Find out if San Francisco owes you $$ for overpaid parking tickets; deadline soon

By Amy Graff : SFGATE – excerpt

Those who are used to owing the City of San Francisco money for unpaid parking tickets will like this news: SFMTA is offering people the opportunity to claim cash for their overpaid parking tickets.

The Municipal Transportation Agency has $600,000 in unclaimed funds from a couple of hundred people and businesses who either overpaid or double-paid parking and transit citations issued between Jan. 1, 1995, and June 30, 2014.

The agency will reimburse individuals who file claims by Dec. 14, 2017. After the deadline, unclaimed funds will become property of the city… (more)

We know that ticket complaints are high on the list of our readers. Unfortunately, we can only point to general remedies as each case needs special investigations. Here is your chance to handle one of the many issues regarding parking tickets. One wonders how so many people were convinced to pay twice.

What kind of glitch caused this and has that glitch has been fixed? One also wonders if any interest on the will be returned, since the SFMTA charges us additional costs for late payments one hopes they will return interests on mistaken overcharges.

How are tourists and visitors going to be reimbursed? Can’t the SFMTA just return the balance on credit cards without claims? They know who overpaid.

California bicyclists would be allowed to roll past stop signs under proposed law

By sfexaminer – excerpt

Cyclists in California would be allowed to pedal past stop signs — without stopping — under legislation proposed by two lawmakers who say it would make the roads safer.

The two-tiered approach to the rules of the road — one for cyclists and one for cars — is unlikely to ease growing tensions over sharing California’s roadways.

Bike advocates have won such victories in the Statehouse as requiring drivers to yield a three-foot radius of manoeuvring room to cyclists or face fines. Motorists meanwhile have expressed frustration that they see certain cyclists pick and choose which laws to follow.

Assemblymen Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia) and Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) introduced their measure on Friday that would allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as merely yield signs — proceeding with caution if conditions are safe.

In effect, it would legalize the so-called California roll, although just for bicyclists…(more)

This law AB-1103 Bicycles: yielding has been through the legislature a number of times and has not passed yet. It will create more problems than it will solve and is not supported by all cyclists:

  1. Will this apply to 2-way stop signs or just 4-way stop signs? How will cyclists know the difference?
  2. Does anyone think cyclists will slow down more than they do now to look before “rolling” through?
  3. Legislators should include a clause that requires cyclists to purchase licenses and insurance to cover damages resulting from passage of this new law.
  4. This will be particularly difficult for drivers of large vehicles like buses and trucks, who can’t easily see bikes or stop on a dime when they do.
  5. How can SFMTA speed buses though intersections when they must worry about hitting cyclists rolling through stop signs?
  6. This will negatively impact the safety of other cyclists, pedestrians, tourists and young people who will find it even more confusing to walk safely on the streets than they do now.
  7. Wait for the lawsuits to come in.

Details on the AB-1103 – An act to amend Section 21200 of the Vehicle Code, relating to bicycles – Introduced by Assembly Members Obernolte and Ting (Coauthors: Assembly Members Bloom, Chávez, and Kiley)

Principal coauthor: Senator Wiener

Muni Hackers Vow To Release 30GB Of Sensitive Data If Ransom Isn’t Paid

by Kevin Montgomery : hoodline – excerpt

The hackers behind the ransomware attack against Muni’s computer network this past weekend are continuing to escalate their threats against San Francisco’s transportation agency. Beyond controlling 2,112 of SFMTA computers, the hackers now claim to have stolen 30 gigabytes of sensitive departmental data and promise to release it if their demands are not met.

Yesterday, Hoodline learned the hackers, going by the pseudonym “Andy Saolis,” were demanding a 100 Bitcoin ($73,000) ransom to return control of nearly 25 percent Muni’s computer network.

The deadline for sending ransom payment passed early Monday morning—a point at which the hackers had previously claimed they would close their email account, leaving the department without a method to purchase the password to regain access to their network.

Instead, as the deadline passed, Saolis sent a canned statement to several media outlets, including Motherboard, the Examiner and Forbes, with new claims that they extracted information from department computers before encrypting them and locking Muni out.

“I hope Company Try to Fix it Correctly and We Can Advise Them But if they Don’t , We Will Publish 30G Databases and Documents include contracts , employees data , LLD Plans, customers and … to Have More Impact to Company To Force Them to do Right Job!,” Saolis wrote in an email sent to the media.

The hackers, who acknowledged they do not reside in the United States, did not specify what they meant by “LLD Plans.”

According to a list, obtained by Hoodline, of Muni’s machines currently encrypted by the hackers, Saolis likely has control of the department’s payroll service, email servers, Quickbooks, several MySQL database servers, and personal computers for hundreds of employees…(more)

Our SFMTA Wants to Claim It’s Increasing Parking Up at Twin Peaks, But It’s DECREASING Parking – One Simple Trick!

sfcitizen – excerpt

What the SFMTA’s Twin Peaks Figure 8 Redesign Project is a gonna do is get rid of these, these people from the top of Twin Peaks, particularly on busy dreaded sunny days, like this one…

Most of the tourists on top of that twin came from all the cars you can see on the left side. But all that parking is gone now, so tourists aren’t going to go to the top of Twin Peaks as much anymore.

What’s that, “good,” you say? Well OK, but why doesn’t the SFMTA just come out and say that? Instead, we get this:

Twin Peaks Figure 8 Redesign Project Frequently Asked Questions – April 8, 2016 version:

Will any parking be added or removed? No parking is being proposed for removal. Today, informal (illegal) parking takes place at the center of the Figure 8 and occasionally in the outer lane of the roadway. This project will formalize parking at both the center and south intersections, increasing the number of available stalls. Parking in the travel lane will no longer be possible.

So they’re not “removing parking,” they’re simply blocking cars from getting to the parking spaces? And you can’t park on the side of a highway in CA anymore, is that correct, really?

So the real answer to the question Will any parking be added or removed is:

Yes. Hell yes(more)

Keep the loop! Preserve parking, biking, and hiking all the way ’round Twin Peaks!

SFMTA can’t leave anything alone. Now they want to mess with public access to Twin Peaks!

Petitioning Chairman of the Board of the SFMTA Tom Nolan

Keep the loop! Preserve parking, biking, and hiking all the way ’round Twin Peaks!

I love San Francisco’s Twin Peaks, and I love to bicycle all the way around the figure 8 loop up there, and take in the beautiful city and ocean views.

Unfortunately, there’s a plan (“Twin Peaks Figure 8 Pilot Redesign”) to change the traffic flow at the top of Twin Peaks in a way that will eliminate all parking anywhere around the figure 8, and make it considerably more dangerous to bike or walk all the way around the entire figure 8 loop. See the plan description here:
http://sfrecpark.org/project/twin-peaks-figure-8-redesign

The number one excuse they give is: – Under-used roadway capacity. Since when do they complain about underused roadways?

This makes about as much sense as removing seats from buses and then speeding them up. Are standing passengers on speeding buses safer than seated ones on slower buses?

 The plan will make it more dangerous for drivers as well, as drivers distracted by the view pass one another in opposite directions around the sharp, blind curves. Imagine what it would be like to be walking or cycling there when a tour bus is passing you with a car coming in the opposite direction. Or what about when two tour buses are passing one another? It doesn’t sound pretty to me, and I think the probability of accidents around those blind turns will go up a huge amount.

The plan is a “solution” for a problem that doesn’t exist. Twin Peaks is one of the safest places to bicycle in San Francisco. To increase safety even further, the City could paint one-way arrows in both traffic lanes to let drivers know that they can use both lanes to give cyclists and walkers even more room when they pass. They could also paint clearly defined crosswalks to make it easier and safer for hikers on the trails to cross the road.

If enough people who actually use Twin Peaks sign this petition, they will change the plan, and preserve safe access for cycling and hiking around the loop, and parking for visitors who want to enjoy a beautiful sunset on a warm weekend evening…

I sent an email opposed to this plan, and I hope you will too. Send your emails to: sustainable.streets@sfmta.com, mtaboard@sfmta.com, and melinda.stockmann@sfgov.org and copy the Mayor and supervisors as well.

Thanks!

Jeff
San Francisco resident, homeowner, and voter.

Ride the Ducks line waddles out of business in S.F.

I Made A Mistake: Went to San Francisco

By Peter Wallace : hngnews – excerpt

I won’t be back to San Francisco again unless my work requires it.

When I was in San Francisco on business last week I made a mistake.  I feel especially foolish because I know the city’s reputation – no, not that one – the one about parking.  In fact, a comedian does a routine about how the parking signs in San Francisco are so convoluted that it takes a lawyer to decipher them.

So, here’s what happened.  You tell me if you would have done the same thing…

So, while I did not leave my heart in San Francisco, I did leave $88 for the ticket, $4 for the money I put into the meter, and whatever I paid for lunch.

I find it interesting that cities that depend on tourism also predate on tourists, but I guess that’s another topic all together.

I won’t be back to San Francisco again unless my work requires it.  I’ll also encourage people who do go there to park wherever they want, since they’ll probably get a ticket anyway.  Just budget for $88.  Unless, of course, you plan to park on an elderly nun, in which case you might want to bring $98… (more)

More fallout from the San Francisco parking wars of 2014.

Bicycle lane in Golden Gate Park cause for concern

By Thomas K. Pendergast : The Richmond Review, January 2013– excerpt

On a Saturday morning the foreign tourists queued up in front of a bus near the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park.
Standing scattered across a bicycle lane in a loose group of about a dozen people, they did not notice a bicyclist bearing down on them. He whistled first, then yelled “hello!” at them so they would see him coming.
The tourists moved and let him through but the confusion was on every face. Why was this bicyclist so pushy and why didn’t he just go around the bus on the other side?
They obviously had no idea that they were blocking his bicycle lane…
City planners and the SF Bicycle Coalition are set to create more of these “cycle tracks” around San Francisco but opposition is growing against the design found along John F. Kennedy Drive, near the east side of Golden Gate Park, with some disabled people and even some bicyclists saying that this design is more dangerous for them than not having any bike lanes at all(more)

We have already run a story or two on this design that does not meet state standards. Now we see the design is bad for tourists, physically challenged and elderly people as well.

From an earlier post:
State designs standards.
p. 15 of the June 26, 2012 edition of the Highway Design Manual, 1003.2 Class II Bikeways (1) a, “Bike lanes shall not be placed between the parking area and the curb. Such facilities increase the conflict between bicyclists and opening car doors and reduce visibility at intersections. Also, they prevent bicyclists from leaving the bike lane to turn left and cannot be effectively maintained.”

Wonder how many rules have been ignored by the SFMTA in their rush to disrupt our lives. And, we wonder who will file the first complaint.
Bikeway Planning and Design

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