Art & Environment & Science


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A new mural worth seeing is on Mason Street (near Post) in downtown SF, honoring Greta Thunberg—the young Swedish voice for climate-change action. The mural’s sponsor, One Atmosphere, plans more murals to amplify public awareness. The multi-prong approach by individuals and organizations reminds us of our own individual responsibilities—to do something about an existential threat. By action, advocacy and education, we can push the necessary political maelstrom. We can do something the younger generation can’t do. We can vote against climate-change-deniers.

NEWSWEEK: Huge Mural of Teen Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Painted in Central SF: ‘She Knows What She’s Doing’

“If we can amplify her message and get more people involved and listening to what she’s saying, then we’re doing some good,” he told CNN.

VIDEO: Make the World Greta Again

Howard Wong

Why traffic laws are not being enforced

Meter Madness

Comments from a concerned citizen

The city outgrew the infrastructure and LOS (level of service) some time ago. There are too few police, firemen, Muni drivers, teachers, 911 emergency call center operators, etc. for the current level of population. Not only do we have more people living in San Francisco, the population swells during the day making it impossible for the traffic control officers to do a proper job. To make matters more difficult, City Hall dedicates huge amounts of money to planning for future growth instead of fixing the problems we have today. SFMTA can’t hire and train enough operators but they did manage to push their PR department from 4 employees to 55 to try to convince you that you should be happy with “their service”. Are you?

Keeping police officers on the streets is one aspect of the development policy that the CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act)…

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New post New Yorkers hold full Thanksgiving turkey feast on subway train


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New post on Meter Madness

New Yorkers hold full Thanksgiving turkey feast on subway train

by zRants

by Joy Henry : wave – excerpt (includes video) New Yorkers held a Thanksgiving feast on the subway’s L line on Sunday, November 24, complete with a table full of turkey, sides, (non-alcoholic) bubbly, and electric candles…(more) Looks like NY subway doesn’t bad eating and drinking.

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zRants | November 27, 2019 at 2:14 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:

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SMART District Announced Upcoming Service Changes

By Bay City News – excerpt

A new train service schedule for North Bay commuters will roll out on Jan. 1, the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit District announced.

The expanded schedule, approved by the SMART board on Wednesday, includes more weekday service, increased train frequency during peak commute hours and earlier train service on weekends.

The new schedule “is the product of months of planning and coordination with regional transit agencies to offer more efficient connections to the Larkspur ferry and bus service throughout Sonoma and Marin County,” SMART said in an announcement. “The schedule also features convenient transit links for passengers wishing to take the train to and from the Sonoma County Airport.”… (more)

Flare-up between SF and Chinese merchants reveals Muni’s inadequate translation services

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexminer – excerpt

A small, simple transportation project meant to speed up buses for 42,000 San Franciscans has sputtered out of control.

A community of merchants on San Bruno Avenue grew outraged. Transit officials back-tracked. The dance of transit versus parking played out for the umpteenth time, but also widened the chasm of distrust between a predominantly Chinese-speaking community and city government, those involved said.

The cause? Like any good relationship — in this case, between The City and its people — it boiled down to communication, they said.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is walking back parts of its San Bruno Avenue Improvement Project after spotty Cantonese translation at a community meeting, and months of missed outreach opportunities, said Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who represents the neighborhood.

“I have a group of long-term merchants that feel lied to, disrespected, and ignored,” she said. “I share their anger myself.”… (more)

L.A.’s Transit Guru, Denny Zane, Slams Sacramento for Targeting California’s Single-Family Hom es


In this fascinating September interview by David Abel of The Planning Report, former Santa Monica city official Denny Zane, who is widely viewed in Los Angeles as the region’s biggest transit promoter, slams Sacramento for overstepping its role on housing, and creating anger, resentment and disgust in cities statewide:

Denny Zane: “We created a more attractive option with moderate density on the boulevards or in [Santa Monica’s] downtown. We got 3000 units built in our downtown, about one-third deed-restricted affordable. Neighbors have never opposed these projects.

“The state should try to learn from those strategies. Leave the R1 alone; there are better opportunities on the boulevards and in downtowns, especially as brick and mortar retail contracts from online shopping—And it’s closer to transit and less likely to risk displacement of existing renters.

“Look at the cities that have been effective, that have done it well, and try to encourage those strategies rather than a one-size-fits-all imposition that just makes everybody angry and resistant.”

BART to Reopen Bathrooms, Modernize Stations at Powell Street and 19th Street In Oakland

By Jay Barmann: sfist – excerpt

BART’s board has just approved a contract to modernize Powell Street Station in San Francisco, a project that will include reopening the public restrooms there that have been closed since September 11, 2001.

The $11.3 million contract with Oakland-based ProVen Management Inc. will also include the installation of LED lighting on the Powell station platform, the relocation of fare gates, and the installation of new Clipper Card kiosks near the Westfield Center entrance to the station. The project will also bring new, five-foot-tall glass fare-gate barriers to the station to deter fare evasion. As KPIX reports, no completion date for the project has been set, and if an additional $3.7 million in funding can be found, the project will also include new seating on the platform, and an accessible ramp at Hallidie Plaza…(more)

Just open all the public facilities to the public ASAP.

Commentary: BART Police Need to Figure out Where They Stand on Rules

By Roger Rudick : streetsblog – excerpt

Unless you’ve been vacationing on another planet, you’re probably aware of the BART sandwich incident from last Monday, November 4 at the Pleasant Hill BART station. Put simply, a BART police officer ended up handcuffing an African-American patron who was eating a breakfast sandwich while waiting for a train…

BART Director Janice Li meanwhile angered the BART police by mocking their actions and participating in an “eat in” demonstration on the Embarcadero platform…

Li is undermining the authority of BART police by advocating lawlessness and making our job as law enforcement officers that much harder,” said Keith Garcia, president of the BART Police Officers Association, in a prepared statement (PDF)…

There is, of course, too much to unpack here in terms of selective enforcement and racial profiling, than can be accomplished in a single post. There are larger issues about police enforcement and profiling that aren’t unique to the Bay Area(more)

Perhaps it is time to review the rules against eating and drinking on a public transit system that turn a blind eye toward higher crimes and grosser behaviors. Eating and drinking should be approved public behaviors unless we are now living in the absurd world created by Luis Buñuel in, “Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie”, where eating is done behind closed doors. Has our bourgeoisie society become the twisted upside down world the anarchists and surrealists depicted?

A ridehail tax won’t fix traffic congestion

By Susan Vaughan and David Fairley : sfexaminer – excerpt

Centuries ago, the Catholic church sold indulgences to sinners. The indulgence trade allowed the church to fund its projects — such as cathedrals and crusades — and for sinners to keep on sinning for a small price.

Such is the nature of Proposition D, the proposed tax on all Uber and Lyft rides that originate in San Francisco, some of which will go to Muni. Proponents argue that the money raised will mitigate the impacts of Uber and Lyft. That’s doubtful. In fact, passage of Prop. D will give these two scofflaw corporations cover of legitimacy — and make Muni dependent on enabling all their negatives: congesting our city streets; violating rules of the road (double parking, and stopping in public bus stops, bicycle lanes, and crosswalks); competing with Muni for passengers in their insatiable quest to turn a profit; and, most alarmingly, exacerbating the global climate crisis… (more)

People who are concerned about the privatization of public transportation systems oppose Proposition D because it is one more strike against the public transportation system in favor or the “public/private” enterprises that are replacing true public transportation in our city. Many feel this is an assault on the public commons but, we will see how the public responds to the paid advertisements that are overwhelming them during this election.

How Caltrans stopped BART’s dangerous outage plan

By Daniel Borenstein, Bay Area News Group : mercurynews – excerpt

State agency blocked rail system from shutting down freeway lanes near fire that forced hundreds of evacuations

This is a story about a potential disaster that was avoided during last weekend’s power outages and fires. About Caltrans doing the right thing to keep BART from creating a hazard.

If not for the state agency’s last-minute intervention Friday, the Bay Area’s largest commuter rail system would have shut down two lanes of Highway 24 — right in the heart of the pre-announced power outages and, it turned out, 1 1/2 miles from a fire that forced evacuations of hundreds of homes on both sides of the freeway…

BART staff was planning business as usual — closing the two lanes for the entire weekend unless the traffic backups hit the 30-minute threshold. “It’s still the plan to do the track work with lane closures this weekend,” spokesman Chris Filippi texted Friday.

Caltrans was prepared to let them do it. Until I called the state agency…(more)

It looks like we do need some legislation that will override local traffic and parking restrictions during a crisis and this legislation needs to come out of Sacramento.