Parking Management Plan Proposed for Potrero Hill’s North Slope

By J. Eric Miller : potreroview – excerpt

he San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has floated a plan to deploy several types of parking management tools on Potrero Hill’s North Slope, including weekday time limits to discourage commuters from leaving their cars and parking meters to offer short-term options for shoppers, visitors, and other daytime users.  If implemented the proposal would impact an array of residential and commercial sites, including the San Francisco Police Department’s De Haro Street facility, Whole Foods, Live Oak School and Jackson Playground.

“We have long known that our neighborhoods have served as parking lots for commuters who walk, bike, or take transit the last mile to their destinations in SoMa or Downtown,’ said J. R. Eppler, Potrero Boosters president “The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority has tracked this data, and we have strong anecdotal and neighborhood survey evidence of this. With the amount of new residents and businesses we are adding to our neighborhood, combined with the Chase Center and new offices in Mission Bay, we are looking for curb restrictions that prioritize parking for people that live, work or shop in the neighborhood.”(more)

This looks like the new neighborhood initiated parking plan program that the Board of Supervisors envisioned when they passed Ordinance 180089. We have Safai and Peskin to thank for this. We trust our new supervisors will continue the program.

Measuring Cognitive Distractions

Report by AAA : .aaafoundation – excerpt

In this landmark study of distracted driving, the AAA Foundation challenges the notion that drivers are safe and attentive as long as their eyes are on the road and their hands are on the wheel. Using cutting-edge methods for measuring brain activity and assessing indicators of driving performance, this research examines the mind of the driver, and highlights the mental distractions caused by a variety of tasks that may be performed behind the wheel.

By creating a first-of-its-kind rating scale of driver distractions, this study shows that certain activities – such as talking on a hands-free cell phone or interacting with a speech-to-text email system – place a high cognitive burden on drivers, thereby reducing the available mental resources that can be dedicated to driving. By demonstrating that mentally-distracted drivers miss visual cues, have slower reaction times, and even exhibit a sort of tunnel vision, this study provides some of the strongest evidence yet that “hands-free” doesn’t mean risk free.

More distracted driving related research:

Fact Sheet

SFMTA Rep Takes Heat as Everyone Objects to Dangerous Potrero Slalom Run

Demolition of one-mile stretch of I-280 part of proposal to link Mission Bay with surrounding area

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

Mission Bay is San Francisco’s neighborhood of the future.

That’s Mayor Ed Lee’s publicly stated vision. And in public documents, his office said a key to that future may be razing Interstate Highway 280 — now the source of much public ire.

Mission Bay has become home to gleaming new UC San Francisco hospitals, and is the potential new home to what some call the mayor’s “legacy project” — the Golden State Warriors’ Chase Center. The Mission Rock and Pier 70 housing developments could also soon considerably boost the neighborhood’s population.

And one day in the far-flung future, perhaps decades from now, Mission Bay may become the conduit for a second transbay tube that would connect BART and — for the first time — newly electrified Caltrain service to the East Bay.

But the future comes at a cost…

Gil Kelley, director of citywide planning at the Planning Department, presented the plan Tuesday night to nearly 150 neighbors, who packed an auditorium at the Potrero Hill Recreation Center. The project is still in early phases — preliminary designs may not arrive for at least a year.

Still, opposition is already brewing over the possibility of tearing down a portion of I-280…

Future Transit Connections

Boos and hisses rang through the rec center as Kelley discussed the proposal to raze I-280.

Details were sparse about the proposal, however. Kelley said the concepts were “mix and match,” and did not depend on each other to come to fruition.

Though many defended I-280 as vital for drivers, it was recently listed as one of the Bay Area’s most congested freeways by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission…

The railyard alternatives plan also explores tunneling from the Transbay Transit Center to Mission Bay, which later could serve as the beginning of a new transbay tube under the bay to Alameda.

Additionally, it looks potential alternatives to possibly run Caltrain along 3rd Street for a combined Caltrain/Muni station, as part of the downtown extension of the Transbay Transit Center.

Teardown Opposition Grows

Removing a portion of I-280 was the most controversial part of this plan prior to the meeting, and that sentiment intensified Tuesday night.

Surrounded by angry neighbors at the rec center, former Mayor Art Agnos — no stranger to fighting development, as evidenced by the recent “No Wall on the Waterfront” campaign — told the San Francisco Examiner he will personally combat any effort to tear down I-280.

In 2014, Agnos and now-Supervisor Aaron Peskin blocked a luxury housing development along the Embarcadero, and passed a ballot measure calling for voter approval of all height-limit increases along the waterfront.

Agnos promised a similar fight against tearing down I-280.

“I’m going to make the [No Wall on the Waterfront] fight look like a minor league skirmish,” he said…(more)

The truth about High Speed Rail

There have no money. They are $440 million dollars short the money they need to finish electrifying  the train. (phase one.) They need private funds. Public money will not be sufficient to build the high speed rail. They are trying to convince people to give up their cars to create demand for public transit so they can convince investors that there are profits to be made by investing in public transit systems such as high speed rail. That is why they are trying to increase the population. They will need a lot more people to pay for the transit systems they want to build.

Proponents in Washington promote California’s bullet train

Potrero Parking Problems Continue to Circle

By Nikolas Zelinski : potreroview – excerpt

The San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) has yet to implement a cohesive parking plan for Potrero Hill or Dogpatch. A proposed approach, released in 2011, received strong negative reaction from San Franciscans, and was scrapped in late-2013.  The agency has yet to release a new version. 

The 2011 parking proposal encompassed the Hill, Dogpatch, Northeast Mission, and parts of South-of-Market.  It featured metered parking along 22nd, 23rd, and 17th streets, as well as the areas surrounding the University of California, San Francisco-Mission Bay campus. Community advocates roundly rejected the plan, insisting that it didn’t address the needs of local residents, most of whom preferred a residential permit system to meters.    

In the wake of the failed proposal, Potrero Boosters president J.R. Eppler has worked with SFMTA to create a new strategy. “At first our negotiations did not go well,” Eppler explained, “but they have started to go better…After all parties educated each other on needs and available options, we would come up with a verbal plan, and after a month or two, the SFMTA would come back with a plan that would miss 60 to 70 percent of the things that we’d talked about. We’ve been doing this for the last couple of years.” 

According to Eppler, local residents want a “finely grained mixture of existing parking tools. Done on a block by block basis. This includes parking meters in front of businesses that need quick turnover, residential parking permits for areas with homes and commercial spaces that might benefit from them, and time limits for other uncontrolled blocks to curb commuter parking.”

While Dogpatch and Showplace Square have faced the brunt of parking problems, San Francisco General Hospital personnel has seen a slight respite.  Since 2009, staff-only parking signs on Vermont Street, between 22nd and 23rd, were installed in response to construction at the hospital.  SFMTA manages the parking garage located at SFGH, and made the street parking agreement with the hospital, explained Andy Thornley, SFMTA senior analyst.  

“I still haven’t tracked down the legislative action that authorized that, but the enforcement division told me that a bit of Vermont was set up for hospital staff as a temporary solution during hospital construction, and presumably will return to general parking,” Thornley said. “That kind of parking is an exception. However there are precedents, such as the special permit parking in front of City Hall on Polk Street, between Grove Street and Hayes Street. However, the SFMTA does not manage those spaces. The space in front of the hospital is pretty unique because SF General is a City facility, and the Department of Public Health operates it, it’s definitely a special case. It’s not like we’re giving out public spaces to Google or Proctor & Gamble.” 

David Meckel, director of research and planning at the California College of the Arts, said he’s pleased to see the new 55-bus line run directly to the campus. “I actually think SFMTA has been pretty responsive, I think they’ve done as good as a job they can…Our main interaction with them was the oversized vehicle ordinance; and they did it, and it helped…I think the system works, but it takes a lot of public process.” Meckel was happy that SFMTA installed “no oversize parking” signs by the college to curb overnight camping, but noted that the signs merely moved the problem to another area. 

According to Thornley, SFMTA hopes to hold a public meeting on ways to address parking challenges in the Northeast Mission in the next couple of months. There are no public meetings planned for the Hill or Dogpatch… (more)

Lawsuit Halts Work on Mission Bay Loop

By Keith Burbank : Potreroview – excerpt

Last month a California Appeals Court halted work on the Mission Bay Loop project, a Third Street T-line turnaround that’s planned for 18th, 19th and Illinois streets.  The Loop would enable San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) trains traveling south to return downtown once they reach Dogpatch.  As part of the Central Subway project, the Loop is expected to operate during special events and peak travel times. The stay order has residents hopeful that SFMTA will reconsider the Loop’s location, to a point further south.

“We have won a battle and continue to fight to win the war,” said William Schwartz, a member of The Committee for the Reevaluation of the T-Line Loop. The First District Court of Appeal issued a stop work order that will remain in effect until a three-justice panel rules on the committee’s appeal for a preliminary injunction against SFMTA, which could take six months or longer. The injunction would force the agency to postpone work until after a trial.

SFMTA officials have repeatedly insisted that a loop south of the planned location isn’t feasible, citing three reasons: operation of light rail vehicles would be difficult because of steep street grades; parking, loading docks and driveways pose greater conflicts for vehicle operations further south; and SFMTA would face $4 million in additional annual operating costs and a $20 million outlay for new vehicles.  However, according to SFMTA chief spokesman Paul Rose, the agency will start receiving 175 new vehicles next year.  A portion of those will serve the T-Line, calling into question SFMTA’s $20 million new vehicle estimate.  

Dogpatch residents have proposed that the Loop be built at SFMTA’s Muni Metro East facility, located at 25th and Illinois streets.  According to Rose, the layout of the streets south of 23rd Street isn’t favorable for building a loop. 

Dogpatch resident Aaron Gavic raised a number of questions about the Loop in emails to SFMTA’s David Greenway, the Loop’s project manager. In response, Greenway said that by 2019 Dogpatch will have service equivalent to the N-Judah, the agency’s busiest rail line, representing a “significant increase over today’s service levels.” Rose said N-Judah trains are dispatched about every seven minutes during peak travel times; T-Line frequency during peak travel times is roughly every nine minutes.

According to Gavic, SFMTA’s reason for leaving the Potrero Kids at 3rd Street preschool out of the Loop’s environmental impact report is “very concerning.”  SFMTA said the effects of the Loop’s construction and operation on the preschool would be similar to impacts on La Scuola Internazionale di San Francisco, an elementary school located a block north of the planned loop. Potrero Kids at 3rd Street is steps from the planned loop  …

An aide to District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen said moving the Loop south of the planned location isn’t impossible, but it’d be more expensive and the City may lose $10 million in federal money for the project as a result of delays

A Dogpatch resident posted on Nextdoor that a group is raising money to continue the legal case against SFMTA. Four people have donated $200 to a account at The Dogpatch and Potrero Boosters neighborhood associations have contributed money as well. “I think the whole neighborhood would like to see this thing changed,” said Bill Schwartz, a The Committee for the Reevaluation of the T-Line Loop member, whose name appears on the lawsuit… (more)

Homeless Camps, RV’s Roll Into Potrero Hill Neighborhood To Avoid Ban On Large Vehicles

cbslocal – excerpt

Anger is growing in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood as homeless camps and trash-filled RV’s invade the streets.

San Francisco recently started a new program making it illegal to park large vehicles like RV’s in forty designated areas of the city. But, a span of the Potrero Hill neighborhood called the Design District anchored by 16th and Vermont Streets is not part of program… (more)

SFMTA chief hopes to calm the parking meter furor at supervisorial hearing

Steven T. Jones : sfweekly – excerpt

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency director Ed Reiskin faces a tough challenge tomorrow (Thu/2) at the Board of Supervisors Neighborhood Services and Safety hearing that Sup. Mark Farrell has called on expanding parking meters into new neighborhoods, where Reiskin is expected to face a hornet’s nest of SFMTA critics stirred up by the loss of free street parking and perceptions that the agency is mismanaging public spaces and transit.
Reiskin needs to quell some of the anger that is erupting in the northeast Mission District, Potrero Hill, and other areas slated for new meters enough to prevent increased supervisorial intervention into his independent agency and ensure a transit improvement bond measure planned for next year has a chance of passing – which the agency desperately needs to make improvements to Muni… (more)

Diverted funds: If SFMTA needs money to fix the Muni why did they divert 510 million dollars in public transit fees from Muni to the street calming project to reduce the traffic lanes where Dolores meets Market Street?

This is an in-kind trade that doesn’t smell right. How can they possibly spend over half a billion dollars widening a sidewalk?  Is this real money and where is it going?

The Sunday parking meters are expected to bring in a measly 1.7 million dollars a year. Why bother collecting 1.7 million dollars if you are going to give away 510 million? The voters are not that dumb. Ed and Primus are wasting their time.

Parking Expert: Underpriced Parking Permits Won’t Curb Cruising for Spots

by Aaron Bialick :  – excerpt

A lot of traffic in the northeast Mission consists of drivers cruising for parking spots. Motorists in the area circle for an average of 27 minutes in search of a free spot, according to the SF Municipal Transportation Agency, which has held community outreach meetings in recent months to develop a plan for new parking meters and permit restrictions to curb excess traffic in the neighborhood.
In response to fervent opposition to metered parking in the eastern neighborhoods, the SFMTA has pushed back its timeline for installing meters, devoting more attention to data collection and community feedback as it develops parking management plans. On March 21, the agency will present a proposal for the northeast Mission, before beginning the same process of community meetings in the Potrero Hill and Dogpatch neighborhoods…
In a recent interview, Jeff Tumlin, a principal at the transportation planning firm Nelson/Nygaard… told Streetsblog why RPP zones alone aren’t enough to manage demand. Tumlin is working as a consultant for the SFMTA on its eastern neighborhood parking management plans…. (more)

Tumlin was fired by the city of Santa Monica. Do we want to continue listening him and putting our faith in Nelson/Nygaard if they are responsible for the current state of traffic and parking in San Francisco, as they claim in their marketing materials?

Maybe it looks good on paper, but do you want to live with it?  Eastern Neighborhoods Transportation Implementation Planning Study (EN TRIPS)

Have traffic flow and parking conditions improved or gotten worse since SFMTA hired  Nelson/Nygaard?

Even though SFPark has not delivered any results from their experiment in congestion parking, they plan to  expand the unproven program. Let you Supervisor know how you feel about that.

Even Dr. Shoup, who devised the parking congestion theory, is back-pedaling on his claims.

SHOUP: 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)

City drops consultant over NIMBY comment

Beware of parking meters in our residential neighborhoods

by Supervisor Mark E. Farrell : – excerpt

Supervisor’s report, March 1, 2013

Everyone in San Francisco is keenly aware of our city’s parking meters and the inherent need to constantly feed them or suffer the fate of sky-high tickets courtesy of our Department of Parking and Traffic.
Most of us also expect parking meters in common-sense locations, such as merchant corridors, major thoroughfares, and at our most visited destinations citywide. I, along with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), agree that parking meters in these locations serve to help our small business community, fund a portion of SFMTA’s budget, and move further toward establishing San Francisco as a transit-first city. However, the SFMTA is currently moving forward proposed plans to expand parking meters into our neighborhoods and residential areas – it is already in the process with five neighborhoods in the southeast sector of San Francisco, including SOMA, Mission Bay, and Potrero Hill.
On top of their now established Sunday parking meter plan, which I continue to fight against in City Hall, these actions are starting to seriously impact the quality of life in our neighborhoods
In my May 2012 Marina Times column, I expressed sentiments that the SFMTA should reconsider its plans to increase revenue through Sunday parking on the backs of residents until it can get its own overtime costs and financial house in order. Those sentiments still hold true. City residents should not be asked to bolster SFMTA’s expenses by feeding parking meters in residential areas. Sunday parking meters are already a bad idea – let’s not follow suit with potentially one more….  (more)

Let’s thank Mark Farrell for his support. Supervisor Mark E. Farrell is the District 2 supervisor and can be reached at 415-554-7752 or

Continue reading

Ed Lee talks of tearing down end of I-280

Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross : Chronicle Columnists – excerpt

Mayor Ed Lee is floating the idea of tearing down the stub end of Interstate 280 in San Francisco in hopes of creating a new neighborhood and speeding up the arrival of high-speed rail service downtown.
The idea, laid out by the mayor’s chief transit planner, Gillian Gillett, in a memo to the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission, would be to knock down I-280 before 16th Street – eliminating the ramps both at Sixth and Brannan streets and at Fourth and King streets. It would be replaced by a street-level boulevard akin to those built after the Embarcadero and Central freeways were knocked down.
The plan also calls for clearing out the adjacent rail yard to make way for a high-speed rail…
“The mayor is a big proponent of high-speed rail,” said Lee’s spokeswoman, Christine Falvey. “And the mayor is interested in looking at that concept if it can bring high-speed rail to San Francisco faster, better and cheaper.”
She added, “It could be a big boon to the city if we develop a neighborhood in the process.“… (more)

She must mean, tear down the Potrero Hill neighborhood and replace it with new higher buildings. What is faster, better, and cheaper about tearing down an existing freeway and rebuilding it as a surface road?