Supes Avalos, Wiener Clash on Equitable Spending Strategies for Muni

Supervisors John Avalos and Scott Wiener are sparring over how new revenue for transit should be spent to benefit the Muni riders who need it most.

With tax measures proposed for the 2014 ballot that could significantly increase transportation funds, Avalos introduced a charter amendment yesterday that would “require the city to prioritize investments to address existing disparities in service to low-income and transit dependent areas,” according to a statement from his office.

The Transit Equity Charter Amendment “provides a framework for how the city rebuilds transportation transit infrastructure and rebuilds transit service,” Avalos said at yesterday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, explaining that it would also set stricter equity performance metrics and increase oversight by the SF County Transportation Authority Board, which is comprised of the supervisors. “It will help ensure that our investments are also targeted to address service deficiencies in our low-income and transit-dependent neighborhoods,” he said.

If approved, the amendment — also sponsored by Supervisors David Campos, Jane Kim, Norman Yee, and Eric Mar — would be placed on the November 2014 ballot alongside tax measures to increase funding for transportation upgrades, as recommended by Mayor Ed Lee’s Transportation 2030 Task Force, a 48-member group that has met throughout the year to develop the recommendations.

Avalos, who represents the SFCTA Board on the task force — also known as T2030 — has criticized its lack of representatives of low-income communities. It has reps from a broad range of city agencies, regional transportation agencies, and transportation advocates like SPUR, the SF Bicycle Coalition, and Walk SF, as well as labor groups. It also includes two for-profit tech companies — Google and Genentech.

Representing the Board of Supervisors on the task force along with Supervisor David Chiu is Wiener, who said the Avalos amendment will “undermine Muni service, make the system less reliable, and do nothing to achieve what we need most: to shore up the system and expand its capacity to meet the needs of our growing population.”

“This charter amendment won’t improve Muni reliability and capacity,” Wiener said in a statement. “Rather, it will divert transit funding away from system reliability needs. It will give the Board of Supervisors significant new authority over Muni’s budget, taking us back to the bad old days when the Board routinely used Muni as a piggy bank, before the voters took Muni away from the Board.”

“Muni serves all communities, and low-income and working class people live in every part of the city,” said Wiener. “The vast majority of Muni lines go through both higher income and lower income neighborhoods alike. We have very few lines that are limited to only lower income or higher income neighborhoods. The deteriorated light-rail vehicles that fail residents of the Castro are the same LRVs that fail residents of the Bayview, Excelsior, and Sunset.”

Wiener criticized what he called a “permanent $5-10 million annual diversion from Muni’s operating and maintenance budgets [that] will take away Muni’s flexibility to make investments to improve the system.” The Avalos legislation also says “fare increases would be limited to the increase in the Bay Area Consumer Price Index.”

Avalos told Streetsblog the amendment won’t give any power to the SFCTA or supervisors to take money away from the SFMTA, but will increase the SFCTA’s oversight of how the SFMTA spends a new $70 million set-aside, taken out of the city’s general fund.

That money is expected to be offset by new revenue from T2030’s proposed tax measures, which the City Controller’s office estimates could bring up to $200 million in new annual city revenue, an undetermined share of which would go toward transportation, depending on the stipulations in the ballot measures. Those measures are: an increase in the city’s vehicle license fee from 0.65 percent to 2 percent (the statewide level before it was lowered by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger), which is expected to bring in $73 million annually; a 0.5 percent increase in the city sales tax; and a $1 billion general obligation bond.

“As state and federal support for transit keeps shrinking, there is a growing competition for regional funding between transit capital needs and operating needs, and both sets of needs have their strong partisans,” said Livable City Executive Director Tom Radulovich, who said he hasn’t taken a position on Avalos’ proposal yet. “At both the city and regional level, we simply don’t put enough funding towards transit to meet both sets of obligations.”

The SFCTA already has a set of equity standards it would use to scrutinize how the funds would be doled out, which received high praise supervisors and transportation advocates after it was explained at an SFCTA committee meeting Tuesday. Still, Avalos said his aim is to give a voice to people who didn’t have a chance to push for accountability measures as the mayor’s task force developed its revenue proposals.

“I’m bringing the communities I’m close to, that have the daily experience of riding Muni, to the table — a table they weren’t invited to when the T2030 began — to make sure we can build consensus on measures that we’ll have on the ballot that will get broad support,” said Avalos. “There has to be an equity framework for people to get on board.”

Avalos, who has previously attempted to steer Muni funds, said Muni riders headed to outlying neighborhoods like the ones he represents often suffer from switchbacks, in which they are forced to disembark and wait for another train when buses and trains are bunched together, as a vehicle is redirected to another point in the system where it’s more needed. Meanwhile, he said, inhospitable conditions remain at sites like the poorly-designed Balboa Park Station and San Jose Avenue, where pedestrian safety improvements are needed for J-Church riders who must cross lanes of fast-moving traffic to access the line in the center of the street.

Such fixes in the outer neighborhoods, said Avalos, tend to take a back seat to service upgrades in the “core” of the Muni system, which is also where much of the city’s current development is happening — a chunk of that in Wiener’s district 8.

“Scott doesn’t have a citywide perspective on things,” said Avalos. “How do our transit dollars get appropriated right now? Where do we see the preponderance of our transit dollars move in San Francisco? They go to where the cranes are. They go to where all the development is happening, and we see neighborhoods all over San Francisco get the short end of the stick.”

“We still have big projects that we have to fund — Transbay [Transit Center], Market Street, Van Ness Bus and Geary Rapid Transit, Caltrain electrification,” he added. “But we also have projects that we need to support the everyday experience of transit riders all over San Francisco.”

SF Transit Riders Union spokesperson Jim Frank said the organization “urges the supervisors to agree on a proposal… that invests both in our infrastructure (BRT, TEP, state of good repair) and service (better frequency on crowded routes).”

“Muni is in a death spiral,” said Frank. “Voters will look critically at all proposals and will want to make sure that the money is well spent. An investment into the system infrastructure and service of the core network will benefit everyone in the city.”

Avalos, meanwhile, doesn’t buy Wiener’s argument that commuters in neighborhoods like Visitacion Valley should be content with upgrades further down their Muni line.

“It’s interesting because I’ve talked about the deficiencies of Muni all over San Francisco, and I’ve never really heard him talk about the deficiencies of Muni in District 11,” said Avalos. “When there were turnbacks happening for the J-Church line, it was perfectly fine for them to turn back to District 8 when it wasn’t coming into District 11. All things are not equal in San Francisco.”

For more on Avalos’ charter amendment, read the legislative digest or the Transit Equity Charter Amendment.

  • timsmith

    The TEP has a ton of improvements for routes in the districts that the supervisors supporting this measure represent, and actually rather few for other districts (the J Church and Muni Metro are hardly receiving any improvements at all). Heck, the TEP even moved service from the 26 Valencia (which splits Campos’ and Wieners’ districts) strictly into Campos’ district on Mission Street.

    I’m not sure I see where they’re coming from.

  • voltairesmistress

    Every time I begin to think, “Hey, Avalos is okay and provides a helpful, more left wing perspective,” he offers up some steaming plate of . . . (pause) really bad ideas. In this case, his assessment of Muni problems simply does not square with the facts. Wiener explicates that already, so I won’t. But I do think Avalos is acting purely politically here, possibly with an eye toward being the left winger who runs again for mayor, against Wiener. Avalos appears to be piggybacking on the growing anxiety middle and lower income residents have due to the City’s rising rents and evictions. Tapping into that resentment is no substitute for thoughtful policy or commitment to a true revolution in City transportation.

  • gneiss

    Given the SFCTA’s track record on implementing BRT and other initiatives in the city, I have absolutely no confidence that the changes Supervisor Avalos are proposing would provide any benefit to the people who need it. All this would do is increase the amount of money that already well compensated outside consultants, city engineers and planners and others would get thrown instead of actually *doing* anything.

    All I foresee if this initiative gets added into the charter is yet more community meetings, more time (and money) spent by staff on outreach, more griping about lost bus stops and parking spaces and less actual change on the ground. We already have a TEP that’s based on empirical data which required a significant investment in time and energy by MUNI. Let’s use it rather than waste our energy on these naked money grabs by parochial supervisors who are just trying to score points with their political constituents and split the city apart rather than bring it together.

    MUNI is failing everywhere. To talk about the J-Church turn backs and ignore the N-Judah or 38-Geary problems shows how little he really cares about other parts of the city that are also suffering.

  • Mario Tanev

    I think this issue is very confusing and there are a lot of underlying questions.

    The Mayor’s task force recommended funding measures for capital needs (buying more buses and trains), but no funding measures for operational needs (delivering service at reasonable frequencies). Muni is short on both. The 10% cuts a few years ago were due to lack of operational funds, whereas the reliability problems we see today are in large part due to deteriorating infrastructure and equipment. So as part of his proposal Supervisor Avalos would direct some funding for operational needs, which I think is a good thing. Supervisor Wiener wants no funding directed to operational needs.

    On top of that however, Supervisor Avalos is adding some other things that have nothing to do with Muni’s reliability and service levels and risk jeopardizing the funding measures and depriving Muni from much needed revenue for its capital and operating needs.

  • triple0

    But.. I thought Sup. Scott Wiener was elected because he and SPUR spent thousands trying to “Fix Muni Now” with Prop G back in 2010…

  • murphstahoe

    Where do we see the preponderance of our transit dollars move in San Francisco? They go to where the cranes are.

    I didn’t know the NX and 5L line were surrounded by cranes.

  • Michael Smith

    This proposal isn’t about improving Muni service. It is just a poorly veiled attempt at giving the Supes more power over Muni priorities. Instead of having Muni continue with the TEP and get those projects implemented it would allow the Supes to push for projects that are in their short-term political interest. I actually agree with a lot of what Avalos is trying to accomplish (like making Muni free for lower-income kids and improving service for those who truly need it) but this charter amendment would only make setting priorities far more political and therefore destructive.

  • murphstahoe

    I’d have a lot more ability to listen to this had Mar, Kim, Campos, and Avalos not *ALSO* said that their low income constituencies are impacted by installing new parking meters because parking meters impact the working poor. Now the working poor are transit dependent. Which is it?

    This set is no more consistent in their policy positions than Sarah Palin. They are certainly on the correct side of far more issues than Miss Alaska, but the contradictory positions undermine them because sooner or later they just look either inept or corrupt. I don’t think this group is corrupt (internally focused perhaps, but not corrupt) but it sure is an easy play for their opponents to use given there are enough voters who have some pet issue (usually homelessness) on which they vehemently disagree with the “progressive party line” so that it’s easy to leverage the incoherent policy positions.

    I’m starting to really miss Sean Elsbernd. I disagreed with him a lot but at least he was coherent, you knew where he stood, and you could have a rational debate.

  • SFnative74

    I’m going with Wiener on this. I hope Avalos drops his measure, which sounds well meaning but has unintended consequences that will negatively affect service throughout the city.

  • The Overhead Wire

    How about we implement the TEP already? This is getting really annoying to have to keep repeating this over and over again for years and years.

  • Andy Chow

    I don’t think it is necessarily contradictory. Some low income folks are transit dependent and some are car dependent and that they think both groups need some sort of financial relief.

    The environmental folks would certainly want a pricing policy that reduces auto use and increases transit use, but whatever that strategy is, the wealthier folks are more likely to just pay the price and keep their behavior while the lower income folks get priced out.

    I don’t agree with the proposal, but I understand where they’re coming from.

  • baklazhan

    It seems to me that improving reliability and taking care of deferred maintenance is a great way to fix shortages of operational funds: how much is spent on replacement buses and drivers for broken down trains and buses? How much extra is spent on schedule padding, because lines aren’t reliable enough? Eliminate some padding and you increase frequencies– and that’s something that can only be achieved through appropriate capital spending.

  • oiseaux

    Scott Wiener and David Chiu really have no right in this fight. They both represent wealthy districts served well by transit. John Avalos’ district is a transit desert, and sadly by no surprise. Underprivileged and less wealthy neighborhoods are always, without fail, poorly served by transit. Then, every once and a while, they come along and try to put a bandaid on the problem, without actually solving it (see: T-Third metro). John Avalos is a very smart guy who knows that a lot of the people in his district are reliant on transit, and they also have to walk a fair distance to catch a super slow muni bus, while Wiener and Chiu have a metro, streetcars, and buses. Hell, in the Castro, Weiner has almost every form of transportation in SF.

  • coolbabybookworm

    I didn’t realize Mar, Kim, and Avalos have come out against new meters. In the last election I thought Mar sort of avoided taking a stance although his opponent was very anti-meter. I don’t even know what’s going on with Campos…

    While this measure may not be the best way to improve transit, I think transit money does get overly concentrated in certain areas and big name projects and it’s important to make sure that all the districts see improvements. This is especially true if we want to improve transit, walking, and biking in the city as alternatives to auto dependency for everyone and not just downtown.

    Avalos is a big environmentalist, probably the biggest on the board of supes, who bikes to work from Excelsior. I am inclined to think he cares a lot about reducing auto dependency and isn’t just trying to score points, but I’ll have to dig deeper into the proposal. It also sounds like it might be a hard sell if it splits the neoliberal and the progressive urbanists.

    Do note that the mayor’s task force (not exactly a bike/walk/transit advocate for the city) has been coming up with their own ballot measure to increase revenue that may be leaving the TEP and several other necessary improvements out. This could be the progressives trying to pull a little more sway with the mayor’s office to get important smaller projects funded.

  • Mario Tanev

    That’s true. If reliability is improved, frequency becomes less important because the worst case headway will not be that long. Having said that, frequency on some lines is too poor for a modern system like this. To attract more riders buses should be nowhere near full. Look at Zurich – its trams never get too crowded, yet with so many lines and reliable 7 minute headways, 65% of trips are using public transit.

    Also, Muni doesn’t hire enough drivers compared to industry standards, which also impacts reliability. Some runs just never even start because someone called in sick. You need some redundancy in hiring (I am not making this up, all transit agencies do), and Muni is way below the norm in that.

    So new operational funds are needed no matter what, and it’s foolish to pretend that’s not the case.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    It is disappointing to hear that the city will issue a billion in bonds and raise the sales tax while giving away huge income tax breaks to the mid-Market tech companies with their IPO windfalls. This will stick it to the poor who are the most affected by sales tax while allowing companies to skate on payroll tax. It does not improve the city’s reputation an an increasingly hostile place for the working class.

  • shamelessly

    Your exaggerations make it harder to take your case seriously. Avalos’ district includes a number of bus lines, and bus lines in SF are generally “super slow.” However, his district also includes the 14 (and 14L), which has more frequent service than most routes. His district is also served by the J, K, and M, as well as BART. The Castro and the Haight are unarguably transit rich, but it’s not accurate to characterize Avalos’ district as only served by buses.

  • Sean

    Do we really want fiefdoms of transit? Let the planners implement the TEP. Its a lovely plan, that has already received public comments and years of scrutiny. Plus ALL transit agencies receiving federal aid must undergo a Title VI analysis that analyzes disproportionate impacts to low income, limited English, and minority populations. If Avalos is so certain that these disparities exist, the forum is the Title VI process, not the ballot box.

  • vratrm

    By far the biggest issue that residents of poor and middle income neighbourhoods face is the radical unaffordable of the city, which is fuelled by the intensifying housing crisis. The only way to resolve that issue is the construction of high density housing, which will in turn requires significant upgrades to SF’s transportation infrastructure. Coordination and execution of those two initiatives is urgently needed before the remaining working class families are forced out of the city.

  • murphstahoe & coolbabybookworm: I don’t think Mar, Kim, and Avalos have opposed new meters. Avalos is sponsoring the MTA’s contract to buy new parking meters, which is supposed to be voted on next Tuesday. See this article on the meter contract, citing Farrell and Cohen as leading the charge against meters:

    And @acnetj:disqus is right that there are a significant number of car-dependent low income people, especially in the less-expensive outer neighborhoods that have fewer transit options.

  • oiseaux

    Not to split hairs, but the J runs through Districts 8 (Weiner) and 9 (Campos) and yes, has a terminus in District 11, but far from a lot of the district’s residents. The K runs through the 8 and 7 (Norman Yee). The M runs through 8, 7, and again, yes does terminate in 11. Balboa Park BART is horribly located, but yes also on the border of 7 & 11. In contrast, District 8 has the J, K(T), L, M, & N lines, as well as the F-Market, the Castro Shuttle during peak times, numerous buses, and decent bike infrastructure. Tell me, when was the last time that you took the K or M, or the 14 or 49 for that matter? From the Castro to Balboa Park on the K/M you are looking at 30 minutes with minimal traffic (much longer with traffic), and then you have the 14/49 lines that can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to get to D11 from downtown. Arguing against the fact that underprivileged communities are underserved by transit is exactly what is wrong with San Francisco. Instead of accepting that our city has serious equity issues, most residents will try to deflect. If you take a stroll in D11 or out D9 (Portola), you will see vibrant minority communities that are struggling just to even cross the street (perfect example: Allemany Boulevard), with little advocacy from the SFMTA. As a city, we are punishing these communities (for not being rich) with poor transit service and poor infrastructure. Scott Wiener has been one of the biggest forces against underprivileged communities (passing legislation that makes it illegal to sleep in parks, being against free Muni for underprivileged youth, working to close down the recycling center in the Castro used be people typically without homes just to make a little money to live). Sure thing, he worked to change fire code for cool projects like the Mercado Plaza, but he is not the biggest fan of equity. So, no I’m not really exaggerating.

  • shamelessly

    We actually agree on a lot of this. I’m just pointing out that it’s not accurate to say that only buses serve Avalos’ district. I’ve been a lefty for decades, and one of my constant critiques of my fellow lefties (and myself) is that we tend to exaggerate, even when the plain facts make a strong case without embellishment. No question that the southeast neighborhoods of SF don’t get as much focus in city hall as many other neighborhoods do, and that this grows out of institutional racism and classism.

  • coolbabybookworm

    For that matter, is Wiener even for expanded meters? Other than getting him from the Castro to downtown, which he could even easily walk, does Wiener really care much about transit? I haven’t seen much on his part other than posturing. Also, several of the supes left out of this conversation (Ferrell, Cohen, Tang) have also come out very strongly against parking meters, not sure where Yee, Breed, or Chiu stands, but I think we’re all disappointed in Chiu.

  • voltairesmistress

    Coolbaby, transportation is Wiener’s signature issue, though he is an interventionist in just about every other picayune matter as well. 😉

  • coolbabybookworm

    I know he acts like it is his signature and everyone takes him at his word but what has he actually *done*? He pushed for the castro redesign (who wouldn’t? free money), he helped with the whole foods plaza and lane reduction (again a no brainer for any supe), and he tried to get some legislation through about making it easier to install pedestrian amenities (did it even pass?). Everything else is just posturing, letters sent and calls for muni funding but nothing concrete.

  • voltairesmistress

    To the extent a supervisor, not a mayor, can get things done, I think he is in the forefront on extending the incipient bikeshare program. He spearheaded applying the commercial parking tax to individual owners of one or a few spaces they rent out to others. And he has analyzed MUNI’s ills and pushes consistently on a set of priorities arising from that analysis, including increased investment in maintenance. Not sure what I think of Wiener — he seems to have infinite capacity for regulating human behavior, and that worries me — but I am interested in a potential mayoralship.

  • coolbabybookworm

    I feel like people treat him like he’s already fixed muni, when he really hasn’t done much, and he especially hasn’t made any politically difficult moves around transit, biking, or walking.

  • voltairesmistress

    And who, among elected city officials, has made ANY difficult moves around transit? There is no noise in a vacuum.

  • coolbabybookworm

    Exactly, BUT people are bending over backwards to congratulate Wiener for being so pro transit and urban when he’s shown as much back bone as the rest of them.

    Though I would give a shout out to Breed for getting Fell and Oak installed when no one else seemed able to.

    I live in D6 and have been working with Jane Kim on some projects and she too has been very supportive and active of walking especially in the district and is a big part of the Folsom pilot (if it actually gets put in in 2013). She could just as easily have distanced herself from the bike riding and walking deaths in D6. She also called for the hearing on police bias against cyclists.

  • murphstahoe


    I confused Avalos/Mar/Kim’s votes – they voted against 1050 Valencia.

  • murphstahoe

    Wiener pushed for increaed TIDF – and Avalos and crew killed it.

    Wiener hired Gillian Gilette who has been promoted and does good work.

    But he did campaign against meter expansion

  • rickbynight

    Ironic that most US cities treat transit as *for* the lower classes, while here we argue over why the lower classes don’t get as much transit as the wealthier areas.

    That said, we need better transit *everywhere.*

  • voltairesmistress

    Coolbaby, Forgive me, but we don’t agree on this, and I am not making your point. I am saying that Wiener has actually done some things for transit, biking, and peds. As you point out, Breed and Kim have done some things too. No supervisor or mayor, however, to my knowledge has taken a really tough stand. That includes Avalos whom you seem to like. Avalos has done worse than these three other supervisors and is peddling some b.s. that won’t improve transit service but will again re-politicize the SFMTA, making it a supervisors’ playground, not a technocratic agency. In this respect Avalos is not a plus or neutral force, but rather a negative. I believe he, with great intentions but flawed politics, would drag this city into a very bad trajectory.

  • murphstahoe

    Additionally, Wiener was the key proponent of the big streets bond, a large portion of which has been used for ped/cycling improvements. Even simple things like the fact I can email Scott about a bunch of crappy potholes that really made the new bike lane on Bosworth very dangerous – and he got it fixed.

    Another anecdote. Three of us were riding down Alemany Blvd a number of years ago. At this time Avalos was in office but in D8 it was still Dufty. There was a double parked truck in the bike lane. With plenty of space behind us we signalled and moved into the righthand “car lane”. A School bus driver with a load a children approached us from behind, sped up and intentionally buzzed us, thus beating us to the next red light. When we caught up at the red light, the bus driver opened the door and fired a massive string of profanities.

    I emailed Avalos (because this was his district) who responded “I am sorry this happened to you”. I copied my Supervisor, Bevan Dufty. Bevan started a sequence of events that resulted in the driver losing his job (turns out there was a pattern with this driver).

  • zippy_monster

    TEP is utter shit, the city needs a more holistic approach. While I disagree with Avalos’ proposal, TEP was aimed at improving the downtown core at the expense of everything else. Thing is, the downtown core is already rife with transit options. In the areas that the TEP is trying to gut service. The TEP was designed to get people to their (retail) jobs downtown. That’s it.

    Case in point: the 108-Treasure Island route. There are no grocery stores on the island and you cannot walk off of the island. For a brief moment in time, the 108 occasionally ran all the way to 4th & King which gave residents easy access to Safeway. That got axed in an effort to save money. And then along came the freaking TEP. What’s their proposal? Reduce peak service on the 108. Sure, if you look at the numbers the 108 has relatively low ridership… but it’s an entirely captive audience. You can, legally at least, walk the entire route of the 14, 27, etc. You cannot legally leave the island without the 108 or a car.

    Or how about the T-Fail Street? The MTA succeed in implementing blingfrastructure that fails commuters (30-40 minutes, on a good day, from Embarcadero to the pedestrian death zone that is 4th/King) and eliminated direct access to City College. Sure, they brought the 10-Townsend for the North Beach crowd… and sure, they gave the Caltrain commuters a voice. BVHP? Not so much.

    Meanwhile, the MTA pissed/pisses away money on routes like museum bus and the Twitter express (which always runs nearly empty). So, no, I don’t think that we need to codify preferential treatment of low income neighborhoods… existing policy has disadvantaged low income folks more. Furthering the TEP continues the trend.

  • zippy_monster

    The T isn’t a band aid, it’s a cancer.

  • jai_dit

    There’s only one spot in D11 where you have the 14, the J, K, and M, and BART close enough together to be viable alternatives to each other, and that is Balboa Park. Everywhere else in the district, you’re pretty much limited to one line and that’s it. I live on the M line, 2 miles from BP, and if there’s any kind of delay on the M I’m pretty much stranded if I want to get downtown. It’s frustrating because the headways on the M are frequently 20-30 minutes, on a line that’s only supposed to have 15 minute headways.

  • oiseaux

    Yes, I definitely think we do agree on a lot of things. This is apparent, but I think if we compare D11 or even most of D10 to 3, 6, or 8 – we see large gaps in service and reliability. Yes, maybe the term desert can be seen as an exaggeration but in the same fashion, comparably to those other neighborhoods, these underprivileged communities are definitely seeing poor service and no hope for anything better – and really I do see these areas as a desert for transit. It’s really sad when both the MTA and Caltrans (owner of more land in SE than one would imagine) see these communities as an afterthought.

  • coolbabybookworm

    Ok, it’s clear you and many others have boners for Wiener and I don’t, nor have any anecdotes really convinced me of anything other than his ability to pander to wealthy and vocal constituents, not exactly qualities I look for in a mayor.

    The Dufty example is great too because wasn’t his signature also that he was going to fix muni? What was he able to do other than talk about it a lot? Didn’t he drive an SUV too? At least he was able to get an unsafe driver fired though.

  • mikesonn

    David Chiu rides a bike. He rides that bike on Polk. He pushed for the city to adopt “20% by 2020. Yet, he was completely absent from the Polk Street debacle.
    Sadly, even when a supe/mayor uses said mode, it doesn’t make a difference.

  • Greg

    The “poor” areas of the Loin and Western Addition/Hayes Valley are very well served by mass transit. Fancy areas around the Presidio are not.

  • Lego

    Gosh, I love this story.

  • Lego

    Reminds me of: A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transportation. Enrique Peñalosa in Colombia

  • SunnysideBARTGUY

    The reason District 11 has less transit than District 8 has to do with geography and nothing else. The Castro is in the center of the city, lots of service going from downtown has to pass through it. The Tenderloin has great service. Get out a map, review it before throwing around that D11 is underserved because of who lives there. Compare D11 with the outer Sunset and Richmond to see if there is an issue of underservice.

  • teo5

    Transportation justice is about a lot more than which neighborhoods get dollars allocated. Consider how people who live in Visitacion Valley who take then 9/9L to jobs downtown will continue to suffer a slow ride on Potrero after the street is rebuilt — not because money wasn’t available to improve Potrero but because the politicians allowed parking and auto circulation to trump improvements for transit, which could have benefited more people.


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