Skip to content

Recent Comments



    worst supervisor ever. will do anything for votes, has no original ideas or creativity. a panderer through and through. couldnt keep a high profile job in private industry even if she paid a company to work there. utterly uselss



    Masonic StreetScape; Irving StreetScape, Haight StreetScape, bulb-out installations; Market/Van Ness plan, etc….middling? No political attention? That’s on top of the Market/Octavia Plan, the Market Street Hub, the demolition of 280 that’s being proposed, back to the Ferry Building/Market re-do and the demolition of both the Embarcadero freeway and the 101 freeway spur that went all the way to Gough and McAllister (i.e. the Hayes Valley renaissance)…..haven’t got time to list all of them. Glass is half full.



    Funnily enough, I do have a bigger problem with blocking off streets for things like Dreamforce, because it’s converting a major arterial street into a private use for weeks at a time (when there’s already a publicly-owned tunnel under Howard anyway).

    Community block parties only last a few hours, can’t interfere with Muni lines or intersections or major streets, and are community-oriented events. Big conventions fail all these tests.


    J. Man

    I guess I’ll have to agree – the people in a neighborhood should be entitled to the periodic use of the street, absent cars, in their neighborhood to the minor inconvenience of drivers. I also think they are entitled to do it at no additional cost to themselves as a civic and community good.

    I guess we can agree to agree then.



    “Why do we have to block off the lane for a train that’s only running every 20 or 30 minutes?”

    I’m very much in favor of boarding islands on Taraval in the name of safety–there have already been way too many people hurt, but like Kieran says, this is an argument that should be taken seriously. Street space is a limited resource, and designating large portions of it to sit empty 99% of the time is a bad use of our shared space. At least with bike lanes we have the argument that building new lanes will spur demand by opening up new cycling routes, but it’s not as though new municipal bus services will magically pop up to take advantage of the new wide-open transit-only lane.

    20-30 minutes is sometimes hyperbole–the L does typically run more frequently during normal weekday day periods–, but not by that much. I, and I presume many of the people at the meeting, want to see Muni Metro run more frequently and reliably. It really doesn’t seem like too much to ask, but it just never happens.



    Sigh, you did not just point out that we do not consistently require that costs to the city are borne by the exact individuals obtaining the benefit. You went ahead to insist that because it was so in one context, it is obviously justified in another. Now that you’ve doubled down on it, I must agree with RichLL(shudder) – reeks of entitlement.

    The article was much more open-ended and neutral in this respect – presenting facts/benefits and seeking comments.



    As a San Francisco native who’s taken the L many a time over the last few decades I can say that boarding islands(especially at 19th ave) are an obvious answer to this problem..They’ll have to sacrifice some parking spaces but in the end it’ll be worth it.

    Also I like Guido’s comment in that a transit only lane is worthless if the L only comes around every 20-30 minutes. He’s got a point, which in my opinion should spur MUNI(obviously this is a lot to ask of MUNI) to consistently run L streetcars no more than 12 minutes apart so that a transit only lane for the L would actually make sense.

    Lastly, I don’t mind a lot of the stop removals but the 15th and Ulloa stop should stay. It helps connect people with the L who live at 14th ave and Taraval, along with people who live on adjacent streets such as Santiago.


    J. Man

    To quote something I read somewhere:

    “That makes no sense. You are conflating two unrelated issues.”



    Just don’t fall in to the troll-trap! The troll is adept at tying loopy arguments. If you go down to its level, you will trip up eventually.


    J. Man

    My point is that the cost is minimal and the benefit is social and communal. There is no reason to disincentivize this activity; this is the sort of thing that should actually be encouraged.

    I reference other city expenditures to point out that we do not consistently require that costs to the city are borne by the exact individuals obtaining the benefit, and in many cases these costs are vastly larger than what we are talking about here.

    My frustration comes from this tired prospective, and the loud and angry group that push it, that any even potential loss of utility or convenience to their car is unacceptable.

    We have allowed cars to block the middle of streets every weekend so that people can conveniently get to church. They don’t pay for that parking; they congest the streets.

    Why now do we nickel and dime residents who want to do this occasionally? Why create unnecessary barriers? Why is it OK if it’s a car causing the inconvenience, but not people socializing?

    Block parties should be encouraged, there shouldn’t be fees and drivers that need to take a 3 block detour should be happy to do so (or if not, they are welcome to yell to themselves in their car as they drive away).



    > The city spends all sorts of money …
    That makes no sense. You are conflating two unrelated issues. Next, people with no kids will take all kinds of liberties as recompense for the money that goes in to schools. How about couch potatoes, that don’t use your parks or walk on the waterfronts?

    The city spends all sorts of money on all sorts of things – some of which you may find useful, but which the city sees aggregate value in. Argue for the value of community get-togethers all you want and you might be able to convince a majority to agree with you. But you have no standing to frame it as some sort of quid pro quo for expenses that you disagree with.


    J. Man

    You do realize that every Sunday in parts of the city people have been parking in the middle of the road. Not occasional, but always.

    Even frequent block parties would be less intrusive and create a broader sense of community (one in which you don’t have to believe int he same fake stories).


    J. Man

    OMG, a DETOUR!?

    The community is exactly the group that is “privatizing” the public space.

    You somehow seem to equate “public” to “cars”.

    SUPER sounds like you live in a suburb or should.


    Ted King

    That (San Mateo aka SM)DailyJournal(.com) editorial carries the title of “Transportation money should go to fix 92 now” . The meat of the editorial is paragraph four’s (4’s) call for fixing the intersection of US-101 and SR-92. That paragraph also calls for untangling SR-92’s intersection with El Camino Real (aka SR-82).

    So while the editor wants the idea of US-101 express lanes studied it’s his way of sneaking in a study of one of the worst traffic knots on the peninsula. I’ve driven through those intersections back in the 1980’s and 1990’s and they were a mess back then. It’s intersections like those two that make me glad to ride transit even when it only runs once or twice an hour.


    J. Man

    The city spends all sorts of money enforcing and attending to the needs of private automobiles. The city has spent all sorts of resources to get private businesses to locate and to encourage them.

    Why charge individual residents to have “small-scale, temporary, occasional” gatherings? It should be encouraged and barriers should be reduced.

    There is no rationale other than spite to make it more difficult.


    J. Man

    That’s fine, you sound like maybe the kind of person that *should* just socialized in their own home.

    But for the rest of us who don’t mind a block being shut down to cars for part of a day so that neighborhoods can congregate and create community….ya, please stay away.



    Socialize on your cellphone while driving your car as god intended! Preferably with a beer!



    If I want to socialize I will do it in a park, restaurant, bar or in my house as p_chazz suggests. So personally I have no use for these fairs.

    Cities have evolved with roads because that is what the residents, voters and taxpayers have said that they want. Nobody was “misguided” – we got what we asked for.

    If the voters wish to vote for your idea of regressing to a medieval set of paths and bridleways then I will accept the majority decision. But I hope you’re not holding your breath.



    I never said that these events should not happen. If they are small-scale, temporary, occasional and on Sundays and Holidays, then the impact is acceptable.

    I was explaining why it is right that they should be paid for.


    J. Man

    The city has a greatly enjoyed and heavily supported “Sunday streets” program, whereby they close down streets so that people can come out and walk and bike and hang out without cars.

    For the people that live here, it is taking back and it is reclaiming. Cars don’t live here, people do.

    Just because we were historically misguided and built infrastructure based on the idea that cars are the new god doesn’t mean we should continue to think this.

    Cities are built for people, not for cars. The historical folly will eventually be righted, but until then stop being a dick and support people going out into their and other communities to actually get to know each other.


    J. Man

    (1) Do you know how many people live on a block? The chances that anyone would or could know that you didn’t live there are negligible.

    (2) If you went up to people and said “Hi, I don’t live here but I was passing through/I shop here often/I visit a friend here/etc. and I thought I’d stop by and say hi” I guarantee that you would be just as welcome as anyone else.

    Also, it’s pretty clear you have no idea what “taking” means. A government taking is about taking PRIVATE land for PUBLIC use. Not the other way around. Taking public land for private use happens routinely and is not the confused idea of a legal issue you think you’re talking about.

    Even aside from the ways that you are wrong (all of them), the defense of greater ease of travel in a small area for people in cars taking importance over people having chance to have a community is base idiotic.



    If is a party for the residents of that block then I will only be welcome if I am a resident of that blocks. Sure I might be able to sneak in, and I might even get away with grabbing a hot dog, but in practice it’s closed off to me.

    And of course any road user who wishes to pass through.

    But I am glad you accept that such takings should be paid for,



    The article said that Kim supported 2/3 of the sales tax hike – not that she opposed any increase as implied by the statement that she voted against it.

    I think that the sales tax is the least bad form of tax, because it is the broadest based. And the easiest to avoid as well. But either the 0.5% increase Kim supports or the 0.75% increase are excessive increases and there is a good chance the voters will reject it.



    There is a simple way. Continue to regard speed cameras as a gross invasion of privacy and rely on other methods of enforcement.



    “But speed cameras are even worse because there is no way to know that
    you have just been cited. So on a long journey you might accrue dozens
    of tickets without realizing it.”

    If only there were a simple way to avoid getting speeding tickets.


    J. Man

    Minimally and the starting base is a past infrastructure that was basically all-car. There are ways to arrange intersections so that they are far safer and friendlier to pedestrians – but that will mean cost and it could inconvenience cars, and there is little will for that.

    Look at bicycles, there is an ardent lobby and a large commuting public on bicycles. However, even given years of lobbying and injuries and deaths, the city is still loathe to do more than put down a little paint. Only recently did we even get a divided lane (which isn’t always respected by cars) for bikes on one of the busiest sections of road in the city.

    The efforts are middling compared to the money poured into, and the political attention to, cars.


    J. Man

    Nothing that I saw implied that non-residents could not attend – it’s not turning the street private, it is simply making the use of the street for pedestrian and community purposes.

    So, your entire point is without merit.

    However, you CAN point to the tech companies blocking off areas of the city for conferences and parties (see: dreamforce) as exactly what you’re talking about. I don’t necessarily have a problem with that, because they are hopefully paying an obscene amount of money into the public coffers.



    Jane Kim voted against the 0.75% sale tax increase ballot measure. Scott Wiener voted for it. If passed, the sales tax will be 9.25% in April 2017.

    I will be voting for Scott Wiener, but I would like to get the facts straight. I think Scott Wiener is also pushing for Ellis and Costa-Hawkins reform.



    Agreed that it is a small scale, local and temporary privatization. Otherwise it would cost a lot more than $167.

    But it was the “reclaiming” hyperbole and “taking back” rhetoric that I was lampooning.



    It’s a bunch of neighbors standing in the middle of their street having a get-together for a few hours. We’re not talking about paving Muir Woods to put up a strip mall here.



    Yes, the sense of entitlement here can be seen from the phrasing. The article mentions “reclaiming the streets” while J. Man chirps about “taking back the road”.

    And yet what they are really demanding is a free taking of the Commons for a private purpose. What they seek to “take back” is in fact something that was never theirs in the first place.

    A privatization or annexation of a public resource is fine if and only if the public is compensated financially for their loss of access and usage.



    I’d assess Kim’s odds of getting the State to legalize and authorize speed cameras as being as close to zero as can be measured. In fact even red light cameras are being wound down in some places:

    But speed cameras are even worse because there is no way to know that you have just been cited. So on a long journey you might accrue dozens of tickets without realizing it. Of course, that’s also the case with the tickets issued by plane, but everyone knows those signs are bluffs – the cost of having hundreds of spotter planes in the sky would be prohibitive.

    I think the problem in SF is that, for the most part, there is one speed limit for all roads regardless of size, capacity, sight-lines, pedestrian density and so. We need more flexible speed limits – 25 to too high in some locations and too low in others. Or better, have electronic signs like I have seen in Europe where the limit changes with light and traffic conditions.


    Richard Gadsden

    If they’re EMUs, then the two lengths should perform very similarly anyway, as you add more motors when you add more cars.


    City Resident

    Speed cameras, definitely! Thank you Supervisor Kim for pursuing this. Speed kills and significantly beefed up and unrelenting enforcement is the only lasting way to deter speeding. Either that or 24/7 gridlock. Thank you streetsblog for these interviews.


    Dave Moore

    Ours happens on a Monday, but point taken. BTW the only people who have complained about the barricades to me were cyclists, as it’s on Page St.



    Speed cameras? No

    Ellis and Costa-Hawkins reform? No

    Free City College? That basketcase? Is she serious? No, no, no.

    Sales Tax hike? If you have to raise taxes then this is the one to raise, but 0.75% is excessive. Sales tax receipts increase every year with inflation anyway, and this will take the city sales tax to 9%. But how about no tax increases and we live within our means?

    Looks like Wiener is getting my vote.



    That’s all fine, it’s not that complicated, and the fee isn’t that expensive.

    I’d like to think that the city also limits how many times a year these things can happen, and ensures they only happen on Sundays



    There is no confusion. Some fairs are bigger and grander than others, but they all cause inconvenience to anyone who lives in the area and who has to take detours. It can also lead to congestion and safety issues.

    If you’re going to privatize public space for a person pf time, then it’s reasonable to pay a cost for that, and compensation to the community



    Because it inconveniences those who cannot or choose not to be a part of the interaction? If you want to socialize, do it in your living room.



    I don’t think you understood the comment; it’s not about screwing pedestrians, it’s in response to your comment that “The city spends a lot of money and timing supporting people commuting in cars.” Lately, the City has been spending money supporting pedestrian improvements. I’m in favor of it, not complaining about it.


    J. Man

    Right, screw pedestrians – cars can move into the city to live here and work here. Who needs those annoying pedestrians!

    Pretty sure keeping cars from killing people not in cars (which keeps happening) is not really a “subsidy”, unless you think preserving human life is a non-essential part of having cars.



    It’s not really a difference in degree. A block party requires a couple of barricades and really nothing else on a otherwise quiet neighborhood street where it doesn’t impact a large number of people. The “surety” that keeps vehicles away is the fact that the vast majority of people have the good sense not to mow down a block party and so when they see the barricades, they use another street (people who live on the street coordinate amongst themselves, since the party is for them).

    A street festival involves large busy streets, many blocks, intersections, MUNI reroutes, DPT people to direct traffic, and all the stuff that goes along with a public event that attracts thousands of people (trash, bathrooms, security, health inspections, fire permits for mobile grills and stoves, permits for alcohol sales, etc…). Yes, both types of events involve closing a street in some form or another, but it’s silly to conflate at most a couple dozen neighbors having a potluck with perhaps a bounce house and the Haight Street Fair.


    Dave Moore

    Also $167 seems totally reasonable. It’s a once a year thing.



    Murph is right, but RichLL’s point still stands, because it was some other unrelated point. It’s a yuge point, and it will make America Great Again


    Dave Moore

    You set up barricades and move them if people can’t get around them to get to their house. It’s not that complicated.



    A block party has no security and is usually just saw horses on both ends of the block. The street fairs with booze are more of a security dilemma, and they go on for multiple blocks. The principle is different, not just degree. Neighborhood street fairs are huge, marketed heavily, and make a ton of money. By contrast, the block parties that I see in SF are small, local (your block only), and generally are for children.


    Dave Moore

    Murph is right on this one. We have a block party every year and it’s a jumpy house, home made food and music. Rich seems to have confused block parties with street fairs, which are very different things.



    There was an annual one on my street, I went to ISCOTT to go get the permit.



    The road is either blocked or it is not. If it is blocked then there is a need for barricades, signage and some kind of surety that vehicles can be kept away.

    I get your difference but it is more one of degree than principle.



    Maybe if you did live here you would better understand the reality of these street “fairs”