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?

 

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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)

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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?

AB 2923 would turn BART parking lots into dense transit housing projects.

AB 2923 Chiu, Bill would impose a state-mandated local program requiring the BART board to replace parking lots with housing. Presumably the ones they now operate for BART passengers, removing parking options for BART riders, who are already complaining about the shortage of parking.

AB 2923 will be heard in Senate Governance and Finance Committee
Wednesday, 6/27/18, 9:30 AM in Room 112. Details on actions you may take are here: https://sfceqa.wordpress.com/ab-2923

Catharine Baker made a solid case to oppose AB 2923. Would you like BART to control housing decisions in our community, or, really, anywhere in the Bay Area? That is what AB 2923 would do. Here are her thoughts on this proposalClick here to let her know what you think. http://bit.ly/1RGaCl8

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“Legislation by Assemblymen David Chiu, D-San Francisco, and Timothy Grayson, D-Concord, seeks to address the relative scarcity of BART-accessible housing by requiring the system to adopt zoning standards that promote residential development and forcing cities to go along with them. The bill, AB2923, also would mandate that developers devote at least 20 percent of projects to affordable housing and, in a potentially counterproductive concession to organized labor, pay union-level wages…” (more)

Ontario tosses a wrench in cap and trade program

zRants

By Dan Morain :calmatters – excerpt

A populist’s victory in the Canadian province of Ontario could affect California’s cap-and-trade program, as legislators and Gov. Jerry Brown prepare to divvy up $1.8 billion in revenue from the program this week.

Brown will take a slice for high-speed rail. Other money likely will go for fire prevention. Projects must lower greenhouse-gas emissions, although any reduction from high-speed rail would come years from now.

As explained by CALmatters’ Julie Cart, polluters subject to the cap and trade—think oil refineries—pay to offset the impact of their emissions.

Complications: Doug Ford, a conservative, won election as premier in Canada’s most populous province on June 7 and says his first act will be to end Ontario’s involvement in the cap-and-trade program. That would leave Quebec as California’s only partner… (more)

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U.S. doesn’t have enough truckers, and it’s starting to cause prices of about everything to rise

Joyce Brenny, chief executive of Brenny Transportation in Minnesota, gave her truck drivers a 15 percent raise this year, but she still can’t find enough workers for a job that now pays $80,000 a year.

A year ago, when customers would call Brenny, she could almost always get their goods loaded on a truck and moving within a day or two. Now she’s warning customers it could take two weeks to find an available truck and driver.

Shipping costs have skyrocketed in the United States in 2018, one of the clearest signs yet of a strong economy that might be starting to overheat. Higher transportation costs are beginning to cause prices of anything that spends time on a truck to rise. Amazon, for example, just implemented a 20 percent hike for its Prime program that delivers goods to customers in two days, and General Mills, the maker of Cheerios and Betty Crocker, said prices of some of its cereals and snacks are going up because of an “unprecedented” rise in freight costs. Tyson Foods, a large meat seller, and John Deere, a farm and construction equipment, also recently announced they will increase prices, blaming higher shipping costs… (more)

Housing is not the only inflationary cost of living index we have to worry about. The costs of goods is going up in an inflationary spiral that is being driven by higher fuel costs and lack of labor. Passage of bills that raise the cost of diesel and bridge tolls will make matters worse. We suggest that voter vote No on RM3 and support the repeal of the gas tax to cool things down a bit.

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Reviving SF’s taxi industry: The city is looking at solutions

By Michael Cabanatuan : sfchronicle – excerpt

San Francisco’s taxi industry, bludgeoned in recent years by Uber and Lyft, needs to catch up with the changing times to survive.

That’s the assessment of a pair of consultants whose report, released Wednesday, recommends that the Municipal Transportation Agency, which regulates the city’s taxi industry, work with cab companies to improve their service and reduce the number of taxis on the streets to match reduced demand but increase the number of cabs capable of carrying persons with disabilities.

What it doesn’t recommend, despite the wishes of taxi drivers, is what the city and the agency are not allowed to do: Regulate the transportation network companies, specifically Uber and Lyft, that have nearly decimated the taxi industry since their drivers arrived in San Francisco over the past decade.

That oversight falls to the state Public Utilities Commission, not the city…

“the MTA is really looking to get the right regulations in place so that the taxi industry can compete,” Toran said.

To accomplish that, the report recommends taxi companies become more customer-friendly by offering mobile-phone apps…

Those companies should also be released from current restraints that prohibit them from offering special or discounted rates …

To help boost interest in operating taxi vans to carry wheelchairs, an often time-consuming effort, the report recommends that drivers be offered up to $300 a month to help buy a van and the same amount per month to cover maintenance and operating costs… (more)

 

 

Opinions on Regional Measure 3

Pro/Con: Will $3 bridge toll hike fix traffic or worsen it?  Backers, opponents debate the proposals in Regional Measure 3 on the June ballot…(more)

Regional Measure 3 improves Bay Area highways, transit: Voters should reject RM3, and demand instead a plan focused on transit, shared rides and bikes..Ballot proposal will directly benefit commuters throughout the region, no matter which direction they are traveling…(more)

Opinion: Bridge toll hike would condemn Bay Area to gridlock: …Voters should reject RM3, and demand instead a plan focused on transit, shared rides and bikes…unless you vote no on  Regional Measure 3, MTC will persist with its failed strategy…(more)