Today’s Headlines

  • Uber Fights for Exemption From Market Street Turn Bans for Private Autos (CBS, ABC)
  • New SFPD Park Station Captain Wants to Crack Down on Cyclists for “the Protection of Life” (Hoodline)
  • Chronicle: Sup. Christensen’s Stockton Tunnel Press Conference Comes During Tough Election Race
  • Supes Wiener, Cohen Want to Beef Up Police Staffing to Increase Traffic Enforcement (NBC, Examiner)
  • Woman Finds Her Stolen Bike on Street a Year Later, Lets Man Who Purchased it Keep it (Mission)
  • New BART Budget to Add Longer, More Frequent Trains (KQED, Business Times, SFGate)
  • Bay Area Bike Share Station Locations Being Suggested Far and Wide (Cyclelicious)
  • Driver in Mountain View Arrested After Running Over Parking Control Officer’s Foot to Flee Ticket (CBS)
  • Drivers Complain Construction on Highway 101 in Palo Alto is Causing Slowdowns (NBC)
  • San Jose Driver Dies After Crashing Into Tree (Mercury News)
  • Congressional Rep From Modesto Continues Fight Against CA High-Speed Rail Funding (CoCo Times)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Christopher Childs

    We already regularly see UberX drivers (among others) thinking they are taxis and driving in red-striped lanes and ignoring the Market St turn-offs. With enough enforcement activity of the new turn bans and the resulting complaints from UberX drivers, Uber would likely be forced to black-hole a large part of Market St. Having “Taxi” be the only option on Market, and not Uber or UberX, would be quite the black eye.

  • Andy Chow

    They can do that they’ve always been doing, just ignore the law. The whole TNC thing got started when Lyft started it and Uber jumped on it to try to kill Lyft. They were not allowed at airports and force their way by paying fines for the drivers that got caught.

    It is never legal to hail a TNC vehicle on the street. People can still get their TNC ride on side streets. Because you can’t hail a TNC vehicle, that why you don’t want these vehicles stopping on Market and wait for their pick up, like all other private vehicles that we don’t want on Market.

  • Anony

    Basically another example of Uber trying to double dip. If they want taxi rights, they need to play by taxi rules and not TNC rules.

  • jd_x

    Re: “New SFPD Park Station Captain Wants to Crack Down on Cyclists for “the Protection of Life”

    Ugh. When are we going to get some leadership in the Board of Supervisors or Mayor’s Office to stand up to this biased, non-backed-by-data crap from SFPD that the threat bicyclists pose to public safety warrants the ridiculous attention SFPD devotes to it? I want the cops to have to stand up there, show the data of how many are injured by bicyclists and how many by cars, and then show that their efforts (tickets, manpower, money, etc.) match this split. I’m sick of this non-evidence-based, hackneyed moral lecturing from SFPD about something they do not understand.

    And if they are going to spew all these moral lectures about bicyclists being cars (because, you know, even though they weigh about the same as a pedestrian, have no onboard power like a pedestrian, and travel at speeds closer to that of a pedestrian, somehow they considered more akin to cars rather than pedestrians), then they could at least give bicyclists equal treatment compared to motorists when it comes to honest investigation of incidents.

    Bicycling in SF, like in any city, will never expand much beyond current levels until the police are working with bicyclists, not against them. Until they understand that, excepting the very small minority of bicyclists who truly are dangerous, having more bicyclists (which means treating them fairly) will improve everyone’s public health.

  • mx

    It’s unclear to me why taxi drivers get to literally sit down and give the SFMTA a two page list of the traffic laws they want to be exempt from (I’m not kidding, see: https://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/agendaitems/2015/6.3.15%20Subcommittee%20recommendations%20for%20Left%20Turns%20for%20Taxis.pdf), but Uber and Lyft (and Sidecar) drivers aren’t included. Taxis are already allowed in “red carpet” bus lanes, get to make left turns at dozens of places where nobody else can, and get to proceed straight on Market at 10th and 6th, and these are only the things they are legally allowed to do, let alone all the illegal U-turns and other maneuvers they get away with.

  • mike_napolis_beard

    Convention, most likely.

  • Apparently there are still some benefits taxis get from being regulated by SFMTA.

  • Anony

    taxi companies are regulated by the SFMTA. On the flipside of it, limo drivers like uber are also not allowed to drive in these areas but that never stopped them.

  • Richard Mlynarik

    Because the TNC’s are racketeering organizations whose entire business model is based on breaking laws and buying legislators, not upon regulated legal use of regulated rights of way, that’s why.

    God only knows the taxi industry is a cesspool of iniquities and dubious, and shady operations, but at least there there is an acknowledgement that laws and regulation exist in a civil society, and that adhering to laws and regulations is part of the cost of doing business.

  • mx

    Honestly, it’s 2015. We need to get over it. If the state wants to fine Uber and Lyft for breaking the law in the past, it can take them to court, but we need to find a way to make things work today in the present shared reality we’re all living in where Uber and Lyft are massively popular in SF.

  • Mario Tanev

    I am a big supporter of Uber and Lift. They have revolutionized Taxi service for the better. However, they need to recognize that cities can’t just allow the wild west on the streets. The car is not king. A lot of these Uber drivers don’t know the streets and rules of safety. I am not saying taxi drivers do, but at least they can be held accountable and SFMTA should have direct communication with them. Uber should seek regulation as a taxi and SFMTA should drop the quota requirements and allow these companies to operate, but administer and require a fee per driver, registration, safety education, tracking and easy identification. And then, they should be allowed to use the taxi privileges. It may be a barrier to entry and may make them a bit more expensive, but it’s needed. They shouldn’t complain and threaten smart transportation policies, if they themselves have been avoiding taxi regulations.

  • Chris J.

    Agreed re: easy identification. One of my pet peeves is that there is no easy way to complain about Uber / Lyft drivers behaving dangerously. Taxis have short 4-digit ID numbers easily visible from multiple angles, and it’s not hard to find what phone number to call. The same can’t be said for Uber / Lyft (but more so for Uber since there isn’t even a way to confirm whether a car is an Uber car).

  • @mx – Gosh, really? “It’s 2015?” Argument by tautology sure is easy, ennit?

  • mx

    The general concept of “what’s done is done” is one we have to live with though. (Yes, I know I gave you another tautology. Cope.) Uber and Lyft are incredibly popular in SF. They, along with transit, walking, biking, carsharing, taxis, and other options make it feasible for a lot of us to not own cars and still get around efficiently. They also help support a DUI-free nightlife scene. The services aren’t going to go away because you don’t like them, and the people who use TNCs are going to still have the same transportation needs if you forced Uber and Lyft out.

    We have to figure out ways to make these types of services work as part of our overall transportation system in SF. Simply that the companies are racketeering organizations” doesn’t help us accomplish anything.

  • murphstahoe

    A lot of these Uber drivers don’t know the streets and rules of safety. I
    am not saying taxi drivers do, but at least they can be held
    accountable and SFMTA should have direct communication with them.

    Self Driving cars, please.