Today’s Headlines

  • Supes Reject Mission Housing Moratorium (SFGate); Activists: Luxury Condos Invite More Cars (Exam)
  • Driver Fleeing Police Hits Pedestrian at Eighth and Market, Escapes in Oakland (ABC, CBS)
  • Driver Rear-Ends SFPD Cruiser “Hard Enough to End Up Underneath it” at 31st and Noriega (KTVU)
  • SFMTA Approves Stop Signs on San Jose Ave Where Andrew Wu, 12, Was Killed By Muni Train (Exam)
  • SFMTA Board Makes Church Street’s Red Transit-Only Lanes Permanent (SFBay)
  • Stanley Roberts Explains Assemblymember Chiu’s Bill to Let Muni Cameras Ticket Moving Violations
  • SFTRU: 22-Day Muni Challenge is a Chance for Electeds to Show Leadership for Transit (Examiner)
  • Muni Metro Stalled Due to “Suspicious Package” at West Portal Station (SFGate)
  • BART Sees Major Delays Due to Electrical Problem Between 16th and 24th Street Stations (KTVU, ABC)
  • Sup. Cohen Defends European Sewer Trip By Jabbing at Sup. Kim’s Bike Infrastructure Trip (Chronicle)
  • Parolee Who Crashed Into Cars at Fifth and Market While Fleeing Police Charged (KTVUExaminer)
  • CA Assembly Passes Bill Blocking Bike/Pedestrian Tolls on State Bridges; Senate OK Needed (Marin IJ)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • murphstahoe

    So let’s see. Fran says that the rich have all the cars. The anti-bike-lane people say that removing parking hurts the poor because they are the ones who depend on cars. Reference the fight against parking meters in the area around 17th Street – the primary argument was that it would hurt the poor.

    My head is spinning.

  • Caleb

    A major contributor to the poverty is the absurd regular upkeep cost of maintaining a private vehicle. A car is not required in the Bay Area, and is likely chipping away at income that would otherwise improve quality of life for many people. it is time to put to rest the myth that reducing public subsidies for private vehicle entitlements materially affect the poor. If activists want to help the poor, they should be rooting for policies which improve public transit, the public realm, and active transportation options.

  • murphstahoe

    to be clear – Fran is a huge supporter of the expansion of public transit, and in a very smart manner, understanding the lines that serve her area and the needs of that population. And I don’t recall her fighting the parking meters.

    But I don’t think it’s correct to tie additional housing in the mission to Vision Zero. Perhaps this is some sort of attempt to get transit advocates to support the moratorium, but I don’t see it.

    She cites this statistic – “City data show that the richer you are, the more likely you are to own a car.”, I think this is disingenuous, because the demographic most demonized by the moratorium supporters are the tech employees who take shuttle buses to work, who increasingly are NOT owning cars. The City data is across the whole city, including large swaths which are wealthy areas with little to no transit service – the car ownership levels in SeaCliff are not relevant to the Mission.

  • jonobate

    Everyone justifies their position by saying they are on the side of the poor, because in a progressive city like SF, being on the side of the poor automatically makes you the good guy. You wouldn’t want to hurt this poor kitten now, would you?

    The problem with Fran Taylor’s article is that she uses ‘market-rate’ and ‘luxury’ housing interchangeably, and advocates for only building ‘affordable’ housing (i.e. housing with rents subsidized by the city.) Demanding that all new construction be ‘affordable’ will lead to very little housing be built and exacerbate the housing crisis, because it’s not affordable for the city to subsidize rents for a large number of rental properties. However, it’s totally valid to demand that new market-rate housing be built without luxury features such as a dedicated parking spots and excessive floor space; this will improve affordability without the need for subsidy, and will also address the Vision Zero concerns she raises in her article.

    Above all, the solution is not a moratorium.

  • mx

    Ok, but poor people aren’t stupid. They, far more than the rich, know how much it costs to own and maintain a car. If a car was really more of a burden to them than it was worth, they’d get rid of the thing in a heartbeat.

    I do agree that improving public transit is something that will help everyone, but housing prices are the major problem here, not car ownership.

  • jonobate

    It’s also worth questioning the validity of using an LA Times editorial as a reason not to build housing at 16th & Mission. I’m sure the claim that low-income people living near metro rail stations are more likely to use transit than high income people is true near surburban rail stations in LA, but I don’t think you can apply that logic to an area like 16th & Mission that is desirable primarily because you don’t need a car in order to live there. In the Mission, whether or not you have a parking space bundled with your housing probably has a much bigger effect than your income level on whether or not you choose to own a car.

  • KWillets

    While there’s been a lot of criticism of the new Bay Bridge, criminals seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of it.

  • Andy Chow

    Many of them own cars so they have flexibility in employment. If you’re a Googler or Facebooker where the employer pays for the commute, not owning a car may be a very good option (you can car share or rent car for other trips), but not so for somebody who has a swing shift job in an warehouse out in the suburbs.

    The cost of car ownership is relatively stable compared to housing costs.

  • murphstahoe

    They aren’t stupid – they’re trapped. If you have money, you are more able to make dislocations in your life in order to manipulate your need to own cars. For example, you can convince your employer to give you a fancy shuttle.

    The trap is self-fulfilling, you have a car, you blow through 40k, then you don’t have that 40k in order to allow you to take some dislocation in employment or living status in order to put together a new setup where you don’t have to blow through the next 40k.

    The trick is to remove the trap. If we as a society make it simpler for people with less money to ditch their car without having to move or switch jobs – they can escape the trap.

  • murphstahoe

    “The cost of car ownership is relatively stable compared to housing costs.”

    I don’t agree with this at all. People sign leases on houses, or buy houses, locking in housing costs. Transmissions can blow up whenever, cars get stolen, towed, car accidents occur, insurance rates jump if you get a speeding ticket.

    The recent runup in housing costs in San Francisco is actually historically atypical. Car unreliability is established.

  • thielges

    The issue of subsidized vs. luxury/market rate affecting the amount of cars brought into the neighborhood is just looking the wrong way. If you want to limit the number of cars used in a neighborhood, simply limit parking. That’s it. Done. Attempting to regulate anything else is just blowing smoke and obscuring the real issue.

  • jonobate

    This was, in fact, the primary reason why my partner and I ditched our car. An oil pan taken out on a rocky road, a transmission that randomly failed, a set of tires that had to be replaced due to excessive wear, and suddenly it seemed more cost effective to get rid of it than keep it sitting around eating up money in repairs.

  • Andy Chow

    If you live in a right place with a right job, you can certainly forego your car. But if you can’t afford to own and is having a hard time to rent, a car may allow you to live further away in less costly places but still keep the same employment.

    Yes. Many things can go wrong with a car, but they can be easily given up or replaced. Bus or bike is a legal, more affordable, and environmentally preferred substitute to driving, but is living in a car or living on a tent a substitute for properly permitted, planned, and constructed structure for living?

  • vcs

    Exactly, industrial jobs tend to be located in low density areas which have poor transit connections almost by definition. Crappy jobs have irregular shifts, and people need to work multiple part-time jobs. If anything, it’s a sign of wealth that one can live in the small parts of the USA where you can easily can be car-free. No, I don’t have a good answer for this.

    Also: “A car is not required in the Bay Area”. This person either hasn’t seen much of the Bay Area, or is willing to spend 6 hours a day on transit.

  • murphstahoe

    A car will cost you – all in – $1000 per month. $1000 per month will buy a lot more, better located, properly permitted, planned, and constructed structure for living.

  • Andy Chow

    I certainly don’t spend a $1000 a month on a car. At most I might spend that much a year on insurance.

    Car components fail from time to time, but a lot of maintenance and repair can be done DIY.

    There’s plenty of homeless people living in cars. If the vehicle is old, the ongoing fixed cost isn’t much, and living in cars is more dignified that living on the street. Are you suggesting that they should trade in their cars for an apartment in SF?

  • EssEffOh

    But if they’re taking Google buses every day (and uber and lyft every night and weekends) it still doesn’t make sense to give them the precious housing on major public transit hubs.

    No matter what, the most sensible thing BY FAR is to prioritize affordable housing on public-transit-rich corridors.

  • murphstahoe

    The problem I am told is displacement, evictions.

    Building only BMRs in a neighborhood with a high level of interest in non-BMR housing will keep the pressure higher on the market rate units.

    If people getting evicted from their homes when the landlord sells and buyer OMI’s them is OK because there is a BMR landing spot 10 blocks away – then you have a point. Otherwise you have it backwards. The demand for NEW residences in the mission is market rate.

  • EssEffOh

    It’s not merely private automobiles that the rich people bring into a neighborhood. Rich people will use Uber and Lyft and Google buses not Muni. Uber and Lyft have already added 15,000 cars to the streets. Uber and Lyft will continue to increase traffic in neighborhoods proportionate to the number of rich people who move into those neighborhoods, regardless of the number of parking spaces.

    So you see, the class issue is still relevant. Rich people will use Uber, Lyft, and Google buses and private cars (whenever humanly possible). Low income people will use transit or walk. Period.

    Build low income housing on transit. Fewer cars. Safer streets. House the people. Beautiful diverse community. Simple.

  • EssEffOh

    “Everyone justifies their position by saying they are on the side of the poor, because in a progressive city like SF, being on the side of the poor automatically makes you the good guy.”

    No, actually, being on the side of the poor literally makes the good guy anywhere in the world.

  • jonobate

    Sure, but only when you’re *actually* on the side of the poor. Everyone claims that, but not everyone is.

  • Andy Chow

    I don’t think TNC vehicles or Google buses have any significance in terms of traffic impact compared to lower income communities. In wealthier areas, you will see newer, nicer, and more luxury cars. In low income areas, you will see plenty of clunkers and work vehicles.

    A luxury high density development for example may be able to afford a private shuttle to the nearest rail station. The shuttle traffic is insignificant compared to the automobile traffic with or without the development.

    We want low income housing near transit is to hopefully address the displacement issue and open up job and business opportunities without having to acquire automobiles. The market forces may now favor denser developments, but there’s still yet a motive or incentive to encourage low income, higher density housing near transit.

  • murphstahoe

    None of those vehicles require parking. Get rid of the parking, suddenly there is a lot of land for BMRs. But the poor need cars to get to work, you know.

  • EssEffOh

    ” But the poor need cars to get to work, you know.”
    Nope. Not if they live in SF.

  • murphstahoe

    Well there you go. The rich don’t need parking because they take Uber. The poor take the bus. Get rid of all the parking and build more housing for the poor. Problem solved.

  • SF Guest

    What do the middle class take?

  • murphstahoe

    I was told there was no middle class left in SF

  • SF Guest

    Whoever told you this gave you bad info. Not every homeowner is rich. Many of them inherited the homes from their parents who bought it back in the day the market didn’t skyrocket yet.

  • murphstahoe

    “Whoever told you this gave you bad info. Not every homeowner is rich.
    Many of them inherited the homes from their parents who bought it back
    in the day the market didn’t skyrocket yet.”

    Quoted for truth – since you don’t seem to sense the irony in the statement that someone owns a house free and clear in SF, with a property tax basis locked in back in the 70’s, is not rich. Median family net worth in the United States is somewhere around $85,000. The median house value in San Francisco is $1 Million.

    I won’t claim that it means they don’t have some complications, but it’s an insult to the actual middle class to be sitting on a million bucks and a rigged property tax basis and claim you’re in the middle class.

  • SF Guest

    So owning a $1M home makes you rich and a millionaire?

  • murphstahoe

    “A millionaire” is someone worth a million dollars. If you own a $1M home you are worth a million dollars.

    I presume you know the transitive property.