UCSF endorses proposed Warriors stadium

Bay City News : abc7news – excerpt

Previous concerns that a multi-use arena for the Golden State Warriors would create too much congestion at the University of California at San Francisco’s recently completed Medical Center in Mission Bay have been assuaged and a preliminary agreement has been reached creating a special transportation improvement fund for the neighborhood and placing a limit on events at the stadium in special circumstances.

A joint statement released Tuesday on behalf San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s office, UCSF, and the Golden State Warriors announced that the university “now officially endorses the Warriors’ proposed plan and project.”

SF Mayor Lee, UCSF and #Warriors announce key agreements ? http://t.co/PKoPpT2eNm

— Golden St. Warriors (@warriors) October 7, 2015

Not sure this will placate everyone concerned, but UCSF signed the agreement.

UCSF nurses union comes out against S.F. Warriors arena

By J.K. Dineen : sfgate – excerpt – (video)

The Golden State Warriors could face some unexpected opposition in their drive to build an arena in Mission Bay: nurses.

On Monday, the California Nurses Association, a union that represents 900 UCSF nurses, came out against the plan for an 18,500-seat arena across the street from the new UCSF Medical Center on the southern edge of Mission Bay.

In a statement, the nurses union cited “impacts on access to care, patient health and the ability of patients, family members and health professionals to access Mission Bay’s hospitals and clinics in gridlock traffic.”

At a news conference Monday, three nurses expressed reservations about the Warriors’ plan, although they all admitted that they were unfamiliar with the details of the team’s recently released 800-page environmental impact report, which analyzes the arena’s potential effects on traffic and parking.

Backed by Mayor Ed Lee and San Francisco’s political establishment, the Warriors’ Mission Bay arena plan faced minimal public opposition until April, when a mostly anonymous group of UCSF donors and wealthy biotech executives announced it would fight the proposal. The group, the Mission Bay Alliance, has hired no fewer than four law firms and has vowed to spend millions of dollars on legal challenges.

While the Mission Bay Alliance’s legal threats have not eroded support for the development at City Hall, concerns voiced by rank-and-file nurses could help bolster the case against the basketball arena in the court of public opinion.

“Delay of care is a big concern for our nurses,” CNA member Lili Cooper said at Monday’s news conference… 

“The city is planning to tackle potential traffic jams through beefed-up public transit and a “traffic separation” plan aimed at funneling arena-bound cars onto certain streets while hospital and neighborhood vehicles are routed onto others.”… (more)

And which of our neighborhood streets would the SFMTA be re-routing traffic that is not already overwhelmed? Do they plan to bulldoze a new thoroughfare through a residential neighborhood? There are no streets around Mission Bay that are not already impacted by the traffic jams. And the trains and buses are already jammed with long lines of commuters and sports fans jostling for seats.

Uber, the Conference of Mayors, and the taxi drivers

by 48hills – excerpt

Expect protests from (real) cab drivers as Uber helps host US Conference of Mayors — just as that company is getting hit for failing to treat its workers as employees

JUNE 18, 2015 — On Monday, June 22, Mayor Ed Lee will lead the Conference of US Mayors on a tour of Uber headquarters. It’s part of his ongoing promotion of tech in the city; other tour locations include Autodesk and Twitter.

The Uber tour comes just as that company is taking some serious political and legal hits that could undermine the entire concept of the “sharing economy” – at least on the level of employment.

Companies like Uber try to get away with keeping the number of actual employees low – most of the people who make money for the outfit are drivers who are treated as independent contractors.

That saves Uber (and Lyft, and TaskRabbit, and so many other outfits) the cost of providing health insurance, disability, workers compensation, retirement and all of the other benefits that typically come with real employment.

But the regulators are starting to crack down.

Why the US Conference of Mayors would want to make a company that has been operating in so many cities in violation of local laws a stop on a goodwill tour is a bit confusing – except, no: Uber is a big sponsor of the mayor’s conference.

But the mayors who choose to go to Uber will be greeted by angry taxi drivers – real taxi drivers – who will circle the HQ, hold a press conference out front, and hand out leaflets.

That’s going to part of series of protests against Uber that will focus on the Conference of Mayors. The drivers will be out protesting Lee’s Saturday speech to the conference and the City Hall party Friday night. And on Monday they will be at Uber.

As Ruach Graffis, a longtime driver who works with the San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance, told me, “we aren’t against the Uber drivers, because they’re workers like us. But we want Uber to play by the same rules as everyone else.”

There’s some indication now that Uber may have to act more like a real employer – and business analysts say that could deeply damage the company’s bottom line. The state Labor Commission just ruled that Uber drivers are not independent contractors but employees. The ruling applies to only one driver, who will get a little more than $4,000 in back pay, and will be appealed. Ultimately, the question will wind up in court – and possibly at the state Legislature and Congress.

A similar case against FedEx just wound up with a settlement that’s going to encourage drivers (and their lawyers) to pursue a lot more of these claims.

The tech folks, most of whom are young, love the model of everyone working as a freelancer, and sympathetic economists talk about how most people these days can look forward to having dozens of jobs (or gigs) over their lifetimes. That’s all fine and good for some, but as former Labor Secretary Robert Reich puts it in the NYT:

“For anybody who has to pay the bills and has a family, having no labor protections and no job security is at best a mixed blessing. At worst, it is a nightmare. Obviously some workers prefer to be independent contractors — but mostly they take these jobs because they cannot find better ones.”

So the existing laws, which make it hard for companies to turn employees into freelancers, are starting to come up against the great wealth of companies that live by keeping workers off the payroll and not paying benefits.

I assume the Uber lobbyists are already plotting their legislative strategy… (more)

Tearing Down I-280 Freeway In SF Could Be ‘Game Changer’ For Commuters, Real Estate

By Phil Matier : cbslocal – excerpt

San Francisco Mayor Lee Pushing Plan to Tear Down Portion of I-280

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— In what at least one city official calls, “A big game changer,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is shopping plans to tear down Interstate 280 at Mission Bay.

Those who are behind the plan are touting a potential eased flow of traffic in the area, as well as more room for development between Potrero Hill and some of the city’s southern parts. Another idea is to put a tunnel underneath AT&T Park for high speed rail to head downtown.

It’s a complete remake of the southern part of San Francisco and it would change travel times for a lot of people who end up going to Giants games, or the Warriors if they ever arrive in San Francisco. This is more than just putting traffic down on the surface at 16th street, but it would reconfigure the railroad tracks so that they’d run in a tunnel under 3rd Street, past the proposed Warriors Arena, past the tech and UCSF presence and under AT&T Park to the new Transbay Transit Center.

It’s a pretty dramatic plan, but I’m not sure the peninsula train service [Caltrain] is all that crazy about it, because it would mean losing their rail yard at 4th and King streets… (more)

Just when you thought they couldn’t do anything worse, they out do themselves with yet another bad idea. Do we want another game changer? There are three other people running for Mayor that I know of. Let’s see if we can do better. Do we want to be jerked around by the SFMTA? And share our water with more people? And evict thousands of citizens? I think not Mr. Mayor.

SFMTA Cuts Block of Polk Bike Lane Fought By Visionless Mayor’s Optometrist

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

The SFMTA has nixed a block of protected bike lane planned on Polk Street, where merchants including Mayor Ed Lee’s optometrist have vocally opposed it to preserve car parking…

SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin ordered the reduction, as shown in emails [PDF] obtained by Madeleine Savit, who founded Folks for Polk to advocate for a safer street. Reiskin and the SFMTA Board of Directors are mayoral appointees.

The Polk redesign, which is up for a vote by the SFMTA Board of Directors on Tuesday, has been fiercely opposed by a group of merchants called “Save Polk Street,” which has spread misinformation in its campaign to preserve parking. Under the proposed plan, partial bike lanes would be installed by removing about 30 percent of the 320 parking spaces on Polk, or 8 percent of parking spaces within a block of the street…

“I’ve heard from many different groups,” Lee told Streetsblog. “I know we want to make the streets safer, make it bike-friendly, small businesses don’t want to lose parking for their constituents… I can’t have a particular position on it except to endorse the most balanced approach that they have because there’s issues that should not be in conflict. We shouldn’t promote bicycle safety over pedestrian safety over cars and parking. I think they’re all going to be important.”

“We have to look at the future — what is it that thoroughfare suggests to us? And how do we take a look at that future and [find] the safest, expedient route that balances the different modes of transportation people have, but also supports the businesses at the same time. If it takes more time, then I’m going to suggest that more time should be taken.”(more)

Please send a letter to the Mayor and our city officials to let them know how you feel about the disruptions on our city streets, and speak at the March 3 MTA Board Meeting at City Hall, room 400, around 2:30 PM if you can.

For your convenience there is a Form letter here.

Thank you for taking a stand on this important issue.

Mayor Lee gets on board with proposal for 2nd BART tube

Liza Veale : kalw – excerpt

“Mayor Ed Lee has thrown his support behind building a second transbay BART tube, an expensive proposal that analysts say is critical to meeting the Bay Area’s transit demand and providing round-the-clock service.

“The second BART tube would run from Mission Bay to the East Bay. That proposed alignment would bring East Bay commuters directly to the heart of San Francisco’s growing biotech hub, where major housing, retail, office and other developments are planned or under construction, including the Golden State Warriors’ proposal to build an arena.”… (more)

SF transit agency director dies

by baycitynews : sfexaminer – excerpt

A member of San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors has passed away, Mayor Ed Lee announced Friday.

Jerry Lee, who joined the SFMTA board in 2008 and has no relation to the mayor, was serving as the chair of its policy and governance committee…

Jerry Lee’s service to San Francisco dates back to 1988, when he was a special assistant to then-Mayor Art Agnos to help establish the newly formed Department of Parking and Traffic. He also served as chairman of the Taxi Committee and, prior to joining the SFMTA board, was the manager of community affairs for UPS… (more)

Let Mayor Ed Lee know that you want a more balanced board. He should appoint someone from the small business community, the taxi industry, the faith based community, or one of the other groups of citizens who are constantly showing up and complaining about the lack of support they get from the SFMTA Board.

S.F. port official, a friend of mayor’s, cited again

By John Coté : sfgate – excerpt

Port Commissioner Mel Murphy and his company were fined for illegally reinstalling car-parking stackers in the garage at his San Francisco condominium building after the Department of Building Inspection ordered the equipment removed.
San Francisco Port Commissioner Mel Murphy, a politically connected developer and friend of Mayor Ed Lee’s, has been cited for illegally reinstalling parking equipment that increases the value of his new Mission District condominium building after city inspectors had directed him to remove it, city documents show.

The violation is the latest in a string of problems for Murphy’s projects both before and after Lee appointed him in 2013 to the city’s influential Port Commission, which has a central role overseeing one of San Francisco’s most precious resources: 7½ miles of public waterfront.

“I feel like this is on Ed Lee for appointing him to the port,” said Building Inspection Commissioner Debra Walker, a political progressive and adversary of the mayor’s. “I think Mel should be asked to resign or be removed. … The mayor needs to draw a line to make sure things are done by the rules.”… (more)


Bold Visions for the Embarcadero Emerge at Public Design Workshops

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

Ever since the Embarcadero was uncovered from beneath a freeway more than two decades ago, San Franciscans’ appetite for a more people-friendly waterfront only seems to have grown.

At a series of recent public design workshops this month, groups of attendees were asked to put together a display of how they’d re-allocate street space on the Embarcadero. The main idea was to figure out how to provide a protected bikeway, so that riders of all ages can enjoy the popular waterfront without having to mix it up with either motor vehicles or crowds of pedestrians on the shared sidewalk.

At one of the workshops, two groups suggested that half of the roadway, on the waterfront side, be dedicated primarily to walking and biking, even if it includes a shared-space zone where delivery drivers can move through slowly for loading. Finding a design that allows deliveries to safely co-exist with the bikeway seems to have been the main challenge since the SFMTA launched its redesign process in July

If you want to keep your lifestyle alive, you better get out and let the SFMTA and your Supervisors know that roads are not for walking and biking. Most of the people are still getting around by cars and if they want to get more people out of their cars, they should quit cutting Muni service.

The Supervisors to contact about this plan are:

D-3 David.Chiu@sfgov.org and D-6 Jane.Kim@sfgov.org and D-10 Malia.Cohen@sfgov.org

You can also contact the SFMTA project managers if you can figure out who they are. We couldn’t find any information. You can always send your comments to the Mayor: mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org, Ed Reiskin: Ed.reiskin@sfmta.com and the MTA Board members:


Mayor Lee To Take $648 Million Muni Ride Friday Morning

: sfist – excerpt

Hey, somebody write this down: this week, Mayor Ed Lee is riding Muni not once, but twice! First, he took the M-Ocean on Tuesday, to, he told the Chron, “try to experience it with everybody else.” And this morning he’ll be taking Muni Metro again, but this time his ride comes with a $648 million price tag.

As we mentioned back in July, the SFMTA Board agreed to make an unprecedentedly-huge purchase of new light rail vehicles intended to boost the fleet and reduce breakdowns. How unprecedentedly-huge? $1.18 billion in total, for a purchase of 260 cars.

So last week, the Board of Supes OKed the initial contract with transit company Siemens, to the tune of $648 million for 175 Muni Metro vehicles to be manufactured in their Sacramento plant. Today the Mayor will sign off on the plan…and will take a little ride in the process.

According to a press release sent by the mayor’s office, the Mayor and the SFMTA will this morning operate a “test train that will take first diagnostic measurements of rails to inform Siemens’ manufacturing of new Light Rail Vehicles.” Assuming that things go smoothly (heh), the mayor will will also sign the resolution on the purchase and contract at that time… (more)

The mayor takes a ride on Muni, (doesn’t look so happy about it)