San Francisco Unveils Plan To Help Reduce Storefront Vacancies

By Phil Matier : cbslocal – excerpt (includes video)

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Faced with a spike in the number of empty storefronts in San Francisco, Mayor London Breed is vowing to cut the costs and the red tape for businesses to open new retail locations in the city’s neighborhoods.

With the Citywide Storefront Vacancy Strategy unveiled by Breed and Supervisor Vallie Brown Monday, city officials hope to fill vacant retail spaces, which have been emptied due to shifting shopping trends and slow sales…

The Mayor is also setting aside $1 million to for subsides, consultants and legal assistance for small business.

But one area that will likely remain a challenge is parking. For years the city has been chipping away at street parking to make way for more bus and bike lanes.

Lack of parking was one reason why Michael Gardner is closing Siegel’s Clothing in Mission Street, a business that he has owned and run for 42-years.

“The frosting on the cake was red zone. The bus zone came and they took out a third of the parking on Mission Street,” Gardner said. “When this store closes, there will be seven empty stores on this block.”… (more)

related:
Despite Booming Economy, Vacant Storefronts Common In San Francisco

This is a typical show of support and lack of listening by the San Francisco City government. The one thing the businesses are complaining about is the one thing the officials are ignoring. You don’t need to buy another study. Just listen to the public and follow their suggestions for a change. Businesses need parking to survive. As the parking disappears so do the businesses, along with the owners, employees, and families City Hall claims it wants to keep. Give us back some street parking after 6 PM and maybe we can get deliveries, clients and employees back. It is pretty hard to run a business without deliveries and pickups.

Small Business Commission and the MTA joint meeting and agenda

December 9, 2013 at 4:30 AM
Small Business Commission and the MTA Board, City Hall Room 400 – agenda

SMALL BUSINESS COMMISSION, – Presentation
MUNICIPAL TRANSPORTATION AGENCY BOARD
OF DIRECTORS, AND PARKING AUTHORITY COMMISSION

NOTICE OF JOINT MEETING & AGENDA
Merchants should go and let the MTA know how they are effecting economic vitality of your business or send a representative or write comments or a letter detailing how the parking and traffic problems are effecting you business. Copy the supervisors on the letter. contacts here.
5. Explanatory Documents: Slide presentation by Office of Small Business staff; Slide presentation by SFMTA staff. Presentation by Regina Dick-Endrizzi, Executive Director of the Office of Small Business, and Ed Reiskin, Director of Transportation of the SFMTA.
6. General Public Comment: Allows members of the public to comment generally on matters within the Commission’s purview, and suggest new agenda items for the Commission’s future consideration. (Discussion Item)

NOTE: The Small Business Commission requested more parking garages. We need to talk to them. We want parking transit hub garages near freeway exits with Muni, taxi, bike, and shuttles and jitneys. This needs to be a part of the plan.
SBC requested more frequent contact with the MTA to work out issues as they arise, especially with regard to the immediate plans SFMTA has for implementing further parking restrictions on Polk and other areas. The commissioners want to work out some compromises to mitigate the loss and lessen the effect it will have on the merchants in the effected areas.

Other comments that were made and concerns raised:

  • Delivery services are not being met in the scheme of things. Someone pointed out that Polk is not like Valencia. Many merchants on Polk rely on large service vehicles to unload groceries, hardware, and other heavy supplies on a regular basis. Everyone agrees this is a city-wide problem that is not being solved in any of the current TEP or other city street designs.
  • There is an eagerness on the part of SFMTA to reduce curb cuts, which means off-street parking egress. That is a backdoor mechanism they have to reduce off-street parking options. We need to stop this maneuver on their part. Let you supervisor know that you know what this means and you oppose it.
  • There are so many things in the presentations, try to watch the tape to see what you find that you support and what alarms you.
  • The SFMTA agreed to meet on a more regular basis with SBC and it appears the plan is to meet every two months within the MTA’s Policy and Governance Committee to review specific issues that are plaguing merchants. So, merchants should inform SBC about your SFMTA issues.
  • Hopefully we will have opportunities to write letters and show up in person to those meetings when the need arises.

Russian Hill and Polk Street businesses oppose SFMTA road safety plans

By: : examiner.com – excerpt

Business owners and residents on San Francisco‘s Polk Street see cyclists as typically culpable in accidents with cars, scoff at the notion of global warming, and are strongly opposed to the SFMTA’s suggestions for improving their neighborhood.
This was the tone of a public meeting organized by the Middle Polk Neighborhood Association at the Old First Presbyterian church, Monday night March 18th.
View slideshow: Saving Polk Street
The Middle Polk Neighborhood Association has aligned itself with a movement called Save Polk Street, which has opposed the SFMTA plan in a poster campaign.
MPNA chair Dawn Trennert repeatedly had to appeal to Save Polk Street supporters in the crowd to show respect for pro SFMTA speakers. Mr. Reiskin was loudly booed and shut down while attempting to outline his plan for pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements along the stretch of Polk Street from Union Street in the north to McAllister in the south…

Continue reading

Tonight (March 21) was full of miracles!

Letter from Sylvia, who spoke out at the NE Mission Meeting

My sincere thanks and appreciation to ENUF for keeping all of us on the same page!.

Tonight (March 21) was full of miracles!

Residents, neighboring community activists, neighborhood small business owners, families and friends came together to defend and preserve our San Francisco way of life from the SFMTA’s sustainable streets staff and their highly paid consultants.

Although their highly paid consultants tried to convince us to believe their incredibly well written piece of fiction as Reality(?) it was overwhelmingly rejected as truth by 93% of those in attendance.

Even Supervisor Campos and his aides clearly saw that we were not going to buy the lie!

I tell everyone to take the time to follow the money as to who really stands to benefit from all this proposed madness.

The miracle that occurred was that all stakeholders, small business owners, their employees, friends, residents, neighbors, families, neighboring Polk Street business owners and activists came together and bonded in this fight against a social and economic cleansing of our working class neighborhoods by the SFMTA dictating to us how our quality of life will now be redesigned!

It now seems that City and County department staff feel empowered to dictate to us how we will live without being asked to do so!

We are the taxpayers who pay their salaries to do what we want them to do. They are our civil servants, not the other way around.  Civil servants are here for your service – not the other way around.

We all must all join and support each other in keeping our way of life that truly benefits the neighborhood and small business owners to avoid being economically run out of town. We must take over our communities so that we all can live as supportive and caring neighbors. This is not a fantasy – it happened tonight!

We need to gather together and discuss strategy before taking further action to defend our

present way of living. We all need each other to make this happen

To that end, I encourage everyone to keep in communication through SF ENUF.

ENUF is indeed a blessing to the San Francisco community. You questioned who really was being called to the table to discuss these proposed plans and the process. You asked who were the gatekeepers and how they stood to benefit from all this. One answer is the SF Bike Coalition – it is alleged that they are being paid by SFMTA as their consultants????  Conflict of interest?  You wonder why so many bike lanes??

Bikers should be licensed and ticketed just like car owners!

I am copying everyone who was generous enough to give me their contact information so that we all may continue to be in full communication.

Thank you all for letting me be part of a great event where many people stood up and fought against being thrown under the bus for the sake of corporate greed – remember – follow the money!!!

Sylvia

Thanks. I was struck by the fact that I heard no mention of Muni or the pubic transit system at the meeting by either the public or SFMTA staff. This is pretty appalling given that SFMTA is supposed to be championing pubic transportation, not designing streets and disrupting traffic. This is what is wrong with Muni. The SFMTA and the public have given up on it.

This is why ENUF is calling for a moratorium on all non-Muni expenditures until the Muni is fixed and functioning. Take the billions of dollars that are going to bike lanes and street closures and FIX THE MUNI FIRST.

We don’t need a $5 million dollar party for a bridge that everyone will hate the next time they get caught in a traffic jam on it. We need reliable public transportation for those who need it.