Dockless bikes, except for JUMP’s, are still on hold in SF

By Megan Rose Dickey : techcruch – excerpt

In light of Lyft filing a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco regarding dockless bikes, the city is holding off on its permitting process for additional dockless bike providers — at least until later this week. Although Uber-owned JUMP’s pilot was set to expire today, it is now extended until 10 days after the court’s order, SFMTA spokesperson Benjamin Barnett told TechCrunch.

In June, Lyft sued the city, claiming San Francisco was in violation of its 10-year contract with Lyft that would give the company exclusive rights to operate bike-share programs. The lawsuit was in light of SF announcing it would take applications for operators seeking permits to deploy additional stationless bikes.

San Francisco, however, said the contract does not apply to dockless bike-share, but only station-based bike-share. In its lawsuit, Lyft is seeking a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order to prevent the city from issuing permits to operators for stationless bike-share rentals. A judge denied Lyft’s request for a temporary restraining order but is still determining whether or not to grant Lyft a preliminary injunction.… (more)

Turning Muni’s subway system around

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

SFMTA officials hope to reduce delays by making it easier to remove malfunctioning trains

For the more than 140,000 people who ride the Muni Metro subway system daily, major delays are a regular part of life.

That’s because just one train malfunction can stall the entire network, causing other trains get stuck while the broken train is turned around on the track.

One fix may be to build more places for trains to turn around. But Muni officials say it’s a fix that could take years to accomplish.

The lack of turnarounds in the Muni Metro subway system is a major design flaw, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Director of Transit Julie Kirschbaum told the SFMTA Board of Directors last month… (more)

SFO Opens New Parking Lot to Relieve Ride-Hailing Traffic Congestion

By Wilson Walker : cbslocal – excerpt (includes video)

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KPIX) — After a month of congestion on the southern end of San Francisco International Airport, a new parking lot has been opened in hopes of ending the gridlock. As for whether or not it’s going to work, that will take some time to determine.

“They don’t give me the right instructions,” said one ride-hailing driver upon arriving at SFO’s new TNC waiting lot. “I tried to get over here but I don’t see the signal so I might go back to Lot 1 and 2 back in Millbrae.”

There was some confusion among drivers, even some last-minute lane striping by airport crews, but, as of 9 o’clock Friday morning, SFO had officially opened its northern rideshare lot. Getting all of the drivers up to speed is still a work in progress…(more)

This is disturbing on so many levels. First, why are our government officials spending so much time and effort to assist the TNCs? Have they made it easier for the public to choose taxis? or other alternative rides? If not, isn’t this unfair business competition? Last time I took a shuttle (remember the shuttles?) from the airport, the driver had to go through some strange maneuvers, circling around the airport instead of just waiting for riders to approach a single parked shuttle. Where are they getting an extra parking lot? Did they take it away from some other users?

SF Construction On Hold After Businesses Complain About Loss of Parking

KCBSAM On-Demand Podcast – (includes audio track)

A major construction project is officially on hold in San Francisco’s Sunset District after local merchants complained about a significant loss of parking. KCBS Radio’s Matt Bigler talked to patrons and business owners along the Great Highway…(more)

More People Living in Vehicles in San Francisco, Helping to Fuel 17% Increase in Homelessness, Latest Count Shows

by AP : kola – excerpt

Most homeless people in San Francisco sleep in parks and on sidewalks but a growing number are living out of their vehicles, helping fuel an overall 17% increase in homelessness in the last two years, according to a report released Friday.

San Francisco tallied about 8,000 homeless in its one-night count in January, when counties across the country conducted similar counts as required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development…(more)


Rents on Controlled Apartments in L.A. Can Now Rise 4% Due to Inflation

Here is the connection between gentrification, inflation and the increase in homeless population. Something has to stop the escalating prices of everything in order to solve all three problems.

Sunset merchants up in arms over plans to cut parking spaces on Great Highway

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

When even a single parking space is threatened by a public streets project in San Francisco, merchants are quick to sound the alarm.

Take that uproar and multiply it by 96, and you’ve got an idea of just how ticked off Sunset and Parkside merchants are right now.

A city effort to replace sewers and pipes as part of the L-Taraval Improvement Project was initially slated to eliminate up to 100 parking spaces along lower Great Highway for up to three years.

“That’s ‘putting us out of business’ numbers,” said Doug Marshke, owner of Underdogs Too on Taraval Street, just a stone’s throw from where the parking spots are slated to disappear.

Making things worse, The City failed to tell merchants or residents about the projected loss of parking until just weeks before the project was set to start on July 1, according to Supervisor Gordon Mar’s office.

The resulting outcry was enough to force The City to back off temporarily and reconsider.…(more)

State bill taking aim at city bikeshare, scooter regulations stalls in Senate

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

A proposed state law aimed at dismantling local e-scooter and e-bike regulations just got a flat tire.

Assembly Bill 1112, authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), has sputtered to a stop in the state Senate along with some other shared mobility-related bills after it met with growing opposition from California cities.

The legislation is now a “two-year bill,” meaning Friedman will try to float a new version of the bill next session. Her office said it will continue to work on refining its language so all parties’ needs are met…(more)

Transit working group formed to recommend improvements to Muni service

baycitynews – excerpt

Agency in transition as city searches for replacement for Director Ed Reiskin

San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced Monday that she is creating a working group to review Municipal Railway service and how to improve it.

The working group, which will include transit experts, labor leaders and other advocates, will look at Muni’s current bus and rail service and recommend actions the city can take.

The creation of the group comes during a turbulent time for the agency, which had its director of transportation Ed Reiskin announce in April that he will be resigning in August after eight years in the job.

Muni has faced criticism in recent months for issues such as problematic sensors on new light-rail vehicle doors, a reported shortage in bus drivers, and allegations of incomplete background checks for contractors.

The working group will be co-chaired by Ed Harrington, the former city controller, and Gwyneth Borden, the incoming chair of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors.

The group will complete its assessment and release a report by January, according to the mayor’s office.… (More)

Supervisors Threaten to Reject SFMTA’s Budget Amid Rising Frustration

By Ida Mojadad : sfweekly – excerpt

The Board of Supervisors have little say in SFMTA’s policies, except during budget season.

Supervisors on Monday threatened to wield the only substantial authority they have over the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority: rejecting its budget.

At the Land Use and Transporation Committee meeting on Monday, Supervisors Ahsha Safaí and Aaron Peskin ramped up talk of turning down the agency’s budget, which is up for consideration in the next few weeks. The tactic isn’t unheard of but comes amid rising frustration over SFMTA’s actions. This time, it was over cuts to parking attendants in the 39 city-owned garages…

Peskin and Safaí sought answers about future cuts to parking attendant staff that were largely rebuffed, and now promise to take a close look at the issue as they approve, or disapprove SFTMA’s roughly $1 billion budget.

“This is a situation where an agency that has little, if any oversight…we have the thumbs up or down,” Safaí said about the budget. “More and more, it’s becoming apparent that we’re going to have to exercise that authority.”… (more)

If you agree with Safai and Peskin that the budget should not pass this year as a threat to the SFMTA, you should let your supervisors know. Contacts are here:

True Sake window sign blasts SF meter maids, offers discounted sake with a parking ticket

by Teresa Hammerl : hoodline – excerpt

Four months after True Sake (560 Hayes St.) took aim at a new neighborhood parklet with a window display, the shop is at it again. Its target this go-round: San Francisco’s meter maids…

Hoodline tipster Natalie D. alerted us to the sake shop’s new display, which popped up sometime last week.

The display takes aim at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which monitors cars and distributes parking tickets. The enforcement division was once known as the Department of Parking and Traffic (DPT), though it dropped that moniker when it merged with the SFMTA in 2010.

Featuring sake bottles draped in official SFMTA parking tickets, the sign rebrands the DPT as the “Department of Public Taking.”

“Small business loves cars,” it argues, noting that “cars = customers.” By contrast, the sign alleges, “San Francisco hates cars.”… (more)

Merchants all over town agree and want to stop the SFMTA from killing their business by stopping their programs to remove parking and public access to the streets. Meanwhile, Assemblymember David Chiu is working on a bill AB 516 that would remove the towing option. Would this help the merchants, or will the SFMTA just raise ticket and parking fees? When will residents and business owners join to protect their common interests?