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  1.  

    Luke

    I bike through here twice a day and the problem has gotten progressively worse over the past year. A colleague of mine who also rides her bike through the area daily has stopped taking the bike path and started riding with traffic though the area because she feels unsafe. Having had several near run-ins along that bike path myself, I really can’t blame her, as the area feels especially unsafe after dark. What does it say about our City that our cyclists feel safer riding with cars at freeway-like speeds than they do riding through a designated bike path?

  2.  

    RichLL

    This pits two of San Francisco’s poster children for progressive politics against each other – cyclists and the homeless.

    Who will win? Who can say? Whose side will Campos take? When will Peskin still his snout into the trough? Just get some popcorn and enjoy the show!

  3.  

    RichLL

    Flats, you’re cheating a little there because the recovery rate you cited there includes revenues from parking. In other words it is based on a wider SFMTA set of activities than just Muni.

    The numbers you cited for Muni operator pay are, I believe, for the “new” staff who get a worse contract than the older guys, many of whom earn six figures as has been widely reported.

    And the “cost of living” should be irrelevant for setting pay. You don’t get a raise when your wife gives birth to twins. You are worth the economic value that you add and what it would cost to replace you. And not what you think you need for the lifestyle you aspire to.

    All this verbiage comes down to one thing. You and others here want to blame everyone and everything except Muni for their problems. And I think they need to get their own house in order before we start rewarding them

  4.  

    RichLL

    Wow, you must really have felt bruised if you remember stinging rebuttals from two months ago. But of course context is everything, and you omitted context here.

    Punters will take a free lunch, but it’s always down to the numbers. So 80% of voters might approve something that only 20% of voters have to pay for. And it helps if “who pays” is opaque, as it is with Muni.

    But then bond measures routinely fail to get 50% or 2/3 because when most people are worse off, common sense takes over.

  5.  

    Senor_Wences

    Thank you to everyone who brought their dogs to shit all over Valencia and didn’t bother to clean it up. This happens EVERY time there is a Sunday Streets on Valencia. Great work.

  6.  

    Dave Moore

    “Well of course it does, because it is so under-priced, and everyone will vote for a cheap lunch and a pony for every little girl if they don’t have to pay for it.”
    — RichLL from above

    “Finally, the voters are smarter than you give them credit for, and would see right through a “free” grand, knowing of course that it would be far from “free””
    — RichLL from 2 months ago.
    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/streetsblogsf/bart_bond_will_be_on_november_ballot/#comment-2725547221

  7.  

    Flatlander

    Actually, more recent data shows it to be 35%: https://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/2016/CA%20San%20Francisco%20Muni%20Trans%20Agy_Rationale_777631.pdf

    which is middle-of-the-pack for transit systems in the United States, impressive considering that Muni doesn’t operate the most lucrative parts of the Bay Area’s transit systems (long-haul rail). So your “prima facie evidence” is further unwound. Also, poke around on the city classification website; it shows that transit operators generally make from $20 – $32 per hour. Maybe the “reports you’ve seen” are just right-wing propaganda? Considering the difficulty of the job and the cost of living, that doesn’t seem at all unreasonable. Nearly everyone makes more money doing the same thing in SF as other places in the country. Why should transit be any different?

    This is all to say that you’re trying to claim that Muni’s problems result from things that really have no evidence, and you’re ignoring the fact that the operating characteristics of Muni are different from any other transit system in the country. Until we invest more in subways, we’re pretty limited in the toolset that we have to improve Muni service, and in such a dense city, there are going to be tradeoffs. The voters at large have spoken twice about this. You are in the minority.

  8.  

    RichLL

    The cite you give for Muni’s farebox recovery ratio does claim to be about 30%, although it declined from 30.4% to 29.5% from 2014 to 2015 so the trend there isn’t Muni’s friend. Even so $7.50 per ride is still very expensive.

    You claim that you “haven’t seen any evidence that (Muni pay and benefits) are way out of line for comparable, expensive American cities” and yet the $7.50 alone constitutes prima facie evidence for the idea that costs are excessive. And reports I’ve seen indicate that SF Muni operator pay is higher than almost every other major US city. Further, local private bus operators’ pay is much lower, often around 40K a year with worse benefits, so it seems clear that we’re paying more than we need to.

    “a high level of transit access also enjoys a high level of popular support.” Well of course it does, because it is so under-priced, and everyone will vote for a cheap lunch and a pony for every little girl if they don’t have to pay for it. But if those same voters were given a choice of paying more tax or seeing service cuts, they may well choose the latter.

    And yes, I think local voters should have the primary say for local transport decisions, but the level at which we should fund Muni, pay operators and the generosity of the routes, schedules and stops are city-wide decisions. I’d simply give SFMTA less if they don’t deliver better numbers and then let them figure it out, rather than try and micro-manage every necessary cut.

    As for new subways, they are typically funded using state and federal money, and so comes from a different pocket. So your argument that we can’t afford something like Central Subway is belied by the fact that it is happening without local Muni suffering. My main objection to CS is that the opportunity is not being taken to cancel the bus lines that duplicate that route – that would lead to savings.

    As for the problem of Muni being forced for ideological reasons to run grossly uneconomic routes, I’d agree that it is a problem, in the same way as most political interference and social engineering is. Personally I’d apply the Pareto Principle here and cull some of those little-used routes – it may even be cheaper to give their riders a Uber gift card than run those lumbering buses around mostly empty

    And the 15/20 minute intervals I cited where averages not rush hour. Point being that bus lanes aren’t usually “rush hour only”. If they were, I’d be more supportive of them. Probably Market Street is the only street that really needs bus lanes for 18 hours a day.

    Finally I think Muni can improve without being given more resources, and I have given two examples – make operator pay and benefits more competitive with local private bus operators, adopt a fully-funded DC pension plan, and allow more flexible working practices which the unions have always opposed.

    The idea that we must always throw more resources at Muni just co-dependently enables their lax performance. Make more resources contingent on better metrics, like a farebox recovery rate of 40% and pay scales that match shuttle drivers.

  9.  

    citrate reiterator

    OK, well first of all, you’re using an outdated statistic: Muni’s farebox recovery has been ~30% for FY2014 and FY2015 (goo.gl/ukNtSS), making the real cost around $7.50. And second, if you want to claim that this figure proves that Muni is poorly run, you would need to break this expenditure down by route and service, to show that the ratio is lower than expected *given the types of routes and services Muni offers.* It’s easy to get a high ratio if you only serve a few high-ridership lines and can charge a premium to do so (e.g., BART), as opposed to charging a pretty bargain-basement price ($2.25 plus free transfers) for metro, local bus, and streetcar lines.

    I agree that not every square inch of San Francisco needs its own bus stop. In fact, Muni leadership also agrees: one of the major recommendations of the TEP was to thin stops throughout the system and to remove redundant routes. However, much like driving private vehicles, a high level of transit access also enjoys a high level of popular support. Local residents and merchants often vehemently oppose stop thinning, for instance, even though SF bus stops are extremely closely spaced.

    Elsewhere on this site, you’ve also taken the position that local residents deserve to have the absolute final say in any matter relating to transit infrastructure that runs through their neighborhood, whether or not they personally use it. This position is not coherent with wanting Muni to reallocate all its resources towards a rapid, frequent network (unless of course you think that only local residents who primarily *drive* should have unlimited veto power on transit infrastructure improvements). Either you have to spend more, or you have to cut service somewhere else, and at some point you are going to need to do something that some local residents (at least initially) dislike.

    I’d also love to see more subways in SF. However, you’ve also stated that you’re unwilling to grant Muni any more funding. So calling for new subways, far and away the most expensive form of intraurban mass transit to build, seems a little insincere. Subways also do not eliminate the need for a functioning surface-level system — to serve areas that are high-ridership but not quite high-ridership enough for a subway line, to serve low-ridership areas, and to solve “last mile” problems that would otherwise make the subways less useful. You’re correct that congestion is inevitable in a big city, but wrong that you can’t do anything to mitigate its effects on transit: in NYC, adding transit-only lanes to in-demand buses has been shown to work to reduce transit times and increase ridership (see, e.g., the B44, where transit-only lanes reduced transit times ~20%).

    Finally, bus and surface rail frequencies are already a lot higher than 15-20 minutes in most of the system, along the so-called “rapid network”. Just talking about lines I personally use, the 22 and 28 both have frequencies that are below 10 minutes during peak hours. That kind of headway is frequent enough where you don’t have to plan your entire life around the bus schedule.

    The bigger problems are reliability and speed; when buses or surface rail gets snarled in above-ground traffic it has ripple effects throughout the entire system. (It’s particularly insane that the *light rail* lines, which have no ability to e.g. bypass a double-parked car, don’t have dedicated ROW along their entire lengths.) If you have to transfer the effects are even worse. At that point, you can’t even compensate for low-frequency with careful planning because the timetable is such a joke (next bus in 0, 51, 52 minutes…).

    I didn’t talk about pay, benefits, and practices for Muni workers because I haven’t seen any evidence that they are way out of line for comparable, expensive American cities, including ones with stronger transit systems (e.g., again, NYC).

    Finally, demanding a “radical improvement” in Muni’s metrics without giving them the resources to make those improvements is a giant catch-22 — which I think you probably realize. Making improvements almost always requires more resources, and improved systems draw more ridership, which makes the system more effective. Conversely, starving a public transit system will make it less effective, which will cause fewer people to use it, which will then be taken as further evidence that it should be dismantled entirely. And you still haven’t actually provided evidence that Muni is actually spending too much *given the specific constraints it must operate under*. To do that you would need to compare it to other American systems and again, break it down by the types of services and routes offered and the types of revenues collected.

    You also are making the same error you’ve made in other posts here, where you’ve used the popularity of driving as a way of arguing against reallocating resources to transit. However, a preference for driving isn’t static! This ignores that just because many people *currently* prefer to drive, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t use transit if it were more frequent and reliable, and/or if driving became too inconvenient, expensive, or unreliable (congestion, lack of parking, congestion pricing, etc.).

    A further problem is that even if it is more convenient for any individual person to drive, the limit case of this (where almost everyone drives in their own private vehicle) would further overwhelm road capacity, meaning that transit times would actually go up for both car and transit users. Because transit allows more people to be carried in less space, reserving adequate space for transit outside of mixed traffic (whether that’s above ground in a transit-only lane or on an elevated or submerged right-of-way) allows those who need or strongly prefer to drive to do so, while limiting their effect on overall transit times. Cars have a place in the urban ecosystem, but urban space is limited: we can’t allocate all of it to cars and expect decent transit.

  10.  

    RichLL

    The $10 figure is easily derived. Muni has a farebox recovery rate of about 23% and a fare is $2.25. Clearly therefore the fully loaded cost of each Muni trip is about ten bucks.

    I’m not sure I’d agree that it is a primary aim of Muni to serve every single last person in the city, even if they choose to live in a secluded house in an affluent neighborhood on top of a difficult and inaccessible hill with “Golden Gate views”. Although profit isn’t a goal of Muni, some reasonable decisions about routes and frequencies with fiscal prudence in mind is in keeping with showing respect for the taxpayers.

    Obviously street traffic has some bearing on bus travel times, but that is inevitable in a crowded city. That is why major new investment in transit typically puts it below ground. I prefer that as a solution rather than the “death by a thousand cuts” of nickle and diming road space exclusively for buses that maybe show up once every 15 or 20 minutes.

    And you don’t even mention the elephant in the room – the very high cost of the pay and benefits package for Muni workers, along with the rigid union-imposed working practices.

    As stated before, I’d like to see a radical improvement in Muni’s performance metrics before I would be willing to throw more money at Muni, or take more space away from other road options that a critical mass of road users clearly prefer.

  11.  

    Cittaslow

    Cities around the world, including the US, that have really jumped into the arena of prioritizing walking, public transportation, and bicycling have seen tremendous results.

    San Francisco shouldn’t be afraid of doing the same. Garage conversions, parking minimum removals road diets, protected bicycle lanes, pedestrianization – these will greatly improve our city.

    The current objections are understandable and will fade when we see that people and cities are highly adaptable to these kinds of changes, which need to happen if we’re to live healthy, happy (yes, people are happier in non-auto-oriented cities), and sustainable lives.

  12.  

    citrate reiterator

    First of all, where are you getting $10? This reference from the Brookings Institute says it’s around half that: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brookings-now/2015/06/03/the-10-u-s-metro-rail-systems-that-lose-the-most-money-per-passenger/

    Second, the “average trip” is not a very meaningful statistic when you’re talking about Muni, because Muni has to serve two contradictory aims: 1. making sure that people have access to *some* transit, even if they live somewhere which isn’t particularly profitable to serve, and 2. allowing *rapid* transit across the city.

    Amtrak, by analogy, is a popular punching bag because of how much money it loses “on average”; yet that obscures that it is actually *profitable* along many of its routes, including the Northeast Corridor, where there is the most demand (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/03/01/amtrak-loses-a-ton-of-money-each-year-it-doesnt-have-to/). The biggest expenses come from long, low-ridership lines that are actually mandated by the government. You can agree or disagree with the government’s decision to spend that money as an effective/useful form of social spending — but either way, the average net loss doesn’t actually say much about Amtrak’s effectiveness as an agency.

    (And don’t forget Muni, unusually, also is tasked with a third task: those damn cable cars, whose expenses are roughly double the revenues.)

    Third, one piece of evidence that Muni’s problems in large part derive from people driving private vehicles can be seen when you compare Muni’s streetcar speeds in the 1920s to their modern bus descendants. In 1920, for example, when car ownership was ~half of what it is today, the Geary streetcar ran end-to-end in 35m, while the 38 now takes 54m. A 60% increase in population since then, plus a big shift towards private cars, caused a major increase in congestion (source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/us/san-francisco-muni-strives-to-recapture-streetcar-speeds-of-1912.html?_r=0). Congestion causes transit to be slow and unreliable — and expensive, because when speeds drop and headways get more variable, you need to hire more personnel just to maintain the same level of service. As you correctly note, these effects also build on themselves, because when transit is slow and unreliable, more people choose to drive. This worsens congestion, which etc.

    Banning cars entirely from SF is obviously a straw man: private cars are popular and have plenty of legitimate uses. One policy that allows people to drive while also making transit more effective is to dedicate more rights-of-way to surface mass transit. However, setting aside rights-of-way to transit does usually require that *some* space — not all space, or even most, but some — be reallocated away from private cars. Alternatively, instead of transit, space could be reallocated from parking to housing, as the article suggests; the article also mentions that building more parking can actually worsen congestion via induced demand, as we’ve seen in the past with highway widening.

  13.  

    citrate reiterator

    This argument cuts both ways, though: everyone in the city who drives also benefits from anyone who doesn’t have a car, because their nonexistent cars aren’t taking up parking spaces or contributing to congestion. So if you’ve ever driven in San Francisco, for example, you’ve benefited from my decision not to buy a car.

    And again, “benefited from” doesn’t mean “depends on.” It’s silly to count anyone who’s ever been in a car in SF as part of some single, undifferentiated, “car-dependent” population. If I were living with people who drove and they offered to pick me up from the airport, I’d certainly take them up on it — but that doesn’t mean I can’t get myself home using transit (which is exactly what I do now). Demand for private cars isn’t static.

  14.  

    njudah

    lol rents have been skyrocketing for years, then they only do so slightly and it’s “moderation” lol lol lol

  15.  

    david vartanoff

    24/7 is a necessity for the Bay Area. As to the extra cost, the benefit to the population at large is worth it.
    As to capital improvements v normal maintenance, BART has from the get go been funded from a mix of bonds,state and federal grants,sales taxes, real estate levies so the distinction is merely a question of how to do the accounting. Farebox revenue, while greater as a percentage than say Muni or AC has never, will never cover even full operating costs let alone sufficient maintenance to achieve and sustain a State of Good Repair, nor should it. We build transit, as highway infrastructure, potable water, sewer systems, etc as a common good.

  16.  

    RichLL

    The “article” is actually a piece of political propaganda for the bond measure so, as you’d expect, it is biased. Its focus is 100% on getting the bond passed and 0% on any other changes that are needed.

    It’s rather disingenuous to position this bond measure as “capital improvement” because, for the most part, it is simply replacing whole chucks of their existing infrastructure that is worn out and failing. Important that may be, but calling it capital improvement is a tad grandiose given that all it really does is keep the trains running. Many people would call that maintenance money.

    You are absolutely correct that we need a no-strike provision. For all that the biased article talks about fiscal rectitude the total give-away to the BART workers and unions last time around was unforgivable and unsustainable. A pay freeze and conversion of their pension scheme to 100% employee-funded DC plan should be a given.

    I’m far less convinced about running BART 24/7 however. I think the costs would out-strip the revenues putting BART’s otherwise admirable farebox recovery ratio at risk. And it imposse greater stresses on the tracks and equipment while narrowing the window for regular maintenance.

    Finally this bond needs a 2/3 majority to pass which is a significant hurdle given that millions of voters don’t use BART. So I hope BART has a back-up plan for if the bond measure is defeated, as it may well be.

  17.  

    david vartanoff

    Sure, BART needs a thorough overhaul–including personnel top to bottom. That said, BART also owes riders some better behavior; first offer riders of AC,CCTA, etc the same pass deal Muni riders get, second, a guarantee of 24/7 service within 2 years, third a limit (probably needs to be a separate referendum) on wage raises to the CPI driven COLA rate for Soc Security. And, to enforce the latter, we need a no strike law.

  18.  

    lunartree

    Nice map design too!

  19.  

    Jame

    I think you can nudge people to drive less. Worked for me. There are some areas where parking is annoying. So I choose not to drive to them. Over time I figured out some areas are easy to access via a bike. So I bike to them instead. And I don’t drive as much, pay for parking less often and cause less congestion!

    Downtown Oakland is a great example. They added the free B Shuttle. So now I don’t have to drive between multiple downtown neighborhoods. And it saves walking and bus transfers. People who are bus clueless can easily hop on a circulator shuttle. It runs pretty often, 15 minutes or better. So it is very competitive with driving and parking. It also encourages you to explore other parts.

  20.  

    RichLL

    Wow, murphs, that is a massive inferential leap even by your standards. Your point rests on your presumption to accurately and exactly know why people voted for Transit First. But there is of course no way for you to know why people supported it. You are just taking the interpretation that suits your personal biases the most.

    The thing with “Transit First” is that it is only a slogan, like “Vision Zero”. It doesn’t impose any imperative or action on the city. It merely indicates a factor that may or may not be taken into consideration. So it’s easy to vote for precisely because things are no different afterwards. It’s a feel-good piece of values signalling.

    So “SF Guest” has a point when he says that a vote for Transit First is not a vote for Transit Only. Nor was it an electoral mandate for a war on cars. It was merely a fuzzy, cuddly slogan that makes people feel warm and noble, like hoping for world peace or wanting to end famine.

    Suppose the wording had instead been written by you: “Shall it be the city’s policy to relentlessly and aggressively take away resources from cars and drivers in the vague hope that Muni might run better or cyclists can proceed in a more serene and blissed out state?”

    You can bet it would have been roundly defeated

  21.  

    RichLL

    OK, Thiegles, I agree that you did not formally state that street parking should be removed, and your words perhaps mean nothing more than a policy and priority statement.

    Even so, many here appeared to latch onto that sentiment and defended the removal of on-street parking, even to the point in one case where such parking was blamed for Muni’s atrocious performance metrics.

    But if this debate centers around what is the “best first step” then I think that Tom’s idea of allowing more flexibility over planning guidelines for off-street parking for new build is a more realistic “first step” than the much more controversial step of making it easier for SFMTA to take out on-street parking.

    And we know that few things draw the ire of residents more than taking away the parking that they rely on so much. They are much more sanguine about parking for new homes.

  22.  

    murphstahoe

    Many people didn’t sign up for Transit First for that — they signed up to make parking secondary.

    Sorry, This is a democracy. You lost. Transit is first, meaning driving is last. Please adjust.

  23.  

    thielges

    Rich – I never said that. I was about to elaborate on what I did say but after rereading my original statements I see they are quite clear. So please go back and read those words.

    You’re exaggerating other people’s statements to serve your argument which is neither honest nor fair.

  24.  

    SingleOccupantDriver

    One tool to address transit deserts is to build, lease, buy, share and drive single-width, tandem-seated, eventually self-driving, highway-capable vehicles. Potentially reducing traffic congestion like a bike-share program for highway commuters, narrow commuter vehicles drive and park in lanes less than half current lanes. See the video to consider the enormous time-saving possibilities with narrow commuter vehicles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUjhtJdbkGw

  25.  

    SF Guest

    Based on many comments posted on this site there is a popular opinion to banish private cars for the purpose of making it Transit ONLY and not Transit First. Many people didn’t sign up for Transit First for that — they signed up to make parking secondary.

    One prime example is the ideology where street parking should be secondary to transit, but yet parking was not even in that equation of closing off Stockton Street.

    The motivation to promote transit over parking is the first step in a bigger scheme to close off private vehicular traffic to major thoroughfares.

    There is no controversy closing off Twin Peaks, but to close off three major blocks on Stockton where parking is a non-issue reaffirms your belief the real motivation is to banish private cars which in of itself would “improve” the Muni with forced patronage.

  26.  

    RichLL

    You claimed that “creating public transit that works relies heavily on removing on-street parking to free up space”

    Are you now saying instead that decent public transit can co-exist with the retention of on-street parking? If so, then we agree.

    There are many things that can be done to improve Muni without penalizing the hundreds of thousands of city residents who don’t have off-street parking. And I’ve already suggesting a few.

  27.  

    Flatlander

    It is utter nonsense to claim that that is what I suggested and you should be embarrassed to even post that.

  28.  

    RichLL

    Yes, if only balance, critical thought or broader perspectives could be censored or banned, then you could exalt in the unbridled joy of thinking that your personal biases actually represent truth and reality.

    But your boycott failed, your attempt to block or ban failed, and yet somehow you learned nothing from that. As Rob Anderson succinctly phrased it, you are an “obsessive anti-car bike zealot”, God forbid that you be rescued from that, because you seem so happy.

  29.  

    RichLL

    We don’t need any “evidence” for the proposition that Muni is crap because that is a near universal perception.

    Of course people will differ over the reasons for that, according to their own personal political prejudices. But the very fact that the average Muni trip costs $10 is a damning indictment of the entire organization, top to bottom.

    But in that vein, where is your “evidence” that 100% of Muni’s problems derive from the fact that some people prefer to drive private vehicles, not least partly because Muni is so crap?

  30.  

    Flatlander

    What is your evidence for what you see as muni’s issues? All the union-busting in the world isn’t going to get rid of the fundamental issue that is unique to Muni: there is no other transit system in North America that serves only a very densely populated area and runs almost exclusively in mixed traffic. We’ll never do anything about the first part, but the second we can work on.

    Of course it’s more fun to point fingers instead of thinking critically about a problem.

  31.  

    murphstahoe

    Much like the cycling Critical Mass, if enough users block the offending user, he won’t be fed his pidgey candies and will not evolve.

  32.  

    Filamino

    If you dig deeper at city planning officials, they will tell you that the first question those people who move into a development with no parking usually ask is,”How do I get a residential parking permit?” Parking still sells units…

  33.  

    RichLL

    Good point. Yours alone would probably fund a small orphanage in Romania.

  34.  

    mx

    If only righteous indignation and blatantly wrong “facts” could be effectively monetized, this comments section would be a gold mine.

  35.  

    njudah

    the file sharing money ran out, and there was no plan beyond grant money, so now they gotta do what they gotta do I guess

  36.  

    peternatural

    Disqus recently rolled out the “block” option. It sort of helps, except then the comment section ends up being 75% blocked messages, so the thread gets hard to follow. Then you realize it’s not worth following anyway. Then you spend more time elsewhere, even off your device! #ItWorksOut

  37.  

    alberto rossi

    I’m so old I can remember when this blog regularly published original content and the comments were more than RichLL’s salon.

  38.  

    RichLL

    Christopher, insofar as there is a “war on cars” going on, I maintain that it is being waged by a small but vocal minority. So while I think such a war is misguided, and I seek to diminish its fiery rhetoric here, I don’t believe that a majority of voters support it. Indeed, the main point I make in this thread is that there aren’t the votes for seriously attacking car usage in the city precisely because a clear majority own cars, use cars and benefit from them.

    That said. I am not offended by the idea that some new homes come with no parking. I just don’t think it should be a mandate – rather something that happens if there is a genuine market for it. And I’d agree that’s a non-zero demand.

  39.  

    RichLL

    Vehicles registered in SF and vehicles used in SF are two very different things. Given there is a large daily net commute into the city, the need for parking during the day greatly exceeds the need for parking at night.

    So if this is the direction the voters decide that they want to take then I’d suggest these are better ideas than thiegles’ blanket ban on on-street parking:

    1) Expand the RPP program to city-wide, ensuring that city residents have priority for the on-street spaces

    2) Develop more off-street parking to offset any loss of on-street spaces. Note however that Tom is arguing against that here.

    3) Develop a more sophisticated way of charging for on-street parking, subject to demand of course. Let the market manage this.

  40.  

    RichLL

    Yes, it is possible for someone to share a household with a car owner and never ever benefit, directly or indirectly, even once. But your categorization of his ride offers as “useless” tells me that there might be something ideological in your objection to sharing any benefit.

    I’d also agree that the exact percentage of car-benefiting households in SF is not critical to my argument. It’s sufficient to note that the number is sufficiently large to make theigles’ idea a non-starter, which is presumably why Tom discounts it and adopts a more reasonable and reasonable strategy.

  41.  

    Christopher Childs

    I think I get what you’re implying. There are still plenty of options that have parking. There are also people who can get by without a car already for sure. So, it’s possible it won’t really be a compromise anyone has to make.

    (edited and expanded things)

  42.  

    mx

    I gave you autos+trucks, which pretty much covers it, yes. I didn’t count the 8,000 trailers registered in SF, because you can’t drive a trailer, or the 23K motorcycles/scooters, because they don’t take up much space. Those are the four categories the DMV registers.

    Anyway, since you say I misread what was stated, I’ll quote you: “The total number of vehicle registrations in SF is about the same number as the population.” 455K autos+trucks registered in SF; 865K population. So you say “about the same” and I say “about half.”

    And the very point of carsharing, and services like Uber and Lyft, is that you can benefit from a car when you need one without owning or parking one.

  43.  

    Flatlander

    Well, I’m certainly not storing stuff in my roommate’s car, and the rides he have offered me have been useless, so his offer has not benefited me in any way. And there are numerous easy ways for me to get toilet paper into the house other than in his car. So your argument fails. You should just admit that the percentage of households with at least one car is irrelevant in SF, and could be replaced by much more meaningful data, like the SF travel decisions survey.

  44.  

    RichLL

    Presumably because they are part of the minority who don’t have a car and have no intent to get one.

    And/or because the home is cheaper as a result and that matters more to them.

    It’s also a factor in why those people might sell or leave sooner than otherwise, so such homes may turn out to be more transient.

  45.  

    RichLL

    The problem in SF is exactly that there is no space for off-street parking, unless we build more parking structures and garages.

    While that would theoretically enable us to remove some on-street parking, in practice we can’t do it.

    So when Thielges suggested that removing on-street parking was a “good first step” he was totally wrong. It’s a very hard last step. What Tom was suggesting is far more practical and feasible. But Tom’s idea has been hijacked here.

  46.  

    RichLL

    I benefit from owning a car even when I am not driving somewhere. I can keep personal stuff in the car, and it gives me freedoms and choices that would otherwise not be available.

    Same goes for the rest of my family.

  47.  

    murphstahoe

    You’re gonna build a lot of off street parking, and make the cyclists pay for it

  48.  

    Flatlander

    your “obvious” assumption that every person in a household benefits from a car flies in the face of a very, very, common living arrangement in SF – adults with roommates, only one of which has a car. I have lived in a household with a car for two years and never been inside it.

  49.  

    RichLL

    Muni’s failures have mostly to do with operational and financial problems, poor management, obstructive unions and political interference.

    Fix all that and then ask us to give up our cars.

  50.  

    RichLL

    I’ve driven around Sunnyvale and other places like it to know that I can usually park off-street in a lot. That’s rarely true in SF except for the far south and west of the city.