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)

Problems with public meetings that may be addressed soon in a ballot initiative.

Report on the April 21st MTA Commission Meeting:

I attended the MTA Commission meeting on the 21st to object to the Consent calendar containing removal from public parking, all the car rental parking spots around the city. (On the attached link to the agenda is the list of the particular spots. )

http://www.sfmta.com/calendar/meetings/board-directors-meeting-april-21-2015
No description of how many parking spots are being lost this way. No mitigation measures. No environmental impact consideration. Bargain pricing of a pubic asset. This is clearly an example of MTA following in the railroad tracks of Il Duce. Since when has our democracy in SF taken such a severe hit to the groin?

I also admonished the chairman for conducting a meeting without being able to be heard by the audience. When I first asked him to speak into the microphone, he looked up at me, and then went right back to mumbling whatever he said. After I denounced his contempt for the folks who came to participate, he went, again, right back to speaking without being heard. It is not a public meeting if the conversation of all the speakers cannot be heard.

Back to the car rental spots, this item will be heard on its own in some future meeting (not indicated at the time). Can you please get the word out to your mailing list that will be their chance to  argue against this public give-away to private profit companies.The more people the better, and the objective should be to take as much of the commission’s time as possible. Let them feel the pain of our outrage, since I’m sure they’ll approve the matter regardless of what the people have to say. After all, it is the MO of the MTA. “Muni: We don’t give a shit what YOU think”

– Ted

SFMTA Planner Denies Plans to Create Evening Tow Away Zone along Upper Polk St

Press Release January 24, 2015

Luis Montoya, SFMTA lead planner of the Polk Streetscape Improvement Project, faced concerned residents and merchants in a closed door meeting Thursday in preparation for the upcoming January 30th Public Hearing to approve the agency’s long awaited project plans. Community members were alarmed to read that the MTA is proposing a morning and evening daily tow away zone for the implementation of a “temporary floating” bike lane from Pine to Broadway as posted on public notice posters wrapped along utility poles in their neighborhood.

Further questions and concerns grew from a report released from the planning department detailing the project’s exemption from an environmental impact report and the proposed plans including raised cycle tracks from Pine to Union, the removal of parking along the entire eastern side of Polk St, and the removal of up to 250 parking spaces at project completion. The report suggests the desire for future implementation of a full‐time raised cycle track along the east side of Polk St from Pine to Broadway (and permanent parking removal).

In response to these questions, Mr. Montoya commented that the posters were misprinted and there are absolutely no plans to implement a PM tow away zone along upper Polk St from Pine to Broadway.  He went on to comment that the report from the planning department is not his preferred proposal he will present at the public meeting on January 30th, but the planning department’s own interpretation of the project plans and data collected. How the Planning Department concluded the PM tow away zone he could not say. He did confirm his agency’s intention to implement the morning tow away zone despite minimal ridership numbers the SFMTA has recorded along northbound Upper Polk St on weekday mornings, and denied the SFMTA is planning to present a plan that calls for the removal of all northbound Polk St parking to create a raised cycle track from Pine to Broadway St  He added that his plan will remove approximately 150 parking spaces along the 1.3 mile Polk St. corridor (in addition to the hundreds of spaces being removed for the Van Ness BRT project), not the 250 listed in the Planning Department report.

At the conclusion of the meeting he asked the group for their trust and support despite the inaccurate and misleading public notice posters and planning department report, and left with a permanent marker in hand to personally alter the posted public notice signs.  On Friday a majority of the posters had been removed entirely, again questioning the agency’s accountability to the community in providing appropriate public outreach.

The Polk Streetscape Improvement Project public hearing will be held Friday, January 30th at 10AM in Hearing Room 416, City Hall.

This sounds like a real comedy of errors. Could this have anything to do with the Planning Department being overwhelmed with work requests? Time to slow down.

Parking Shared Cars Instead of Private Cars Isn’t Exactly “Privatization”

The SFMTA’s endeavor to reserve on-street car parking spaces for car-share vehicles has yielded complaints from some car owners who, ironically, decry the “privatization” of space currently used to store private cars.

But the greater point that some folks seem to be missing is this: No use of public street space is more “private” than dedicated storage of private individuals’ automobiles. To decry converting comparatively few of these spaces to welcome a much more efficient form of auto storage – making each space useful for dozens of people, rather than one or two – is absurd.

Yet that’s what Calvin and Michelle Welch argue, in flyers they distributed that protest two on-street car-share spaces in the Lower Haight, as Hoodline recently reported. ”It would privatize a shared, currently free, scarce public resource making it available only to paid members of a car share program,” the Welches wrote. (It’s worth noting that Calvin Welch is a longtime activist who opposes the construction of new market-rate housing (more)

The comments on this article are off the rails. We need a serious discussion about the privatization of public property among people who know the legal facts.

 

Car-share parking coming curbside

By Will Reisman : sfexaminer – excerpt

Hundreds of on-street parking spaces will be set aside for car-sharing vehicles this fall as part of a city-led effort to reduce private-car ownership in San Francisco.
Companies like Zipcar and City CarShare will be allowed to reserve up to 150 spaces apiece, with another 150 potentially available next year. Wheelz, which specializes in peer-to-peer transactions involving personal vehicles, and Car2Go, a startup that features one-way car trips, could be included later.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which manages parking in The City, hopes its effort leads to more walking, biking and public transit use. It said one car-sharing vehicle can replace as many as 13 private vehicles…  (more)

If you disagree with this program of eliminating parking spots let your Supervisors know. and sign the Stop SFMTA petition: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-sfmta-san-francisco

SFMTA Drops Protected Bike Lane Proposals for Most of Polk Street

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog.org – excerpt

The SF Municipal Transportation Agency has taken protected bike lanes off the table for 14 of 20 blocks of Polk Street under its latest design options [PDF]…
the SFMTA’s most ambitious proposal for Polk between Geary and Union Streets only includes bike lanes that, depending on the block, would run either curbside (without parking) or in the door zone — the kinds of bike lanes that only make a relatively small percentage of people feel comfortable enough to ride… (more)

Save Polk Street likes Plan “A”. It remains to be seem what they will get, though the cyclists are unhappy with the latest design choices.

Related:
New Polk Street plans kinder to parked cars

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.

San Francisco transit agency vows to revise Polk Street plan following heated community meeting

By: Joshua Sabatini : SFExaminer – excerpt

After hundreds of merchants and residents gathered this week to blast a proposal to remove parking spaces along Polk Street in favor of bike lanes, the head of San Francisco’s transit agency agreed to go back to the drawing board.
Amid the show of solidarity, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency transportation director Ed Reiskin said he would return with proposals “that would have significantly less parking loss.”
Reiskin had a bumpy ride Monday night. When asked for specific removal numbers, he admitted to not having them — which prompted laughter and booing from the crowd. The agency had proposed eliminating parking from one side of Polk Street and partially from the other side to make way for dedicated bike lanes.
Merchants had spent weeks drumming up opposition to the proposal, even posting signs on their shop windows saying “Save Polk Street.” Business owners worry that loss of parking will mean loss of business.
“We really count on parking,” said Dan Kowalski, owner of the furniture store Flipp on Polk and Green streets. Any parking removal “we just think is wrong,” Kowalski said, adding that “Polk Street’s different; it’s different than Valencia Street.”… (more)

RELATED
Cars vs. Bikes: The Battle for Polk Street

Livable City: Extra Parking for Car-Share Could Be Abused

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

Developers would be allowed to skirt limits on car parking if they devote the extra spaces to car-sharing, under a proposal approved unanimously by the SF Planning Commission yesterday. The bill [PDF], which advocates warn could be abused as a loophole to expand private parking, would apply to residential and commercial buildings. The legislation must still be approved by the Board of Supervisors.
Under the proposal, developers who want to build the maximum number of private parking spots permitted by the planning code but aren’t willing to devote any of those spots to car-share would be allowed to add up to five extra car-share spots in a building of 50 residential units or less. For buildings larger than that, up to eight could be added. To be eligible for the exemption, a developer cannot apply for a conditional use permit to exceed the maximum allowance for private parking, according to Andres Power, an aide to Supervisor Scott Wiener, who introduced the proposal.
Advocates say that letting developers exceed parking maximums undermines the purported spirit of the bill. “Car-share is meant to reduce demand for residential parking, so car-share spaces ought not be over and above the maximum number of residential spaces,” said Livable City Executive Director Tom Radulovich. “Using car-share to justify excess parking is cynical greenwash, and nothing more.”… (more)

Local business enterprise joint venture completes transition of four landmark SFMTA parking contracts

By Impark : heralkdonline.com – excerpt

VANCOUVER, SEPT. 4, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ – Impark, one of North America’s largest parking operators, announced today it has completed the transition of four San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) garages into its management.  The five-year parking management contracts were awarded to Impark joint venture company IMCO parking in three phases over the past six months with the final transition taking place on May 1st, 2012…

All four contracts are to be managed by IMCO; a joint venture between Impark and Convenient Parking, an organization certified under the City’s LBE Program. “I am very proud to be working with Impark on these major projects” said Fred Bekele, owner of Convenient Parking.  “While we have partnered with Impark on various projects since 2005, the new SFMTA contracts are a tremendous opportunity for a developing local business such as ours”… (more)

Looks like the parking business is the fastest growng industry in San Francisco, unless we fight SFMTA and turn that around. How many local jobs do you suppose they are creating for the residents? How much of that money is staying in the local economy and how much is being sucked up by outside interests?