Posts Tagged ‘big dig’

NEVIUS TRILOGY: Big Central Subway Booster CW Nevius USED TO HATE the Central Subway – Why the Change?

Friday, January 10th, 2014

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.

Let’s review:

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

SAVEMUNI: Central Subway – Background – An Opportunity Gone Wrong

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

*Forget about it Jake, it’s Chinatown

SURPRISE: San Francisco Chronicle Writer CW Nevius Comes Out AGAINST the Central Subway – Here’s What He Said

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

All right, first of all, if you want CW Nevius to Block you from his Twitter feed, start up a crappy WordPress blog and call him one of the following:

“SHARP-AS-A-MARBLE, EX-JOCK, EVERYMAN NEWS COLUMNIST/QUASI SPORTSWRITER” or a

“BROWN-NOSING, OBSEQUIOUS KISS-ASS LICKSPITTLE TOADIE”

That’s what did it, one or the other, I figure.

So now I’m banned, for life, from the Twitterings of the The Neve.

Oh well.

Anyway, here’s what the Nevinator has to say today about the Central Subway boondoggle.

See? It doesn’t seem that the Nevemeister opposes the wasteful Subway to Nowhere.

But he does! Check it:

“Nevius: Chinatown subway plan makes me wince”

“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?”

Of course that was from a half-decade back, but it shows how he actually felt about this boondoggly boondoggle, about Big Dig West.

I mean, the Central Subway proposal hasn’t gotten better the past five years, has it? Five years ago, the promise was that it would “make money” for MUNI, that it would subsidize other parts of the system by generating a surplus. But now we know that it will burden the SFMTA and the current projections for the number of riders per day is down dramatically from what people were promising back then.

So what’s a matter Neve? Why don’t you write things like this anymore? Cat got your tongue?

Pak got your tongue?

The Old Nevius wasn’t afraid to be labeled a racist who’s against “transit justice.”

The Old Nevius wasn’t so monomaniacally dedicated to write source greasers every chance he got. 

Oh well.

The Most Ignored Person in the World Has Got To Be This “Pedestrian Monitor” for the Central Subway Boondoggle

Friday, March 29th, 2013

This is the scene down at 4th and Market, where the Big Dig West Coast Central Subway project is, well, digging big these days.

San Francisco’s horrible pedestrians want to get across the northern side of the intersection and it’s this person’s job to stop them from doing so.

It’s not working. Check it out sometime.

But don’t laugh at sad sack Charlie Brown here – the Theory of Prevailing Wages ensures that he makes more moolah than you:

Click to expand

In closing, San Francisco pedestrians are the worst in the world just saying.

San Francisco Corruption Revealed on the Floor of the House – Central Subway to Nowhere – A Short Speech

Friday, July 6th, 2012

The Subway to Nowhere. House Chamber, Washington, D.C. June 27, 2012. Remarks by Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA).”

“Mr. Chairman:

This amendment forbids further federal expenditures for the Central Subway project in San Francisco.

The project is a 1.7 mile subway that is estimated to cost $1.6 billion –– and those cost estimates continue to rise.  Its baseline budget has more than doubled in nine years and shows no signs of slowing.  The current estimate brings the cost to nearly $1 billion per mile.  That’s five times the cost per lane mile of Boston’s scandalous “Big Dig.”

It was supposed to link local light rail and bus lines with CalTrain and Bay Area Rapid Transit, but it’s so badly designed that it bypasses 25 of the 30 light rail and bus lines that it crosses.  To add insult to insanity, it dismantles the seamless light-rail to BART connection currently available to passengers at Market Street, requiring them instead to walk nearly a quarter mile to make the new connection.  Experts estimate it will cost commuters between five and ten minutes of additional commuting time on every segment of the route.

The Wall Street Journal calls ita case study in government incompetence and wasted taxpayer money.”

They’re not alone.  The Civil Grand Jury in San Francisco has vigorously recommended the project be scrapped, warning that maintenance alone could ultimately bankrupt San Francisco’s Muni.  The former Chairman of the San Francisco Transportation Agency has called it, “one of the costliest mistakes in the city’s history.

Even the sponsors estimate that it will increase ridership by less than one percent, and there is vigorous debate that this projection is far too optimistic.

I think Margaret Okuzumi, the Executive Director of the Bay Rail Alliance put it best when she said,

Too many times, we’ve seen money for public transit used to primarily benefit people who would profit financially, while making transit less convenient for actual transit riders.  Voters approve money for public transit because they want transit to be more convenient and available…it would be tragic if billions of dollars were spent on something that made Muni more time consuming, costly and unable to sustain its overall transit service.”

This administration is attempting to put federal taxpayers – our constituents — on the hook for nearly a billion dollars of the cost of this folly through the “New Starts” program – or more than 60 percent.  We have already squandered $123 million on it.  This amendment forbids another dime of our constituents’ money being wasted on this boondoggle.

Now here is an important question that members may wish to ponder:  “Why should your constituents pay nearly a billion dollars for a purely local transportation project in San Francisco that is opposed by a broad, bi-partisan coalition of San Franciscans, including the Sierra Club, Save Muni (a grassroots organization of Muni Riders), the Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods, and three of the four local newspapers serving San Francisco?

Why, indeed.

I’m sorry, I don’t have a good answer to that question.  But those who vote against this amendment had better have one when their constituents ask, “What in the world were you thinking?”

# # #

This amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act (HR 5972) was approved by the House on June 29th.  The legislation next goes to the Senate.

OMG, MUNI Sucks Even More Than You Know: Central Subway – Hush-Hush Revenue Bond Vote Coming May 1

Monday, April 30th, 2012

If San Francisco could magically get the “Subway to Nowhere” Central Subway installed today for free it would still be a bad deal for San Francisco, mostly owing the very small amount benefits it would provide to a very small number of people and the very large hole it would put into MUNI”s annual budget.

But unless the Feds help out San Francisco by cancelling funding, politically connected players such as AECOM are all set to make a mint off of this project. Oh well.

Anyway, San Francisco officials are still trying to reassure the Feds about how great this horrible project is going, so, as of tomorrow, we’ll be on the hook for another $100,000,000, or so, to make up for the fact that California doesn’t want to chip in the money.

Check it out, from SaveMuni.com:

“On May 1, 2012, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) Board will be asked to approve Central Subway revenue bonds, of undetermined amount, to plug a large hole that has developed in the Central Subway budget. This is a very risky course of action.

A shortfall of between $61.3 million and $140 million has now appeared in the project budget. In order to make up for this substantial loss of previously anticipated State of California funding, the MTA staff is asking its Board and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to approve a revenue bond sale of undetermined amount. On the agenda of the May 1, 2012 MTA Board meeting, the bond authorization is scheduled as Item 10.4 which is unaccountably included under the Board’s consent calendar rather than its regular calendar. In the Agenda packet, the staff attributes the need for the revenue bond sale to “uncertainty regarding HSR in California.” This statement is false and misleading, for the reasons set forth below.”

Here are the deets:

“SaveMuni.com
April 30, 2012

MTA’s Stealth Maneuver to Commit Additional City Funds to the Central Subway

On May 1, 2012, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) Board will be asked to approve Central Subway revenue bonds, of undetermined amount, to plug a large hole that has developed in the Central Subway budget. This is a very risky course of action.

MTA Board Agenda, Tuesday, May 1, 2012: See Item 10.4.

Particulars

The cost of the MTA’s Central Subway project has ballooned from $647 million to the current estimate of $1.58 billion.i The original plan was for $983 million of this total to come from the federal government, $471 from the State of California and $124 million from San Francisco’s Prop K sales tax fund.

In attempting to sell the subway to the public, MTA has repeatedly called the public’s attention to its “success” in leveraging a mere $124 million City & County contribution into a $1.58 billion subway.ii However, a shortfall of between $61.3 million and $140 million has now appeared in the project budget.

In order to make up for this substantial loss of previously anticipated State of California funding, the MTA staff is asking its Board and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to approve a revenue bond sale of undetermined amount. On the agenda of the May 1, 2012 MTA Board meeting, the bond authorization is scheduled as Item 10.4 which is unaccountably included under the Board’s consent calendar rather than its regular calendar. In the Agenda packet, the staff attributes the need for the revenue bond sale to “uncertainty regarding HSR in California”. This statement is false and misleading, for the reasons set forth below.

The MTA is caught between a skittish Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) appropriately worried about the MTA’s financial ability to handle the Central Subway project and a huge shortfall in the non-federal share of the project budget. The MTA apparently believes the solution to this problem is to skim millions of dollars a year from already overburdened Muni revenues, in order to sell revenue bonds as necessary to make up for the loss in State capital—all in hopes that the action will reassure the feds and therefore put the hoped-for federal grant back on track.

The best that could be said of the MTA’s plan is that it is extremely risky. By far, the most important element of that risk is that the costs of servicing the revenue bonds, coupled with an indeterminate amount of project overrun (estimated by CGR Management Consultants to be as high as $422 million), could result in unacceptably high Muni fare increases and/or unacceptably damaging Muni service cuts.”

Ever more deets after the jump

(more…)

A Plea From San Franciscans to Congressional Republicans: Please Save Us From the Corrupt, Useless Central Subway

Friday, March 16th, 2012

I’ll tell you, I don’t exactly know how San Francisco managed to get (basically) free water and (basically) free electricity through flooding half of the good part of the Yosemite National Park area, but somehow, through bribery, corruption or whatnot, we got a sweetheart deal to take advantage of Hetch Hetchy in perpetuity.

Of course the right thing to do would be to start sharing the benefits of Hetch Hetchy with the rest of California, or at least pay market price for what we’re getting, or just tear down the damn dam altogether. Something like that.

But the single-party state of San Francisco doesn’t want to do anything like that. The single-party state of San Francisco wants to hold on to the Hetch Hetchy deal for as long as possible. Maybe some Republicans can help us find the right path…

Speaking of which, the federally-funded Central Subway [cough, BIG DIG II, cough – and you know, Boston’s Big Dig is different because it had a chance to actually benefit people] project is useless and horribly corrupt. It will burden San Francisco for decades, whether it gets used or not.

Why don’t we stop this thing [cough, BRIDGE TO NOWHERE, cough] right now? And Feds, why not just call it even? So we won’t pay you back the $200,000,000 but you all will end up saving big bucks.

It’ll be up to you, Congressional Republicans, to save us from wasting money on the Central Subway [cough, ROAD TO NOWHERE, cough – hey, I bet you didn’t know about that one!]

The Central Subway to Chinatown is the replacement for our long-dead Embarcadero Freeway to Chinatown. And somehow, calling the Central Subway the Subway to Nowhere is considered racist and hurtful, but calling the Embarcadero Freeway the Freeway to Nowhere, well, that’s good times. See?

Click to expand

Off we go:

“YOUR TURN!  RE-SCRUTINIZE THE CENTRAL SUBWAY BOONDOGGLE.

Everyone should re-scrutinize the Central Subway—in light of growing Muni deficits and cutbacks.  The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) hasn’t granted final approvals.  And Congress has a mandated 60-day review period.  Instead, let’s shift hundreds of millions of dollars into citywide Muni.

PETITION:  http://tinyurl.com/No-to-CentralSubway 

The Central Subway means more Muni service cuts and fare/ fee increases. 

The Central Subway Project has drained over $500 million of state and local funding from the citywide Muni system.  Facing a $19.6 million deficit in 2012 and $33.6 million in 2013, San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) threatens more service cuts and fare/ fee increases—after cuts/ increases in 2009 and 2010.  SFMTA projects $1.6 billion in budget deficits and $25.4 billion of capital needs over the next twenty years.  While Muni infrastructure crumbles, Muni’s $1.9 billion in deferred maintenance is a ticking nuclear bomb.

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/transportation/2012/01/sfmta-identifies-24-billion-long-term-project-needs

Muni wouldn’t have budget deficits—if scarce dollars were used wisely.

The Central Subway Project has usurped over $500 million of state/ local funds from system-wide Muni needs—exacerbating system meltdowns and rider discontentment.  Service cuts, fare increases, parking/ meter rate hikes, painful traffic citations and frustrated Muni riders have subsidized the Central Subway Project.  No degree of service cuts and fare/fee increases will offset Muni’s mismanagement of assets and existing funds.

PROP K 2003 has higher, legally-mandated citywide Muni priorities.

http://www.sfcta.org/content/view/11/27/

Instead of the tiny 1.7 mile Central Subway, hundreds of miles of Transit Preferential Streets can be created with the Central Subway’s existing state/ local funds—benefiting all Muni riders, taxpayers and neighborhoods.

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 wider economic vitality—with very efficient costs and more immediate jobs.

The Central Subway’s own reports depict an abysmal project.

http://tinyurl.com/CS-Charts  .

CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission) cites pervasive Muni safety Issues. 

In the 3-6-12 SFMTA Board Agenda:  “Conference with Legal Counsel:  Existing Litigation—Investigation into the Operations, Practices and Conduct of the SFMTA Regarding Ongoing Public Safety Issues, California Public Utilities Commission, I. 11-02-017, Issued on 2/24/2011.”

CPUC PRESS RELEASE:

http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/published/News_release/131263.htm :

“The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today began penalty considerations based on CPUC staff allegations of pervasive safety concerns regarding the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA or Muni) light rail system. This action was taken after CPUC safety inspectors found numerous safety violations on Muni’s light rail system in San Francisco. In their report to the CPUC, the inspectors have alleged that SFMTA has been chronically unresponsive to alleged violations and other findings.”

PUBLIC SENTIMENT:

http://www.gjel.com/blog/san-francisco-muni-faulted-by-california-puc-for-safety-violations.html :

“If you’re a regular Muni rider, you know that delays are common on weekday commutes to and from work. You might not know, however, that San Francisco’s transportation agency has routinely fallen short on safety inspections for the past year and a half, according to a report released this week by the California Public Utilities Commission.”

DON’T LET LOBBYISTS OVERRIDE YOUR INTERESTS.

If the Central Subway were truly a sound transportation project, than politicians, public officials and lobbyists wouldn’t be needed to twist the arms of the public and decision-makers.  Instead, a multi-million dollar media campaign has pitched the Central Subway like snake oil and subprime derivatives, using Muni funds to lobby Muni’s own customers, governing bodies and officials.

CITIREPORT:  “Lobbyists Turn Millions into Billions”:

http://www.citireport.com/2012/02/lobbyists-turn-millions-into-billions/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Money+and+Politics+The+Year+That+Ended&utm_content=Money+and+Politics+The+Year+That+Ended+CID_99d18a4d35f8a81996ebeb6e950a1883&utm_source=Email+Newsletters&utm_term=Influence+Peddlers+Make+Millions+at+City+Hall

“Money Follows Controversy

The top ten clients who promised payments for lobbying surfaces some of the most controversial issues at City Hall.

California Pacific Medical Center promised the most in payments for lobbying, at $750,985. Aecom, which is leading the Central Subway and other projects, ranked second at $360,000. Third was Millennium Partners, also at $360,000.”

 NEW YORK TIMES:  “Out Of Office, but Not Out of Things to Say”:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/15/us/willie-brown-remains-a-san-francisco-power-broker.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1330078166-8/XmgibML60WcphWNXyz4g

“His [former Mayor Willie Brown] law firm represents prominent clients, among them Aecom, an engineering firm involved in San Francisco’s central subway project, and the California Online Poker Association.”

EPOCH TIMES:  “San Francisco Mayoral Debate gives Glimpse of Chinatown Politics”:

http://epoch-archive.com/a1/en/us/sfo/2011/10-Oct/06/A3_20111006_NoCA-US.pdf

“CCDC [Chinatown Community Development Center} also gets a juicy subcontract related to the Central Subway project, including $30,000 a month to spend on ‘community outreach’.”

WALL STREET JOURNAL:  “The Billion-Dollar-A-Mile Subway Makes Perfect Sense”:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904583204576542691025904076.html?

NOTE:  Even while the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is evaluating the Central Subway project, the FTA Administrator defended the project in the Wall Street Journal—responding to an Editorial that blasted the Subway Boondoggle. The conflict of interest is worsened by transit data that shows the Central Subway decreasing transit service levels and travel times for tens of thousands of riders.

Instead of Muni service cutbacks, fare/ fee increases and crumbling infrastructure, imagine how the Central Subway’s hundreds of millions of dollars in existing state/ local funds could revitalize the citywide Muni System.  Political leaders do pay heed to well-reasoned arguments of their constituents.

Join with SaveMuni.com in lobbying Washington and Sacramento.

www.SaveMuni.com

And if the blue sky mining company won’t come to our rescue
And if the sugar refining company won’t save us
Who’s gonna save us?

Central Subway Boondoggle Update: Government Audits & Oversight Committee Hearing This Thursday

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Well, here it is, coming up at 10:00 AM on October 27th, 2011:

“Hearing on the recently published 2010-2011 Civil Grand Jury report entitled “Central Subway Too Much Money For Too Little Benefit.”

Leave us review why the Central Subway sucks so much:

 It has a pattern of increasing cost estimates.

 San Francisco will be responsible for any cost overruns which could be substantial.

 The addition of a new subway line will add to an existing operating deficit and could stretch the existing maintenance environment to the breaking point.

 There are no plans to address existing problems on the Stockton corridor before project completion.

 There is no effective transfer to the Muni Metro and BART systems.

 It ignores service to the Financial District.

 It ignores current transportation trends

So, the reply from the Central Subway people is that these criticisms are the same old thing. But they’re still valid criticisms, right?

A premature celebration? 

Save Muni will be on the scene at City Hall, looks like:

SaveMuni strongly condemns Mayor Ed Lee’s careless and highly inaccurate response to the Grand Jury’s carefully researched report on the Central Subway

On October 27, the Board of Supervisors Government Audits and Oversight Committee will consider the results of the Grand Jury’s seven month investigation of the Central Subway debacle.  SaveMuni will support the well reasoned conclusions of the Grand Jury’s report and provide new information about the Central Subway and its failings.

SaveMuni will also expose and rebut the MTA’s weak response to the Grand Jury report, which consists mainly of vague generalizations intended to defend the status quo at all costs.   Because of MTA’s and Mayor’s inadequate responses we will call upon the Board of Supervisors to table the matter until such time as the MTA and Mayor Lee have provided detailed and well thought out responses to each of the Grand Jury’s findings and recommendations.

Government Audits & Oversight Committee

Civil Grand Jury Report:  “Central Subway – Too Much Money For Too Little Benefit”

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011, 10:00 AM

City Hall Room 263, San Francisco

Agenda:  http://www.sfbos.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=39945

 www.SaveMuni.com

All right, see you there!
Ever more deets:
 
September 17, 2011 - Central Subway Charts:  Compares ridership, costs and trip Times.  Highlights SFMTA’s deceptive marketing practices.
September 9, 2011 – San Francisco City Attorney and Mayoral candidate Dennis Herrera comes out strongly against the Central Subway. 
http://herreraformayor.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Central-Subway-Issue-Paper-FINAL.pdf
September 9, 2011 - San Francisco Examiner:  “Central Subway federal funds in jeopardy”.
http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2011/09/central-subway-faces-funding-threat
September 4, 2011 – San Francisco Chronicle editorial blasts  Central Subway.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/04/INLN1KU8H8.DTL
August 31,  2011 – Former Board of Supervisors Presdent Aaron Peskins strongly opposes Central Subway.
https://sites.google.com/a/savemuni.com/save-san-francisco-s-muni/aaron-peskin-blasts-central-subway-1
August 29, 2011 – SaveMuni.com summary of how the Central Subway was deceptively marketed to San Francisco.
https://sites.google.com/a/savemuni.com/save-san-francisco-s-muni/summary-of-sfmta-deception
August 23, 2011 – San Francisco Bay Guardian comes out against the Central Subway.
http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2011/08/23/central-subway-gravy-train-shows-how-city-hall-works
August 23, 2011 – Wall Street Journal editorial blasts Central Subway.
https://sites.google.com/a/savemuni.com/save-san-francisco-s-muni/wall-street-journal—august-23-2011 
August 18, 2011 – Jake McGoldrick, former Chair, San Francisco County Transportation Authority, announces his strong opposition to the project.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/08/18/EDV61KOL4I.DTL
August 14,  2011 – Other Muni improvements.  For a plan for Stockton Street click on Download.  For other Muni improvements click on https://sites.google.com/a/savemuni.com/save-san-francisco-s-muni/save-muni-summit
July 22,2011 – Cal Watchdog digs into the Central Subway mess.
https://sites.google.com/a/savemuni.com/save-san-francisco-s-muni/cal-watchdog-article
July 16, 2011 – Judge Quentin L. Kopp blasts the project.
Download  
 
July 1, 2011 – San Francisco Grand Jury Releases Report is released.
 May 9, 2011 – Sierra Club Resolution calling for Central Subway funds to be put to better use on behalf of Muni. 
https://sites.google.com/a/savemuni.com/save-san-francisco-s-muni/sierra-club-central-subway-resolution
November 9, 2010 – SaveMuni.com Central Subway White Paper relased

Hey, Why Don’t We Spend Our Money on Critical Transit Infrastructure Instead of the Central Subway Big Dig 2?

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Here’s the news of the day, from Will Reisman:

San Francisco Central Subway costly even if aborted

Well, sure.

Duh.

Costly mistakes such as the politically-motivated Central Subway project can be costly. Yes.

The question now is what to do about it, right?

Now, what about the hundreds of thousands of dollars we’ve given to Tom Otterness? If we say we’ve made a mistake, go away Tom, keep the money we’ve already given you, well then yes, that will cost us money. But it’d the right thing to do at this point.

Similarly, the hundreds of millions already sunk into the Central Subway project will be “wasted” if the Feds pull the plug or if Congress changes its mind or if we just cancel it on our own. But it’d be the right thing to do at this point.

The politicians who say they support the Central Subway – you know what they really think about it? For a lot of them, they have a nuanced position, they’re not mindless cheerleaders the way they sometimes seem.

Can you think of any other big federal project that had such a negative grand jury report come out beforehand? I can’t.

What other large federally-funded project in American history, you know, a project designed ostensibly to benefit just one city, has had such strong local opposition?

We’re special! We’re unique!

At least the Bridge to Nowhere was eventually cancelled, right?

Anyway, just for laughs, since the politicians in charge wish to ignore it:

CENTRAL SUBWAY - TOO MUCH MONEY FOR TOO LITTLE BENEFIT.

Now, is the Central Subway the best way to spend transit dollars, the best way to improve MUNI? That’s the question.

It’ll cost $315,660 per new rider, minimum? What if it were a million – would the boosters still be boosting? Well, sure, that would mean more money for them, more money for the politically-connected builders, right?

It’s the same question now as four years ago:

“Central Subway: Visionary Project or Colossal Boondoggle?”

And the answer’s the same now – yes it’s a visionary project and yes it’s a colossal boondoggle.

Oh well.

Best San Francisco Examiner Newspaper Cover Ever: “Art Money for a Dog Killer” Re: Central Subway Art

Friday, September 16th, 2011

There’s no reason for me to read the actual bit, AFAIAC, ’cause I already don’t like our troubled CentralSubwayBigDigSubwayToNowhere.

Click to expand

But as for you, enjoy.

Central T Subway: Connecting People, Connecting Communities, Giving Money to Dog Killers 

BTW, here are the policies for the ridiculous Central Subway blog, you know, in case it gets a reader or commenter some day.

“Central Subway is Phase 2 of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA) Third Street Light Rail Project.  It will operate as an extension of the T Third line and will extend light rail service with a surface stop on 4th Street near Brannan Street, and subway service under the South of Market (SoMa), Union Square and Chinatown neighborhoods.  The Central Subway project is a critical transportation improvement linking neighborhoods in the southeastern part of San Francisco with the retail and employment centers downtown and in Chinatown, and it will provide much needed and improved transportation to an under-served portion of the City.

The Central Subway Blog is monitored and maintained by the project’s Outreach Team.

Comment Policy

The Central Subway Blog serves as a forum for open communication about San Francisco’s Central Subway project.  We welcome your comments and expect that our conversation will follow the general rules of respectful civil discourse – we expect this community to treat its members with respect.

Bloggers are fully responsible for everything they include in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.  We do not discriminate against any views, but we reserve the right not to post comments.  The Central Subway Blog will remove any comments that include personal attacks, slurs, offensive language, or otherwise inappropriate content.

Thank you for visiting the Central Subway Blog!

Linking Policy and Disclaimer of Endorsement

The views expressed by official authors of the Central Subway Blog reflect the official opinion of the Central Subway project and SFMTA.  The views of public comments may not necessarily reflect those of Central Subway, SFMTA or the City of San Francisco.

The Central Subway Blog includes useful hypertext links to information created and maintained by other public and private organizations and individuals’ blogs.  The Central Subway and SFMTA share these links solely for the public’s information and convenience.

When you select a link to an outside Web site, you are leaving the Central Subway Blog and are subject to the privacy and security policies of the owners/sponsors of the outside Web site.

The Central Subway and SFMTA do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information contained on a linked Web site.

The Central Subway and SFMTA do not endorse the organizations sponsoring linked Web sites, and we do not endorse the views they express or the products/services they offer.

The Central Subway and SFMTA cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites.  Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Those who provide comments are responsible for the copyright of the text they provide.

The Central Subway and SFMTA are not responsible for transmissions users receive from linked Web sites.

The Central Subway and SFMTA do not guarantee that outside Web sites comply with Section 508 (Accessibility Requirements) of the Rehabilitation Act.”

Hey, SPUR – Why Don’t You Take Your Precious Central Subway and Shove It Up Your Ass? A Reasoned Retort

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Let’s check in on the Central Subway.

Comes now SPURious establishmentarian Stephen L. Taber to sneer at those who don’t don skirts and wave pom poms for San Francisco’s very own, quasi-federally funded Subway to Nowhere, or Big Dig II if that prior terms offends. Read his words and a brief retort below.

But first, let’s check in with “Auntie Rose” Pak, who looks like she’s celebrating the Central Subway already:

Charming!

Now, how much of an exaggeration is this?

“In order to get from Chinatown to the Market street metro lines/BART, you go down ten stories, ride one stop, then you have to go up 10 stories, walk 3 football fields, and then go down another 7 stories and wait for your train.”

I’ll tell you, not much.

Leave us begin:

[I]n San Francisco nothing new has ever been proposed that does not draw opposition just because it is new.

Or, maybe people oppose the corrupt Central Subway because it sucks air, instead of because it’s new? Isn’t that at least a possibility? I think you’re jumping to conclusions, SLT. They call that a dicto simpliciter, don’t they, counselor?

A small band of shortsighted naysayers has emerged with the irrational notion that a subway line would be slower than traffic-choked bus lines and that merely adding more slow buses would solve the problem.

Uh, most sensible people who have looked at the spiraling costs of Big Dig West have concluded that it’s Too Much Money for Too Little Benefit - like the Civil Grand Jury of San Francisco, 2010-2011, for example. Are the members of the Grand Jury “irrational?” Should they, as a group, be hospitalized for mental illness?

They would let the $1.3 billion in federal and state funding be sent to other cities to solve their transit problems, leaving San Francisco without a similar opportunity to correct our dysfunctional transit system for decades to come.

Uh, does free federal money “solve problems?” Really? Sometimes not. You see, what the Grand Jury is worried about is how dysfunctional the rest of MUNI is now. The Grand Jury, in its wisdom, knows all about the free money from Uncle Sucker, but that doesn’t mean that the Central Subway is good for San Francisco.

These opponents have called this project a “Subway to Nowhere.”

Well, that’s a reference to Sarah Palin’s Bridge to Nowhere, aka the Gravina Island Bridge. Now that particular project had mindless boosters as well, just like the Central Subway has SPUR and corrupt Chinatown “leaders.” And the idea of building a Golden Gate Bridge to an island with 50 people on it was a boondoggle too. So why are you bringing this up, dude?

It is an offense to our Chinese community, whose historic Chinatown, a vibrant and bustling commercial and residential neighborhood, is certainly “somewhere” and clearly warrants rapid transit service.

Uh, I think you mean Chinese-American, right, in the parlance of the day, right? And I think you’re being too touchy there, dude. But all right, how about Big Dig II or Big Dig West? I’m an opponent now and that’s my name for your corruption. Does that offend?

Conspiracy theorists argue that the Central Subway is simply the result of a political deal.

Well now you’re talking. Yes, yes, it’s the result of a political deal. Don’t you know? Let’s let John Diaz of the San Francisco Chronicle take over now: “A vigorous debate about the Central Subway inevitably would lead to a focus on interim Mayor Ed Lee’s relationship with ex-Mayor Willie Brown and Chinatown powerbroker Rose Pak, two chief proponents of the project, and their allies who have enjoyed a slice of the contracts to date.” Am I a conspiracy theorist? I don’t know, not generally, like I think Oswald alone when he killed JFK, for example. As far as the CS is concerned, of course there was a political deal – this is common knowledge about town.

But this claim overlooks the real history. The Central Subway was a key component of the “four corridors plan” developed by a citywide citizen’s committee and approved by the voters as part of Proposition B in 1989. 

Doesn’t this 4 Corridor plan go back much farther than that, per the Grand Jury? Are you familiar with the Grand Jury’s recent report? They go on and on about it, FYI. It’s like you haven’t read it, like you haven’t acknowledged it…

Because Muni will retain the No. 30 bus line in order to provide local service, the critics will not have to ride the Central Subway, but can sit on an uncrowded 30-Stockton bus while the bulk of the travelers speed past them underground.

No, don’t you get it, the Central Subway is too much money for too little benefit, right? A few riders will benefit from the CS, but most of the benefit will accrue to the builders and their allies, the Powers That Be. Overall, this subway will be a burden on MUNI. Hey, why don’t we call it Solyndra II?

Stephen L. Taber is chairman of the SPUR Central Subway Task Force, a former SPUR board member and current member of its advisory council. He is a San Francisco native and an attorney at Meyers Nave.

Oh, you’re a San Francisco Native. Well, why didn’t you say so? Now that changes everything. All hail Stephen L. fucking Taber who had the god-damned foresight to be borned in the 415. Withdrawn, forget my reasoned reply.

Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown, San Francisco’s corrupt Chinatown.

Talking Points:

 It has a pattern of increasing cost estimates.
 San Francisco will be responsible for any cost overruns
which could be substantial.
 The addition of a new subway line will add to an existing
operating deficit and could stretch the existing maintenance
environment to the breaking point.
 There are no plans to address existing problems on the
Stockton corridor before project completion.
 There is no effective transfer to the Muni Metro and
BART systems.
 It ignores service to the Financial District.
 It ignores current transportation trends