Follow-up on the SF General Hospital Plans

September 3o, 2015 Meeting at SF General:  Attended the SF General meeting and met with some of the principals involved in the project. UC Research labs plans to expand by building a new 9-story building in the parking lot. Parking and traffic will be impacted heavily. SFMTA was expected to make a report but no one showed up. Neighbors requested a meeting with Ed Reiskin about the traffic and parking plans. Neighbors are concerned about noise, hazard waste disposal and many other issues. Many would prefer the expansion were in the current brick edifice or in Mission Bay. There are UC facilities all over town. UC is the second largest employer in San Francisco.

Regardless, there will an EIR on the expansion plans as described. I asked about the timeline for the EIR and the project. Public meeting dates are scheduled to start in October and run through March 2016 by which time they hope to have a draft EIR prepared. Nick Q. (Liberty Hill) John W (EMIA), and I were at the meeting. They may have additional information if anyone has any questions.

Traffic and parking:
They announced they will be removing 66 parking spaces from Potrero Ave.
Relating to the proposed UCSF research building they want to add one story to the parking garage and push it out to 24th St.
This will add about 527 new spaces but will only be a net gain of about 307 spaces as they will lose 220 spaces they currently have on campus.
We were told that the garage now (even before the new hospital is opened) is full before noon.
Despite the above the planning department has asked to take 20,000 sq ft of the garage as “retail space”.
They don’t want to build at Mission Bay because the doctors don’t want to take the shuttle between Mission Bay and SFGH.
When the “historic’ brick buildings are eventually retrofitted there are no plans for parking for the new staff and program that will occupy those buildings. (currently 800 people work in those buildings so we can expect at least that many more new staffers to the campus.
Be sure and come to the scoping meeting for the proposed research building on 10/21/15 at 7 PM in SFGH cafeteria.

(Valencia) Residents Meet Proposed Medical Neighbors and Say, Move Elsewhere

By J.J. Barrow : missionlocal – excerpt

The appropriateness of Sutter Health’s plan to open an affiliate medical center on the corner of 20th and Valencia streets was the subject of a lengthy and at times tense meeting on Monday night.

The talk, hosted by the Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association, brought together 25 concerned Mission District residents and three employees of Sutter Health’s Pacific Medical Foundation, which seeks to locate its latest facility on the ground floor of the new V20 condo complex. Neighbors questioned everything from the center’s attractiveness to its size and location.

You don’t go get a coffee and then decide you’re sick,” said a neighbor.

“I think primary care in the community, where people live and work is the right place,” countered William Black, the chief medical officer of Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation.

“Do you need another artisanal—I don’t know?” asked Toni Brayer, the foundation’s CEO. Also present was Vahram Massehian, the center’s senior project manager of enterprise development.

No, said neighbors, but they did need answers about traffic and parking, storefront attractiveness and patient privacy.

Lisa Fromer, president of the neighborhood association, said she learned of Sutter’s move less than two weeks ago when a member emailed her about it. Once word spread, so did objections.  Already the Valencia Corridor Merchants Association has opposed the 7,100 square foot center unless it downsizes…

But traffic congestion and parking remained the biggest objections to the project. Of V20’s 18 parking spaces, 14 will be assigned to residents, the panel said. “Everyone’s going to be circling around looking for parking,” said Lisa Fromer, the neighborhood association president. “Our parking is limited. It doesn’t stop people from trying to park in spaces that are too small or blocking driveways.”…

Sutter Health’s Pacific Medical Center conditional use permit application goes before the Planning Commission at City Hall, Room 400, on Thursday, May 21 at 12 p.m… (more)

The developers could end a lot of the residents objections by putting in more off-street parking. More instead of less.

BART’s parking problem: Maddening search when lots are full

By Hamed Aleaziz : sfweekly – excerpt

…BART has no system for notifying passengers when most lots fill up, but that may be changing.

“It’s frustrating,” said Myra O’Ferrall, 52, of San Ramon, one of those who had to turn around on the top floor of the parking garage on the Dublin side of the highway.

“It’s an incredible waste of time,” said Mark Boyce, 51, who drives to BART from his home in Tracy so he can ride into Oakland. “I drive an hour and a half to get here. The last thing I want to do is drive around looking for parking in a full parking lot with other people doing the same thing.”

According to BART officials, the agency is working on a solution at several stations… (more)

The real solution is to provide more parking, not spending a lot of time on alerting people when the lots are full.

Costly New Parking Garages Still Gobbling Up Land at BART Stations

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

BART continues to encourage the construction of multi-story parking garages at its stations, despite the exorbitant costs and lost potential for valuable land that could be put to better use…

Livable City Executive Director Tom Radulovich, who sits on the BART board, said he’s “appalled that we wasted tens of millions of dollars building a commuter garage at an urban station like MacArthur.”

“Ridership kept growing at that station despite the reduction in parking during construction, which demonstrates that we could have done perfectly well without it,” he said. “Many of our highest-ridership stations — Balboa Park, Berkeley, 19th, 16th, 24th, Glen Park — have little or no commuter parking. At stations like MacArthur, Ashby, West Oakland, and Lake Merritt, we should be phasing out parking as we build transit villages, and enhance walking, cycling, and local transit access instead of building structured parking.”… (more)

What happened to customer service? BART is trying to bring it back by building more garages and extending late night hours by partnering with bus lines:
BART to try late-night bus service for passengers

In spite of the BART Director, the majority of elected BART Board members appear to be more inclined to listen to their customers than the appointed SFMTA Board. That may be why many SF residents are planning to vote No vote on Props A and B and Yes on L.

Citizens want more parking garages built near freeway exits and transit hubs and do not expect to have their wishes met by the current MTA Board. Transportation issues along with housing will determine the outcome of some Supervisor races as voters become ever more fed up with gridlock and the parking wars. And, as Engardio points out in the sfexaminer, Commuters can have a say on BART service. Do your own research before you vote on anything. Make sure you are voting for your interests, because no on else is.

How many parking spots are there in S.F?

Pity the intern who had this job.

San Francisco’s transportation agency just finished counting all of the city’s public parking spots — by hand, mostly.

The four-year effort, unveiled this week, tallied 275,450 street parking spaces citywide, for a grand total of 441,950 spots when you throw in parking garages and commercial lots.

While the number is a bit abstract — the transportation agency says the length of all street parking spots exceeds the length of California’s 840-mile coastline — city officials say the figures help them with planning. For example, knowing when to require a new office project to add a parking garage, or when and where to install parking meters.

FYI: Of the city’s 275,450 street spots, just 26,750 are metered… (more)

Considering that according to the information the SFMTA has, there are not nearly enough parking spots for all the cars. So, what will they do with that info they just spent who know how much to gather?

Us it to prove they need more parking meters when the citizens want more parking garages.

San Francisco to visitor: Thanks for dropping by, chump

district5diary – excerpt

A letter to the editor in the September 18 SF Chronicle
Parking Sorrow
As a fourth-generation Californian, I thought I was fairly familiar with traffic problems in San Francisco.
Recently I stayed in the city to care for my daughter who was not feeling well. She lives in the Marina District, not far from where my grandmother and her family lived since before the turn of the century.
I spent more time checking to see which days I could park on which streets than I did caring for her. My whole time there was spent watching the clock so I could move my car.
I did get one ticket, which I paid promptly, but I certainly didn’t feel welcomed in this city that I have always loved.
Kathleen Ferrando, Petaluma

Much mention about the parking app the city is touting as an easy way to find available parking garages and metered in the city. Not only does it not work that well, but the map includes none of the under-used parking garages in Mission Bay, and fails to note the many meters in the area as well.

For that information go here:

Since this map was made there are a number of new parking lots that have also opened up around the area. We haven’t had time to update those yet. We don’t get paid for our maps.

Pier 70 plan financing ‘complicated’

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

Transforming 28 acres of rusted maritime space at Pier 70 into a new neighborhood with tech companies and more than 1,000 condo units will require “complicated” financing and more than $160 million to build new roads, three parking garages and a possible new Muni turnaround…
Pier 70 in the Dogpatch neighborhood is Port of San Francisco property, part of which is planned to be converted into housing and retail. Nearly all of the estimated $1.85 billion required to redevelop Pier 70 is coming from private capital raised by site developer Forest City, which built the Westfield San Francisco Centre shopping mall on Market Street…
The Port of San Francisco will need to come up with about $222 million via bond sales, according to Port documents. The bonds will pay for infrastructure improvements, including utility lines, transit improvements and other improvements like parks.
Exactly how the publicly funded side of Pier 70 will be financed — and how the Port plans to raise an additional $98 million that would build three parking garages on the site — has yet to be determined.
“There are challenges with this site,” Brad Benson, the Port’s project manager at Pier 70, told the Board of Supervisors on June 5. “It has very high infrastructure costs.”
The site is not well-served by public transportation, and it might require an “extension” of the T-Third Street line with a turnaround near 20th Street, Benson said.
Rezoning and planning alone will cost about $20 million, Port officials said… (more)

What is the rush? Why not finish one big public project before starting a new one?

Small Business Commission Hearing

Small Business Commission hears complaints from Small Business Owners and Advocates April 22, 2013 meeting. Commissioners are all sympathetic the need for more parking for businesses.  Video link to that hearing: (starts around item 7)

Notes on Commissioners’ comments at the hearing:

  • Lack of notice, outreach, and communication during the whole planning process is a major source of problems.
  • Would like to see a representative from the Small Business community on the MTA board.
  • They encourage the merchants associations to continue what they are doing in demanding consideration from the MTA.
  • Due Process important.
  • There appears to have been no real time studies or consideration for business operations in the areas that they are eliminating and limiting parking.
  • Effects of smaller projects on larger areas need to be taken into consideration during construction and after.
  • A pave it and paint it plan would solve many problems. It would allow for faster, cheaper and easier changes as the traffic patterns shift and needs change.  (i.e. the 17th street burp)
  • Most of the issues between traffic and cycles could be solved by paving the streets and fixing the dangerous potholes and other obstacles that cause erratic lane changes for all vehicles. Smoother streets and easily read signs would help the safe flow of traffic and the costs would be a lot lower.
  • Parking removal and lack of parking seems to be the major problem for everyone. We need to re-visit the policies that are driving these programs.
  • We must change the attitude that we are not building any more parking. We have got to change this attitude. We need parking as well as bike lanes. We are the tax payers.
  • We must realistically provide for the visitors and commuters who cannot take public transit into the city.
  • Mayor’s task force wants to do twice as much as it can afford. Why not do less at half the costs?
  • Blind loyalty to ideology, at the expense of the whole community is not the answer.
  • People are already avoiding certain neighborhoods due to parking difficulties.
  • Where did the anti parking attitude come from?

Small Business Commissioner: San Francisco Needs More Parking Garages

by Aaron Bialick : SF.Streetsblog – excerpt

As has become painfully apparent on Polk Street, there is a deeply-held belief among certain merchants that car parking is indispensable to their business — even if studies indicate that very few of their customers drive, and that removing parking spaces to implement safety improvements could actually draw more potential customers.

SF Small Business commissioner and former president Luke O’Brien. Image: SFGovTV

So it’s no surprise that when SFMTA officials came to the SF Small Business Commission to discuss its goals to make streets safer and manage parking demand, preserving parking spaces was pretty much the only priority voiced by commissioners… (more)

Follow-up to the NE Mission / SFMTA March 21 Meeting: Videos on YouTube

Videos on YouTube

Supervisor Campos made comments on the SFMTA plan before and after the presentation and comments by neighbors. Most people found the studies were lacking in accuracy and called for a better survey of the neighborhood before enacting any changes in the area. David agreed with residents and business owners that even though many changes to the original plan, such as allowing RPP for residents and Preferential Parking Permits for PDRs, are an improvement, the plan is flawed. He concluded by saying that there is no reason to implement any changes until a reasonable approach is found and the details worked out.
The growing trend toward emptying and eliminating public parking garages and parking lots was mentioned at the meeting. There are a couple in the area and a number have been spotted in Mission Bay. Residents on Polk Street and Valencia are also complaining about the rush to eliminate parking spots. Why is the SFMTA spending any time and energy eliminating pubic parking for Muni customers, while cutting back on Muni service? How does eliminating parking options benefit Muni riders?
There is a disconnect in the congested parking theory and the reality of the parking habits of human beings. Why is SFMTA is continuing to sign contracts to expand the program in spite of the lack of evidence or data from the initial tests?
Father of the congestion theory, Dr. Shoup admits his theories are unproven.
He is quoted as saying, If it works, it will make San Francisco an even better place to live and do business and visit. It will just be yet another feather in the cap of San Francisco. And if it doesn’t work, they can blame it all on a professor from Los Angeles… (more)

Santa Monica fired Nelson/Nygaard consultant, Jeff Tumlin, and now the Planning Commission may shelf their radical parking proposals which have “upset and enraged” residents… (more)

If Santa Monica can take back their streets, we can too.