Parking crunch crimps growth at SF General

By Jerold Chinn : SFbay – excerpt

Parking at San Francisco General Hospital could soon get worse for patients and employees if a plan is not in place to figure out how the solve the parking situation, health officials said.  Health officials presented their dilemma to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Policy and Governance Committee last Friday seeking help from SFMTA staff to find solutions.

The Health Commission last Tuesday also passed a resolutions urging health officials to work collaboratively with the SFMTA find transportation and parking solutions for patients to access the hospital.

The hospital has been going through major renovations with a new hospital expected to open in December of this year and a proposed UCSF Research Building expected to open in 2019, said Kathy Jung, director of facilities and capital planning for the Department of Public Health.

Jung also said the hospital is planning to move its emergency care services from the south side to north side of campus, which will result in the loss of some parking: “Opening the new hospital and the changes to the campus that will follow have significant impact to the supply and demand of parking at SFGH.”

The hospital is expected to have an increase in demand and higher staffing levels once the new facilities are open, said Jung… (more)

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SFMTA approves Muni service increase

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

Seniors and disabled Muni riders weren’t the only ones benefiting from a better financial picture for San Francisco’s transportation agency over the next two fiscal years.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors are moving ahead with a seven percent Muni service increase, additional funding for cleaning Muni vehicles and eliminating telephone and online transaction fees charged for making a citation payment to the SFMTA.

The board last April included all of these programs in its two-year budget last year, which included free Muni for low-income seniors and people with disabilities, but was contingent on how the transit agency’s financial health looked like this month.

In a report, the transit agency said it would be able to financially support the increase in Muni service and the additional funding to hire more staff to clean Muni vehicles of graffiti and tagging.

The transit agency projects higher revenues in transit fares, parking fees and fines and also more funds from The City because of current state of the economy in San Francisco.

The seven percent Muni approved Tuesday follows a three percent increase in Muni service approved last April by the board for a total of a 10 percent service increase…

Muni riders will be able to start seeing some of the service increases starting Jan. 31, which includes the launch of Muni’s new 55-16th Street route and the increased frequency of the 44-O’Shaughnessy. A soft launch of the new route is set for Jan. 26, according to SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin… (more)

SFMTA proceeds with purchase of new electric trolleys

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco’s transit agency announced today that it is officially moving forward with the purchase of 60 new electric trolley buses, the first phase in replacing the aging fleet over the next few years.

The buses being retired were in service for more than two decades and accounted for 40 percent of systemwide delays, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Considered the backbone of Muni, the vehicles carry 200,000 riders daily on 14 lines, including 1-California, 5-Fulton, 14-Mission and 30-Stockton, which alone transports 32,000 passengers per day. More than 300 trolley buses, which operate greenhouse gas-free, are due for replacement.

“By investing in new, high-performing, quiet and green electric trolley vehicles, we are able to provide better options for moving around The City,” SFMTA Transportation Director Ed Reiskin said in a statement… (more)


Lee’s Sunday free parking plan up against money, politics

By Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross : sfgate – excerpt

Mayor Lee’s call to bring back free parking on Sundays is meeting with behind-the-scenes resistance over at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.
And, like most Muni decisions, the driving forces are money and politics.
Objections to the mayor’s proposed rollback are coming from two fronts.
First up, Muni number crunchers, who have been banking on the more than $9 million a year that Sunday meters – and Sunday parking tickets – bring in.
There are also objections from neighborhood merchants who fear they’ll lose business if people squat all day long in parking spaces outside their stores.
“There has been a lot of back and forth on the issue,” said Tom Nolan, chairman of the transportation agency board.
One idea is to have a “phased” rollback that would keep paid Sunday parking in some shopping areas such as Clement Street or the Castro.
The mayor, however, has his reasons for wanting a full rollback – not the least of which is making voters happy so they will approve the $500 million transportation bond on the November ballot… (more)

Bike Lockers Could Replace Parking Spaces in San Francisco

By Chris Roberts : bynbcbayarea – excerpt

Up to 86 bike lockers could be installed in San Francisco. San Francisco could become the first major American city to replace parking spaces for automobiles with lockers for bicycles, according to the San Francisco Examiner. Eighty-six new bike lockers could be among the up to $11.8 million in capital projects for bike parking, according to the newspaper, all recommendations in a plan examining where to stash bikes written for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency… (more)

Do the politicians really think the taxpaying car owner voters will put up with this kind of discrimination?

SFMTA parking meter buy delayed over concerns about expansion

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

The SFMTA has approved a $54 million contract to replace 25,000 existing meters, but the planned purchase of additional meters has delayed The City’s stamp of approval.

At just over a decade old, San Francisco’s parking meters are well past their prime. But a $54 million plan to replace the coin-fed meters with credit card-friendly technology is on hold, and distrust with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s plan to buy up to 10,000 new meters is partly to blame.
The SFMTA in September approved a $54 million contract with San Diego-based IPS Group to replace the existing 25,000 parking meters — which use spare parts that are no longer manufactured and have erratic batteries — with solar-powered devices that can be fed via smartphone and credit card or coin. The 6,500 meters installed in 2010 under SFpark, “smart” meters that alert users to available parking spots in order to reduce traffic, would also be replaced.  Why?
The new meters won’t be as lucrative — the cost of operating them is projected to quadruple due to software licensing and wireless communications costs — but would be more convenient for motorists… Huh?
“There’s distrust in the neighborhoods” over parking meters, Supervisor Mark Farrell said at an October board hearing. With the new meters, “I don’t have any security that there’s not going to be 10,000 new [metered] parking spots.”…
“They have lied to us at every turn,” said Tony Kelly, a neighborhood activist who helped block meters in Potrero Hill. “Nothing in the past two years gives us any confidence that they’ll try to honestly get our approval before installing new parking meters.”(more)