Posts Tagged ‘DPT’

A Case Study of SFMTA’s Controversial “MUNI-COMMUTER” Shuttle Program: The New Stops at Hayes and Clayton

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Here’s what things looked like on August 1, 2014 at a MUNI bus stop that just debuted as a new “commuter shuttle” stop:

I think MUNI meant to say MUNI/COMMUTER SHUTTLES instead of MUNI-COMMUTER SHUTTLES, but who knows.

Note that the small print advises those with Concerns or Complaints to go to Hell call 311.

Here’s the place, on Hayes at Clayton:

Things were pretty sedate around here before the shuttle program began. (Yes, Hayes is a thoroughfare, as it has the 21 Hayes bus line but that bus doesn’t run as much as the nearby #5 Fulton just to the north or the lines on Haight just to the south.)

Anyway, some of the area NIMBYs are upset, so they started a direct mail campaign and they posted fliers about.

Like here on this rather dirty building, which lost some paint when the fliers came down cause the tape they used was extra strong oh well:

So that’s it – life here is pretty much the same as far as I can tell. I’ve jogged past these two stops, the inbound and the outbound right across the street from each other, four times now, during times when I know that there are hundreds of people milling about the 415 / 628 waiting for dozens of shuttles, and I haven’t seen nothing.

Perhaps the NIMBYs were wrong? Perhaps all good and bad points about life in the 94117 will remain unaffected?

We’ll see.

California DMV Lowers the Boom on Deadbeat San Franciscans with “Operation Blue Zone” (OBZ) – Fighting Placard Abuse

Monday, July 21st, 2014

IMO, this DMV “operation” misses the point, ’cause the bigger crime is all the drivers of those new Mercedes-Benzeses parking for free in or near the Financial ALL DAY LONG.

We have a corrupt system in which you can simply ask your doctor(!) for free parking.

But anyway:

DMV Investigators Make Major Disabled Placard Application Bust

Operation Blue Zone Catches Three Fraudulent Placard Applicants

SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced today the arrest of three suspects in connection with illegal activity associated with the Disabled Person Placard (DPP) application process. On Saturday, July 12, 2014, Qiaoyun Chen, 50 years old, and Guobin Qin, 29 years old, were arrested at their homes in San Francisco. The San Francisco District Attorney’s office charged the suspects with four felonies including filing false information with a state agency, perjury, commercial burglary, and forgery. The third suspect, Yessi Morales, 35 years old from San Francisco, was arrested on July 3, 2014 during a traffic stop by the San Francisco Police Department, she is charged with 24 felony counts.

“The DMV is stepping up Disabled Placard enforcement in a different, more aggressive way by catching the perpetrators at the beginning stages,” said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto. “Operation Blue Zone has been very successful in catching fraud placard applications in the Bay Area.”

The San Francisco District DMV Investigations Office started the Operation Blue Zone (OBZ) investigation in February 2014 after receiving a large number of DPP applications that were flagged by DMV field office staff as being allegedly fraudulent. Flag triggers included suspected forged doctor’s signatures, similar applicant and doctor hand-writing, frequent applications being submitted by the same doctor, and suspected false medical diagnosis. These alleged fraud applications began increasing in numbers in late 2013 and the beginning of 2014, with the majority of the placard recipients living or working in San Francisco. The suspected fraud applications were submitted in several DMV field offices with the majority submitted to the San Mateo DMV field office.

“The crimes related to submitting a fraudulent application as opposed to catching someone on the street misusing a DPP for parking is quite different,” said DMV Supervising Investigator Calvin Woo. “Parking misuse violations are typically local ordinance infractions or vehicle code misdemeanors where the abuser ends up with a hefty fine. Fraud DPP application violations are felonies.”

All three suspects could face up to four years in prison. Morales has been freed on $60,000 bail, and Qin and Chen were released after posting $30,000 bail apiece.

If you believe that someone has been issued a Disabled Person Placard in error or suspect placard misuse, we urge you to contact your local DMV Investigations office and submit a written complaint. The complaint can be anonymous. Please be aware that some qualifying disabilities are not visually apparent and allegations of misuse may be unfounded. The department considers crimes relating to disabled placards very serious and every complaint of this nature will be reviewed. Complaint forms can be found on the DMV public website www.dmv.ca.gov under the search key words “Record of Complaint,” or under form INV172A – Record of Complaint form. You may also obtain a complaint form from your local DMV field office.

DMV’s Investigations Division enhances consumer protection including auto and identity related fraud, car dealers, driving schools, traffic violator schools, and other DMV occupational licensees, as well as Internal Affairs Investigations. DMV is a department under the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA).

Save Time, Go Online! Doing business with the DMV has never been easier. The DMV offers an array of services to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through its Website including online advance appointments for written and drive tests; vehicle registration and driver license renewals, selection of personalized license plates, changes of address and payment of fees via secure debit transactions. Customers can also effect transactions by calling DMV customer service at (800) 777–0133. DMV is a department under the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA).

1000-Yard Stare: Incompetent SFMTA MUNI Abandons #38 Geary Riders During Japantown Ramen Festival

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Look at these poor lost souls on Geary staring towards the west in a futile attempt to spot the next inbound #38 Geary.

You can tell when things get bad at a MUNI stop when people just plop themselves down out on the street on the stop itself.

Is Geary a “livable street?” I have no idea. And actually, it doesn’t matter if this is how the SFMTA does its primary function. Should SFMTA directors be boasting about their junkets to “other cities across the globe?” I don’t think so. Hey, it’s headshot day! Hold it, hold it, hold it, say “cheese!” Snap.

Would SF be better off without the relatively inconsequential “Sunday Streets” program if it could get a functional MUNI in exchange?

I think so.

Would SF be better off without Cheryl Brinkman on the SFMTA board?

As Gil Penalosa*  said, some of the men out there on bikes ride as if they have no family that loves them and no one that they love.

I think so.

Here’s another example, from 2012:

SFMTA director Cheryl Brinkman said that she supported the proposal because she has been considering the reverse situation. “How would we defend making parking free on Sundays if we’ve been paying all these years?” she asked rhetorically.

OK fine, but then in 2014 she voted to make parking free on Sundays. Oh well.

And is this true? I don’t know:

Mayor Ed Lee apparently has no concern over conflicts of interests where Ms. Brinkman is concerned. Her husband’s company benefits directly from the North Beach tunnel project, and she has economic ties to the SFTMA and the SF Bicycle Coalition and the other “non-profits”  that profit from the city’s many contracts from  managing housing to  street calming and car sharing.

In any event, the Directors of the SFMTA don’t seem to be concerned at all about making MUNI work better using the money we already give them. The SFMTA doesn’t need more money, the SFMTA needs to manage the money we give it more better. IMO.

*Who?

A Plea from “NoPa Neighbors” to “Protect” a Solitary 21 Hayes Bus Stop from Being Used by Too Many People

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

[UPDATE: Oh, here you go, NIMBYs:

"Carli Paine, an SFMTA transportation manager, said about 80 percent of shuttles using Muni stops take passengers to destinations within San Francisco, while the other 20 percent take passengers to destinations outside the city."

So I don't know what that means for this particular stop - it could be that only one entity wants to use it. So it could be 100% intra-city, who knows. Oh, what's that, NIMBY. You're still upset? You're all offer me solutions, offer me alternatives, and I decline? OK fine. Have it your way. But keep in mind that most of your "neighbors" aren't up in arms over this issue, most of your "neighbors" disagree with you. And in any event, August 1st, 2014 will not be the End Of The World As We Know It. You'll feel fine.]

Here’s a direct mail campaign to “save” the SFMTA MUNI DPT bus stop at Hayes and Clayton.

It comes from somebody who has a lot of energy to post and mail flyers, but this effort is coming waaaaay too late in the process.

Now I’m probably a little too close to this issue myself, but I’ll point out that UCSF employees could be the biggest beneficiaries of having the corner of Hayes and Clayton included as inbound and outbound stops during the trial. And I’ll note that UCSF simply gives money to the SFMTA by, among other things, using the bus stops of the 21 Hayes for public relations advertising. And actually, there are so many UCSF shuttles on Fell and Oak that the unneighborly “neighbors” of NoPA probably don’t even notice them any more.

In any event, it’s a free country so you’re free to mail anybody anything.

And I’ll say that it would be nice if our slow and expensive MUNI system would itself use these bus stops more often. (And the 21 Hayes, in particular, still has too many stops.)

Reader Note: If you can’t read the above, I took another shot and posted it below. One photo used a smaller lens and the other one, well, it has focus issues owing to the bent paper, oh well. And I amazed by how different the yellow-y colors look using auto white balance from two different cams, oh well.

Lisa: I’d like 25 copies on Goldenrod.

Clerk: Right.

Lisa: 25 on Canary.

Clerk: Mmhmm.

Lisa: 25 on Saffron.

Clerk: All right.

Lisa: And 25 on Paella.

Clerk: Ok, 100 yellow.

Questioning the Wisdom of Adding “Pedestrian Islands” to the Middle of the Street, as Here on McAllister in The Projects

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

See this pedestrian island smack dab in the middle of McAllister at what remains of Octavia?

It didn’t used to be there. Oh, here we go:

Pedestrian islands provide a raised refuge area in the middle of the street for crossing pedestrians.”

Click to expand

So what this does is bottleneck McAllister traffic by not letting bikes and vehicles easily pass through the Octavia “intersection” at the same time.

I cry foul. IMO, this isn’t good design for pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers, bus drivers or firetruck drivers.

So what is this island good for – satisfying the ideological requirements of the sainted SFMTA?

Apparently.

But be my guest, go out there and take a look and see how traffic flows at this particular intersection, say around 5 PM during the evening drive.

Be my guest.

The New MUNI T-Shirt’s Here! The New MUNI T-Shirt’s Here! – Things Are Going To Start Happening To Me Now

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Redolent of The New Phone Book’s Here, the new MUNI T-shirt‘s here.

See?

Click to expand

By “new” I mean new to me, as they’ve been out for a while now.

Have I mentioned yet that MUNI sucks? Forgive me.*

Bonus: Also included in the delivery was a limited edition of SIDE WALKS:

“The San Francisco Museum at the Mint in collaboration with the North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District presents “Neighbors,” fifty environmental portraits by Troy Holden as a photographic essay of the Tenderloin, South of Market, and Mid-Market neighborhoods. “Side Walks” is a collection of photographs made in downtown San Francisco by Bay Area photographers Chris Beale, Brian Reynaldo Cayetano Jr., Brandon Doran, Troy Holden, David Root and Oscar Santos.”

All the deets:

Side Walks” and “Neighbors”: Show is open through Aug. 17; reception (free admission) 6-9 p.m. next Thursday. 1-4 p.m. Sundays. $10. San Francisco Museum at the Mint, 88 Fifth St., S.F. (415) 537-1105. www.sfhistory.orgTo watch a short video go to: http://bit.ly/1ovCiGD.

See you there!

*IMO, it’s important to point out that “MUNI Sucks” (or something similar, you know, something pithy) right at the beginning whenever the SFMTA or MUNI is the topic at hand. Acknowledging this fact from the get-go tends to make the ensuing conversation more productive. Of course, the SFMTA won’t ever shower you with taxpayer money if you even just once point out that MUNI sucks, but at least you’ll avoid being like these people:

“…lately. seriously, we haven’t received many (if any) “muni sucks/fuck muni” posts or emails…”

Now if you really want to cheer lead for MUNI, make sure you’re getting a $200,000 annual pay package first – that’s the way you do it.

OMG, It’s Carmageddon! Forget About Parking In Front of Your House Anymore If the SFMTA’s “Car Share Vehicle” Program Comes to Your Block

Monday, June 30th, 2014

It’s a mere formality now, this plan from July 11th, 2014 to give a metric ton of street parking spaces over to ZipCar and the like.

Here’s where some public parking spaces will soon be privatized

Click to expand

Hey look, even spaces on the side of the block where I live.

Like, I don’t care, but man the NIMBY’s are not going to be happy with this, NOT ONE BIT! If the spaces get used too much, it’ll piss off the NIMBYs. But if the spaces get used not that much, it will also piss off the NIMBYs.

What’s next, spaces reserved for Avis and Hertz cars? Perhaps. Why not?

If you stop in one of these spaces in your private car, you risk a ticket. If you go and actually park in one of these spaces, you know, like you’ve been doing the past two decades, well, you’re going to get towed, with extreme prejudice. And that will run you $500-$1000. So, respect!

As with every other program SFGov does, some of us will win and some of us will lose.

Oh well.

Oh, hey, what about street cleaning? Is ZipCar going to get a pass on this or will they send somebody out to move the cars for two hours (ala Kramer in Seinfeld) or will something else occur? I know not.

[UPDATE: Oh, here we go:

"Anytime we change [Jay Primus means take away when he says change but oh well] parking, there is opposition,” he said. “The challenge for the MTA and the car-sharing [he means car rental, cause you know they are rental car cos.] companies is to get awareness of the benefits of car sharing. Academic research shows that … [yada yada yada.] But we know that communicating that will be a challenge.”

Oh Jay Primus, you are a Golden God! But we, the unwashed masses are so, so ignorant! Oh Dr. Primus, please make us “aware.” Oh Dr. Primus, please educate us! And keep up the great work with MUNI – no changes please, it’s already perfect!]

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Tells “Monkey Parking” to Drop Mobile App for Auctioning City Parking Spots – $300 Fines?

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

[UPDATE: SFist (lots of comments already), Slate, and the San Francisco Chronicle are on the case.]

Gotta say I sort of saw this one coming.

And it’s not just Monkey Parking that’s in trouble today. Check out the craigslist ad from ParkModo (cached website) (@ParkModo – no Tweets yet, or maybe they were deleted?), posted on June 17th, 2014:

Earn $13.00 P/H Just To Park! (mission district)

Our company is launching an awesome app that rewards people to sell their on-street parking spots before leaving to people who need a spot.

To help us promote the app, we are looking for 20 people with cars and iPhones to park around the mission and use the app to offer their parking spots to people looking for parking.

The hours will be from 5:30-9:00 pm Thurs-Sat starting June 26th.

This is how it works:

1. You download the app from the app store.
2. When you want to work, you will contact our field manager to check in.
3. The field manager will then instruct you as to what area and type of spot you are to park in.
4. You will then find a spot in the area and park.
5. Once you are parked, using the app, you will offer the spot for sale. 
6. While you are waiting for someone to purchase the space, you will distribute postcards and promote the app.
7. Once someone purchases the spot, you will complete the transaction with the buyer and then find another space to park in and start the process all over again!

If you are interested, please click on the link below (Paste into your browser) and provide your information so we can contact you and get you started.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1To5Ck5FrPBMrh35SvJp-WDRg0WDyaLLyuo1_MS8pyV8/viewform?usp=send_form

We look forward to working with you!”

I think ParkModo’s operations will now be on hold, for a little bit at least. But do you want some more from them? See below.

Now, all the deets about all these troubled businesses, from Herrera’s office:

“Herrera tells Monkey Parking to drop mobile app for auctioning city parking spots

Motorists face $300 fines for each violation under existing law, City Attorney says — and three startups could be liable for penalties of up to $2,500 for each transaction

SAN FRANCISCO (June 23, 2014) — San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera today issued an immediate cease-and-desist demand to Monkey Parking, a mobile peer-to-peer bidding app that enables motorists to auction off the public parking spaces their vehicles occupy to nearby drivers.   The app, currently available for iOS devices, describes itself on the Apple iTunes App Store as the “the first app which lets you make money every time that you are about to leave your on-street parking spot.”

The letter Herrera’s office issued this morning to Paolo Dobrowolny, CEO of the Rome, Italy-based tech startup, cites a key provision of San Francisco’s Police Code that specifically prohibits individuals and companies from buying, selling or leasing public on-street parking.  Police Code section 63(c) further provides that scofflaws — including drivers who “enter into a lease, rental agreement or contract of any kind” for public parking spots — face administrative penalties of up to $300 for each violation.  Because Monkey Parking’s business model is wholly premised on illegal transactions, the letter contends that the company would be subject to civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation under California’s tough Unfair Competition Law were the city to sue.  Such a lawsuit would be imminent, Herrera’s office vowed, should the startup continue to operate in San Francisco past July 11, 2014.

Technology has given rise to many laudable innovations in how we live and work — and Monkey Parking is not one of them,” Herrera said.  “It’s illegal, it puts drivers on the hook for $300 fines, and it creates a predatory private market for public parking spaces that San Franciscans will not tolerate.  Worst of all, it encourages drivers to use their mobile devices unsafely — to engage in online bidding wars while driving.  People are free to rent out their own private driveways and garage spaces should they choose to do so.  But we will not abide businesses that hold hostage on-street public parking spots for their own private profit.”

Herrera’s cease-and-desist demand to Monkey Parking includes a request to the legal department of Apple Inc., which is copied on the letter, asking that the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant immediately remove the mobile application from its App Store for violating several of the company’s own guidelines.  Apple App Store Review Guidelines provide that “Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users” and that “Apps whose use may result in physical harm may be rejected.”

Two other startups that similarly violate local and state law with mobile app-enabled schemes intended to illegally monetize public parking spaces in San Francisco will also face legal action in the form of cease-and-desist demands this week, according to the City Attorney’s Office.  Sweetch charges a $5 flat fee when its users obtain a parking spot from another Sweetch motorist.  Sweetch drivers who pass their spots off to other Sweetch members are refunded $4 of that fee.  ParkModo, which appears poised to launch later this week, according to recent employment postings on Craigslist, will employ drivers at a rate of $13.00 per hour to occupy public parking spaces in the Mission District.  As with Monkey Parking and Sweetch, ParkModo then plans to sell the on-street parking spots to its paying members through its iPhone app.  Sweetch and ParkModo members who make use of the apps to park in San Francisco are also subject to civil penalties of $300 per violation, and both companies are potentially liable for civil penalties of $2,500 per transaction for illegal business practices under the Cali04fornia Unfair Competition Law.

A copy of Herrera’s demand letter to Monkey Parking and additional information about the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office is available at: http://www.sfcityattorney.org/.”

And here’s a little more from ParkModo:

“We are currently rolling out the beta in the following cities…

San Francisco – As beautiful as city it is, parking is just as bad! Not only is there way to much demand for the supply, but the parking police will catch you if they can! Be among the first 1000 people to download the app and get $5 in free parking!

New York – Instead of calling it the city that never sleeps, they should call it the city that never has parking! Get in on ParkModo and earn some serious cash and stop wasting your time. We know every minute in ny is precious.

Chicago – There may be wind here, but there is certainly no parking! Use ParkModo and fly like the wind when you need a space!”

A $23 Cap on Parking Tickets? Could San Francisco Survive Something Like the “Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative”

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Read the news and turn the pages, from the LA TImes:

“The Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative wants to cap fines at $23 for violations that don’t affect public safety.”

Mmmm…

[CALL:] Hey, could an initiative like this pass in San Francisco County?

[RESPONSE:] Hell to the yes.

Could the SFMTA handle the loss of revenue?

I suppose. But it would turn a solid money-maker – paying well-compensated PCO’s to run around all over the city – into a decided money-loser.

Mmmmm…

Advertising Your Business by Making Your Handbills Look Like Parking Tickets and Then Putting them on Car Windshields

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Right under the windshield wipers, thusly – as seen on Fell Street:

Click to expand

This is an oldie but a goodie, a time-honored technique.

I cry foul.