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    But if some businesses were down 20% as of the day these bus lanes went in, then they are making that shit up



    Again, I’m not aware the Stockton idea is for the buses, but more for the alleged car-free buzz on a pedestrianized thouroughfare.

    Which is not to say that there may not be side-benefits for buses. Only that that isn’t the primary intent.

    As for the argument that underground rail obviates the need for buses, I would point you instead to Market Street. Since BART and the streetcars went in, there is no longer any bus that plys the entire length of Market Street. Buses are considered redundant there.



    Ode To Smile BBQ in haiku

    Burger and 1 gum
    Food tastes delicious like fat
    Rude boss loses star



    The gradual increase in competition would explain a gradual decline in Lee’s business. It would not explain an immediate 20% drop in revenues starting the day the bus lanes went in.

    But yes I’m a little baffled about the travel agent’s story as well. First because who the hell uses travel agents any more anyway? But also even if you did, you’d surely call them – there is no reason to physically show up at a travel agent.

    Seems to me that some businesses are more likely to have car-centric customers and some less so. If there is a laundromat and nail place on every block around there, and there probably is, then who the hell is going to drive ten miles to go to a particular one?

    So I understand the disparity between the different experiences and outcomes that these businesses had. But if some businesses were down 20% as of the day these bus lanes went in, then that isn’t nothing



    Airline tickets are hella bulky and heavy, dontcha know? There’s no way to pick them up and take them home without a large automobile.


    SF Guest

    The tedious intersection is not turning right from Sutter to Stockton; the most tedious is making a left from Kearny into Sutter.
    You are darn right the main motivation is not for the bus lines.



    Sometimes people do things like join the SFBC because they want those people to represent them.

    But, sure, if we ignore activists like Rose Pak and SFBC and Blah-Blah-Area-Merchants and find a way of representing all the people who live/work in an area that doesn’t just let the angry shouty types have the biggest voice. And a pony!



    Mihee Lee owns the “Smile Bar-B-Q,” a nearby lunch counter on Mission at
    22nd. “Customers have no parking,” she said. “Business is down 20

    Couldn’t possibly be because she has numerous new competitors offering better offerings. And for the life of me I can’t figure out how a brick and mortar travel agency is struggling, much like the bookstores on Polk who have been devastated – surely due to the new prevalence of the bicycle.



    “the main vehicular route in and out of ChinaTown from the South is the Stockton Tunnel”

    This presumes that the route from the South is meaningful, when most traffic headed to Chinatown is coming in from Broadway.



    The Noe Valley folks have converted a parking lot on 24th Street into a park. Other than that I have no recollection of any messing with 24th Street being proposed.


    Christopher Childs

    The lines that pass on Stockton are still going to be critical, because they extend beyond it. The Mission changes were made to get through the slow traffic on Mission, after all; striping bus-only lanes and adding do not enter signs on Stockton is a golden opportunity to permanently reclaim some speed on some of the slowest bus routes. The Mission is not lacking for underground service, and they still did it.

    The bike and ped access is kind of a fringe benefit. I really believe it’s about the buses.

    My point is: since Chinatown inbound is unaffected, we should look at where the Chinatown outbound traffic is going. SFMTA may win some speed on Stockton, but if all that auto traffic that wants to get out of Chinatown via Stockton ended up in the path of the Richmond and Sunset express routes, that kinda sucks. If it’s negatively impacting other bus routes to keep Stockton closed (because people are definitely going to drive), then allowing Stockton traffic again sounds like a reasonable idea.



    Coming from the South you’d probably do 3rd to Kearney, then left on Sutter and right on Stockton. Making a right onto Stockton from Sutter is tedious because of all the people on the crosswalk but that was always the case.

    But it’s actually worse coming from ChinaTown because Stockton was one-way going south for several blocks so it used to be a straight shot.

    I do not believe that the motivation for this is the bus lines which, in theory anyway, will be less important once the Central Subway is running.


    Christopher Childs

    However ChinaTown would be crucially affected because the main vehicular route in and out of ChinaTown from the South is the Stockton Tunnel, which would be much more difficult to reach if Stockton Street itself could not be used.

    Looking at a map, it does look like a reasonably big inconvenience. The other nearby ways to cross Market are Battery, Montgomery, and Hyde. I’d guess people are heading down to Bush and then taking a chance on either Montgomery or Battery.

    I am assuming SFMTA sees this as a huge opportunity to drastically improve the Stockton bus lines, since reopening it to just the bus would cut a ton of time off the current detour and Market crossing, and ensure it doesn’t get caught up in traffic until it’s on 4th.



    “Lee, for example, said she didn’t know how many of her customers take the bus versus driving, making her claim that business was down 20 percent due to changes to the street seem dubious.”

    Not dubious at all. Lee doesn’t need to know how her customers get to her store to know that her business is down 20% since the changes. It is reasonable to assume that if the 20% decline started when the new bus lanes were put in, that that is the reason why.

    If her turnover is 20% less from the day the lanes went in, then the burden of proof that it is NOT the bus lanes causing that lies with those who are claiming that her revenues should instead have gone up.



    The logic is fairly simple and so it should not confuse you. Regarding Stockton Street the merchants on the actual blocks slated for being car-free were in favor of it. That makes sense because few people drive to Macy’s front door anyway.

    However ChinaTown would be crucially affected because the main vehicular route in and out of ChinaTown from the South is the Stockton Tunnel, which would be much more difficult to reach if Stockton Street itself could not be used. And that is no doubt a big part of why those merchants oppose the idea

    So any consideration of the Stockton plan needs to take into account the ChinaTown merchants and not just the Union Square merchants.

    The situation in the Mission is simpler because no adjoining retail and business neighborhood is affected. In this case it seems that the Mission merchants are fairly united in their opposition to these bus lanes and street changes. And it would appear that it is the strength, passion and unity of their objections that are now being factored into the evolving re-design.


    Jim F

    There would be no evidence of people giving up without someone taking a poll to quantify it. If a route is difficult to drive through drivers will find another route (no doubt longer or they would have been using it before). That seems so obvious to anyone that’s been driving for more than a few months. Put the street back as it was before, then do engineering to determine the best place for the project.



    You clearly misunderstood. I was not lobbying for or against listening to any specific or general group of stakeholders. I merely expressed confusion about your ability to discount one group of merchants for another even further away.



    If that’s the case then you it sounds like you are genuinely affected by such changes and have a valid voice.

    But it’s fairly clear if we have a meeting and people from SFBC or WalkSF show up, then it is purely an ideological contribution. And since we can take it as read that such lobby groups will always support bike lanes or bus lanes or boarding islands or car-free roads then, really, what is the point of hearing from them? It’s like asking Trump if he thinks we should build a wall along the border with Mexico. We already know what they think.

    I am most interested in hearing from the people who live, work and run businesses in the immediate area. Then hear from those like you who visit with some frequency. Lobbyists, activists and narrow issue proselyters? Not so much.



    I’m one of those “transit advocates” because I ride the bus to shop on Mission and the train to shop on Taraval.
    How are are you defining “local residents”? I’m in the Castro and faster safer transit to both Mission and Taraval will get me there more often to spend my money.



    Not as such but the odd public meeting I’ve attended it’s usually been clear what the majority want, either from the public speaking or from a show of hands.



    SVN is only a block away. Given that the buses only stop once a block on average anyway then the walk may not be any further than at present depending on where the stops are and exactly where on Mission you are heading to.

    And of course most of those 60,000 are through travellers anyway, heading downtown, to BART, to the outer Mission, to Bernal and so on.



    I have about as much data as the merchants do but I’ll bet diverting 60,000 plus muni riders from Mission would devastate business.



    Funny, roymeo, because I was thinking the exact same thing about you when you discounted the ChinaTown merchants.

    Noe Valley is not affected by Mission Street that I can see. 24th Street, perhaps more so.



    No, I questioned why you discounted those merchants in favor of the Chinatown merchants.

    Maybe we need to ask the Noe Valley merchants and residents about how they feel about the Mission St changes?



    My point is that I think these meetings would be more representative if outsiders with an agenda like lobbyists and activists were kept out. Many of them show up for every meeting – usual suspects if you like. Whereas the local residents and merchants probably hardly ever attend a meeting, and I’d much rather hear from them than narrow single-issue advocates.

    As for politicians, they should talk a lot less, listen a lot more and then do what we tell them to.



    Moving the buses to South Van Ness would have been a much superior solution in my opinion. They wouldn’t even need a dedicated bus lane there at all.



    Why wouldn’t we count the opinions of local stakeholders?

    You certainly thought we should listen to the Union Square merchants when they were supporting something that you liked.



    Since a lot of the business owner complaints are parking based: is there some info on what parking changes were made and where parking is still available?



    So we count the opinions of these merchants?



    I’m not sure that that is the elected official’s job description. It’s Good PR while campaigning.



    I wonder how many customers would be lost if the bus lines were to be moved to Van Ness?



    We don’t “vote” on everything because that would be stupid.



    It could not possibly be true that those people from San Jose discovered



    It’s always the book stores and travel agents that somehow complain that the reason they are going out of business is bike lanes.



    But isn’t it Ed Lee’s job to listen to the local people rather than, say, lobbyists and activists? And doesn’t that imply that you won’t always get what you want because you are out-voted?



    At least I post on the topic rather than comment only to personally attack other contributors. That would appear to make you the real troll here.

    If you cannot refute me then better to remain silent than give that way by being rude.



    It’s a genuine concern if public meetings for local issues are being distorted by outside agitators helicoptered in from other areas.

    And re the Taraval meeting there were statements made that up to one third of those present were advocates. The fact that only two were named in the article tells us nothing about the actual number.

    This seems to be a recurring pattern whether it is boarding islands on Taraval, bus lanes on Mission or making Stocktin car-free. In each case the locals oppose the idea but there is a “rent-a-mob” contingent who don’t even live there but who weigh in for purely ideological meetings.

    It might be useful if meetings such as this are for genuinely affected local residents only, and not for activists with an agenda.



    RichLL loves to troll this site. Don’t expect anything but endless yabbering.



    Ed Lee’s SFTMA board once again capitulates in the face of a few angry NIMBYs. Why should we even support their latest tax or whatever if they keep rolling back safety improvements and speed improvements? Waiting for Ed Lee is a fool’s errand, and waiting on his SFMTA board is a greater fool’s errand….



    there you go on the ‘transit advocates’ again. last time you were on this rant it was because there were 2 out of 60 ‘transit advocates’ but you were saying they somehow were swinging the vote. you may post a lot but it is impossible to take anything you write seriously.





    How about obeying traffic laws. Would be a good start.



    Return the streetcar to Stockton. This is the default assumption that we were promised!


    Thomas Rogers

    I support the bus lanes (seeing as how it’s got support from the neighborhood as documented through Actual Data:, but Roger, c’mon- you couldn’t have found a less stereotypical symbol of gentrification than Jacob Bullock, “groomer”?



    People drive from San Mateo and San Jose and they can’t park in the nearby garage and walk two blocks to their destination? I call B.S. If business is down, it’s not because of these changes. And these idiotic rollbacks aren’t going to help.



    You clearly misunderstood. I was referring to the meeting where the author of this article admitted that those who supported the retention of the new red lanes were “transit advocates” and not local residents and merchants.

    The implication was that those advocates were not locals and therefore were “bussed it”. That said, they may have driven, of course.

    To the other, do I want to see less cars? I’d turn that question around – do the voters of this city wish to drive more or drive less? I trust the voters to make that decision and, respectfully, not you.



    So you are under the impression that not enough people are using public transit that they must be “bussed-in”? Do you even ride transit to know this for a fact? I always see it, and the stops it serves, crowded. I also know plenty of people who would ride transit even more if it were safer and more reliable. Don’t you want to take more cars off the road and ease traffic? It benefits everyone to have to have more efficient and safe modes of public transit available. What’s your solution? Everyone drive instead? How exactly will that help congestion?



    “That resulted in a contentious public meeting on June 20 that brought out transit advocates to speak in favor of the “red-carpet” bus lanes, against business owners who demanded that Mission be changed back to the way it was.”

    Think about that for a moment. Those at the meeting seeking to retain the bus lanes were, by your own admission “transit advocates”. While those opposing the lanes were, again by your own admission, genuinely local stakeholders.

    So this was just like the recent meeting about the L-Taraval boarding islands, where the locals opposed them but bussed-in activists from other neighborhoods supported them.



    Because that’s the more expensive option. What you are proposing will end up being ‘no change’ because it would be far more costly and require additional time and money than executing the change now while the street is torn up. Again, this isn’t “back door” “underhanded” or any of the other phrases you wish to use. It’s simply using new data and adjusting plans as a result of it. It is exactly what I’d hope an intelligent and responsive government would do rather than blindly moving forward with a plan irregardless of any new data that’s been discovered.



    pinning your hopes and dreams on the ability of Ed Lee’s leadership is ensuring doom for said dreams and hopes. But then again didn’t the SFBC supported Ed Lee so I guess they gotta work hard to ensure Dear Leader is loved by bicyclists?