Marin IJ Editorial: TAM study shows changing traffic patterns

marinij – excerpt


Bay Bridge photo by Zrants

Marin’s transportation decision-makers now have a better idea about the comings and goings of the county’s traffic.

A study using carpool, GPS and census data to track the movement of people in and out of Marin found that more of our local workforce is driving into the county. A growing number of motorists are driving into Marin from San Francisco and the East Bay….

It shows Marin residents’ reliance on San Francisco for their workplaces, as well as Marin’s reliance on out-of-county commuters to fill local jobs.

The new data also show that as the price to buy a home or rent an apartment in Marin continues to grow, more workers are forced into those already congested commutes, including making it a lot harder to get up and down Highway 101… (more)

This appears to indicate that forcing people to move away from their jobs is increasing regional traffic. If that is the case, the solution to reducing traffic is to reduce displacement by stabilizing rents. Pass this along.

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Fight Over Mission Street Transit-Only Lanes Still Red-Hot

The $3.8 million SFMTA project designating lanes on Mission Street bus- and taxi-only, a system used on Market Street and other thoroughfares, was enacted with the stated goal of reducing congestion and transit times while increasing safety. It’s still too soon to know what the long-term effects of the changes, which SFMTA Transit Director John Haley called “exciting stuff” during their inception, will be, but the reduction of parking on Mission Street has become a red-hot issue for local residents and businesses.

Drivers, naturally, have made their objections known, and small business owners have also argued that the limits on parking have driven customers away. The controversy has yet to cool off: Last night, many critics met with the SFMTA board of directors, where the rhetoric grew purple.

“This is just one more act of violence that the people in the Mission feel,” Mission Local quotes one resident, Mary Eliza. “When their primary street, with the district name on it, is violated in this way without really taking into consideration the needs of the community, you’re going to have a problem.”

“They’re not going to come back,” Eden Stein, the owner of Secession Art & Design on Mission Street, told the meeting. “From 16th to Randall there has been a loss of business, and a lot of businesses can’t wait months for changes to happen. Businesses are going to close down. We need some action.”… (more)

I attended the community meetings with staff after the red paint went down on the Mission Street and the forced turns turned the street into a nightmare. Both Reiskin and Campos were at the first meeting where I asked what the Mission Street project cost. I was told $6 million dollars. I asked how much it cost to add a bus line to the route and was told $1. I suggested a better way to serve the Muni riders with less negative effects on everyone else would be to put more buses into service. As it is now, the buses rolling down the red carpet, are packed to the gills. Standing room only. That brings me to wonder just how fast buses should go with standing passengers. That leads me to question the need to speed up the buses on Mission Street.

You can see by the amount of animosity evident in the comments and the negative reception SFMTA staff are facing in other neighborhood meetings, (we heard hissing and booing in the Sunset), that the invasion of an entire neighborhood is not going to be ignored by anyone in San Francisco any more. Residents may have been sitting ducks for a while but now they are perking up and noticing each little change they see and most of them are freaking out over anything they don’t like.

The time has come to demand SFMTA roll back the red carpet and paint it black. They need to pave and fix the potholes in the street before they lay any more paint or pour any more concrete. All MODES are effected negatively by the potholes, so they can use their bike funds to fix the the potholes before they paint any more bike paths.

Banned From Numerous SF Streets, Homeless Czar Now Wants RV Park For Homeless Vehicle-Dwellers

parking_ban

Map of locations where oversized vehicles are prohibited from overnight parking:
SFMTAIt was back in 2012 when the city of San Francisco started banning the overnight parking of “oversized” vehicles. The prohibitions were an effort to keep otherwise homeless folks living in RVs from taking up residence in certain neighborhoods — but less than four years later, SF’s top official on homelessness is exploring ways for more, not fewer, RV dwellers to park and live in the city…

But now we’re in the era of Division Street’s Tent City, a city-wide report card that ranked homelessness as SF’s top issue, and a Supe-declared shelter bed emergency. Is this a climate in which some of these Supes will change their tune, and welcome people who live in RVs back to their neighborhoods?

That’s apparently what Sam Dodge, SF’s so-called “homeless czar,” is hoping. According to the SF Chronicle, Dodge is “interested in working with a neighborhood to set up a place where RVs now parked on streets can hook up to electricity and water,” essentially creating a space for those who are currently moving their vehicles from place to place to avoid SFMTA ire.

“An RV park would be another kind of step,” Dodge told the Chron, saying that it’s already known that there are “people living in RVs on city streets.”

While this might please advocates for the homeless like Nick Kimura, a volunteer at the Coalition on Homelessness who told the Ex in 2014 that the bans were “displacement, it’s not effectively getting to the root of the problem…And the problem is people are living in vehicles, and they’re being criminalized for it,” Dodge’s move is sure to catch heat from Supes like Cohen, who described overnight RV bans as something that’s “increased people’s quality of life.”

According to Cohen, speaking in 2014, “The folks who are vehicularly housed are a very small percentage. So small that we’re able to solve their concerns on a case-by-case basis.”

But now we’re in 2016, and it’s clear that we haven’t solved much, case-by-case or not. So is an RV park a (partial) solution? And where would it go?

Related: Poll: 51 Percent Of San Franciscans See City Headed In Wrong Direction
Campos’s Shelter-Crisis Declaration Now Has Veto-Proof Majority(more)

Glad to hear that someone with authority is considering the obvious solution of opening up car parks with facilities. I was suggesting they can start with the empty gas stations that already have plumbing and power on site. All they have to do is tear down the fences or open the gates.

Maybe some of those waiting to be developed blocks like the Warriors lot could be used while they are waiting for entitlements and permits.

 

SF confident in traffic plan for Warriors’ planned arena despite concerns

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt – from April 30

A newly formed group is predicting a traffic nightmare around the proposed Warriors arena in Mission Bay, but city officials say they have it under control. For nearly a year, city officials and the basketball team have worked to finalize plans for the 18,000-seat arena and development of two towers and commercial space at Mission Bay, considered a biotech and medical hub. The project has enjoyed wide support, but this week a group calling itself Mission Bay Alliance has emerged to announce opposition, threatening lawsuits and a ballot measure, arguing the traffic will impair hospital and research operations. The group is not affiliated with UC San Francisco, which has a large Mission Bay medical campus. The criticism comes even before the project’s environmental impact report is due out next month.

Today, (April 30) the team and city officials will present a traffic management plan to the Mission Bay Community Advisory Committee.

In a Wednesday briefing, city project managers Adam Van de Water and Ken Rich outlined the steps being taken to mitigate the traffic impacts. The arena site has 950 parking spaces planned, with a majority reserved for office and retail buildings, but city officials say they will be freed up after-hours. And there would be another 132 leased from a nearby garage…

City officials said the project’s environmental analysis will show that even in the worst-case scenario — when a Giants baseball game is held at nearby AT&T Park and it’s a peak commute time — they are short about 300 spaces. To address the shortfall and traffic congestion overall, The City is working on securing parking on two Port of San Francisco properties. Those who park there would be brought to the arena via a shuttle. The sites under consideration include a 250-vehicle lot near the future Crane Cove Park and Pier 70 at 16th and Illinois streets. And an overflow lot for up to 1,000 spaces could be available at Pier 80, which city officials said would divert cars from entering Mission Bay…

The arena project would generate $14.1 million annually in revenue, which includes a $2.50 fee per ticket sold, according to The City. The City would expend $5 million in city services, most of which would go toward Muni service… (more)

Expect congestion next three years: Lombard, Polk, and Van Ness construction projects to run simultaneously

By Susan Dyer Reynolds : marinatimes – excerpt

In San Francisco, where extensive construction work has taken over the city’s neighborhoods and business districts, it seems almost absurd to attempt three enormous, overlapping projects on and around three major Northside thoroughfares, but that’s exactly what the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has planned. Here’s the latest news on the Polk Streetscape project, the Van Ness Transit Corridor Improvement and Bus Rapid Transit project, and the Lombard Street Invest in Neighborhoods Initiative… (more)

The author wants to know how you feel about these plans so let her know. Also let the city officials know. Save Polk Street has a letter here you can sign if you like:

http://www.savepolkstreet.com/

RELATED:
Future of Polk Street to be decided Tuesday – maybe

Tech commuter shuttles riding wave of controversy

sfexaminer – excerpt

On weekday mornings, San Francisco residents, mostly in their 20s and 30s, many in jeans and hoodies, a few in khakis and tucked-in dress shirts, form a single-file line against a mural-graced wall by the Muni bus stop at the southeast corner of 24th and Valencia streets.

They know each other well enough to line up following a system that lacks public signage, but rarely engage in conversation. Here they wait to catch a ride to work, but this isn’t a casual carpool line. This is an invitation-only club.

Some wear earbuds and almost all are engrossed in their smartphones until their free ride arrives, rarely more than a couple of minutes late — a two-story white bus with tinted windows, plush seats and Wi-Fi… (more)

 

SF tech bus program could be stalled for months by appeals

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco’s pilot program for commuter shuttles could be stalled for months or even derailed by The City’s largest labor union and community advocates who are fighting the proposal by using a state environmental law.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency approved the pilot program for commuter shuttles, which are commonly referred to as tech buses, after years of rising tensions. Any delay would leave many unanswered questions for the workers and students who use the shuttles, along with police and parking control officers. The pilot was born in response to complaints about the impacts of the shuttles and lack of traffic-violation enforcement.

The opponents of the SFMTA proposal are appealing for the shuttle program to undergo a rigorous environmental study…

The appeal will put the Board of Supervisors in the hot seat April 1, (April Fool’s Day) when the 11 elected officials are expected to vote on whether to uphold the appeal, which would require the program to undergo an environmental review. The vote hearing is expected to draw a large turnout.

The appeal for a larger study on the shuttles argues that the buses have led to displacement and other elements of gentrification in The City. The tensions between residents and the burgeoning tech industry — which some blame for the rise in rents, cost of living and evictions — garnered nationwide attention when activists blocked commuter buses in December… (more)