Posts Tagged ‘bicycle coalition’

Amazingly, the Corrupt SFMTA Gives the SFBC Money to Say that the Corrupt SFMTA Needs More Money

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Republican Sean Walker is financing a ballot proposition this fall and the SFBC is not amused:

Despite an official “Transit-First” policy in San Francisco, biking, walking and taking transit in our city have been historically underfunded…

Uh, riding a bike isn’t actually “transit,” which IRL is “a system of buses, trains, etc. that people use to travel around in a particular city or area.”

This lack of funding and priority, means Muni is too often overcrowded and unreliable…

Or perhaps MUNI is poorly managed? Oh you don’t care because you get hundreds and thousands from the SFMTA each year? Why don’t you disclose that fact before crowing the SFMTA’s party line? Oh, you used to post your tax returns but now you don’t because you’re worried people might actually look at them? OK fine.

…dozens of people are killed just trying to walk across the streets each year.

Not dozens. Too many to be sure but not “dozens.”

…livable streets…

Our streets currently aren’t “liveable?” What does that mean? How Orwellian is your fund-raising “framing” going to get?

…there is a group of San Franciscans who think that there’s actually too much space given to sustainable ways to get around…

Well now, if you give the voters of the 415 / 628 the chance to freeze for five years the amount of money the SFMTA MUNI makes from parking tickets, they just might say “Aye,” right?

Your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition will be working with partners to make sure our transportation system is moving forward

MUNI is a disaster, right? MUNI is not “moving forward.” How much does the SFMTA give the SFBC every year to say stuff like this?

Our Board of Directors voted last week to oppose this “Transit-Last” measure, while supporting two important transportation funding measures on this November’s ballot, which will advance and truly better balance our city’s transportation needs. The first is the Transportation & Road Safety Bond, a $500 million general obligation bond dedicated to transportation capital improvements, including modernizing our transit system and investing in bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

Will this allow landlords to up rents in SF? Howard Wong, who is not on the SFMTA payroll, says it will “raise property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.

(It’s important to note that this measure will not raise local property taxes, as it only infills expiring debt.)

What does this mean? Is Howard Wong incorrect?

And the second is a charter amendment linking population growth to transportation spending, specifically long-ignored transit & safe streets needs. 

So the corrupt SFMTA gives you money to say that the corrupt SFMTA needs more money?

Here’s the rest of what Howard Wong has to say, FYI:

Arguments against MUNI infrastructure improvement bond

What does the ballot measure do:

Raises property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.

Funds “may be allocated” for transit and roads—carte blanche authority for unspecific projects.

If the Bond is rejected by voters, property taxes and rents would be reduced for everyone—not just for rich companies and the wealthy.

To read the Ordinance’s legal language is to oppose the Bond Measure.

http://www.sfgov2.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/elections/ElectionsArchives/Meeting_Information/BSC/agendas/2014/November/1-B%20Transportation%20Road%20Improvement%20GO.pdf

The Ordinance’s legal language makes no definitive commitment to any specific work:  “Projects to be funded under the proposed Bondmay include but are not limited to the following: 

Then, for eight project types, all eight begin with:  “A portion of the Bond may be allocated to…” 

In financial decisions, never sign a contract when the terms and deliverables are ambiguous.

Throwing billions of dollars at bad Muni projects hasn’t worked. 

Since 2006, Muni has cut service in every neighborhood, decreased annual vehicle revenue miles/ hours, eliminated 6 bus lines, shortened 22 routes, deferred maintenance, increased missed runs/ switchbacks/ late buses, increased fares/ fees/ fines/ meters (1,549,518 parking citations annually)…. Large project cost overruns have cut funds for infrastructure and maintenance.  The Central Subway alone has taken $595 million in state and local funds.  Huge subway cost overruns loom ahead, unveiled by the Central Subway’s cost engineer, whose whistle-blower’s complaint alleges a cooking of the books.

Bond Does Not Restore Muni Service Cuts

Muni has cut neighborhood transit, cross-town routes, night service and route frequency, hurting the low-income, families, disabled, youth and seniors.  …  Eliminated bus lines will not be restored—Lines 4, 7, 15, 20, 26, 34, 89…  Shortened bus routes will not be restored:  Lines 1, 2, 10, 12, 16X, 18, 21, 29, 36, 38, 42, 48, 53, 67, 88, 91, 108…  Muni has been an integrated citywide transit system, interconnecting outlying neighborhoods.  By cutting neighborhood transit, driving is encouraged—then penalized by more fees/ fines/ parking elimination.

Learning From the Past:  SFMTA’s Poor Spending Habits 

·        In 1999, Prop E created the SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) with more powers, more General Fund dollars and a 85% on-time performance mandate.  Instead, Muni falsified on-time performance data and paid bonuses to its Director.

·        In 2003, Prop K extended the transportation sales tax and provided a list of projects.  The Central Subway’s listed cost of $647 million escalated to $1.578 billion.  The citywide Transit-Preferential Streets Program and Bus Rapid Network were never implemented.

·        In 2007, Prop A gave SFMTA more funding authority, revenue-bond-authority and even more General Fund dollars.  Instead, work orders sent the new funds to other city departments.

·        In 2011, voters approved a Road Repaving Bond of $248 million, with $181 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $429 million.  Debt isn’t efficient for maintenance.

·        SFMTA’s budget grew by hundreds of millions of dollars to $978 million.  Number of employees grew by thousands to 4,921.  Salaries have soared.  And riders get service cuts.

Mayor’s Transportation Task Force (TTF) and Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP)

This proposed Bond, a second Bond, future fees and taxes will not meet objectives.  Only 49% of the TTF”s recommended funding goes to Muni.  TTF’s proposed $2.955 billion does not remotely solve Muni’s $25 billion in 20-Year Capital Plan Need.  The proposed TEP continues transit cuts to neighborhoods, shifting service to rapid corridors.  Better planning is needed for a citywide integrated Muni system.  Oppose this Bond Measure.

Sincerely,

Howard Wong, AIA, a founding member of SaveMuni

www.SaveMuni.com

www.SaveNorthBeachVillage.org

Wow, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Goes After Bicycle-Riding Supervisor David Chiu Big-Time – The “David Chiu Injury Counter?”

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Whoo wee, where to begin here? Apparently, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition thinks Supervisor David Chiu is the Great Enemy of Cyclists in San Francisco County. Read on, below.

And this is sort of funny because  I’ve never ever seen him in a car. I’ve seen him walking in the Financh, I’ve seen him getting on a bus on Market, and I’ve seen him many many times wearing a dark suit while riding a bicycle, but I’ve never seen him in a car. Isn’t that funny?

All right, a couple opening matters here. Cyclist Chris Bucchere, who actually is responsible for death on the streets of San Francisco has gotten praised, defended and ignored by zealous cycling advocacy crowd of San Francisco.

Praised: Oh, Chris Bucchere is a “good guy.” Oh, Chris Bucchere didn’t do anything at all wrong because he “entered the intersection [of Market and Castro] legally.”

Defended: Oh, Chris Bucchere had a concussion when he wrote all those things. Oh, the people who saw him blowing stop signs before the accident are car drivers so of course what they say is unreliable.

Ignored: I’ll tell you, I don’t think the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has ever used his name – he’s become an unperson, basically. He’s bad for business, of course.

So that sets the bar pretty low, but here comes David Chiu, who, apparently, deserves his own body count webpage, you know, on account of all the people he’s killed on just one street over the years. See below, I’m srsly.

And the other thing is this. You might not know this and it might not look like it but, I have:

More miles,

More hours,

More years, and

More decades

on a bicycle in San Francisco County than anybody at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, at WalkSF, and at the StreetsBlog (And to that tally you can also add driving vehicles and walking around and, perhaps, riding transit but I’m not regularly on MUNI anymore.)

Now, on with the show. This kind of stuff just showed up in my reader about a couple of weeks late. Check it:

Leave us begin

“Why are David Chiu and the SFMTA Turning Their Backs on Your Safety?”

ALL RIGHT, YOU’RE STARTING OFF JUST ASSUMING THAT SUPERVISOR CHIU AND THE SFMTA ARE TURNING THEIR BACKS ON SAFETY, RIGHT? IS THIS HOW YOU ROLL, SFBC? WE GIVE YOU ALL THIS TAX AND FEE PAYER MONEY, HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS PER YEAR TO DO WHAT? TO PAY YOUR SALARIES, TO PAY THE RENT ON YOUR OFFICE. TO ENDORSE THE ELECTION OF ED LEE SO THAT YOU CAN GET MORE MONEY TO PAY YOUR SALARIES? OK FINE. BUT SINCE I’M BEING TAXED AND FEE’D TO PAY YOUR BUDGET, I’LL SUGGEST A BETTER HEADLINE FOR THIS SCREED – HOW ABOUT, “HERE’S WHY WE THINK SUPERVISOR CHIU AND THE SFMTA ARE TURNING THEIR BACKS ON TRAFFIC SAFETY FOR A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF USERS OF ONE STREET IN SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY?”

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, March 27th, 2014. David Chiu’s Injury Counter – Collision history from Update to the MTA Board of Directors PAG Committee. Visit sfbike.org/polk for live injury counter. We are deeply troubled to see that Supervisor David Chiu and the decisionmakers at the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) are turning their backs on your safety on Polk Street. Facts are facts: Polk Street is the second most dangerous corridor in San Francisco, according to the City’s official data.

UH, ISN’T MISSION A MORE “DANGEROUS CORRIDOR” THAN POLK? AND ISN’T THE LOWER THIRD? I THINK SO.

Yet Supervisor Chiu and the city’s transportation agency officials are ignoring these facts by promoting a watered-down design for Polk Street that is light years behind what is needed to make bicycling and walking a safe, comfortable experience for all.

HOO BOY. UH, BICYCLING AND WALKING ARE NEVER GOING TO BE “SAFE” AND “COMFORTABLE” EXPERIENCES “FOR ALL.” SORRY. SO S.F. DOING WHATEVER YOU WANT S.F. TO DO ON JUST ONE STREET IN THE CITY ISN’T GOING TO ATTAIN YOUR GRAND GOAL.

And they are ignoring their recent votes and public pronouncements supporting Vision Zero — apparently your safety on our streets is not such a high priority after all.

HOO BOY. UH, VISION ZERO IS WHAT, NOW? IT’S SAYING WE’RE GOING TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE, WE’RE GOING TO ELIMINATE ALL TRANSPORTATION DEATHS IN SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY IN A DECADE, BY 2024. VISION ZERO IS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. SORRY. DON’T YOU KNOW THIS, SFBC? OH YOU DO BUT YOU WANT TO PRETEND TO BELIEVE IN VISION ZERO SO YOU CAN BE DISAPPOINTED WHEN SFGOV DOESN’T DO EVERYTHING YOU WANT IT TO DO EACH AND EVERY MONTH OF 2014-2024? FOR WHAT, FOR BEING ABLE TO RAISE MONEY TO PAY SALARIES, FOR FUNDRAISING? OH, BUT YOUR MEMBERSHIP NUMBERS ARE DOWN LATELY? WHY’S THAT? AND YOU MAKE FAR MORE MONEY FROM SFGOV GIVING YOU MONEY THAN FROM SFBC MEMBERS PAYING DUES? ISN’T THAT BACKWARDS? I THINK SO.

This is not acceptable.

OH, OK, SO WHY DON’T GIVE BACK ALL THE MONEY WE’VE GIVEN YOU OVER THE YEARS? AREN’T YOU A GOVERNMENT-SUPPORTED INSTITUTION NOW? SO WHY DO YOU TAKE ANY MONEY FROM THE GOVERNMENT YOU DESPISE SO?

To hold these City leaders accountable, we launch the David Chiu/MTA Polk Street Body Count clock, tracking the number of people hurt on Polk Street on their watch.

SO IF DAVID CHIU DOESN’T BEHAVE EXACTLY THE WAY YOU WANT HIM TO, THEN HE’S RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL TRANSPORTATION DEATHS ON ONE RANDOM STREET IN SF? HAHAHA! ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? HAVE YOU ALL THOUGHT THIS THROUGH? SO LIKE WE’RE LIVING IN “STRONG MAYOR POLITICAL SYSTEM,” SO WHY NOT CALL IT THE “ED LEE / SFMTA POLK STREET BODY COUNT CLOCK” INSTEAD? AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT A “BODY COUNT” IS? IT’S, “The number of people killed in a war, disaster, etc.” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/body%20count SO I THINK YOUR HYSTERICAL “COUNT” IS OFF BY ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE. AND ACTUALLY, DAVID CHIU DIDN’T KILL ANYBODY ON POLK STREET.

We will keep this clock up until Chiu and the MTA get serious about safety by bringing to the MTA Board of Directors a true safety-first Polk Street proposal of separated bikeways the entire project length.

I SEE, SO DAVID CHIU, THE BIKE-RIDINGEST SUPERVISOR EVER, THE DUDE YOU SEE ALL THE TIME ON A BIKE WEARING A GOD-DAMNED PIN-STRIPED BLUE SUIT, THAT GUY, HE’S THE GREAT EVIL OF CYCLING IN SF? HAVE YOU ALL THOUGHT THIS ONE THROUGH? I DON’T THINK YOU HAVE, SFBC.

We are hearing from Chiu that he believes the watered-down design shared publicly this week is a compromise that is “good enough.” But have no doubt: the only thing this proposal compromises is YOUR SAFETY.

WHOA, ALL CAPS. “SO ANGRY.” BUT IRL, THE WAY TO INCREASE THE COMMONWEAL IS TO TAKE ACCOUNT OF EVERYBODY. THE WAY TO DEACREASE THE COMMONWEAL IS TO GIVE IN TO NARROW, GOVERNMENT-FUNDED, MONOMANIACAL PRESSURE GROUPS.

Hundreds of people have reviewed the lackluster design and voiced their concerns to Chiu and the MTA, but to no avail.

WELL, TO _SOME_ AVAIL, RIGHT? AND IF THAT FIGURE WERE THREE ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE LARGER, LET’S SAY SOMETHING ON THE ORDER OF HUNDREDS _OF THOUSANDS_ OF PEOPLE, WELL, IF THEY ALL WANTED THE EXACT SAME PLAN FOR THIS ONE STREET, THEN THEY’D GET IT, RIGHT? BUT JUST HUNDREDS ON ONE SIDE AGAINST THE WHOLE REST OF THE CITY, WELL, THAT’S NOT MUCH A OF A FIGHT, RIGHT?

Instead, they are responding to a vocal minority of people opposing bicycle safety improvements on the street.

UH, I THINK _YOU’RE_ THE VOCAL MINORITY, SFBC, RIGHT?

The resounding message from people who bike and walk on Polk Street is that the current design is a recipe for mass confusion and dangerous conflict.

YOU’RE ATTEMPTING TO SPEAK FOR A LARGE GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO LACK YOUR MONOMANIACAL VISION, SFBC.

The proposed bikeway zig zags between parked cars and the curb, stops and starts, sometimes completely disappearing for blocks at a time, leaving you hanging while biking and leaving drivers confused and stressed out.

WELL GEE, WHY NOT LEAVE POLK STREET THE WAY IT IS THEN? OR JUST REPAVE IT AND CALL IT A DAY – IS THAT AN OPTION? ACTUALLY, THE BULK OF SAN FRANCISCO JUST MIGHT PREFER EXACTLY THAT. WHAT IF THAT WERE THE CASE? MMMM… AND WOULD DRIVERS GET MORE “STRESSED OUT” BY HAVING SOME PARKING OR NO PARKING ON POLK STREET? IF YOU’RE CONCERNED ABOUT DRIVER STRESS, THEN YOU’D KEEP TYHE EXISTING LAYOUT OR GO BACK TO PREVIOUS DESIGNS, ACTUALLY.

We’ve heard loud and clear that all road users desire orderly, predictable street designs that minimize opportunities for conflict.

WHO TOLD YOU WHAT NOW? DOES THE SFBC NOW SPEAK FOR “ALL ROAD USERS?” I DON’T THINK SO. HAS THE SFBC EVEN HEARD FROM “ALL ROAD USERS?” I DON’T THINK SO. IN FACT, MANY PEOPLE PREFER WHAT DAVID CHIU PREFERS. AND ACTUALLY, THAT’S THE VERY REASON HE DOESN’T DO EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT HIM TO DO 100% OF THE TIME. OR DO YOU ALL THINK THAT DAVID CHIU IS IRRATIONAL?

So we ask: Do David Chiu and Ed Reiskin really imagine that parents will guide their child through this proposed biking slalom course that disappears entirely at times?

HOW MANY CHILDREN HAVE I SEEN RIDING BIKE ON POLK IN MY LIFE? MMMMM… I KNOW THERE MUST HAVE BEEN A FEW, BUT I CAN’T RECALL ANY. AND WOULD THE SFBC THEN PREFER THE CURRENT NON-SLALOM SET-UP? OR PERHAPS SFGOV NEEDS TO GIVE SFBC ALL THE MONEY IT WANTS AND, IN EXCHANGE, SFGOV SHOULD IGNORE EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD TO GIVE THE SFBC EVERYTHING ELSE IT WANTS, SFGOV SHOULD IGNORE ALL OTHER MONOMANIACAL PRESSURE GROUPS IN THE CITY AND GIVE IN TO JUST ONE, FOR SOME REASON.

Is this their vision for a bicycle-friendly San Francisco?

YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO GET A BICYCLE-FRIENDLY SAN FRANCISCO, SFBC. YOUR GOAL WILL NEVER BE ATTAINED.

What happened to Chiu’s call for 20% of trips by bike by 2020?!

WELL, AGAIN, JUST AS WITH VISION ZERO, THE 20% BY 2020 GOAL WON’T BE ATTAINED. AND WASN’T THE SFBC ITSELF THE PARTY THAT WAS CALLING FOR THIS PIE IN THE SKY? I THINK SO. HOW MUCH ARE POLITICAL PROMISES WORTH IF EVERYBODY KNOWS FROM THE BEGINNING THAT THEY WON’T BE ATTAINED? AND WHY ARE THE TIME-FRAMES FOR THESE GRAND FLOURISHES ALWAYS ENDING IN THE 2020′S, BY WHICH TIME ALL OF THE IMPORTANT POLS WILL HAVE BEEN TERMED OUT? MMMM…

Do they think that drivers of delivery vehicles want to do a new round of mental math every block to figure out where it’s OK to park?

SO DELIVERY DRIVERS WOULD PREFER ZERO PLACES TO PARK OVER SOME PLACES TO PARK? IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE ACTUALLY SAYING, SFBC? I THINK DELIVERY DRIVERS WILL DO JUST FINE FIGURING OUT WHERE TO PARK WHETHER IT’S LEGAL OR NOT – THERE’S NO MATH REQUIRED.

Do they think that San Franciscans will welcome confusing and antagonistic conditions on the city’s official north/south bike route, which is already experiencing a record-number of injuries among people biking and walking?

IRL, POLK STREET IS PRETTY SIMPLE. IRL, POLK STREET ISN’T “CONFUSING.” IRL, IF YOU WANT A “CONFUSING” STRETCH OF ROAD, LOOK TO THE EASTERN SECTION OF SFBC-APPROVED JFK DRIVE IN GOLDEN GATE PARK. IRL, IF SOMEBODY DIES AFTER GETTING HIT BY A MUNI BUS OR A CYCLIST GOING FOR A STRAVA KOM ON POLK STREET, IT’S NOT ACTUALLY DAVID CHIU’S FAULT.

But it’s not too late to steer the Polk Street project back to safety.

UM, IF BY “SAFETY” YOU MEAN WHICHEVER PLAN YOU’VE DREAMED UP, SFBC, THEN YES IT IS TOO LATE. YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO GET ALL THAT YOU WANT, SFBC.

We ask you to join us now to stand up to David Chiu and let him know that cowardly decisions today have direct, life-and-death impacts on real people like us.

WHOA!

Hold David Chiu (who represents much of Polk Street and is running for State Assembly this Fall) and MTA decisionmakers accountable by telling them loud and clear that they cannot not continue to turn their backs on your safety.

OH, I SEE, THIS IS A FUNDRAISING APPEAL TO STAVE OFF THE DECLINING MEMBERSHIP ROLLS, I SEE.

Call Supervisor David Chiu’s Office: 415-554-7450

OH, SO WHO’S THE “VOCAL MINORITY” NOW?

Call MTA Director Ed Reiskin’s Office (leave a message at the general front desk): 415-701-4500

AND ED REISKIN WORKS FOR ED LEE, RIGHT? WHY NOT INSTEAD JUST CALL YOUR BODY CLOUNT CLOCK THE ED LEE BODY COUNT CLOCK AND BE DONE WITH IT?

Tagged as: Connecting the City, David Chiu, Polk Street, Safety, SFMTA, Vision Zero

PERHAPS YOU’VE LOST YOUR WAY, SFBC…

(more…)

Ouch: Membership Dues Have [Fallen] at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

[UPDATE:  Per the SFBC, “…you should have read Part VIII, lines 1b and 2a, of the 990s for both the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Education Fund.”

So, here’s 2010:

1b makes sense but 2a is not membership dues so adding them together doesn’t help.

And 2011:

Again, 1b makes sense but 2a is not membership dues so adding them together doesn’t help.

And here’s 2012:

(And the Bicycle Coalition Education Fund 990′s don’t really factor in all that much, like $10 or $20 grand each.)

So IDK, would you, Gentle Reader, suppose that different strategies were applied for 2010 and 2011 vs. 2012? I would. Because the “non-contribution portions of membership dues” went from $0 in 2010 and 2011 all the way up to $135,933 in 2012. Is there any explanation for this? Did the accountant(?) for 2011 and earlier fill out the 990 forms incorrectly? IDK. Is this kind of a thing a big deal, worth amending a bunch of other recent returns? IDK.

(Did IRS laws on this topic change the past several years? I don’t think so, as this guide from 2008 remains unchanged.)

Now when I say “membership dues,” what’s actually written in there for 2012 is “memberships.” Now memberships is a different thing, IMO. Memberships is what the SFBC spent a lot of time crowing about when memberships were actually increasing. But these days memberships are decreasing. Why is that? I ask.

So, what the SFBC is now calling it a 3% “membership income change” I’d call it a 3% membership dues decrease. And this comes at a time when the population of San Francisco is increasing and at a time when SFGov and the SFBC officially “expect” a sixfold increase in the number of trips made by bicycle in San Francisco by 2020, all the way up to 20%. (“20 by ’20″ or something.) I don’t think anybody believes in this fantasy, you know, actually, but, well, there you go.

So, membership dues at the SFBC have decreased more like 3% year over year, rather than 40-something percent.

But if I were running the SFBC and I were as sensitive about giving out my 990′s as this…

“The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s annual reports discuss our biggest successes and challenges, and present a broad picture of our income and expenses. If you have specific questions about our finances, please contact Leah Shahum, Executive Director, 415/431-BIKE x306.”

…I’d amend my returns so that they would be self consistent, at the very least. END UPDATE]

And by the past year, I mean let’s use the most recent Form 990, the one* that was filed about four months ago, and compare it with the one what was filed for the year before.

Check it. Here’s the 990 for 2011 - $344,663 in reported membership dues:

Click to expand

And here’s the 990 for 2012 – just $185,921:

Now, what could explain this sudden and dramatic drop in “support?”

Well, we had the Chris Bucchere accident in the first quarter of 2012 and some members didn’t exactly approve of the way that SFBC officers dealt with the issue. Perhaps revenue went down in the following quarters?

And we had the shocking SFBC endorsement of Republican-backed Mayor Ed Lee near the end of 2011 – I doubt that paying members would have approved of that had they been given the opportunity.

You know, this guy, the one who always looks up to the formerly-despised Willie Brown:

Of course, people can always do a Barter Membership, but you’d think that dues-paying members would volunteer anyway, right?

Take a look at the numbers on the tax returns, it seems as if the SFBC is just another arm of the SFMTA or, indeed, of SFGov. (Except it’s an agency that can officially endorse Ed Lee for Mayor.)

Oh well.

Anyway, this is why the SFBC no longer boasts of increasing membership anymore.

[UPDATE: Did the 10% discount for SFBC members at Rainbow Grocery really make that much of a difference? IDK. See Comments.]

*There’s also something called the Education Fund, which also gets membership dues – $10k for 2011 and $20k for 2012. But if you throw those numbers in you’re still looking at a 40-something percent decline year over year.

Quintin Mecke, Second Place Finisher in Mayoral Race and Now Director at Barbary Coast Consulting, Yells at Traffic, Good-Naturedly

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

And then he got out of the saddle to pump up the steepest block of McAllister what’s on the Snickerdoodle route.*

Click to expand

*It’s the UnWiggle, it’s the better choice to get west of Divisadero from Market

OMG, the Grand Opening of the Clement Street Farmers Market is This Sunday, June 23rd, 2013 in the Inner Richmond

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Sunday Sunday Sunday:

Clement St. Grand Opening!
Agricultural Institute of Marin is partnering with the Clement Street Merchants Association to bring the Inner Richmond San Francisco’s newest farmers market! Beginning June 23rd, join us every Sunday from 9am to 2pm, on Clement Street between 2nd and 4th Avenues, year-round, for what promises to be a great Sunday morning destination for foodies and families alike.

Read the news and turn the pages:

Uh, the “Clement Street Farmers Market” is “Nearing Approval” – Really? – Between 2nd and 4th Aves. on Sundays

UPDATE: The Purported “Clement Street Farmers Market” Isn’t Going to Start on June 9th, 2013 After All

Looks Like the “Clement Street Farmers Market” Might Start on June 23rd – Per the Office of District One Supe Eric Mar

Uh Oh: Businesses on 3rd Avenue Still Unaware of the Weekly Clement Street Farmers Market – Starts June 23rd

These days, Clement isn’t all hustle-bustle on the weekends:

“Lord knows that Sundays at that part of Clement can be a bit depressing, what with infrequent bus service, a number of empty parking spaces, and  lots and lots of closed storefronts abutting a handful of thriving businesses.”

For lease, for rent, “retirement sale,” going out of business sale, and on and on:

Click to expand

Tell me how it goes.

Uh Oh: Businesses on 3rd Avenue Still Unaware of the Weekly Clement Street Farmers Market – Starts June 23rd

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Here’s what you need to know about the forthcoming Clement Street Farmers Market.

Oh look, from District One Supe Eric Mar:

“Thank you to Peter Lauterborn from my office, the Clement Street Merchants Assn, Argonne Community Garden, Peabody elementary school PTA, Argonne elementary school PTO and many others for working with the great folks from Marin Agricultural Institute to organize our community farmer’s market! We are working hard to make it family friendly, and thanks to Foggy Notion, Seed Store, ParkLife, Green Apple, Cumaica Coffee House and Giorgio’s Pizzeria and other businesses too for helping to make this successful! [Signed] Eric Mar, District 1 SupervisorIf you have any suggestions or questions – contact Peter at 415-554-7411 or email him at peter.lauterborn@sfgov.org

And “youthful” (I mean, his relatively short Wiki entry uses the term 14 times, right?) aide Peter Lauterborn speaks his piece here.

The thing is is that some businesses on 3rd Avenue, where a couple block will get shut down weekly, don’t seem to be aware of the CSFM.

The Sloat Garden Center for one:

Click to expand

I myself have no particular beef with the new farmer’s market* but I cry foul at the SFMTA-type, everybody’s-a-winner, everybody-supports-this-new-thing, just-wait-until-you-see-the-transformation-of-the-Inner-Richmond  style of  campaign behind it.

Anyway, Lord knows that Sundays at that part of Clement can be a bit depressing, what with infrequent bus service, a number of empty parking spaces, and  lots and lots of closed storefronts abutting a handful of thriving businesses.

(One assumes that most customers of the 3rd Avenue Burger King and Sloat Gardens will figure another way of getting to and fro asides from approaching from the north.)

END OF LINE…

*Indeed, I just might visit.  Actually, I was out yesterday taking King and Messiah for a walk to a bakery on 3rd very near Clement.

 

Looks Like the “Clement Street Farmers Market” Might Start on June 23rd – Per the Office of District One Supe Eric Mar

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Here’s the background on the soon-to-come CSFM.

And this is from Eric Mar’s office last week:

“This is the “youthful” Peter Lauterborn form Supervisor Mar’s office. Glad to see the market being covered.

The date has been pushed back, but only because of scheduling needs. The MTA has been very supportive of the project and it is currently projected to start June 23rd after the ISCOTT hearing on 6/13.

The reroute is just 7 blocks total, the existing merchants are very supportive of the project, and we have had well over 100 letters of support come into our office. We feel very good about this project. (The only issue has been with the bouncy house, which was really just an example from other markets and that’s been scrapped already.)

But if people have specific concerns they should feel free to email or call my direct line. Of course we want to mitigate any inconveniences to people.

Thank you!”

And here’s the new flyer – this one’s more complete and  less mysterious than the optimistic original

And this is the vary latest, from the Eric Mar newsletter:

“After years of hard work, a farmers’ market is close to serving the Richmond. My office has spearheaded the effort,  bringing together leaders from the Clement Street Merchants Association and the Argonne Community Garden to develop with a proposal that will not only provide high-quality products to Richmond District residents, but will also provide a significant “community-growing” experience for neighbors.The market’s expected start state is Sunday, June 23rd on Clement St. between 2nd and 4th Avenues from 9am to 2pm.

 The Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) is managing the proposed market. AIM is primarily an educational non-profit which uses its six large, diverse markets to help fulfill their mission. The food options would include both organic and conventional seasonal produce, bakers, meat and dairy, and even local artisans. Their markets have a wide range of price points and accept EBT cards (aka food stamps).

This street closure will be voted on at an upcoming meeting of the Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportatio(ISCOTT).

ISCOTT Hearing: Thursday June 13 at 9AM, 1 South Van Ness

If you can’t attend in person and want to send a letter of support, or you have any other questions or comments, please contact Peter Lauterborn in my office atPeter.Lauterborn@sfgov.org or 415.554.7411

UPDATE: The Purported “Clement Street Farmers Market” Isn’t Going to Start on June 9th, 2013 After All

Friday, May 31st, 2013

So let’s see, two or three weeks ago I came across this flyer (see below) and I thought, “How is it even remotely possible that we could have a large farmers market on Clement (complete with an inflatable Bounce House) without me hearing about it at least more than a month ahead of time?”

(You know, certain people came to town  a while back and thought it would be a piece of cake to get TASERS approved for the SFPD, even though they were warned about which particular town they just unpacked their carpet bags in. This farmers market is the same kind of deal.)

Anyway, we’re ten days out from the purported Opening Day and I can now tell you that there’s no way that that this plan can go off on time. If only for the simple reason that the SFMTAMUNIDPTSFBCISCOTT hasn’t signed off on the idea. (Was it on the agenda of the most recent meeting? Nope! Is it in the minutes? Nope! Oh well.)

Speaking of which, it hadn’t occurred to me that the #2 Clement would just skip the start of Clement altogether. So yes, MUNI won’t be delayed by the Clement Street Farmer’s Market, only the people who ride MUNI will be delayed. Fair ‘nough.

Any land use proposal has its pros and cons, right? If certain people understood that, certain people wouldn’t be so disappointed with Reality.

Ah, memories:

“From Rishi Mukhopadhyay of NextDoor.com comes word of the:

Clement Street Farmers Market.

See?

Click to expand

So, they’re going to shut down Clement between 2nd and 4th Avenues in the Inner Richmond every Sunday until 2:00 PM starting four weeks from now on June 9th, 2013?

What? This is news to me! The opening date strikes me as highly, highly improbable, but what do I know?

The next steps for this concept:

- Monday, May 20, 2013: Community Meeting at 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM, Richmond District Police Station, 461 6th Ave between Anza and Geary.

- Thursday, May 23, 2013: Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation (ISCOTT) Hearing, One South Van Ness, Seventh Floor, Room #7080.

OK, we’ll see how this one goes.

IMO, the SFMTA isn’t going to laugh off having the #2 Clement make a quarter-mile detour to get to a parallel street only to have to drive another quarter-mile to get back to Clement.

And I’ll point out that Clement Street itself is kind of a farmers market already on Sundays.

And I’ll point out that 2:00 PM is kind of a busy time on Clement in the Inner Richmond on Sundays.

And I’ll ask how does this proposal square with our Prime Directive of “Transit First?”

Now let’s hear from youthful Peter Lauterborn, Legislative Aide to District One Supervisor Eric Mar:

“Dear All,

I am writing you because of your past interest in opening a farmer’s market in the Richmond. And while I have been quiet on the subject for a little while, it is not for a lack of work. We are at the point of nearing approval for a significant market entering the neighborhood!

The Plan: The Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) has teamed up with the Clement Merchants Association. AIM is known for a small number of high-quality, large scale markets around California.

The older plans for smaller markets all fell through, so we’re going big! This plan calls for a Sunday morning street closure of Clement from 2nd to 4th Aves on Sunday mornings. AIM plans very robust, well-rounded markets that are a major draw.

Major highlights of the AIM Market:

- Wide range of local products, including eggs, milk, cheeses, meats, etc.

- Include enrichment such as children activities, live music, and even kids jumpers.

- Provide matching dollars for “food stamp” users.

- Based on usage, the parking loss should be a non issue and the 2 Clement bus rerouting isn’t a problem. We are also planning outreach to all of the existing produce merchants along Clement. Also, the SF Bike Coalition is going to help make this a friendly event for those who don’t drive.

The Asks: As people who have advocated for a market, this is the time where we need your leadership the most! Our plan is going before the MTA for the street closure, and we need support!

1. Write a letter of support explaining why the Richmond needs a farmer’s market and how, given the low usage of Clement on Sunday mornings, this is the right use of public space. (send to Peter.Lauterborn@sfgov.org). The letter should explicitly support the street closure.

2. Encourage friends and community members to ask write!

3. Attend a community meeting on Monday May 20, 5:30-6:30pm at the Richmond Police Station. And bring out allies!

4. Bonus! Come to the MTA hearing on Thursday May 23rd at 1 South Van Ness to support the motion.

We wouldn’t have gotten this far without all of you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at any time.

Let’s do this!

Best,

Peter Lauterborn
Legislative Aide
Supervisor Eric Mar, District 1″

Uh, the “Clement Street Farmers Market” is “Nearing Approval” – Really? – Between 2nd and 4th Aves. on Sundays

Monday, May 13th, 2013

From Rishi Mukhopadhyay of NextDoor.com comes word of the:

Clement Street Farmers Market.

See?

Click to expand

So, they’re going to shut down Clement between 2nd and 4th Avenues in the Inner Richmond every Sunday until 2:00 PM starting four weeks from now on June 9th, 2013?

What? This is news to me! The opening date strikes me as highly, highly improbable, but what do I know?

The next steps for this concept:

- Monday, May 20, 2013: Community Meeting at 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM, Richmond District Police Station, 461 6th Ave between Anza and Geary.

- Thursday, May 23, 2013: Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation (ISCOTT) Hearing, One South Van Ness, Seventh Floor, Room #7080.

OK, we’ll see how this one goes.

IMO, the SFMTA isn’t going to laugh off having the #2 Clement make a quarter-mile detour to get to a parallel street only to have to drive another quarter-mile to get back to Clement.

And I’ll point out that Clement Street itself is kind of a farmers market already on Sundays.

And I’ll point out that 2:00 PM is kind of a busy time on Clement in the Inner Richmond on Sundays.

And I’ll ask how does this proposal square with our Prime Directive of “Transit First?”

Now let’s hear from youthful Peter Lauterborn, Legislative Aide to District One Supervisor Eric Mar:

“Dear All,

I am writing you because of your past interest in opening a farmer’s market in the Richmond. And while I have been quiet on the subject for a little while, it is not for a lack of work. We are at the point of nearing approval for a significant market entering the neighborhood!

The Plan: The Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) has teamed up with the Clement Merchants Association. AIM is known for a small number of high-quality, large scale markets around California.

The older plans for smaller markets all fell through, so we’re going big! This plan calls for a Sunday morning street closure of Clement from 2nd to 4th Aves on Sunday mornings. AIM plans very robust, well-rounded markets that are a major draw.

Major highlights of the AIM Market:

- Wide range of local products, including eggs, milk, cheeses, meats, etc.

- Include enrichment such as children activities, live music, and even kids jumpers.

- Provide matching dollars for “food stamp” users.

- Based on usage, the parking loss should be a non issue and the 2 Clement bus rerouting isn’t a problem. We are also planning outreach to all of the existing produce merchants along Clement. Also, the SF Bike Coalition is going to help make this a friendly event for those who don’t drive.

The Asks: As people who have advocated for a market, this is the time where we need your leadership the most! Our plan is going before the MTA for the street closure, and we need support!

1. Write a letter of support explaining why the Richmond needs a farmer’s market and how, given the low usage of Clement on Sunday mornings, this is the right use of public space. (send to Peter.Lauterborn@sfgov.org). The letter should explicitly support the street closure.

2. Encourage friends and community members to ask write!

3. Attend a community meeting on Monday May 20, 5:30-6:30pm at the Richmond Police Station. And bring out allies!

4. Bonus! Come to the MTA hearing on Thursday May 23rd at 1 South Van Ness to support the motion.

We wouldn’t have gotten this far without all of you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at any time.

Let’s do this!

Best,

Peter Lauterborn
Legislative Aide
Supervisor Eric Mar, District 1″

Hey SFMTA! Why Not “Complete” Polk Street All the Way to Grove and Eliminate These Parking Spaces in Front of City Hall?

Friday, April 26th, 2013

OMG, would you look at this?

I mean check out all these deadly, beastly automobiles parked on Polk, the very same street that the SFMTA is trying to “complete” don’t you know:

Click to expand

I know, why don’t you take out all these spaces and replace them with a separated bike lane or something, SFMTA?

After all, Transit First, right?

Oh, what’s that? These are the spaces that the Board of Supervisors and their aides park in for free every day so that’s where you just happened to end your campaign of completion?

But don’t you care about safety, SFMTA?

Mmmmm….

“This project seeks to implement aesthetic and safety improvements for all users of Polk Street between McAllister and Union Streets. In accordance with the City’s Transit First policy, improvements will primarily be focused on people who walk, use transit and ride a bicycle along Polk Street. The project is funded by Proposition B General Obligation Bonds and is part of an overall citywide effort to curb pedestrian and bicycle collisions and to provide a safe north-south connection for people on bicycles. Pedestrian and bicyclist collision and injury data on Polk Street point to a corridor in need of safety improvements for all those who share the road. In fact, the southern portion from Sacramento to McAllister Streets is part of the 5% of San Francisco streets that have more than half of the City’s most severe pedestrian collisions.”