A year in public transit: Muni’s triumphs, woes, and bike controversy in The City

By : sfexaminer -excerpt

For the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, 2015 was a year of one of Muni’s grandest service expansions.

It also saw the public crying out for transit projects meant to save lives.

SFMTA’s Muni Forward launched in April, creating the most expansive increase in transit service since the Market Street underground rail, SFMTA Director of Transit Operations John Haley told the San Francisco Examiner at the time.

More than 700,000 riders across The City saw increased service on 27 routes. The agency also renamed all “limited” bus lines to “rapid.”

Those reroutes also left some small neighborhoods behind, however, like transit riders on the south side of Lake Merced who saw commutes increase by an hour.

Reflecting on the year’s ups and downs, SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose wrote, “Our top priority will always be the safety of San Francisco’s transportation network.”

He noted SFMTA completed 24 “Vision Zero” pedestrian safety projects ahead of schedule, and plans to complete six additional projects by February 2016.

Despite these continuing efforts, the year’s deadly collisions began in March, when an auto struck and killed 87-year-old Alfred Yee on a section of Geary Boulevard slated for safety upgrades by SFMTA. In May, a Muni train struck and killed 12-year-old Andrew Wu, also on a street slated for safety upgrades.

As of Dec. 14, there were 20 pedestrian deaths in collisions in 2015…

Bikes dominated news this year when SFPD Captain John Sanford began a “crackdown” on bicyclists near the Panhandle in June. Cyclists protested in August, which led to the new Bike Yield Stop Law, courtesy of Supervisor John Avalos.

By year’s end the infamous “Google Buses,” properly called the Commuter Shuttle Program, became permanently regulated by the SFMTA, despite two legal challenges.

Public outcry prevented Muni power lines from being torn down for the Super Bowl City festival, after the Examiner first reported the proposal.

SFMTA launched two new transit lines this year: a new historic streetcar line, the E-Embarcadero, in July, and the 55-16th Street in January.

Late in the year SFMTA announced its buses will switch to from biodiesel to renewable diesel fuel. Since 2010 Muni reduced greenhouse gas emissions in its fleet by 19 percent, according to SFMTA… (more)

 

 

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Hosts Hearing on MTA Parking Plans

By Keith Burbank : potreroview – excerpt

Last month the San Francisco Board of Supervisor’s Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee asked San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA) director of transportation, Ed Reiskin, to discuss the agency’s parking meter plans. Committee members presiding over the hearing included District 9 Supervisor David Campos, who represents the Mission, District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar; and District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell, who sat in for District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee, who couldn’t be present, with District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen also in attendance. Reiskin answered questions from the supervisors, provided data on parking revenues, and explained the rationale driving parking meter expansion.
The “MTA is on the wrong track,” said Cohen, who explained that her main frustration with the agency relates to its lack of a comprehensive planning, with SFMTA’s transit, parking and enforcement divisions going in different directions. The supervisor added that transportation and associated infrastructure wasn’t keeping up with development and growth in her district. Worse, complained Cohen, in some instances SFMTA has been considering cuts in service, has been inconsistent in its enforcement of the residential parking permit program, and the agency’s plans don’t adequately acknowledge the parking needs of production, distribution, and repair (PDR) businesses…
Campos said he appreciated the agency’s effort to listen to the community. But he pointed out that the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan calls for protecting PDR businesses, and asked that SFMTA follow this policy…
Reiskin acknowledged that parking management affects the economic viability of commercial districts…
Farrell asked the transportation director how parking management efforts can meet the needs of families — especially ones with multiple children, and both parents working — who depend on cars…
Farrell said residents have told him that SFMTA seems to be making car ownership more challenging, rather than making public transit more attractive. “I hear that time and time again,” Farrell said. The supervisor insisted that making transit more attractive should come first…
Campos told Reiskin that there should be no artificial deadline for the parking meter expansion. Instead, SFMTA should be sure to hear the concerns of residents and business owners.
“We’ll continue to take the time that it needs,” Reiskin responded… (more)

NE Mission / SFMTA Meeting Thursday March 21

StopSFMTA2

Come to discus how you feel about SFMTA plans to cut Muni service and expand parking meters in the North East Mission neighborhoods… (more)