Pedestrian, Bicycle Plan Approved For 20-Blocks Of San Francisco’s Polk Street

cbslocal – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency unanimously approved a pedestrian and bicycle improvement plan Tuesday that will span 20 blocks of Polk Street.

The project drew dozens of San Francisco residents, including bicycle and pedestrian advocates supporting the project and residents and businesses concerned about the loss of parking and vehicle access.

Numerous cyclists who spoke during the public comment period said they felt scared traveling on Polk Street and urged the board to approve a protected bike lane in both directions.

The plan approved by the board today includes bike lanes that are not completely separated from traffic… (more)

 

How a $900 parking citation became a $25,000 federal lawsuit against SF

By sfexaminer – excerpt

Two San Francisco residents, one of whom is disabled, are furious with what they see as an unjust parking ticket, and they have taken their complaint to federal court.

The lawsuit — which was served Sept. 12 to The City, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and one of its citation review officers, and the Police Department, its chief and the officer who issued the citation — claims the Feb. 16 parking ticket was unlawful.

Although the fine has been greatly reduced, the plaintiffs have decided to press on with their complaint… (more)

SFMTA board expands locations for car share vehicles

: sfexaminer – excerpt

Despite dissenting voices from several San Francisco residents, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board members on Tuesday approved 25 new curbside locations across The City which only permitted car share vehicles can occupy.

The vote expands the transit agency’s on-street car share pilot program from its original 12 spaces citywide. Under the program, the curbside locations will be tow-away zones for all but permitted car share vehicles.

Three car sharing companies – City CarShare, Zipcar and Getaround – qualified to participate in the two-year pilot program and have together already requested 450 of 900 parking spaces available. San Francisco has 275,450 spaces on its streets, according to a citywide parking census released in May…

Zipcar relocated 90 percent of its spots where neighbors raised concerns about losing parking, said Jonathan Tyburski, representing the company…

“The City sounds like it’s selling curb to private business. I understand that concern and I would be very resentful of that, but to remind you this is a pilot,” he said. “SFMTA believes there is many public benefits to car sharing.”… (more)

Decisions to “take” public space for private use has angered many residents and merchants who are signing up to support The Restore Transportation Balance initiative. Join us and let the voters have the last word on these matters in Novembers: http://www.restorebalance14.org/

If you object to privatization and commercialization of public property:

 

  • Contact the supervisors and representatives on the MTA CAC and request that they address this matter.
  • Contact the media and let them know how this effects your life and businesses.
  • Let the “sharing companies” know that you will not support them until they relinquish the parking on public streets.
  • Contact legitimate car rental companies and find out how this policy effects them.
  • Ask local businesses how public  parking removal effects them.

 

Tech commuter shuttles riding wave of controversy

sfexaminer – excerpt

On weekday mornings, San Francisco residents, mostly in their 20s and 30s, many in jeans and hoodies, a few in khakis and tucked-in dress shirts, form a single-file line against a mural-graced wall by the Muni bus stop at the southeast corner of 24th and Valencia streets.

They know each other well enough to line up following a system that lacks public signage, but rarely engage in conversation. Here they wait to catch a ride to work, but this isn’t a casual carpool line. This is an invitation-only club.

Some wear earbuds and almost all are engrossed in their smartphones until their free ride arrives, rarely more than a couple of minutes late — a two-story white bus with tinted windows, plush seats and Wi-Fi… (more)

 

SF parking meters to charge on Sundays

Finance Yahoo.com – excerpt

Watch the video SF parking meters to charge on Sundays on Yahoo! Finance . Starting Sunday, San Francisco residents and visitors will need to feed the meter …
finance.yahoo.com/…/sf-parking-meters-charge-sundays-1842

Michael Pappas, SF Interfaith Council has concerns about “how this decision was made by the San Francisco MTA… There was a stakeholders group that implemented this policy… it was not the voice of one member of the faith-based community around that table… we see it as a gross infraction of due process…”

SFMTA Brings Back Parking Meter Planning to Tough Crowd in the NE Mission

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog.org – excerpt

Following fierce opposition that led the SF Municipal Transportation Agency to roll back its first attempt to expand meters in the northeast Mission, the agency re-started a community planning process last night to expand parking meters and residential permit restrictions to reduce cruising for parking in the area. The meeting was seen as a litmus test for the public’s openness — and the agency’s tact — which will be key to implementing a plan for managing parking demand in a dense, complex neighborhood where parking problems are only expected to get worse… (more)

By “noticeable contingent of advocates backing parking reform”, are you referring to the four people who raised their hands when Jeff asked, “Who complained about parking?”
What I remember quite well, (and I recorded the event), is Jeff admitting that the department is dealing with conflicts of interests within its jurisdiction.
Could these obvious conflict of interests explain why a growing contingent San Francisco residents want to repeal Prop E and rewrite Transit First? Are they had enough of the SFMTA monster that was supposed to balance the Muni budget and fix the public transit system, but has failed miserably at both?

 

I suggested an idea that many have voiced and I agree with. We need park and ride Muni hubs for drivers who need to drive into town, park and jump on the Muni to get to their final destination. According to SFMTA, 41% of the cars parked in our neighborhood don’t live or work here. They are commuters driving into the city, parking and taking the Muni downtown. The same people who park in the Western neighborhoods and jump on the Geary buses. They are Muni customers. Why is SFMTA fighting them?
This request for more public parking near transit hubs is repeated all over the Bay area. Most BART stations need more parking for clients. Instead of fighting the cars driving to public transit, the city officials should create the parking options their clients need to easily use the public transit systems they want them to take.
I did say is that it is not my job to create those options. That job belongs to the public employees who are paid royally to manage parking and traffic.

In San Francisco, tech investor leads a political makeover

By Gerry Shih : reuters.com – excerpt

…””The tech industry is producing all the jobs in this city,” Conway snapped, according to four people present, his voice rising as he insisted that old-line businesses “need to get on board (by changing the tax code to favor the new technologies).”
In the end, they did get on board — and San Francisco voters on November 6 will decide whether to approve the change in the tax code…
Not everyone in this famously liberal city is enthused about the new tech boom, which is driving up rents and threatening to price out all but the wealthy.
“As someone who lived through the tech boom in the ’90s and watched countless friends and community members get pushed out of their homes, only for the bubble to disintegrate, this is painful to watch,” said Gabriel Haaland, political director for the SEIU Local 1021, the largest union in the city. “Those times are here again.”
Last month, when San Francisco Magazine published an article bemoaning tech-driven gentrification, traffic on the magazine’s website broke all records.
“It touched on an issue that people have been thinking about for a while,” said Jon Steinberg, the magazine’s editor…
In one instance this year, after social media company Pinterest moved to San Francisco, Conway pressed officials to repaint curbs to allow employee parking near the start-up’s offices, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The city refused; Conway denied that the incident occurred… (more)

San Francisco parklets: Good for business?

 SAN FRANCISCO- KGO : Assignment 7 – Excerpt

Putting a park in a busy commercial district to beautify and increase street traffic sounds like a good idea, but some San Francisco residents say it isn’t. ABC7 takes a look at the growing pangs of the city’s growing parklet program…

Top San Francisco Officials Get Raises Despite City’s Massive Budget Hole

huffingtonpost.com – excerpt

Right now, San Francisco’s budget deficit stands at approximately $170 million. That makes it not exactly the best time politically for a handful of the city’s highest office holders to receive some very public pay raises.

Even though the pay hikes the city’s top elected officials are getting this year only represent a few drops into the city’s vast ocean of debt, they’re symbolically important, as city leaders are increasingly looking into new, highly unpopular, revenue generation measures–such as increasing the cost of parking tickets and operating parking meters on Sundays–and attempting to wring money-saving concessions from unions representing the city’s public sector workers.

(more)

Other coverage:
http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2011/04/20/san-francisco-officials-due-for-pay-raise-despite-deficit/
Joshua SabatiniSF Examiner Staff Writerjsabatini@sfexaminer.com

The salaries of San Francisco’s top elected officials are determined by 2006’s voter-approved Proposition C, which set the salaries of the city’s top half-dozen elected public servants based on what individuals holding similar positions in other municipalities around the Bay Area are paid. (more)

Proposition C (described above) is only one of many bad ideas San Francisco residents have brought upon themselves. Voters have passed a number of propositions that are biting them in the pocketbook.

In 1999 they went for Prop E, which combined Muni and DPT. Prop E was sold as a solution to help finance Muni by adding parking and traffic fines to their coffers. We see how well this has not worked. SFMTA now raids Muni to pay for their other pet projects.

In 2007 Prop “A” passed, which further enriched SFMTA by allowing them to lean on unions and “impose limits on downtown parking meters.” Somehow the concept of “downtown” parking meters has warped into a claim that SFMTA is authorized to install meters in front of every commercial enterprise in town, and since we are full of mixed use neighborhoods, as are most cities, they are merrily sprinkling “smart meters” all over .

The voters have had enuf and are ready to revolt. Stay tuned to sfenuf.org for more on that.