Do More Tech Shuttle Stops Lead Directly To Higher Rents And More Evictions?

BY JAY BARMANN : sfist – excerpt

Tensions over tech shuttles live on, surprisingly or unsurprisingly depending on where you stand on the “San Francisco has been destroyed” vs. “all change is good change” spectrum. And now anti-shuttle and anti-eviction activists are continuing their effort to litigate the issue as the reach of tech shuttle buses expands citywide. As the Examiner reports, the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project and several other litigants including activist Sara Shortt are now suing the city — as well as several tech companies who sponsor the private shuttles for their employees — in order to get a full environmental impact study to happen looking into the local impacts of the Commuter Shuttle Pilot Program.

Over a year ago the same groups and activists filed suit against the city declaring that the entire program was illegal, and it appears that suit has been abandoned in favor of this one.

The Board of Supervisors approved the 18-month pilot program in January of 2014, and now the groups appear to be pushing for an in-depth review of the program, as it continues to expand beyond the pilot stage…

Meanwhile, the drivers of this army of shuttle buses continue to lead sub-par existences, andthe Chronicle just profiled one 53-year-old driver, Scott Peebles, who is currently homeless and living out of his car. He’s one of several drivers who have been part of a Chronicle investigation as a group of 180 of them, all employed by Compass Transportation and serving a variety of tech companies, continue to negotiate for higher wages with the help of the Teamsters(more)

If you don’t like gentrification let them know. Sign the petition: SF Needs a Better Plan:

Report: Report: California’s drivers are the nation’s most stressed

By Gary Richards : contracostatimes – excerpt

California’s improved economy has brought commutes to an unprecedented slowdown from one end of the state to the other, making drivers here the most stressed out in the nation.

A nationwide report released late Tuesday found that motorists in California’s congested population centers spend nearly two work weeks a year stuck in creep-and-crawl traffic — nearly double the national average.

According to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and a West Coast traffic organization called Inrix, which surveyed traffic on 471 urban streets and highways across the country, an estimated $160 billion is lost annually in wasted fuel, lost income and lost time across the country while motorists cling to a steering wheel instead of a computer mouse.

The worst area is Washington, D.C., at 82 hours of lost time, but the top 10 is a roadmap from Northern California to Southern California: Los Angeles comes in No. 2 with 80 hours of delays, followed by San Francisco-Oakland with 78, New York at 74 and the San Jose area at 67. Riverside rounds out the top 10 at 59. Compare that to the national average of a measly 42 hours.

The California numbers have jumped five hours since 2010 and are expected to steadily creep higher over the next several years.

A number of solutions are in the works to ease some of the gridlock and encourage solo commuters to carpool or take public transit to work: Later this year BART will open a new line to the Santa Clara County border, a “Smart Highway” project on Interstate 80 from Richmond to the Bay Bridge will offer route alternatives, and the Interstate 880 carpool lane will be extended south of Oakland. Double carpool lanes are planned for Highways 85 and 101, and Interstate 580 in the Tri-Valley will get those plus express lanes… (more)

The three pronged approach sounds like what got us where we are. The only new idea is to stagger the work hours. At the rate we are robotizing jobs there won’t be many left soon anyway. All we will do is sit at home and wait for delivery. Stop removing traffic lanes and eliminating parking and you can clean up the traffic much faster. In fact, just replace all the lanes you removed and all the parking you took out and we would be much better off.

You can start spending the money on maintaining the fleet of municipal vehicles you have and quit hiring managers to clog things up. Fire the entire complete streets crew that is moving mature trees from the side of the street on Van Ness to the middle of the street, and putting in a BRT in the middle of the street. That little project is designed to make a lot of wealthy contractors more wealthy and cost the taxpayer billions of dollars while clogging the major North South state highway that connect s the Federal Freeways through San Francisco for years. Nothing they are planning will relieve the traffic.

Opinions Are Divided On North Beach’s Proposed Traffic-Calming ‘Bulb-Outs’

Next Tuesday, June 30th from 6:30-8pm, North Beach Neighbors is hosting another meeting at the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club (1630 Stockton St.) to discuss traffic-calming measures slated for the community.

As part of the Columbus Avenue Safety Project, SFMTA is proposing bulb-outs at four intersections in North Beach, and some neighbors are concerned they’ll slow down response times for emergency vehicles. Others say the bulb-outs will help reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities, as they slow down traffic and improve pedestrian visibility.

Either way, North Beach Neighbors President Trish Herman wants more information presented to the community before bulb-outs are installed. “In my opinion, they’re trying to shove this down everybody’s throat,” she said.

The previous meeting, on April 30th, included testimony from three firefighters opposed to bulb-outs (they did not speak on behalf of the Fire Department, but as individual citizens). They expressed concern about potential delays in emergency response times and damage to fire trucks. Among the crowd of a few dozen neighbors, several shared concerns that the bulb-outs would further clog traffic, and one was worried about bulb-outs placing pedestrians closer to traffic, which would actually decrease safety.

At this next meeting, representatives from the San Francisco Fire Department and SF Public Works will speak. Herman hopes a representative from the SFMTA will be there as well, though she said there was some confusion on that, because they initially scheduled a meeting for the same time and date upstairs from the North Beach Neighbors meeting. “We’re unsure whether the MTA will come and speak,” she said. “If they don’t, I’ll present what they presented to us at our board meeting.”… (more)

Herman said her goal is to get hard facts on the effects of traffic calming on a community and to determine whether it will be good, specifically, for the complex intersections in North Beach. “I’m saying that one size does not fit all,” she said, noting that bulb-outs in the Castro have caused traffic back-ups. She said she filed a Sunshine Ordinance request with the SFMTA for documents with proof that bulb-outs work, and the packet she received consisted of studies from 2001 and 2005. “We’re dealing with old data,” she said.

Removing parking spaces for the bulb-outs is another concern. “They’re not considering the vehicle public,” Herman said. “Parking has been removed at high rates throughout the city.” She expressed particular concern for elderly and disabled people, for whom walking and biking isn’t always a realistic option. Another concern is people coming from across the Bay Area who support the business base in North Beach, and need to park to frequent shops and restaurants. “Muni is so grossly inefficient,” she said. “North Beach is a difficult neighborhood to get to using Muni.”… (more)

Supervisors Pass Breed’s Bill to Loosen Some Parking Mandates

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

The Board of Supervisors yesterday unanimously passed an ordinance removing some of SF’s 1950s-era parking mandates.

The “Parking Flexibility Ordinance,” drafted by Supervisors President London Breed and Livable City, will make it easier for building owners and developers to avoid building car parking when it would impinge on the street environment for walking, bicycling, and transit. It would also count parking spaces against density limits, unless they’re built underground.

The ordinance adds to the city’s efforts in recent years to relax strict parking minimums. Among the host of reasons to do away with parking minimums: They generate motor vehicle traffic and make it more costly to build housing… (more)

Supes Hamstring SFMTA’s Ability to Expand Progressive Parking Policy

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

In a setback for progressive parking policy in San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors voted last week to eliminate the SFMTA’s ability to install any significant amount of new parking meters under a new five-year contract to upgrade existing meters… (more)

News that bears repeating. We are surprised at the number of people who don’t know about this. Leave it to the Bike Coalition to keep the story alive. If you haven’t already done so, thank the Supervisors.

Continue reading

Tonight (March 21) was full of miracles!

Letter from Sylvia, who spoke out at the NE Mission Meeting

My sincere thanks and appreciation to ENUF for keeping all of us on the same page!.

Tonight (March 21) was full of miracles!

Residents, neighboring community activists, neighborhood small business owners, families and friends came together to defend and preserve our San Francisco way of life from the SFMTA’s sustainable streets staff and their highly paid consultants.

Although their highly paid consultants tried to convince us to believe their incredibly well written piece of fiction as Reality(?) it was overwhelmingly rejected as truth by 93% of those in attendance.

Even Supervisor Campos and his aides clearly saw that we were not going to buy the lie!

I tell everyone to take the time to follow the money as to who really stands to benefit from all this proposed madness.

The miracle that occurred was that all stakeholders, small business owners, their employees, friends, residents, neighbors, families, neighboring Polk Street business owners and activists came together and bonded in this fight against a social and economic cleansing of our working class neighborhoods by the SFMTA dictating to us how our quality of life will now be redesigned!

It now seems that City and County department staff feel empowered to dictate to us how we will live without being asked to do so!

We are the taxpayers who pay their salaries to do what we want them to do. They are our civil servants, not the other way around.  Civil servants are here for your service – not the other way around.

We all must all join and support each other in keeping our way of life that truly benefits the neighborhood and small business owners to avoid being economically run out of town. We must take over our communities so that we all can live as supportive and caring neighbors. This is not a fantasy – it happened tonight!

We need to gather together and discuss strategy before taking further action to defend our

present way of living. We all need each other to make this happen

To that end, I encourage everyone to keep in communication through SF ENUF.

ENUF is indeed a blessing to the San Francisco community. You questioned who really was being called to the table to discuss these proposed plans and the process. You asked who were the gatekeepers and how they stood to benefit from all this. One answer is the SF Bike Coalition – it is alleged that they are being paid by SFMTA as their consultants????  Conflict of interest?  You wonder why so many bike lanes??

Bikers should be licensed and ticketed just like car owners!

I am copying everyone who was generous enough to give me their contact information so that we all may continue to be in full communication.

Thank you all for letting me be part of a great event where many people stood up and fought against being thrown under the bus for the sake of corporate greed – remember – follow the money!!!


Thanks. I was struck by the fact that I heard no mention of Muni or the pubic transit system at the meeting by either the public or SFMTA staff. This is pretty appalling given that SFMTA is supposed to be championing pubic transportation, not designing streets and disrupting traffic. This is what is wrong with Muni. The SFMTA and the public have given up on it.

This is why ENUF is calling for a moratorium on all non-Muni expenditures until the Muni is fixed and functioning. Take the billions of dollars that are going to bike lanes and street closures and FIX THE MUNI FIRST.

We don’t need a $5 million dollar party for a bridge that everyone will hate the next time they get caught in a traffic jam on it. We need reliable public transportation for those who need it.

North East Mission Coalition Parking Plan and SFMTA Parking Plans begin to merge

The next meeting: Community NE Mission / SFMTA Meeting
Thursday, March 21, 2013, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
John O’Connell High School auditorium, 2355 Folsom Street

The North East Mission Coalition is requesting:

  • Create a Preferential Parking Zone encompassing the NE Mission for both residents and businesses
  • Both businesses and residents can apply for Preferential Parking Zone permits, just like elsewhere in the city (PDR businesses could apply for a limited amount of additional permits for employees) The permits would exempt the holder from paying for parking meters within the permit zone
  • A mix of all-day meters on some primarily retail/commercial blocks, and 2 and 4 hour time limits on other blocks
  • Longer time limits with shorter enforcement hours on some blocks (ie: 4 hour parking between 9:00AM and 3:00PM)
  • Replace parking spaces that have recently been eliminated with angled parking on some streets
    Sign the NEMC Parking Plan Petition

SFMTA’s offer so far as outlined on this map:  NEM_Proposal_draft_20130314.pdf

Revised parking approach northeast mission still draws ire

Muni might seek money through San Francisco voters

By: Will Reisman : – excerpt

Muni’s transformative transit initiative achieved an important planning milestone this week, but the ambitious project still faces major funding barriers and officials are considering asking voters for money.
Crafted in 2008, the Transit Effectiveness Project was the first review of Muni’s operations in a generation, and the recommendations from the plan included more bus rapid transit networks, an increase in transit-only lanes and other initiatives aimed at speeding up The City’s public transit system.
On Wednesday, the Planning Department issued its initial study of the project, clearing the way for the vital environmental reviews that must be completed before recommendations of the plan are implemented. The final environmental review is expected to be finished in 2014…
“We don’t have the confidence of the public today that we can spend and execute this money in an efficient manner,” Reiskin said… (more)

Ain’t that the truth!!!

Comment on sfexaminer. That is a good place to let the Mayor, Supervisors, and Ed know just how you feel about forking over more money, I mean increasing the public debt, to pay for their future vision of our city. Letters and emails work too.

It is time to end the era of rule by SFMTA desire. Too much authority and not enough oversight is a recipe for disaster. There is ample evidence that money is not the problem, but evidence that the experiment has failed.

The 2012 SF Streetsies, Part 2

by Aaron Bialick : – excerpt

Here is the second and final installment of Streetsblog SF’s first-ever Streetsie Awards. In case you missed them, check out Part 1 and the voting results from the recent reader poll. We’ll return to our regularly programming on Wednesday.
Biggest Fumble…
Worst Police Traffic Scandal
Most Absurd Argument Against SFPark Meters
This year saw a backlash against the SF Municipal Transportation Agency’s plans to expand SFPark meters in the Dogpatch, Potrero Hill, and Northeast Mission neighborhoods. That lead the SFMTA to begin the planning process anew and even remove SFPark from the equation to address skepticism about the efficacy and motives of the data-driven, demand-based parking pricing program (now, only conventional parking meters are on the table). While it’s unclear at this point how receptive residents generally are to the SFMTA’s revamped efforts to end needless circling for parking, Eastern Neighborhoods United Front (ENUF) spokesperson Mari Eliza has remained consistently dead-set against the notion of altering the status quo of free parking, instead attacking the SFMTA as a government agency simply looking to gouge drivers. Last month, she told Streetsblog that drivers in the Mission are complaining that finding parking there is difficult (no doubt there), yet said that “I don’t get” the concept that someone might be willing to pay a small price for a parking spot if it’s more readily available…

I never expected to end up on a list with Gascon, Weiner, Governor Brown, and Ken Bastida.

The Art Of Obstruction

By Annie Tittiger : – excerpt

Call them neighborhood activists when you agree with their cause, Nimbys when you don’t. Either way, these San Franciscans have the power to stop or stall all manner of projects— and they’re not afraid to use it.

Mari Eliza – Eastern NeIghborhoods United Front (ENUF)
Street cred: a relative novice when it comes to neighborhood activism, this graphic designer/ car owner and her group have nonetheless driven rings around the SFMTA. Current crusade: Keeping the streets safe for long-term parkers in Dogpatch, Mission Bay, Bernal Heights, Potrero Hill, and the Northeast Mission. The wrench thrown: Since its founding in January, ENUF has stopped the city from installing smart parking meters in the area. The principle of the thing: “The SFMTA is trying to make it impossible to own a car,” Eliza argues. “[installing meters] would just make the Eastern Neighborhoods a parking lot for commuters coming from the South Bay.” Allies: area residents, “every” neighborhood group, and supervisor David Campos. On the other side: The SFMTA,  whose 2011 deficit hovered around $17 million, but which has now supposedly (and miraculously) balanced its budget. Sniffs spokesman Paul Rose, “a parking meter is a management tool [that] allows for better parking policies to ensure there’s turnover and better parking available.”… (more)

Thanks to all our supporters and all those who are helping get the word out to the public that there is an effort to push back against restrictive parking policies in San Francisco. ENUF is working to unite all the stakeholders who have a grievance and seek relief.