Mayor Lee’s Car Found Parked in Muni Bus Stop

Photo: David Black

Mayor Ed Lee’s Chevy Volt was recently seen parked in a Muni bus stop, while he went to eat at La Corneta Taqueria on Diamond Street in Glen Park.

David Black sent in photos of the car, as well as a Muni bus which pulled up to the stop and was forced to load riders away from the curb. Luckily, no Muni passengers in wheelchairs were unable to board due to the situation. Black said that Lee, and several people who appeared to be staffers, waited in line behind him at the taqueria.

When reached for comment, mayoral spokesperson Christine Falvey wrote that an SFPD officer, not the mayor, drives the Volt, and that:

The mayor was dropped off and he expected that the vehicle would have been parked in a legal parking space. The incident was reported to the Chief of Police who let the mayor’s office know that the officer who parked in the bus stop will be admonished… The mayor believes this is unacceptable and steps have been taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Photo: David Black

Mayor Lee has widely touted his plug-in hybrid car as a credential that demonstrates his commitment to sustainable transportation. His predecessor, Gavin Newsom, used an SUV (also a hybrid).

“This is about the most patriotic thing I can think of doing,” Lee told the SF Chronicle in 2011. “I want to make sure I am not only pushing policies forward to keep our momentum going, but I should always be doing what I can as an individual to fight climate change. We all should.”

The mayor’s vision for patriotism through environmentally-friendly transportation is apparently pretty limited. Even though public transit is far more efficient than even the cleanest of cars, his driver not only flouted the law but contributed to the traffic snarls outside Glen Park BART.

And all just to grab a bite to eat at a taqueria. Mayor Lee, it seems, still finds new ways to give Muni riders the short end of the stick burrito.

Lee used his leverage to undo Sunday parking meters, depriving Muni of $11 million a year while causing more car traffic to circle around and delay already infrequent transit service. And even though he said that move was intended to win motorist support at the ballot for transportation funding, Lee then abandoned the vehicle license fee increase he’d previously touted as a boon for transit upgrades, bike infrastructure, and pedestrian safety. Don’t get us started on pedestrian safety.

Forget Google buses. San Francisco’s mayor, or at least his SFPD-provided driver, is the latest threat blocking Muni.

  • Yeah, that’s what I’m not understanding- the spokesperson said the mayor “was dropped off”, but there isn’t a driver sitting in the car in the photos. Did the driver stop to let the passengers out for the taqueria, wait a bit, and then head inside and pretend he’d found a legal spot? Then what happened when meal time was over- did the driver leave the restaurant a little early to complete the charade in reverse (“Oh, hey guys- just pulled up here in the bus stop to pick you up”)?

    Or (more likely, at least to me), did the driver park in the bus stop, and then everyone headed in together with the full understanding that the car would be blocking Muni and transit riders? If that’s the case, the spokesperson’s claim about the mayor’s expectations doesn’t seem truthful.

  • charger43

    A legal parking spot? Come on, he’s the Mayor of SF. Doesn’t that make him a possible target? Let him park as close to where he is as possible. People need to get over themselves.

  • gneiss

    A target for what? Michael Bloomberg took the subway to work while he was mayor for the city of New York. I hardly think that Ed Lee is more of a target for assassination (I assume that’s what your’e talking about) while picking up his morning bun at a bakery.

    A public rally where he’s expected? Maybe there. But, if he’s not acting in his official capacity as ‘mayor’ there’s no reason he should act like any other private citizen and find a parking space first before walking to place his order.

  • Miles Bader

    Who pays for that police chauffeur though…?

  • Idrather Bebikin

    Argh, should be $10!

    All of these Google, Apple, Genentech, etc. buses should pay $10 per stop at each and every stop! Morning and evenings! Or $5/stop, so it’s $10/day. Even so that’s dirt cheap! Think of how many people are on those buses anyway. Come on SF!

    $1 is a joke. Think of how many people are there and besides… the companies can afford it and it’s not so unreasonable as to burden

  • Terry

    Even the mayor should obey the law. Don’t tell me it is the driver’s fault. He works for Mayor Lee. Do you think he does anything that he is not told to do? Come on. This is just another example of the old saying “do as I say, not as I do.” Mayor Lee is not entitled to any special considerations. But he obviously thinks he is. The Mayor does not want to deal with the traffic problems he creates with his backward policies. But he doesn’t have to — he is the Mayor and obviously above the law.


San Francisco’s Own Oil Spill: The Wasteful Hunt for Free Parking

Clement Street: scene of over-parked Sunday afternoons. Flickr photo: Rubin 110 Editor’s note: This will be Michael Rhodes’ last regular post as a reporter for Streetsblog. He’s leaving us for an urban planning career, but hopes to occasionally contribute columns like this in the future. Clement Street. Sunday. Noon. Drivers are circling around the block […]