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    This is ridiculous given there is a parking garage on each adjacent block (Bush as well as Sacramento). All the merchants should have been channeling their opposition for the city to build a public garage(s) (maybe near the Broadway block). I am sure the city can put some of the $100 million they make on parking tickets toward this.


    Dark Soul

    Gentrification ,…. Does the nearby resident want this?



    There is a list businesses who oppose the Polk plan and their associated Twitter handles:

    (Note: list expires early Sunday morning).



    Do we really need more livable streets projects in Hayes Valley? Throw the Sunset a rope!



    The move to stop placard fraud has already begun.



    Since demographics change, designs should assist behaviour that’s better for everyone in the long run, e.g. less private vehicle usage by all age etc, groups.



    True, loading zones were added, something conveniently ignored by the Never-Enuf-Parking crowd. Come on Tues. or write in:



    Hope to see you all here:
    Intro yourselves!



    “Your stance is absurd, just frame it better” ;-)



    The challenger has no idea about housing politics in SF. He sounds like he hasn’t even researched the issue. He really doesnt sound like he has any idea about what has been going on in SF in the last decade.

    Bart to the beach…Fully support the idea, but when will there be some progress on it…



    The challenger’s task will be to put very big dents in the armor by calling out things like this plus all the issues and contradictions that are not publicly discussed now. I hope everyone commenting here will productively help any challenger.



    Caltrain has 2 stops in SF, one in the middle of nowhere and the other 6 blocks from downtown. Whereas BART stops at 4 locations on Market and in 2 dense commuter neighborhoods.

    Silicon Valley needs to understand that SF doesn’t cater to it; if anything Silicon Valley caters to SF. Thats how it has always been, and if tech companies continue to migrate north to the City there will never be a need to change.

    Public transit will always cater to dense urban core over the suburbs.


    David Curiel Serret

    Here goes Ed Lee giving cyclcists the finger again.



    Blocking a bike lane is never a good idea. This forces cyclists out into traffic at random times and places and sets a dangerous precedent that cars can just jump into what is supposed to be a safe place for bicyclists who are already over-exposed to 4000 lb vehicles with hundreds of horsepower and distracted drivers. This is not how you get to Vision Zero.

    Further, even if we were to keep the parking spots, how likely do you think it is an elderly person would even be able to get one in front of where they want to go? Very unlikely, so already they will be walking a block or two, and there is plenty of parking within a few blocks, including garages. In the end, from the larger perspective of net societal good, it makes no sense to say that the *convenience* of a handful of people trumps the *safety* of others. And of course, if designing a truly livable street (which the current state of Polk is most certainly not), then you can design it so that there is still parking on the bicycle lanes are on the other side of parked cars thereby protecting cyclists.

    If we as a society truly want to prioritize access for the elderly and disabled (and I would argue that most don’t but co-opt this cause to further more car-centrism), then this is done by prioritizing public transit, bicycling, and walking and not car parking or car speeds.


    SF Urban Film Fest

    I raised my twin sons who are now 14 years old without a car in SF – it can be done.



    There’s no doubt that the most fragile businesses, often the biggest opponents, will take a heavy hit just from repaving without any design changes. But since there will be some change, that will be blamed for businesses going under. Several of the original opponents are already gone and one supportive merchant, Lombardi’s, is gone though they had onsite parking. Real cause-and-effect have always been elusive in this crazy story.


    Kenny Easwaran

    Unfortunately SMB happens to play an important role in cross-town travel, even at night, so that would be a tougher sell. (Also, it’s way too large to function as an effective pedestrian space, except during events like Halloween and Pride.)


    Jym Dyer

    When I’m elderly and can’t see where I’m going, I guess I know where to drive to.



    No serious opposition.



    My mother-in-law is 87 years old and gave up driving years ago. She gets around San Francisco by walking and taking Muni. She’s fortunate not to be trapped in some suburban hell hole like so many elderly, but Ed Lee is doing her no favors.


    Amy Farah Weiss


    Amy Farah Weiss

    Mayor Ed Lee should definitely be advocating for bike and pedestrian safety over parking in the case of Polk Street. I’m running for Mayor in the November 2015 election with the YIMBY (Yes-In-My-Back-Yard) for Mayor campaign and I invite you to join me in shaping local democracy.

    We need a safe (and practical) thoroughfare for bikes to travel on Polk Street, one of the 5 most dangerous streets for biking across town. Creating a safe thoroughfare for bikes trumps parking in this case (especially since studies have found that 85% of people who shop at Polk Street shops don’t use their cars).

    For the issue of elderly drop offs, my understanding (after speaking with someone from the SFBC last week) is that cars would still be able to get up onto the protected bike lane to drop off passengers if need be, but since the bike lane is raised it would be less likely for cars in general to pull into the lane, thus offering more consistent protection. Your thoughts?

    Seek Truth. Speak Truth. Let’s use this race as an opportunity to identify areas in which Ed Lee’s leadership could be improved upon through specific policy changes and advocacy (such as this issue).



    Here is Hiura Optometry’s statement.

    @MurphyMack Please understand we are NOT against a bike lane on Polk st. It’s the current proposal that is poorly designed and inefficient..

    My interpretation is that they think this bike lane is poorly designed because it is a bike lane. I certainly see no history on their part showing an example of a well designed or efficient bike lane.



    I ride Polk Street several times a week, and for me, the block going north between Pine and California (where the optometrist got the change) is precisely the most scary and difficult. I often avoid it by riding the “wrong way” down an alley that is usually empty to get to Larkin Street . Just another example of how we people on bikes do illegal things that provide us with a bit safer ride. Can you imagine the looks of disbelief if we suddenly took away sidewalks and put pedestrians alongside parked cars in the roadway? That is exactly what we are doing with sharrows instead of protected bike lanes on Polk.



    There are plenty who aren’t being heard b/c they’re smart and don’t put their heads up for it to get knocked off.



    Almost makes me change my mind about Yelp reviews. Good on ya.



    If that comes to pass, it should be crowd-funded and will need all hands on deck. Is everyone commenting ready to pitch in?



    It was never about just Polk. Maybe Polk has lost you, but others’ lives will still be lost on it and SF hasn’t lost Polk. The opponents will continue to gloat and share their MO and very loud voices all over SF.



    This has been suggested to them. Plus, paying the victims and the City the est. $18-28m/year the status quo on Polk St. costs – and face the victims and their families.



    Totes agree.



    There’s still a lot of time.



    The problem is the nanosecond we allow these things to stay in the spotlight – sizzle then fizzle. We need to keep the heat on through August. He can’t add to the apparent hypocrisy if he’s really being watched – or if there’s a challenger calling him on it.



    New Noah, new culture.



    We know that but we’re not wedded to an old familiar paradigm that ignores how the dots connect. We are one of the most unhealthy ‘developed’ nations and there’s no doubt that inactivity and an emissions-tainted environment are major culprits.


    Thomas Rogers

    Other actually pro-elderly/disabled policies could include:
    - disabled placard reform, to ensure they only go to the truly needy
    - Muni service improvements, for those who physically can’t drive (and/or can’t afford to drive)



    Haha, I was an optician on Chestnut Street working for 2 partners who did exactly that. I was on car-lookout and meter-feed detail pretty consistently



    Traffic on that stretch of El Camino, like much the rest of the Silicon Valley, is a mess at rush hour. For too long the conventional wisdom has held that adding lanes improves flow when all it does is attract more cars. The last thing Menlo Park needs to do is optimize for single-driver automobiles when the solution to its traffic problems lies in getting people out of single-driver cars. Furthermore, we have data from other places that have added bike lanes and seen accident rates decrease across all modes of travel, so adding bike lanes will improve safety for pedestrians as well.



    I suspect you’re overthinking this.

    My experience in these cases is that it always comes down to the merchant worrying about their own personal parking when they drive to work from the burbs.



    Then again, Avalos and Chiu were endorsed above Lee. Theoretically the endorsement should not have impacted the result, however there was a fraction who were unhappy with Avalos and if it went Chiu then Lee, as opposed to Chiu Herrera/etc… then it did.

    A non-endorsement would send a signal.

    The signal I think needs to be sent is for everyone to walk out should this turkey get up to make a speech on Bike to Work Day



    Quintin Mecke ran against Newsom. The only way Lee loses is an opponent with some shred of name recognition.



    Better solution: no helmet law.



    Rather than peak hour pricing, another option next time fares are raised are to raise them for everyone and at all times.


    Jym Dyer

    Statistically speaking, putting a child in a car is more dangerous.


    Jym Dyer

    Balanced, Bipolar, Tomato, To-mah-to.


    Jym Dyer

    Sometimes incremental solutions work. Polk Street one block at a time?

    Sometimes incremental solutions doom good ideas. A half-assed implementation can doom it from the get-go, and the good idea is blamed (see the Page Street traffic circles for details).


    Jym Dyer

    “Your face is a masterpiece. Give it a good frame.”
    — Optometry Ad



    Definitely a very poor decision that the SFBC did this. I hope that organization under their new leadership will be be smarter. I know they need to work with the City’s leadership, but it was clear from day one that Lee was entirely incompatible with their goals and that they were playing politics by endorsing him.


    Morgan Fitzgibbons

    If he’s really concerned about the needs of the elderly, he should be waging a campaign against all the people who are able bodied yet choose to drive out of laziness, not a bike lane. He doesn’t really care – he’s just an anti-bike bigot.



    To my mind, the most brain dead comments are from the Optometrist and others who believe that removing parking spaces is somehow “anti-elderly” or “anti-disabled”. All it takes is one view of a youtube video where you see people riding bikes in the Netherlands to see how many elderly and disabled use bicycles and mobility scooters to get around on protected bicycle lanes to realize what a crock that is. Really, the lack of bicycle lanes is what is *preventing* elderly from riding safely in the city. We’re basically confining people to cars once they get past a certain age because it’s too dangerous to be mixing it up with them on a bicycle. To me, that’s far more anti-elderly then removing a few parking spaces in front of a business.


    Morgan Fitzgibbons

    Amy is definitely running for Mayor. More people will pop up in the race as well, but I fear that the rest of our established political “leaders” are too cowardly to step up for this city.