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  1.  

    Anandakos

    You can be 100.0% certain that those “church leaders” don’t give a golly gosh darn about the “sort of people” who ride the bus to church. Not much in the pastor’s pay packet, um, er, “collection basket” from those people, right?

  2.  

    jonobate

    I’m highly skeptical of personal anecdotes related to parking occupancy.

    If you’re correct, that’s a separate problem related to corrupt issuance of handicapped placards, rather than a problem with meter hours.

  3.  

    M.

    Real activists do what they do because it matters and we take a huge amount of heat, other than that emitted by our laptops. And we certainly don’t work for remotely submitted accolades. We all need you to stop blowing egotistical hot air (and nasty Twitter trolling) and be active. And stop blinding yourself to how destructive your grandstanding can be. Case in point, the early baying here for a boycott of Polk merchants would have punished progressive merchants – if it were anything more than empty words. How do we know there are progressive merchants? We actually visit them and have even got some to take the stupid signs out of their windows and have collected letters from them. And we challenged the Small Business Commission with them. Will any of it work? We don’t know. But just talk certainly won’t.
    We stay out of your Twitter mentions. Extend the courtesy and do the same for us.

  4.  

    Sparafucile

    You’re nuts. Everybody parks in Chinatown for free already. Have you ever even been there? 95% of the available parking is occupied by a vehicle with a dubious handicapped placard hanging from the rear view mirror.

  5.  

    Gezellig

    Absolutely. It might not hurt to pull a Lakoff/Luntz and cognitively frame these kinds of things for what they truly are:

    Free parking = Publicly subsidized parking
    Conventional/Class II bike lane = Doorzone lane
    Buffered bike lane = Double-parking lane
    Mixing zones = Right-hook zones
    Sharrow = Ignorrow

    Ok, maybe that last one’s a bit much but you get the point ;)

  6.  

    M.

    Nonsense. Pop in to a meeting some time, those who are pushing for us appreciate seeing you there. Many of them run way past business hours so you should be good.

  7.  

    murphstahoe

    Aside from many advocates becoming disheartened and distrustful, stopping future revenue measures because we don’t feel the money will be used well, which is perfect for maintaining the status quo…?

  8.  

    M.

    Glad we can agree, Mikesonn. What missing from this discussion is that the City hangs the MTA out to dry all the time. The instigators of the Save Polk backlash were recently rewarded with an IIN grant of at least $15K. When I inquired, the reply referenced what poor communicators the MTA are (so presumably the vicious pushback was all their fault). The MTA can put out state-of-the-art proposals but the City doesn’t have their backs and their response can be anything from resounding silence and no funding to active undermining and deflection of blame from them to the MTA.

  9.  

    murphstahoe

    Putting meters in GG Park? Why not just eliminate most of the parking, period. Somehow there is no parking in the park during the two most heavy park weekends – HSBG and Outside Lands, and it works fine.

  10.  

    Sean

    There must be a better way to punish these spineless politicians and appointees other than stifling revenue measures. I phone banked for Prop A and I was outraged the money basically was absorbed by work orders. Was there any consequences for that?

  11.  

    jonobate

    Yeah, that’s kinda the point. No-one seems to be enraged at the Port meters operating Sundays and evenings, but when SFMTA does the same thing everyone loses their shit.

    Look, I don’t disagree that SFMTA should be able to set metering policies without political interference. Unfortunately, that’s not the case right now.

  12.  

    M.

    A mystery: why paint, one of the cheapest commodities for the street, is used so sparingly here. It took repeated pointed demands to get a promise to stripe the entire length of Polk simultaneously. We’re still fighting for through-intersection striping. Any of you are more than welcome to participate in that effort

  13.  

    Karen Lynn Allen

    The more I consider it, the more it’s obvious that the three ballot measures are only being thrown at us because SFMTA, the Board of Supervisors, and the Mayor are following the highest cost option of trying to squeeze transit effectiveness, pedestrian safety, and basically any bicycling at all around current car use even as the city grows denser and the number of non-car households is rising. Imagine, for a moment, that a car-be-gone fairy visited us overnight and all cars disappeared from San Francisco. We would then have to spend almost nothing to achieve double Muni speed, Vision Zero pedestrian accidents and safe, pleasant bicycling in this city. It is because we are trying to protect car use and space dedicated to cars that all this stuff is so expensive. But is it remotely fair that non-car users are being asked to pay additional taxes in order to protect car-user convenience?

    Consider that transit could go zippy fast and improve its cost effectiveness with just two fairly inexpensive measures: consolidate stops where stops are spaced insanely close together and in places of high congestion dedicate travel lanes to Muni. (Cheap, highly effective)

    Pedestrian safety and happiness could be improved dramatically without expensive bulb outs and other treatments simply by following a growing trend in Europe: making residential shopping districts and other high pedestrian areas like Grant Street and Union Square private-car free. (Muni, bikes and delivery trucks allowed.) (Fairly cheap, would pay for itself with increased retail sales.)

    Daylighting ten feet from every intersection would improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and even car passengers. (Cheap, highly effective.)

    Lowering speed limits would strongly increase chances of pedestrian and bicyclist survival in the event of collisions with cars. (Cheap, highly effective.)

    Dedicating more curbside space to loading/unloading zones (and in the evenings taxi pick up and drop off) would reduce double parking, reduce bike lane parking and increase Muni speed. (Cheap, highly effective, especially if combined with aggressive ticketing of double parkers.)

    Closing Market Street to private cars would speed up Muni and make bicycling safer and more pleasant. (Cheap, highly effective.)

    Replacing mini-freeways in SOMA with two-way streets would make biking and walking far safer and make SOMA a much nicer place to live. (Cheap, highly effective.)

    Taking traffic lanes or parking lanes and converting them to protected cycle tracks (even with just paint and soft hit posts) would create interconnected bicycle infrastructure that would make it possible for everyone from ages 8 – 80 to find bicycling pleasant and convenient. (Cheap, highly effective.)

    Putting meters in GG Park, making park roads a one-way loop to discourage cut through traffic, and putting double-sized protected cycle tracks on all park roads would make the park safer and more pleasant for bicyclists and pedestrians. (Self-funding.)

    Instead, we are being asked to pay more taxes in order to continue to dedicate public space to massively space-hogging, life-threatening, polluting, energy-squandering, climate-destroying car use. Yes, of course most car drivers want their car use to continue to be subsidized and prioritized but politicians should remember that car use is declining, zero-car households are on the rise, and that many of us who own cars will side with non-car owners on this subject.

  14.  

    mikesonn

    Why must you continually kick your allies? Do you need us to thank you and shower you with gifts for doing what most of us on here already do? Congrats, you go to meetings – so do we!

  15.  

    M.

    Sounds like you should find a city that isn’t growing, and move there.

  16.  

    jonobate

    It’s worth noting that Weiner does not support Sunday metering, and did not speak out in favor of it at yesterday’s SFMTA board meeting. He’s been very good on many issues, but not this one.

    Remember that this budget also needs to be approved by the Board of Supervisors. If a few supervisors had spoken out in favor of Sunday metering, the SFTMA Board might have reconsidered passing the budget out of concern that it would be voted down at a later stage.

  17.  

    M.

    Karen, as of quite a while ago you were invited to participate in our discussions with the SFMTA to push these measures through. And we’re looking forward to seeing you at City meetings, e.g. the numerous VisionZero hearings, to do same and get them funded.
    Easy to hold forth about what can be done, but it takes actual effort to make things happen.

  18.  

    zoehoster

    Couldn’t agree more on limiting numbers of and appropriately pricing on-street parking permits. That’s how it works in Amsterdam:

    - Central locations cost more – http://www.cition.nl/main.php?obj_id=924768645

    - Waiting lists for permits (years long in some locations) – http://www.cition.nl/main.php?obj_id=442832490

    (in Dutch but google translate does a pretty good job)

  19.  

    IHeartPandas

    Exactly. There’s a major cultural blind spot/double standard when it comes to funding roads and parking vs other modes of transit.

  20.  

    Jamison Wieser

    Studies and reviews are not bad things and prerequisites for a lot of funding and grant opportunities.

    The problem is doing all the work, then scrapping it all to placate car owners. The TEP called for two-car boarding platforms along the N-Judah line with projections for speed improvements and time savings, but that’s been scrapped to save about a dozen parking spaces.

    @murphstahoe:disqus is right about the work orders which came to exactly the same amount of money as voters approved for the SFMTA through Prop A.

  21.  

    Michael Morris

    And why do we demand transit is “cost-efficient” in the first place if it’s also considered a public service/public good? Funny how things like Bay area bike share are scrutinized but we never ask ourselves if the 680 freeway is “paying for itself”

  22.  

    Sean Rea

    London Breed is an idiot. Q.E.D.

  23.  

    IHeartPandas

    Aaron — can you please do a piece that breaks down exactly what it costs for us to build and maintain our SF roads, the Bay Bridge, and the Golden Gate Bridge?

    It’s BS that Supe Breed says things like “We’re asking drivers to basically foot the bill for all of the improvements.” I’m also incensed when I read comments that say that Bay Area Bike Share shouldn’t be expanded until the program can support fully support itself.

    We need to dispel the myths that only drivers pay for the roads, that the cost of roads is fully covered, that transit relies on public subsidy whereas roads do not, that people who walk or bicycle are “freeloaders” on the road system, etc.

  24.  

    mikesonn

    Keep fighting the good fight for Columbus!!

  25.  

    mike_napolis_beard

    In addition, let’s not forget that the meters don’t actually “turn on” until noon, in large part as a concession to churchgoers.

  26.  

    Upright Biker

    I was heartened by a meeting I attended in North Beach last night about street improvements on Columbus. The car-first contingent seemed unable to mount a plausible defense of their policies, whereas the people-first crowd seemed not only to outnumber the status quo-ians, but had more resonant and cogent arguments as well.

    But then I think about how resonant and cogent arguments for Sunday metering became irrelevant to SFMTA in the face of politics, and my heart sinks again.

  27.  

    Upright Biker

    I feel like SFMTA is the one who has dumped this in _our_ laps. We’re faced with voting down revenue for livability and transit improvements just to show that we want the streets to be more livable and the costs more equitable!

  28.  

    mikesonn

    What
    Would
    Jesus
    Drive?

  29.  

    mikesonn

    “if Chinatown had free parking you’d see more traffic heading through North Beach to get there, and the 30-Stockton would get bogged down in even more traffic.”

    That’s the current situation. There is no meter enforcement in Chinatown, double parking is rampant, and traffic is at a standstill, then add in that there is barely any enforcement or that businesses feed the meter all day.

  30.  

    Jym Dyer

    It is completely insane to base policy on a pair of dishonest gossip columnists and the people they choose to quote.

  31.  

    Jym Dyer

    FWIW, my reply on SFGate:

    That strategy would more accurately be described as removing the encouragements that fuel driving. No need to actively discourage it, just stop propping it up with insane policies and tons and tons of cash.

  32.  

    Jym Dyer

    I am also finding some great inspiration amongst the populace in Calgary:

    https://twitter.com/scorchersyyc

  33.  

    Sprague

    How about Mario Tanev for mayor?

  34.  

    jamiewhitaker

    Meanwhile, the Port meters have no issues operating 7 days a week, 7am until 11pm at night. http://sfport.com/index.aspx?page=1903

  35.  

    jamiewhitaker

    Idiotic, right?

  36.  

    jamiewhitaker

    I will be voting no on the GO Bond and VLF because the SFMTA is playing political games and have really left SoMa to rot in a glut of traffic congestion, air pollution, and no local bus line as used to exist prior to December 5, 2009 when the 12 Folsom ran all the way to The Embarcadero (before thousands of new homes popped up in SoMa). Come back to SoMa in 2015 with an equitable TEP plan. For now, go piss up a tree if you aren’t going to charge out of town commuters for using up our parking spaces while increasing the bus fares for transit riders.

    Remember this fall that only John Avalos asked for Sunday meter enforcement to be left alone. The silence from the rest represents cowardice, not leadership IMHO

  37.  

    Lee Ross

    I will never again vote for any bond issue promoted by Mayor Lee. I totally agree there is nothing you can do to placate motorists. They want it all. Streets totally given over to cars with free parking. This Mayor is a total disaster and regrettably we will probably have to suffer through his banal administration until the end of 2019. Where are the Progressives? Too busy protesting the Google shuttle, I guess.

  38.  

    murphstahoe

    the money disappear into SFPD work orders

    FYP

  39.  

    murphstahoe

    I won’t go that far because some have been forcibly removed from the City and they have friends in the City. Then again, I was “forcibly removed” from the City and I have new friends. Hmm.

  40.  

    Karen Lynn Allen

    Any church dependent on out-of-town parishoners is a dead church within five years. Any one who has moved out of town is best off creating connections to the community they now live in. We are doing no one favors bending over backwards to abet city churches to have suburban congregations. If you like your city church, maybe that’s a good reason not to move from the city. If you have to move from the city, maybe that’s a good time to find a new church.

    We’ve used inexpensive transportation provided by cheap gasoline to try to solve all sorts of social and personal problems, from bussing to drive-till-you-qualify homeownership. It’s just not going to be possible in the future. We need to solve these issues another way.

  41.  

    twinpeaks_sf

    You really might be worried now about the support from the livable streets contingent for these measures. I for one am sick and tired of throwing money at the SFMTA every few years to see nothing change and the money disappear into endless studies, environmental reviews, and outreach. I need to know the SFMTA’s already bloated budget is being used wisely – which from the lack of progress on almost all fronts, I’m not sure I can do.

  42.  

    murphstahoe

    Also – the bonds. Vote no on the bonds. SFMTA will then have 2 choices. Cut service drastically or charge motorists more. I like dumping that choice in their lap.

  43.  

    murphstahoe

    I’m not on the wrong side of history. I’m on the right side of the General Motors – Mike Carabee

  44.  

    Morgan Fitzgibbons

    I don’t know that she’s playing devil’s advocate so much as she’s playing Fillmore advocate. It’s no secret that her positions are primarily founded in the views of her base and then occasionally stretch from there. She’s dancing with the one who brought her.

  45.  

    Morgan Fitzgibbons

    Good point!

  46.  

    Karen Lynn Allen

    There is a political game called being on the wrong side of history. When a politician panders to car owners (at the expense of non-car owners), a buzzer goes off, a light flashes red, and he/she is disqualified from future office. It’s an exciting game. I’m sure we can get many contestants to play.

    So don’t have any bond measures. Simply daylight every intersection, lower vehicle speeds on most streets, and install protected bike lanes according to the bike plan. For the amount of curb space left after this, each year auction off, by neighborhood, permits for public parking to those who wish a space. (The permits should vary in price depending on length of car.) But don’t auction off more permits in a neighborhood than curb space exists to accommodate them. (This current practice of the SFMTA is quite cruel.) Use this parking rent money plus all the additional money dropping into SF city coffers from property taxes due to new construction to fund a reasonable transit system.

    Real estate has value. A parking space contains valuable real estate. We all collectively own our street space just as we own our parks. It is entirely fair to charge a market-based rent on its use and have that money go towards the good of all. If state law stubbornly prevents this, then have a lottery for parking permits (all San Franciscans can enter!) and allow winners to sell their permits. This will also create a market-based price for parking, only the rent will accrue to lucky individuals rather than the whole. This would still be fairer than what is happening now.

    Our property taxes should fund and maintain infrastructure in this city. This is why we agree to pay them. (That and the law.) Transit is infrastructure. Sidewalks are infrastructure. Bike lanes are infrastructure. Just as we don’t subsidize self-storage units for people who have an extra couch, we should not be funding private car storage.

  47.  

    murphstahoe

    This is odd.

    The biggest opponents of Sunday meters are church leaders. They claim they have a lot of parishoners who have moved out of the city but come back on Sundays to their old church to get that connection to their community. We are going to repeal Sunday meters in large part to try to pass a bond measure. But the primary constituency that “benefits” from free meters lives outside the City and can’t vote on the measure.

    Do I get that right?

  48.  

    Mario Tanev

    I propose that we use different language to describe “free parking”. “fully-subsidized parking”, “publicly subsidized parking”, “full public subsidy parking” and so on are more appropriate names.

  49.  

    murphstahoe

    Dude – do you have to curse so much….

  50.  

    MrEricSir

    [Henderson] pointed to the case of a sidewalk extension at Market and Dolores Streets that replaced several parking spaces and part of a traffic lane. Some of the most ardent opponents are now fans of the mini plaza outside the new condo building and Whole Foods Market, he said.

    The best part is the new crosswalk — it bridges a gap that was kind of terrifying to cross before. Funny how a couple small tweaks can have such a big impact.