Meet the man who says he can fix Muni. For real.

By Joe Eskenazi : mssionlocal – excerpt

‘Retired civil servant’ Mike Cheney’s plan is so not-crazy, it just might work

“Dude, do you know how much those things cost me? Apiece?” This is a de facto rhetorical question from Mike Cheney. Most are. He immediately answers it. “Eleven bucks! Eleven!”

That’s a fair amount of money to spend for a retired Muni diesel mechanic with multiple grandchildren — but if it leads to one of this city’s most intractable problems being solved, it’ll be worth it.

So, that’s why Cheney prepared a comprehensive “2018 Proposal To Re-align Muni Goals & Operations,” printed up a handful of $11-a-pop copies, and hand-delivered a few of the svelte, 21-page booklets to the office of Mayor London Breed. That’s her quote right on the cover: “Muni has to work well for the people of San Francisco, so that it is their first option.”….

What if it turned out Muni could speed up buses and trains — and wouldn’t even need to buy new equipment, tear up the streets, or even eliminate stops?

Well, it can. It could install skip-stop route schedules.

This is a system in which Bus A picks up passengers at Stops 1, 3, 5, 7 and so on and Bus B picks up passengers at Stops 2, 4, 6, and 8. This has worked all around the world; it increases capacity and speeds up service… (more)

Please read the article and comment on the source. The Fix Muni First folks will appreciate the low cost method suggested here to solve the crowded bus and speed problems and the money watchers will appreciate the savings, that could lower riders fees and/or finance more routes.

This plan seems to cover everyone’s needs except the corporate entities planning to take over and control our streets. Residents and merchants appreciate the lack of Red Lane constraints, and Muni drivers should be less stressed as well.

Mike’s ideas sound too good and lack the sexy street diets favored at the SFMTA Board. Who are our elected officials going to serve, the public, or the corporations? Will our Mayor appoint a true visionary with a lifetime of Muni experience like Mike Cheney to the MTA Board our will she select a corporate shill intent on retaining the failed policies that are driving people off the public buses into their vehicles?

Some other suggestions that are drawing a lot of public support for safer conditions on our streets:

  • Return consistency to the streets of San Francisco. Nobody can watch for pedestrians, scooters, bikes, cars, trucks and buses weaving in and out of lanes while reading street signs and directions.
  • Lanes need to be straight and flow smoothly from one block to the next. Following lane changes is creates additional distractions.
  • Bring back the safer one-way streets with predictable curbside bus stops.
  • Extend the timing of yellow lights and hold the red light for a couple of seconds before turning it to green to give stragglers a little more time to clear the intersection.

 

‘Eroding the Confidence’: SF Mayor Breed Blasts Muni Officials For Flawed Service

By Sam Brock : nbcbayareanews – excerpt (includes video)

One day after San Francisco Mayor London Breed blasted the Muni director in a letter, accusing him of “eroding the confidence” of riders in the system, the mayor took a ride on Muni and continued her criticism.

Breed said Tuesday you can’t push people to use public transportation and then have the transit not work. From widespread delays in service to the recent death of a construction worker, Breed said she’s fed up, and her concerns are echoing through City Hall… (more)

SFMTA Board reacted to the Mayor’s threats and the public’s outrage by ignoring it.

First, they ignored public request to limit the Geary BRT Red Lanes to Muni and taxis only, and retain some popular bus stops.

The Board approved recently unveiled plans to allow non-public transportation corporations access to Transit only Red Lanes.  Liz Brisson, SFMTA’s Project Manager for the Geary Project, claimed the definition of a bus is a vehicle transporting 9 or more people. This is news to many people who opposed the non-Muni vehicles at the meetings. When was this definition written and why was this intent not explained in previous presentations of the Geary BRT plan?

Were the Supervisors aware of this when they approved Phase I of the Geary BRT?

Will this new information be factored into the case against Phase II of the Geary BRT currently under litigation, or will City Hall settle the case rather than continue to fund the legal battles of this devious department?

Not only did we learn that Transit only does not mean public transit only, but, we also learned that the claims of time savings in the red lanes is not supported by factual analysis of existing red lanes. Perhaps we now can see the reasons why that may be the case. It seems that all red lanes are not created equal. It seems that the only time pubic transit only applies is when the lanes are “protected” inside a physical barrier. Otherwise you must read the signs to determine who is allowed on the red lanes. This begs the question, why paint the lanes red when the color is meaningless? Who is making a profit off this paint job?

After the startling bait and switch revelations and the Geary BRT approval, the Board went into private session for Ed Reiskin’s job review. As expected, the Board ignored the Mayor’s comments on the Director’s poor leadership and mismanagement of contracts.

The SFMTA Board commended Ed Reiskin on his work with the department, failed to scold or reprimand him for any of his mistakes or misdeeds, included those he admitted to, and announced their continued support for his leadership of the disgraced department.

What will our Mayor do about this rogue board and department that insults our intelligence by repeated attempts to deceive us? Will she appoint a strong new Director to the Board to replace the recently departed one hired by the department to handle the public through public outreach? Will the Board of Supervisors hand the decision over to the public in the form of a Charter Amendment? Will our Mayor support this option? You may want to weigh in if you have an opinion. Contacts with City Hall are here:  https://discoveryink.wordpress.com/san-francisco-officials/

REALATED:

Private buses have driven in city ‘transit-only’ lanes for years — with the city’s blessing, and in spite of the law

By Joe Eskenazi : missionlocal – excerpt

… Does it make sense to allow private buses or other such vehicles in red carpet lanes — or not — on a Byzantine, lane-by-lane, project-by-project basis? If you’re a transit layman, you’d probably say “no.” And, it turns out, if you’re a transit expert you’d say “no,” too…

The city’s administration of its “transit-only” lanes has only grown more haphazard and opaque in the past dozen years — not that the citizens who came out Tuesday to yell about the Geary Rapid Project (or, quite possibly, the commissioners they were yelling at) ever realized this was happening…

But is it legal? That’s confusing, too… (more)

 

Widespread public opposition to the most expensive disruptive Geary BRT plan will come to a head in January.

The public is demanding their 30 days to comment prior to any approvals by the SFMTA Board. The Board sat on the report for months before releasing it to the public during the holidays to assure not any people would notice. Both the public and the new supervisors need time to review the EIR and examine the budget before committing the taxpayers to any more big street projects.

More details  and a sample letter requesting the SFMTA Board postpone a vote to approve the Geary BRT EIR until the public comment time of 30 days has passed are here :  https://discoveryink.wordpress.com/letters-and-comments/geary-brt/

Businesses oppose the Geary BRT plan, demand an economic impact report.

The Small Business Owners oppose the Geary BRT
The SF Small Business Commission passed a resolution at its Jan. 29 meeting calling for an economic impact study to be conducted as part of the Geary Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) planning process. Geary area merchants and many residents fear the construction and elimination of vehicle lanes on Geary will choke the neighborhood. The coalition resolution complained that the current San Francisco Transportation Authority plan for the Geary project states it will not include an economic assessment “at this stage.” That will be considered at a later time in the Environmental Impact Report, the plan says… (more)

Compare SF (Most Expensive Parking Tickets in the Western Hemisphere) with Downtown San Mateo (50 Cent/Hr Parking Meters)

sfcitizen – excerpt

Compare A with B, as seen in the City of San Mateo:

But the SFMTA wants more more more, so it’s hatched a plan called Prop A, to raise your rent (literally) and/or take your property taxes to pay for, among other things, cost overruns on the entirely unnecessary pork-barrel project called the Central Subway.

Hey, speaking of which:

“During a pair of recent presentations at city political clubs, MTA commissioner Cheryl Brinkman, arguing on behalf of Prop. A, stated that a City Attorney’s opinion concluded that, when it comes to bond language, the terms “shall” and “may” are identical.
Huh.
Brinkman now says she’s not entirely sure what she said. Multiple witnesses are more certain: ‘She did say that!’ recalls Potrero Hill Democrats president Joni Eisen.”… (more)

Mayor Lee To Take $648 Million Muni Ride Friday Morning

: sfist – excerpt

Hey, somebody write this down: this week, Mayor Ed Lee is riding Muni not once, but twice! First, he took the M-Ocean on Tuesday, to, he told the Chron, “try to experience it with everybody else.” And this morning he’ll be taking Muni Metro again, but this time his ride comes with a $648 million price tag.

As we mentioned back in July, the SFMTA Board agreed to make an unprecedentedly-huge purchase of new light rail vehicles intended to boost the fleet and reduce breakdowns. How unprecedentedly-huge? $1.18 billion in total, for a purchase of 260 cars.

So last week, the Board of Supes OKed the initial contract with transit company Siemens, to the tune of $648 million for 175 Muni Metro vehicles to be manufactured in their Sacramento plant. Today the Mayor will sign off on the plan…and will take a little ride in the process.

According to a press release sent by the mayor’s office, the Mayor and the SFMTA will this morning operate a “test train that will take first diagnostic measurements of rails to inform Siemens’ manufacturing of new Light Rail Vehicles.” Assuming that things go smoothly (heh), the mayor will will also sign the resolution on the purchase and contract at that time… (more)

RELATED:
The mayor takes a ride on Muni, (doesn’t look so happy about it)

SF’s War on Motorists

By Former Supervisor Tony Hall : westsideobserver – excerpt

My last column dealt with the foolishness of some of our City “leaders” who want to narrow some of our streets and procure smaller and less equipped emergency response vehicles, all at the expense of Public Safety.

… 79% of San Francisco households who own or lease a motor vehicle have been the target of bad transportation policy for the past 15 years, as determined by the radicals who have taken over the SFMTA Board and espouse a “car-less” San Francisco…”
In this column, I want to encourage you to consider supporting the initiative Restoring Transportation Balance, (web stie: http://www.restorebalance14.org), which is a Declaration of Policy calling for the Mayor, Board of Supervisors, and the SFMTA Board to restore transportation balance, as opposed to their current “Transit and Bicycle Only” Policy….

Not only are motorists and their passengers under attack, but also the City’s War on Motorists has caused collateral damage, adversely affecting a broad cross section of San Franciscans, for example, first responders such as police, fire and medical services, whose response times have increased due to difficulty navigating the City’s re-engineered and narrowed streets. Seniors and disabled who depend upon automobile transportation are finding it increasingly difficult to get around the City and have lost hundreds of white and blue curbs and the ability to get curb to curb service because of bike lanes. Small businesses and merchants operating on a 1% to 3% profit margin are losing money because their customers can’t find nearby parking, and instead shop in Daly City or Tanforan. Families can’t drive their kids to school on a timely basis because of the City’s re-engineered streets, traffic calming obstacles, increased traffic congestion and slower commute times. Even members of the Faith Based Community have to look at their watches repeatedly rather than worship unimpeded for fear that their cars may be ticketed or towed…

Tony Hall served twice as Supervisor for District 7… (more)

Friday: SFMTA Board Considers Final Proposals for Muni TEP Service Changes

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

Service changes to 15 Muni lines are headed to the SFMTA Board of Directors for approval on Friday as part of the Transit Effectiveness Project. The proposals were revised through input at community meetings and approved by the board’s Policy and Governance Committee (PAG) last Friday. Many were fine-tuned largely to appease complaints from riders who would have to walk, at most, a few more blocks for more streamlined routes…

If you can’t make the City Hall board meeting on Friday at 8 a.m., you can weigh in on the proposals by emailing the SFMTA Board secretary at Roberta.Boomer@sfmta.com. Here’s the list of proposed line changes from an SFMTA email: …

Continue reading

SAN FRANCISCO: Paying to park on Sunday could come to an end

ktvu – excerpt

San Francisco’s mayor is asking the city’s transportation officials to overturn the year old policy of forcing drivers to pay for parking on Sunday afternoons… (more)

The reason the Mayor gives is that half of the Sunday revenue is coming from traffic tickets, (not what we have heard from SFMTA), and he feels that nickle and dimming people is just not fair, especially since they are getting ready to ask for us to approve a 500 million dollar in bond. We have heard they want 3 billion, but in this case he is saying 500 million.
At any rate, now is the time to get your comments and letters to the city authorities if you haven’t sent one yet, and send another one if you like.