Bay Area Public Transit Agency To Subsidize Uber, Lyft Rides

By Ian Wenik : thestreet – excerpt

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA), a public transit agency that operates in the California Bay Area suburbs, is testing out a new initiative: subsidized ridesharing trips.

LAVTA, which operates buses in cities such as Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton, is set to roll out the service on a one-year trial in mid-September. The plan will offer riders in certain areas of Dublin subsidized Uber and Lyft fares to local destinations at prices ranging from $3 to $5, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

LAVTA Executive Director Michael Tree explained the reasoning behind the program in an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley.”… (more)

If you didn’t need more proof that the plan is to privatize transportation systems after the government takes away your right to own your own transportation, this is it. It is the classic”Bait and Switch” scheme.

  • First they convince you that “parking isn’t free so they can charge you to park on the public streets.
  • Then they claim they can provide the transportation system you need while “calming traffic”.
  • Next they claim they need more money to “improve service” and raise the taxes fines and fees.
  • Next they “improve service by removing bus stops and seats, forcing more people to stand so they can fit in more people.
  • Then, when they have millions of people depending on them for service, they tell you to take the new “smart” corporate car service that they will subsidize so you can afford it.

The joke, if it was a joke, is that we had the private car service when we started on this journey, but now instead of owning our own homes and cars, we rent them from the corporation that can control our every move, and the worst traffic nightmare imaginable.

If this picture bothers you support the Prop L, the SFMTA Charter Amendment: stopsfmta.com

 

Well-Paid SFMTA Employee, Andy Thornley), Proposes Limiting “Access” on JFK Drive – Westbound Travel Banned, 15 MPH Speed Limit

sfcitizen – excerpt

…(A pay package of about $130k a year (TCOE – Total Cost of Employee), well that’s pretty well-paid for a low-stress job, non? It’s not like being a coal miner or anything. Correct me if I’m way off on this, of course.)

This proposal certainly would reduce traffic, overall, by a very slight amount. It would also increase westbound traffic on Fulton, and Lincoln too I suppose, by a significant amount…
(more)

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Fix JFK Drive

Posted by Andy Thornley 32.20sc on July 28, 2016

It’s time to civilize Golden Gate Park roads : Golden Gate Park is San Francisco’s crown jewel of public open space and everyone’s backyard. The eastern portion of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park has enjoyed a marvelous state of car-free happiness and harmony on Sundays for the past 49 years, as well as Monday holidays for the past 29 years. Parking-buffered bike lanes help to tame JFK Drive between Stanyan Street and Transverse Drive on the other days of the week.

However, it’s been clear for a long time that the western extent of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park needs serious intervention to make if safe and welcoming for bicycle traffic, for people of all ages and abilities. There’s no separated space for bicycles and the roadway is a hilly winding slalom course, and motor traffic often speeds along carelessly, bullying bike traffic, or worse…(more)

Andy is running for Supervisor in District One. So far Sandra Lee Fewer is winning that race. Maybe Andy’s lack of popularity stems from his radical anti-car approach. People in the Richmond like their life the way it is and don’t appreciate the disruption his department is thrusting on us.  The last thing we need is Andy on the board.

If you have any parking complaints, Andy is the person you need to reach out to after you file a 311 complaint.  Details here: https://metermadness.wordpress.com/sfpark-compaints/

 

Patent for “Parking Meter with Contactless Payment” Awarded to MacKay Meters

By Marketwired : sys-con – excerpt

GLASGOW, NOVA SCOTIA — (Marketwired) — 08/15/16 — J.J. MacKay Canada Limited (MacKay Meters), a recognized world leader in the manufacturing and development of parking control products, continues to strengthen its Intellectual Property portfolio with the issuance of U.S. Patent Number 9,406,056 titled “Parking Meter with Contactless Payment”, on August 2, 2016.

This new US patent relates to parking meters and in particular, to parking meters having contactless payment options and follows closely behind two Canadian patents (CA 2,773,250 and CA 2,870,544) issued on June 28, 2016 that also relate to parking meters with contactless payment. The above noted patents represent just a small portion of MacKay’s extensive Patent/IP portfolio which includes utility patents, patent applications, design patents, and industrial design registrations, and trademarks filed in the USA, Canada and internationally… (more)

SFMTA approves changes to Mission Street transit improvements in response to merchant complaints

Mission locals grill MTA over red lanes, but the red remains

By : curbed – excerpt

Minor changes approved, but scarlet streets here to stay

The red lanes are staying on the Mission, and some residents are absolutely furious.

A summer’s worth of outreach, research, and reconsideration yielded a few small changes to the program, presented at a Tuesday meeting of the SFMTA board. (Yes, that was the same meeting with the angry church median parking debate. It was a really contentious week at SFMTA, all told.)

A couple of the reviled forced right turns (at 22nd and 26th) will probably go, and the agency promised further tweaks like additional bulbouts.

But for the most part, transit planners and board members defended the rage-provoking project. Planner Matt Brill told the board that the city’s outreach revealed mostly positive feedback on the program and that the 14 Mission bus line (which carries 65,000 people a day, according to Brill) is moving faster and suffering a third as many accidents.

Then the meeting opened up to public comment, and neighbors let them have it.

While some commenters defended the program, noting the benefit to public transit, most of the feedback ranged from angry to downright offended. Phrases like “gentrification on steroids,” “the Valencia-ization of Mission Street,” and even “ethnic cleansing of the Mission” flew from the podium.

“Congratulations, you’ve done a great job killing businesses on Mission Street, just like you’ve done in the Castro,” one woman said.

Groups like the Mission Economic Development Agency testified that businesses are closing and workers are being laid off ever since the red lanes went in last spring. Merchants allege that the forced turns have made it impossible to find parking, and that the lanes create a hostile “psychological barrier” (the term the MTA itself uses) that scare off customers.

The economic cost to the city is simply not worth gaining a few extra minutes on the 14 Mission’s schedule, say protestors… (more)

RELATED:
SFMTA approves changes to Mission Street transit improvements in response to merchant complaints

Sowing discord, one block at a time

By Sally Stepherns : sfexaminer – excerpt

“When it comes to residential parking permits, San Francisco must do everything in its power to reduce tensions between neighbors.”  Jessica Christian

f you really want to get a neighborhood riled up, bring up street parking. Recently, I watched as parking — more specifically, expanding residential parking permits — created a rift in my neighborhood.

Parking permits don’t just affect the block that gets them; they affect nearby blocks as well. Permits were originally intended to keep “commuters” from parking all day in low-density residential neighborhoods. But when one block gets permits, the commuters just move to nearby permit-free blocks. One block’s solution becomes another block’s problem.

I went to City Hall for a hearing on a proposal to expand residential parking permits near my house. The woman who wanted the permits secured, as required, more than 50 percent of the people living on the block to sign a petition requesting permits.

The problem is that no one else knew about it, including some people who live on the block in question. Turns out, there’s no requirement that all residents on a block be notified of a petition. So some of the people most affected may never know about the permits until it’s too late. Why doesn’t The City require the notice of a proposed permit be mailed to everyone who lives within a few blocks?…

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is currently reviewing the parking permit program. My fear is that rather than focusing on how to make the process more fair, transparent and inclusive, the SFMTA will use the review as a way to further discourage people in low-density neighborhoods from having cars, e.g., by converting some parking spaces on a block to spaces for car share companies. That will only lead to more conflict.

Due to the opposition of many neighbors, the SFMTA put off a decision on the permit for my street until fall. But people have been riled up and feelings have been hurt.

In the meantime, every new proposal for parking permits on a block pits neighbor against neighbor, block against block and street against street. The City should do everything it can to reduce tensions between neighbors, not push a residential parking permit process that increases conflict.

Sally Stephens is an animal, park and neighborhood activist who lives in the West of Twin Peaks area... (more)

Sally pretty well sums it up. We need a city agency that does not pit neighbor against neighbor. Until recently we had no parking or traffic problems. Many people feel the wrong people are in charge and we need a change at the SFMTA Board to start to solve these issues. The first step is to pass the SFMTA Charter Amendment and vote in some new politicians who are ready to change the policies and priorities that have brought us to the is point. See details on that here: stopsfmta.com

 

Squabbling Supes send SFMTA board battle to voters

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

San Francisco voters this November will get to decide if the mayor and the Board of Supervisors should split the responsibility of making appointments onto the City’s transportation agency’s board.

Supervisors on Tuesday voted 6-5 to place the charter amendment onto the ballot, which would allow the mayor to appoint four members of the Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors while supervisors would get to appoint three members.

The measure would also change the threshold from seven to six on the number of supervisors it would take to reject the transit agency’s budget.

Supervisors Scott Wiener, Katy Tang, Mark Farrell, Malia Cohen and London Breed voted against the charter amendment… (more)

Considering that San Francisco used to be the “City that knows How”, we certainly forgot how to manage the flow of traffic. Under the current regime of the SFMTA San Francisco went from the easiest to travel around in city to the 3rd worst traffic city in the US. We can do better. Thanks to the Supervisors who are giving us a chance to prove it.

Our SFMTA Wants to Claim It’s Increasing Parking Up at Twin Peaks, But It’s DECREASING Parking – One Simple Trick!

sfcitizen – excerpt

What the SFMTA’s Twin Peaks Figure 8 Redesign Project is a gonna do is get rid of these, these people from the top of Twin Peaks, particularly on busy dreaded sunny days, like this one…

Most of the tourists on top of that twin came from all the cars you can see on the left side. But all that parking is gone now, so tourists aren’t going to go to the top of Twin Peaks as much anymore.

What’s that, “good,” you say? Well OK, but why doesn’t the SFMTA just come out and say that? Instead, we get this:

Twin Peaks Figure 8 Redesign Project Frequently Asked Questions – April 8, 2016 version:

Will any parking be added or removed? No parking is being proposed for removal. Today, informal (illegal) parking takes place at the center of the Figure 8 and occasionally in the outer lane of the roadway. This project will formalize parking at both the center and south intersections, increasing the number of available stalls. Parking in the travel lane will no longer be possible.

So they’re not “removing parking,” they’re simply blocking cars from getting to the parking spaces? And you can’t park on the side of a highway in CA anymore, is that correct, really?

So the real answer to the question Will any parking be added or removed is:

Yes. Hell yes(more)

Golden Gate Bridge, Ferry and Transit Fares Increase

Most tolls on the Golden Gate Bridge will increase 25 cents on Friday.

Fares on Golden Gate Transit buses and Golden Gate Ferry service also will increase 4 percent Friday, Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District spokeswoman Priya Clemens said.

The FasTrak toll on the bridge will increase to $6.50 for two-axle vehicles, $7.50 for Pay-by-Plate and to $4.50 for carpool vehicles.

The one-way adult fare for the Larkspur Ferry will increase 50 cents to $11 and to $11.75 one-way on the Sausalito Ferry.

One-way Clipper fares on the ferries will increase 25 cents to $7.25 on the Larkspur and $6.25 on the Sausalito ferries.

The one-way fare for youth 5-18, seniors 65 and up and for disabled riders will increase 25 cents to $5.50 on the Larkspur Ferry and to $5.75 on the Sausalito Ferry. Children ages 4 and under ride free, but there is a two-child limit per fare-paying adult.

The toll increase will help balance a projected five-year deficit of $33 million, Clemens said…. (more)

All these increased fares and fees along with the Bay Bridge work that is creating massive traffic jams this summer may not help the Bay Area transit authorities’ plans to request more taxes and approval of more debt from the votes in November. That along with a reduction in services and removal of seats on the the new vehicles may push the voters over the edge. No one wants to be treated like a caged animal and we are starting to get to that level with these new standing room only vehicles. Who do they paln to serve? Not the elderly or physically challenged or families or shoppers and travelers with baggage. This leads us to belive that the real goal is to push more peopel toward the private sector options, as indicated in this article that describes the “smart city” approach to privatize and robotize transportation, being designed and tested in Columbus, Ohio by Alphabet: Alphabets sidewalk labs working to revolutionize public parking and transportation in american cities

 

Parking Debate Continues in Dogpatch

by : potreroview – excerpt

Dogpatch residents and nearby neighbors, as well as San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) representatives, crowded into Dogpatch Neighborhood Association’s April meeting to discuss proposed parking management strategies.  Many participants objected to SFMTA’s proposal to add meters and experiment with residential parking permits; a paid parking overlay program for several blocks in the area bounded by Mariposa to Cesar Chavez streets, Pennsylvania Avenue to Third Street.

If the proposed plan is implemented, 401 newly-designated meter-overlay spots and 679 freshly designated time-limited spots would be created. With new housing developments cascading into the area, some meeting attendees said that the addition of paid parking would benefit businesses at the expense of residents, and are skeptical that a paid parking-residential permit hybrid approach is feasible…

While paid parking options may make more spots available to local businesses, Dogpatch resident, Nicky Jacobson, is concerned about employees feeding meters all day. “This is not the purpose of meters. The RPP permit should be changed to a business and residential parking permit so that these businesses can survive,” Jacobson said...

Data collected by SFMTA doesn’t indicate that people tend to use metered spots as all day parking spaces. “We’re interested in hearing the community’s input on whether or not paid parking spots will have time limits,” said Willson.

Edward Elhauge is concerned about his future as a Dogpatch resident. Following a career in Silicon Valley, Elhauge returned to school to study public health, and now makes half his former income.  “This impacts people who have limited incomes,” Elhauge commented. “One SFMTA staff said that if they allocate parking through permitting that they’d be picking winners and losers, but market-based pricing does pick winners and losers based on income.”

Mari Eliza, part of a group of residents from Dogpatch, Mission, and Potrero Hill who are opposed to meters, is concerned that implementing a non-physical meter, paid parking option will marginalize those without smartphones linked to bank accounts. There are pay by phone options at all meters in the City, which allow people to pay via a smartphone application. In consideration of the issue, the SFMTA is deciding whether it’ll utilize multi-space meter stations to enable physical payment while allowing them to refrain from placing meters in front of residences.

“The City is being divided into two camps,” said Eliza. “There are the people who want to tear down and rebuild the City and those that want to continue living here. This goes beyond parking and ties closely to the housing crisis and other issues.”

“I understand that there’s a lot of mistrust of the SFMTA for many reasons,” Willson offered. “We’re really trying to build trust with residents as they are the local experts. Outreach has shaped our thinking and will continue to do so now as we move forward.”… (more)