Reopening Of Stockton Street Marks Milestone In Central Subway Project

sanfrancisco.cbslocal – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — After being closed for seven years, a portion of Stockton Street in downtown San Francisco reopened Thursday, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency officials announced.

Stockton Street between Geary and Ellis streets had been closed for construction of the underground Central Subway, which is set to connect riders from the South of Market neighborhood to Chinatown…

“Stockton Street is a major commercial artery and bus route that brings life into the heart of District Three,” Supervisor Aaron Peskin said in a statement. “For many residents in Chinatown and North Beach, this throughway also represents equitable and undisrupted access to downtown jobs and services…

The SFMTA has committed itself to building this vital link between two of San Francisco’s most iconic communities… (more)

“The SFMTA has committed itself to building this vital link between two of San Francisco’s most iconic communities.” 

How about reopening Mission Street to rebuild the vital link between two of San Francisco’s other most iconic Latino communities? Isn’t the cultural historical character of the Mission as important as any other in the city or do we detect a hint of discrimination against the Mission? Tear down the wall on Mission Street. Remove the barriers to trade and commerce in the Mission.

Permanent street parking eyed for shared cars

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

“There’s a fundamental sense of inequity.”

San Francisco’s transportation agency is contemplating whether to make its on-street car-sharing parking program permanent.

Last Friday, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency released its findings on a two-year pilot that allowed three car-sharing companies – City CarShare, Getaround and Zipcar – to use 200 curbside parking spaces throughout The City.

Andy Thornley of the SFMTA’s Sustainable Streets Division, shared the findings at the transit agency’s Policy And Governance Committee last Friday with some promising results…

There were some setbacks for both City CarShare and Getaround when it came to the availability of vehicles because of vandalism, theft or attempted theft of car-sharing vehicles, the report said.

The availability of Getaround vehicles were also affected because the company does not own its own fleet, as it is a peer-to-peer concept where the company relies on vehicle owners to make them available for members.

Construction and street closures also played a role in putting car-sharing parking spaces offline, said Thornley…

“You have turned a piece of the public realm into a private spot for an individual who lives in the neighborhood and that’s pretty perverse…

Currently, the car-sharing companies can remain in the designated car-sharing parking space even during street sweeping days as long as they clean and maintain the parking spaces themselves.

Peskin said this was giving preferential treatment to the companies and it was not fair for residents who get up early in the morning to move their vehicles while car-sharing vehicles can remain at the curbside parking space:

“There’s a fundamental sense of inequity.”

Read the full pilot evaluation on the SFMTA’s website... (more)

Inequality equals discrimination and that is not legal. Ever wonder why the SFMTA costs the city more than any other in legal settlements? This is one of the reasons. Must be nice to have access to unlimited legal funds. How long can city afford to defend the SFMTA and protect the uninsured, undocumented, and homeless residents they have promised to support?

How smart are these SMART systems that are disrupting our city for the benefit of the few?

City CarShare’s Getaround Transition Causes Headaches For Longtime Members, Disabled Users

by Teresa Hammer : hoodline – excerpt

On Thursday, car-sharing company Getaround announced a new partnership with Bay Area car-sharing nonprofit City CarShare and its owner-operator, Carma. As the Chronicle reports, City CarShare will remain in business as an independent nonprofit, but it will lease its fleet of approximately 200 vehicles (and associated parking spaces) to Getaround, which will take a commission.

Representatives for both companies said the arrangement would benefit City CarShare’s 20,000 active users, allowing them to take advantage of Getaround’s superior technology (which allows locking and unlocking of cars with a smartphone) and lower, monthly-fee-free prices.

But many consumers we spoke to aren’t happy about the way the company handled the changeover—which happened almost overnight, and has particularly impacted disabled members who rely on CityCarShare’s wheelchair-accessible vans to get around town… (more)

The enterprising sector of the SFMTA has taken over from the public service sector and someone needs to take a look at this department’s financial dealings. A lot of people who signed up for CityCarShare quit using it because it was to expensive. What does the department do with a loser? Expand it or merge it in typical corporate fashion. And who is there to oversee the program and protect the consumer? No one. If this ends up in court like many other disputes with the SFMTA, whose side will the City Attorney take? We are looking at discrimination on so many levels it boggles the mind.

Transit Board to vote on partical Twin Peaks car closure

By : sfexaminer – excerpt


Twin Peaks’ eastern roadways may soon be closed to vehicles altogether, with pathways only for walkers and cyclists.

That possibility is pending a vote by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors on Tuesday.

If approved, “The Twin Peaks Boulevard Figure Eight Pilot Project” would last two years – from June 1 to May 31, 2018.

At that time, data and feedback from the closure would be assessed for a permanent closure.

SFMTA spokesman Ben Jose said the pilot is intended to “make one of The City’s most iconic destinations more accessible, to more people, by foot and bike,” noting that it would not reduce parking.

The closure would not affect Christmas Tree Point, a popular lookout spot for drivers replete with quarter-fed binoculars. But besides that lookout spot, the eastern side of Twin Peaks Boulevard – with a viewpoint of downtown, the Mission, the Bay Bridge and beyond – would be the sole province of walkers and cyclists.

Cars would be limited to the west side, which is considered a less picturesque view. The western side of Twin Peaks Boulevard would also be turned from a one-way street into a two-way street, according to SFMTA documents. Additional parking would be provided at intersections, and temporary barriers would be installed.

The project will cost an estimated $60,000, according to the SFMTA.

But some neighbors are none too happy with the proposal. Dona Crowder, president of the Twin Peaks Improvement Association, told the San Francisco Examiner that neighbors feared for road safety.

“We’re not for it,” she said.

Originally, the road was engineered to be one way in each direction “for safety,” she said. Now she worries cars driving through the area will need to contend with oncoming tour buses, which frequent the area regularly.

SFMTA’s proposal for Twin Peaks was the subject of a public open house in June 2015, as well as a survey of residents with 450 responses and ongoing meetings with tour bus operators, neighborhood groups and others, according to the SFMTA… (more)

Is cutting off a view by limiting access not discriminating against non-walking, elderly and others who can’t physically walk or bike on a steep hill?


San Francisco expected to set goal of reducing bike thefts by 50 percent in 5 years

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

City officials want bike thefts reduced by 50 percent within five years, as cycling, along with the value of what people are riding, continues to increase in San Francisco.
The crackdown comes as bike thefts have soared and as San Francisco’s transit planning relies on more people biking to get around town. However, the crimes are a deterrent.
“A high hurdle for increasing bike ridership is our ever-present problem of bicycle thefts,” said Supervisor Eric Mar, who has made bike theft a priority in his final term in office…
A resolution introduced by Mar, which is expected to be approved Oct. 1 by the Board of Supervisors, would make it a city goal to reduce bike thefts by 50 percent by August 2018… The resolution also calls on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to “greatly expand bike parking.” Mar said it’s woefully inadequate, with just 3,000 on-street bike racks to handle the 75,000 average bike trips daily… And it would enshrine in city policy the bike registry program, which is expected to be launched as early as Dec. 1 by the nonprofit San Francisco Safe, which earlier this year received $75,000 from The City for the effort. Using an online form, bike owners can register their wheels. If police recover a bike, they can call the group to see if it’s in the database and then contact its owner. Riders also will receive stickers for their bikes to identify if they participate in the registry….
One new effort on the enforcement side is that Officer Matt Friedman has launched a twitter feed, @SFPDBikeTheft, that he said is wildly successful in cracking down on chop shops and thieves. He tweets out mug shots of bike thieves and often receives tips…

Some people might find a free bike registration service discriminatory. Will the city also run the bike recovery program for free? Car owners are charged a tow fee and a daily storage fee when their vehicles are found.

And how about a twitter feed for stolen cars. They cost far more than stolen bikes.

SFMTA Counters “Savage” Ads – excerpt

Image by ABC 7 San Francisco

It’s not over yet.
Last week we reported that SFMTA will be donating proceeds from controversial ads on its buses to the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. That wasn’t enough for the agency, however.
The ad seen above started showing up last week on articulated buses that already carried Pamela Geller’s “Support Israel” ads.
Muni’s response ad reads: SFMTA policy prohibits discrimination based on national origin, religion, and other characteristics and condemns statements that describe any group as “savages.”
To erase any confusion, there’s a graphic arrow pointing to Geller’s ad.
What do you think of SFMTA’s handling of this whole affair?..

I want to put an ad on Muni buses that says”Honk if you hate parking meters”
Read the comments for a continuing dialogue regarding “freedom of speech” on buses. (more)

Oakland parking ticket policy called ‘not fair’

Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Staff Writer,  SFGate

Oakland parking officers were ordered to avoid enforcing neighborhood parking violations in two of the city’s wealthier neighborhoods but told to continue enforcing the same violations in the rest of the city, according to a city memo obtained by The Chronicle.

The July order is corroborated by interviews with three parking officers, who said they and their colleagues had complained about what they deemed a discriminatory practice since it began last summer – to no avail.


Kind of makes us wonder if the same principle is at work in SF with the meters