Mayor Ed Lee’s Chevy Volt was recently seen parked in a Muni bus stop, while he went to eat at La Corneta Taqueria on Diamond Street in Glen Park.
David Black sent in photos of the car, as well as a Muni bus which pulled up to the stop and was forced to load riders away from the curb. Luckily, no Muni passengers in wheelchairs were unable to board due to the situation. Black said that Lee, and several people who appeared to be staffers, waited in line behind him at the taqueria.
When reached for comment, mayoral spokesperson Christine Falvey wrote that an SFPD officer, not the mayor, drives the Volt, and that:
The mayor was dropped off and he expected that the vehicle would have been parked in a legal parking space. The incident was reported to the Chief of Police who let the mayor’s office know that the officer who parked in the bus stop will be admonished… The mayor believes this is unacceptable and steps have been taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Mayor Lee has widely touted his plug-in hybrid car as a credential that demonstrates his commitment to sustainable transportation. His predecessor, Gavin Newsom, used an SUV (also a hybrid).
“This is about the most patriotic thing I can think of doing,” Lee told the SF Chronicle in 2011. “I want to make sure I am not only pushing policies forward to keep our momentum going, but I should always be doing what I can as an individual to fight climate change. We all should.”
The mayor’s vision for patriotism through environmentally-friendly transportation is apparently pretty limited. Even though public transit is far more efficient than even the cleanest of cars, his driver not only flouted the law but contributed to the traffic snarls outside Glen Park BART.
And all just to grab a bite to eat at a taqueria. Mayor Lee, it seems, still finds new ways to give Muni riders the short end of the stick burrito.
Lee used his leverage to undo Sunday parking meters, depriving Muni of $11 million a year while causing more car traffic to circle around and delay already infrequent transit service. And even though he said that move was intended to win motorist support at the ballot for transportation funding, Lee then abandoned the vehicle license fee increase he’d previously touted as a boon for transit upgrades, bike infrastructure, and pedestrian safety. Don’t get us started on pedestrian safety.
Forget Google buses. San Francisco’s mayor, or at least his SFPD-provided driver, is the latest threat blocking Muni.