Supervisors vent frustrations over reportedly slow, unnecessary roadwork

By Joshua Sabastiani : sfexaminer – excerpt


This sign on Bryant and 16th Street illustrates the lack of direction and focus we feel as we navigate the “complete streets” projects springing up in patches all over the city. The anger and frustration is boiling over and being directed at the supervisors. Photo by zrants.

City agencies responsible for roadwork were in for a bumpy ride Wednesday as supervisors aired their frustrations over such issues as sluggish pothole repairs and allegations of wasting $40,000 on an unnecessary bulb-out project at one intersection.

The frustrations built up during a hearing Wednesday before the Board of Supervisors Government Audit and Oversight Committee over a road condition report. But the hearing quickly turned into litany of complaints from members of the board. (See meeting transcript Item 1. Update on Street Resurfacing Program and Analysis of the 2016 TRIP Report.)

The tension comes as The City is increasingly investing in repaving roads and changing streetscapes to make them safer for pedestrians and bicycles and more efficient for Muni, in addition to greater investments in sewer and water infrastructure. Complications arising from a private sector development boom have also added to such frustrations…(more)

The Supervisors appear to have divided up the job of investigating various coplaints.

Supervisor Breed complained about an popular $40 K bulbout, but, she missed the extremely expensive sidewalk extensions along the bus stops cost upwards of $250 K. The bulbout campaign to slow the cars is capturing the Muni buses and fire trucks, slowing down instead.

Supervisor Peskins took on the potholes and discovered that the 311 coplaints are marked completed when they are passed to other city departments to be fixed, not when they are completed. He also complained about multiple digs in one area.

Supervisor Fewer voiced her concern that the SFMTA plans to put off pothole repairs on Geary until they start the BRT project. The heavy filled buses do as must damage to the streets as the trucks, so the more buses you have the more larger potholes and Geary is full of heavy full buses.

The hearing comes as Mayor Ed Lee’s budget, which was approved on Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors, includes $90 million in roadwork investment during the next two years. That investment will fund the resurfacing of at least 600 blocks annually…

“Given this huge investment in our streets, we need to get things right, and that includes investing in and prioritizing coordination,” Peskin said…

Thomas said the coordination is occurring with weekly design meetings among the agencies, bi-weekly meetings with PG&E and a project database charting out work five years ahead.

“Coordination is the key to everything that we do,” Thomas said.

But Fewer said they need to look for ways to augment it.

“We are seeing this added need for greater coordination,” she said…(more)

Residents would say this coordination needs to come with public scrutiny, input and prioritization. the five year plan needs to be a two0-year plan that matches the budget allotment.

Analysis: Traffic-slowing construction projects have doubled in SF in past decade

Sleepless Train: Muni Idles its Rail Vehicles All the Livelong Night

by Joe Eskenazi : sfweekly – excerpt

A Muni operator’s job entails driving the vehicle from Point A to Point B — but it’s still a decent thing to thank him or her when you disembark.
The Muni system’s job entails not needlessly idling its buses for hours on end, which wastes fuel, wears down the machinery, and violates many laws. In June, however, we revealed that Muni was doing just that. Damning city audits had triggered front-page excoriations about idling buses all the way back in 1996, and internal critics had been slamming the practice since the Reagan administration. And yet the buses idled on, for decades…
the department that encourages city residents to sacrifice a degree of convenience but conserve energy by taking public transit will continue to burn through energy — because that’s what’s most convenient.
Until then, San Franciscans waiting endlessly for a train will have to comfort themselves that one will always be running, somewhere…  (more)

$70,000 Digital Counter Expected To Tally Number Of Market Street Cyclists

A bicycle barometer is slated to go up on San Francisco’s Market Street next month to count the number of bicycles that travel through the city’s arterial boulevard.
The measuring device will be built on the south side of Market Street between Ninth and 10th streets after the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors unanimously approved a $20,000 donation from the SF Bicycle Coalition at Tuesday’s board meeting.
The donated funds will go toward the roughly $70,000 total project cost for the building and installation of the machine… (more)

$70K dollars. This started as a $20K gift and now it is costing $70K? Some gift. Send it back. We don’t want or need it. This is not going to win friends and influence people who are already ready to throw the bicycle coalition controlled MTA board under the bus. Earth to MTA Board.