Prop. L would give SF supervisors more control over transit board

By Michael Cabanatuan : sfchronicle – excerpt

As the agency in charge of parking, traffic, taxis and Muni — basically everything in San Francisco that’s supposed to move people — the Municipal Transportation Agency is, quite naturally, a popular target of criticism.

Some critics say the MTA, as it’s often known, is trying to force everyone to get rid of their
cars, while others say the agency is too timid and too reluctant to radically improve
transportation in the city. They also say the mayor has way too much influence as the one
who appoints its Board of Directors.
Those critics have united behind Proposition L on the Nov. 8 ballot. The proposal, which
requires a simple majority vote to pass, seeks to give the Board of Supervisors more
authority over the seven-member board.
Although the mayor appoints its members, they are confirmed by the Board of Supervisors.
They serve four-year terms and have to leave after three terms. Prop. L would change the
appointment process so that four of the members would be appointed by the mayor and
three by the supervisors. The mayor’s appointees would still be subject to the supervisors’
confirmation.
The proposition would also give supervisors a slightly stronger hand in the agency’s
budget. The MTA board passes its own budget, which must be approved or rejected in its
entirety by the supervisors — unless they can muster seven votes to send it back for
revision. Prop. L would lower that requirement to six votes… (more)

Vote Yes on L and No on J and K.

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Nearly three decades after Loma Prieta earthquake, Folsom Street sees new life

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake wreaked havoc throughout the Bay Area.

But nearly 27 years later, one part of its legacy — the removal of a controversial freeway — may finally lead to the revitalization of Folsom Street.

Part of Folsom Street runs in the shadow of what was once the Embarcadero Freeway, which was torn down after a bitter public battle ended in the 1989 earthquake that rendered the freeway unsafe.

Down came the freeway. But, now, Folsom Street will rise.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on Tuesday approved a series of bike and pedestrian changes to Folsom Street, a key approval in a project that aims to transform the roadway into a hub of nightlife and walkability by early 2018…(more)

Which universe do these people live in? Take a look at the photo at the top of the page and tell me what is wrong with the story. This is a major construction zone. No sidewalk work and no road work will make this safe for pedestrians until the construction is complete.
Why is the SFMTA or DPW or whoever is responsible for scheduling work on Folsom starting a sidewalk or street project before the big construction projects are complete?
I walked past a rather small construction project on 17th Street today and was forced to walk into the street to get around the site and the rather large truck parked next to the site.
How is working on streets or sidewalks in front large construction projects under way on Folsom a good idea or a safe way to proceed?
Folsom Street is a major arterial that connects the Embarcadero with Cesar Chavez. There is a Fire Station at Folsom and 19th Street and two hospitals nearby. All this gridlock in a construction zone will make access for emergency vehicles very difficult, if not impossible.
Enough of this gridlock. Let’s pass Prop L so we can demand the SFMTA limit itself to one large project at a time instead of three or four. stopsfmta.com
And do not give them any more sales tax dollars. No on Prop K!

TAKE BACK OUR STREETS!

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Transportation measures in S.F., Alameda County win support

By Michael Cabanatuan : sfgate – excerpt

Voters in San Francisco and Alameda County appeared willing Tuesday to put their money where their commutes are by backing ballot measures to raise billions for transportation improvements that put an emphasis on transit, bicycles and pedestrians…

Increasing congestion, a planning strategy that increasingly de-emphasizes driving, and an overwhelmed infrastructure have made transportation a key issue in San Francisco, and Tuesday’s ballot featured three propositions as well as a race for the BART Board of Directors….

City voters were also rejecting Proposition L, an advisory measure to reshape the city’s transportation planning priorities with more of an emphasis on cars. It urges the MTA Board of Directors to freeze parking rates, ban evening and Sunday meter charges, build new parking garages, and require street redesigns to speed traffic. Voters had cast 62.33 percent votes against the proposal to 37.67 percent in favor… (more)

 

 

 

Who’s Not Against Cars-First Prop L? Supes Tang, Farrell, Yee, and Mayor Lee

By Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog – excerp

Not sure how smart it is to lambast everyone who doesn’t agree with your anti-car line. Barely 3% of the residents ride bikes, which means that 97% do not, yet all we hear about is the need to pour more money into bike lanes and protect the rights of bikers to run red lights and ignore the traffic laws that everyone is supposed to bide by.

People support Prop L because we are really tired of having bikes crammed down our throats. Riding a bike is not everyone’s cup of tea, and most bikers also own motor vehicles.

San Francisco’s Prop. L: Are motorists being put at the back of the bus?

: KALW – excerpt – (includes audio track)

San Francisco paints itself as a green city, a city of walkers and bicyclists, a transportation friendly city. But some say San Francisco has taken its pro-pedestrian stance too far.

A group called the Restore Transportation Balance Coalition wants to take back the roads. That’s the goal of Proposition L, a declaration of policy to make the city’s parking meters, garages and traffic laws more car-friendly. But at what cost?

San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood recently debuted a glam pedestrian-friendly makeover. The main drag of Castro Street now has palm trees, rainbow crosswalks and wider sidewalks.

But there were some trade-offs for this fresh new look. On-street parking was monopolized by the construction, and now the much narrower street makes it harder for Muni and delivery trucks to get through…

“If you live in San Francisco ask yourself, has traffic gotten worse within the last 10 years? Have my buses? Has ontime wait for Muni increased? Has my bus service improved? Do I feel safer navigating the streets of SF?” he asks.

“The answers almost universally to those questions are no, so obviously what’s going on right now is not contributing to the solution, it’s part of the problem so we need to change things,” Clark says.

And that’s something both sides can agree on. San Francisco hasn’t found an effective solution to the increasing number of cars, and people, on the streets. So it is fitting that the solution itself is at a bottleneck… (more )

Prop. A aims to help city with transit upgrades

by sfexaminer -excerpt

One of three transportation measures on the November ballot, Proposition A would allow San Francisco to borrow up to $500 million by issuing general-obligation bonds to go toward improving its transit infrastructure and aging roads…

Prop. A permits a property-tax increase to pay for the bonds if necessary, and landlords could pass up to 50 percent of the tax increase to tenants. According to projections from City Controller Ben Rosenfield, the highest estimated annual property tax for a homeowner with an assessed value of $500,000 would be about $91.02.

Groups including Save Muni, the San Francisco Taxpayers Association and Libertarian Party of San Francisco allege the proposition will raise property taxes and rent. Save Muni founding member Howard Wong said the proposition would incur $1 billion in new debt over a few decades with no guarantee of making Muni more reliable…

SFMTA funding, parking fees are on ballot with Props. B, L

Joining Proposition A, which transit officials and advocates are counting on for a reliable source of funding for infrastructure work, two more transit measures are on the November ballot. These, propositions B and L, seek to take The City’s transportation system in different directions.

A transit-funding measure like Prop. A, Proposition B would amend the City Charter to allocate a greater amount of the general fund toward the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency each year, based on population growth…

Opponents argue Prop. B would take general fund money away from other programs.

Prop. L was sparked in April from a dozen San Francisco residents who wanted to reboot transit policies back to 2009, before Sunday parking meters and demand responsive meter pricing went into effect and meters got installed in certain neighborhoods.

“It’s simply getting back on a balanced course in San Francisco which we have had for 50 years in The City until then,” said Chris Bowman, 68, a Twin Peaks resident and one of the original proponents of the proposition… (more)

Neighbor Claims Mark Zuckerberg Hired People To Save Parking Spots Overnight Near His San Francisco House

 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is doing some pretty extensive renovations on his house in San Francisco, and it’s really annoying his neighbors.Round-the-clock construction work has led to disruptive noise, and no-parking signs have blocked off portions of the street, nearby residents have complained. Parking in this part of the city, near hip Dolores Park, is already notoriously difficult.

And now, according to CBS San Francisco, neighbors say they’ve noticed something else going on near Zuckerberg’s house.

According to one neighbor, pairs of people have been spotted sitting in parked cars near Zuckerberg’s house late at night. When one neighbor went to ask what they were doing, several of the people said that they had been hired by the Facebook billionaire to save parking spots for construction workers who would be arriving in the morning… (more)

Do we need any more proof that the privileged few are taking over the city? Do we accept the theory that parking is a privilege not a right? If you do not accept the privilege theory, Vote NO on A and B and Yes on L. Let City Hall know that if they don’t hold the SFMTA accountable the voters will.

OPINION: Daily commuters should get discounted campus parking permits

By Madison Rutherford : goldengatexpress – excerpt

It’s hard enough to roll out of bed to make an 8 a.m. class. For the 88 percent of SF State students who live off campus, the struggle is even more real. Many students must rely on the questionably steadfast steeds known as Muni and BART. For some, it’s a traffic-ridden car commute across the bridge. But this semester, being a student at a “commuter school” is about to get a lot more difficult.

Drivers will also be impacted because daily on-campus parking rates have increased from $6 to $7. In 2010, it only cost $5 a day to park at school.

The impending hike in parking rates and Muni fares will make it even more difficult than before to get to and from SF State. Among ever-increasing rent, tuition, health fees and overpriced books the least of a student’s worries should be affording their morning commute…

SF State faculty are given heavily discounted parking passes. Why aren’t students given the same liberties?

Daily commuters should get discounted parking permits like faculty do. We work just as hard to be here. We should be commended, not punished. If SF State is a commuter school, why doesn’t it cater to commuters?… (more)