that depending on the Board of Supervisors’ decision — whether to uphold the environmental appeal — the SFMTA may be facing many unknowns.

If the supervisors deny the environmental appeal, Wilson said, the SFMTA board would need to vote on a revised version of the Commuter Shuttle Program on Feb. 16. If the board upholds the environmental appeal, things get trickier.

One board director, Cheryl Brinkman, asked, “Do we lose the authority to regulate at all? What happens in that situation?”

“That’s my main concern,” Wilson answered, noting the SFMTA may not be able to regulate the buses at all.

“If the program is not approved, we’ll be back to pre­-pilot days,” he said. “We won’t collect any fees, we won’t collect any data, and shuttles will be free to stop wherever they want.” Patrick Monette­-Shaw, a frequent public meeting attendee, presented the board with photos of Muni buses blocked by gleaming white “Google Buses.” The buses forced Muni riders to board in the street… (more)

Federal Review of MTC

Federal Review of MTC’s Role in the Bay Area Transportation Planning Process

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) are reviewing  MTC’s performance as the transportation planning agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. They are largely responsible for allocating your tax dollars to the various local transportation authorities. Are your transportation priorities being met?

If you have any opinions on how the MTC prioritizes projects, you may share them in a letter or via email by March 3, 2016 to:

Stew Sonnenberg, stew.sonnenberg@dot.gov
FHWA California Division
650 Capitol Mall, Suite 4-100
Sacramento, CA 95814

Ted Matley, ted.matley@dot.gov
Federal Transit Administration, TRO-9
90 Seventh Street, Suite 15-300
San Francisco, CA 94103-6701

If anyone wants to start a sample letter we can post one.

San Francisco Awards its first Bus Rapid Transit Construction Contract

SFMTA – (excerpt) dated Tuesday, July 7, 2015

…“This milestone is the latest example of how the City of San Francisco is coming together to get big projects done and improve our transportation network for everyone,” said Chairman of the SFMTA Board of Directors, Tom Nolan. “Opening in 2019, this project is an essential bus rapid transit option that will provide a quicker ride through a major corridor.”

The SFMTA has authorized a new integrated project delivery method that can be used across the agency as a way to deliver projects more efficiently. Under this new project delivery method, the awarded construction manager/general contractor, Walsh Construction Company for Van Ness BRT, will assist and advise the project team in completing the project’s design and planning its construction, including recommendations for schedule improvements and cost savings opportunities. Once the design is finalized, a guaranteed maximum price for the project will be negotiated. Walsh Construction Company has extensive experience building public infrastructure and transit projects nationally.

“One of our top priorities is to deliver key projects that make our transportation more reliable,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “The new integrated project delivery method allows for much-needed collaboration between our agency and the construction manager before the project begins. Pre-construction coordination is a win-win for the people doing the work, for the people impacted by it, and for the people who depend on these projects to keep San Francisco moving.”… (more)

How will this cut costs? How can you negotiate a deal on an unfinished design? This sounds like what happened to the Super Bowl negotiations. How did that turn out? Comments appreciated. They just spent 1.4 million dollars in 2010. Now they are going to re-construct what they just did?

RELATED: Does this mean Van Ness Avenue will be under construction for three years?
Diagram showing general timeline for project through service implementation

This seems to contradict the press release: The Van Ness Corridor Transit Improvement Project team is currently in the process of finalizing the design, determining the construction sequence and schedule, and finalizing the traffic management plan. When the design is completed, the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) and SFMTA will mutually agree on a Guaranteed Maximum Price, or the project may then be bid out… (more)