SFMTA officials changed legislation. Claimed they were “simplifying and clarifying”

Support the November Ballot initiative: Restore Transportation Balance in San Francisco

It is important to get the facts out about Props A, B, and L. Props A and B will will give the SFMTA license to spend over $500 million dollars as it pleases, and Prop L seeks to Restore Transportation Balance. We contend that SFMTA is out of control and needs to be stopped.

This video explains how unelected SFMTA officials changed street parking legislation while claiming they were “simplifying and clarifying” the language. It is important to understand this process because other unelected government bodies are attempting to do the same thing. We feel the best way to stop these practices is for our elected supervisors to hold public hearings to investigate them. If you agree with us, please sign the petition to Restore Parking Oversight of SFMTA.
http://petitions.moveon.org/embed/widget.html?v=3&name=restore-parking-oversight

In 2007, the citizens of San Francisco gave SFMTA authority to manage and update City parking policies, without ongoing oversight from the Board of Supervisors. But the supervisors can assume more authority if enough of them agree to take it on. We want to convince them that they need to do that.

SFMTA published the ‘Policies for On-Street Parking Management’ document in order to “provide transparency in how the agency makes decisions.” The agency promised the document contained “no new policies” and only clarified “where we do (and do not) use parking meters and residential parking permits.” Public data, internal emails, and dissenting staff memos prove otherwise.

SFMTA staff misled their own Board of Directors and violated the public trust by creating all new policies that favor parking meters over residential parking permits. These new policies include moving forward with neighborhood plans, denying residential parking permit requests, adding parking meters, and removing existing residential parking permit areas. These new policies use zoning, and not citizen input to justify the installation of new parking meters.  

Parking meters, as most people know, are a multimillion dollar cash cow for the city of San Francisco. Mixed use, and high density areas like North Beach, Mission  and Chinatown are areas that have residential parking permits in place. The new parking policiesthat the SFMTA claims are existing policies will enable the SFMTA to remove residential parking permit areas and replace them all with parking meters (without citizen input or approval). These new parking policies will also allow the SFMTA to preemptively install variable rate parking meters in areas that are zoned mixed use (production, distribution, repair) and high density areas like SOMA, Potrero Hill, and Mission Bay.

How much money will the city generate from mixed use and high density neighborhoods? Millions? More like billions! And what if you don’t want your mixed use, or high density neighborhood to be turned into a paid parking lot?  Sorry,  SFMTA policies say that your neighborhood is already zoned for parking meters and according to SFMTA’s “existing policies” your neighborhood should already have parking meters instead of residential parking permits (rpp).   

Even after appeals from 20+ neighborhood and business associations and the agency’s Citizen Advisory Committee to rescind the policies, the SFMTA Board has taken no action. The Board of Supervisors must step in to provide oversight and accountability.

Copy of SFMTA CAC Motion 140311.01 on Parking Policy:

Motion 140311.01
The CAC recommends that the SFMTA Board re-review the On-Street Parking Management Policies document to ensure that the policy and its implementation are in accordance with one another, and that if there has been a change in policy, that a public process be undertaken to review that change. The CAC further recommends that, to the extent the document creates new policy, that the implementation of those policies be suspended until a public process is undertaken.10.
The CAC directs that the CAC Chair to reference the following CAC recommendation, adopted September 6, 2012, in transmitting this recommendation to the SFMTA Board:

Motion 120802.01
The CAC urges the SFMTA to consider the draft policies for On-Street Parking Management, with the understanding that it does not amend or modify existing parking policies or practices, nor modify code. The CAC further recommends that the document be retitled for reflective collection of existing policies and practices and not a set of policies being adopted. In cases where the document codifies existing practices, staff should empirically document that these are in fact, past practices before the SFMTA Board adopts the document.
 

 

Chronicle Watch: Some S.F. drivers still feed meters on Sundays

By Kurtis Alexander : sfgate – excerpt

Street parking in San Francisco is now free on Sundays, but you wouldn’t know it from the 6,500 or so meters that still warn of enforcement — and ably take your cash.

Signs that demand payment from noon to 6 p.m. Sundays have not been removed from about a quarter of the city’s meters since San Francisco stopped charging for Sunday parking in July, according to records from the Municipal Transportation Agency.

While the digital displays on meters have been changed to say there’s no parking charge, the conflicting claims are creating confusion for drivers already prone to anxiety over the city’s patchwork of colored curbs, permit zones and street-cleaning signs…

“As they upgrade the meters, they’re updating the signs on the sides,” said Paul Rose, a spokesman for the Municipal Transportation Agency.

Rose said it would be too laborious to change the listed hours at every meter, only to return in coming months to replace the entire device… (more)

That sounds about right. It is too much trouble for the SFMTA to let you know when parking is free. It is too much trouble for them to put up signs that you can read before you park letting you know what the parking rules are. It is too much trouble for SFMTA to set up an easy method to appeal illegal tickets. It is too much trouble for SFMTA to serve the public that supports their exorbitant salaries, but, it is not too much trouble for SFMTA officials to dream up new ways to drive us mad.

Is this what you voted for when you voted to give the SFMTA total control over the streets of your city?

Compare SF (Most Expensive Parking Tickets in the Western Hemisphere) with Downtown San Mateo (50 Cent/Hr Parking Meters)

sfcitizen – excerpt

Compare A with B, as seen in the City of San Mateo:

But the SFMTA wants more more more, so it’s hatched a plan called Prop A, to raise your rent (literally) and/or take your property taxes to pay for, among other things, cost overruns on the entirely unnecessary pork-barrel project called the Central Subway.

Hey, speaking of which:

“During a pair of recent presentations at city political clubs, MTA commissioner Cheryl Brinkman, arguing on behalf of Prop. A, stated that a City Attorney’s opinion concluded that, when it comes to bond language, the terms “shall” and “may” are identical.
Huh.
Brinkman now says she’s not entirely sure what she said. Multiple witnesses are more certain: ‘She did say that!’ recalls Potrero Hill Democrats president Joni Eisen.”… (more)

The Week This Was

Not much is going well this week for the heads-in-the-sand SFMTA and friends. While SFMTA supporters make false allegations against Prop L proponents, and play the blame game, the headlines tell the stories that best explain why residents and commuters are demanding change.

Media blitz September 25, 2014:
How a $900 parking citation became a $25,000 federal lawsuit against SF
No Free Rides: Finally, Inevitably: Muni Is Suing Muni
Rank-and-file S.F. firefighters call for chief’s ouster
S.F. supervisor makes case for fire chief’s ouster
How Transbay Transit Center deal’s collapse would alter S.F.
Possible Golden Gate Bridge District Strike Would Cripple Commute
Carshare reserved parking not favored by everyone
Despite Free Parking, San Francisco Meters Continue Collecting On Sundays
SEIU Local 1021 backs motorist measure and a Republican. WTF?!?!

We generally suggest leaving comments at the source site, but a number of publications have recently removed comments, so please leave your thoughts here.

Despite Free Parking, San Francisco Meters Continue Collecting On Sundays

KPIC – excerpt – online

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco may be raking in profits from parking meters when parking is supposed to be free.

Signage on many San Francisco parking meters still indicates Sunday enforcement, even though the city recently stopped charging for Sunday parking.

“I don’t know why they’re not saying free parking, because that’s what it is now,” one man told KPIX 5… (more)

We have been hearing about this since the Mayor and press first mentioned that parking will be free on Sundays again.

Not only did the SFMTA not change the signs, they also did not change the much touted smart meters. Many meters still flash the expired message on Sundays.

You may want to treat this like a crime and report any confusing signs and meters you see to the SFMTA so they will have a record of the complaints. There is a at least one class action lawsuit regarding confusing signs pending so the department is well aware of the signage problem.

As always, let the Supervisors know about the problem.

Civility and Its Discontents: City Politics Finally Drops the Cordial Bullshit

: sfweekly – excerpt

“…As San Franciscans prepare for Burning Man, the majority of our supervisors prepare to be burned. Because City Hall’s facade of civility has gone up in smoke: Mayor Lee has pledged retribution against the six legislators who greenlit a Scott Wiener transit funding measure he despises.

Meanwhile, sources inform your humble narrator that the mayor’s office told affordable housing developers that success for a Jane Kim housing measure not to his liking would result in the evaporation of their city funding. Like hostages, these organizations were cajoled into pleading with Kim to back down.

And that happened.

Attempts to fund Muni in this city hark to a troop of clowns hauling stacks of custard pies down rickety stairways. It’s always a mess. And the goods never get delivered.

In 2007, erstwhile board President Aaron Peskin’s Proposition A purported to inject $32 million a year into Muni’s bereft coffers. But that didn’t happen: Instead, prevented by the electorate from simply taking the money now earmarked for Muni, city departments began pillaging the transit agency by charging Muni for tasks those departments were already legally obligated to provide. A voter-approved measure to bestow Muni with scores of millions of dollars actually eviscerated its finances to the tune of scores of millions of dollars. Muni continues to be treated as the city’s slush fund.

Your commute continues to suck… (more)

So, who do you trust to fix the Muni mess? Do you think throwing more money at the tiger will tame its appetite?

If you are ready for a change, fight back and tell  SF City Hall know that you have had ENUF !

Vote Yes on Proposition L.

Cars-First “Restore Balance” Measure Funded by Ed Lee Backer Sean Parker

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook and a major contributor to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, has spent $49,000 of his personal fortune to propel a ballot initiative that seeks to enshrine free parking as city policy, according to the SF Chronicle. Parker gave $100,000 to Lee’s mayoral campaign in 2011.

The ballot initiative, which proponents frame as an attempt to “restore balance” to city transportation policy, first surfaced in April. While the measure would be non-binding, if it passes it could further slow much-needed policies to prioritize transit and street safety in San Francisco. One stated goal of the campaign is to kill Sunday parking meters for good. The SFMTA Board of Directors, which is appointed entirely by Mayor Lee, repealed Sunday metering in April, after Lee made unfounded claims about a popular revolt against the policy.

Several veteran opponents of transportation reform in San Francisco are aligned with the ballot initiative. And, in addition to the backing from Parker, another $10,000 for the measure reportedly came from the San Francisco Republican Party… (more)

We’re not sure about the accuracy of these claims, but metermadness tries to cover all traffic and parking stories.

RELATED:
Measure To “Restore Transportation Balance” Qualifies For Ballot

Sean Parker gives $49k to make life easier for other San Francisco parkers  The measure would also roll back Sunday parking meter fees, except that already happened. As I wrote last week, the San Francisco Mass Transportation Agency has an avowed policy position of limiting the number of cars on San Francisco streets and incentivizing the use of mass transit, shared vehicles, bicycles and other transportation efforts that alleviate environmental harm and congestion.

The initiative, found here, would push back against that position by reasserting the interests of drivers and ensuring those interests are represented in city government, as part of a broad “balanced transportation” policy. Other backers of the measure include the Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods, the Libertarian Party of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Republican Party… (more)

Motorists fight back in “transit-first” San Francisco

Believing that they’re somehow discriminated against on the streets of San Francisco, a new political coalition of motorists, conservatives, and neighborhood NIMBYs yesterday [Mon/7] turned in nearly twice the signatures they need to qualify the “Restore Transportation Balance in San Francisco” initiative for the November ballot.

It’s a direct attack on the city’s voter-approved “transit-first” policies and efforts to reduce automobile-related pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. It would prevent expanded parking meter enforcement unless requested by a neighborhood petition, freeze parking and permit rates for five years, require representation of motorists on the SFMTA board and create a Motorists Citizens Advisory Committee within the agency, set aside SFMTA funding for more parking lot construction, and call for stronger enforcement of traffic laws against cyclists….

But with a growing population using a system of roadways that is essentially finite, (that is being reduced by the SFMTA’s million dollar road diets and other disruptive programs, while they cut Muni service and Muni stops, making it harder for people relying on public transit) even such neoliberal groups as SPUR and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce have long promoted the idea that continued overreliance on automobiles would create a dysfunctional transportation system…

The coalition behind this ballot measure includes some of the combatants in those battles, including the new Eastern Neighborhoods United Front (ENUF) and old Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods. Other supporters include former westside supervisors Quentin Kopp, Tony Hall, and John Molinari, and the city’s Republican and Libertarian party organizations…   (more)

Please leave your comments at the source: http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2014/07/08/motorists-fight-back-transit-first-san-francisco

 

Ballot measures

It’s looking likely that San Francisco voters will get to weigh in on the redevelopment of an aging waterfront pier, whether the city should be barred from installing lights and artificial turf on Golden Gate Park soccer fields and whether the city should adopt a “balanced transportation” policy protecting motorists’ interests.

Supporters of all three proposals turned in thousands of signatures Monday aimed at qualifying the measures for the November ballot.

The measures each need the signatures of 9,702 registered San Francisco voters to qualify for the election, which will take place November 4…

Then there’s the group calling itself Restore Transportation Balance, which turned in 17,500 signatures for its proposed proposition to establish a nonbinding policy declaration of policy that would include prohibitions on charging at parking meters on Sundays, holidays and outside the hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., putting new meters in neighborhoods without the consent of residents and merchants, freezing meter rates for five years and enforcing traffic laws “equally for everyone using San Francisco’s streets and sidewalks.”… (more)

Fee increases, free Sunday parking take effect this week

sfexaminer – excerpt

A number of fee increases — the first in a series of changes approved in the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s budget — take effect today, followed by the controversial elimination of Sunday parking meter enforcement at the end of this week.

Transit agency board members on April 15 passed a $943.2 million budget for fiscal year 2014-15 and a $962.6 million budget for fiscal year 2015-16. Slight increases for parking permits and other miscellaneous fees are scheduled to go into effect today.

Among those is a $1 increase for parking permits for resident, business, commercial, school, fire station, foreign consulate, and medical and childcare provider vehicles. They are set to cost $55 for six months or less and $110 for a year… (more)