Got a $1 billion-plus idea to fix traffic, transit in the Bay Area?

By Erin Baldassari : mercurynews – excerpt

The MTC is putting out a call for projects that would transform transportation as we know it in the Bay Area. Pictured here is a proposal architect Jeff Heller proposed more than a year ago to put a new “Southern Crossing” that would carry trains, autonomous vehicles, bicyclists and more, as one of several imagined transportation investments in the Bay Area…

SAN FRANCISCO — Think you know how to solve the Bay Area’s nightmarish traffic? Have you been fantasizing about where a future BART system could go? Do you have a tech-savvy solution for reducing solo-driving or integrating autonomous cars into Bay Area freeways?

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission wants to hear from you…

Don’t worry about cost, says MTC spokesman Randy Rentschler. The minimum price tag for capacity-adding transit or road projects is $1 billion, and there is no maximum.

“If we can get enough interest in a bold vision,” Rentschler said, “we can chase the money for it later.”….

The problem, he said, is that government agencies are constrained — by what is politically feasible, by laws that require them to use existing funding streams when sketching out their visions for the future, by being focused on what is achievable in the short-term. Over the past several decades — ever since the BART system was envisioned and built — those constraints have led to small, incremental changes, he said.. (more)

Pay attention to these warnings. There is no limit to how much taxpayers will pay to stay in the bay as long as the MTC is running the programs. How do the taxpaying residents of the Bay feel about that? Do we want the constraints on the government agencies lifted? Or do we want unlimited, unrestrained costs and taxes and price hikes to support unlimited growth?

Chariot adds commute routes for UCSF employees, with public funding

 : sfchronicle – excerpt

San Francisco commuter van operator Chariot has started a shuttle service for UCSF Mission Bay employees who commute from the East Bay. It’s the first such service funded by a public transit agency, and it aims to ease congestion on the Bay Bridge.

UCSF, one of the Bay Area’s largest employers, received a $750,000 grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which oversees regional transportation planning, to coax its workers into fewer cars. As part of the initiative, UCSF tapped Chariot, a subsidiary of Ford Smart Mobility, to operate two weekday shuttle routes between Emeryville and West Oakland and UCSF’s Mission Bay campus during the morning and evening commutes. The service began June 18 with eight Chariot vans, each carrying up to 14 passengers.The service will run for one year as part of a broader MTC initiative called “Bay Bridge Forward,” which is funneling $40 million to improve bus lines, parking lots and ferry routes. Most of the money is going to public transit operators, but a small slice is going to UCSF and Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser, headquartered in Oakland, received $150,000 to manage its workers’ commuting and parking patterns.

Chariot and UCSF officials said they don’t know how many employees will use the service. About 6,000 of UCSF’s 25,000 employees work at Mission Bay, and more than a quarter are estimated to live in the East Bay. The cost to UCSF employees for the new Chariot routes is $7.50 per ride.

“We want to help our employees get to work each day, while also easing traffic heading into the city,” Erick Villalobos, UCSF’s director of transportation services, said in a statement… (more)

We are speechless. This is how the public transit agencies spend taxpayer dollars? We pay for UCSF employees to ride in comfort for $7.50 a day, while commuters pay higher bridge tolls and parking fees. How is this fair? No sooner has the ink dried on the RM3 election, than the public fund get siphoned off to corporate sponsors of the bill. Voters should retaliate by repealing the gas tax.

Ballot Measure would raise Bay Area bridge tolls $3

By Alexis Smith : KGO – excerpt

No matter how you get to work, you’ve no doubt seen the impacts of the bay area’s thriving economy. Packed trains, congested highways, late ferries and aging transit systems are the norm, but voters are being asked to pass regional measure three to fix them…

“We want to smooth out the system – make it more efficient, we’re not planning to build new freeways here, but we’re going to smooth out the express lane system at the same time try to move more people onto mass transportation,” said Wunderman.

If passed, there would be some road improvements, but, most of the money would be spent on improving the Bay Area’s existing mass transit infrastructure…

“This is the first transportation tax I’ve opposed in oh – the 28 years I’ve held elected office,” said Walnut Creek Congressman Mark DeSaulnier. He says he’s voting “no” on Regional Measure 3. Mostly because those who foot the bill will see the least from its passage….

DeSaulnier was once on the M-T-C board and he says its record of spending money well isn’t good. Starting with the decision to move its headquarters from Oakland to San Francisco.

Congressman DeSaulnier added, “They spent $250 million for a building they didn’t need – and they were $5 billion over budget on the Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge.”…

“We have an incredible quality of life here – we have an incredible economy here – but we have challenges as a result of our success and we need to invest in solving those things and this is one way the region can come together,” said Wunderman…. (more)

VOTE NO ON REGIONAL MEASURE 3  Who are the WE with the quality of life here? Certainly not the displaced people who were forced to move to commute to “make room” for people. Their lifestyle sucks now and they are the least likely to afford the additional tolls even though it falls on their heads.

MTC SPREADS THE PAIN TO EVERYONE. Funds from the tolls will be used for toll roads and HOT lanes in Silicon Valley and everywhere else. No one will be spared. The $9.oo bridge toll is the tip of the iceberg.

RM3 REMOVES VOTER CONTROL OVER FUTURE BRIDGE TOLLS. If RM3 passes the voters will never be bothered with the need to vote on another bridge toll. The measure includes built-in increases based on inflation, that bill will ensure by forcing everyone to pay higher prices for all deliveries, including food.

RELATED:
Occupymtc.org
Nine-county-coalition
Oppose RM3

The unelected bureaucracies that keep us stuck in traffic

By Jackie Lavalleye : californiapolicycenter – excerpt

Inadequate roads are leaving Californians stuck in traffic. According to a 2016 study by Inrix, a data company that specializes in traffic-related analytics, Los Angeles, California has the worst traffic in the United States. San Francisco takes the number three spot, and San Diego comes in number 14. In all, 17 California cities rank among the 100 most congested cities in America.

Traffic congestion has many negative effects on cities and people, including reduced economic growth as well as adverse health effects for the people sitting in traffic. So who is responsible for our terrible traffic? A group of little-known public agencies have a federal mandate to plan and implement transportation-related projects – but they aren’t getting the job done for Golden State commuters.

In 1962, the federal government created Metropolitan Planning Organizations, usually called “Associations of Governments”, as part of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962. The purpose of these agencies is to bring together elected officials from various cities and counties within a metropolitan region for the purposes of planning regional transportation efforts. Further, the intention of this Act was to increase collaboration and cooperation among local governments within a region.

The boards of these organizations are not directly elected. Instead, local elected officials from member cities are appointed to serve on their boards. Day to day decisions are made by unelected bureaucrats.

Legally, many of the Associations of Governments in California are enforced by a Joint Powers Agreement. Per Nolo’s plain-english law dictionary, a Joint Powers Agreement is a “contract between a city and a county and a special district in which the city or county agrees to perform services, cooperate with, or lend its powers to, the special district.”… (more)

More data on the process that was used by the people who took over control of our lives may be found in the fourty year plan that was written and published by some familiar names and organizations that have taken control of our lives. Read the plan and see who has been involved from the start and how they planned and executed the disaster we are living in now, and what may be done about it. http://livablecity.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/tlc_path.pdf

Why own a car when you can share one?

Living car-free or car-light in San Francisco is increasingly easy — and it’s not just thanks to Uber.

Car sharing is quietly spreading throughout the city, allowing people to rent cars by the hour or mile, pick them up at widely dispersed locations, reserve them with a smartphone, and unlock them with a phone or credit card.

“Technological advances are giving people new and convenient ways to get around more freely without having to own a car,” said CalPIRG spokeswoman Diane Forte, whose consumer group recently released a report on the growth of high-tech transportation options nationwide. It found that San Francisco is a national leader in innovative ways to get around town, second only to Austin, Texas.

To support car sharing — and try to reduce car use — San Francisco is experimenting with reserving up to 900 on-street parking spaces sprinkled throughout the city for the exclusive use of car-sharing vehicles. The three companies getting spaces over the two-year pilot program, which is being phased in slowly, are City CarShare, a nonprofit; Avis’ Zipcar, perhaps the best-known service; and Getaround, a “peer-to-peer” service that helps regular people rent their cars to others… (more)

Warriors open up the Waterfront Wars

Golden State Warriors Arena does battle with Art Agnos
by bgordonconculting – excerpt

Former San Francisco mayor Art Agnos is on a mission: to stop the Golden State Warriors from despoiling San Francisco’s exquisite public property known as the Embarcadero…
Mayor Agnos recently spoke at San Francisco’s Latino Democratic Club as part of his ongoing tour of the City’s various associations to share his urgent message. Let’s begin with a recap. To build this monstrosity, tons of concrete would be poured 50 feet into the Bay. Yes, the piers 30-32 are in sad shape and the costs of ultimately building a new arena could now top one billion dollars

Why not build a new arena at Candlestick Park?
So here’s a daring idea. Why not build a new basketball arena at Candlestick Park?  It’s set to be blown up at the conclusion of the 2014 NFL season. 49er fans had no problem driving out to Candlestick. Why would they complain about doing so for the Warriors? We’ve got the 29-Sunset Muni line, which takes you directly to Candlestick, though woefully inept to handle the crush of millions of more sports fans but a vast improvement over desecrating the beauty that is our waterfront… (more)

Yep. If you have to move the Warriors out of Oakland to San Francisco, Candlestick is the place for them to go.

Only San Francisco, the city that would be great, would consider tearing down a sports arena with a huge parking lot, nearby freeway access and public transit, to the most congested neighborhood in town, while plunging the taxpayers into deeper debt to billionaires.

The taxpayers need to win this round. If they lose, they gates are open to develop the entire waterfront.

RELATED:
sfwaterfront.org

Google map shows where San Francisco tax dollars are going

: bizjournals.com – excerpt

San Francisco residents have a new way to see their tax dollars at work.
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority unveiled a new website — MyStreetSF — that tracks projects funded by the authority, which gets its money from sales tax dollars…
The SFCTA has a 30-year expenditure plan that calls for spending $2.35 billion and it plans to get an additional $9 billion during that time from the U.S. government, state and other local tax sources for transportation improvements…  (more)

Not sure how accurate it is, but here is an interactive map of your tax dollars at work.

Bike Lane Battles Heat Up

BY: : governing.com – excerpt

There’s no question that biking has surged in popularity in the last few years. The share of Americans commuting by bike has grown by 47 percent since 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey.
The rising popularity of biking has also led to a surge in the number of bike paths and bike lanes. But as demand for lanes continues to rise, the nation’s cities are beginning to see resistance grow.
Front and center in today’s bike-lane dust-ups is San Francisco… (more)

Continue reading

Market Manipulation Prompts Residents to File Complaints with CA Attorney General

sfpark.info – excerpt

Lets hear it for Price Gouging,  Market Manipulation, and Artificially Inflating Consumer Prices. Angry Mission Bay Residents have had enough of the SFpark Program and will be filing complaints with the California Attorney Generals Office over the artificially induced parking “blackouts” that are happening in the area. Parking prices on both sides of 5th street / Brannan have been $3.00 an hour for nearly a year. The city of San Francisco is really CASHING in on Taxpayers(more)

People are asking what to do. Here is one solution.

CA$HING in on Taxpayers

According to the latest SF Transportation Fact Sheet, the city of San Francisco makes $40,520,486 from parking meters and $86,306,584 from parking tickets for a total of $126,827,070.

Note, that the city makes twice as much from parking tickets as it does on parking meters. But if there are no parking meters, the city can’t issue parking tickets, which is why City Hall is putting more parking meters in city neighborhoods.

Note too that the city also makes $38,742,622 from city-owned parking lots and garages and another $9,040,407 from its residential parking permit program, which has people paying for a permit to park in front of their homes. Creating the SFMTA seems to have only accomplished creating one very large dysfunctional organization. If anyone doubts why San Francisco is broke, look no further than the fact that 1 out of 3 public employees make over $100,000 a year, 20% more than the private sector pay, with vastly better benefits and health care…

(more)