Supervisor moves to kick private shuttles out of red transit lanes

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfxaminer – excerpt

It’s time for private transit to get out of Muni’s way.

That’s the message from Supervisor Sandra Fewer, who on Monday announced her intention to legally bar private transit vehicles, like tech-industry commuter shuttles, from red transit-only lanes meant to speed public buses.

Fewer’s announcement that she would ask the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to help her craft legislation limiting private access to the transit lanes came at the tail-end of a City Hall hearing where San Franciscans from all corners of The City said they were seeing red over the city policy allowing it.

“The goal should be that public transit is the main mode of the people in San Francisco,” Fewer told the public Tuesday…

However controversy arose in August when SFMTA Citizen Advisory Council member Sue Vaughan discovered the agency planned to allow private transit vehicles use of the soon-to-come Geary Rapid Project red carpet lanes. The discovery has drawn protests from activists and organizations across The City.

The South of Market Community Action Network, United to Save the Mission, Chinatown Community Development Center, Chinatown TRIP, Inner Sunset Action Community, Senior Disability Action, San Francisco Transit Riders and other advocacy groups spoke out Monday against private use of public Muni-only lanes… (more)

Very robust public comments and discussions following the presentation by SFMTA. We look forward to moving ahead to fix some of the many failures of the Red Lanes through a series of legislative improvements.

 

Ford Acquires Spin: An Electric Scooter Sharing Company

By Keith Griffin : fordauthority – excerpt

Ford Smart Mobility has acquired Spin, an electric scooter-sharing company that provides customers an alternative for first- and last-mile transportation. No financial details were released regarding the purchase.

Spin is a dockless electric scooter sharing company based in San Francisco. Ford acquires Spin while it has a reputation as a leading micro-mobility service provider, with operations in 13 cities and campuses across the US… (more)

Looks like the GoBikes, Chariots, and other street and curb hogs aren’t enough for the giant Ford Corporation that is competing with GM, Uber, Lyft and probably Alphabet, Apple and other non-traditional vehicle manufacturers to take over control of management of our city Streets. And they plan to take their time according to the following quote from the above article.

“Can Ford Motor Company make money off this new acquisition? That doesn’t appear to be an immediate goal, at least according to Alan Mulally, the retired CEO of Ford Motor Company in remarks he made before the National Auto Auction Association’s annual convention. “You see everybody working the last-mile issue right now. These bicycles are all over the place. I don’t know if we’re going to make money on that.”

Remember that MTC signed a partnership agreement with Motivate/Ford/GoBike./Lyft, that basically gives them cart blanche to take over curb space without any compensation to the public until they make a profit. When do you think the public will enjoy any financial benefits or compensation for this handover of our right to public use of our curb space to the corporate entities?

The excuse MTC and government authorities use to promote the theft of public curb space is that they are getting us out of our cars by handing public parking spaces over to the corporations. What they fail to mention is that those corporations want to control our access to our streets. The Red Lanes are the first step.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CORPORATE TAKEOVER OF OUR STREETS AT THE DECEMBER 3RD ACTION AT CITY HALL.

Monday, December 3, 1:30 PM
Room 263 or 250 SF City Hall
Supervisors Land Use and Transportation Committee

If you haven’t had a chance to submit a letter opposing allowing private buses (tour buses, casino buses, Chariots, Academy of Art University buses, and tech shuttle buses among others), a template letter with email addresses is here. The file # is 180876.

RELATED:

Copy of the Contract: BAY AREA BIKE SHARE PROGRAM AGREEMENT between METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION and BAY AREA MOTIVATE, LLC

Program_Agreement download here

Who will be allowed to drive in the Red Lanes?

Director Ed Reiskin is leaving it up to the Board of Supervisors to decide.

Don’t miss your chance to comment on the Red Lanes.
BEFORE THE HEARING THAT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED TWICE.
STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES AND SEND YOUR LETTER.

Supervisor Sandra Fewer called for this hearing to investigate the matter of access to transit-only lanes (red lanes) after SFMTA announced in August 2018 that they have been legislating transit-only lanes to be accessible to private buses. Some articles on that:

http://www.sfexaminer.com/private-transit-access-red-bus-lanes-angers-advocates/

http://www.sfexaminer.com/private-transit-not-belong-dedicated-bus-lanes/

The SFMTA Board of Directors has NO LEGAL POWER to permit private buses to access transit-only lanes (just like it also doesn’t have the power to preempt state law and permit private commuter shuttles to operate in public bus stops). Permitting private buses to operate in transit-only lanes is bad policy on so many levels. And the department is under pressure to listen to the public now. Here is your chance to let the Supervisors know how you feel about Red Lanes:

CC: Board.of.Supervisors@sfgov.org, Sandra.Fewer@sfgov.org, Catherine.Stefani@sfgov.org, Aaron.Peskin@sfgov.org, Katy.Tang@sfgov.org, Vallie.Brown@sfgov.org, Jane.Kim@sfgov.org, Norman.Yee@sfgov.org, Rafael.Mandelman@sfgov.org, Hillary.Ronen@sfgov.org, Malia.Cohen@sfgov.org, Ahsha.Safai@sfgov.org, MTABoard@sfmta.com

 

 

How the Supercomputer in Our Pockets Can Help With Road Redesign

By Ryan McCauley : govtech – excerpt

Experimental red lanes on Mission Street were given the red carpet treatment without any repairs on the street. You can easily see the condition of the unpainted lane on the bottom right of the photo. The painted lanes are dangerous in the rain. Photo by Zrants.

This article appears to be written by people in an industry that spies on us by somehow accessing the data on how we drive and move about. Who authorized this use of our personal data? Who is keeping it and for how long and for what purposes?

Public perception may not be the most accurate measurement when assessing a project’s effectiveness. After a massive street redesign project, for instance, residents may complain that parking has been affected or traffic is now slower.

So getting large amounts of high-quality data to city planners so they can objectively judge a project’s true effectiveness is of the utmost importance. And the San Francisco Bay area’s increasing population has forced city officials to think about new ways to accommodate the influx — especially in San Francisco and Oakland, both of which have recently pursued “road diet” projects, which are essentially creating bus- and bike-only lanes to alleviate congestion and create a safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians.

“Something I have been trying to emphasize with staff is the importance of collecting data and talking about performance,” said Jeff Tumlin, interim director of the Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT), which formed last summer, and was charged with improving mobility in the rapidly growing city while aligning transportation projects with the city’s values on equity…

Traditionally, the SFMTA would rely on collision data and count the amount of vehicles that would pass through intersections to judge how traffic and safety has improved. Through the Zendrive software, which works in the background and measures rapid acceleration, hard braking, phone usage and excessive speeding, the company can measure the behavior of specific drivers and understand where problem areas are.

The company released a report that analyzed more than 1 million miles of driver data on the Mission Street corridor before, during and after the construction. By tracking the data in individual vehicles, the SFMTA was able to recognize exactly where and how the project improved congestion…(more)

Anyone who doubts the true purpose of the road diets can read the words of Jeff Tumlin (a consultant for SFMTA who was fired by the city of Santa Monica for lying about his accomplishments here).

According to Tumlin, SFMTA is “creating bus-and bike-only lanes to alleviate congestion and create a safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians. No word on how they are helping anyone who drives or takes public transit, because SFMTA wants us to bike or walk. They don’t have the capacity to carry more people on public transportation and they only seem to support corporate vehicles like privatized parking spaces for ride shares that they benefit from.

If you take the Muni, you are costing them money. They are not making any profit off of you. You should be biking or walking instead.

There are a few problems with this plan. We have an aging population that is not likely to ride or bike, that SFMTA is ignoring. They don’t think they need to cater to taxpayers because they are busy hiring lobbyists in Sacramento and Washington to circumvent local taxpayers. If you don’t like it you better support the next ballot initiative that removes their power.

Otherwise, get some walking shoes or prepare to stand on a crowded bus that may or may not get you where you need to go. Watch out for the potholes. SFMTA is too busy painting streets to repair them. Of course you can sue them if you fall and are injured, but who wants that.

If you don’t like the way the SFMTA operates, (even cyclists are mad about the condition Potrero is in and the huge barriers in the middle of the street that force them to cycle on Potrero), be sure to register your complaints with 311 and demand  your supervisors take actions. If potholes bother you, check out suggestions here: https://metermadness.wordpress.com/adopt-a-pothole/

If you feel creative you may want to follow in the steps of a Chicago mosaic artist who sees potholes as an empty canvases waiting to be filled.

Study shows Mission red lanes improve street safety, signal citywide implications

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

Ed Reiskin holds a red folder full of printouts of comments by angry citizens who signed the StopSFMTA petition at the confrontational  community meeting on Red Lanes in the Mission. These folks will not support any additional funds for SFMTA until the red goes away.

A red-hot debate over “red carpet” bus-only lanes in the Mission District has pitted neighborhood advocates against the transit officials behind the project.

Now, an independent study shows myriad safety benefits to the Muni-only red lanes and demonstrates drivers behaving with more precaution on the road since the lanes were painted.

Supporters of the red lanes say the findings by local tech company Zendrive may be applicable across numerous transit projects in The City, many of which mirror the Mission red lanes not only in benefits but in rebuke from the community...(more)

The Safety report is bogus.

Mission residents are not safe. They are threatened by the luxury housing going up along the transit rich corridors marked by red paint that are closing long-time local-serving businesses and pressuring residents to leave. Many families must chose between living in vehicles or tents or driving long distances to commute in to work. As people are forced to move out and must commute in, they add to the already clogged regional traffic problem.

How can the Red Lanes be safe when Emergency responders can’t get through in a timely manner? The painted-over potholes on Mission red lanes are slick and dangerous for everyone, including two-wheelers, especially in the rain, and at night.

Narrow side streets are choking with the traffic turning off and on Mission? Have the surveys taken into account all the extra exhaust from the slow, idling vehicles that are spending more time winding slowly through clogged streets than they did when the traffic flowed flawlessly? If it takes twice as long to get somewhere, there will be twice as much pollution.

Where are the Muni drivers? They are the real face of Muni, not the MTA Board or their paid consultants. They must put up with all the constant changes SFMTA throws at us daily. Why bother to publish routes and stops when they change daily?

We understand the SFMTA plans to put another Muni money bill on the 2018 ballot. What makes them think the public they ignore, that turned them down the last time they begged for money, will cough it up in 2018?

Who is benefiting from the SFMTA’s billion dollar budget? The spent how much money out of which account to hire a tracking service to conduct a survey on traffic?

At some point it has to be cheaper to ask the public what they like about the system and leave it alone. If there is less traffic on Mission Street it is because the businesses are closing and people are leaving. They go through the obstacle course once and swear never to return. Stopping traffic and killing the business wipes the area, preparing it for demolition and rebuild. That is the what the Red Lanes are about and that is why there is a legal suite pending. What does it take to stop the displacement program?

SF for Sensible Transit prepares Lawsuit to block MUNI BRT throughout San Francisco

missionstreetdiscussion

At the heated meeting on the Mission Red Lanes, Ed Reiskin holds the red folder we handed him, containing comments from over 4500 signatories of the StopSFMTA petition. How many do you think he bothered to read? Regardless, these comments are in the public record. Keep them coming. (Ignore the spam on moveon.)

What does it take to stop SFMTA’s destruction of our streets and businesses?
The voters resoundingly opposed the sales tax increase and federal funds could dry up soon, but that hasn’t stopped the SFMTA and their counterparts from digging up more streets. They gridlocked Van Ness and Polk and are aiming for Lombard and the Golden Gate Bridge next. Does it take a lawsuit to stop them?

The redcarpetmess.org website and the petition page have been updated and include a new video introducing San Franciscans for sensible transit. Please share this link with anyone who supports a more sensible approach to transportation in San Francisco:  https://youtu.be/1aezGHnmsD8.

S.F. business owners push back against red transit-only lanes in city

By

San Francisco business owners are pushing back against the red lanes used for transit in the city, saying that customers are confused about what they mean and often keep driving instead of stopping and shopping.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the red-painted transit lanes, which are still in the testing phase and were rolled out in 2013, have been frustrating for the merchants whose businesses border them…

But the experiment was supposed to last just two years, and involve periodic progress reports to the California Traffic Control Devices Committee and the Federal Highway Administration. The MTA’s first written report to the state agency, however, was not presented until Dec. 12,” the paper reports.

That long-term testing has been difficult for business owners, including Glenn Urban, who owns a car wash on Geary Boulevard with his brother, on a stretch where red transit-only lanes are now being planned.

“When [customers] see them, they don’t know what to do, so they stay away,” Urban told the paper. He said the Municipal Transportation Agency has “done little research on what this red paint means to businesses.”

A spokesperson for the MTA did not respond to a request for comment Thursday… (more)

The hubris of the SFMTA is enough to make you want to fight them. If you feel that way, there are plenty of things you can do, starting with a letter requesting a one month delay in approving any of the Geary BRT plans until the public and the new supervisors have time to review and comment on it. Do you want to spend $300 million dollars more than you have to? Why? So far none of the projects the SFMTA is busily working on have gotten them the results they anticipated.

Richmond residents and merchants want a chance to try it another, less costly way. See their Sensible Plan for Geary BRT: http://www.sfsensibletransit.org/

Nightmare coming to Van Ness

by Chris Parkes : beyondchron – excerpt

Halloween has passed, but the nightmare has just begun. This week, most left turns, 2 car lanes, many parking spaces, 50 year old trees, and perhaps your sanity, will be permanently lost from Van Ness… aka Highway 101!

Unlike a bad dream, however, the ill effects of the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project will not go away when construction ends. The BRT project will remove two car lanes from the middle of Van Ness and convert them into two bus only lanes.  This well intended transit project has been misapplied, however. There are few, if any, other existing BRT projects constructed in the middle of a condensed, congested section of highway with so many closely spaced major arterial cross intersections as we have on Van Ness.

After 3 years, construction will be complete, but the frustration will remain, as drivers, residents, and transit riders become aware that the changes are permanent.

The project sponsor will argue that the impacts are positive. Are they?

What are we getting? Even if you ride the bus all the way from Market to Lombard, your typical ride today is 15-19 minutes.  How much time will you save for this huge expense?  3 minutes?  2 minutes?  Less?

What else will we get? Traffic jams, increased fumes. Loss of half-century old trees.  You’ll have to board the bus from the narrow median…(more)

I hope all the people who voted against L enjoy this traffic mess.

Continue reading

Dangerous plan afoot to narrow and slow 16th Street traffic access to Mission Bay

The other day as I walked down 16th Street to the BART station I witnessed a traffic jam on 16th Street and shot some photos as the drama unfolded.  There was a repair truck stopped in back of the bus and three people directing traffic around it. There is a single East facing lane on 16th Street now and two West facing lanes so traffic may pass the broken bus without too much trouble now.

As you can see by looking at the photos, the traffic builds up rather fast when a lane is stopped. An ambulance came up 16th Street while I was there and it was directed around the stopped traffic, but stopping the other lane, but, I realized how difficult it would be to maneuver traffic around a broken bus if there was a BRT or separated lanes as the SFMTA plans for 16th Street.

Separated roadways, swerving traffic in narrow lanes do not slow traffic down it makes drivers mad and creates obstacles for the buses and larger vehicles. This is not a safe way to manage traffic.

Please stop this insane constant construction and destruction of our streets! Vote Yes on L and tell the SFMTA to back off. Leave the bus stops and return the service they cut. Stopsfmta.comStopsfmta.com

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Mission Street ‘red lane’ turn restrictions relaxed

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay– excerpt

San Francisco is relaxing some of its forced right turns on Mission Street as a compromise between merchants and residents…

This doesn’t sound right. There is no disagreement between merchants and residents. The compromise was between the Mission merchants and residents and the SFMTA Board. The Mission community, with minor exceptions, hates the red lanes. Support Yes on L to bring back some balance to the MTA Board. stopsfmta.com

The SFMTA is also working with The City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development to support marketing to highlight the neighborhood and transit options to get to the Mission District, Brill said.

He also addressed the reason why it was best to keep the forced right turn on Mission and Cesar Chavez streets:

“We did evaluate the potential for removing that restriction at that intersection. However, given that northbound Mission is now a single lane, if we were to remove that [forced right turn], the congestion along Mission Street would be far worse than it was before, which means both drivers and Muni riders will have a less good experience as they did prior to implementing the project.”…(more)

Drivers can deal with traffic congestion without being corralled. People who need to go on Mission will go and everyone else will find a different path. Cars are not on a track. They know how to avoid traffic. Nobody is having a good experience on Misison now. Support Yes on L to bring back some balance to the MTA Board. stopsfmta.com