SF demands data from Uber, Lyft on city trips, driver bonuses

By Carolyn Said : sfgate – excerpt

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Driving conditions are driving people mad. This is one of three cars I passed parked or driving on the wrong side of the street on June 2, 2017. This one was parked at the intersection of 25th and Dolores on the wrong side of the street. There was no one in the car. There was a single orange cone in front of the car. Photos by zrants.

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I passed another car parked on the right side of the street with emergency blinkers and a fire truck in back of it waiting at the light. I took a turn to avoid that street. 

It’s a San Francisco truism: Every other car on the streets these days seems to sport a logo for Uber or Lyft — and many double-park or block traffic as passengers climb in or out.

Now the city wants Uber and Lyft to share details on how many ride-hailing cars are roving the streets and when, so it can ensure that they comply with local laws; assess their impact on traffic congestion, safety, pollution and parking; and ascertain whether they are accessible for disabled and low-income riders.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera on Monday subpoenaed Uber and Lyft to disgorge records on four years of driving practices, disability access and service in San Francisco. The companies have steadfastly declined to share data other than that they have about 45,000 drivers in the Bay Area…

The SFMTA, which oversees the city’s streets and transit, chimed in to say that ride-hailing is a problem.

“We are hearing a growing number of complaints from residents, businesses, and our own traffic enforcement staff and Muni operators about the behavior of these drivers and the congestion and pollution caused by the sheer volume of these vehicles on our city’s streets,” SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin said in a statement. “As stewards of the city’s transportation system, we need to understand the effects of these private companies and their impact on San Francisco’s transit, safety, accessibility, and climate goals.”…(more)

Ok. I have come down off the ceiling from laughing. The SFMTA is calling the kettle black. City Hall embraced the car and house sharing economies when they first appeared on the scene. The couldn’t fulfill their real estate needs fast enough and handed out tax deals like candy to the tech industry that they are now at odds with.

The “Sharing Economy” has lost favor in San Francisco as citizens and politicians realize the circle of benefactors is very limited. Instead of reducing cars and traffic, the SFMTA priority plans have turned the streets into a lawless nightmare, full of people driving on the wrong side of the street, parking in the middle of the street and generally ignoring all of the confusing signs and paint on the street that they don’t understand. (See photos above)

Fuming citizens are filing complaints in record numbers and the Supervisors are calling for hearings on a number of issues. The SFMTA is out of line, way over budget and the lipstick on pig is fading fast.

Help turn this around by filing complaints, writing letters and comments and attending the meetings at City hall when you can. Join MailChimp for occasional updates and news on hearings as they are scheduled.

San Francisco sinkhole swallows big rig

by

On Seventh Street, between Brannan and Townsend, a big rig fell victim to the open mouth of a hungry sinkhole, which partially swallowed the vehicle during the morning commute.

“The San Francisco Fire Department estimates the size of the sinkhole at five feet by 14 feet,” repots Patch, adding, “A tow truck has arrived at the scene to pull the truck out of the sinkhole.”

The truck was carrying bags of cement, as well as two bulldozers. Heavy stuff, indeed.

“The truck driver had just pulled up and was about to park when the pavement gave out and the truck shifted on its side, causing the sidewalk to break and give give way,” notes SFGate.

No injuries have been reported…(more)

C.E.O. Who Trump Thanked for Creating Jobs Says Robots Will Take Over by 2050

Robots on the rise.

zRants

by Maya Kosoff :vanityfair – excerpt

Late last year, Donald Trump met with Japanese billionaire and Softbank C.E.O. Masayoshi Son at Trump Tower to discuss what the president-elect misleadingly heralded as a new investment. “Masa (SoftBank) of Japan has agreed to invest $50 billion in the U.S. toward businesses and 50,000 new jobs,” he tweeted. “Masa said he would never do this had we (Trump) not won the election!”

Trump’s victory lap was problematic on several levels. For one, the $50 billion that Son had agreed to invest came from a previously announced $100 billion investment fund, with much of the money already destined for the U.S. Worse, anyone who read beyond the headlines would have found that Son is hardly the poster boy for job creation. In fact, just the opposite: Softbank’s Vision Fund has previously extolled the virtues of automation and improved artificial intelligence with the…

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Trump administration deals a big setback to Caltrain

SF Public Transit Solutions

By Matier & Ross : sfgate – excerpt

In the first big hit to the Bay Area from the Trump administration, newly minted Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has put the brakes on $647 million for Caltrain to go electric — and in the process pretty much killed hopes for high-speed rail coming to San Francisco anytime soon.

“It puts the (electrification) project in serious jeopardy,” Caltrain spokesman Seamus Murphy said Friday.

Caltrain carries about 60,000 riders a day between the South Bay and San Francisco, but its diesel-driven trains are both costly to operate and slow. Officials see electrification as a way both to increase ridership and save money on operating costs.

Going electric would also allow the Peninsula line to be the final link in the high-speed rail system that Gov. Jerry Brown wants to stretch from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The Obama administration embraced the idea, but…

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Opening Up to New Traffic

Alex Kriese : sffogline – excerpt

…Chase Center will not only be the Golden State Warriors’ home arena, but will also host another 200 hundred concerts and events other than basketball games. This new stadium will increase the number of jobs in San Francisco on event days, but will also increase the traffic in an already crowded part of the city. The Chase Center will be located near Piers 30 and 32 and across the street from the UCSF medical center, which many people believe will cause a huge increase in traffic in the North East corner of the City. Not only will traffic increase, but the noise will also. The increased noise from Warriors games and other concerts and events held during the year might impact some of the patients who are being treated at the medical center nearby..

Although the overlap is only a few weeks at a time, if both the Giants and Warriors play home games on the same day, the traffic implications seem daunting. In addition to the Chase Center, AT&T Park holds 42,000+ people. With only an additional 200 parking spots dedicated to the new arena, an influx of 60,000 bodies dispersing simultaneously after a pair of coincidental home games would cause an immense traffic jam that could rival LA’s rush hour. BART and Caltrain stations, which are already brimming on Giants game days, may feel the need for “pushers” like in Japan, people who are paid to help push and shove people into trains to make them all fit. It may be a little overdramatic but the thought of it is funny.

In due time, we shall see how San Francisco and the respective sports organizations plan to alleviate any added headaches to the fans and residents…(more)

This is one of the worst mistakes the city has made in years. Let’s spend a fortune on a new stadium next to the water on landfill with rising sea levels anticipated and see which disaster strikes first. Pushers indeed.

 

San Francisco just hired America’s first-ever ‘director of financial justice’ to get rid of fees that ‘unfairly punish’ a specific part of the population

 

: businessinsider.- excerpt

The city of San Francisco has hired the country’s “first-ever director of financial justice for a city,” reports The California Sunday Magazine in a short profile of the director, Anne Stuhldreher.

At her post, Stuhldreher will be tasked with determining “which government fines and fees unfairly punish the poor and middle class,” in San Francisco, according to Cal Sunday…

Stuhldreher will lead the Financial Justice Project, a new venture in conjunction with the San Francisco’s office of the treasurer and tax collector. It aims to reform the local and state governments’ purportedly harsh financial penalties for a range of infractions, from traffic tickets to criminal dues. The revenue generated from these fees and fines is used, in part, to balance public budgets.

According to Cal Sunday, if a traffic ticket goes unpaid for 20 days in San Francisco, the resident is subject to a $300 late fee that can wind up with a collections agency, potentially damaging their credit.

Further, the San Francisco Treasurer reports that “four million Californians — 14% percent of adults — have had their drivers’ licenses suspended because they can’t afford to pay traffic fines and fees.”

According to the project’s statistics, these debts and others become especially crippling to the financial lives of middle and lower-income residents.

But Stuhldreher’s efforts go beyond traffic fines. She’s also concerned with the burden the criminal justice system places on families who can’t afford to pay for a night in juvenile hall or for the cost of their electronic bracelet, for example. According to Cal Sunday, she’s studying whether a local system similar to that of some European countries, where fees are based on a person’s daily income, would work in San Francisco.

Check out the Financial Justice Project for more information, including profiles of San Franciscans who’ve been affected by the city’s steep fees…(more)

RELATED:
Read the full story at The California Sunday Magazine

The most popular part of this site if the ticket information. This is a huge problem for the people who live and work in San Francisco and the city has ignored it for too long. Hopefully this will help protect the people who are most at risk from these torturous programs. I expect this will be popular article.

 

 

 

After tussle with bike-share startup, San Francisco says it’s sick of disruption

When their shifts end, Uber drivers set up camp in parking lots

By Eric Newcomer and Olivia Zaleski : chicagotribune – excerpt

In the 1970s, the Safeway grocery store in San Francisco’s gleaming Marina neighborhood, known as the Social Safeway, was a cornerstone of the pre-Tinder dating scene. Armistead Maupin made it famous in his 1978 book, Tales of the City, calling it “the hottest spot in town” to meet people. For years afterward, locals called it the “Singles Safeway” or the “Dateway.”

Forty years later, German Tugas, a 42-year-old Uber driver, got to know it for another reason: Its parking lot was a safe spot to sleep in his car. Most weeknights, Tugas drives over 70 hours a week in San Francisco, where the work is steadier and fares are higher than in his hometown, Sacramento. So every Monday morning, Tugas leaves at 4 a.m., says goodbye to his wife and four daughters, drives 90 miles to the city, and lugs around passengers until he earns $300 or gets too tired to keep going. (Most days he nets $230 after expenses like gas.) Then, he and at least a half dozen other Uber drivers gathered in the Social Safeway parking lot to sleep in their cars before another long day of driving… (more)

What do Uber drivers in San Francisco have in common with San Jose cops? They both sleep in parking lots.

Polk Streetscape Construction Update

SF Public Transit Solutions

Only the SFMTA and the DPW would use a construction photograph as a greeting. They must think we appreciate the appearance of the mud and orange cones as much as they do. Guess what, to us ROAD CONSTRUCTION SUCKS! No one except you thinks they look attractive, so quite sending us these hideous photos of broken streets in your cheerful greetings. You are looking a head to spending more of our tax dollars disrupting our lives. We are NOT! How tacky can you get.

29463164-24ff-4fa9-9a8a-d1854bdc42d5.jpgWater work on North Point Street, January 11, 2017 – San Francisco Public Works

9b48ec82-e298-4bfd-85f6-f6ff3bfb7911.jpgJanuary 13, 2017
Greetings Polk Street Community Member and Happy New Year!
View the latest construction information for the Polk Streetscape Project. Project Activity Summary – Crews have resumed work in segment 5 on North Point Street, between Van Ness Avenue and Larkin Street performing water main replacement work.

Week of January…

View original post 230 more words

Geary BRT Phase 1 and 2 explained

Phase 1 and Phase 2 explained on SFMTA site.

Colin Dentel-Post’s explanation on the Reddit blog:
We’ve broken the implementation of the project into two phases in order to roll out the project benefits to the corridor as quickly as possible. Phase 1 includes most of the project improvements east of Stanyan (bus-only lanes, pedestrian crossing improvements, traffic signal upgrades, repaving, utility upgrades, etc), while Phase 2 includes all of the improvements west of Stanyan, including the center-running bus lanes from Palm to 27th Ave.
Since Phase 1 is lower-cost and less complex, we’ve gotten a head start on design, and as soon as the SFMTA Board approves the design we’ll be ready to implement it starting with the bus-only lanes later next year. We’ll follow the red lanes with the rest of the Phase 1 improvements in 2018-2019. Phase 2 is more complex to design and requires federal funding, so we’re aiming for construction in 2019-2020. We’ll begin phase 2 conceptual engineering early next year.

January SF CTA Board meeting recordings:
http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=24
CTA 2017 calendar of meetings
Here is the link to the MTA CAC page