Dispute Over Parking Spot in San Francisco Ends in Stabbing

NBC Bay Area staff : nbcbayarea – excerpt

Two men were transported to the hospital Saturday night after being stabbed during a dispute over a parking spot in San Francisco, according to police.

Both men were taken to the hospital in critical condition, police said… (more)

We know people are pissed and stressed over parking and traffic conditions. What does it take to convince City Hall that SFMTA is starting a war on the streets that can be resolved by returning the streets to the public? We should at least try to do a test set up by the public to see if their ideas are not better than SFMTA staff ideas on how to manage parking.



Sowing discord, one block at a time

By Sally Stepherns : sfexaminer – excerpt

“When it comes to residential parking permits, San Francisco must do everything in its power to reduce tensions between neighbors.”  Jessica Christian

f you really want to get a neighborhood riled up, bring up street parking. Recently, I watched as parking — more specifically, expanding residential parking permits — created a rift in my neighborhood.

Parking permits don’t just affect the block that gets them; they affect nearby blocks as well. Permits were originally intended to keep “commuters” from parking all day in low-density residential neighborhoods. But when one block gets permits, the commuters just move to nearby permit-free blocks. One block’s solution becomes another block’s problem.

I went to City Hall for a hearing on a proposal to expand residential parking permits near my house. The woman who wanted the permits secured, as required, more than 50 percent of the people living on the block to sign a petition requesting permits.

The problem is that no one else knew about it, including some people who live on the block in question. Turns out, there’s no requirement that all residents on a block be notified of a petition. So some of the people most affected may never know about the permits until it’s too late. Why doesn’t The City require the notice of a proposed permit be mailed to everyone who lives within a few blocks?…

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is currently reviewing the parking permit program. My fear is that rather than focusing on how to make the process more fair, transparent and inclusive, the SFMTA will use the review as a way to further discourage people in low-density neighborhoods from having cars, e.g., by converting some parking spaces on a block to spaces for car share companies. That will only lead to more conflict.

Due to the opposition of many neighbors, the SFMTA put off a decision on the permit for my street until fall. But people have been riled up and feelings have been hurt.

In the meantime, every new proposal for parking permits on a block pits neighbor against neighbor, block against block and street against street. The City should do everything it can to reduce tensions between neighbors, not push a residential parking permit process that increases conflict.

Sally Stephens is an animal, park and neighborhood activist who lives in the West of Twin Peaks area... (more)

Sally pretty well sums it up. We need a city agency that does not pit neighbor against neighbor. Until recently we had no parking or traffic problems. Many people feel the wrong people are in charge and we need a change at the SFMTA Board to start to solve these issues. The first step is to pass the SFMTA Charter Amendment and vote in some new politicians who are ready to change the policies and priorities that have brought us to the is point. See details on that here: stopsfmta.com


Big changes coming to the busy lanes of S.F.’s Mission Street

By  Michael Cabanatuan : sfgate – excerpt

Change is no stranger to the Mission District, and this time it’s the main drag — Mission Street — and the heavily ridden Muni lines that are set for transformation.

The bustling thoroughfare is gaining some red transit-only lanes, while losing a lane of traffic, in a bid to clear out many cars — especially double-parkers — and speed up buses that is reminiscent of transit-first efforts in other parts of the city, including Market Street downtown.

The shifts, which cover a 2½-mile stretch of Mission, begin Saturday, when Muni pares back what it considers an inefficient series of bus stops by eliminating 13 stops serving three bus lines — the 14-Mission, 14R-Mission Rapid and 49-Van Ness/Mission — and adding one.

Public-works crews will also break out paint and brushes and start adding red transit-only lanes between 11th and Randall streets… (more)

more millions of dollars poured into projects that bus riders and residents do not support and object to for vigorously. As one citizen pointed out, by eliminating bust stops the SFMTA is putting people at greater risk by forcing people to walk longer distances in dangerous neighborhoods. The are also making it more difficult for people who have health or physical problems. Not everyone is needs more exercise. Some people can barely get where they need to go as it is.

SFMTA Headquarters Evacuated After 34 Sickened By Mysterious Substance

: excerpt

San Francisco firefighters are still searching for the source of an irritating substance that caused breathing problems in more than 30 people and triggered the evacuation of a city building this afternoon.
The building at 1 South Van Ness Ave., which houses San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s headquarters and other city offices, was evacuated at 3:07 p.m. after occupants reported breathing some sort of irritating substance, fire department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said… (more)

Could it be somebody protesting the gridlock and disappearing parking spaces, or someone who opened their SMART parking meter bill, or a rider who can’t find the bus they used to take to get to work, or a food truck worker who got a parking ticket while serving lunch? The possibilities are endless.

Boisterous audience slams One Bay Area Plan

by Richard Colman : halfwaytoconcord.com – excerpt

A wildly incensed audience on Monday night (April 22) vigorously protested plans to have regional bureaucracies determine land use and transportation plans for Bay Area cities. Over 300 people appeared at the Marriott Hotel in Walnut Creek to make statements about plans to force local governments to establish high-rise, high-density housing in Bay Area cities.
The gathering was sponsored by the Association of Bay Area Government (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). The purpose of the gathering was to allow local residents to comment on the activities of ABAG and MTC.
Approximately 60 speakers, many of them from Orinda, called for changes or outright abolition of ABAG and MTC. The respective boards of directors of ABAG and MTC are not directly elected by voters.
With a few exceptions, most speakers strongly opposed plans to have ABAG and MTC construct tall buildings near such transit hubs as BART stations… (more)

Smart meters v non-smart meters – what difference does it make

by zrants

This article is in response to some recent stories from folks who profess a preference for Smart parking meters because they believe the rates are lower. We are also sharing a few facts we uncovered by attending public SFMTA meetings and talking to people who have experienced the destruction of their neighborhoods by the SFMTA.

SMART v DUMB meters: The non-smart meters started out at 25 cents an hour. They have been re-programed and can be re-programed again to raise or lower the rates. Parking rates are set by policy and have nothing to do with “smart” technology. Do you care what the rates are now when the SFMTA’s stated purpose for managing parking is to make driving and parking in SF difficult? How likely will they remain low?

The SFMTA admits to mistakes? Anyone who has attended public SFMTA meetings with neighborhood groups can attest to the fact that SFMTA officials freely admit their system is flawed in a number of ways:

Reiskin hands the floor to Funghi at the North Beach meeting.

SFMTA admits they lack proper public outreach: At a public meeting In North Beach SFMTA apologized for waiting four years after they signed the contract with the project developer to inform the neighborhood that Columbus Avenue would be closed down for an extended period of time while the contractor extracts boring equipment.

SFMTA admits they are digging a tunnel and they don’t know where they are aiming it: At the North Beach meeting SFMTA admitted their extraction plan lacks any clear benefit to the neighborhood since they have no exact station location, funding or clearance to build past the China Town station. This project represents billions of taxpayer dollars and a number of lawsuits are pending. Now we see why. Look at tapes of public meetings in North Beach and North East Mission decide for yourself how you feel the SFMTA:   http://vimeo.com/groups/168462

SFMTA rates are subject to changing times and rates without notice:
Meters in Mission Bay run from 7 AM to 11PM at night on some streets and the rates are subject to change during the day so you never know how much you are paying to park.

What is SFMTA doing with the additional money? SFMTA has raised rates on Muni, cut back service and taken in more money from parking rates, fines and fees, or at least budgeted to to so. Where is the money going? Not into Muni. Lines are being cut and service is at an all time low.

Ask people in negatively impacted neighborhoods: Ask the folks around Valencia how they like SFMTA parking policies. First they removed the Muni lines on Valencia, then they installed parking meters and put in bike paths and parklets to further eliminate parking. The final blow came when a developer got approval to build a higher denser apartment on Valencia with no off-street parking and no RPP rights. As soon as the ink dried on the permits, the developer switched the address to a side street so the residents can apply for RPP, further squeezing parking in the neighborhood.