SF Firefighters Take Campaign Against Safe Street Design to North Beach

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

At a community meeting about bulb-outs in North Beach tomorrow evening, some residents and firefighters are expected to speak against the curb extensions on the grounds that they make streets more dangerous.

As Hoodline has reported, the leadership of the North Beach Neighbors and the SF Fire Fighters Union have drummed up opposition to bulb-outs proposed at four intersections along Columbus Avenue. NBN will hold its second public discussion on the issue tomorrow.

While the SF Fire Department’s top brass has shown signs of letting go of its opposition to curb extensions, SF Fire Fighters Union Local 798 has maintained a campaign for wider, more dangerous roadways.

Now there’s tension between the union and the fire department about street design. In a June 18 letter to SFFD Chief Johanne Hayes-White[PDF], Local 798 President Tom O’Connor protested the department’s “very troubling” approval of “obstacles” that “will require our members to knowingly drive into oncoming traffic” (yes, some firefighters still make that claim):

We further assert that any and all obstacles that have already installed [sic] should completely [sic] removed on the basis that they are a danger to public safety, to our members and to the integrity of our apparatus and finally as a violation of the California Vehicle Code.

NBN President Trish Herman has fueled the flames. She told Hoodline that “bulb-outs in the Castro have caused traffic back-ups,” presumably referring to Castro Street’s recent sidewalk expansion, which narrowed its excessively wide traffic lanes. She also complained about sidewalk space removing parking: “They’re not considering the vehicle public,” she said…

(more)

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UCSF nurses union comes out against S.F. Warriors arena

Meter Madness

By J.K. Dineen :sfgate – excerpt – (video)

The Golden State Warriors could face some unexpected opposition in their drive to build an arena in Mission Bay: nurses.

On Monday, the California Nurses Association, a union that represents 900 UCSF nurses, came out against the plan for an 18,500-seat arena across the street from the new UCSF Medical Center on the southern edge of Mission Bay.

In a statement, the nurses union cited “impacts on access to care, patient health and the ability of patients, family members and health professionals to access Mission Bay’s hospitals and clinics in gridlock traffic.”

At a news conference Monday, three nurses expressed reservations about the Warriors’ plan, although they all admitted that they were unfamiliar with the details of the team’s recently released 800-page environmental impact report, which analyzes the arena’s potential effects on traffic and parking.

Backed by Mayor Ed Lee and…

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SAN FRANCISCO’S TRANSBAY TERMINAL PROJECT QUICKLY TAKING SHAPE

By Carolyn Tyler : abc7news – excerpt – (video)

Thursday, June 25, 2015 09:19PM
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Work on a regional connection for Bay Area commuters is quickly taking shape. With much of the construction on the Transbay Terminal completed underground, we’re finally seeing it rise above street level.

At First and Mission streets in San Francisco commuters are watching an icon rise, one that might actually make their trip into San Francisco easier someday. “You absolutely get a feel for what that experience is going to be when the transit center opens in late 2017,” Dennis Turchon said.

Turchon is senior project manager of the $1.1 billion new Transbay Terminal project.

It is designed to be the Grand Central Station of the west, a hub for Bay Area transit.

Regional bus lines will carry commuters to and from the city on the upper levels, while underground Caltrain and high speed rail will bring commuters up the Penisula.

“We’ve poured almost 100,000 cubic yards of concrete in the last year for the train box,” Turchon said… (more)

Activists prod Mayor Lee over Caltrain extension

Meter Madness

By Hannah Albarazi :sfbay – excerpt

Environmentalists and transit enthusiasts are urging San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to prioritize a ballot measure that passed in 1999 that required an extension of the Caltrain line to the Transbay Terminal in downtown San Francisco.

The passage of the 1999 ballot measure, known then as Proposition H, required that Caltrain be extended to the Transbay Terminal and prohibited the city from taking any actions that would conflict with extension.

Alex Doniach, a spokeswoman for the Mission Bay Alliance, a non-profit group that wants to see the Caltrain downtown extension brought to fruition, and also stands unwaveringly against the proposed Golden State Warriors stadium, said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee should honor the original Downtown Rail Extension (DTX) agreement.

Transit enthusiasts from groups such as the Train Riders Association of California, Bay Rail Alliance, Friends of Caltrain, Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund, and…

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DTX RALLY: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24, 11AM at City Hall Steps

Join Rail Pak, Livable City, Coalition for SF Neighborhoods, Friends of Caltrain, Sierra Club, Transit Riders Union, SF Tomorrow, Bay Rail Alliance, TRAC, SaveMuni, TRANSDEF, BATWG and others.

A UNITED FRONT TO ACCELERATE DTX AND A REGIONAL TRANSIT HUB

▪ Prioritize and complete the region’s highest transportation priority!

▪ Fulfill the voter mandate of 1999 Prop H to extend Caltrain to the Transbay Center.

▪ Alleviate traffic gridlock and pollution—by reducing the projected 320,000 daily car trips from the south peninsula (more than car trips of the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridgecombined).

▪ Offset diminished streets, sidewalks, utilities, Muni transit and environmental quality caused by upzoning and increased density—originally predicated on the promise of DTX.

▪ Fulfill the promises of an integrated regional transit hub, connecting Caltrain, BART, Muni Metro, Muni buses, AC Transit, SamTrans, Golden Gate Transit and other transit modes. No more delays!

A Grand Central Terminal of the West—not more traffic gridlock and a choked Muni system.

SFMTA to increase Muni fares and fines starting next month

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU and wires) — The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced a fare and fine increase on Monday, which will start next month.

On July 1, select cash and Clipper fares, as well as some major fees and fines will increase, SFMTA officials said.
ktvu – excerpt

The discount cash fare for persons with disabilities, youth and seniors will increase from 75 cents to $1.

Adult “A” monthly fast passes for Muni and BART within San Francisco will increase from $80 to $83. Adult “M” monthly fast passes for Muni only will increase from $68 to $70.

Monthly Muni passes for persons with disabilities, youth and seniors will increase from $24 to $25.

The Lifeline monthly pass for low-income residents will increase from $34 to $35.

A single cable car ride ticket will increase from $6 to $7.

Lastly, a school coupon booklet worth 15 Muni tickets will increase from $11.25 to $15, according to agency officials.

In addition, fees, fines and rates that will also see an increase include parking, transit and taxi fines and late penalties, neighborhood parking permits, contractor parking permits. Fines for parking in color curb zones and during temporary street closures, special traffic permits, boot removal, auto towing and storage, special collections, service vehicle rental, parklet installation, parking meter use, sign posting and various taxi permits will also increase, SFMTA officials said… (more)

MUNI Service Improving:?

By Guest Writer

The City believes mass transit needs improving.  That is why we recently passed a bond measure for $500 million, by 71.3% of the voters, to provide more funding for MUNI in our last election.  Does anyone see an improvement of the “on time” performance of MUNI today from yesterday?  With construction going on at a record pace and traffic often blocked with utility improvements, not to mention additional laborers, traffic is worse.  One solution for better MUNI performance has been to limit or restrict service, creating hardships for the elderly, the disabled and the handicapped.  Even eliminating bus stops to hospitals is considered an improvement in service, i.e. the 33 bus could discontinue its stop to San Francisco General sometime in the future.  Usually, seniors and those with disabilities move to locations where mass transit provides services to health care service.  Now, these same citizens will need to move again.  Is this really the role of government, to hamper the needs of those less fortunate than we are?

The Private Taxi Congestion:
Uber, Sidecar and Lyft pretend to remove congestion in San Francisco, reducing the need for individuals to travel down town.  Well, with 20,000 vehicles working for Uber alone on a daily basis, they are adding to traffic congestion, not solving it.  In addition, Uber wishes to add an additional 120 vehicles to improve their service.  Uber is the largest of these private taxi services but Sidecar and Lyft also contribute to congestion in San Francisco.

Private Buses a Boom or Bust to Neighborhoods:
Assembly Bill 61, which is presently on hold, would give legitimate approval for private buses to use public bus stops.  Private buses for employees of Google, Apple and Salesforce are prime examples of those that would benefit from this law.  At first glance, it would seem less people on the road would benefit the public, however, let’s look at this further.  Studies have shown that those who rent beside private bus stops are finding their rent increase, allowing well paid tech workers to replace existing tenants.  Those that own property, whether it be residential or business real estate, are finding their property value increasing by $100,000.  Therefore, their property taxes are rising.  If small businesses move, the diversity provided by “Mom and Pop” stores will diminish, as larger chain stores replace less profitable businesses.

A Fair Tax for Private Buses:
Heavy private buses, typically do not pay their fair share of cost  for “wear and tear” on our streets.  Minimal fees for private access to these public bus stops of $1 or $3.50 a visit, do not pay for the true cost of access.  A flat fee of $1,000, $5,000 or $10,000 a day would be more appropriate allowing the improvement of mass transit maintenance or the purchase of more vehicles to our existing fleet.  Then too, any worthwhile City necessity, i.e. affordable or middle class housing subsidies could benefit from this tax.  The City is missing an opportunity to tax wealthy companies fairly.  We ask the City to look again at their mass transit policy, please.

It doesn’t work already!

The entire ABAG Plan Bay Area is a disaster that is flawed in concept and is adding to the problem, not solving it.

We are pouring thousands of people into the city who do not work here while pushing thousands of people who work here out.

So now, we have thousands of Silicon Valley workers commuting from the city instead of working near their jobs, and thousands of bridge and tunnel commuters who have to return to the city to work. We are solving nothing. No form of transit can move that many people reliably and safely though the current pipelines.

Extending the single BART pipeline does not create any more room on the pipeline. It only adds to the number of people who are using the system. Capacity is already overflowing.

Moving people into the big cities is what they did in China during the Cultural Revolution. It failed in China and is not sustainable here.

We also have the impending water shortage and rising sea levels. If you believe in such things, why are we dumping people into cities at sea level? Shouldn’t we be moving them to higher elevations?

We need a moratorium on stupidity.

Fed Up!