Many Motorheads Backing Measure to “Restore Balance” for Cars

The backers of the ballot initiative to “restore balance” on San Francisco’s streets are beginning to emerge. The “balance” they speak of would enshrine free parking and give over large parts of streets to cars.

Photo: Sergio Ruiz/Flickr

According to the list of endorsements posted on its website, the “coalition” (which apparently dropped its “Free the Streets” title) is thus far populated by hefty amount of Republicans — yes, a few do exist in San Francisco. There are also three former supervisors, but no current elected-office holders. And, of course, the list is speckled with some of the usual opponents of parking meters and bike lanes, whose names should ring bells.

It’s hard to say yet whether any of these folks have any real political punch. The measure itself does not seem to — it wouldn’t be any more binding than the existing Transit-First Policy, adopted by supervisors in 1973 and re-affirmed by voters in 1999, when they expanded the policy to include pedestrians and bicyclists.

So unless the “coalition” gets some serious money and political players behind it — which is possible — this may be nothing more an out-of-touch, last-gasp attempt to hold on to a bygone era. (Not that a resolution is really needed for City Hall to keep parking free). The Republican crafters of this initiative at least seem aware of their agenda’s growing irrelevance. They couch it in vague language about “ensuring our streets are safe, well maintained, and efficient to use for everybody.”

Since the vast majority of San Francisco’s street space was devoted primarily to moving and storing private automobiles, all for free, over most of the 20th century, most San Franciscans can probably see that more “efficient to use” streets won’t involve more of the same approach. (Notably, the cover photo on the initiative’s website even features a streetcar on Market Street — pretty much the opposite of the actual car-clogged vision these folks are pushing).

Here’s the list of proponents taken from the website, with some footnotes I added in brackets:

Official Proponents

  • Claire Zvanski [Former president of the Health Service System Board]
  • David Looman [Political consultant]
  • Jason P. Clark [Republican candidate for State Assembly in 2012]


  • Coming Soon.

Community Leaders
Listed in alphabetical order by last name.

  • Hon. Anthony P. (Tony) Hall, San Francisco Supervisor, District 7, 2001-2004
  • Hon. Barbara Kaufman, President, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, 1999-2001 [District 10]
  • Hon. John L. Molinari, President, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, 1979-1982, 1984-1985 [District 3]
  • Hon. Robert P. Varni, Member, SF Community College Board of Trustees, 1989-2001

Listed in alphabetical order by last name. (Organizations listed for identification purposes only.)

  • Robert Anderson [Held up the SF Bike Plan for four years with litigation over environmental review]
  • Peter Bagatelos, Bagatelos Law Firm*
  • Paul Barbagelata
  • Judith Berkowitz, President, Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods*
  • Marcy Berry, Libertarian Party of San Francisco*
  • Richard Bodisco
  • Vincent Bonfitto
  • William Bowen, Member, Campaign Steering Committee, SF Republican Party*
  • Christopher L. Bowman, Member, Campaign Steering Committee, Log Cabin Republicans of San Francisco*
  • Karen Breslin, Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods*
  • Daniel Brown, President, Log Cabin Republicans of San Francisco, 2010 – 2012*
  • William Carrico
  • Douglas Chan, Commissioner, S.F. Civil Service Commission*
  • Jason P. Clark, Official Proponent, Log Cabin Republicans of San Francisco*
  • Karen Crommie, Cole Valley Improvement Association*
  • Mari- Eliza, President, ENUF (Eastern Neighborhoods United Front)* [Antimeteractivist“]
  • Howard Epstein, Member, Campaign Steering Committee, SF Republican Party*
  • Robert Francis, Member, Campaign Steering Committee, ENUF* [Pro-parking warrior]
  • Aubrey Freedman, President, Libertarian Party of San Francisco*
  • Joan Girardot, Past President, Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods*
  • Catherine Groody
  • Chooi Eng Grosso, Sunset Heights Association of Responsible People*
  • Richard Hall
  • Harold M. Hoogasian, Past President, SF Council of District Merchants Associations*
  • Richard Hutman
  • Stephanie Jeong
  • Ron Kaufman,
  • Christopher Kirby
  • Peter A. Kirby, Member, Campaign Steering Committee, ENUF*
  • Rodney Leong, California Chinese American Republican Association*
  • Ted Loewenberg, Haight Ashbury Improvement Association* [Sued over Fell/Oak bike lanes, opposes bulb-outs on upper Haight]
  • David Looman, Official Proponent, Campaign Treasurer
  • Margaret MacCarren
  • Leo Martinez, Excelsior District Improvement Association*
  • Alfred McAfee
  • Richard Millet, Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association*
  • Gary Noguera, Past President, Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods*
  • Glenn Rogers, Parkmerced Action Coalition*
  • Roland Salvato
  • Rita Teitelbaum, Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association* [Primary opponent of 1050 Valencia]
  • Nickolas Van Beek
  • George Wooding, Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods*
  • Claire Zvanski, Official Proponent, Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods*


Did “Restore Balance” Petitioners Lie About Sunday Meters for Signatures?

Petitioners for the “Restore Transportation Balance” initiative aimed at enshrining cars-first policies apparently made false claims about the state of Sunday parking metering to collect signatures. Backers of the Republican-crafted ballot measure turned in 17,500 petition signatures — well over the 9,000 required for it to qualify for the ballot this November, the SF Chronicle reported […]

DCCC Joins Quickly Growing Opposition to Cars-First Prop L

Prop L was slammed by the SF Democratic County Central Committee last night, via an almost-unanimous vote against endorsing the measure to “restore transportation balance” for motorists. The DCCC’s endorsements hold a lot of sway, and its resounding “no” vote on the measure was a key litmus test to see whether the Republican-backed measure would garner any sympathy from […]

Who’s Not Against Cars-First Prop L? Supes Tang, Farrell, Yee, and Mayor Lee

With only a few days left until the election, four elected officials have yet to take a stance on Proposition L, the Republican-crafted measure that misleadingly urges San Francisco to “restore transportation balance” by giving priority to private automobiles and free parking. Supervisors Katy Tang, Mark Farrell, Norman Yee, and Mayor Ed Lee apparently see no need to come out against […]