Today’s Headlines

  • Sup. Norman Yee Holds Hearing On Improving Ped Safety After Deaths in His District (ABC)
  • Muni Employee Hospitalized by Muni Driver at Bus Yard (CBS)
  • Sup. Wiener’s CEQA Appeal Reform Measures Headed to Supes Committee (SFGate)
  • Sup. David Chiu’s Transpo Leadership: Calling for an App to Keep Drivers From Being Towed (CBS)
  • An Oakland City Planner On How CEQA Limits New Bike Lanes (Oakland Streets)
  • SFBC Presents the Facts on How People Get to Polk Street
  • 99 Percent Invisible Delves Into How Public Opinion Was Molded to Favor Cars on American Streets
  • USF Students Cling to Free Parking as SFMTA Proposes Meters and Time Limits (Foghorn)
  • Former CA Senator and HSR Proponent Now Calls Project “the Great Train Robbery” (NECN)
  • Man Struck and Killed by BART Train at Oakland’s 12th St. Station Determined to be Suicide (Mercury)
  • Muni Bus Driver Backs Into Car in Bernal Heights (Bernalwood)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Mario Tanev

    David Chiu is such a disappointment. I know his heart is in the right place, but he’s a classical politician and moves with the wind.

  • Anonymous

    Same with Wiener. Money and development seem to be his main motivations so I’m very wary of most of his moves. I think the livable streets supporters need to know that he’s not a reliable ally (no one supervisor really is).

  • Mario Tanev

    I don’t see how they’re the same.

    David Chiu does lip service to livable streets like the 2020 20% bike mode share resolution, but doesn’t take any actions to advance anything that makes streets more livable. The first action on transportation in a long time on his part is improving life for drivers who otherwise get towed – how inspiring!

    Scott Wiener actually tries to push for legislation to fund and improve Muni and livable streets. Your contention is that he has unclean motives to do so, but you need to give me more than your suspicions.

    With Chiu, I don’t just suspect he’s doing nothing for livable streets. That’s a verifiable fact! With Wiener, you have some paranoia which may or not be true, but either way is hard to prove. I’ll take the word of someone actually proposing solutions, even if I may have quibbles with some of them.

  • Anonymous

    Wiener is the same as Chiu in that he’s a disappointment/politician. Like all our politicians I think Wiener talks a good game (sometimes), but I don’t think he really delivers either. We want him to be a champion more than he is. I’m not saying he’s useless or an enemy, but he may end up being a false friend. He’s too conservative to really change the status quo in any meaningful way.

    In regards to a bus loading platform at 18th: “But others, like D8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, thought the potential backup as drivers wait behind loading buses might be too significant. “I’m not sure if that’ll be workable,” he said.

  • thomas

    Got to love 99% Invisible.

  • Mario Tanev

    Given the crisis of inaction in San Francisco, at this point I am more willing to give action the benefit of the doubt and try to judge based on the consequences. Inaction is inherently hard to judge, but I know that I don’t like the status quo.

    Chiu has nothing to be judged on as he just takes the common denominator that nobody can object to. I’d rather have a mixed bag than no bag at all. Despite some weak opposition to some transit friendly ideas (Sunday meters for example) Wiener still weighs pro-livable streets. Even in this case, he was pushing for a pedestrian scramble at the same intersection, which doesn’t sound like an anti-pedestrian policy to me!

    I am still not at the threshold where I perceive Wiener’s actions as useless. That may come in a year or two if he doesn’t help Muni get funding and successfully push for some other livable streets improvements. But he’s been on the board of supes significantly less time than Chiu, so it’s too early to judge.

  • Joel

    Not to mention that some of our supervisors (*coughcough* Jane Kim) actively work to preserve the status quo by making CEQA more cumbersome, ultimately slowing down TOD, livable streets, and open space improvements. This makes Wiener look lightyears better by comparison, even if people blame him for being beholden to developers. At least development gets the city TIDF.

  • voltairesmistress

    In a paradoxical way, Chiu’s proposed app to help drivers not get towed helps make the city more livable. If drivers feel parking rules and enforcement are arbitrary and byzantine (even if they are not), they don’t buy into the system; they don’t support tax initiatives for SFMTA projects; they gnash their teeth when pedestrian improvements and bike riding take away former car-dominant streets; they play cat and mouse with parking rules. They feel preyed upon as a money source and feel good when they can beat the system. Whether any of these perceptions is true is moot.

    By contrast, if rules and enforcement contain few surprises and plenty of opportunity for drivers to remediate their mistakes (whoops, need to feed that meter!), they work more within and with the system of enforcement. Rules seem easier to follow. More money comes in from paying rational parking fees and registration of vehicles, rather than the unanticipated parking citation or $600 red light fine. So in the big picture, getting drivers to work voluntarily every day within the set of rules and laws creates a positive environment for better streets culture.

  • Anonymous

    Is there any data-driven support for your belief a no-towing app shall make motorists “work more within and with the system of enforcement” resulting in “better streets culture”?

  • mikesonn

    No, it is just car owner BS. If you park, read the signs. If you get a ticket, suck it up and pay. If you get towed, you really messed up. It happens in a busy crowded city, too bad. Chiu’s app is a joke and a sad excuse for a “transit improvement”. He made the 20% by 2020 claim but backs nothing that will actually get us there. Sadly in line with our non-exsistant “transit first” policy.

  • voltairesmistress

    No, greasybear, I don’t have hard data. My opinion is based on my observation of friends and acquaintances’ expressed attitudes about parking and driving in San Francisco. You and others can reject it as anecdotal, but I think I may have a point here.

    I have noticed a marked change in people’s attitudes about paying for parking, now that one can pay by prepaid parking card, by credit card, by app, and by phone. Nobody I know now parks briefly without paying the meter or gets caught out because their errands took longer than the time the driver could pay for with available change.

    The constancy of paying for what one uses and the near absence of citations means my friends rarely feel angry with the meter maids or the SFMTA or the city’s government when it comes to driving and parking. I talked with one or two about upcoming proposals to increase vehicle registration fees to fund transit, and they were surprisingly receptive. Last week, an inveterate driver described how she now walked to work (3 miles) once or twice a week, because of increased dynamic pricing of parking near 4th and Townsend. And she finds she loves the experience and is appreciating San Francisco’s neighborhoods in a new way. These are changes in behavior and attitude that can only benefit street space management.

    Anecdotal, yes. Untrue, I think not.

  • Freakonomics would dictate this regarding Chiu’s app. Go ahead and park illegally, if you get caught and are about to get towed, your phone will ring and you can go move your car.

    This changes the moral compass. The current status is “do not park illegally”. The new status will be “It’s ok to park illegally as long as you have your smart app and move your car if the DPT calls it in”. But the price paid by society is caused by the illegal parking itself, and this not ameliorated when the driver comes and moves the car instead of the car being towed by DPT.

  • voltairesmistress

    murph, you may be right, but I do think a lot of people make honest mistakes about parking in spaces that get converted into bus only lanes for the commute hours only. I know my spouse got towed in that way after first moving to San Francisco. I see cars with out of state plates getting towed in the evening commute hours all the time. In my spouse’s case, it would not have taken a towing, merely an app alert, to put her on notice that there was a problem, and not to repeat said practice. Of course, there will always be people who try to game the system. I just think a more transparent , courteous, and helpful agency is more likely to garner broad social compliance and political support for initiatives that will make for better living. That’s a long view approach.