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    Shauna Mills

    The 2 year old baby that was hit by a car and killed in oakland ca that was my baby and she was only going to the ice cream truck the woman who hit her wasn’t paying attention she came in the wrong way and they are saying that it was a accident I had to raise money by myself to bury my baby I want justice for my daughter she was not in the parking lot she was on the side walk with het brother I saw my baby get ran over and it’s not right I will fight for justice for Anijah Diamond Roxcie Walker



    Heh. Harsh, but fair.


    Jamison Wieser

    In the business world if your costs for deliveries go up it typically means you have to pass those costs onto your customers.

    Delivery companies do not calculate costs so specifically that pricing is differentiated from block to block.

    Removing a few parking spaces per block won’t doesn’t make a difference to UPS, FedEx, and/or any other company delivering merchandise company that doesn’t care about the legality of double-parking anyway that in the case they are ticketed they will pass that cost on to any single customer instead of raising their overall flat, regional, or tiered pricing.

    In the aggregate a merchant is effected just the same from a double-parking ticket whether it be given in front of their own business along Van Ness, as it is in front of another along down the street, or along Valencia, Jefferson, Market, the Embarcadero, Haight, Divisadero, Folsom, any given street in Modesto, etc.

    This is also the right-most lane where the traffic already effects Muni disproportionately than motorists, because traffic can merge left to avoid both busses and delivery vehicles, does it really matter which?

    Anyone inconsiderate enough to block traffic on a state highway and critical throughway probably doesn’t care if they are blocking one, two, or sixteen lanes to begin with. At least the majority of travelers, and the majority of those in a walkable distance on Van Ness won’t be obstructed by those double-parked delivery trucks.

    Creating a speed incentive to take transit (I’m generalizing with “transit” because GG Transit runs service on Van Ness and it could in the future be shared with some form of light-rail streetcars as well) over driving, which mean more cars off the road.


    Jamison Wieser

    Even if the majority of a business’ customers do not drive those businesses would suffer a hardship for deliveries if parking spaces were removed. It would undoubtedly result in double parking nightmares since delivery trucks have no recourse or alternative.

    That sounds like a threat. But it’s a silly argument to make in the first place. Many arm-chair traffic engineers and merchants likewise said narrowing the streets and removing lanes along Valencia and Jefferson was going to cause “double parking nightmares” and somehow merchants have been able to thrive and grow.

    If a business cannot manage without customers or deliveries double-parking being forced to double-park does not belong along a highway.

    Likewise a businesses that caters so specifically to motorists it would suffer by loosing a few unreserved parking spaces per block does not belong on Van Ness. They are doing their own customers a disservice by inconveniencing them when they could be located somewhere with plenty of parking, especially reserved parking, like having their own lot.

    The corridor already has more people passing by them on foot going to or from transit than park and it would be increased by better transit service and pedestrian facilities. It’s in the interest of residents, visitors, the city overall, businesses themselves and fellow merchants to make Van Ness more walkable, Muni-able, and congestion free.


    Dave Moore

    I wasn’t debating the relative merits of metered car parking vs parklets. I was objecting to the characterization of them with “All of these are subject to high fees that go to maintaining City departments’ budgets”. These are not high fees and are a drop in the bucket compared to the departments’ budgets.

    Also the limit on the use of these permanent spaces is not inconsistent when compared to that of temporary usage of parking spaces. I can’t legally run a business out of my car either. I can temporarily rent a space for a food truck though. Perhaps that’s a better comparison point. The fees on that are considerably higher than $250 a year.


    Jamison Wieser

    Van Ness Avenue is the official Highway 101 corridor.

    Which makes it a very important north-south corridor for motor vehicle traffic traveling both to and through the city.

    Busses, sometimes multiple busses, stopping at almost every other corner, often during a green light, sometimes for more than one cycle, blocking the rightmost traffic lane, blocking anyone trying to make a right turn, all create traffic congestion for motor vehicle traffic in addition to slowing down Muni service.


    David Baker

    Over time the Parklet fees add up. Plus there is the restriction on “private” use (inconsistent when storing your “private” car there has no such restriction). This means as a restaurant you can’t serve tables at a Parklet that you have invested tens of thousands of dollars in.

    But the theoretical goal of Parklets as well as parking meters is to provide public benefit not revenue: a more active pedestrian realm (tremendous increase in business and value for the neighborhood) or in the latter case parking turnover for businesses (a good thing for getting customers who drive to shop in a neighborhood. At some density point this adds neglible value, cars being such an inefficient custoner delivery option in terms of square foot per customer).


    Jamison Wieser

    Exactly what “rail ready” means is ambiguous. Creating a dedicated transit corridor that does nothing to preclude rail conversion would be once interpretation.

    About a decade ago, one of the Geary Citizens and Advisory Councils had the TA to study a “rail ready” Geary. There would be a massive cost increase and time to build rail and wire that would go unused for decades.

    Cautionary Tale #1:

    Seattle built their downtown transit tunnel “rail ready” which only added to time and cost converting to rail because the track hadn’t been installed properly (they had to be torn out completely and replaced), plans had changed (there are a pair of unused tracks at the convention center station because the route was changed and rather than coming to a dead end there it takes a different turn so it can continue. There are two northern extensions are currently under construction and a third being designed) and technology itself had changed with low-floor light-rail becoming more common. During the two-year closure the road bed (not the platforms, elevators, escalators, etc.) was also lowered to provide level boarding, and the wiring had to be rebuilt for rail compatibility.

    Cautionary Tale #2:

    One of Geary BRT’s big opponents (David Heller, president of a merchants association) seemed really pleased to have transit advocates on his side fighting against BRT. Nearly a decade later it still hasn’t been built, “rail-ready” or otherwise.


    Dave Moore

    I’m not sure about the other fees, but parklets are anything but a money maker for the city. I think they can’t be, by state law.

    According to

    the city fees are $800 for the application, $650 for removal of 2 meters and yearly fees of $250

    I’ve got to believe that if meters were lost then they are technically a money loser, at least after the first year. $250 is about 4 parking tickets let alone the meter revenue itself.



    For those of us that actually drive along the elevated portion of the Great Highway the idea of reducing this to 2 lanes is absurd , , it already gets huge amounts of traffic on nice days so why would anyone in his or her right mind want to turn it into gridlock ,
    There are things that could be done , like fixing the flooding issue that happens just North of Lincoln Way



    Well, there you have it. The city will let you store your car on Sundays for free (very important), but commerce? People sitting and eating? These things must apparently be discouraged with stiff fees.



    Columbus Avenue screams pedestrian-only. Build the central subway’s stop in North Beach (and in a magical world, put another subway stop north of there at Chestnut or Lombard or Bay). I can’t imagine another street in San Francisco that has such pedestrian-only potential.

    Start by handing over extra space to the merchants in front of their stores for additional outdoor seating to help win them over. If merchants are upset about parking themselves, give merchants a certain number of dedicated parking passes to park close to their own businesses. Maybe allow delivery vehicles during early morning / late evening hours.

    I can’t see how this wouldn’t be a major boon for merchants in that corridor. It would revolutionize the corridor up by Chestnut and Lombard that sits with empty storefronts today.



    YES YES YES More of this! What an incredible way to remove food deserts in this city, to increase income opportunities, and to decrease commercial lease costs for small businesses. A city’s vitality is, in no small way, based on residents’ abilities to start small businesses and take risks with an idea. You shouldn’t need to raise millions to start a small business—that’s precisely what prevents essential businesses from thriving, and luxury businesses become the default.



    I used to work at Ted & Al’s. The main reason we would double park or park in the bike lane was to either load or unload towed vehicles or more likely to get a particular truck in or out of the shop. It is common for one driver to have to pull out several trucks just to get to his. They have around 30 drivers and 30 trucks operating out of that building. Once the task is complete, the trucks are brought back in the building as soon as possible. That’s how it’s been done for decades but only because there is absolutely no other way. So as long as they operate out of that location, it will continue. They have no special relationship or arrangement with the city or police other than their permit to operate.They do not tow illegally parked cars for the SFPD either. They are primarily a AAA contractor doing business the best they can on a busy street with a fairly new bike lane in front. The only solution I can think of is to paint the bike lane similar the the entrance of the nearby ARCO with a lane for tow trucks to enter and exit the building.


    Dark Soul

    Dont tell me they going start putting crosswalk/traffic lights there just because someone got into a accident in the express like road.

    When the sign says no crossing. You dont cross.


    Jamison Wieser

    “The folks who live and work in the area around Van Ness, Polk, Larkin, and Gough Streets, are ground zero for the fight. The more money SFMTA throws at projects like the Van Ness BRT, the less likely they are to win at the polls.”

    Historically voters have nearly always choosen to remove freeways and improve transit. More specifically it was voters who approved the sales tax increase being used to fund high-capacity transit along four-corridors: Third Street/Bayshore, Stockton/Central Corridor, Geary and Van Ness. The corridors had been identified as priority projects by the County Transit Authority (TA).

    They were identified from study and planning work funded through a previous sales tax increase and the four-corridors plan requires update and approval every two years by the TA board and that’s made up of the 11 members of the Board of Supervisors.

    If you wish to frame it as throwing money around rather than consistent re-authorization of funds votes levied on themselves for the very specific purpose they were approved for, then the way the money is being thrown is towards the SFMTA by the Board of Supervisors.


    David Baker

    Perhaps the City should take a look at some of the disincentives it has to active street uses, in particular the permit fees for food preparation, outdoor seating, parklets, etc. All of these are subject to high fees that go to maintaining City departments’ budgets. Perhaps they serve some public benefit goal as well, but it’s not always obvious what that is. It certainly results in a less vibrant and active City.



    andy chow your idea to connect the N and L is a great idea indeed. unfortunately great highway is a terrible place for LRV’S and would either have to run down sunset blvd or 19th avenue via subway


    Jamison Wieser

    “Now that parking has been removed from many public streets we have a lot of double parked delivery vehicles, and a lot more traffic jams. That may make some people happy but it makes a lot more people mad.”

    And justifiably mad too. Double parked cars and trucks are constantly blocking the bike lanes and sharrowed traffic lanes, creating traffic jams and forcing bikes to merge into traffic.

    Drivers get mad because cyclists are getting in their way and they are slightly inconvenienced by having to slow down, and cyclists are mad because the owner of that car or truck is putting them in harms way.



    Forcing traffic to weave in and out of parking lanes from block to
    block to “calm” it, … will force ambulances and fire trucks to slow down and create a very dangerous situation for everyone on the road.

    Do you have any evidence of this or is this just your conjecture?

    When asked how business will be supplied by trucks when parking is
    removed from on Van Ness, people were told, “we’ll figure that out.”

    That’s unfortunate. There are easy ways to deal with that, including changing the times of deliveries.


    sebra leaves

    There are reasons for wide lanes and faster traffic on some city streets. Van Ness is an extension of the 101 Freeway designed to carry cross town traffic.
    Emergency first responders object to making streets more narrow and taking out street lanes and have voiced their concerns. Forcing traffic to weave in and out of parking lanes from block to block to “calm” it, (you have to see the drawings to understand it, because it makes no logical sense.) rather than driving in a straight line, will force ambulances and fire trucks to slow down and create a very dangerous situation for everyone on the road.
    When asked how business will be supplied by trucks when parking is removed from on Van Ness, people were told, “we’ll figure that out.” (See Castro Street now to see how well that works and ask the merchants how well they are doing).
    Now that parking has been removed from many public streets we have a lot of double parked delivery vehicles, and a lot more traffic jams. That may make some people happy but it makes a lot more people mad.
    The folks who live and work in the area around Van Ness, Polk, Larkin, and Gough Streets, are ground zero for the fight. The more money SFMTA throws at projects like the Van Ness BRT, the less likely they are to win at the polls.


    Fran Taylor

    That was the #42-Downtown Loop, discontinued in 2001.


    sebra leaves

    Good point. Blame your state representatives for allowing exceptions to the state regulations and blame your federal representatives for funding these projects.



    ‘Dawn…is clinging on to an outdated model of urban planning…’ That would presume that she knows anything about urban planning. Listening to her as she tries to take down a hapless developer proves she’s utterly ignorant. All she’s ‘clinging on to’ is power.



    They drive out anyone who doesn’t march to their drum. I’ve spoken with several former members – including one commenter here – who’ve told me so.

    Another example of harassment of merchants who don’t agree: It’s a Grind used to host the MPNA’s monthly meetings and came to really dislike them so asked them to find another venue. Dawn badgered them repeatedly about one stupid thing after another thereafter.

    One of our people stepped up to be the ‘steering committee’ (paperwork schlepper) for the City grant they were awarded. There were no other volunteers but they rejected her. And on and on. I reported all of these tactics to the appropriate people, including Chiu and Lee. After one particularly disgusting encounter, they now bill their parties as for ‘members and invited guests only.’

    If nothing else, we can admire their obsessive dedication. What’s the answer? Be the neighborhood association you want to see in the City.



    ‘Let’s stop dithering.’ Yes, let’s.



    Seems to me that a younger, more ethnically diverse group of people should join the Middle Polk Neighborhood Association and take it over from within. Give Miss Dawn her walking papers and turn the MPNA into a transit advocacy group.


    Mario Tanev

    In their mind transit riders pay too little and are subsidized by drivers, so for them this is a step in restoring balance they wouldn’t object to.


    Tony Barretto

    You have to understand disability before you jump to conclusions, as indeed Aoron Bialick has done. Sure the women has walked and bent down to pick up something. No sign of disability there, right ? Wrong ! Don’t judge a book by its cover. People will and do cope with lots of pain to do something and try to appear as normal as possible.

    As an example, CSF/ME, Arthritus and HIV/AIDS, can have a certain amount of normality. Though they suffer from pain and arthritus or have side effects that they have to cope. Unless you are disabled in this way or know someone who is, then your looking at disability from a 70/80′s viewpoint.

    There is a need to review who issues placards and to ensure who is using the placard. Surely in places where there is high abuse, it is possible for random checks by law enforcement ?



    Litigation broadly defined. The ‘Restore Balance’ initiative (Prop L on Nov’s ballot) is a looming example of blowback. Still, I’ve investigated a lot and still can’t get my head around the capitulating to ignoramuses. Bottom line seems to be that our leaders are poll-driven and unenlightened who don’t take on educating encouraging us to bear some temporary inconveniences for the sake of long term gain – and lives. That is, they don’t actually lead.


    Mom on a bike

    What is it going to take for American cities to ban large trucks in downtowns until proven safe? Why can’t the NTSB take leadership on this?


    Michael Smith

    I smell BS here. Eric Arguello is not a fan of livable streets so he makes absurd claims about customers not being able to make it to the businesses (when huge number of visitors meant the places were actually packed) and that businesses didn’t want to pay fees for serving food outdoors (they could simply not serve food outdoors). The businesses on Valencia get it. Eric doesn’t.



    High fees are ironic in that the event drives sales tax revenue in the city.



    Agreed. If Ancient Rome’s governors figured out how night time deliveries reduced street congestion, perhaps our fine politicians could follow their lead.



    I live in the neighborhood and had no idea the Save Polk Street group was vehemently opposed to the BRT on Van Ness. It just boggles the mind that this group of merchants and residents does not understand how the numerous condo, assisted living, hospital, and other large scale developments along Van Ness and streets crossing Van Ness are going to be bringing thousands of new local residents to Polk and Van Ness stores. Check out curbedsf to see the extent of current and planned projects — it’s not as busy as SOMA or Mid-Market, but it’s pretty impressive. We will need the BRT more than ever! Now that I know that the Van Ness BRT is under attack , I (and I hope others) will start attending what I thought were fairly benign Van Ness BRT meetings.



    I think Sunday Streets best serves the cause of making streets people-friendly by concentrating on broader avenues usually devoted to car travel. People then experience these places in a whole new way, and perhaps become more open to the idea of down-sizing streets, giving them road-diets, according more space to people not-in-cars, etc. Twenty-fourth Street is already much like that: narrow and with stop signs on every block, slow car traffic, much pedestrian and bike use, lots of people crossing mid-block to visit the next store on their list, etc. In other words, while Valencia or Mission Streets could benefit from a Sunday Streets event, 24th Street is already “closer to fine” than we have perhaps recognized.



    Here’s what Eric Arguello had to say about the Potrero Avenue overhaul last year, as reported by Streetsblog: “I never see people on Potrero…Parking is really important.” Not surprising that he wouldn’t be a fan of Sunday Streets either.


    Andy Chow

    Are you assuming that I am a fan of the Central Subway? Well I never was.



    Remind me your position on the central subway?



    If it happens by 2020 we will have bigger problems and there will be no one percent



    Ultimately, I would love to see a circle line which incorporates the planned route of the E-line (Fisherman’s Wharf to Caltrain), then continues on King or Townsend to Division, then north on Van Ness, and finally back to Fisherman’s Wharf. In this fantasy the Central Freeway has been removed and Division is regenerating, and the line is operated by modern low-floor streetcars mixed in with the historic cars on the F-line. The resources currently used on the 47 and 49 are instead used to make the 14 super high frequency; some people will have to transfer, but overall the experience will be better.

    Total fantasy at this point, but it would be nice if Van Ness BRT had been designed rail-ready, just in case…



    There’s nothing to litigate on, in this case. SFMTA are going above and beyond what is required by CEQA when planning these projects.



    How about changing the times deliveries are done? If deliveries were done during the midnight early morning hours where congestion is almost none or traffic that is. It would make deliveries more efficient and less stressful. Bottom line these concerns should NOT continue to stall this much needed project and improvement any longer. This is about improving Muni service on Van Ness Ave that is what should and must be the goal of this project



    I live on Hayes St., where the MTA wants to run these behemoths. It is two lanes, and is a popular, and official, cross-town route for bicyclists and peds. Have we been notified of this proposed change? No, but my daughter just pointed out these little green stickers that have been added to the MUNI stop at Masonic and Hayes.
    A few other notes: It is zoned residential/commercial, meaning there are the occasional double-parked deliver trucks. There are several schools on the route, including elementaries and City College (John Adams Campus). We also have MV and UCSF shuttles.
    Let the shuttles run along Fell and Oak, since they just want to get in and out of the City on 101 anyway!
    BTW, if they wanted to actually do something that would be popular with residents and visitors (and take some of the heat off themselves), let everyone ride them, not just employees! They’re using public space, after all.



    Karen, Van Ness (and Lombard) are considered part of the Federal and State highway system. They are designated as 101 because they form the official link where 101 ends to where it resumes at the GG Bridge.

    So the city is limited in what it can do because those streets are effectively part of the Interstate system. At the very least, the city would have to sacrifice some other streets for that purpose. Franklin/Gough doesn’t go far enough north, while Fell/Oak does not go far enough west.

    Compared to Van Ness, pacifying Polk Street is a stroll in the park.

    And as much as I like your idea that San Francisco will be car-free by 2020 or 2030, or at least only the one percent will have cars, I think it is fanciful. If we cannot even remove a few parking spaces to improve an urban street like Polk, then the idea of banishing most cars from SF remains a wish rather than a reality.

    I think it will happen eventually, but consider 2100 or so to be a more realistic timeframe.



    Better to assign the true cost of easy truck deliveries to the business and thus its customers, rather than the current status quo where the costs (lost public space, dangerous road conditions, etc) are externalized and paid by the general public.



    Fare changes cost money, and all of the equipment has to be updated.


    Andy Chow

    Actually from $1.50 to $2.00. Personally I thinking having fares going up by 25 cent increment is quite significant, and I wondered why SFMTA don’t use this opportunity to provide incentive for occasional riders to switch to Clipper by making Clipper fares go up by 5 to 10 cents every 6 months until it hits $2.25.


    Andy Chow

    I am not sure whether LRT is suitable at this point. The bus lines that would take advantage of this busway also serve other locations beyond the busway. The light rail would have to be much longer to make it as useful as the bus routes that would substitute.



    Of course light rail would make more sense long run on Van Ness, but there is too much political inertia to go there right away. The choices are the status quo or the current BRT plan.

    And it’s not true that it will be obsolete as soon as it is built. Sure, it won’t be perfect, and eventually it’ll get replaced by rail. But it’ll do a lot of good in the mean time. Then, once the neighborhood is more transit focused, it’s a much easier to sell an upgrade from BRT to rail.