Bikeshare stations headed to the Mission (and beyond)

By Laura Wenus : missionlocal – excerpt (includes a map)


Is this what the voters wanted when they passed Prop E creating the SFMTA and granting the organization the powers that it claims it has? Did they vote to turn their public streets into a private enterprise to be sold out from under them to enterprising corporations? Where are the politicians who will put a end to this thievery and give us back our streets?

A significant cluster of Bay Area Bike Share’s new planned stations are in the Mission District, and installation is expected to begin later this month.

The expansion will grow the bike sharing program from 700 to 7,000 bicycles around the region. Around 35 bike sharing stations are in the works in the Mission, according to an image released by the bike share group…

While most of the stations planned for the Mission have already secured their permits, one was considered at a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency hearing on Friday morning, and a few neighbors were dismayed at the idea of losing parking. The station, at 17th and Valencia streets, was among 16 stations citywide heard on Friday morning.

“Parking is a premium in San Francisco, it’s just like housing,” said District 6 resident John Nulty. “You start taking away parking, it’s going to create more problems for everybody.”…

“Parking loss is not grounds for denying a bike share permit,” explained Heath Maddox, a planner with the transportation agency, after the meeting…(more)

That sounds like, “free street parking is not a right it is a privilege”. Is living in SF a privilege as well? It is a slippery slope when you start giving up your rights.

Maybe we need some officials who feel that parking and living in SF are rights and not privileges and we have a right to determine how we move about our city.

City Hall is already replacing off-street parking for cars with bike parking in the new developments. We don’t need more bikes parked on the street as well. Soon there will be more bikes than people using them, or, maybe there already are. No wonder people are parking in the middle of the street and in the bike lanes. If you want people to park legally you have to give them a legal place to park.

Next time you consider buying a car, remember that it is Ford that is removing your parking spaces.

SF planning first-of-its-kind laws for ‘jitney’ private bus system Chariot

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

For as long as there have been autos, private “jitney” buses have operated on San Francisco streets. Jitneys carried passengers to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915, and many Muni lines today run on former private bus lines.
By the 1970s, private transit by the Bay declined. The last known historic jitney driver in San Francisco who owned a single private bus, Jess Losa, reportedly hung up his hat last year.

But those private buses have since returned to their former prominence with the aid of tech apps — like Chariot, the Ford-owned private bus company that started in San Francisco…

Now more than a century after jitneys first appeared, The City is planning new laws to regulate them, updating patchwork regulations strewn across multiple city agencies due to historical accident.

Earlier this month, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency revealed its plans for private bus services at a SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council.

Chariot is the only private bus service left in San Francisco, SFMTA staff told the council, so for now the new laws would exclusively regulate just that company — but regulations would cover any similar services that may arise in the future…

Why are jitneys treated differently from tech shuttles? They are both private commercial enterprises. Jitneys do a lot less damage to the street, take up less space and get around the narrow steep streets a lot easier than the large buses and tech vehicles. Jitneys are one option for the public to choose from to get around town.

Car Sharing Likely to Expand this Year

by potreroview – excerpt

The San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) will consider expanding on-street parking for car share companies when its board of directors meets in March.  San Francisco may be the only U.S. city in which public transportation, parking and taxi medallions are all governed by one agency.

As part of a pilot program, started in 2013 set to expire this year, SFMTA rents 205 curbside spaces to Zip Car, Getaround and City CarShare. At pilot launch the agency declared that car sharing met several SFMTA goals, notably a reduction in the number of vehicles in the City, which results in improved parking management and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

At the time, SFMTA compiled a list of 900 on-street spaces for possible car shares.  However, Andy Thornley, who heads the program, said that he doesn’t believe the program will expand that drastically. Thornley, who indicated that his team would be recommend enlarging the initiative, stated that the exact number of additional car share space is yet to be determined, and that, even if the board approves expansion, taking additional parking spaces from general use will require public outreach...

“It’s the worst thing that’s happened to businesses here,” bemoaned Khaled Ghanma, who owns All States Best Foods across the street. Many of his customers come by automobile.  According to Ghanma, library patrons often double park when making drop-offs, a situation he called dangerous.

Kayren Hudiburgh, who owns nearby The Good Life Grocery, shared the sentiment. “I don’t think they should be taking parking on the street,” she said. “They are taking two prime spots for customers. If customers can’t find parking, they go on by and find somewhere else to shop. It’s hurting small businesses.” She wondered why an arrangement couldn’t be made with the nearby College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which has a parking lot...

Since implementing the pilot program SFMTA has learned a few things about where spots work best. Putting them at the front or end of blocks helps people who don’t frequently drive park more easily(more)

Drivers who don’t own and drive their own cars are the most dangerous on the road. If they have trouble parallel parking, how safe are they driving unfamiliar vehicles when dealing with constant changes on the roads and pedestrians and cyclists who think it is the driver’s responsibility to avoid hitting them?

How Uber Plans To Conquer The Suburbs

: buzzfeed – excerpt

With a pilot program in Summit, New Jersey, the ride-hail giant is looking to replace commuter parking lots.

Summit, New Jersey, a bedroom community to New York City, will begin subsidizing Uber rides for residents traveling to and from the local train station starting Monday — a move the town initiated to avoid building a new parking lot, a multimillion-dollar effort. For Uber, the partnership is another step in a series of strategic moves to extend its reach to the suburbs… (more)

L-Taraval changes head to SFMTA board

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

Contentious changes along Muni’s L-Taraval route could get decided Tuesday.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors on Tuesday are expected to vote on a final proposal on the L-Taraval Rapid Project.

Residents and merchants have been at odds with transit officials on proposed improvements including adding boarding islands at some stops, and removal of other stops altogether…

The original proposal had called for boarding islands at all L-Taraval transit stops that did not have them, but transit officials comprised with businesses to instead pilot a program for six months that does not remove any parking on Taraval at 26th, 30th, 32nd, 35th and 40th avenues.

Instead of transit boarding islands, a large sign will get placed to warn drivers that they must stop to allow for passengers to board and disembark trains, along with a painted white solid line in the traffic lane where vehicles must stop behind the train. Both treatments would be placed along Taraval to match the configuration of a two-car train.

Additionally, painted markings will also be present in the traffic lane to warn drivers ahead of time of transit stops ahead…

Documents from the transit agency said transit officials will work with merchants to develop an education campaign alongside working with the San Francisco Police Department on enforcement at these five transit stop locations during the evaluation of the pilot.

New flashing lights on trains when the doors open will also be part of the pilot, to bring more attention to drivers that they must stop.

The pilot changes will be installed in Fall 2016. If there is not at least a 90 percent compliance rate of drivers stopping where they are supposed to, or if there is a collision with a pedestrian and vehicle during the six-month evaluation, officials will pursue boarding islands at those five locations, SFMTA documents said…

Paula Katz, a resident in the Parkside neighborhood, started a petition to save all of the L-Taraval stops, which she has submitted to the transit agency. She said the removal of the transit stops would put a burden to riders especially for the elderly who shop at places like at Safeway on Taraval and 17th Avenue.

Early implementation

SFMTA documents show the transit agency wants to carry out specific positions of the project earlier than what was originally proposed.

Officials plant to start the transit-only lane early, with signage and painted symbols, but no red paint. Officials said they will monitor the effects of traffic flow and congestion for one year to due to concerns from the community that a loss of a travel lane would cause traffic congestion.

Painted clear zones will also be implemented early at locations where the transit agency are proposing boarding islands. Vehicles would shift to the right as if there were a boarding island present at 10 locations. Parking spots at those locations would no longer be available.

The public can still give public comment on the final proposal of the L-Taraval project at the SFMTA’s Board of Directors meeting Tuesday at 1 p.m. in room 400 of City Hall… (more)

The Likely Fate of San Francisco’s Prominent Piers 30-32

socketsite – excerptPiers30-32

While the Port of San Francisco is in the process of updating its Waterfront Land Use Plan and examining potential uses for the City’s prominent Piers 30-32, the 13-acre site is likely to remain a deteriorating parking lot with sweeping Bay views for at least another decade, and possibly two or three…

But with minimal structural repairs every five years, the Port estimates the existing piers and use could last another 20 to 30 years, which would cost an estimated $6 million in Capital Costs but yield a 350 percent return on that investment.

And given the numbers above, unless a “big idea” emerges, “where location matters much more than cost” and which is sponsored by a development partner “who is willing to obtain state legislation authorizing their project and has the patience to navigate a complicated State and City regulatory process,” the Piers 30-32 site could very well look the same in 20 to 30 years as it does today.

Well, it could look somewhat the same in two to three decades. For even with a bit of periodic maintenance, portions of Piers 30-32 will likely start to fail in 5 or 10 years, at which point Port engineers would simply barricade the failed areas. And of course, all bets are off if – or rather when – there’s a moderate to major earthquake… (more)

Could this be a staging ground for a pilot project for a Muni transit hub since parking is the only use planned? It’s not that far from the bridge.

 

 

Data versus merchants: Do shoppers drive or take Muni?

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

From Mission Street to Geary Boulevard — and even sleepy Taraval Street — parking spaces are disappearing, new turn restrictions for vehicles are coming to fruition and transit-only lanes are popping up on the concrete.

As pushback from local businesses and homeowners heats up on key transit corridors, a pattern is emerging within every project: Merchants are decrying available transit data as false.

As Gabriel Medina, policy manager at the Mission Economic Development Agency, put it: “If [Republican presidential candidate] Donald Trump did a survey himself about himself, would you trust the results?”

Merchants say their customers are mostly drivers. But transit planners contend their data shows most San Franciscans actually take public transit to these neighborhoods, and a new SFMTA survey of Mission Street-goers found most take the bus or train to shop… (more)

What difference does it make what percentage of shoppers arrive by car to access your shop if your business fails after the SFMTA creates a traffic and parking nightmare to discourages ANY of your customers from returning?

What percentage of your income would you like to give up? Would you like a 10, 20, or 30% cut in pay while your rent and taxes go up?

This kind of survey proves that the SFMTA “experts” know nothing about running a business and that explains why they are millions of dollars in debt even though they have one of the highest budgets in the country.

I have an idea. Why don’t we limit them to three projects at a time that they have the money in the budget for instead of allowing them to start dozens of projects that they are financing through “leveraging” programs?

Maybe then they will feel the pain they are inflicting on the merchants who don’t have unlimited funds to cover their losses.

If you want to reign in the SFMTA support the Charter Amendment: stopsfmta.com

 

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)

Charter amendment targets mayoral seats on SFMTA board

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

Acharter amendment introduced by San Francisco Supervisor Norman Yee could threaten the mayor’s appointment power over the Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors.

The charter amendment proposed by Yee would allow the mayor to appoint four SFMTA board members and the Board of Supervisors would to get appoint three. It would also lower the number of supervisors it takes to reject the transit agency’s budget from seven to six.

Currently, the City Charter allows the mayor to nominate all seven of transit agency’s directors, but nominees still need approval from the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisors Eric Mar and Malia Cohen voted in favor of the charter amendment at the board’s Rules Committee on Wednesday. Supervisor Katy Tang voted against it. If approved by the full Board of Supervisors, it would appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Last I checked only six supervisors are needed to put a charter amendment on the ballot.

Yee said at the board’s Rules Committee on June 30 that his constituents from District 7 are calling his office over concerns about some of the decisions that the transit agency makes on The City’s streets: (more comments below.)

“…this is why I am introducing this legislation to see if there is a way to actually change the dynamics so that maybe we could reduce the types of complaints that we get.”…

“There’s an expectation from the public that the Board of Supervisors share the burden of SFMTA’s decisions when we have very little do with who sits on the Board of Directors.”…

“I think a split appoint process allows for a broader, more diverse level of engagement from the public as we have seen at this very committee.”…

“I’m always searching for answers. For me, this is one way to change it. It’s certainly not the only way and I’m willing to sit down with the director, Mr. Reiskin or any of the other Board of Directors to continue that discussion.”… (more)

This is a welcome development in a situation that is rapidly turning into a disaster for many residents and merchants who are lashing out at the Mayor and Supervisors. Complaints are coming from everyone, including drivers, Muni riders, people with families, the elderly and physically challenged. Removal of bus stops and seats from buses is only the last straw.
Plausible deniability is not protecting them from the public anger. This is the year of discord and San Francisco officials are reacting by giving the voters a lot of options to shift the balance of power. The voters should take this opportunity to do just that.

Showplace Square Parking Gets Metered

By Jacob Bourne : Potrero View – excerpt

The blocks surrounding Showplace Square and the California College of the Arts (CCA) have been a longstanding parking haven for commuters, oversized vehicles, and residents. Over time regulations have tightened parking availability throughout Potrero Hill, increasing parking pressures from Division to 16th streets and east to Seventh Street.  Now, the San Francisco Mu-nicipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is adding four hour time limited parking and metered parking to all streets in that area.

Though the measure has strong backing from nearby businesses, with support from District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, some San Franciscans are concerned about the displacement of individuals living in oversized vehicles, who have used the curbs of Showplace to store their homes…

Meters are being added on 16th and Seventh streets near CCA, and on Henry Adams, Kansas, and Division streets, as well as on the block surrounding Showplace East. The rest of the area will have four hour time limits without residential parking permit restrictions. Due to sensitivity for homeless individuals, the SFMTA board of directors decided not to impose an overnight-oversized vehicle ban, though the enforced daytime turnover will impact these vehicles. Although more than 400 meters are being installed, according to Andy Thornley, SFMTA senior project analyst, over the past few years 750 meters have been taken off the streets, Citywide.  There are fewer meters in San Francisco now than in 2013. … (more)

There are fewer parking spaces now because the goal of SFMTA is to eliminate as many as they can. They have gone after many parking metered spaces, such as the ones they took off of Mission Street recently and the ones they are getting ready to remove from Van Ness and Lombard soon.

It is this mania to remove parking and traffic lanes that has the public ready for their heads, or at least elimination of their jobs, that is responsible for the growing support for a Charter Amendment that would unwind parts of Prop E and K. More details on that: stopsfmta.com

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