‘Airbnb for parking’ startup accelerates growth, spreading to seven cities

By Sara Castellanos : bizjournals – excerpt

The UpTake: Boston-based Spot Park, which officially launched its mobile app for iOS and Android last summer, plans to expand to Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle this year… (more)

Stay tuned… they will soon be joined by many more hopeful apps out to steal your parking bucks from the SFMTA.

The Solution to San Francisco’s Parking Problem isn’t What You Expect

by Noah Sanders : thebolditalic – excerpt

Let’s be frank: parking in San Francisco is a nightmare. We’re a dense city — more than 800,000 people on a seven by seven spit of land — with a surprisingly low number of on-street public parking spaces (265,000 as reported in 2010), and the quest to find an open slot for your vehicle can be one of the great frustrations of living in the City by the Bay. Parking isn’t a simple issue (nothing is in San Francisco), but according to the Examinercity supervisors Mark Farrell and Malia Cohen think a large part of our current parking crisis is due to ubiquitous construction parking permits. You’ve seen them: plasticky, red-and-white signs decreeing a rare stretch of available parking is reserved for the dualies and cement mixers of some massive construction project. Anyone who ignores the signs is asking for punishment. Now, supervisors Farrell and Cohen believe they have a solution: the Construction Parking Plan Law….

Potrero Hill Boosters president J.R. Eppler doesn’t see the Construction Parking Plan Law as an adequate solution to what he believes is a much bigger problem. Eppler says that parking problems caused by construction projects are just “a straw on the back of an already burdened camel.”…At the end of the day, “it’s not just a construction issue, “ Eppler says, it’s a complex parking issue that needs to be addressed with an equally comprehensive plan….

San Francisco is in the grip of some seriously complex growing pains, and though legislation like the Construction Parking Plan Law looks to address pieces of those problems, City Hall needs to start expanding its scope and hitting the full force of these issues head-on…. (more)

Luxury commuter buses hit bumps in SF

San Fran: Should Google Be Allowed to provide FREE Bus Rides for Its Employees–or do UNIONS Control All Transportation

By Stephen Frank   – excerpt

City Attorney’s office tries to stall Google Bus trial hearing 

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodrigue, SF Examiner, 3/15/15

Petitioners of a lawsuit against San Francisco’s commuter shuttle pilot program last week challenged a motion by the City Attorney’s Office to have more time to respond to the suit.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency created the pilot program last year to study the impact of the so-called Google Buses, private shuttles that transport tech workers to campuses around the region. The buses have attracted ire in San Francisco as symbols of tech-industry gentrification.

The Coalition for Fair Legal and Environmental Transit filed suit last year against Google, Apple, shuttle providers and The City to stall the program, alleging they failed to study impacts of exhaust in the air and stress on the asphalt. They also argue rents skyrocket near the shuttle stops, displacing people with the luck of living near them.

Last Wednesday’s filing came as Superior Court Judge Garrett L. Wong was on vacation. The trial is set for June, but the City Attorney’s Office pressed for a key pre-trial hearing on March 27 to be pushed back.

Wong will hear arguments Monday for rescheduling the hearing.

The effort to delay the hearing coincides with a State Assembly committee hearing on AB61, a bill which would legalize aspects of the commuter shuttle pilot program statewide. Approval by the committee may add legitimacy to the city attorney’s arguments that the pilot program is allowable, some insiders said…

… the bill’s language may in fact aid the petitioners’ case since it acknowledges that aspects of the shuttle pilot program are illegal… (more)

When you displace and inconvenience a majority of the population in order to privilege a minority group, you will not be welcome.  How many shuttles can San Francisco residents take?

Car Sharing Programs Need to Share Public Parking Spaces, Say Merchants

By Jessica Zimmer : potreroview – excerpt

As car sharing programs experience an increase in demand, Potrero Hill and Dogpatch merchants are concerned that the public parking spots set aside for the services are negatively impacting their customers and neighborhood traffic. 

In 2013 the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) approved a pilot project that created reserved parking spots for three roundtrip car share programs.  The project extends to 2016, and includes nonprofits City CarShare and Getaround, as well as ZipCar, a for-profit company. Pilot participants pay a monthly $225 fee for each of the reserved spots, are responsible for maintaining the spaces, as well as 25 feet in front of and behind them in lieu of street cleaning crews doing the work, and collect and share data with SFTMA about who uses the reserved spots and how. Car share users are required to bring the vehicles back to the reserved spots…. (more)

San Francisco Removing Dozens Of Parking Spaces In ‘Daylighting’ Plan To Improve Pedestrian Safety

cbslocal – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – It’s getting harder for drivers to park in San Francisco, and it’s not just because of increased traffic. Some parking spots are actually disappearing, in the name of safety.

The Tenderloin is a tough neighborhood in just about every respect, and that includes parking. But in recent weeks, finding a space has become even tougher. “We call it daylighting,” said Tom Maguire of the SFMTA.

Daylighting is a fancy word for removing the parking spaces at busy pedestrian corners. The curb gets painted red at the former parking spot, the meter disappears. What’s left is what the city calls a safer intersection…

Frustrated drivers say they’re all for safety, but they’re also quick to point out that visibility is a two-way street. Joseph cited as an example pedestrians who are looking down at their phones. “Hey, you need to be paying attention to where you’re walking in society, period,” he said.

The city says safety comes first, and that means daylighting will come to a few more neighborhoods. “Places downtown, South of Market, in the Mission,” Maguire said… (more)

Parking crunch crimps growth at SF General

By Jerold Chinn : SFbay – excerpt

Parking at San Francisco General Hospital could soon get worse for patients and employees if a plan is not in place to figure out how the solve the parking situation, health officials said.  Health officials presented their dilemma to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Policy and Governance Committee last Friday seeking help from SFMTA staff to find solutions.

The Health Commission last Tuesday also passed a resolutions urging health officials to work collaboratively with the SFMTA find transportation and parking solutions for patients to access the hospital.

The hospital has been going through major renovations with a new hospital expected to open in December of this year and a proposed UCSF Research Building expected to open in 2019, said Kathy Jung, director of facilities and capital planning for the Department of Public Health.

Jung also said the hospital is planning to move its emergency care services from the south side to north side of campus, which will result in the loss of some parking: “Opening the new hospital and the changes to the campus that will follow have significant impact to the supply and demand of parking at SFGH.”

The hospital is expected to have an increase in demand and higher staffing levels once the new facilities are open, said Jung… (more)

Continue reading

Supe steamed over ‘culture’ of double-parking

The Disputed Parking Territory of the Upper Haight

by by Amy Stephenson : hoodline – excpert

Parking in the Upper Haight has long been a hot-button issue for the community. Not only is the Upper Haight and Cole Valley home to about 21,000 people in only 30 square blocks, but the Haight’s also one of the most popular tourist destinations city-wide. With that much going on, every inch counts.

Last year, as you might recall, the city announced a pilot program to dedicate public parking spots to care share programs. We started with seven spots, but that number increased when the city moved into an expansion phase of the pilot, as we reported in January.

Since its announcement, the program has seen resistance in the Haight. Most recently, dissent has taken the form of a Change.org petition (the petition is a moveon petition) couching the pilot program as an attack on public space and the working class of San Francisco. As of this writing, it has 294 signatures out of 300 needed to get into the hands of Ed Reiskin, Director of Transportation, and MTS spokesperson Andy Thornley.

Per the petition:

“It is more expensive to rent a car by the hour than the day. If SFMTA decides they like the revenue this pilot program brings , the number of these private use parking spaces will increase from 450 spaces to 900 spaces city wide. They will no longer be available for your (public) use. Guess who profits.  [ …] These companies have misled the public into believing these actions will help save the environment, when in fact it will put more cars on the streets creating more pollution. This selfish corporate thinking compromises the local workers who need their vehicles to transport the tools of their various trades to the job sites.”

Another petition has sprung up in response to the first. It was created by Tim Wayne, a Haight Ashbury resident, a few weeks ago. Wayne believes that the working class in San Francisco do want car share spots, as a space gets used by more people if it’s for car sharing, as opposed to a single parking space for a private vehicle.  Wayne’s petition is short, but his Nextdoor post on his position was longer (posted with permission):

“For those of us who don’t own cars, we rely on the Muni. But, sometimes, there are errands for which the Muni just is not suited: trips to Costco, to Trader Joe’s, an emergency trip to the bank, etc. For these trips, there are by-the-hour carshare services like City Carshare.  For me, City Carshare is a god-send. City Carshare enabled me to not think twice about getting rid of my car. I use it about twice a week: once to run some errand and every Friday to take my dog to dog-agility class.”

To add to the parking spot kerfuffle, the Public Realm Plan, as we announced last week, will also be taking spots from the Haight, in order to install Muni and pedestrian bulbouts and parklets. According to Lily Langlois, 36 spots along Haight Street will be dedicated to the Public Realm Plan’s street improvements in its current draft. Looking just at Haight Street, that accounts for 8 percent of total parking from Central to Stanyan Streets.

Losing 36 additional parking spots has prompted some neighbors to reconsider the big picture of parking loss in the Haight. We’ve noticed a renewed interest in parking issues since the announcement of the Public Realm Plan in neighborhood social media groups, so we wanted to throw it to you. Is the loss of more than 36 parking spaces worth the potential community benefit of fewer cars and more public spaces? Tell us in the comments… (more)

Do sign those petitions that you feel strongest about and do write your comments on the source article.

Public Realm Plan

Rob Anderson and Mary Miles Take Aim at the SFMTA’s Plans for Polk Street

This was the team that tied SFGov up in knots with an injunction for four long years.

Mary Miles (SB #230395)
Attorney at Law
for Coalition for Adequate Review
San Francisco, CA 94102
Edward Reiskin, Director
Roberta Boomer, Board Secretary
and Members of the Board of Directors of the Municipal Transportation Agency
#1 South Van Ness Avenue, 7th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
DATE: March 3, 2015
This is Public Comment on Agenda Item 12, the “Polk Streetscape Project” (“Polk Project” or “the Project”), on the MTA Board’s March 3, 2015 Agenda. Under the Brown Act and CEQA, you are legally obligated to accept and consider this Comment and to place it in all public files on the Project. Therefore, please assure that this Comment has been distributed to all members of the MTA Board and placed in all applicable files on the Project.
The “categorical exemptions” invoked do not apply to the Project, and therefore you may not lawfully approve the Project or any part of it as proposed, since such approval will violate the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) (Pub. Res. Code §§21000 et seq.)
The Project proposes to reduce traffic and turning capacity on Polk and other Streets by eliminating existing parking lanes, reducing traffic lanes and installing obstructions to traffic flow and turning on this busy commercial corridor.
The unusual and highly inconvenient scheduling of this hearing before the MTA Board after 3:00 p.m., on a day with an extraordinarily long MTA Board Agenda shows the MTA Board’s contempt for the public and the significant impacts of the Project. The hearing should be continued to a date and time when the public can be heard without waiting hours for hearings on unrelated matters, and where the public’s comments will receive the Board’s full and serious attention. The hearing precludes public attendance by many people, including all those people who have to be at work. Combined with the short notice, that scheduling deprives the public of the opportunity to meaningfully participate in the environmental review and administrative proceedings on the Project.
On January 15, 2015, the San Francisco Planning Department issued a “Certificate of Determination of Exemption from Environmental Review” (“Exemption”) claiming that the Project was categorically exempt under Classes 1, 2, and 4 of CEQA, invoking 14 Cal. Code Regs. [“Guidelines”] §§ 15301, 15302, and 15304. None of those categorical exemptions apply to this Project. Further, the significant cumulative impacts on traffic, transit, parking, loading, and air quality caused by the Van Ness BRT project one block away, and by the CPMC Project at Van Ness Avenue at Geary Boulevard, make the Polk Project not categorically exempt. (Guidelines §15300.2) Both of those Projects also present “unusual circumstances” precluding categorical exemption of the Polk Project.
1. The Polk Project Does Not Fit Within The Categorical Exemptions Invoked… (more)
This is not the only legal threat that we know of. We heard from other attorneys at the hearings. We will watch this closely.

Pedestrian, Bicycle Plan Approved For 20-Blocks Of San Francisco’s Polk Street

cbslocal – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency unanimously approved a pedestrian and bicycle improvement plan Tuesday that will span 20 blocks of Polk Street.

The project drew dozens of San Francisco residents, including bicycle and pedestrian advocates supporting the project and residents and businesses concerned about the loss of parking and vehicle access.

Numerous cyclists who spoke during the public comment period said they felt scared traveling on Polk Street and urged the board to approve a protected bike lane in both directions.

The plan approved by the board today includes bike lanes that are not completely separated from traffic… (more)