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    > Well, maybe, but that is what we don’t know either way.

    > That said, the fact remains that some businesses
    > do appear to have suffered

    Well, yes of course. Everyone knows that ‘things we don’t know’ are ‘the facts that remain’. Where is the confusion?



    Executing on a program to evaluate median parking on Dolores Street is reasonable given that it is already happening and various stakeholders are in favor of it. After all, this is only a 12 month pilot.

    I suspect, though, that religious leaders who are supporting this measure are under the mistaken belief that the city would issue “permits” to their communities or give them the ability to reserve spaces rather than what is actually happening, which is that parking will become legal to anyone, first come first serve, just like any other place in the city. As a result, they will likely still complain about a lack of parking for their members, because those spaces will just as surely be used by people enjoying Dolores Park and other areas in the Mission rather than going to religious services.



    In fact I cannot recall a single SF project that has made things better
    for drivers, except possibly for the Doyle Drive re-do which was Federal

    Interesting. A lot of people who drive through there get benefit from that. By your standards though, only people living in the Presidio should have a say on that roadway.



    I guess we can completely discount all those customers who occasionally drive to this neighborhood to support the merchants then… they don’t count – it’s not like those San Jose travel customers are coming up more than 2-3x per year.



    Ok, we’re going from your “local residents” to your “immediate area” Would you please define both phrases for me?

    I can walk to 18th and Mission in about 15 minutes, 16th street BART in 20, I live in the Castro. Care to define me so I will know my place at the next meeting full of us “transit advocates” ?


    sebra leaves

    To be specific, the request was to move the fast buses to Van Ness for people who are traveling through the Mission, not to Mission Street. We also want to bring back the bus stops for local riders, and return Mission Street to its former “slow street” self.


    sebra leaves

    What do you suppose convinced SFMTA to “improve” their controversial improvements? Did the threat of a Charter Amendment coming out of a western district convinced them they have gone too far? Claims that the buses are not any more reliable now than they were before the red carpet got laid?

    Sit through one SFMTA Board Meeting and you will know the answer. We sat through a relatively productive SFMTA staff meeting yesterday and came up with some very cheap, fast fixes for staff to take back to their bosses that we told them would help the Mission merchants recover from their losses but we don’t expect them to listen to us.

    The voters, particularly the ones on Lombard, Masonic, Geary, Van Ness, Taraval, 16th Street and Potrero Avenue, to name a few, will not trust the SFMTA to listen to them either and will probably support the SFMTA Charter Amendment: Details here:



    Which explains why his popularity is at an all-time low:



    “No law has any validity or binding force unless it has the support and overwhelming approbation of the people”

    Vaguely remembered from Civics class and attributed to Alexander Hamilton. I might have the exact words wrong but the sentiment might reasonably be seen to apply here.



    Rob, all we really know is that we don’t know how many activists were there. We know there were some because they were identified. But how would you know if there were another 20 there? You wouldn’t.

    I believe the other guy’s premise was that 1/3 of the audience were supportive of the islands but almost every local who spoke opposed them. That implies that many if not most of the 1/3 from interlopers but I’d agree we don’t know for sure.

    That said. while I haven’t been to many public meetings, there are always some activists there. That’s certainly true for housing issues, where I know some of the players and they routinely show up seemingly to every meeting.

    And I think that’s a problem. I just hope the moderators know who the usual suspects are and discount their testimony.



    From my limited sample last night it doesn’t seem that drivers respect the forced right turn at 22nd street anyway. Out of the 6 cars I saw (one was a taxi) none of them turned right. From the article it doesn’t seem like it is much better in the daytime.



    Well, maybe, but that is what we don’t know either way. If a business says they are down 20% then what do they hope to gain from that if the reality is that they are actually up 20% because of the bus lanes?

    Some may be mistaken, some may even be lying, but I don’t think they can all be discounted.



    Some businesses have more car-centric owners. They drive to work so they don’t want impediments on their travel. But they make unsupported claims that their business is down because that is more sympathetic.



    But that disregards and discounts drivers who didn’t stop there but were merely passing through. Harder to poll, I’d agree, just like the drivers who have taken huge detours because of the Stockton mess.

    The mere act of interviewing people on sidewalks, bikes or buses immediately distorts and skews the population, and therefore the results.

    How can SFMTA develop an understanding of the thousands of drivers who pass through a location but it is neither their origin nor their destination and input their views into the model?



    Rich, the more you repeat something doesn’t make it true. Please stop spreading false information. These comment sections should be an exchange of ideas and not petty arguments. That aside, when I asked the commenter you are referring to if he was at the meeting he said he was not and just quoted the article which never said that there was 1/3 of a rent a mob.



    You didn’t read the report nor the relevant conclusions. SFMTA interviewed people walking on the streets who arrived by car as well as other modes. This survey includes their opinions as well as the people who arrived by transit.



    There is certainly a debate we could have about whether I should have the same say if I spend 10 minutes a week travelling through your neighborhood as you should of you live and work there..

    But that would also mean asking all the drivers who drive through there. Are you sure you want to take that risk?



    I think we should also be including the people who actually ride the buses on Mission as well. They have just as much of a voice as the other people you mention. The results of a SFMTA survey is here:

    And here are some of the more relevent graphs. You’ll notice that 58% of people support it outright, and only 16% don’t support it.



    How about we all agree that only local residents, workers, business owners and regular visitors have a say?

    And all the lobbyists, ideologues, activists, advocates, interlopers and carpet-baggers butt out?

    Then we accept the majority verdict. I am perfectly happy with bike and bus lanes up the wazoo as long as the people immediately affected agree and support it.

    The problems arise when the empire builders and social engineers show up with their grand schemes and interventionist agendas.



    Except of course that I never used the phrase “carpet

    baggers” so you are lying.

    my entire point was that there are external interlopers who infiltrate meetings in neighborhoods

    It’s a very fine line between carpet bagger and external interloper



    You’ve obviously never been to Italy where the streets can be packed with people, and buses inch through them.

    Trying to combine a pedestrianized street mall and a bus route won’t work. The buses should be re-routed if we’re going to do this at all. Or just give Stockton back to us as we all were led to believe would happen.



    OK, so if there was a meeting to put in a new protected bike lane that involves taking resources away from cars, and AAA showed up with a whole bunch of supporters and advocates, none of whom lived in that area, you’d totally understand that and deem it to be reasonable and fair?



    Yes, but you called them a “rent a mob”. Given the connotations of that phrase, I fail to see how my use of the word “cranky” is any different or showing any less bias than you.



    That makes for very efficient transit that can carry more people and has a higher reliability than if the road is clogged with cars and trucks. It’s the whole reason why traffic is diverted off of Market, Mission, and the other streets where the city has been making transit improvements. The reason why they’d restrict cars is that the street would get narrowed to one lane (for transit) to widen the sidewalks.



    But you know and I know that if there is a car-free street where every 15 minutes or so a solitary vehicle goes by them, in effect, the entire street will fill with people.

    Or is your argument that people and cars never enter a bike lane and so this city is massively respectful of such right-of-ways?

    No matter, the Stockton project is about pedestrians primarily.



    No, my entire point was that there are external interlopers who infiltrate meetings in neighborhoods where they have no personal interest or connection purely for the point of trying to skew the meeting towards their ideological preferences.

    That is a valid concern. My intent is to remove bias – not to introduce it.



    Nope – that’s not at all what proposed. It’s a transit lane (with a curb cut) with expanded sidewalks.



    Chris was suggesting that the Stockton project was to speed up buses. Having buses thread their way through a car-free street packed with pedestrians doesn’t sound to me like a speed-up.



    Okay, here’s what you said:
    “but there is a “rent-a-mob” contingent of outside advocates” again, your showing a bias and using name calling to try and dehumanize people.



    Good grief. We went over this yesterday and you’re being deliberately obtuse – the proposal on Stockton is for transit and pedestrians and to restrict private vehicles. None of the proposals is making it pedestrian only.



    Except of course that I never used the phrase “carpet baggers” so you are lying.

    Why aren’t the bike and transit lobbyists “cranky” when they whine and bleat that Transit First and Vision Zero policies aren’t working out for them?



    And you’re revealing your bias by calling people who favor transit “carpet baggers”. And labeling people who don’t agree with your position “anti-car zealots”. Spare me.



    Since politicians generally want to be re-elected (not Lee in this case, I’ll admit) then it behooves them to listen to what their voters want.

    And why does the city even conduct public meetings if it is not to learn what is wrong or unpopular about their policy ideas and accept feedback to make them more relevant? Democracy is a vehicle to give the majority what they want.

    But you show your own bias by referring to the voters as “cranky”, and yet you use no such negative epithet for those who agree with you. Interesting.



    Actually that’s not his job. His job is to execute on legislation and policy that balances concerns from many different stakeholders. I challenge you to find any language in the mayor’s job description that says he’s the “listener in chief” of the city. I further encourage you to watch the clip from a community meeting held in NYC where the mayor explains what his job actually is and why he doesn’t need to execute on the desires of cranky residents if they don’t match his stated goals.



    The Broadway tunnel goes West from ChinaTown.

    Broadway itself goes East from ChinaTown.



    Sorry, I was confusing you with a guy called John Murphy who tried to mess with 24th Street around 2010 or so, and failed to convince his fellow residents.



    It also goes east from Chinatown and intersects the Embarcadero. The Embarcadero, you know, used to be under 480, until 480 was torn down, which was going to be the death of Chinatown because all the traffic comes to Chinatown from 480…



    So Lee is a liar and all businesses on Mission Street are shitty?

    You’re not out to make any friends are you?



    Broadway goes West from ChinaTown.

    Do more visitors to Chinatown come from the West or the South? I don’t know and I’m fairly sure that you don’t either. But when I lived in the Inner Richmond, I never took the Broadway tunnel, but rather went East on Bush and worked my way around, more often taking the Stockton tunnel.



    Should the city compensate the owner of a shitty business when they permit someone to tear down a code violating tenement next to it, and build nice condos? That displaces their customer base and increases their rent.



    So your big point is that there is no difference between a local resident, employee or business owner and a lobbying organization?

    I can only assume that you approved of the SCOTUS Citizens United decision.



    Well, SF is all about resisting change. Ask any NIMBY.

    That said, the fact remains that some businesses do appear to have suffered, and that is a material factor.

    Maybe the city should consider compensating business owners for the “taking” when a bike or bus lane is introduced?

    I feel sure you’d be happy to pay more taxes to cover that. Especially as you don’t pay taxes in the city anyway.



    Don’t shoot the messenger, cut and pasted from Yelp. Which of course = gentrification.



    So you are calling Lee a liar?



    Face it – the red lanes are things they don’t use. So presumably the red lanes are something all the “new people” would use. And the “new people” use computers to book travel, and don’t eat greasy food served with a bad attitude.

    This isn’t about resisting bus lanes. It’s about resisting anything they might affiliate with change because change is very bad for them.



    Borderline racist but kinda cute so you get away with it.




    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