Supervisors call for financial aid fund for merchants harmed by construction

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

From Chinatown to Van Ness Avenue, long-running, much-delayed Muni construction projects have threatened businesses and even caused some to shut down.

Now San Francisco leaders may have a solution: cold hard cash.

The Board of Supervisors, acting in their capacity as the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, pitched the idea for a “city construction impact mitigation fund” Tuesday morning

Later in the day, SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin told the San Francisco Examiner the proposal could potentially throw a wrench into future transit projects.

Right now, “we’re doing record levels of public construction, the likes we have not seen,” he said. But if project costs go too high “depending on how you set the parameters, it limits the amount of work we could do.”

On Tuesday, however, nine out of the eleven supervisors either signaled future support for a construction mitigation fund openly during Tuesday’s transportation authority meeting or told the San Francisco Examiner that they support it… (more)

Right now, “we’re doing record levels of public construction, the likes we have not seen,” he said. But if project costs go too high “depending on how you set the parameters, it limits the amount of work we could do.”

DO NO HARM sounds like a better goal. Protect the businesses by limiting the projects. The goal to finish the projects not start them. The Supervisors could limit the number of contracts in each neighborhood by only awarding one at a time. Finish the Central Subway before cutting up any more streets within a quarter mile of it. If the project is overly complex, move the businesses into empty storefronts on other streets during the construction.

I remember hearing rumors about rules that used to exist that precluded more than one construction project per block. Limiting SFMTA projects to one per neighborhood would save the taxpayers money instead of adding to the cost. Maybe we should have some incentive built into the system that would award the contractor and the project manager for finishing the projects instead of starting them. All those workers can be directed to the few projects that are underway instead of spreading them thinning all over the city.

If you agree, write your supervisors. This could be the key to solving many of our traffic problems faster than anything else we can do. Less construction would get traffic flowing again. Limiting the noise and dust in the air would improve our healthy and relive the stress on our streets while protecting our businesses.  And best of all, it would cost us nothing because doing less costs less.

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Supes Hamstring SFMTA’s Ability to Expand Progressive Parking Policy

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

In a setback for progressive parking policy in San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors voted last week to eliminate the SFMTA’s ability to install any significant amount of new parking meters under a new five-year contract to upgrade existing meters… (more)

News that bears repeating. We are surprised at the number of people who don’t know about this. Leave it to the Bike Coalition to keep the story alive. If you haven’t already done so, thank the Supervisors.

Continue reading

Chain Reaction Of Injures After Muni Bus Falls Apart

by – excerpt

An accident involving the overhead equipment above a San Francisco Municipal Railway bus injured four people downtown this morning, fire and Muni officials said.
The 31-Balboa bus was near Market and Main streets around 10:30 a.m. when the accident occurred, authorities said.
A rope connecting to the overhead poles on the bus came loose and struck a nearby bus stop sign, Muni spokesman Paul Rose said.
The sign hit an adult leading a group of schoolchildren on a field trip and also hit one of the children, fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.
Those two both fell onto another adult and child. All four suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital as a precaution, Talmadge said… (more)

The sad state of Muni vehicles and equipment is well documented. Most of the city’s lawsuits involve the SFMTA. When will the city officials quite approving transfer of Muni funds from Muni operations to non-Muni projects?
Let your supervisors know you want the SFMTA to
FIX THE MUNI FIRST! contact city officials

New Bicycle Parking Requirements Approved by Planning Commission

sf-planning.org – excerpt

New Bicycle Parking Requirements Approved by Planning Commission…
The proposal is anticipated to go before the Board of Supervisors in June 2013.
If the proposal is adopted, garages and buildings owned and leased by the City will be required to upgrade the bicycle facilities within one year to comply with the new Planning Code standards. The proposal will also require new and renovated privately owned commercial buildings, and new residential buildings to comply with the bicycle parking requirements… (more)

 

To Become a Great Biking City, SF Needs to Stop Crawling and Start Running

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog.org – excerpt

“…San Francisco doesn’t have to “reinvent the wheel” to become a bike-friendly place — the city need look no further than peers like Copenhagen, widely considered one of the world’s best cycling cities.

So said David Chiu, president of the SF Board of Supervisors, at a forum yesterday evening with the chief of Copenhagen’s Bicycle Program, Andreas Røhl. “We know what needs to get done,” said Chiu. “The answers are there — from segregated cycle tracks, to bike signaling, to more bike parking, to more bike safety, to bike anti-theft measures, to more bike education — these are the pillars of what have worked in other cities.”… (more)

Any doubt that San Francisco’s leaders are bike-friendly? Want to let them know how you feel about it? Sign the petition and fill out the surveys sfenuf.org