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)

 

SFMTA Approves Residential Parking Permit Areas For Alamo Square, Panhandle

CBS – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors on Tuesday unanimously approved the creation of a residential parking permit area in the neighborhoods surrounding Alamo Square Park and the Panhandle.

The plan was approved despite concerns expressed by residents at Tuesday’s meeting that the permit harms faith-based organizations and low-income residents, among others.

Residents who opposed the residential parking permit for the neighborhood, referred to as Area Q, said during a public comment period at the meeting at City Hall Tuesday that charging residents to park their vehicles is unfair to those who cannot afford to pay the $110 a year to keep a permit… (more)

Expect congestion next three years: Lombard, Polk, and Van Ness construction projects to run simultaneously

By Susan Dyer Reynolds : marinatimes – excerpt

In San Francisco, where extensive construction work has taken over the city’s neighborhoods and business districts, it seems almost absurd to attempt three enormous, overlapping projects on and around three major Northside thoroughfares, but that’s exactly what the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has planned. Here’s the latest news on the Polk Streetscape project, the Van Ness Transit Corridor Improvement and Bus Rapid Transit project, and the Lombard Street Invest in Neighborhoods Initiative… (more)

The author wants to know how you feel about these plans so let her know. Also let the city officials know. Save Polk Street has a letter here you can sign if you like:

http://www.savepolkstreet.com/

RELATED:
Future of Polk Street to be decided Tuesday – maybe

SFMTA Cuts Block of Polk Bike Lane Fought By Visionless Mayor’s Optometrist

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

The SFMTA has nixed a block of protected bike lane planned on Polk Street, where merchants including Mayor Ed Lee’s optometrist have vocally opposed it to preserve car parking…

SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin ordered the reduction, as shown in emails [PDF] obtained by Madeleine Savit, who founded Folks for Polk to advocate for a safer street. Reiskin and the SFMTA Board of Directors are mayoral appointees.

The Polk redesign, which is up for a vote by the SFMTA Board of Directors on Tuesday, has been fiercely opposed by a group of merchants called “Save Polk Street,” which has spread misinformation in its campaign to preserve parking. Under the proposed plan, partial bike lanes would be installed by removing about 30 percent of the 320 parking spaces on Polk, or 8 percent of parking spaces within a block of the street…

“I’ve heard from many different groups,” Lee told Streetsblog. “I know we want to make the streets safer, make it bike-friendly, small businesses don’t want to lose parking for their constituents… I can’t have a particular position on it except to endorse the most balanced approach that they have because there’s issues that should not be in conflict. We shouldn’t promote bicycle safety over pedestrian safety over cars and parking. I think they’re all going to be important.”

“We have to look at the future — what is it that thoroughfare suggests to us? And how do we take a look at that future and [find] the safest, expedient route that balances the different modes of transportation people have, but also supports the businesses at the same time. If it takes more time, then I’m going to suggest that more time should be taken.”(more)

Please send a letter to the Mayor and our city officials to let them know how you feel about the disruptions on our city streets, and speak at the March 3 MTA Board Meeting at City Hall, room 400, around 2:30 PM if you can.

For your convenience there is a Form letter here.

Thank you for taking a stand on this important issue.

Are Google Buses Already Legal? Yes and No

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfweekly – excerpt

Disrupt the law, legalize later.

That’s the modus operandi of tech companies such as Airbnb and Uber, which innovate in ways old-fashioned laws often don’t address. It’s also seemingly the tactic used by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to justify its pilot program to legally allow corporate shuttles, like the infamous Google buses, to use Muni bus stops.

Except maybe Google bus illegality is more clear cut than initially thought. California’s state vehicle code right now specifically outlaws any bus from using public bus stops, save for school buses, according to a state lawmaker.

State Vehicle Code 22500(i) was explicitly called out by Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), who is seeking to change the law in favor of corporate shuttles. Allen introduced AB 61, which would change state vehicle code to allow local transit agencies (such as the SFMTA, which runs Muni) to grant permission for private entities to use municipal bus stops. The change would allow for even more Google bus-style shuttles to proliferate on city streets across the state.

But the bill’s existence raises an interesting question: Why seek to legalize something unless it is illegal? And if it’s illegal, then how are those corporate shuttles getting away with pulling over at Muni stops across San Francisco?… (more)

AB 61 – Assembly Member Travis Allen: is sponsoring a bill that many in San Francisco oppose. Read and decide for yourself: https://legiscan.com/CA/text/AB61/id/1055426

Send comments and letters to the committee members:

State reps on the Senate Transportation and Housing Committees: http://stran.senate.ca.gov/

State Assembly Committee on Transportation:
http://atrn.assembly.ca.gov/

More links are here.

 

The SFMTA’s New Mandatory “DOUBLE RIGHT TURN” at Fell and Masonic is Off to a Rough Start

sfcitizen – excerpt

Well it seems that making the #3 lane of southbound Masonic a mandatory right at Fell is backing the Evening Drive all the way back to Fulton.

Background, from last week.

Boy, these orange and black signs sure look permanent, huh? One supposes that the orange color says, “Hey, look at me, the new sign!”

You know, I thought the SFMTA hated DOUBLE RIGHT TURNS but now they’re enshrined? Mmmm… (more)

Muni’s Plans for Mission Street Could Impact Bus Stops, Parking and Traffic

Mission Street’s public transit is about to change – but not quickly. If you want to have a say, attend tonight’s meeting at the Women’s Building from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. or check out the website here and fill out an online survey.

In its Muni Forward program, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is thinking of making at least four changes on Mission between South Van Ness and Cesar Chavez Streets  that will be implemented in 2017. The biggest impact on riders would be a plan to reduce stops from nearly one every block to a stop every other block.

The proposed changes also include bus bulbs at 16th and 20th Streets,  right turn pockets, left turn restrictions,  and redesigning the street to make the traffic lanes wider than the existing nine feet.

The right turn pockets would remove three parking spaces, but would also prevent the backup that happens when a driver is trying to make a right turn, but can’t because of pedestrians crossing in front of them.  The current design, officials said, means that buses end up crossing the dividing yellow line to pass right-turning vehicles that get stuck.

At present there are some left turn restrictions, but the new proposal would limit left turns from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays for the entire stretch from South Van Ness to Cesar Chavez.

An official from the SFMTA presenting the plan to the Mission Merchant’s Association today said the space opened up by taking away bus stops could be used for parking spaces or bike corrals. No decisions have been made… (more)

SF General Hospital seeks solutions to parking headache

By sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco General Hospital has a parking problem, and without intervention it may only get worse.

That was the message at a Health Commission meeting Tuesday, where officials said new construction projects at San Francisco General may need as many as 500 new parking spaces by 2020, or a resulting car crisis may drive patients to competing hospitals.

In response, the Health Commission voted unanimously to approve a resolution urging the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to expand a nearby parking garage, in the first of many goals meant to address the need for more parking.

“Even with the most aggressive programs, we project will have deficits in parking,” Kathy Jung, director of facilities and capital planning at the Department of Public Health, told the Health Commission….

…that new hospital, as well as other new buildings on site, will soon eliminate some existing parking at San Francisco General.

And those same new buildings will simultaneously drive demand for more transit. All told, the Department of Public Health estimates the hospital will need more than 900 parking spaces after 2020…

The DPH has partnered with the SFMTA to work on the parking deficiency problem the last two years. The issue will now go before the SFMTA’s Policy and Governance Committee to brainstorm additional solutions. Expanding the parking garage and other new ideas will go before the full SFMTA board on March 17.

“The hope ultimately is that Muni and other forms of transportation would be so good that we wouldn’t need all that parking,” Tom Nolan, president of the SFMTA board, told The Examiner, referring to the projected 900-space deficit.

Muni will better serve General Hospital one day, he said, “but probably not that quickly, and not that much.”… (more)

Tom Nolan admits that no parking or Muni service will be added quickly. Perhaps someone at SFMTA should talk to the health industry they claim to be supporting. Patients leaving a medical facility who are medicated must arrange for a ride home with a friend. How are they going to release patients to the care of a friend without parking?

Maybe they should put the bike lanes on the 20 wide sidewalks instead of taking over a street lane.

Munchery Illegally Storing Refrigerated Food on the Streets of the Mission

By Jack Morses : uptownalmanac – excerpt

UPDATED: FOOL ME ONCE - (more)
…The company’s historic disregard for both city and state laws and its neighbors has continued at Munchery’s recently opened Utah Street facility, multiple neighbors tell Uptown Almanac. At a February 4th community meeting between Munchery co-founder Tri Tran and “the frustrated and frightened neighbors of Munchery”, with both district Supervisor Malia Cohen and a representative from SFMTA in attendance, a 20 page document was presented, detailing the ways in which “Munchery’s arrival on the 300 block of Utah Street has created a major disruption and created health & safety issues for residents, visitors and employees of local businesses.” This document, sent to Uptown Almanac by one of the neighbors in attendance, details many of the ways in which Munchery has struggled to address the repeated complaints lobbed against the company by the surrounding community.

The concerns presented at the February 4th meeting will seem familiar to the businesses and residents of Alabama Street, home to Munchery’s location in the Mission. They include Munchery leaving food waste on the sidewalk, idling trucks, obstructing automobile traffic and blocking the sidewalk. But the actions documented by the presentation also veer into the bizarre. One slide titled “Munchery Employees Disrespect Neighbors” details a neighbor’s alleged January 25th encounter with a Munchery employee that got heated. The employee had to be physically restrained by his coworkers, as he shouted at a neighbor “to come here and tell him that to his face.” The “that” in question being the neighbor’s request that the employee not repeatedly bang a roll-up door… (more)


 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Munchery Illegally Storing Refrigerated Food on the Streets of the Mission

Not just content to disrupt the burgeoning Bay Area meal-delivery industry, Munchery, the Mission-based start up that promises to “handcraft meals fresh from scratch each day in small batches” has begun a rapid process of expansion. Having raised $28 million in funding this past April, expanded to Seattle in July, and with plans to service New York, LA, and DC in the works, it appears that Munchery has developed a successful formula for growth.

So what new and game-changing technique has Munchery, a company that delivers chilled, fully plated meals to your door, brought to the scene?

Outside refrigerators.

Prep for the evening’s deliveries begin each morning at 5:00 AM, and at some point assembled meals need to be stuck in a refrigerator to await delivery. Munchery’s Alabama Street location just so happens to be unable to accommodate the volume of food that needs refrigeration. And so to solve this problem, Munchery has devised a genius solution: rent diesel powered refrigerated trucks and run them as auxiliary coolers… (more)

This is taking street food to a whole new level. Sounds like someone should call the health department.

RELATED:
Munchery Sweeps Garbage Under the Rug

Why own a car when you can share one?

Living car-free or car-light in San Francisco is increasingly easy — and it’s not just thanks to Uber.

Car sharing is quietly spreading throughout the city, allowing people to rent cars by the hour or mile, pick them up at widely dispersed locations, reserve them with a smartphone, and unlock them with a phone or credit card.

“Technological advances are giving people new and convenient ways to get around more freely without having to own a car,” said CalPIRG spokeswoman Diane Forte, whose consumer group recently released a report on the growth of high-tech transportation options nationwide. It found that San Francisco is a national leader in innovative ways to get around town, second only to Austin, Texas.

To support car sharing — and try to reduce car use — San Francisco is experimenting with reserving up to 900 on-street parking spaces sprinkled throughout the city for the exclusive use of car-sharing vehicles. The three companies getting spaces over the two-year pilot program, which is being phased in slowly, are City CarShare, a nonprofit; Avis’ Zipcar, perhaps the best-known service; and Getaround, a “peer-to-peer” service that helps regular people rent their cars to others… (more)