Public Meetings to Discuss Proposed Legislation to Remove Parking Requirements

https://sf-planning.org/article/public-meetings-discuss-proposed-legislation-remove-parking-requirements

Supervisor Kim’s Office and the San Francisco Planning Department will be hosting three public meetings to discuss Supervisor Kim’s proposed legislation to remove remaining minimum parking requirements in San Francisco. Details on dates, times, and locations are listed at the bottom of this page.

Read the background information at the above link.

Community Meeting 1

Wednesday November 14, 2018
12pm – 1:00pm
San Francisco City Hall,  Room 278
1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102

  1. 12:15pm: Presentation
  2. 12:30pm: Q&A

Community Meeting 2

Thursday November 15, 2018
9:00am – 10:00am
San Francisco City Hall, Room 278
​1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102

  1. 9:15am: Presentation
  2. 9:30am: Q&A

Community Meeting 3

Monday November 19, 2018
6:00pm – 7:00pm
San Francisco City Hall, Room 278
​1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102

  1. 6:15pm: Presentation
  2. 6:30pm: Q&A

For more information and RSVP

  • Please RSVP by emailing Kimstaff@sfgov.org  with the date you will be attending.
  • For questions or more information about the proposed legislation, contact Paul.Chasan@sfgov.org. (note that the wrong email link is online. We have corrected it.)

 

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Red Lane Amendments and Efforts to Stop the Corporatization of our Streets

After months of letters, comments and neighborhood pushback against many elements of corporate takeover of our streets and public spaces, many people who shocked by the announcement that some of the Red Lanes in the city are open to use by private enterprise vehicles, such as tech buses, private shuttles, and any vehicle that carries more than 10 riders, based on the definition of a bus.

Supervisor Fewer, among others, scheduled hearings on the use of the Red Lanes that were re-scheduled a couple of times, and reset for early December. As many people were preparing for those meetings, we got the news that recent developments at the Land Use and Transportation Committee may have made those hearings unnecessary.  November 5, 2018, Aaron Peskin aide, Lee Hepner, introduced Amendment 18-862, that was passed unanimously to the Full Board by the Land Use and Transportation Committee:

Ordinance 180862 – Ordinance amending Division I of the Transportation Code to establish a procedure for Board of Supervisors review of Municipal Transportation Agency decisions related to Bus Rapid Transit projects that do not include transit-only areas or lanes for Municipal Railway vehicles, taxis, authorized emergency vehicles, and/or Golden Gate Transit vehicles; and affirming the Planning Department’s determination under the California Environmental Quality Act.

The tape of the meeting is below, go to Item 6: http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/player/clip/31749?view_id=10&meta_id=642988

As a matter of introduction Mr. Hepler described the areas of concern that are under the purview of the Board of Supervisors, though they are not being added to this amendment at this time.

This is a paraphrased transcript of the meeting:

Within the text of Prop A, there is a provision that allows the Board of Supervisors to enact an ordinance that gives the Board the option to review SFMTA decisions regarding various curb space decisions, bicycle lanes, traffic mitigations and measures etc…

Background information:  Supervisors Peskin and Safai co-sponsored Ordinance 180089, to enact that review provision regarding curb use. That ordinance expressly exempted certain projects from review that were determined to be public interest projects, such as bike lanes, curb modifications for street sweeping, and bus rapid transit projects.

This new ordinance is taking on elements of the Bus Rapid Transit Projects that are not clearly defined in the code and providing guidance as to the scope of the board’s review authority of these projects. This proposal expresses this board’s desire to promote Bus Rapid Transport projects that are generally designed and implemented to further public transportation reliability.

The amendment clarifies the Board of Supervisor’s policy preference. The board would not review BRT projects that are designed for public transportation use, but would take review of BRT projects designed for use by private commercial shuttles, tour busses or other modes of private transportation that might actually impede the flow of public transportation.

The proposed amendment… replaces the words, “bus rapid transit project” with “bus rapid transit project that includes transit only areas or lanes for municipal railway vehicles, taxis, authorized emergency vehicles, and/or Golden Gate Transit Vehicles.”

SFMTA appears to have collaborated on this. The amendment passed to the full Board of Supervisors as is on the agenda for the November 13 Board of Supervisors meeting. We had no notice, but, this appears to be going through rather rapidly. In this case, that may be a good thing.

First-ever woman named SF Muni chief

By Joe Fritgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

The first-ever woman to lead Muni at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency was appointed last week, following the retirement of a man dogged by sexual harassment allegations.

Julie Kirschbaum is the new acting SFMTA director of transit, which she announced to the agency’s transit division on October 29…

As acting deputy director, Kirschbaum managed day-to-day Muni operations, led a system-wide redesign and managed the transit planning and scheduling group, according to SFMTA…

Before Reiskin was hired, Debra Johnson was acting director of transportation, overseeing multiple departments. Carmen Clark also was interim executive director of SFMTA for a time, which oversaw Muni responsibilities. However, Kirschbaum is the first woman to take the reigns as Director of Transit at SFMTA, directly and principally responsible for Muni.

In the Bay Area, however, women-led transportation agencies are the norm. Grace Crunican is general manager of BART, and Tilly Chang oversees the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, which primarily serves as a congestion management and transportation planning body… (more)

We can only hope that a new era of respect for the workers and Muni riders will open the door to some much needed changes in the top-down management style of the department. We hope the new director will concentrate on running a cleaner, safer, more reliable transit system today and get out of the planning department. We hope the new director will direct the staff to do the public’s bidding instead of forcing the pubic to follow the staff’s schemes. Just give it a try for 6 months and see if the ridership levels to not go up and the public does not approve.

TRANSIT CENTER CRACKED BEAMS: COMPLEXITY VS. SIMPLICITY

Hello Everyone: More information gained from engineering magazines and photographs (structural drawings not public). Over Fremont and First Streets, the lower bus deck is essentially a suspended bridge—hung from two 8-foor deep girders at the upper park level. Somewhat unusual for a suspension structure is the single chord (vertical column) that hangs the lower bus deck from each girder.

SKYRISE: Transbay Transit Center Engineer Describes Design Innovations and Challenges

https://skyrisecities.com/news/2015/12/transbay-transit-center-engineer-describes-design-innovations-and-challenges

De Oliveira expanded on the specific elements of the building: “On the roof level, the beam that runs the perimeter of the structure, the spandrel beam, there’s a little gap of unsupported girder, and in the event of an earthquake, what will happen is each one of the architecturally exposed steel trees rocks back and forth, and that short segment of steel girder is intended to yield in shear and flexure. The trees are comprised of those steel pipes and steel castings and they remain predominantly elastic, so that the girder yields up and down and absorbs the energy input into the building by the earthquake.”

The Y-shaped tree columns, at the building exterior, are primarily bracing elements that have flexibility. At the bridges, the two upper girders carry most of the load of the park deck and the suspended bus deck. The single chord (vertical column), at the midpoint of each girder, is heavily loaded. Suspended structures do move. And the Y-shaped tree columns allow movement. Ultimately, the lesson here may be that simplicity is best. The bridge design seems overly complex. The simple approach would have been a truss bridge, where the bridge’s entire height (from park level down to bus level) acts as a single “beam” or “tube”.

ONE POINT OF VULNERABILITY
The vertical column does a lot of work—all by itself. No redundancy. If the bus level moves differentially from the park level, there’s much stress at one point. Differential movement could be caused by differences in stiffness, deflection, vibration, oscillation, lateral forces, wind, uplift, suction, pressures, dynamic loading, thermal expansion, soil settlement…. Because both bridges in the project are designed similarly, one would expect the same stresses. Just food for thought. Regards, Howard Wong, AIA


ABC7 NEWS:
Video shows beam cracks, description of general structural system
Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco could be closed for another week
https://abc7news.com/salesforce-transit-center-in-san-francisco-could-be-closed-for-another-week/4342897/

CHRONICLE:
It looks simple, but it’s not. Complexity of Transbay Transit Center raises risks
https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/It-looks-simple-but-it-s-not-Complexity-of-13267862.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

At that midway point, where each girder meets a single column that in turn supports the bus deck below, is where each of the cracks occurred. “Those two girders are working hard, spanning a good length and bearing a heavy load,” Panian said. “And the place where it’s expected to carry the most load is where it is cracked.” What may have helped prevent disaster is that the two girders don’t hold the span in place all by themselves. They’re paralleled by smaller, more conventional beams on either side that connect to the transit center structure on the east and west.

Who is focusing on transportation issues when the Metropolitan Transportation Commission is focused on Housing?

Might that explain the multiple mistakes being made on large Bay Area regional transportation systems?

video and comments by Save Marinwood

MTC’s director Steve Heminger tells Damon Connolly of Marin County that funding will be based on the total number of housing units produced and not scaled to the jurisdiction size. “Some cities may never receive housing funding” This is a huge worry for most of the 101 cities in Plan Bay Area. They will be taxing all of us but only the “chosen” will receive the housing grant money. See the complete meeting https://youtu.be/oM0G31kNccA It is time for Plan Bay Area and the MTC to be dissolved… (more)

NOTE THE TITLE OF THE ORGANIZATION AND THE SUBJECT MATTER. Why is the Metropolitan Transportation Commission concerning itself with housing? Who is working on transportation while the Metropolitan Transportation Commission is working on housing? Why don’t they just call themselves the Metropolitan Housing Commission and let another organization deal with transportation only? If this bothers you, take it up with your local government and your state legislators.

Starting at 1:21 on the tape Heminger says, ”We’re trying to encourage the construction of housing, whoever can do it, large or small. I do think that probably gives an advantage to large cities, but, to the extent that we are trying to get people housed, I think we need to worry about getting them housed, not about where the house is.” 

If the goals of MTC are changing to address the state housing crisis, there should be a public conversation about this.

Eva Chao for BART Director 2018

Dear SaveMuni members and friends,

For a variety of reasons San Francisco needs strong representation on the BART Board.  Given the constant pressure from the eastern and southern parts of the Region to put extensions of BART service to their areas ahead of properly operating and maintaining the core system, strong San Francisco representation on the BART Board is now more important than ever

BART Board District 8 covers the  northern, western and southern parts of San Francisco.  At the 10/15 Save Muni meeting we heard from the five District 8 candidates…all earnestly trying to win the seat.  One candidate stood out.  Eva Chao is smart, serious, independent and has clearly been doing her homework about BART.  Most of the input from the other candidates centered around ideas familiar to every newspaper reader or, in one case, pie-in-the-sky subway-building fantasies.  What was particularly impressive about Ms. Chao’s approach was her independent and thoughtful responses to important BART operational and financial issues.

Her campaign needs are not huge, but she needs financial help and other indications of support.  Please help her to get elected.  Send checks and endorsements  to:

“Eva Chao for BART Director 2018”
Mailing address:   9460 TEGNER ROAD, HILMAR, CA 95324
Or, you can donate on-line, https://evaforbart2018.org/home

This is an important race.

Regards to all,

Jerry Cauthen

We support Eva Chao for District 8 and all the other BART Board candidates who are interested in running the BART transportation system instead of getting involved in other enterprises such as construction projects. BART has enough on its plate without taking on anything else. It is so close to being a good transportation choice it just needs a few tweaks to make it better.

 

Where the SFMTA’s Prop. A money has gone

By Will Reisman : sfexaminer – excerpt from April 14, 2013

Prop. A, five years later: The second part in a two-part series explores where funding from Proposition A has gone since voters passed the initiative in 2007. It was intended to give the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency more control over revenue from parking meters and off-street lots to put toward the Transit Effectiveness Project. It appears that money has been put toward other uses...

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which manages Muni, is projected to collect $31 million in revenue this fiscal year from Proposition A, a ballot measure passed in 2007. Prop. A gives the agency more control over revenue collected from parking lots and meters, and the money is supposed to go directly toward the Transit Effectiveness Project, a long-awaited plan to improve Muni service.

However, funds have been directed to areas that seemingly have ambiguous links to transit service, according to records obtained by The San Francisco Examiner…

Overall, the funds will pay for 217 transit agency employees at a cost of $23 million. Along with funding these positions, Prop. A revenue will go toward a new dump truck and 50 Go-4 Interceptors, the small vehicles used by parking control officers…

Paul Rose, a spokesman for the transit agency, defended the expenditure plan.

However, former Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, who advocated for Prop. A in 2007, said the funds are being misspent.

“We gave the SFMTA and its commission unparalleled authority and took away oversight from the Board of Supervisors,” Peskin said. “But it has been a failure because the SFMTA has simply not used the money properly. I think it’s time to put oversight of the funds back into the elected officials who represent Muni riders.”

Quentin Kopp, a retired Superior Court judge and also a former board president, called the expenditures an expropriation of taxpayer funds…(more)

Wonder how Peskin feels about dealing with the SFMTA now. Of course he has his hands full with the Leaning Tilting Sinking Millennium Mess and the Transbay Terminal Terminal.

Hopefully someone on the Board of Supervisors will find the time to hasten the restructuring of the SFMTA Board that just killed the taxi industry, and is doing everything in their power to hand over control of the streets to their corporate buddies, Lyft, Uber and the rest of the disruptors.

CA: Safety the Top Priority in BART Board Race

By Erin : masstransit – excerpt

Oct. 17–Rider safety topped the list of priorities for all 12 candidates vying for a seat on BART’s governing board this November.

The concerns over safety come on the heels of a spate of high-profile crimes, including the July stabbing death of 18-year-old Nia Wilson, as well as a 70 percent increase in the number of aggravated assaults over the past four years, which the candidates cited as a major factor for the decline in the number of people riding BART.

The candidates fall largely into three camps when it comes to their approaches to stemming crime: those who want more police officers patrolling stations and trains, those who want more civilian ambassadors serving as the “eyes and ears of the system,” and candidates who are looking for some combination of the two…(more)

Read the details on each candidate. It appears the choice over parking is a big one in the East Bay, where incumbents support more housing and challengers want more parking. How much time should BART officials spend on non-BART issues is another big one. Comments welcome.

 

Protesters Block Google Bus Near San Jose State University

cbslocalexcerpt (includes video)

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A group of protesters blocked a bus carrying tech workers near the San Jose State University campus Thursday.

The demonstration happened on the 100 block of E. San Salvador St. near Fourth St. outside a parking garage.

KCBS Radio reported the protest was the first tech bus protest in San Jose and directed at Google, with protesters dressed in hazmats suits saying the company is “toxic.” The demonstrators say they are opposed to Google’s plans for a new campus near in San Jose…(more)

It has finally happened. SF residents have been protesting against the disruptive tech buses for months and now the protests are starting at the other end. We’ve been wondering how the residents near the campuses are dealing with them. Now we know. These exclusive carriers are only appreciated by the the riders who enjoy the perks. This in-your-face opulence is fanning the anti-gentrification flames around the Bay. The corporate takeover of the streets is not going to be smooth.

RELATED:

Monday, October 29, 1:30 PM
Room 250 City Hall – Supervisors Land Use and Transportation Meeting
Who will get to drive in the Red Lanes? SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin, is handing the decision on whether or not private tech buses will use the Red Lanes to the Supervisors. Don’t miss your chance to comment on who can use the Red Lanes.

The T line has never lived up to its promise. Coming upgrades may not be enough to help

Jamil Wardlow leaves his Bayview home an hour early whenever he has to catch the T-Third Street Muni Metro. The line runs so late, and the trains are so sluggish, that he needs that extra time, he said.

Lamar Reed said he once got so tired of waiting for the T that he walked five miles to get downtown from Kirkwood and Third streets.

These aren’t outlier stories; they are typical rider experiences on a troubled light rail line that has never lived up to its promise of delivering brisk, convenient transit service to one of the city’s most isolated and least accessible pockets. Too often, riders say, the line is either stuck at one of the many intersections along its route or idling in car traffic…

The line is about to enter its next phase, when the Central Subway opens in 2019. At that point, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will reroute the T near Fourth and King streets, piping trains into a tunnel beneath Fourth Street, where they will zip north under SoMA to a new station in Chinatown.

“Once they open the Central Subway the whole rail line will improve,” said former SFMTA board chair Tom Nolan. He hopes that by 2020, trains will skate from Visitacion Valley and the Bayview up to Stockton Street… (more)

Hello! How does this help the folks in Bay View who have limited service? Sometimes the ideas SFMTA comes up statements with defy reason. This is one of them. Whoever suggested this as a solution to fix the T-Line should apologize for insulting the riders’ intelligence. DON’T WASTE OUR TIME! Don’t worry about speeding service until you eliminate switchbacks!