Our SFMTA Wants to Claim It’s Increasing Parking Up at Twin Peaks, But It’s DECREASING Parking – One Simple Trick!

sfcitizen – excerpt

What the SFMTA’s Twin Peaks Figure 8 Redesign Project is a gonna do is get rid of these, these people from the top of Twin Peaks, particularly on busy dreaded sunny days, like this one…

Most of the tourists on top of that twin came from all the cars you can see on the left side. But all that parking is gone now, so tourists aren’t going to go to the top of Twin Peaks as much anymore.

What’s that, “good,” you say? Well OK, but why doesn’t the SFMTA just come out and say that? Instead, we get this:

Twin Peaks Figure 8 Redesign Project Frequently Asked Questions – April 8, 2016 version:

Will any parking be added or removed? No parking is being proposed for removal. Today, informal (illegal) parking takes place at the center of the Figure 8 and occasionally in the outer lane of the roadway. This project will formalize parking at both the center and south intersections, increasing the number of available stalls. Parking in the travel lane will no longer be possible.

So they’re not “removing parking,” they’re simply blocking cars from getting to the parking spaces? And you can’t park on the side of a highway in CA anymore, is that correct, really?

So the real answer to the question Will any parking be added or removed is:

Yes. Hell yes(more)

Merchant concerns only half of Muni battle

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

On the surface, a meeting in the Mission District on Monday night was meant for the community to weigh in on new “red carpet” bus-only lanes on Mission Street. The lanes rolled out in February and stretch from 14th to 30th streets.

But the meeting exploded.

“A woman got hit by a car on Cesar Chavez!” shouted Roberto Hernandez, a community advocate often called the “Mayor of the Mission.”

Hernandez decried transit officials for allowing the new red lanes to cause traffic mayhem, not reaching out enough to residents and for hurting small businesses in his life-long home.

Half of the meeting’s 200 attendees cheered in support. The other half howled for Hernandez to stop.

In the crowd, two men stood within a few inches of each other’s faces, pointing and shouting.

This same scene has played out at recent Geary Boulevard and Taraval Street transportation meetings and may soon play out at West Portal, too.

Merchants from those neighborhoods were present for the Mission meeting as well.

A tide of merchant and neighborhood resentment is rising against the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency — and they’re now banding together for support.

“I think it’s real clear a citywide coalition is in the formation and building to really address how we need to put a stop to the way [the SFMTA] is planning,” Hernandez told the San Francisco Examiner on Wednesday.

And in small ways, those merchants are winning… (more)

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Red light tickets thrown out in San Mateo: City to reimburse 948 tickets issued over 45 days because cameras, signals in violation of new state laws

By Samantha Weigel : smdailyjournal – excerpt

Nearly 1,000 drivers who received a ticket for running a red light in San Mateo will be given a free pass after two of the city’s red light cameras and traffic signals were found to be in violation of new state laws.

The police department will toss out 948 tickets issued between Aug. 1 and Oct. 15 after a San Mateo County Superior Court judge sided with a Burlingame man who received a ticket and sparked an NBC Bay Area investigation.

Carrying a hefty $540 fine, the city will dismiss $511,920 worth of tickets after staff failed to increase the yellow light times per new regulations in the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

The city maintains three cameras, two along Hillsdale Boulevard and one at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Humboldt Street, which police say were set to provide a yellow light time of 3.4 seconds — .2 seconds above the state’s previous minimum but lower than the new 3.7 requirement.

An investigation sparked by Andre Clemente, who decided to fight against a ticket he received in January for rolling through the intersection at Hillsdale Boulevard and Saratoga Drive, ultimately resulted in the city admitting it failed to update its system.

“Even though we coordinate with public works to routinely update the system and calibrate them, somehow it was missed,” said police Sgt. Rick Decker. “Because we care about the integrity of the program, we made a decision to refund all those tickets.”

San Mateo police argue Clemente’s ticket was issued prior to the new law and their records indicate the cameras were in compliance at the time.

However, the department does acknowledge two of the city’s three lights were not updated nor was a traffic study conducted that would have allowed them to calibrate the system based on the average speed of 85 percent of drivers at the intersections.

Clemente, with the help of NBC’s Investigative team and Los Angeles resident Jay Beeber, who advocated for the new law, claim a video of the Burlingame man’s ticket shows the yellow lights were set to just 3.066 seconds, below the former 3.2-second minimum.

Ultimately, a judge dismissed Clemente’s ticket but didn’t provide a definitive answer as to why, according to the NBC report…

Once aware of the problem, the city immediately shut down enforcement for two days to audit and correct the light timing, reversed the 948 citations and put measures in place to ensure the problem wouldn’t be repeated, Norris said.

“We at the city of San Mateo don’t define ourselves by the problems we encounter,” Norris wrote in an email. “We define ourselves by what we do when encountering problems.”… (more)

Uber’s latest feature shows how badly it wants to replace owning a car

By  : techinsider – excerpt

Uber is experimenting with a ride option through its app that gives morning commuters a cheaper fare for longer trips into San Francisco.

For people in the areas of Palo Alto, Mountain View, and San Jose, Uber is offering rates of $20-$26 for rides into San Francisco between the times of 6 and 10 a.m. during weekdays. The fare is set ahead of time, which means it won’t be susceptible to surge pricing like normal Uber rides.

The cheaper fare is made possible through Uber Pool, the latest ride option in the app that splits the cost of a trip between multiple passengers traveling along a similar route. Uber Pool launched in New York City this past summer, and the company says the feature “guarantees you a cheaper fare” and “only adds a few minutes to your trip.”

For the new Pool to SF option, Uber charges an additional $10 per passenger, the cost of which can be split between friends through the app…

“If we can make Uber cheaper than owning a car, look at all the great things that happen: you no longer have parking problems in San Francisco,” he said. “You no longer have congestion because half of the riders in San Francisco are in an Uber Pool, which is kind of amazing.”… (more)

      Kind of amazing when you can convince a lot of people to buy your service and make you rich so you can buy more influence and power. No thank you!

SAN FRANCISCO RESIDENTS, BUSINESSES UPSET OVER PROPOSED CHANGES TO MUNI ALONG LOMBARD ST.

San Francisco residents and business owners are angry about proposed changes to Muni bus lines.

The changes affect Lombard Street from Franklin Street to Richardson Avenue. SFMTA says this will improve traffic and pedestrian safety. Residents say the plan is bad for local businesses.

The intersection at Lombard and Divisadero Street is one that would see big changes. The street is a main thoroughfare to the Golden Gate Bridge and it is lined with hotels and businesses. Business owners say what’s good for SFMTA is not good for them.

SFMTA says busy Lombard Street is one of the city’s high injury corridors.

“The proposal is to make it safer for people walking,” said SFMTA chief spokesman Paul Rose.

Part of the Lombard Street Safety Project proposal includes adding transit bulbs at four intersections so that buses could pick up passengers without having to pull in and out of traffic.

Four pedestrian bulbs, like the one at Market and 14th streets, would also be added along Lombard. The project would eliminate 47 parking spots. Bus stops would also be moved at three locations including in front of BodyRok, Jake Irion’s business. He says that’s the least of his concerns.

“My three major concerns are traffic flow, parking and then the lack of communication by the SFMTA,” Irion said.

SFMTA spokesperson says the agency sent out emails, went door to door and posted fliers.

Irion says a BodyRok client told him about the project. He’s now one of several people involved in a grassroots campaign opposed to it.

“I look at this plan as being a solution for the SFMTA but not a global solution,” Irion said.

“We know there are concerns with this project and that’s why we’re having so many meetings,” Rose added.

A town hall meeting is set for Nov. 17. A public hearing is Dec. 4 and the SFMTA board will vote on the proposal in January… (more)

We are going to start demanding proof of service to the community of the notices they claim they are putting out. We need to see some proof that the notices were sent out. When they were sent out and signatures of the parties who posted the notices. No more “we posted notices on poles around the area and that suffices for public notice. We want legal documentation to back up the claims.

Governor signs bus-camera ticketing bill, Muni to target double parkers

By  : sfexaminer -excerpt

Drivers beware: If you double-park in a Muni-only lane, The City is coming for you.

Among a bevy of newly signed bills Sunday, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1287, which makes permanent San Francisco’s pilot Transit-Only Lane Enforcement (TOLE) program.

Authored by Assemblymember David Chiu, D-San Francisco, TOLE is designed to speed up the multitudes of red painted transit-only lanes criss-crossing The City.

Under the program, Muni buses onboard video were enlisted to help enforce the law. Those cameras snap photos of license plates belonging to double-parkers who block transit-only lanes, which only buses and taxis may legally use. Those license plates are then checked in a database, and the drivers ticketed by mail.

But this doesn’t just target private auto drivers. In a 2011, approximately 23% of the TOLE citations were issued to commercial vehicles, according to the SFMTA….

TOLE was introduced in 2007 as a pilot program by then-Assemblywoman Fiona Ma. Chiu’s bill makes the program permanent, but also expands the scope of enforcement, allowing SFMTA to ticket for “blocking the box” at intersections, and illegally parking in bus zones that may not necessarily be in transit only lanes.

These citations are parking tickets, not moving violations… (more)

Vallejo Street Closure For Poets Plaza Now On Hold

hoodline – excerpt

The proposed temporary closure of Vallejo Street between Columbus and Grant avenues has been delayed for a second time, after neighbors showed up at a Sept. 24th hearing for the SFMTA’s Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation for Temporary Street Closures (ISCOTT) to express their concerns…

Kristen Foley, who’s lived in the neighborhood for six years, said she heard “quite a few” neighbors spoke out once again at the Sept. 24th meeting of ISCOTT, which approves or denies road closures. Someone put flyers on cars the previous weekend, she said, which got the word out and might’ve spurred attendance. Foley had previously told us that people who don’t live in the immediate neighborhood aren’t aware of the difficulties the closure will pose for drivers.

“If they did it with thought and weren’t being bullies about it to get someone’s pet project complete, it would make more sense to me,” Foley said. “I feel it would be a community decision, rather than just someone telling us this is going to happen. If they’re claiming this Poets Plaza is going to bring the community together, then why aren’t they involving the community it’s going to affect?”…

“I think there’s some growing concern about what emergency vehicles will have to do,” said Grant Miller, who lives in the neighborhood. He doesn’t have strong feelings about the plaza, but “I’ve heard it may delay response times up to several minutes, and that could be a legitimate concern.” On the other hand, “some people are very much in support of it. It could turn out to be beautiful. It depends on how they do it.” … (more)

Why Uber is wise to destroy itself, before someone else does

By Thomas Lee : sfchronicle – excerpt

From taxicab unions and package couriers to politicians and regulators, a growing crowd of people would like to destroy Uber.

Add one more name to the list: Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick.

“There is an insane amount of public good” that comes with driverless cars, including better safety, Kalanick said. “As a technology company, am I going to be a part of the future or resist it? We don’t want to be the taxi companies before us.”…

Somewhere lost in the scrum over whether Uber drivers are employees or contractors, or whether the company conducts proper background checks, is the simple fact that Kalanick wants to eventually replace all Uber drivers with software and computers. Like Google and Tesla, Uber is trying to develop a car that can drive without a human operator.

This makes for some odd contradictions. At the Dreamforce conference last week in San Francisco, Kalanick suggested that he started Uber to help drivers as well as riders…

“We like to say that we give riders high-fives and give drivers hugs,” Kalanick said. “Taxi drivers have to pay $140 a day to rent a car. For that privilege, they get to be impoverished. Taxi drivers are good people. They are just treated badly.”

So why is Uber trying to put all human drivers — including those who work for taxis and Uber — out of business?

On the surface, Kalanick sounds flaky, even hypocritical. But his plan also reflects a business reality that Silicon Valley knows all too well. Technology is evolving so fast that companies must adapt or risk getting disrupted into extinction…

It’s the reason Apple and Cisco hoard cash. And why Google is reorganizing itself into a holding company called Alphabet. The era of one or two companies dominating a market for decades is over; a small startup can bring down the mightiest of corporations… (more)

It feels like Uber, Apple, Google and Alphabet want it all. If their employees and contractors don’t design it they will buy it to keep the competition down. Silicon valley is leading the way in putting humans out of work while building the new Gotham of the West. No doubt everyone working for them is on their way to disrupting themselves out of a job.

Should the regional transportation agency be elected?

By Zelda Bronstein : 48hills – excerpt

A new twist in the power struggle over Bay Area planning

48hillsabagcommuteflows

This fancy ABAG graphic shows the commute flows into and out of the nine Bay Area counties.

The power struggle between the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments got a lot more complicated over the past week.

Since MTC voted in late June to fund ABAG’s planning staff for only the first half of fiscal year 2015-16—an action followed by revelations that the regional transportation planning agency wants to take over ABAG’s land-use planning functions before their joint December move into fancy new digs in San Francisco—the two entities seemed destined to consolidate by the end of the year. Only the Sierra Club had registered its opposition to a merger.

But with ABAG’s Executive Board meeting on September 17 and MTC convening on September 23, several other influential parties, including SPUR, the League of Women Voters of the Bay Area, SF Planning Director John Rahaim, and ABAG Executive Director Ezra Rapport, have come out against hasty action, if not against consolidation, while the SF Labor Council has warned MTC not to take over ABAG’s planners, period.

Meanwhile, the state Legislature could be dramatically changing the entire regional planning picture. A bill by Assemblymembers Phil Ting and Marc Levine, ABX1-24, would turn MTC into an elected board, forcing the organization to accept a level of democracy that has never remotely existed in the past.

The bill would re-name MTC the Bay Area Transportation Commission and replace the body’s current 21 appointed members with commissioners elected by districts of about 750,000 residents. Each district would elect one commissioner, except a district with a toll bridge, which would elect two. A citizens’ redistricting commission would draw the district boundaries, and the campaigns for commissioners would be publicly financed. Elections would be held in 2016, with new commissioners taking office on January 1, 2017.

“It’s time to take a hard look at reforming this agency,” Ting told us. “We need to make it more accountable to the voters, the state, and the region.”… (more)

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SFMTA says it needs $21 billion for next 20 years

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

Money makes transit go ’round. And in San Francisco, a new number has been identified to do just that: $21 billion.

That’s the amount it will take to keep Muni, bike lanes and roadside features in San Francisco in a state of good repair for 20 years and to expand service, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s newly released Capital Improvement Plan.

The identified needs arise in a dry spell of transportation funding. California’s state legislature is considering new transportation funding measures in a special session, according to The Associated Press, and Congress has a deadline of Oct. 29 to come to an agreement on a deadlocked transportation funding bill.

At the SFMTA Board of Directors meeting Tuesday, SFMTA head Ed Reiskin laid out the importance of the plan.

“We probably won’t get the full $21 billion,” he said to the board. But,“it’s important that we start to lay out the needs. It’s really the only starting point to be able to participate in future conversations with the state and federal government.”… (more)

They could start by cutting out all the funds they are spending on non-Muni operating costs. If the new “moderate democrats” have anything to say about that, they will have no choice.

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