SFMTA no longer plans to remove 17th Avenue Safeway stop

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

In a sudden twist, The City’s transit agency has reversed course and will keep a much-beloved Muni train stop adjacent to a 17th Avenue Safeway.

Originally the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency proposed removing the stop on a trial basis in the name of speeding up the L-Taraval train, a small part of the $90 million L-Taraval Rapid Project which was intended to improve speed and safety along the route. A final vote on that stop’s removal was scheduled for summer.

But after an outcry from organized neighbors and the intervention of Supervisor Norman Yee, whose district includes the stop, the SFMTA has revised its proposal and plans to announce today that it will maintain the Safeway stop…(more)

Fear of the Supervisors’ threat to place a Charter Amendment ()on the ballot that would split theme up them apart may be working as the SFMTA backtracks on one of their most controversial decisions. The Supervisors are announced a plan to decentralize the SFMTA and encourage a neighborhood process for “neighborhood issues.”

Now is the time to contact your Supervisors to demand support for the first Ordinance to set up an appeals process and demand more action. Don’t forget to raise these issues with the candidates for Mayor and Supervisor positions as well. Each Supervisor may take up an issue and it may take a while, but, you need to take this moment to turn the SFMTA around.

 

Ballot Measure Battle Royale, Episode 1: Charter Amendments

by Diego Aguilar-Canabal : thebaycitybeacon – excerpt

What is a charter amendment, and which could end up on your next ballot?

Charter Amendments are explicit changes to the city charter, which must be approved by a citywide vote. These are the hardest-sought ballot measures that can have the most meaningful impact on how city government operates. Some of these are spats between factions or rivalries, while others represent more significant power struggles between the Executive and Legislative branches of government. Others may be more mundane or popular issues that, for whatever reason, can only be addressed through the city charter.

Whether the Board of Supervisors votes to put it on the ballot, or activists gather thousands of signatures to qualify, here’s an exhaustive list of all the proposed charter amendments under consideration: … (more)

If you do not understand how the local government operates you will be confused by what is going on at City Hall. This article describes this year’s list of ballot initiatives up for consideration.

Metermadness will only concern itself with the Charter Amendment to Split the SFTA. read the rest of the article for the issues in the article.

Splitting Apart the SFMTA:

Despite their endorsements of rival candidates in the 2016 election, Supervisors Ahsha Safai and Aaron Peskin joined forces to introduce a ballot measure that would rescind authority over automobile traffic from the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency (SFMTA). Parking and traffic policy would instead by governed by a new Department of Livable Streets, under the auspices of a commission appointed by the Board of Supervisors…

Supervisor Safai’s office believes constituents may want to see car traffic decoupled from the central agency’s jurisdiction, as a bureaucracy under mayoral control may be less politically responsive than your District Supervisor. Ingleside residents repeatedly requested a four-way stop sign at the intersection of Avalon and Edinburgh—if the SFMTA hadn’t denied these requests, Safai contends, then Supervisorial control these sorts of traffic decisions could have prevented several injuries.

If passed, the ballot measure would give a Supervisor receiving such complaints “final oversight on mobility management, parking, and traffic calming” under the Livable Streets Department, according to Safai’s office…

Safai’s legislative aide Cathy Mulkey Meyer was notified by the Ingleside Police Station that a pedestrian had been hit at the intersection. A car crash followed just last week, on January 18. According to Meyer, the SFMTA only provides “significant” traffic calming measures—like a stop sign—“if the SFMTA engineers observe right number of pedestrians are interacting with a hazardous number of cars travelling at rapid speeds during a few hours on one day of the year.”

Meyer added that these traffic audits “don’t reflect the nuances neighbors plan their daily lives around, whether walking across the street or deciding what time to leave for work”—or, in the case of this intersection, three schools within a three-block radius. One local traffic engineer, speaking to the Beacon under the condition of anonymity, insisted that “any assessment” for traffic calming purposes would have “absolutely” included factors such as nearby schools(more)

Merchants Affected By Construction Projects Could Receive Loans & Grants

by Teresa Hammerl : hoodline – excerpt

As major construction and streetscaping projects in the city have brought traffic jams, blocked parking and limited visibility for small businesses, merchants across San Francisco are frustrated.

Now, the city’s supervisors are looking at how they could better support business owners, including with loans and grants.

The Board of Supervisors Government Audits & Oversight Committee met on Wednesday to discuss the economic impact of construction.

“We’re in a construction boom in the private sector and public sphere—with more investments going into capital improvements—than we’ve seen in years,” said District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee, whose district includes West Portal and parts of the Inner Sunset. “What we’re discussing today is the unavoidable impacts these projects have on our merchants and commercial corridors.”…

Kim said that her office had already secured $100,000 add-back for construction mitigation, as well as an additional $95,000 dedicated to merchant assistance.

She also said that she was considering a fee for private developers that would go into a larger citywide fund to help support business owners during private construction projects.

“I know we have a lot of fees on our private developers, but we should consider a small one based on the cost of construction,” she said… (more)

KTVU Stays Classy With Fearmongering Segment on “Bike Yield Law”

by  sf.streetsblog – excerpt

What KTVU’s sensationalistic bike coverage lacks in integrity, it compensates for in consistency. The Fox affiliate’s segment on the proposed “Bike Yield Law” yesterday kept the bar low in manufacturing controversy, featuring a bedside interview with a single mother recovering from injuries after being hit by a bicycle rider earlier that day… (more)
http://www.ktvu.com/news/23500593-video

SAN FRANCISCO SUPERVISOR WIENER AUTHORS LEGISLATION TO CUT TOW COSTS

By Carolyn Tyler : abc7news – excerpt (video)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 12:00AM
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — If your car is towed in San Francisco, you’re going to be paying some of the highest rates in the country to get it back, but now for one group of motorists — those whose cars were stolen — it appears some relief is on the way.

Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s, San Francisco residents were reimbursed the towing expenses for stolen cars, but that changed in 2005, perhaps due to the economy.

Adding insult to injury, San Francisco resident Luis Rodriguez will spend big bucks to get his Chevy Malibu from the towing yard. Every month on average, nearly 200 stolen vehicles end up at AutoReturn.

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener said, “It’s a real hardship — especially for lower income people who rely on their car as a lifeline to get to work — to have to pay a lot of money to get their car, when they didn’t do anything wrong.”

Wiener has authored legislation with the backing of the Municipal Transportation Agency. If approved, starting this December through next March there would be changes. And when the towing contract comes up for renewal, it is also expected to include the new previsions.

Muni’s $266 SFMTA administrative fee would be waived for San Francisco residents and cut in half for non-residents. The $225.75 towing fees would be waived for everyone. And rather than the current four hours you’re given to get your car before the storage fees accumulate, residents will have a 48 hour grace period. The grace period will be 24 hours for non-residents… (more)

Seven supes will ride Muni for 22 days in June; mayor hasn’t weighed in

By

The mayor and Board of Supervisors were challenged by passengers to ride Muni for 22 days, and now most of the responses are in. Officials were also tasked by the San Francisco Transit Riders with taking selfies on Muni and publishing them via Twitter with the hashtag #OnBoardSF, which will move their position on a scoreboard. The Transit Riders said riding Muni will help city officials “better understand the rider’s daily experience” to inspire planning a more reliable, robust and visionary transit system. Muni currently faces unfunded capital needs in the next two decades in excess of $11.5 billion, according to budget documents… (more)

S.F. Supervisor Jane Kim wants Muni security guards to lose guns

By John Wildermuth : sfchronicle – excerpt

The armed security guards who walk alongside the Muni workers collecting cash from buses, transit-sales desks and fare machines will be giving up their handguns if San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim has her way.

Kim wants to revise the Municipal Transportation Agency’s proposed six-year, $38.3 million contract with Cypress Security, eliminating the armed guards the transit agency has used for decades.

“Small businesses handle cash every day without security guards, so why does the MTA need them?” Kim asked when the contract came up for approval at last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting. “I’m troubled that we have armed guards at the MTA.”…

Nonlethal alternatives

Kim suggested that the transit agency look at providing the guards who accompany the fare collectors with nonlethal weapons, possibly including electric stun guns, which San Francisco police are barred from carrying.

Supervisors David Campos and John Avalos sided with Kim at last week’s board meeting. The security-guard contract — and the question of armed guards — is up for discussion at Tuesday’s meeting, but the supervisors are unlikely to make a final decision. Any revised contract has to be approved by the transit agency’s board before it can presented to the supervisors… (more)

Increased advertising on Muni buses approved despite criticism

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

The number of Muni buses that can legally have wraparound advertisements was doubled by San Francisco supervisors Tuesday, despite objections that the banners would degrade rider experience.

After about a half-hour of debate, the Board of Supervisors voted 6-5 to approve a 15-year contract with Titan Outdoor LLC. The agreement includes a controversial provision that increases the number of permitted advertising wraps, the type of banners that cover the entirety of a bus including its windows, from 15 buses to 30 at any given time. The wraps are most popular between September and December. The contract initially allowed digital ads, but that provision was removed.. (more)

More SFPD Pedestrian Victim-Blaming: Taraval Station’s Insane Flyer

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

If you’d like to make your voice heard by policymakers on the SFPD’s handling of bicycle and pedestrian safety issues, the Police Commission and the Board of Supervisors Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee will hold a joint hearing next Thursday, January 16, at 5 p.m. at City Hall in room 250. If you can’t speak in person, you can also email comments to Board.of.Supervisors@sfgov.org(more)

Question: Why is the SF Bicycle Coalition taking on the SF Fire Department, SF Police Department, most of the supervisors and all the drivers in San Francisco, and encouraging dangerous behavior on the part of pedestrians? What is wrong with the SFPD warning people to be careful playing with electronic devices on the streets? They are at risks of being mugged, ripped of, or hit by a car.

 

SFMTA parking meter buy delayed over concerns about expansion

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

The SFMTA has approved a $54 million contract to replace 25,000 existing meters, but the planned purchase of additional meters has delayed The City’s stamp of approval.

At just over a decade old, San Francisco’s parking meters are well past their prime. But a $54 million plan to replace the coin-fed meters with credit card-friendly technology is on hold, and distrust with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s plan to buy up to 10,000 new meters is partly to blame… (more)

Thank your Supervisors for protecting us from this latest SFMTA move. They heard your voices and doing what they can do legally to hold the SFMTA accountable for their actions. The one thing they can do is to refuse to sign the contracts the SFMTA brings them to sign off on.

Contact city officials and keep up with Grassroots Actions and Events

RELATED:
$54M Contract To Replace SF Meters Raises Questions About Future Parking Costs
Supervisor Mark Farrell said he wants guarantees from the SFMTA that the public is properly consulted before any additional meters are added in an expansion and wants an explanation why they agency wants so many spares…
With the meter contract in trouble, the SFMTA has sent the supervisors a new notification strategy that would give residents more say about new meters in there neighborhoods.
According to records, the SFMTA revenue from parking has doubled over the passed decade to $53 million a year.

Where is all the revenue from the parking meters going?