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.

 

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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.

 

130 affordable housing units result of land transfer between SF agencies

: sfchronicle – excerpt

A proposed property transfer between San Francisco agencies that could yield up to 130 new affordable housing units was approved Wednesday by the Board of Supervisors Government Audit and Oversight Committee…

The MTA’s Board of Directors passed a resolution supporting the sale of the lot in 2012. Two years later, the agency struck an agreement to sell it to the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, which has long sought to develop the site for 100 percent affordable housing…

As part of the agreement, the SFMTA would sell the parcel to the mayor’s housing office for $6.15 million. As a so-called enterprise agency, the SFMTA — like the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission — is allowed to buy and sell its own properties. Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would cover $2.5 million worth of transfer costs. The remaining $3.65 million would come from the city’s affordable housing fund…

Developing the windswept lot into housing will cost an estimated $96 million. To pay for it, Hartley said the city would contribute around $35 million, with the remainder coming from low-income housing tax credits, tax-exempt bond debt and additional state credits that the developers, Related California and the Mission Housing Development Coalition, can apply for… (more)

Since the city owns the land one would assume the city determines who the developers are. They are just in the process of transferring the land. How do they already have developers picked out and who and when was this determined? Some will remember that a company called Related is a luxury condo developer who owned Motivate, the bike share company that recently sold GoBike to Lyft. Do we see a pattern here?

As many San Francisco residents are being displaced by newcomers with a different set of interests and morals, is it time for the citizens of this city to ask some tough questions about how their city is being managed and for whom?  Is it just a coincidence that the same names pop up repeatedly in every city contract? Are you represented by in the non-profit groups showing up at every city hall meetings begging for exclusive privileges?

 

Free bike rental program for SF State students threatened after Lyft buys bikeshare company

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

The City may withdraw funding intended to offer free bike rentals to San Francisco State University’s poorest students due to the program’s connection with ride-hail company Lyft.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority’s board does not want taxpayer dollars to be spent on ride-hail companies Uber and Lyft, and now some members of the transportation authority board — who are also The City’s Board of Supervisors — are considering withholding funds for the free bike program because Lyft recently acquired the company providing the bikes.

“It seems to me we have not gone to Lyft and said … ‘do you want to offer low income individuals at SF state a discounted rate?’” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, at the transportation authority’s regular meeting Tuesday. Lyft is a multi-billion dollar company, he said, and they should offer free bikes.

“I don’t think public dollars should go into that,” he said… (more)

 

Your Amazon deliveries don’t just magically appear at your door

: wbfo – excerpt (includes audio track)

IMG_3030

How do you want your mail delivered? US mail truck is forced to park on the sidewalk on a bike path in order to deliver the mail to a Market Street address. Photo by zrants.

In the gig economy, it seems like no task is specialized. Regular people can do pretty much anything as long as they can download an app and pass a background check. That’s how easy it is to deliver packages with Amazon Flex, the e-commerce giant’s ever-expanding delivery program where you can pick up packages at a warehouse somewhere and deliver them right out of your car. While it may be easy to get hired, the work itself is a bit trickier. The Atlantic’s Alana Semuels decided to give it a try, and ended up finding out a lot about what the gig economy runs on. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked with her about what went down on her first day on the job. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation… (more)

How do we solve the parking problem for the delivery services for the US mail and all the other delivery services we have added to our new on-demand lifestyle. If we don’t want go to shop in the local stores, or cannot find what we want in the local stores and have no choice but to buy it online, we are creating a need for more parking, not less. We have reached a tipping point and cannot afford to lose any more parking.

Removing street parking is leading to more double parking, and complaints about stolen packages are on the rise. To add insult to injury, the SFMTA is still taking public parking off the streets and double parking is on the rise. How do we stop the parking removal program while we figure this out?

Join your local neighborhood association of residents and mecrhants to work out a system that works for your neighborhood. Find out about Ordinance 180089 and the Charter Amendment threat hanging over the SFMTA, should they not listen to the public.  Leave a comment here if you need help connecting with your local group.

Berkeley to Evict RV Homeless Camp from Marina Parking Lot Next Week

The Berkeley City Manager’s plan to evict the vehicle camp was stopped today, but the city council failed to extend a one month reprieve.

By Darwin BondGraham

Several dozen homeless families and individuals who reside in RVs and cars in a Berkeley marina parking lot were hoping to be allowed to stay for at least one more month, but their hopes were dashed this morning when the Berkeley City Council failed to approve a last-minute reprieve.

After the city council failed to provide the one-month stay, some residents of the camp cried…(more)


Scooter crash with serious injuries revives calls for boardwalk ban A man rides a motorized scooter in San Diego

By David Garrick : sandiegouniontribune – excerpt

A man whose daughter and ex-wife suffered serious injuries in a scooter crash over the weekend lobbied San Diego City Council members on Tuesday to revive a scooter boardwalk ban they rejected last month.

“The beach boardwalk is not an appropriate place for such high-speed, non-regulated motorized scooters,” said Dan Dewitt, predicting that more serious injuries will happen unless the city cracks down.

Council members on May 22 rejected a proposed ban on using motorized scooters anywhere on the boardwalks in Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Mission Bay and La Jolla. The council vote was 6-3…

Dewitt’s daughter and ex-wife lost control of their rented scooter on Saturday while trying to weave through pedestrians on the Mission Beach boardwalk near Santa Barbara Place, just north of the community’s iconic roller coaster.

His daughter, 11, suffered a ruptured spleen, abdominal bleeding and a head injury, Dewitt said. Her mother fractured her skull in multiple places, he said.

“I’ve been a firefighter for 17 years and these injuries are worse than most automobile accidents that I’ve responded to,” said Dewitt, who lives in Arizona and rushed to San Diego after the crash involving his family… (more)

Serious injuries are not sufficient data to ban a vehicle from sidewalks? How many injuries will it take to hit the data target?