[UPDATE: Transit buff murphstahoe has this reaction:
“I feel confident I am as viable as anyone else in this race.”
Disagree, respectfully. An incumbent Mayor losing is like a once-every-couple-decades kind of thing, right? Incumbents have huge built-in advantages, of course.
“I definitely feel The Bay Citizen has marginalized me and that they have reported I’m a second-tier candidate within the LGBT community – when, if you look at the details of the poll, I doubt they’ve even sampled thirty-five LGBT voters in their sample.”
It’s not TBC’s job to spin for any particular candidate, is it?
“And so, you have The Bay Citizen which is an insert newspaper for the New York Times…”
Is that an insult? Is it meant to be? I can’t tell. But I can tell you that one look at its payroll will reveal that it’s a major bay area media entity.
“…and they threw a poll. An initiative like that is about marginalizing me. It’s about telling people that I can’t win.”
Wow. The whole exercise with USF and spending $10k on independent polling was about marginalizing Bevan Dufty? Really? (Maybe I’m not reading this right.)
The Bay Citizen called me “a Zombie” and didn’t even spell my name right in the story.
“Zombie candidate,” IIRC. Some people (such as myself, for one) have issues with how RCV and public financing relate to each other under the current rules, of course.
Next up is this bit from Jerrold Chinn at SF Public Press. You can fire it up at 2:45 or so.
“Do you support the Central Subway? Why or why not?”
For the record, here’s the damning Grand Jury report.
Per the video, Bevan thinks that people don’t have any idea that Rose Pak was the first Chinese American reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle? I think they do and I’m not sure how this bears on the CS. (You know, some people want to take steps to improve the 30 Stockton corridor like right now, instead of after a decade of delays and cost overruns. Is that racist to want to improve things now? How is it that “transit justice” can only be satisfied by the current horrible, horribly expensive, Bridge-to-Nowhere Central Subway scheme? I’m baffled.)
Bevan says that “90% of the Central Subway will be paid by the federal government?” This seems impossible to me. Is this in writing? Does it include past and future overruns?
Bevan says that the CS has to come before any other major project, such as putting rails in on Geary. But he doesn’t say why.
Bevan says that we would lose in excess of $100,000,000 if we pull the plug now. I thought it was closer to $200,000,000 myself but of course bad transit decisions cost money. The question is what should we do at this point. (I think we’d all be better off taking a new tack by simply paying back the Feds.)
I don’t know, if anybody wants to go line-by-line on today’s updated critique from Save MUNI, be my guest. (To be honest, I don’t know how anybody can defend the station placement decisions, the car-length decision, the let’s stop at southern Chinatown decision, among others. The CS is a politics-first, transit-last project, IMO.
(And oh, BTW, there’s a pool going on right now around town about what position Bevan will be appointed to and when. FYI.)
O.K, enjoy, after the jump
The Central Subway’s own reports to the Federal Transportation Administration depict an abysmal project. See
POLITICS & PUBLIC RELATIONS
Throughout history, the 1% who financially benefit will attempt to override the interests of the 99%—whether freeway expansions, filling in the Bay, dense waterfront development, destruction of open space/ historic resources, demolition of neighborhoods, the relocation of Chinatown…. Citizens have had to fight public relations onslaughts to protect their own interests.
SIMPSONS CARTOON: A humorous look at how bad projects are pitched.
EXAMINER OP-ED ARTICLE (Honorable Quentin Kopp):
* * * * * * * *
THE CENTRAL SUBWAY DECREASES TRANSIT SERVICE LEVELS
The Central Subway disconnects the Market Street corridor, BART, Muni Metro, Transbay Terminal, Ferries and Embarcadero. Instead, the Central Subway goes to a Union Square Station, whereupon riders must ascend seven stories, walking 1,000 feet to the Powell Street Station and Market Street.
Attached: Simplified Central Subway Map
Most Chinatown residents won’t walk to the Stockton-Clay streets subway station, ride half a mile to Union Square and then walk 1,000 feet to the Powell station. Most people will still depend on the 30-Stockton, 8X-Bayshore Express and 45-Union-Stockton buses to get to Market Street. But the Central Subway’s EIR predicts decreased surface buses of 76,400 hours per year on the Stockton corridor. And the MTA’s reports to the FTA predict decreased surface buses of 36,000 hours per year. Whatever the true number, riders will have less bus service in Chinatown, North Beach, Russian Hill, The Embarcadero and the Marina northward — in addition to service cutbacks already made to subsidize the Central Subway.
From south of Market Street, the existing T-Third Line’s King-Embarcadero-Market loop will be eliminated—which currently carries riders directly into Market Street’s Muni Metro and BART Stations. Instead, riders will go a Union Square Station, whereupon they must double-back to the Powell Station..
The Central Subway misses 25 interconnecting bus lines. Riders in the Richmond, Sunset, Castro, Twin Peaks, Haight-Ashbury, Western Addition, Mission Districts and western/ eastern San Francisco will have longer travel times with the Subway.
Design and cost compromises have decreased benefits:
Deep tunnels and stations require long escalator rides—down & up.
Broken escalators in Chinatown/ Moscone Stations would require walking.
Subway station platforms have been shortened to maximum 2-car lengths—forever limiting passenger capacity.
Moving sidewalks have been eliminated—requiring long walks for transfers.
Interconnecting passageways have been narrowed.
The Chinatown and Moscone Stations have only one entryway—increasing life safety risks.
DRAINING FUNDS FROM THE CITYWIDE MUNI SYSTEM
Muni riders and taxpayers are subsidizing the Central Subway—with unnecessary 2009/ 2010 service cuts, discontinued routes, crumbling vehicles; and increased fares, parking fees, meter rates and traffic citations. With $1.9 billion in deferred maintenance and $1.6 billion in budget deficits over the next 20 years, MTA service cuts and draconian revenue hikes will grow—unless the Central Subway is halted.
The MTA has drained $595 million of state/ local funds from the citywide Muni system for the short 1.7 mile subway, which serves only a small fraction of Muni’s 700,000 riders.
The recent MTA contract for tunnel boring machines has usurped another $57 million of Prop K sales tax funds—in lieu of restoring service cuts or improving citywide Muni.
The Central Subway will add at least $15 million per year in operating costs, further draining the citywide Muni System.
And the City and County of San Francisco is liable for all Central Subway construction cost-overruns.
MORE JOBS NOW (RATHER THAN LATER)
Hundreds of millions of dollars can be poured into the citywide Muni system and the broad bottom base of the economy—with massive local jobs, union jobs and enduring catalytic benefits. San Francisco’s economy can be jump-started with hundreds of miles of beautiful transit-priority streets—energizing cafés, restaurants, retail, services, business corridors, neighborhoods…
If the Central Subway is halted, the potential funding recapture of state/ local funding, saved operating expenditures and capital renewal replacements could exceed $800 million.
PROP K: LEGALLY-MANDATED TRANSIT PREFERENTIAL STREETS
Saved funding can implement theTPS (Transit Preferential Streets) and its citywide network of fast and reliable buses and surface light rail—legally mandated by voters with the Prop K Sales Tax in 2003.
PROP K 2003: http://www.sfcta.org/content/view/11/27/
Existing state/ local funding and savings in operating/ infrastructure costs should be poured into the citywide Muni System.
If objectively evaluated, the Central Subway can NOT meet criteria for FTA New Starts funding, CMAQ federal funding; State Prop 1B-MTA, Prop 1B-MTC, RIP, Prop 1A, TCRP funds; San Francisco Prop K, operating and parking revenues.
FALSE PHASE 1 & 2 CONCEPT
The Central Subway’s funding has been based on a fictional premise. The MTA has been citing the Central Subway as phase 2 of the T-Third line Light Rail Project. But it isn’t. Slow as it is, at least the T-Third currently connects Third Street to King Street, the Embarcadero, Market Street, Muni Metro, BART, Transbay Terminal and Ferries.
Phased projects normally extend and improve a transit line. But the Central Subway eliminates the T-Third’s loop to King-Embarcadero-Market streets—going instead to a Union Square station and requiring riders to double back to the Powell Station to access Muni Metro, BART, etc.
* * * * * * * *
CHINATOWN’S OVERALL TRANSIT CHOPPED
Politics, not transportation criteria, is driving the subway project. Higher future operating costs will decrease surface buses on the Stockton/ Columbus corridor. Immediate transit improvements are ignored.
Chinatown and low-income residents will have decreased transit service levels.
Moreover, the draining of scarce funds into the Central Subway prevents Muni improvements for the larger Chinese-American populations in the Richmond, Sunset and other culturally-diverse neighborhoods—much less the Stockton Corridor itself.
Despite the T-Line’s promises to the people of Bay View/ Hunters Point, the elimination of the King-Embarcadero-Market loop drastically reduces connectivity to downtown and regional transit. What was the point in building the T-Third Line (Phase 1), whose goal was to join those isolated neighborhoods to the rest of San Francisco, and then changing the route for the worse?
THE BIG 800 POUND LAND-USE GORILLA: DISAPPEARING CHINATOWNS
Chinatowns are disappearing all over the U.S., as adjacent financial and commercial cores expand.
Digging up of streets and rerouting of buses will hurt Chinatown’s fragile businesses.
Large transportation projects inevitably bring rezoning and gentrification. In October 2008, the Planning Director and a Planning Commissioner convened a Chinatown meeting to explore “Rezoning Chinatown”. More than a world-class destination and a valuable tourist attraction, San Francisco’s Chinatown is the cultural incubator of Chinese in America—requiring special care and protection.
A MORE VIBRANT PUBLIC REALM
With its uniqueness, character, Mediterranean-scale, geographic beauty and topographic splendor, San Francisco’s northeast quadrant is a natural pedestrian realm. The distance from Downtown to Fisherman’s Wharf is 1-½ miles. Columbus Avenue is 1 mile long. Washington Square is 1 mile from the Powell BART/Metro Station. Chinatown is ½ mile from Market Street. As seen in cities throughout the world, these are distances opportune for a pulsating street life.
From an urban planning perspective, robust pedestrian and surface transit assures dispersed economic vitality—at very modest costs.
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