Supervisor moves to kick private shuttles out of red transit lanes

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfxaminer – excerpt

It’s time for private transit to get out of Muni’s way.

That’s the message from Supervisor Sandra Fewer, who on Monday announced her intention to legally bar private transit vehicles, like tech-industry commuter shuttles, from red transit-only lanes meant to speed public buses.

Fewer’s announcement that she would ask the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to help her craft legislation limiting private access to the transit lanes came at the tail-end of a City Hall hearing where San Franciscans from all corners of The City said they were seeing red over the city policy allowing it.

“The goal should be that public transit is the main mode of the people in San Francisco,” Fewer told the public Tuesday…

However controversy arose in August when SFMTA Citizen Advisory Council member Sue Vaughan discovered the agency planned to allow private transit vehicles use of the soon-to-come Geary Rapid Project red carpet lanes. The discovery has drawn protests from activists and organizations across The City.

The South of Market Community Action Network, United to Save the Mission, Chinatown Community Development Center, Chinatown TRIP, Inner Sunset Action Community, Senior Disability Action, San Francisco Transit Riders and other advocacy groups spoke out Monday against private use of public Muni-only lanes… (more)

Very robust public comments and discussions following the presentation by SFMTA. We look forward to moving ahead to fix some of the many failures of the Red Lanes through a series of legislative improvements.

 

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Red Lanes hearing cancelled!

Monday, November 5, 1:30 PM – CANCELLED!
THIS IS BECOMING A TREND! TWO MEETINGS CANCELLED THIS WEEK! One by the Planning Commission on the Maximus plan for 16th and Mission, and another on the use of Red Lanes for private enterprise purposes. The corporatization of public streets and space through public/private enterprise deals. How do these deals benefit the public?


Land Use and Transportation Committee Meeting has cancelled the hearing the matter until after the election.  They were going to be hearing concerns over Red Lanes, and public use issues. This gives us more time to write letters to City Hall authorities.

See detailed background information and requests for supportive letters: https://metermadness.wordpress.com/2018/10/12/who-will-be-allowed-to-drive-in-the-red-lanes/

 

E-scooters are back

By Chris Dolan : sfweekly – excerpt

This week’s question comes from Phyllis D. in South of Market who asks:

Q: “Yesterday, I went outside and tripped over one of those damn electric scooter things, which was lying on its side on the sidewalk in front of my building. I noticed that it had the brand name “Skip” on it. I am “oldish,” with a vision impairment. I don’t use a cane, but I do have limitations on my field of vision. I was hurt, but no broken bones. I thought that the City had gotten rid of these things. Why are they back? They are a danger to people. I see them being ridden on the sidewalks, dumped on the sidewalk–even when they are standing, they block the sidewalk. What are my rights when injured by these contraptions?”.

A: Dear Phyllis: The scooters are back, but not in the same swarm as before. In April 2018, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance that requires any enterprise providing a shared, powered scooter service in San Francisco to obtain a permit from the SFMTA to be able to have its scooters park on sidewalks…

This question, and the issue of the impact on our community posed by these scooters, causes me to be concerned about the threat to public safety including the safety of the riders themselves so I will continue to dig deeper into this issue like I did with Uber and Lyft over the next several weeks…

Christopher B. Dolan is the owner of the Dolan Law Firm. Email Chris questions and topics for future articles to help@dolanlawfirm.com…(more)\

Mr. Philip Cranna, MTA Taxi Enforcement Manager is responsible for Powered Scooter (Share) Enforcement.  He is also responsible for Private Commuter Bus Enforcement.

Below is a  guidance  reply email for reporting Powered Scooter violations and comments.  Recommend reading twice for a complete Pilot Program understanding.

“Cranna, Philip” Philip.Cranna@sfmta.com is the enforcement manager for the powered Scooter Share Pilot Program.

The best way for you to report any scooter related complaints is through 311, as investigators in the field receive notice of these reports in real time and can respond in the most efficient manner.  You can make a report verbally on the phone by dialing 311, through the sf311.org website or through the sf311 app if you have a smart phone.  It is very helpful to include the date, time, location (approximate address or intersection), as well as which company the scooter belongs to.  Scoot is red, and Skip is Blue/Black.  You may see other non-permitted scooters in the City, and I want to know about those as well, such as Lime. 

Scooters have their own queue on 311, and they are routed directly to me and my team. For information regarding the proper parking of scooters, please see: https://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/reports-and-documents/2018/10/appendix_1_-_powered_scooter_parking_requirements_and_general_guidelines_10.12.18.pdf

YOU MAY WANT TO TAKE A PHOTOGRAPH AND MAKE A NOT OF THE TIME YOU ARE SHOOTING IT FOR YOUR RECORDS.

SF may fine Uber’s Jump bike repair shop for violating city code

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

An Uber-run e-bikeshare repair shop in the Marina District has neighbors fuming and may result in city fines.

The San Francisco Planning Department “has received multiple complaints about noise, double parking, and blocking of neighborhood driveway by the Jump bikes employees at all hours,” according to a complaint filed against the property, 1776 Green Street, in the Marina.

The planning department also found the motorized e-bike repair shop, used to clean, charge, repair and store Uber’s new Jump e-bikes, in violation of planning code because it’s operating in a space permitted for a car repair shop.

But the Jump “bikeshare” repair shop isn’t available for use by the public, and since it is for private use it requires a different permit, according to the planning department. If Uber does not apply for a different permit the billion-dollar company may face fines up to $250 per day… (more)

Citing management failures, city withholds funds for Salesforce Transit Center expansion

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

A city transportation body voted Tuesday to suspend “all further financial assistance” for work on the Salesforce Transit Center, citing a lack of faith in the project’s leadership.

It is the latest delay to transit center funding, after $200 million was held up by a Board of Supervisors committee last Thursday for clarification purposes. That funding will return for a vote this week at the board.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority Board, which is comprised of the Board of Supervisors, voted unanimously to delay $9.6 million in funds to the Transbay Joint Power Authority until The City can evaluate what led to the discovery last month of cracks in two steel beams, shutting down the newly constructed $2.2 billion transit center…

Supervisor Aaron Peskin said it is vital that The City plans the multi-billion dollar project effectively, making it essential to re-evaluate the transit center’s leadership before the next phase of transit center design begins.

“The right time to get it right is in the beginning,” Peskin said…(more)

The solution to dealing with the accountability problem is to pass a Charter Amendment to restructure the departments that are responsible for the transportation mess that seems to be pushing us toward a private corporate takeover of our streets. The shadowy regional TJPA has been a thorn in our sides for a while. Now we see the results of their efforts. What will it take for citizens to act? Ask the candidates for supervisor what they will do when they are in charge.

SF to ban most of taxi fleet from SFO to help struggling cabbies

by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexminer – excerpt

The City walked back a controversial proposal to shrink the local taxi industry Tuesday night, but did approve restrictions on which taxis can pick up passengers at San Francisco International Airport.

The change was crafted with the intention of shuffling some taxi medallions back into San Francisco, instead of allowing large numbers to wait at SFO for one plum ride.
There are about 1,450 medallions in service today, according to the SFMTA, used across 4,800 active taxi drivers.

Among calls of “shame!” and “you should all go to hell!” as well as a stream of four-letter words, taxi drivers blasted the proposal for San Francisco to phase out about 260 decades-old taxi permits, called medallions, to help divert business to more struggling taxi drivers with more recent, more expensive medallions.

“They’ve killed the taxi industry,” said Yellow Cab driver Marcel Fonseca just after the vote. He wasn’t alone in his critique.

Five members of the Board of Supervisors also penned an eleventh-hour letter objecting to the reforms, arguing for a more incremental approach…

The San Francisco Federal Credit Union also opposed the taxi reforms. The credit union is suing the SFMTA to the tune of $28 million for allegedly allowing taxi medallions to become worthless, even as the credit union offered loans to taxi drivers. A letter in opposition to the reforms sent by Supervisors Aaron Peskin, Sandra Fewer, Rafael Mandelman, Norman Yee and Hillary Ronen called for the SFMTA to oppose limiting taxi pickups at SFO, and phasing out older taxi medallions.

“The City walked back a controversial proposal to shrink the local taxi industry Tuesday night, but did approve restrictions on which taxis can pick up passengers at San Francisco International Airport.”

I think you mean the SFMTA walked by a controversial proposal? They do not yet represent the city.

 

Breed, Schaaf call for regional agency to review Salesforce Transit Center investigation

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfchronical – excerpt (includes open letter to the MTC)

Two Bay Area mayors want a second opinion on the cracked steel beams at the Salesforce Transit Center.

Mayor London Breed and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf on Thursday jointly called on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission Thursday to “assist in evaluating” the cause of those two cracked beams.

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority, known as the TJPA, is conducting its own analysis, the mayors noted in their joint letter, but the pair said “we believe the only way to ensure” public confidence “is by engaging an outside firm to review and verify any findings,” and for that peer review to be managed by the MTC. The MTC’s role is to help the myriad transportation agencies in the nine-county Bay Area coordinate financial planning and financing… (more)

 

 

SF’s damaged transit center closed for weeks — park could reopen sooner

: sfchronicle – excerpt

Buses won’t return to the damaged Transbay Transit Center until its broken girders are repaired — a process that could take at least several weeks. The rooftop park, however, could reopen sooner, officials said Tuesday.

At a special meeting of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, Executive Director Mark Zabaneh said the agency should know by Nov. 1 what caused two large support beams to crack

But resuming bus service will have to wait until the permanent fix is completed, Zabaneh said. While the temporary bracing could support the weight of people on the park plus buses on the deck, he said, Transbay officials prefer to be cautious.

Construction crews will also be on the bus deck working, which would make it difficult, and possibly dangerous, for drivers… (more)

SFMTA already specializes in creating gridlock in the “East Cut”. What we really needs is an expensive park with no view to draw in the tourists. I think I’ll pass on the offer. Maybe they should turn it into a fake earthquake experience ride to prepare us for the real one. Sell t-shirts that say, “I survived the Transbay Terminal.” or “I Rode the Trasnbay Wave”.  Make it a teaching moment.

RELATED:

Responsibility for Salesforce Transit Center fix remains an open question

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

Just who will pay to fix cracked steel beams at the Salesforce Transit Center is still an open question, but the cost won’t be covered by a contingency fund set aside for construction errors and fixes, officials said at a City Hall meeting Tuesday.

Dennis Turchon, senior construction manager at the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, said at an authority meeting Tuesday that determining who is financially responsible for the needed fixes will have to wait until a cause is determined.

“The focus,” Tuchon is first and foremost on fixing the transit center, he told reporters… (more)

SF mayor Breed blasts Muni chief over delays, background checks and scooter permitting

By Rachel Swan : sfgate – excerpt

In a sharply worded letter, San Francisco Mayor London Breed blasted the director of the SFMTA over service delays related to its Twin Peaks Tunnel closure.

“In the weeks since I took the mayoral oath of office, a number of challenges have come to light related to the SFMTA and Muni service,” Breed wrote. She called for improvement in all 12 categories that the City Controller scores to evaluate San Francisco’s transportation systems.

As mayor, Breed wields substantial power over the SFMTA. She fills the empty seats on its board of directors — the body that sets the city’s transportation budget, determines its policy agenda and oversees department management. The board has the ability to fire Reiskin.

If that’s what Breed is angling for, it would be difficult for the board to resist, said political strategist Nathan Ballard, who worked closely with the three previous mayoral administrations…

Reiskin is scheduled for a performance review from the SFMTA board Tuesday… (more)

Let’s cut to the chase. Plausible deniability is no longer working. The unintended consequences of absolute power have reared their ugly heads far too many times to ignore. City Hall authorities need to give the voters a chance to remove that power from the SFMTA Board and the fastest easiest way to do that is to put a Charter Amendment on the ballot. The best the voters can do in November is to elect representatives who support this change. As you meet the contenders, be sure to ask how they will solve this problem.

RELATED:

City-sanctioned report finds SF has some of the worst public transit of major metros

SFMTA head’s job at risk after Breed calls for changes in leadership

Muni must be taken apart and put back together again

By Joe Eskenazi : missionlocal – excerpt

ed-head

Head-in-sand-policies are not working.

Small fixes and half measures will not alleviate transit riders’ misery

Mayor London Breed likes taking the media out for walks. Fair enough. Speaking for the Fourth Estate in this city, we could use a good walk. Watch where you step, though. These walks are meant in part to hallmark the fetid conditions on San Francisco’s streets — and, naturally, the steps our new mayor is taking to clean up this city.

When I asked numerous denizens of City Hall what’s driving Breed these days, I received the God’s honest answer: “She talks a lot about poop on the ground.” That sounds a little crazy, but woe to anyone who underestimates our mayor’s smarts and political savvy: She’s crazy like a fox….

Nobody should be allowed to trash our city, and Breed has been proactive when it comes to ensuring voters that she doesn’t condone literal excrement on the footpaths. But what about when our transit service trashes our city by showering figurative excrement upon hundreds of thousands of daily riders?…

Every day, some unpleasant new revelation drops that renders it ever clearer that Muni must be taken apart and put back together again if San Francisco is ever to receive proper public transportation service.

.. (more)

So, public, it is up to you to spread this message if you want relief. The media has pretty much covered every aspect of this subject and if you want a referendum on the SFMTA it is up to you to make it happen.

 

Well, that’s different.