Citizens help stop SFMTA’s proposed service cuts to 19 Polk bus

by Peter Warfield : sfbayview – excerpt

San Francisco citizen activists and others appear to have succeeded – at least for now – in helping persuade the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board not to approve the SFMTA staff’s plan to eliminate all three stops closest to the Main Library and Civic Center on the northbound 19 Polk bus line.

The SFMTA had planned to eliminate the stops as part of the agency’s Seventh and Eighth Street Safety Project, presented at the regular SFMTA Board meeting Nov. 15, 2016.

The board voted instead to approve all other elements of the plan. The plan includes installation of parking-protected bike-only lanes adjacent to the sidewalk, bus boarding islands instead of curb stops, and bus-only lanes along multiple blocks of Seventh and Eighth streets south of Market Street… (more)

 

 

State launches formal investigation into BART video starring Draymond Green

by By : eastbaytimes – excerpt

OAKLAND — A state agency on Wednesday launched an investigation into allegations that BART illegally used public funds to campaign for its $3.5 billion bond after it aired a video featuring Warriors’ star Draymond Green.

Fair Political Practices Commission spokesman Jay Wierenga said the agency would not pursue a similar complaint that state Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, filed in October. If the investigation, which typically takes six months to one year to complete, proves BART broke the law, the transit agency could face fines of up to $5,000 for each violation, Wierenga said…(more)

Claims against Illegal use of public funds to finance regional BART bond ballot initiative filed by Senator Glazer

The hacker who hacked San Francisco mass transit got hacked himself

Kif Leswing : sfgate – excerpt (includes video)

Over the weekend, San Francisco’s Muni system got hacked with ransomware.

Someone got into Muni’s computer system and threatened to lock its administrators out until they paid 100 bitcoin, or about $73,000.

Muni had to make all rides free on Saturday, although most systems are now back in working order.

But in a stroke of irony, it turns out the person who hacked Muni ended up getting hacked himself, Brian Krebs reported on Tuesday morning…(more)

 

SF’s Vision Zero: intuitive, radical, and failed

By : sfgate – excerpt

Vision Zero, San Francisco’s declared goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2024, has failed so far. 25 people, including 12 people walking and 3 biking, have been killed on our streets this year, compared to 24 by this point in 2014, when the goal was set.

Like many of the most powerful and attractive ideas, Vision Zero is radical but also deeply intuitive: Of course people shouldn’t die on our streets. It’s not just that they shouldn’t die—they don’t have to die. Sweden, where Vision Zero was created in 1997, has cut pedestrian deaths by half and now has a rate of traffic deaths less than one fourth that of the United States…(more)

This is not news. Ed Reiskin admitted this months ago. The US government has come up with studies showing that a huge uptick in deadly accidents are being blamed on apps. Convincing people to go back to defensive behavior might be a better approach. Everyone needs to look where they are going, not assume they are going to seen.

Retired San Francisco Public Works Chief’s Opposition to Geary BRT (Red Carpet)

Why I Oppose the Geary Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System (The “Red Carpet”)

The Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA or “Muni”) proposes to spend $300M to tear up the median along Geary Boulevard and construct two “buses only” lanes painted red (the “red carpet”) down the middle of the street. The 120 trees planted in the median would be removed. Angle parking would be replaced by parallel parking. Why?

The City’s “Fact Sheet” says the Bus Rapid Transit Project will:

  • “Improve bus travel times and on-time performance”
  • “Improve safety and access for all users”
  • “Enhance neighborhood livability and community vitality”

Really?

Travel time. Muni wants to speed buses through downtown. That works. Then they want to slow them down between Van Ness and Masonic. Why? And then City staff admitted that west of 25th Avenue, the project will cost $18M and MAY save ONE MINUTE. Does MTA have too much money?

On-time performance. In the Richmond District, the buses will run in a slot down Geary Boulevard, one behind another. If one bus is delayed, there is no room for other buses to pass. Express buses will be eliminated – all buses will make all stops. If your idea of on-time performance is no buses for twenty minutes, followed by six buses in a row, then welcome to today’s Muni.

Safety. Muni’s “Vision Zero” presentation shows 6 accidents per year in the 48 block Richmond District. When I worked for the city I managed a study of high accident intersections. Geary Boulevard in the Richmond NEVER made the “Top 100” most dangerous intersections. This argument is bogus.

Access for all users. Eliminating some bus stops would make the elderly and handicapped travel farther to reach a bus stop. Bicycles are banned from the buses only lanes, even when the lanes are at the edge of the street. How does this improve access for all users?

Neighborhood livability. Start by tearing out 120 trees. Put narrow concrete medians in the middle where an occasional stick tree can be planted (“one-for-one replacement”). Remove most angle parking forcing shoppers to double park or circle the block and park in front of residences, “temporarily” blocking driveways, but it’s ok, City dwellers shouldn’t own cars anyway.

Community vitality. Provide a red painted concrete slot through a vibrant community commercial district. Then change the zoning so that Geary can look like Van Ness. Then remove parking spaces causing small businesses to fail. (Merchants along Mission Street report a drop in sales of as much as 1/3 since their “red carpet’ went in.) But that’s ok, because a City staff person said “everyone knows there’s too much retail in San Francisco anyway”. After all, you can always shop on Amazon.

Still feel like spending $300M of your tax dollars? I don’t.

Vitaly B. Troyan, PE
Chief, Public Works Bureau of Engineering (ret)

from redcarpetmess.org

Sign the petition and support our efforts to Stop the Spread of Red.

Muni Hackers Vow To Release 30GB Of Sensitive Data If Ransom Isn’t Paid

by Kevin Montgomery : hoodline – excerpt

The hackers behind the ransomware attack against Muni’s computer network this past weekend are continuing to escalate their threats against San Francisco’s transportation agency. Beyond controlling 2,112 of SFMTA computers, the hackers now claim to have stolen 30 gigabytes of sensitive departmental data and promise to release it if their demands are not met.

Yesterday, Hoodline learned the hackers, going by the pseudonym “Andy Saolis,” were demanding a 100 Bitcoin ($73,000) ransom to return control of nearly 25 percent Muni’s computer network.

The deadline for sending ransom payment passed early Monday morning—a point at which the hackers had previously claimed they would close their email account, leaving the department without a method to purchase the password to regain access to their network.

Instead, as the deadline passed, Saolis sent a canned statement to several media outlets, including Motherboard, the Examiner and Forbes, with new claims that they extracted information from department computers before encrypting them and locking Muni out.

“I hope Company Try to Fix it Correctly and We Can Advise Them But if they Don’t , We Will Publish 30G Databases and Documents include contracts , employees data , LLD Plans, customers and … to Have More Impact to Company To Force Them to do Right Job!,” Saolis wrote in an email sent to the media.

The hackers, who acknowledged they do not reside in the United States, did not specify what they meant by “LLD Plans.”

According to a list, obtained by Hoodline, of Muni’s machines currently encrypted by the hackers, Saolis likely has control of the department’s payroll service, email servers, Quickbooks, several MySQL database servers, and personal computers for hundreds of employees…(more)

San Francisco’s largest taxi company up for sale

By Ryan Levi : KQED – excerpt

The blows keep coming for San Francisco’s struggling taxi industry. The city’s largest taxi company, the bankrupt Yellow Cab Cooperative, is up for sale.

A series of large personal injury lawsuits against the company combined with the growing popularity of ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft pushed Yellow Cab into financial insolvency.

Taxi operator CityWide has already submitted a bid to buy Yellow Cab and its 500 or so cabs. Flywheel, formerly DeSoto Cab, is expected to follow suit.

So what does this mean for the state of taxis in San Francisco? Is this a sign of darker days ahead? Or is it just part of the new ride-share reality?

Mark Gruberg drives for Green Cab and is a board member of the San Francisco Taxi Worker Alliance. Count him among those who see the Yellow Cab sale as particularly bad news.

“I think it’s a very dire warning to everybody else,” he said. “The loss of Yellow does not bode well for the rest of the industry.”

He’s worried about whether the rest of the city’s cabbies will be able to absorb the hundreds of taxi medallions that Yellow Cab is currently operating… (more)

Rough waters ahead: Repair work for dilapidated ferry ramps face delays, cost increase

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfweekly – excerpt

A San Francisco ferry terminal used by Golden Gate Ferry passengers is dilapidated and badly in need of repair — which was already budgeted and pledged by the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District.

But those repairs are now delayed and facing a cost increase of $3.3 million after Sausalito neighbors complained about repairs to a ferry facility in their town.

The projects are linked, meaning Sausalito’s delays are, by extension, San Francisco’s as well, according to the Golden Gate Bridge district…(more)

Transit director: ‘Unknown’ if Trump threat to federal funding will hurt Muni, SF streets

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

The recent win of President-elect Donald Trump has sent sanctuary cities into a scramble, with San Francisco agencies asking: Will Trump cut major funds for San Francisco?

The question gained real gravity after Trump pledged to cut funding from sanctuary cities across the U.S., who aim to shield undocumented immigrants from federal agents. Mayor Ed Lee declared last week that San Francisco would remain a sanctuary city.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin told his employees in a mass email Wednesday that threats to Muni’s funding are “unknown.”

In the email, which Reiskin sent Wednesday morning as a post-election message to his staff, he outlined potential peril. “We do receive a considerable amount of federal funds as part of our capital budget,” he wrote.

That funding comes in the form of grants disbursed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, in part, and is the basis for most all of the SFMTA’s capital projects, such as the Central Subway in Chinatown or the proposed Bus Rapid Transit routes on Geneva, Geary and Van Ness avenues… (more)

Good time to write the federal representatives and let them know how you feel about these projects. DOT contacts: TBD

Could supes’ request to sign off on road closures put a chill on events?

By Tessa Love : bizjournals – excerpt

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors wants to sign off on all road closures for events in the city, and the Chamber of Commerce is not happy about it… (more)