Call ‘shared economy’ what it is: business deal

Willie Brown : sfchronicle – excerpt

I don’t know about you, but I have had it with the “shared economy.”

The last time I looked in Webster’s dictionary, “shared” was defined as “to have or use (something) with others, to divide (something) into parts and each take or use a part.”

So in other words, a “ride share” is two or more people going from point A to point B, with both helping to pay for the ride. Like you “share” the cost of gas.

Here’s another word out of Webster’s: “paid,” as in, “being or having been paid” for a product or service.

That is what you do when you get into one of these cars. You pay. Sometimes you pay a lot. Sometimes, a heck of a lot if there is a convention or other big event in town.

It’s the same with house or apartment “sharing.” These are paid transactions. Straight up “What’s the price?” business transactions.

The only real “share” in the deal goes to the tech company that acts as the broker…

Many cities are saying “no” to the shared economy. If San Francisco doesn’t figure it out, the next dot bubble burst will probably kill some of them off.

Willie Brown chimes in traffic jams, demands improvement

By Willie Brown : sfgate – excerpt

San Francisco traffic is becoming more complicated every day. Consider the right-hand turn onto Cyril Magnin Street from Market Street. It’s a mess.

No more than one car per green-light cycle ever gets through, and pedestrians and buses get stuck in the backup. Only bikes are spared the hassle.

We need to kill that right turn and have people go one more block to Turk, which has three lanes and plenty of stacking space.

While I’m on a roll, Hayes Street should go back to being one way rather than the current system, which has created a nightmare between Franklin and Gough streets.

These traffic decisions seem to be made by people who don’t drive the streets. Transit first requires good traffic management. Now, you traffic authorities: Get to it!.. (more)

That’s right. Traffic sucks. It will take more than free Sunday parking to win the drivers’ trust. We need to return control of the streets to the people who drive on them, and we need drivers involved in managing traffic flow. Thanks to a dedicated group of concerned citizens who feel it is time for a change, you can vote to Restore Transportation Balance in November. We welcome Willie Brown’s support.

Will Mayor Ed Lee Fix San Francisco’s “Cute” (Terrible) Muni System?

: – excerpt

“The Municipal Transportation Agency—and residents’ love-hate relationship with the notoriously late and overcrowded public transit system—has been the bane of many mayors, with current Chronicle columnist and former Mayor Willie Brown once famously saying he would fix Muni in 100 days. That was in 1995.”
Even though San Francisco has the only real public-transit system of the Western United States, it’s still kind of a mess. It’s also what New Yorkers talk about during the three months they spend shivering in the frozen dark of winter: “Oh but that Muni system, that’s why I could never live in a beautiful coastal city where it never gets cold but ladies can still always wear boots and gentlemen can always wear a suit without being sweaty.” Anyway, surprisingly successful Mayor Ed Lee (he got Twitter and a bunch of other fancy tech firms to move to the former abandoned hobo land of Mid-Market) just announced he’s going to “fix” Muni.

That Muni/BART Entrance at the Apple Store Will Be Closed for Six Years – excerpt

The Stockton and Ellis entrance/exit from BART and Muni, with the escalator that dumped you off right by the door of the Apple Store, is closing today due to the construction of the Central Subway which is generally mucking up that entire block. The bad news is the temporary closure of this handy entrance will last six years, essentially until the whole subway project is complete.
If Willie Brown were an avid Twitterer, he’d surely bemoan this latest inconvenience as just another reason the “Central Circus” should go to hell, but alas, he is not.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the rather brief subway line, the SFMTA is rejecting all their current bids for the Chinatown Station, as the Ex reports. Engineers apparently identified a cost-saving measure that hadn’t been previously considered, so the project is going out for bid again.

BART/Muni Stop Near Apple Store To Close Today For The Next Six Years
SFMTA reopening bids for Central Subway’s Chinatown Station project

How Will Traffic Suck in S.F. This Year? Let Us Count the Ways – excerpt

Despite one pending lawsuit and one already filed, construction of the Central Subway begins next week, and that is going to entail the partial closure of Columbus Avenue near Washington Square Park. That’s in addition to the section of the bottom of Stockton Street that’s already closed, and causing major bus lines like the 30 and 45 to be rerouted around Union Square, and further mucking up traffic for an already confused populace. Indeed, you need to know this city like the back of your hand AND have an up-to-date navigation system in your car shouting out directions at every turn just to get from A to B on our warren of one-way streets, especially now that you can’t even drive straight down Market legally and unharassed.

Willie Brown’s dubbed it the “Central Circus” and a “fast track to chaos” even though his man Lee and his gal pal Rose Pak remain supporters of the project. He points out that the city recently decided to change two blocks of Grant Avenue, between Bush and Geary, into a two-way street, causing many a near-miss with pedestrians who haven’t caught on.

But let’s not forget the various lane closures and utter clusterfuck surrounding the Transbay terminal construction, and we don’t even know all the detours that will entail over the next year or five…



Construction In San Francisco Reaching Critical Mass, Aggravates Drivers

Central Subway a fast track to chaos

By Willie Brown : – excerpt

One day there may indeed be something called the Central Subway, but today the 1.7-mile dig to Chinatown has turned downtown into the Central Circus or, if you are unlucky enough to be behind the wheel of a car, the Central Headache.

Last week two blocks of Stockton Street near tourist-heavy Union Square were closed, and it created confusion for everyone and cars backed up in every direction.

Adding to the chaos was the decision to change two blocks of Grant Avenue between Bush and Geary into a two-way street. You would not believe the number of people I watched almost get clobbered because they didn’t look both ways before crossing.

And things aren’t much better on Fourth Street where the dig is gearing up. Forget about trying to get down that street at rush hour.

Add in that we no longer have parking officers to keep the intersections clear, and you have traffic backed up so badly that cabdrivers are refusing to cross Market Street unless you agree to pay twice the fare – one fare for the mileage, and one fare for the extra half hour it takes to get there… (more)

Maybe Willie should join SaveMuni and help his North Beach buddies in their fight against the  extraction on Columbus.