Community Meeting on SF General Hospital Parking and Transit

From SF Health Network:
September 30, 2015   6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
SF General Hospital, 2nd Floor Cafeteria
City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) is hosting a community meeting to update you on activities and proposed plans for changes at SFGH and in the surrounding vicinity. This meeting will be next Wednesday, September 30th from 6:00 to 7:30 pm in the 2nd floor cafeteria of the San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.
Topics of discussion will include the following:
·         Status of the new acute care and trauma center
·         Potrero Avenue Streetscape Project
·         Neighborhood Transportation, Traffic and Proposed Garage Expansion
·         Proposed new UCSF Research Building on the SFGH Campus

SFMTA’s new bicycle strategy – The SF Bike Coalition wish list


calbike – excerpt

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s new Bicycle Strategy is the state’s most serious look at what it would take to triple bicycling. The SFMTA’s Timothy Papandreou analyzed what it would take to triple cycling to 10% of trips to work, up from a little over 3% today.

He concluded that the existing bike network is comfortable for only 10% of street users and that from $300 million to $500 million would be necessary to build a complete network of protected bikeways to attract tens of thousands of new riders daily.

The strategy has remarkable support across the political spectrum as a necessary means to continue economic growth in a congested city, according to a Streetsblog article on the topic. Its Board of Directors voted to support an investment of nearly $300 million in the next five years, a huge increase over the current funding of less than one half of one percent of its capital budget on bicycling. Sources tell us that new taxes are being considered that will generate the necessary funds and that key decision makers in the government and business communities are supporting dedicating sufficient funds to bicycling improvements in the next few years (more)

Remember this in November when they tell you they need $500 million or whatever to fix the MTA and the potholes.

Remember this voters when you get to vote to raise your vehicle license fees, your sales tax, and take on more public debt by selling more bonds.
According to the California Bicycle Coalition, SFMTA intends to continue spend $300 million on bicycling, not expanded Muni service.

Walking and biking were free when I was a kid. Why are we spending billions of dollars on it now?

Political power on two wheels: Don’t mess with the bikers!

By Henry Grabar : salon – excerpt

Forget Boss Tweed or newspaper endorsements: There’s a surprising new political power in big cities — bicyclists

In New York, the would-be “bike voters” face an important election. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure, a benevolent era for cyclists, pedestrians and park-lovers, is expiring….
His would-be successors, though, have struggled to stake out territory of their own. In the early stages of the campaign, they were eager to distance themselves from this transportation legacy. De Blasio, for one, had called transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan a “radical.” The tenor of the debate caused some consternation on the part of cyclists and others who have supported the administration’s changes to street design.
“I get that Bill de Blasio and others are striving to distinguish themselves from Bloomberg,” Paul Steely White, the executive director of advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, told the New York Times in February. ”My advice to them is to pick another issue.”…
“We certainly think there is a complete streets voter out there who will prioritize transportation policy — who will prioritize this as one of their deciding factors,” McClure added…
“Our roots have always been in biking,” said Noah Budnick, the deputy director of TA, whose roster of issues also includes bus rapid transit, play streets, public plazas, and traffic enforcement…
Indeed, the most obvious models for the new StreetsPAC wear their biking allegiances on their sleeves. One is the politically active San Francisco Bike Coalition, which, like TA in New York, has been remarkably successful in obtaining both policy and infrastructure reforms for cyclists in the Bay Area. Ridership is up 71 percent over the last five years in San Francisco. The SFBC also endorses candidates in local elections….
Indeed, the most obvious models for the new StreetsPAC wear their biking allegiances on their sleeves. One is the politically active San Francisco Bike Coalition, which, like TA in New York, has been remarkably successful in obtaining both policy and infrastructure reforms for cyclists in the Bay Area. Ridership is up 71 percent over the last five years in San Francisco. The SFBC also endorses candidates in local elections….
If you’ve been following the news in New York over the past few years, you might have thought bicycles would be a major campaign issue here too. Bike lanes and the city’s new bike share program have been the golden goose of tabloid headlines. The issue has generated, from supporters and opponents, references to the following: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter From Birmingham Jail, “The Exorcist,” Bush v. Gore, the American Revolutionary War, and the Taliban’s demolition of the Bamiyan Buddhas. (And those were just the public statements I came across in researching this article.)
But as the summer wore on, the candidates have shelved the anti-bike rhetoric. Usage of the bike-share program exploded and polls showed the majority of New Yorkers not only approve bike lanes but would like to see more of them. “Certain candidates may have joked about ripping out bike lanes or that they wouldn’t be opposed to removing pedestrian plazas, “ McClure notes. “But the reality is that there’s no moving backwards from this.” As TA employees put it to me, the debate over bike lanes is settled…
That’s not to say that the common political goals of the movement have largely been accomplished. Congestion pricing, for example, was one of the failures of the Bloomberg administration and remains a politically charged issue. (De Blasio, as a City Council member, voted against it.) Traffic safety is still a huge problem:…
But with success come challenges. The San Francisco Bike Coalition drew some criticism last year when it chose not to acknowledge the 20th anniversary of Critical Mass, the free-for-all bike ride that originated in San Francisco and has become a worldwide event – indicating a division between the political wing and the lawless roots of San Francisco bike culture. If one of the major bike organizations decides to shun electric bicycles, would its members follow? Is it possible that the interests of mass transit riders and cyclists – two groups that make up the core of Transportation Alternatives’ membership – could diverge in the future over competition for street space?
What’s clear is that the concept of a “bike lobby” is no punch line. L.W. Rundlett would feel right at home… (more)

Can we get an amen?

by Tony Robles : – excerpt

OPINION Senior and Disability Action recently learned of the outcome of the case of the elder who was killed in a collision with a bicyclist in the city’s Castro District. The victim, 71 year old Sutchi Hui, was walking across the intersection of Castro and Market Streets with his wife when he was struck by 34 year old Chris Bucchere, a self-described “entrepreneur, software developer, founder and CEO of Social Collective Inc.”
Our organization has been involved in the issue of pedestrian safety, advocating for improvements on the city streets, corridors and areas that pose safety risks for seniors, people with disabilities and the public in general. The tragic incident that took Mr. Hui’s life emphasizes the need for better pedestrian safety and the need to hold bicyclists accountable for their actions…
Senior and Disability Action was dismayed by the breezy attitude of the cyclist, who, after the collision that claimed Mr. Hui’s life, lamented the loss of his bike helmet in a blog:
“In closing, I want to dedicate this story to my late helmet. She died in heroic fashion today as my head slammed into the tarmac…may she die knowing that because she committed the ultimate sacrifice, her rider can live and ride one. Can I get an amen? Amen”…
We all must adhere to the rules of the road; the rules apply to both motorists as well as cyclists. We recognize that there are cyclists that follow the rules of the road. But this case was egregious, not only in the loss of life, but in the arrogance of the cyclist, who was using an app that gauged his speed and overall performance on the road, offering a prize as an incentive. The metaphors are striking—plowing through an area as if one has the God-given right and too bad if you happen to be in my way. Mr. Bucchere’s actions in the aftermath is evincive of the race and class privilege that has permeated the city, where some lives are evidently worth more than others.
Can we get an amen?

For some reason city agencies appear to be fueling the anger that is growing between extreme bikers and the rest of us, instead of calming it.
This story about the death at the hands of a cyclist is running in the same paper as the story about the SF Bike Coalition’s Memorial to a biker hit by a truck on Folsom Street. Does no one else see the irony in this?
We need someone at City Hall to put a stop to the growing war between extreme bikers and the rest of us.
With the closure of the Bay Bridge and the possible BART strike we need a reasonable balanced transit approach that does not cater to any one group.

Memorial for cyclist marred by SFPD harassment

The animosity that is being instigated between bikers and drives needs to stop. There is no better time than now for the bikers and the rest of us to stop fighting over the roads. A biker’s death by truck, is no more tragic than a pedestrian’s death by bike. Where is the outpouring of remorse for that victim? Did the biking community send flowers to his memorial? It is time for the city to re-evaluate priorities. The voters are fed up with the mess on the roads. The complete streets program is a complete failure.

San Francisco’s Transit Planning Process Threatens Market Street’s Revival – excerpt

When Kieran Farr recently resigned from the Geary Street BRT Advisory Committee, he stated, “what I’ve seen in the past 6 years has been a severe disappointment during which I have lost trust in America’s regulatory framework to enact effective transit improvements.” Farr acted after planners announced that Bus Rapid Transit on Geary— a decade old idea set to be implemented in 2012—has been pushed back to 2020. But as Farr also noted, delay in implementing transit projects is less a national problem than a San Francisco one. The Geary BRT experience shows how the city’s seemingly endless transit and community planning processes discourage rather than foster public participation. Now the challenge is for the city to avoid similar diversions and delays in transit plans for Central Market, especially as “new ideas” have emerged that threaten the community consensus for the area…
That’s why talk of shifting buses from Mission to Market and sending bicyclists in the reverse direction is so troubling. While I understand that “all options must be explored,” and believe in “keeping an open mind,” that Market Street is seriously being considered as a transportation hub for above-ground buses rather than bicycles is entirely inconsistent with the vision for the street that emerged from the community planning process… (more)

Market Street overhaul rethinks Mission too
Remaking one of the city’s busiest streets could involve banishing buses from downtown Mission Street and redesigning the thoroughfare to make travel safer and easier for the city’s growing number of cyclists.
The plan being studied by city officials is the newest of three alternatives for a $350 million Better Market Street project, which would remake the city’s main boulevard into a designated transit corridor and transform the adjoining downtown sidewalks and plazas into inviting places for the hordes of workers, tourists and other visitors who jam into the area every day…
“The curbs (on Market Street) were built of granite and meant to stay,” she added. “We don’t take moving them lightly.”… (more)

Comments and letters to the editor:

Slow down all of San Francisco’s wheels – In reference to city planner Neil Hrushowy‘s comment in “Broader view also rethinks Mission” (Feb. 5) that cars undermine San Francisco’s city center because the “key to the city center is people” and “you don’t go downtown to watch cars go by,” I’d add that I don’t go there to dodge bicycles, either.
High time for a transportation plan that discusses how best to manage wheels, not just those of cars, in our downtown, which Hrushowy describes as “the most democratic space in the city, with something for everyone,” as well as on all city streets.
– Bonnie Elliott, San Francisco

Give Muni money The city wants to spend well over $1 million redoing Mission Street so the area is bike and pedestrian friendly (“Broader view also rethinks Mission,” Feb. 5).
Why don’t they put the money into fixing Muni so that it’s a reliable source of transportation for everyone?
– Joanne Bloomfield, San Francisco