Posts Tagged ‘central subway’

From SaveMuni.com: “LAWSUIT FILED – MUNI’S CENTRAL SUBWAY PROJECT IS STILL NOT A DONE DEAL”

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Here’s the latest on The Central Subway from SaveMUNI.com:

“SUMMARY: Despite Muni’s anticipated celebration of the receipt of the federal grant agreement for the Central Subway, SaveMuni.com cautions that the project is still not a done deal because, as set forth in the lawsuit, the current plan violates Section 4.113 of the San Francisco City Charter.

In approving its grant agreement (FFGA) for the subway, the federal government has opted to ignore the City Charter, which it is free to do. However, since Muni cannot ignore the City Charter, SaveMuni.com urges the agency to refrain from spending any federal funds on the project until it has a legally approved plan, because any and all federal funds spent on an unapproved project are at risk to being returned to the federal government.

BACKGROUND: On Wednesday October 10, 2012, a lawsuit was filed in Superior Court on behalf of SaveMuni.com. The lawsuit seeks to prevent the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) from extending a subway station into Union Square, a public park, without the approval of the San Francisco electorate as required under SF City Charter Section 4.113. If our lawsuit is successful, the SFMTA will have the choice of either finding a station location that does not intrude upon Union Square or putting the question to a public vote.

Other SaveMuni.com actions now under active consideration include a plan to qualify an initiative measure for next year’s San Francisco ballot that would bring a halt to the Central Subway project unless and until the SFMTA demonstrates that it has met the Muni operational performance standards set forth in the City Charter.

As SaveMuni.com representatives have stated many times in public testimony, and as set forth and laid out in detail on SaveMuni.com’s website, the violation referred to above is just one of many major flaws embedded in the SFMTA’s Central Subway program.

Until recently, we had expected that the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) would react to these flaws by rejecting the Central Subway as a candidate for a federal New Starts grant. Our confidence that the FTA would act appropriately in this matter was based on the explicit New Starts enabling legislation (49 USC §5303 Sections c, d and g) and on the FTA’s exemplary past record of guarding the federal treasury. In the past, the FTA acted under a comprehensive set of rigorous cost-effectiveness guidelines designed to prevent federal funds from being squandered on local boondoggles. Unless a candidate New Starts project met the standards it simply didn’t make it through the approval process. However, we have found that in recent years politics has watered down the FTA’s traditional record of professionalism.

For the past 5 years, the government of San Francisco has steadfastly refused to listen to a long and growing list of Central Subway opponents, including over 50 neighborhood groups, the Sierra Club, the San Francisco City Attorney, the San Francisco Civil Grand Jury, former elected officials who now regret having approved the project and other officials who privately ridicule it, the residents and businesses of North Beach, at least two former Mayors and 235 members of the US House of Representatives.

With the FTA having abdicated its watchdog responsibilities, it appears that SaveMuni.com, the Coalition of San Francisco Neighbors and the other San Francisco neighborhood, environmental and civic groups opposed to the project are the only remaining fiscal watchdogs still trying to turn the SFMTA’s attention back to its long neglected 70 existing bus and rail lines.

If despite our efforts, the government of San Francisco remains on its current path, it appears that San Francisco will suffer six years of severe construction disruption followed by the advent of a marginally useful and money-losing Central Subway operation. Among the adverse effects of the Central Subway are the $15.2 million a year it would add to the cost of operating and maintaining Muni and the diversion of Muni’s existing light rail T-Line from AT&T Park, the San Francisco waterfront, the Ferry Building, the Financial District and the Market Street subway lines. And finally, there is the fact that the Central Subway somehow manages to miss 25 of the 30 east-west transit lines it crosses, including all the lines on and under Market Street and all the lines on Mission Street.

In addition to the local effects, the project would drain away an unnecessary $61.3 million in State 1A HSR connectivity bond money from the essentially bankrupt State of California to allegedly connect the Central Subway to California’s future HSR system, when in fact it would actually disconnect the existing T-Line from that system.

Even more damaging is the plan to deny other, more deserving Muni projects a total of $306 million in State 1B rail bond money that is currently earmarked for the Central Subway project.

And finally, the Central Subway program, if it proceeds, will eat up no less than $942 million in federal funds at a time when the U.S. federal government can ill afford to waste resources on politically-inspired local pet projects.

Tomorrow’s execution of the federal grant agreement for the Central Subway will formalize the refusal of San Francisco’s politicians to seriously consider the obvious major flaws in the project. For this reason SaveMuni.com is seeking redress before the SF Superior Court to force these politicians to let the people of San Francisco decide whether or not they want to proceed with the Central Subway project as currently configured.”

San Francisco Chronicle Writer CW Nevius Is Always Wrong: Chapter 237, Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi Case

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Here’s the latest boner from CW Nevius regarding the Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi case:

“It’s not that Mirkarimi is expected to have much of a shot to win reinstatement. All the smart money at City Hall is predicting an 11-0 vote against his case. That way everyone has some political cover.”

So, once again, CW Nevius is totally wrong on an issue. And, once again, he will refuse to acknowledge his mistake.

Nevius, can’t you learn from your mistakes?

Oh well.

Ah, memories:

San Francisco Chronicle opinion “reporter” CW Nevius should stick to his opinions, IMO. Cause it’s when he mixes up his opinions with what he considers facts, that’s when the trouble starts.

Anyway, I don’t question his ability to get people to answer his phone calls and then offer quotes, but I do question his ability to understand what those people tell him.

Oh well.

Here it is, a Nevius column three-way mash-up, starting all the way back in the month of January 2012.

(And, as always, please keep in mind that The Nevius is NOT biased on this particular topic, not at all, like why would you even think that?)

“The neighbor who called authorities with concerns (and good for her) learned that the hard way. She reportedly said she only wanted to express concern, not to release the photo or the cell phone texts.”

SO, SOMEBODY  CALLS THE COPS TO “EXPRESS CONCERN?” WHO DOES THAT? SOMEBODY WHO’S HORRIBLY NAIVE, LIKE IVORY MADISON? AND SHE DOES IT WITH HER VERY OWN PERSONAL IPHONE? SO YOU CALL THE COPS AND TELL THEM YOU HAVE SOLID EVIDENCE OF A CRIME BUT YOU’RE NOT READY TO TURN IT OVER TO THEM. I MEAN, HOW MANY MINUTES WILL IT TAKE FOR THEM TO BE BANGING ON YOUR DOOR? OH WAIT, YOU POLITELY ASKED THEM _NOT_ TO STAR-69 YOU? WELL IN THAT CASE…

There are many people in law enforcement who dislike him and don’t think he is fit for the job.

THE THOUGHTS OF “MANY PEOPLE” ARE ALWAYS CONGRUENT WITH CW NEVIUS IN CW NEVIUS-LAND. HOW CONVENIENT!

There is a school of thought that says Mirkarimi should step gracefully away from the job now and get on with his life.

SEE? MORE “THOUGHT” FROM THE NEVE. NEVE IS UPSET THAT ROSS MIRKARIMI WON THE SHERIFF’S RACE, SO NEVE IS HAPPY TO SEE ROSS GO, OF COURSE.

There is the possibility that Mirkarimi could be angling for something like a plea of “no contest,” which doesn’t carry the stigma of a guilty plea.

UH, NEVIUS, HOW SIMPLE ARE YOU? HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE TERM BEFORE? DO YOU EXPECT YOUR READERS TO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT “NO CONTEST” MEANS? AND OH, IT MEANS “GUILTY,” MORE OR LESS, SO YES, THERE’S A STIGMA ATTACHED TO NOT FIGHTING WHEN A DISTRICT ATTORNEY IS TRYING YOU FOR DOING SOMETHING WRONG. FOR _MOST_ PEOPLE, SUCH A PLEA CARRIES THE SAME STIGMA OF A GUILTY PLEA. AND, AS GOES WITHOUT SAYING, IT’S OUR RIGHT TO PLEA THAT WAY IN CALIFORNIA. YOU SEE, THERE’S NO “ANGLING,” THERE’S NO DEAL STRATEGERY REQUIRED, DESPITE WHAT YOU THINK, NEVE.

But to Mirkarimi, that may seem like caving in.

AS IT WOULD TO ANYONE.

Fighting the charges and winning would be the sweet vindication for Mirkarimi. He would never get tired of saying “I told you so,” and no one could blame him.

UH, I DON’T THINK HE WOULD GO AROUND SAYING “I TOLD YOU SO.” AND IF HE DID, PEOPLE COULD AND WOULD BLAME HIM.

Until now, I’ve gone along with the idea of letting the Ross Mirkarimi misdemeanor domestic battery case play out.

HOW GENEROUS OF YOU. ARE YOU THE FOURTH BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT, CW NEVIUS? AREN’T YOU MERELY AN EX-JOCK MOVIE REVIEWER? I THINK SO.

It is time for Mirkarimi to cut his losses. Clearly he is fighting for his political life. But that cannot be the only consideration. What about what is good for the city?

IN NEVIUS-LAND, EVERY POLITICIAN IN TOWN SHOULD BE A REPUBLICAN OR BUSINESS DEMOCRAT. PER NEVIUS, THAT’S WHAT WOULD BE “GOOD FOR THE CITY.” AND SINCE WHEN DO YOU CARE ABOUT THE GOOD OF THE CITY SO MUCH? HEY NEVIUS, DON’T YOU ACTUALLY OPPOSE THE CENTRAL SUBWAY? I THINK YOU DO, OR AT LEAST YOU USED TOREMEMBER HOW THE VERY THOUGHT OF IT MADE YOU “WINCE?” BUT YOU CAN’T VERY WELL OPPOSE IT NOW, CAN YOU, NOW THAT IT’S GOTTEN A LOT WORSE? WHAT WOULD THAT BE LIKE, NEVE, IF YOU WOULD VOICE YOUR CONCERNS OVER ROSE PAK’S SUBWAY TO NOWHERE, YOU KNOW, “FOR THE GOOD OF THE CITY?” ALL YOUR RECENT BEAT SWEETENER AND SOURCE GREASER COLUMNS, WELL, THEY’D BE FOR NAUGHT, RIGHT?

It wouldn’t be inconceivable that it would be the middle of March before a courtroom was assigned.

FRET NOT, NEVE, THE CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO ACTUALLY FOUND A PLACE TO HOLD A CRIMINAL TRIAL, BELIEVE IT OR NOT.

Although Ivory Madison’s biography says she attended law school, whether or not she was working as an attorney, or represented Lopez, is bound to be contentious. And that’s just one of the issues. The video is pivotal to the case, so there will probably be further challenges of that.

YOU KNOW NEVE, BY YOUR STANDARDS, YOUR ERRORS IN REPORTING THIS CASE AREN’T ALL THAT EGREGIOUS. HOWEVER, THIS BONER IS WHY YOU’RE IN THE SPANKING MACHINE AGAIN. IVORY MADISON NEED NOT HAVE BEEN ‘WORKING AS AN ATTORNEY” NOR “REPRESENTING” ANYBODY IN ORDER FOR THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE TO APPLY. YOU TALK TO EXPERTS, THEY TELL YOU THE RIGHT THING, AND THEN YOU SCREW IT UP, OVER AND OVER AND OVER. DON’T YOU HAVE AN EDITOR BY NOW? OR ARE YOU EMPOWERED TO WRITE WHATEVER CRAP YOU WANT AS LONG AS YOU MAKE MONEY(?) FOR THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE? DO YOU EVER ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR MANY MANY MISTAKES? DO YOU EVER ISSUE CORRECTIONS? ANYWHO, THE “CONTENTIOUS” ISSUES YOU WONDERED ABOUT WEREN’T CONTENTIOUS AT ALL, AS IT TURNED OUT, AND AS SHOULD HAVE BEEN OBVIOUS TO YOU. YES EVEN YOU.

A reasonable suggestion would be for him to plead no contest to the charges.

A REASONABLE SUGGESTION FROM A SUBURBAN-MINDED REPUBLICAN SUCH AS YOURSELF, THAT’S WHAT YOU MEAN.

He should admit mistakes, apologize, and lay out a plan of rehabilitation – anger management, family counseling and personal guidance. He could say he has seen his errors and faced up to them. Therefore, he could say, he should be allowed to remain on as sheriff. Keeping the job would be a long shot. Personally, I’d oppose it.

OK, SO IT’S “DO EVERYTHING I SAY AND THE REWARD WILL BE ME, THE NEVIUS, OPPOSING YOU FROM FULFILLING THE WISHES OF THE VOTERS.” IS THAT YOUR CARROT-AND-STICK APPROACH, NEVE? MORE LIKE STICK AND STICK, IT WOULD SEEM.

Today it is a public soap opera, with trial-stalling delays, media scrums in the courthouse, and open snickering about ex-girlfriends’ panties.

I THINK YOU MEAN PAIR OF PANTIES, NEVE. LIKE ONE ARTICLE OF CLOTHING. YOU SEE, THE WAY YOU SAID IT MADE IT SEEM LIKE THERE WERE MULTIPLE GFS AND MULTIPLE PAIRS OF FOUND PANTIES. OH, I SEE, WE’RE IN NEVIUS-LAND, WHERE A “REPORTER,” SUCH AS YOURSELF ISN’T HELD TO THE SAME STANDARDS AS ANY OTHER REPORTER. OK.

It all could have been avoided. I understand if Mirkarimi and Eliana Lopez, his wife, feel wronged and want to fight the charges. But instead of having their lawyers challenge each piece of evidence, get up on the stand, make your case – Lopez does sound convincing – and let a jury decide.

WOW, SO WILLIAM WALLACE SHOULD JUST HAVE GIVEN UP TO KING ED BEFORE THE BATTLE OF FALKIRK EVEN BEGAN? BAD FORM.

Granted, the videotape of Lopez crying and pointing to a bruise on her arm doesn’t look good. But Mirkarimi and Lopez’s lawyers aren’t disputing the facts or saying it is a fake. They’re trying to remove it on a legal technicality. Just let them play the tape and respond.

NOW WHO’S THE FAKE ATTORNEY, IVORY MADISON OR YOU, NEVIUS?

Meanwhile, those who predicted a one-week trial are getting a lesson in the speed of justice.

WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE, NEVIUS? WHO ARE THESE STRAWMEN?

As weeks tick away, insiders estimate that Mirkarimi’s legal fees could be running into six figures.

WOW, “INSIDERS!” INSIDERS SUCH AS YOURSELF, NEVE?

Legally, everything turns on the video of Mirkarimi’s wife.

WOW, YOU EXPLAIN THE COMPLEX LEGALITIES SO WELL, PROFESSOR CONVENTIONAL WISDOM NEVIUS, JD. YOUR INSIGHT IS BOTH BOLD AND UNIQUE (OR NOT).

Lopez’s attorney, Paula Canny, says because the tape was made by a neighbor, Ivory Madison, who has a law degree, the tape would be violating attorney-client privilege.

NOT EXACTLY, NEVE. WHAT MATTERED IS WHAT LOPEZ BELIEVED, OF COURSE, UNDER CA LAW. THAT’S NOT ALL THAT MATTERED OF COURSE, AS THIS GAMBIT FAILED, BUT ANYWAY. YOU’RE PUTTING WORDS IN HER MOUTH, NEVE. YOU HAVE NO FRAME OF REFERENCE, DONNY. YOU’RE LIKE A CHILD WHO WANDERS INTO THE MIDDLE OF A MOVIE…

It may be a plausible legal argument but it stops the trial dead…

NOT REALLY, AS IT TURNED OUT.

Because now after months of these charges, those panties, and that tape of his weeping and bruised wife, this will follow Mirkarimi the rest of his life.

AND IF THE TRIAL HAD OCCURRED, SOMEHOW, IN FEBRUARY 2012, THEN THIS SITUATION _WOULDN’T_ HAVE FOLLOWED MIRKARIMI AROUND FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE? IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE ARGUING?

Keane compared him to O.J. Simpson, which sounded like a stretch.

YOU MEAN IT SEEMD A STRETCH AT FIRST, TO YOUR SIMPLE MIND? IS THAT WHAT YOU MEAN?

Simpson was charged with murder, not spousal abuse.

I GET YOUR POINT ON THIS, NEVE, BUT YOU’RE SORT OF WRONG ON THIS SCORE.*

But there are similarities.

WASN’T THAT HIS FUCKING POINT, NEVE? YOUR READERS ARE SMARTER THAN YOU, NEVE. SO WHY DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE TO EXPLAIN THINGS TO THEM?

After a long, painful, media-frenzy of a trial, Simpson was acquitted.

OMG, THAT CHECKS OUT TOO!

But he was a public pariah, his reputation in tatters. Simpson must wonder if it was all worth it. My guess is Ross Mirkarimi will too.

WOW, GREAT GUESS, NEVE. IT’S JUST LIKE WITH HITLER, WHO DIDN’T EVEN NEED THE REICHSTAG FIRE DECREE TO SEIZE POWER. HITLER MUST HAVE WONDERED “IF IT WAS ALL WORTH IT” OR LIKE WITH YOUR BUDDY, MAYOR ED LEE, WHO DIDN’T EVEN NEED STENCIL VOTING AND ROSE PAK TO WIN ELECTION. ED LEE MUST HAVE WONDERED “IF IT WAS ALL WORTH IT” AS WELL, HUH?

YOU’VE GIVEN US ALL A LOT TO THINK ABOUT, NEVE.

*Sort of. Actually OJ was charged with domestic violence too, before he was charged with killing that gal and that guy. I’ll give you just one guess what his plea was…

Appears As If Construction of the Useless Central Subway is Interfering with the Apple iPhone 5 Camp-Out in Union Square

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Look at this mess:

Click to expand

I see cops where there ought to be fanboys/fangirls…

If a fanboy camps out on Stockton Street for an iPhone but no one is around to see him, does it make a sound?

Another Salvo Against that “AutoReturn” Towing Company from One of Its “Victims,” Writer CW Nevius

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Here’s the latest anti-Auto Return bit from CW Nevius.

I don’t know, Neve, what do you want? It sounds like you want the City Family to fight harder for the Commonweal, to make better deals when it deals with private companies.

And that’s fine, but you’re a little inconsistent, you dig?

Speaking of digging, what about the corrupt Central Subway project? The last you wrote about that was all the way back in 2008. Why is it that you write about little fish like Auto Return but not big fish like, I don’t know, AECOM?

Oh what’s that, you actually think the Central Subway is a horrible execution of a bad idea but you don’t want to offend all your sources in the City Family? That’s pretty weak, Neve.

Or what about the America’s Cup boondoggle that you used to cheer lead for so much. Didn’t The City strike a bad deal with AC34?

And what about Recology? You seem to support that expensive monopoly and its dealings.

But that’s small potatoes compared with the deal San Francisco made with Auto Return?

What do you want, you want to get rid of the AutoReturn contract and then hire a bunch of expensive new City employees to tow cars? I guarantee you that that would cost SF more money.

Or maybe you want tow fees to be increased overall in order to subsidize police tows?

Or maybe you want revenge against the company what towed your ride last year, you know, when you were a naive newcomer in the 415?

I think that’s it!

We’ve made a lot of progress today, CW. Leave your check with my secretary on the way out…

Ah, mem’ries:

The Biggest Mistake That AutoReturn Towing Company Ever Made was Towing C.W. Nevius Earlier This Year

Right? ‘Cause after the car of C.W. Nevius got towed in February, he stepped up his campaign against AutoReturn, the company what gets called by DPT / SFMTA when your car is blocking rush hour traffic.

So nowadays, he considers San Francisco’s policy of towing away cars blocking rush hour lanes a “scam,” which means he thinks the whole process is a “fraudulent business scheme.”

Does he think that the SFMTA should just leave cars untouched, making all those “NO STOPPING, NO PARKING” signs merely advisory?

It’s not clear.

Oh well.

AutoReturn: Our name makes us sound like we’re a department of the SFPD – isn’t that funny? WERE UNDER UR FREEWAY, DETAINING UR CARZ:

Click to expand

Now, what the Auto Return tow truck driver should have done was make up some excuse instead of towing the ride of The Nevius on that Fateful Day. You know, “technical difficulties” or something like that to buy some more time for the San Francisco Chronicle’s least intelligent employee. That would have allowed the Neve to correct his mistake by simply hopping in and driving off to the East Bay or wherever the hell he lives these days.

It wouldn’t be hard to implement a NO TOW NEVIUS policy. You know, back in the day, Willie Brown used to get pulled over all the time by the CHP when he was driving waaaaay too fast* on the I-80 back and forth to Sacramento. After Willie got stopped twice in one trip, he put a hold on the CHP’s budget. So the CHP issued Willie’s photo to all the officers on I-80 with instructions to “memorize this face” in order to give Willie favorable treatment. (Read the whole story below.) The point is that AutoReturn should find which cars CW Nevius parks illegally on the Streets of San Francisco and then give a picture of each one to all their tow truck drivers and then tell them“DO NOT TOW THESE PARTICULAR CARS!”

Bingo bango.

“From UC Press E-Books Collection, 1982-2004 (formerly eScholarship Editions), it’s: 

Willie Brown, A Biography by James Richardson

From four decades ago, Chapter 15, Mr. Chairman:

“One afternoon Brown briskly walked into a budget conference committee meeting late and looking angry. He immediately sat down next to [Senator] Collier and asked for a “point of personal privilege.” Collier granted him the courtesy, and Brown asked to return to an item in the budget to appropriate funds to purchase guns and other equipment for the California Highway Patrol. Brown then demanded that the funds be deleted from the budget. The trust between the two was so great that Collier asked no questions, immediately complied, and struck the CHP equipment appropriation.

At the end of the meeting, [aide Robert] Connelly asked his boss what was going on with the Highway  Patrol. “He was so mad, he wouldn’t talk about it.” Finally, Brown told Connelly that he had been stopped not once but twice by CHP officers that day on his way to Sacramento from San Francisco along Interstate 80 in his bright red Porsche. Each time, the officers walked over to Brown and said, “Hey, boy, where’d you get this car?”

Connelly quickly found the CHP’s lobbyist and told him what had happened. “The guy’s eyeballs rolled clear back into his skull. He said, ‘We’ll fix it.’” By the next morning, the CHP was distributing photographs of Willie Brown to officers along the Interstate 80 corridor between San Francisco and Sacramento with orders to “memorize this face.” The CHP got its appropriation back—and more.

Brown championed pay raises for CHP officers by authoring a bill that tied their salaries to a formula based on the salaries of large municipal police forces. The measure gave Highway Patrol officers a windfall raise, and then an automatic pay raise every time one of the unionized city forces got a new contract.”

*You’d see him go past as a red blur, hauling ass. He had a Porsche 911, a Mazda Miata (sold to him at a discount, you know, cause Willie is special), an Acura NSX (sold to him at a discount, per the instructions of Honda USA, you know, because Willie is special), and others.

OMG, the SFMTA-Free “Forum on the Future of Transit in San Francisco” is Coming on August 18th, 2012!

Monday, August 6th, 2012

That’s right, the SFMTA isn’t sponsoring this one-day event next week and it isn’t invited neither.

Check it:

SAVEMUNI.COM FORUM - THE FUTURE OF TRANSIT IN SAN FRANCISCO

SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2012, 10:30 AM TO 4:00 PM

Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, S.F.

“SaveMuni.com will be holding a Forum on the Future of Transit in San Francisco at the Koret Auditorium, SF Main Library, on Saturday, August 18. Registration starts 10 am; program begins 10:30 am.

The morning session deals with the current state of transit in San Francisco, and the afternoon session takes up ideas for improvements in Muni service and financing.

Speakers include:

transportation engineer Gerald Cauthen,

disabled rights activist Bob Planthold,

Tom Rubin, CPA who has been the chief financial officer of two of the largest transit agencies in the United States,

public policy consultant Bob Feinbaum,

architect Howard Wong, and

foreperson Linda Clardy of the 2010-11 SF Civil Grand Jury.

Co-sponsors of the Forum include the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco Tomorrow, Sierra Club and TransForm.”

OK then.

See you there the Saturday after next!

A few more deets on what SAVE MUNI has been up to the past month or so:

“Special Announcements

Muni Transportation Forum:

A Muni Transportation Forum, sponsored by SaveMuni and other groups will be held on Saturday, August 18, 2012 at the Koret Auditorium of the San Francisco Main Library, beginning at 10:00 am. The focus of the Forum will be on the general problems that prevent Muni from operating at full effectiveness and on some broad approaches to improving the situation.

Central Subway Litigation News:

August 4, 2012: To our knowledge there are at least three separate lawsuits now in progress or pending against the Central Subway. Any of them could block or significantly alter the project. More revelations to come.

Central Subway Disconnected from Muni:

Current: The Central Subway would be disconnected from the Market Street corridor, Muni Metro, BART, Ferries, Transbay Terminal, High-speed Rail, regional and statewide transit networks. Central Subway riders would have to travel on foot for over 1,200 feet to reach the Powell Muni Metro/BART Station. As part of the Subway project, today’s bus service into northeastern San Francisco would be cut by 50%. Most of today’s Stockton Street Muni users would find their subway trips to be longer than today’s bus trips.

Today’s Stockton Street bus riders can easily transfer to Muni LRV lines J, K, L, N, M, F and T and to Muni east-west bus lines 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 9L, 10, 12, 14, 14L, 14x, 21, 31, 71, 71L and 76. Connections to every one of these 24 east-west lines as well as to all the BART lines would be substantially less convenient from the Central Subway than from today’s Stockton Street bus lines.

Central Subway Milestones:

August 29, 2011: SFMTA’s False Claims: Charts, developed from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s(SFMTA’s) own data, compare Central Subway ridership, costs and trip times. The charts illustrate how the SFMTA was telling the Feds one thing and San Franciscans another. ChartsTARAugust2911.pdf

For Some Reason, Willie Brown Needs More Money So This Part of Stockton St. is Shut Down for 5 Years

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Is this what the busy intersection of Stockton and Market is going to look like for the next five years?

Apparently.

Click to expand – looking north from Market and Fourth Street. 

Who would design a political system that would assign more power to a former Mayor than the current Mayor?

It’s a mystery…

Anyway, let’s hope the ridiculous three-way light setup at this intersection is now back to two-way light so Market Street traffic won’t be choked as much as it’s been up ’til now.

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.

Don’t Look at This Photo, Flag-Wavers – ‘Cause You’re Not Going to Like Seeing the San Francisco Version of Old Glory

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Public Housing Project, McAllister Street, Western Addition (aka The Fillmore), San Francisco, 2012:

Click to expand

This area is about six blocks from San Francisco City Hall.

Here’s the exact same pair of flags from three years ago, would you agree?

And the DRUG FREE ZONE warning sign is still there as well. (But, of course, this isn’t actually a drug-free zone. Not in the least.)

Oh well.

So, why do we even have flagpoles then?

Perhaps putting them in was a bad idea? Perhaps it’s easier to put in a flagpole than to take care of a flagpole over its lifetime? Perhaps we should take these flagpoles down if this how City, County, State and/or Federal officials are handling things?

Perhaps Redevelopment of the Fillmore was a bad idea?

Perhaps other federally-funded projects, such as the useless Central Subway, are bad ideas as well?

Mmmmm.

Why is the SFMTA Building the Central Subway When It Can’t Even Run the Buses It Already Has?

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Even if we were going to get the useless Central Subway for free, it still wouldn’t be worth it because we’re going to have to pay eight figures a year to operate it.

That money is going to have to come from existing operations, like, I don’t know, the #5 Fulton, which turns away passengers on a daily basis in the Western Addition.

No room for you, potential passengers:

Click to expand

This happens every day.

Of course, another bus will come by soon but it too will be full of the other people who’ve been passed by.

Is this how you roll, MUNI, passing people by with full buses every day?

 

Central Subway Update: Aaron Peskin and Quentin Kopp Object to World’s Shortest and Most Expensive Subway Line

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

It looks like it will be up to Congress to stop the horrible, out-of-control Central Subway Project. That’s our last chance.

Click on the 13-minute video below to listen to former Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin succinctly make the case for killing this turkey.

And here’s some coverage from the local press:

Joe Eskenazi of SF Weekly: Central Subway Critics: Costly Boondoggle Can Still Be Stopped

Michael Cabanatuan of the San Francisco Chronicle: Reinforcements enlisted in battle against Central Subway

KQED: SF Central Subway Opponents Worry About ‘Blank Check

And oh, hey, what about San Francisco’s #1 Mayor Ed Lee Kiss-Ass / Suck-up, you know, San Francisco Chronicle writer CW Nevius, what does he think of the Central Subway?

Nevius: Chinatown subway plan makes me wince

Oh, but that was all the way back in 2008 and, you know, these days The Nevius doesn’t have the stones, apparently, to comment about this particular boondoggle anymore. Oh well.

Enjoy:

(Is Aaron Peskin a good public speaker?

Yes, Aaron Peskin a good public speaker.)

And oh, how can Federal Transit Administration leader Peter Rogoff get away with saying that the Central Subway will reduce trip time from 27 minutes to 7 minutes?

This is a complete fantasy.

Is he seriously misinformed or is he lying? I can’t tell.

Does he mean that the pink bag mafia will spend an average of seven minutes descending 30+ yards down into Mother Earth and waiting for the short line? Is that what he means? But that by itself doesn’t get you anywhere you want to go. It just gets you 30 yards beneath C-Town.

Anyway Congress, please, please, please kill this boondoggery.