See it on the right?
Click to expand
See it on the right?
Click to expand
Let’s check in with San Francisco Chronicle writer CW Nevius on the topic of the Central Subway:
“S.F.: City of whine aficionados” - January 9, 2014
“A subway will take traffic off some of the busiest streets in the city – try riding Muni on Stockton Street in the morning – and provide quick north-south access across the city, and it’s mostly paid for with federal funds. Who wouldn’t like something like that?”
So that was Nevius 2014. Now let’s check in with Nevius 2008 on the same exact topic:
“Nevius: Chinatown subway plan makes me wince” - February 21, 2008
“There’s really only one question to ask about the proposal to bore a light-rail subway deep under the heart of downtown San Francisco. You’re kidding, right?“
“Just the initial math makes your head hurt. Basically it works out to somewhere between $1.22 billion and $1.4 billion for an underground railway that runs for less than two miles and has only three stops. That’s not a transit system, it’s a model railroad.“
“Throw in a few of the inevitable cost overruns and this could work out to a billion dollars a mile.”
“No matter. This is the kind of big, splashy project that city officials love to put their name on.”
“Basically, the argument seems to boil down to this - we’ve got the money (as if federal tax dollars grow on trees), the Chinatown community is behind it, why not build it? Oh, let me count some of the reasons.”
“But, critics say, a stop on Market beneath which BART and other Muni lines already run might have made this whole thing an easier sell. That would have created an opportunity for a single station where riders could make connections between regional and local trains, almost like Grand Central Terminal in New York. Instead, riders will have to walk all the way up to Union Square.”
“Oh, and did I mention that in order to get under the BART tube, the subway station at Union Square will have to be at least 95 feet below the surface. That’s nine stories.”
“What is it about that image of deep, underground dirt-munching machines in earthquake country that makes me wince?”
Has CW Nevius offered any explanation for this 180 degree turnaround?
‘Cause I’ll tell you, this subway-to-nowhere project has gotten worse since 2008.
CIVIL GRAND JURY, CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO – “CENTRAL SUBWAY, TOO MUCH MONEY FOR TOO LITTLE BENEFIT“
Wall Street Journal: Off the San Francisco Rails – $1.6 billion for 1.7 miles of subway.
San Francisco Bay Guardian: Central Subway gravy train shows how City Hall work
SF Weekly: Portmistress Pelosi
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera: It’s time to rethink the Central Subway
San Francisco Examiner: Dennis Herrera comes out against San Francisco Central Subway project
CalWatchdog: S.F. Subway Derails Into Boondoggle
Former Richmond District Supervisor and San Francisco Transportation Agency Chair Jake* McGoldrick: S.F. must stop Central Subway from being built
Get the point? Good, let’s dance!
Nevius 1988, artist’s conception – perhaps this particular Nevius had yet another strongly held position on this corrupt SFGov boondoggle:
Post sponsored by Nevius Nation 1414 – “We are a part of the Nevius Nation“
This is a monthly thing for four-star Yelp-rated Nijiya Market at 1737 Post St (between Buchanan and Webster) in Godforsaken, windblown, Redeveloped, and concrete-and-clay-and-general-decay Japantown.*
But what’s this,”EXCEPT FOR SAUSAGE, BACON, HAM?”
Those are like the three best animals, man!
A good thing is when the have cases of “imported” Sapporo Draft (aka Premium) (kara サッポロビール株式会社 Sapporo Bīru Kabushiki-gaisha) on sale for $13. (Yeah, imported from Ontario, Canada(!), but I guess an import is an import.)
Anyway, enjoy your Meat Days, San Francisco!
Homer: Are you saying you’re never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.
Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.
*I haven’t a clue on how to best fix earthquake-unsafe J-Town. Before the Great Recession, the solution was going to be something like 500 new condos in the nabe, each with a $100,000 fee tacked on to help pay for a new Japantown Garage and whatnot. But some businesses inside the horrible mall buildings are thriving and some are not, so it’s not an easy call to have a giant implosion and just start over. And, up to now, there’s been no money for that kind of thing anyway…
Boy there’s a lot of overhead involved with the whole process of charging people $7 to walk through the former Strybing Arboretum, it sure looks like.
Anyway, here’s a little background on how we’ve gotten to this point:
And here’s a post from 2010:
“Not sure how many people were at last night’s ”workshop” to discuss the idea of charging admission at San Francisco Botanical Garden (aka Strybing Arboretum) in Golden Gate Park ’cause I left before it ended. But the hand-count totaled 225 souls, so let’s call that a gentleman’s 250 altogether for the crowd.
Here’s the thing - people on both sides all seem to know each other and care deeply about The Garden. This conflict seems a kind of civil war (hence the Antietam name check, yes it rhymes exactly), a family squabble. It’s plant-loving Brother against plant-loving-but-other-stuff-too Brother. Get up to speed on this dispute here.
Now, once more into the breach, dear friends.
The mise-en-scene last night. It’s Recreation and Park Commission President Jim Lazarus taking individual questions from a hostile crowd, split up unnecessarily, it turned out, into three sections. This is what the bulk of the meeting looked like. Click to expand:
But let’s start at the beginning. Below, it’s the organized neighbors! They taped up hundreds of small signs to draw attention to the meeting. Did workers from DPW spend a lot of time taking down the unofficial notices? Apparently. Were any official notices put up, like last time? Not that I could see.
Inside, the fellow on the left, (didn’t get his name, someone called him The Kid) tried to get things started, but vocal members of the crowd didn’t like the agenda that was handed out, particularly they didn’t like being split up into three groups.
The guy with the ponytail went off, and the Eli in the Yale jacket on the right pleaded for calm. Thank Gaia for Yalies:
After a couple go-arounds like that, The Kid threatened to cancel the meeting. (Arboretum staff appears to view hosting public meetings like these as doing a favor to Arboretum visitors, and truth be told, if San Francisco officials are dead-set on allowing the charging of admission, they can do it regardless of what regular Arboretum visitors want.) Here’s a ten-minute video of the action.
But after a brief huddle, redolent of a friendly car salesperson taking your low-ball offer to the Big Guy…
…out comes lawyer Jim Lazarus calling an audible to change the meeting’s format. He seemed every bit the experienced pol he is.
The new agenda that got worked out with leadership elements from the masses: an uninterupted 10-15 minute “general presentation” of the plan. “Then you can decide how much you want to beat us up after that,” said Jimbo. “You can shoot us all when it’s over.”
This Lazarus Effect resuscitated the meeting. So, let’s hear The Proposal.
The Arboretum would set up pre-fab ticket kiosks at the Main Gate and the Friend Gate (near the Japanese Tea Garden) for $65K and then hire four part-time cashiers, a manager(?), and also a part-time accountant for $148K per year. San Francisco residents would enter for free after showing some sort of ID. Those useless freeloading parasites known as Everybody Else in the World would pay $7, or $4 (students and seniors), or $2 (kids) each time they go in. They’d have the option of getting a $75 annual pass that would also allow entry at the Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers – something like that.
The projected 100,000 in paid admissions would have a “blended average” of $5.50 per, resulting in a gross take of $550K. Take away $150K for expenses and you end up with an annual net of $400K, of which $100-150K would go into the Rec and Park kitty and the rest could go into whatever, like hiring more gardeners at $68K salary (plus 25% more in benefits).
The goal would be to eventually get up to a full complement of 16 gardeners, which will “never happen” without some new source of Arboretum-specific cashola.
“KEEP THE ARBORETUM FREE”
What about residents of neighboring counties in the Bay Area you say? It doesn’t matter, all auslanders gotta pay.
What about the rumoured $1.3 million cost of building the kiosks and other related expenses? That was just a “Cadillac proposal” dreamed up by somebody or other – the bare bones approach discussed last night would not be as nice, but it would get the job done.
This charismatic-messianic type got lots of applause for questioning the whole idea of charging anybody anything, regardless of the numbers:
Mr. Lazarus acknowledged the fear San Francisco residents have of being the next in line to be charged, the fear that admission prices would then increase after that. No promises on that front. Que sera sera.
But I’ll let the Keep the Arboretum Free people delve into these issues more. When I left, Lazarus was answering questions one by one, Phil Donahue-style.
“FREE means NO FEES, NO I.D.s”
Oh yes, the “next terrible meeting” promised by Jimbo will concern paid parking in Golden Gate Park. (Do people really plant their vehicle in the park for free and then run all over town all day? People do.)
The estimate of $148k annually to pay salaries for the paid admission scheme sounds low. Way low, particularly in light of what cashiers at the Japanese Tea Garden get paid.
Park and Rec knows how to notice a public meeting but, for whatever reason, it appears to have done a bush-league job of noticing last night’s workshop.
Next up next month in June: the action will move over to City Hall and the Board of Supervisors. When will our civil war end?
When: May 28, 2009 – Thursday 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: County Fair Building, 9th Avenue and Lincoln Avenue, San Francisco
What: In response to the feedback received on the proposed admission program at Botanical Garden, the Rec & Park Department decided there will not be a fee for residents. The revised proposal does include a $7. fee for nonresident visitors. Public workshop is to take feedback regarding revised proposed admission fee and will be seeking topics including:
Implementation of the new fee for non-San Francisco residents.
Amenities at the Garden.
Potential new revenue sources.
To Be Continued…
Well it’s the morning of the second Sunday of June, so that means it’s almost time for the Haight Ashbury Street Festival.
Lets take a look at some photos from recent years.
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…and all around:
From Bluoz: Upper Haight is for Lovers:
Let your freak flag fly, baby. From the Eastern Stage:
And here’s one from Chris Witte:
There’s a feeling I get/
when I look to the West…
…and the East…
…on Haight Street on the Second Sunday in June.
At least the Yelpers like Frank:
This ganga guy in purple will sue you for $1000 if you take his photo, or something:
And Obama in a Giants cap, just the way they had it at the recent Union Street Festival:
You know who loves the Haight Street Fair? Parole agents
A mass of humanity:
Hookahs! Get your hookahs! It’s Hookahs.com
A dancing baby grooving on Haight Street:
Can you see the superfluity of nuns in white approaching the Fair? Also note the F430 Ferrari supercar (sans license plates), one of many exoticars that made the journey to the Upper Haight today. Also note the sign: “No Open Containers of Alcohol.” Too bad.
Of course, all you need to get around the alcohol ban is a gallon jug of overproofed white rum and a giveaway “water” bottle. As seen on Ashbury.
Former District Five Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi on the scene
Poorbot looking for handouts:
“SHOW US YOUR BOOBS… please.” “FABULOUS PRIZES.” “DON’T WORRY (WE’RE GAY)” These inebriates residing above the Ben & Jerry’s at the corner of Ashbury were true to their word, tossing down trinkets to all flashers male and female.
You kmow why this San Francisco Native baby is better than you? Cause he had the foresight to be born in San Francisco, that’s why. He won the lottery/ when he was born.
And There You Have It.
So, Pasadenians will be able to buy a small Dahon folding bike for $214.99?
Isn’t this a lot cheaper, you know, per bike, than the SFMTA’s / BAAQMD’s expensive bike sharing scheme?
Hell yes. Plus, you, Fellow San Franciscan, end up with a bicycle of your own.
Hey, where’s my almost-free Dahon bike, SFMTA?
You know who’s excited about Pasadena already? Dahon Girl 2009, that’s who:
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Oh, what’s that, giving away bicycles ala Santa Monica is NOT a jobs program? Because most of the money would necessarily go into bikes instead of salaries and benefits and pensions?
And the SFMTA is really an employment agency instead of the (very slow, slowest in America) transit agency it claims to be?
Oh, so I guess, for that reason, we won’t be getting a Pasadena-style program up here in the 415.
‘Cause I’ll tell you, SF’s new bikeshare program is of zero interest to me, as a supposed user. And I’ll tell you, most of the money for San Francisco’s bike share program will end up paying the employees instead of paying for the large, heavy, expensive, undesirable equipment for the program.
Last time I checked. the San Francisco Fire Department spends 91% of its budget on salaries / related expenses and just 9% on equipment. Will our bike share program end up with that kind of percentage after it ends? We’ll see.
Of course, when you’re giving away or heavily subsidizing a bike program as Pasadena is doing, you’re going to run into corruption and fraud type of problems.
But guess what, we going to have these issues* with Alta Bicycle Share in our taxpayer-funded program as well.
So what’s the diff?**
*And vandalism. Don’t forget about theft and vandalism. Oh, you have the GPS to fight theft? Guess what, it’s sending out its signal from, say, underneath Pier 2. Who’s going to fish it out? We’ll see.
**One big diff will be that any issues anyone has about the bike share program will be met with a pitch for more money. More and more and more money.
I think I saw an ad for these A2B bikes just today in the SF Weekly.
They were never very popular but I did my best to discourage purchases, to the dismay of the Ultra Motors people.
These days, Ultra Motors is gone but A2B bikes are making a comeback aided by more realistic pricing.
Thusly, as seen with a flat tire:
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IMO, you’re better off with a regular bike, one with puncture resistant tires and theft-hardened parts.
But that’s just me.