Apartment owners take on Ed Lee, pour in $50k to defeat transportation bond measure

: sfgate – excerpt

It’s looking like the fight over an otherwise hum-drum ballot measure has turned more interesting — and immensely personal.

The San Francisco Apartment Association, which represents landlords and usually spends its time fighting City Hall over housing issues, has poured more than $50,000 in recent weeks into the fight against Proposition A.

Yes, that Prop. A — the $500 million, nearly universally popular transportation bond that Mayor Ed Lee has staked his political future on and every single supervisors is backing.

Some of the money went toward two mailers sent out by a group called the San Francisco Taxpayers Association that claim the ballot measure authorizes a “billion-dollar blank check” and “could raise taxes on homeowners and renters.” The mailer is signed by a number of groups, including the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods and the San Francisco Green and Republican parties…

“We have lost faith that this administration is able to lead the city, and if you look at the reasons why — you will see huge contributions by the tech industry into this (measure),” she said. “Something is broken, and until all parties are brought in to formulate policy through his leadership, we will oppose a continuation of this.”…

“The reality is we have a congested city and we have to have a better transportation system,” he (Mayor Lee) said. “What about the $250 million in Proposition A we are willing to spend on pedestrian safety?”… (more)

I am laughing so hard at the Mayor’s comments I can hardly write.  “The reality is we have a congested city, (duh?) and we have to have a better transportation system,” he said.
The Mayor answered his own question. The SFMTA was given sole responsibility for fixing traffic problems over the last two years and they have only succeeded in creating gridlock and confusion and pissing everyone off, including their drivers and riders.

Their tactics are backfiring on them BECAUSE THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE for the gridlock and everyone knows it. You don’t reduce traffic lanes and street parking to ease congestion, and we suspect the voters are smart enough to figure that out.
Money will not win this argument. The people who are mad as well and aren’t going to take it anymore will.

Civility and Its Discontents: City Politics Finally Drops the Cordial Bullshit

: sfweekly – excerpt

“…As San Franciscans prepare for Burning Man, the majority of our supervisors prepare to be burned. Because City Hall’s facade of civility has gone up in smoke: Mayor Lee has pledged retribution against the six legislators who greenlit a Scott Wiener transit funding measure he despises.

Meanwhile, sources inform your humble narrator that the mayor’s office told affordable housing developers that success for a Jane Kim housing measure not to his liking would result in the evaporation of their city funding. Like hostages, these organizations were cajoled into pleading with Kim to back down.

And that happened.

Attempts to fund Muni in this city hark to a troop of clowns hauling stacks of custard pies down rickety stairways. It’s always a mess. And the goods never get delivered.

In 2007, erstwhile board President Aaron Peskin’s Proposition A purported to inject $32 million a year into Muni’s bereft coffers. But that didn’t happen: Instead, prevented by the electorate from simply taking the money now earmarked for Muni, city departments began pillaging the transit agency by charging Muni for tasks those departments were already legally obligated to provide. A voter-approved measure to bestow Muni with scores of millions of dollars actually eviscerated its finances to the tune of scores of millions of dollars. Muni continues to be treated as the city’s slush fund.

Your commute continues to suck… (more)

So, who do you trust to fix the Muni mess? Do you think throwing more money at the tiger will tame its appetite?

If you are ready for a change, fight back and tell  SF City Hall know that you have had ENUF !

Vote Yes on Proposition L.

Cars-First “Restore Balance” Measure Funded by Ed Lee Backer Sean Parker

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook and a major contributor to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, has spent $49,000 of his personal fortune to propel a ballot initiative that seeks to enshrine free parking as city policy, according to the SF Chronicle. Parker gave $100,000 to Lee’s mayoral campaign in 2011.

The ballot initiative, which proponents frame as an attempt to “restore balance” to city transportation policy, first surfaced in April. While the measure would be non-binding, if it passes it could further slow much-needed policies to prioritize transit and street safety in San Francisco. One stated goal of the campaign is to kill Sunday parking meters for good. The SFMTA Board of Directors, which is appointed entirely by Mayor Lee, repealed Sunday metering in April, after Lee made unfounded claims about a popular revolt against the policy.

Several veteran opponents of transportation reform in San Francisco are aligned with the ballot initiative. And, in addition to the backing from Parker, another $10,000 for the measure reportedly came from the San Francisco Republican Party… (more)

We’re not sure about the accuracy of these claims, but metermadness tries to cover all traffic and parking stories.

Measure To “Restore Transportation Balance” Qualifies For Ballot

Sean Parker gives $49k to make life easier for other San Francisco parkers  The measure would also roll back Sunday parking meter fees, except that already happened. As I wrote last week, the San Francisco Mass Transportation Agency has an avowed policy position of limiting the number of cars on San Francisco streets and incentivizing the use of mass transit, shared vehicles, bicycles and other transportation efforts that alleviate environmental harm and congestion.

The initiative, found here, would push back against that position by reasserting the interests of drivers and ensuring those interests are represented in city government, as part of a broad “balanced transportation” policy. Other backers of the measure include the Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods, the Libertarian Party of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Republican Party… (more)


Press Release


March 11, 2014 – Results of the “Transit Technology Survey” conducted by the San Francisco Interfaith Council (SFIC) challenge a core SF Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) policy assumption and call into question whether all San Franciscans have equal access to City services.

Disseminated by the SFIC to its 3,200 e-subscribers from February 5-26, 2014, congregation leaders were asked to make hard copies and administer the survey at the fellowship hour of their primary worship service to ensure that all in attendance could participate.  Completed forms were returned to the SFIC by post, compiled, tabulated and analyzed.

Twenty-three congregations in all but one supervisorial district participated. 601 congre-gants from eleven faith traditions responded.  67% of respondents travel to worship by automobile; 19% by public transit; 2% by bicycle and 12% walk.

Of the 558 who responded to the “age range” demographic question, 2.5% fell into the 18-24 age range; 12.5% in the 25-33 age range; 16% in the 34-44 age range; 20% in the 45 -54 age range, 25% in the 55 -65 age range; and 24% in the 66 or older age range.

Of those surveyed, only 17% claimed to have downloaded and use the SFMTA “Pay by Phone” application.  SFIC Executive Director Michael Pappas commented, “Congregation leaders who conducted the survey credit this dramatic disparity to the reality that many congregants lack the technical aptitude to download and utilize applications.  They also expressed concern that, as a result, more elderly and linguistically challenged congregants did not have equal access to City services, particularly in more vulnerable neighborhoods.”

19% of respondents expressed interest in learning more about SFMTA programs that promote options to take MUNI, bike and walk to worship services.

Pappas concluded “The interfaith community wholeheartedly supports multimodal transpor-tation, biking, walking and taking transit to worship services.  The ethical question for the SFMTA, raised by these findings, is whether the agency’s strategy for budget balancing should be based on technological barriers and the resulting parking tickets issued.  That just doesn’t seem right or fair.”.

Congregation leaders are encouraged to re-post this communique
on their social media, weekly bulletins, monthly newsletters
and share with their congregants from their pulpits.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: http://www.sfinterfaithcouncil.org/

Michael G. Pappas, M.Div., Executive Director
San Francisco Interfaith Council
Interfaith Center at the Presidio
P.O. Box 29055
San Francisco, CA 94129
415.425.9631 (Cell)
415.474.1321 (Office)


Lee’s Sunday free parking plan up against money, politics

By Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross : sfgate – excerpt

Mayor Lee’s call to bring back free parking on Sundays is meeting with behind-the-scenes resistance over at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.
And, like most Muni decisions, the driving forces are money and politics.
Objections to the mayor’s proposed rollback are coming from two fronts.
First up, Muni number crunchers, who have been banking on the more than $9 million a year that Sunday meters – and Sunday parking tickets – bring in.
There are also objections from neighborhood merchants who fear they’ll lose business if people squat all day long in parking spaces outside their stores.
“There has been a lot of back and forth on the issue,” said Tom Nolan, chairman of the transportation agency board.
One idea is to have a “phased” rollback that would keep paid Sunday parking in some shopping areas such as Clement Street or the Castro.
The mayor, however, has his reasons for wanting a full rollback – not the least of which is making voters happy so they will approve the $500 million transportation bond on the November ballot… (more)

Transit Lovers Oppose Mayor Ed Lee’s Move to Make Parking Free on Sunday Again

By Erin Sherbert : sfweekly – excerpt

Remember how pissed you were when the city decided to start charging drivers to park at meters on Sundays — the one day of parking freedom?

Well, that’s kinda how transit people feel about Mayor Ed Lee’s recent call undo all that and let everyone enjoy free parking on Sundays again. The Transit Riders Union has started a petition opposing the Mayor’s opposition to metered parking on Sundays.

So if you have thoroughly enjoyed shelling out more money the past year for parking, go ahead and sign the petition. On that note, you’ll probably be delighted to know that drivers have to pay for parking today even though it’s MLK Day(more)

Why do cyclists care about six hours of free Sunday parking? They are the ones who started the petition and protest and claim support of Muni riders and “pedestrians”, (as if we aren’t all pedestrian).
Unlike cyclists, people opposed to Sunday enforcement don’t have to run down to city hall to scream and protest. We merely point to the current condition of the streets and reports that accidents are on the rise, to prove that street diets and the war on cars has failed to produce safer streets.
The rise in unruly behavior noted by many is the result of a lot of frustrated people who no longer play by the rules because nobody knows the rules. Before we had freely flowing traffic and an easy going city with polite individuals. Now have a lot of pent up anger and individual animosity acting out on city streets.
It is time to end the war on cars, which is about as popular as the war on drugs. If you feel as we do, consider signing the Stop SFMTA petition:


And if you already signed the petition, write a letter to the Mayor and supervisors thanking them for their support.

Mayor Lee’s Pedestrian Safety Plan: Have SFPD Enforce Existing Laws

by : baycityynews – excerpt

In advance of a joint hearing Thursday by San Francisco politicians and police on pedestrian safety, Mayor Ed Lee has released plans for increased enforcement, training and a citywide public awareness campaign on the issue.
The hearing, being held by the San Francisco Police Commission and the Board of Supervisors’ neighborhood services and safety committee, comes after several recent pedestrian deaths, including that of a 6-year-old girl in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood on New Year’s Eve.
In an effort to increase pedestrian safety, Lee announced today a 12 percent increase to the Police Department’s motorcycle unit and said police will target what city data has identified as the 50 most dangerous intersections for pedestrians… (more)



Be gone tax man! Schools can keep all their proceeds from parking fundraisers

Within the last couple of years, neighborhood schools like Lafayette, Presidio and Argonne opened up their schoolyards to cars looking for parking at large events in the area like the Outside Lands and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music festivals. Schools typically charge $25 per day for the day, and in the process, they raised thousands of dollars for their school programs…
Late last week, an ordinance was signed exempting parking lot fundraisers from being taxed by the City. Supervisor Mar, Mayor Lee, and Treasurer Jose Cisneros worked for the last year with 2nd District PTA President Michelle Parker, and parents from Lafayette, Jefferson, Presidio and Argonne schools to craft the legislation… (more)