Can Walnut Creek be a model for reducing gridlock? It hopes so

By Hannah Norman : bizjournals – excerpt

As Bay Area traffic congestion hovers at an all-time high, the East Bay suburb is taking matters into its own hands to limit single occupancy vehicles on the roads and becoming a model of smart transit among smaller cities… (more)

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Scooter company Skip outpaces Scoot in SF parking citations

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

Just a few months into San Francisco’s scooter permit pilot program, The City’s only two scooter operators, Scoot and Skip, have already shown one way in which they’re different:

Skip scooters have been slapped with far more parking tickets than Scoot.

That’s according to citation data provided by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which regulates the e-scooter companies… (more)

San Francisco Sees Decline in Bike Riders

By Christie Smith : nbcbayarea – excerpt (includes video and graphic)

Number-of-Bicyclists-Drops-in-San-Francisco_Bay-Area online

It’s a shock to say the least as numbers show fewer people are biking in the Bay Area, a stunning statement considering how much the city has made streets bike friendly.

With more people moving to San Francisco, riders said there are not enough protected bike lanes for bicyclists.

Considering how much the city has done to make streets more bike friendly, trends show a decrease of riders from 126,000 riders in 2015 to 95,000 in 2017 according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)… (more)

One of the interviews is with a Valencia Street Bike Store who admits to having sinking sales over the last five years. It appears that not all industries have done well during the explosion of Bike Lanes. If any bike store in town should be successful it should be one on Valencia, one of the heaviest traveled bike streets in town. We should determine which industries are successful and which are failing by talking to more merchants on Valencia.

Scoot, Skip fail to deliver on promises in first e-scooter accountability report

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : examiner – excerpt

Scoot and Skip pledged helmet lockboxes, low-income programs and more in the applications to The City that helped them earn highly-sought e-scooter pilot program permits.

But in their very first compliance report to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which the agency required after 90 days of permitted operation, those companies revealed they’ve yet to deliver on some of those promises.

“Those were critical promises and commitments made in their original applications. We’re working to ensure their compliance,” said Ben Jose, a spokesperson for the SFMTA.

He added that failing to come into compliance with promises to San Francisco that earned those permits in the first place could lead to dire consequences for the e-scooter companies…

SF’s legal e-scooters, by the numbers
Oct. 15, 2018 — Scoot and Skip launch in SF
22 — Riders who signed up for Skip’s low-income discount program
39,015 — Drivers Licenses approved by Skip to join its platform
4 — Scoot “Kicks” riders caught driving unsafely and warned by the company
39 — Scoot “Kicks” riders caught parking badly and warned by the company
58 — Self-reported collisions on Skip e-scooters… (more)

How can this business plan work when there is little incentive to rent the things, and so many people hate them? They are really cheap to buy, take up no space in your house or  and lightweight enough to carry up stairs to store in an apartment or leave in any bike rack. Just buy one if you want one.

If only our former Mayor now Governor would take it upon himself to take control of the CPUC we might be able to solve some of the problems our state is faced with. CPUC was set up to regulate, not support the public utilities. They are supposed to manage them for the benefit of the public.

When you think about the power the CPUC has over our lives you should worry about the people wielding that power. They unleashed private corporations on our streets and denied local governments the right to regulate them. The traffic jams they created are bad enough, but now they are poised to allow PG&E to pass their legal costs to the ratepayers in the form of higher rates.

Now the Governor plans to tax our drinking water to finance the needs of millions of new citizens moving to California to fill the millions of units of new housing being built. CPuC will likely support that tax on drinking water. If that doesn’t get your attention, not much will.

 

CASA ‘compact’ needs major changes to protect tenants

By Aimee Inglis : sfexaminer – excerpt

The Committee to House the Bay Area (CASA) process has come to a close. The proposal will now move forward through the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), and the state legislature. The policies that come out of this process will impact housing, development, and displacement in the whole Bay Area and perhaps even the state.

But at the final vote of the Technical Committee on CASA, Tenants Together voted that the CASA “compact” should not move forward without major changes. We do not endorse the CASA “compact” as-is, and we disagree with many of its proposals. We are releasing this statement to clarify where we disagree and shine a light on this committee process.

What has come out of the process reads as a developer wishlist with few meaningful tenant protections. The tenant protections presented in CASA are more of a baseline from which to build, not model policy. There were several key problems with CASA, as follows:… (more)

NEED A REASON TO HATE CASA?
CASA Compact is supported by San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and (for some reason) Santa Rosa. This is primarily a legislative plan to force development where is is not wanted on hundreds of other cities and counties that do not perform according to the dictates of the Big Four. The real killer is who pays for the development. The plan is to float more taxing legislation at the regional level by promising to fix the roads and relieve traffic congestion THIS TIME, if only the taxpayers will give them more money for red lanes and HOV lanes and bridge tolls and gas taxes. The long plan is to use our money against us. But, don’t take my word for it. Read it for yourself.

RELATED:

42 people flew to Manhattan for a three-day event that had no real policy purpose — and MTC is stonewalling on releasing the price tag.

By Zelda Bronstein : 48hills – excerpt

During the final meeting of the CASA Technical Committee on December 12, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf let slip that she and unnamed others had recently taken a trip to New York City. No such trip had appeared on any public agenda.

CASA is the organization that is trying to create a “grand bargain” on housing, although it’s really a developer-friendly coup... (more)

Paradise narrowed its main road by two lanes despite warnings of gridlock during a major wildfire

: latimes – (excerpt from November 20, 2018 article)

After a fast-moving fire swept into town a decade ago, burning more than 200 homes and trapping thousands of fleeing residents on gridlocked mountain roads, a grand jury called on officials to improve evacuation routes.

But six years later, the city decided to narrow a portion of the main road through town from four lanes to two as part of an effort in the downtown area aimed at boosting commerce as well as traffic and pedestrian safety.

Two other roads in the city were also narrowed, records show..

The so-called Skyway “road diet” slowed traffic, and a local civic group donated benches and landscaping to beautify the zone.

Nearly two weeks ago, Skyway was the scene of unspeakable horror when the worst wildfire in California history besieged Paradise. Up to 27,000 residents trying to escape the flames instead were stuck in traffic, the buildings around them burning. Some died in their cars when the fire roared over them… (more)

A number of people have raised this issue with San Francisco authorities. How are the evacuation plans supposed to work in San Francisco? We have very few lanes for traffic to flow from the Bay side of of the city to the Western side. Only two streets cross both 101 and 280, and one of those is up for major alterations. How is this making San Francisco safer? How does removing street lanes from evacuation routes make these neighborhoods safe?

MTC News Headlines

mtc – excerpt

Headlines For Dec 14, 2018

Ford GoBike will boost fleet of electric bikes in SF from 250 to 850
San Francisco Chronicle

Ford GoBike more than triples its SF electric bike fleet today
Curbed

Transbay Transit Center inches toward repair
San Francisco Chronicle

Holes cut into steel contributed to beams cracking at SF’s Salesforce Transit CenterEast Bay Times

Holes cut into Transit Center beams ‘probable cause’ for cracks
San Francisco Examiner

Video: No Date Set on When Transbay Transit Terminal Will Reopen
NBC – Bay Area

(more)

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.

 

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.