The DMV nightmare: Report and tips from the (long) lines

By Reese Erlich : 48hills – excerpt

Perhaps you’ve heard the horror stories of people waiting five hours to renew their driver licenses at the always friendly California Department of Motor Vehicles? Well, there’s some good news. It’s down to three.

I don’t intend to analyze the myriad ways the state government has screwed up the DMV. Nor will I explain why the agency is seemingly unprepared for the new federal requirements to obtain a Real ID, which will be one form of identification accepted when boarding domestic flights after Oct 1, 2020…

My intention is to walk you through the DMV maze, avoid my mistakes and help you get through with a minimum of homicidal intentions towards the otherwise hard-working employees at the DMV.

Getting to the right window

First, make an advance appointment if you possibly can. And do it many months before your license expires. Mine expired in July, but when I went online, I couldn’t get an appointment until one week before my renewal date!… (more)

You know things are serious at the DMV when a journalist feels obligated to write an article to help you through the process.

Proposal to provide safe parking for RVs gains support

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez :sfexaminer – excerpt

Mayor promises $1M in funding for program to help homeless living in vehicles

It looks like the road is wide open for a City Hall proposal to create a “Safe Overnight Parking Program” for residents living in camper vans.

Legislation authored by Supervisors Vallie Brown and Ahsha Safai calls for The City to create a homeless navigation center for people living in RVs, and would decriminalize living in vehicles while San Francisco officials work to help people find housing.

Monday morning, Supervisor Hillary Ronen signed on as the eighth co-sponsor of Brown and Safai’s legislation, lending the proposal a veto-proof supermajority as it winds its way through various committees to the full Board of Supervisors, where it’s expected to be voted on within two weeks… (more)

Mission Bay Neighbors Begin Pre-Freakout About Chase Center

By Jay Barmann : sfist – excerpt

Five months before the first concert or basketball game at the new Chase Center — a.k.a. the Warriors Arena — in Mission Bay, anxieties abound over what the traffic and parking situation will be like on event nights are running high.

You may recall that a coalition of UCSF board members, scientists, and hospital funders waged a small war on the arena project dating back to 2015, long before construction even began. The concerns were primarily about the traffic situation that will likely be created when games or concerts occur at the stadium. Given that the design only includes 950 parking spaces for an 18,000-seat arena, it’s really parking that will be more of an issue until concert-goers get used to the idea that there is nowhere to park, and that they should therefore be taking public transit (or rideshares, though the traffic thing will likely make Muni a wiser choice)…

As KTVU reports, the SFMTA’s Sustainable Streets director Tom Maguire says he’s “confident” that there is a workable plan in place to get people in and out of the Chase Center on event nights. But the plan assumes that most people will decide to use Muni…

Anyhow, brace yourselves for many, MANY stories about traffic and parking after the inaugural Metallica/SF Symphony show on September 6… (more)

SFO Pothole Causes Hundreds of Flight Delays

By Ida Mojadad : sfweekly – excerpt

A 12-inch pavement depression was found during an early morning inspection on Thursday.

At least 218 flights at San Francisco International Airport have been delayed on Thursday as crews worked to conduct an emergency patch of a pothole.

Airport officials shut down runway 28L after finding a 12-inch pavement depression during an early morning inspection, Bay City News reports. SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel expected delays to be similar to inclement weather…(more)

Potholes are not just a problem for drivers. Can we say it again? Fix the potholes!

SB 50 is Out of favor in San Francisco

Thanks to all the work many of you did to inform the Board of Supervisors that you do not support SB50, in spite of the media hype supporting it, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously, to oppose unless amended SB50 at the Tuesday April 9, Board of Supervisors Meeting. Congratulate yourselves on doing the work and stay tuned for more actions you can take or sign up here for further notice. See below for an easy approach to stopping in committee this week.

CALL or Email the SENATE Governance & Finance Committee (SB 50 vote is on April 24.) Contacts

Use the link below to email your Opposition to SB50 with the Senate Governance and Finance Committee before April 17.  Your opposition will be recorded in the Committee Report for the Hearing on April 24th. It’s simple. You can edit the message or just send Oppose as it’s written.

Please share this message: We need 2000 emails sent to overcome the Yimby efforts. (at the last hearing, they had 1198 individuals Supporting and we had 5 Opposing – likely an issue of that committee not counting our input). The staff of this committee has committed to counting these and including them in their report.

A couple of places to go for more details on bill progresses:
Please Share this Stop SB50 Link – Click Here

The bizarre argument in favor of Wiener’s housing bill

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – expert

Sup. Vallie Brown tries to make the convoluted case for letting the private market solve our housing crisis.

A Board of Supes committee has passed a resolution opposing SB 50, the Scott Wiener bill that would allow a lot more market-rate housing in California cities without any new funding or mandates for affordability.

But the debate at the Government Audit and Oversight Committee offered a window into how the supporters of the bill are prepared to frame their debate – and how they are badly twisting history to make a political point…

The No vote on the committee was Sup. Vallie Brown. Her speech against it was remarkable both for its incoherence and its repetition of talking points that amount to this:

If we allow developers to build higher and denser, prices will come down to the point that low-income people will not be displaced by tech-boom driven gentrification.

At least, I think that’s what she was trying to say.

Check it out yourself; the relevant part starts at about 4:01(more)

Call or write your comments to the Supervisors: contacts

If You Think SB 50 will be Bad, Think Again: It will Actually be Much Worse

By Dick Platkin : citywatch – excerpt

PLATKIN ON PLANNING-By now most CityWatch readers are familiar with SB 50, California State Senator Scott Wiener’s reboot of last year’s SB 827, a bill that died in committee…

But many people do not yet know that despite a slick PR campaign, SB 50 is worse than SB 827. It will not only fail to reach its goals, but it will instead produce gentrification, traffic congestion, and more Green House Gases. The reason? SB 50 is based on two utterly false premises.

False premise 1. Homelessness and the high cost of housing result from municipal zoning laws. A simple peek at the booms and busts of the real estate market quickly reveals the irrelevance of zoning to the cost of housing. Unlike rapidly fluctuating interest rates and lending requirements, consumer demand, rent control laws, fuel prices, road conditions, mass transit fares, tax laws, government housing programs, and economic inequality, zoning is fixed. A stable variable, zoning, cannot cause wild gyrations in residential prices and building rates, all shown on the following graph… (more)

Gentrification started with the war on cars. Remember “parking is not a right it is a privilege?” That turned into “cars are evil and parking is the problem”. Now we see the real goal, coming at us, that parking removal soften us up for – citizen displacement. Single family homes are evil. Only multi-family homes, preferably small and confined units, are the “right for all”. If you own a single family home you are a selfish so and so who should sell to the developers and take your supposed profits out of town.

Not only is that a strange message to give to homeowners, but it is severely flawed. First, you are assuming because all homes are worth a million dollars, the sellers will be rich when they sell. There are many reasons this is not the case, starting with the fact that many homes are financed and most of the money will go to the banks to pay off the loans. Even for those homeowners who are not sitting on debt, there is the daunting task of moving somewhere else. Where will they move?

Why not take the jobs to the housing in the valley to cut out the commute time and commute traffic. The homes are already built and waiting for jobs. Share the wealth of jobs with the communities who need them. Build the office space where it is wanted and needed. Create you new tech-based communities in new cities, without disrupting peoples lives.

Find out more about SB50 and why you may want to encourage the Supervisors and Mayor to oppose it:

Open Forum: Trickle-down housing won’t solve our affordability crisis

By Gordon Mar : sfchronicle – excerpt

San Francisco has the highest income gap, one of the fastest-growing wealth gaps, and some of the highest housing costs in the world. This isn’t news, but it bears repeating as we consider how best to address our affordability crisis…(more)

Ridesharing nibbling away at public transit ridership in Peninsula, South Bay

By David Louie : abc7news – excerpt (including video)

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) — Ridesharing services are taking a bite out of public transit on the Peninsula and in the South Bay. Ridership is down between four and five percent for both SamTrans and VTA, the Valley Transportation Authority.

“If ridership does continue to decline, yes, maybe some hard decisions will have to be made,” said Dan Lieberman, a media relations representative at SamTrans…(more)

Building A Better Bay Area: Rideshare realities

No one is happy with the current state of our streets and highways and everyone blames someone else. Let’s change the failed system and not worry about why it isn’t working. Public transit agencies need to prioritize moving people where they need to go when they need to get there and drop the emphasis on resigning the streets.

For more than a decade the public has given the government a chance to figure out how to manage the streets and plan for a “future better bay area”. Government goals and priorities have been largely focused on re-directing the public, not in serving the public. This has resulted in bad decisions like bus seat and stop removal, that reduced public transit use. Just as the public predicted, they got off the bus. Riders do not trust the system and are fleeing the chaos and violence.

What do you expect the results to be when public transportation agencies partner with competing enterprise corporations? Who is benefiting from these partnerships? Instead of hiring lobbyists to force more controls, fines and fees on the citizens they are supposed to serve, public agencies like the SFMTA should hire lobbyists to work on returning the control of the TNCs to the local communities they are effecting. CHANGE THE STATE LAW instead of using it as an excuse for the gridlock they are producing to change the behavior of the people they are supposed to serve.

We need to relax the stranglehold the CPUC has on our local governments and stop the state power grab over local jurisdiction. We need a return to local control over local matters. Streets are local and require local control. Public transportation is a local affair and needs local solutions.

Remember what life was like before the TNCs? We had a transit system that worked and people with cars were able to take transit when it was convenient without worrying about having to re-park their cars. Taxis were easier to find on the street. There were less cars on the street and traffic moved more smoothly. Reducing lanes and parking has not brought the benefits we were promised. We need to pause and reset our priorities.

Building A Better Bay Area: Rideshare realities

Many Muni drivers sleeping in their cars due to long commutes

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

Operators priced out of San Francisco argue for better wages, safe spaces to rest

San Leandro. Antioch. Hayward. Stockton.

San Francisco’s Muni operators hail from cities across the Bay Area, in part due to an exploding housing market that’s driven them farther and farther from The City.

And with that distance comes long commutes and sleep deprivation.

To avoid long hours on the road, Muni operators are increasingly sleeping in their cars on San Francisco streets or in city-operated garages, according to drivers and union officials.

Six Muni operators who consistently sleep in their cars while working for Muni spoke to reporters on Monday, alongside representatives of their union, the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A. They were hoping to sound the alarm on the link between low pay, distance to work and lack of sleep.

“There have been countless times when I finish a shift and have to sleep in [my] car,” said Alex Sobolev, a Muni operator…(more)

Commute Challenge: Taxi vs. Rideshare

abc7news – excerpt (includes video)

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — San Francisco-based companies Uber and Lyft have changed the face of transit here in the Bay Area and around the world.

This has happened at the expense of the taxi industry, but many people still believe that taxi cabs have advantages that ridershare cars can’t offer.

Namely, the drivers are more familiar with the cities they service which can result in a faster ride and they don’t have surge pricing, so the ride can be cheaper depending on when you take it.

ABC7 decided to put this idea to the test with another commuter challenge to see which is faster and cheaper — rideshare versus taxi…(more)