Posts Tagged ‘Mayor’

Germinator 2: Judgment Day – Interim Mayor Ed Lee Wants to Kill All These Street Trees on Masonic – Public Protests April 27th

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

At first the notices were white.

The Public protested the white notices, so now the follow-up notices are here. They’re yellow:

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One assumes that tree lovers will show up at this DPW meeting on April 27th and DPW will (sort of) listen to them for two minutes each and then most of the hundreds of sidewalk trees on this 3000-foot stretch of Masonic Avenue will get chipped later on this year.

One assumes.

Smashy Smashy: Broken Window Glass All Over the Western Addition These Days – Interim Mayor Ed Lee Indifferent, Ineffective

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Can you see it?

Look and you’ll see:

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Interim Mayor Ed Lee doesn’t know.

Interim Mayor Ed Lee doesn’t care.

Ironically, SFGov Plans to Remove This Actual Urban Tree Canopy from Masonic and Geary – Aesthetics vs. Safety, Again

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Now I say ironically because it’s standard practice for our local pols to talk about San Francisco’s “urban canopy” as if we were close to having one already IRL.

But here’s an actual canopy, on Masonic near Geary, that’s doomed for the chipper because of some bogus art project called “Points of Departure.”

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One supposes it’ll be a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine of the big new federally-funded, state-funded “Streetscape” / pork-barrel project go down? (Our SFMTA is working, slowly but surely, on this gig what has turned out to be less “shovel-ready” than advertised…)

One local, beloved blogger has gone as far as calling this slow-motion disaster Arbor-Geddon 2015.

Now here’s a little history about how SFGov works, courtesy of San Francisco Mayor (1996-present) / local lobbyist Willie Brown:

“I wanted the trees gone, but knew I’d face stiff resistance both from homeless advocates and tree supporters. We brought in a tree expert and wouldn’t you know it, some of the trees had a blight. I issued an emergency order, and that night park workers moved in and dug up and bagged the trees. By the time the TV cameras arrived the next morning the trees were on their way to a tree hospital, never to return. So bless me, father, for I too have sinned. I just did it before everyone had a cell phone camera.”

Delightful story, Willie. Simply delightful.

Anyway, kiss this small grove, improbably near a big #38 MUNI stop, good-bye.

Brutal: Membership in the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is Down More Than 20% the Past Couple Years – Actual Numbers Here

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

[This blog isn’t about me, Gentle Reader, and it might not look it, but I have more hours, miles, years, decades, whatever on a bike on the Streets of San Francisco than anybody at the SFBC, which is practically an arm of SFGov these days, relying on the gov’mint for hundreds of thousands of dollars each year and, in return, endorsing Ed Lee for Mayor without, of course, having a vote from its Members. Speaking of which…]

Oh, wow, Man. I knew that membership was down big-time at the SFBC, but hadn’t realized it had fallen to 9315.* Now let’s hear from SFBC member Edward Hasbrouck:

“Did you know that the membership of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has fallen by more than 20 percent in the last two years? The cover of the Winter 2013 “Tube Times” had the tagline “12,000 members strong.” By November 2014, there were only 9,315 members on our rolls! Why has our membership gone down? Why so dramatically? And why now?”

Well I’ll field that one. The SFBC lost its discount at Rainbow Grocery – that was huge.

And here’s another stab at it:

“Looks like a large decline in membership. I was a member for only one year, back when Ms. Shahum was always boasting about 12,000 members. I let my membership lapse because I concluded that the SFBC was a faith-based evangelical mission more concerned with people who don’t (yet) ride bikes** than people like my friends and me who ride thousands of miles every year.”

The SFBC doesn’t want to lose influence with SFGov, so it wants to hide this embarrassing decline, simply.

(Hey, has the SFBC endorsed Ed Lee for Mayor again this year? IDK. Perhaps the Board enjoys real estate inflation, the way most of its Members do not…)

OK, have at it, it’s all there, after the jump.

*The SFBC switched accountants and tax strategies changed at the SFBC, so it’s difficult to divine the drop of the number of SFBC Members by looking at what’s available online. Oh, and that was before the SFBC decided to hide a lot of information that had previously been freely posted online. Also, you don’t know if they’ve filed amended returns or how the IRS has reacted to the newer approach. This a touchy issue for the SFBC, needless to say.

**Indeed. For ex, the SFBC considers getting faster riders to stop using the estern end of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park a kind of victory. 

(more…)

So Sure, the SFMTA Regulates Corporate Buses, But What About the “Staging” Problem – Where Should They Park in SF When Idling?

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

This was the problem a few weeks back, when Facebook buses would “stage” on Masonic by double-parking in the slow lane.

Staging means buses sitting and waiting for the next run to start. (It’s a necessary part of running a reliable “transit” system.)

But where to stage has pretty much been left out of the SFMTA’s vaunted 18-month corporate bus stop “trial” – it’s pretty much up to the drivers / on-scene dispatchers on where to park buses for breaks / waiting time. (Contrast that with when are where the buses pick up workers – that’s highly regulated now.)

Oh look, here’s some staging as it’s currently practiced, by a non-Facebook* bus:

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This is Fell in the 94117. This is a great place to stage for like 15-20 minutes, cause cars have cleared out for the SFMTA’s weekly unnecessary $treet $weeping program. If the meter maids come, the driver will simply move along, plus s/he isn’t blocking any driveways. This is a great place to stage, but only on Tuesday mornings. Where do drivers stage on other days? I know not.

Here you go, a Google contractor bus chilling out by the infamous Fell Street DMV. The next day at the same time, it will be at another place:

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I’ll tell you, the Teamsters** who make the buses run on time are at their wits’ end trying to find places to stage without blocking traffic or pissing off residents.

ATTENTION MEDIA: This issue is a STORY.

Anywho, the particular problem on Masonic involving FB got solved in about 30 hours last week. Due to a lengthy construction project at Fell and Masonic, the slow lane of Masonic southbound was blocked, like for months. So the Teamsters made that lane their staging place and nobody complained. But when construction ended and the lane was no longer blocked by sawhorses and whatnot, they didn’t adapt the way they should have. Only after having this issue pointed out to them did they adapt. And to their credit, the Facebook bus operators cleared out tout de suite – they’ve found other places to stage in a matter of hours and they haven’t come back.***

And here’s the result, the return of native species to the area. Here’s a #43 Masonic cruising through the #3 lane, exactly where the FB buses have been blocking MUNI and everybody else for months:

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File this small issue in the RESOLVED file.

Ey yo the government is lies, son
United States of Google, Verizon
They all spies son,
I’m Pisces, risin’

And you ain’t Hoover, you suck like James Dyson
Google the devil but I feel lucky
Extreme Home Make-Over couldn’t touch me
Backyards, kittens, puppies, 401k’s, libels, yuppies
Yeeah, I’m talkin’ bout wine drinkers
Bald-head men, Klux Klan
swine-thinkers

*Is is a Loop Transport or a WEDRIVEU, or an SFO Airporter bus? That doesn’t matter. IRL, this particular one is a Google bus.

**Some of them aren’t Teamsters, not yet. 

***I’ll tell you, I was literally in the room when issues like these came up eight freaking years ago. The corporate reps seemed to know what they were doing. Somehow, things fell apart a few years back, IDK why. Millions of dollars donated to SFGov and the relatively recent hiring of insider Rebecca Prozan seem to have fixed things. JMO.

Cranelandia – How Much Money Does SF Mayor Wilie Brown Make Off Of Each One? – A Dozen Cranes from This View

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Start counting:

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La mise en scene from Mission looking south:

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Cranes = money, for certain people, right?

UPDATE: Facebook is Routinely Double-Parking Its Buses on Busy, Busy Masonic Avenue’s “NO STOPPING” Zone

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Get up to speed here.

And now for an update since that last post.

Here’s a 43 Masonic using the #3 southbound lane of Masonic to get from its Hayes stop to its Oak stop, with no interference from any Facebook double decker buses:

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But Here Comes The Zuck, down Fell, about to turn left to double park for ten minutes or so:

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With all the recent changes to our corporate bus bus routes, I thought that maybe this was a legit, SFMTA-approved staging area for the Facebook, but no, it’s still a NO STOPPING ZONE:

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Oh, here’s the next stop for the #43 – this is what Zuckerberg et al is blocking:

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Now it could be worse, of course, as a Teamster just told me on Friday. And I’ll concede that point. But we can’t just have FB contractors deciding on their own to double park on a bus line all the live long day.

The Teamsters, they covet a staging area in the 94117. They’ve already gotten kicked out of the other places they’ve tried. I’ve suggested the already-existing area on Fell near Alamo Square, the one that the tourist buses use. Just an idea.

Oh, here we go – sometimes the 43 needs to wait with the blinkers on, to beg drivers in lane #2 for, you know, a little help. Isn’t that sad? Anyway, our sad-sack SFMTA navigating around a company worth nine figures:

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Oh what’s that, really this bus is a WEDRIVEU or a Lux or a Loop Transportation and who the fuck knows who’s inside? Yeah, right. [Sarcasm.] MPK = Facebook, non?

I’ll tell you, I don’t know who is the Facebook analog for Google’s Rebecca Prozan* in the 415. If I did, I already would have contacted him/her. As it was, I simply shot a note to London Breed’s office.

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So yes, Facebook, I understand why you were able to get away with this for a while, owing to the fact that this lane was blocked already due to all the recent construction. But FB, you have no idea how much you stick out when you park on Masonic like this.

And yeah, the cops don’t care and no millionaire homeowners are around to complain at you, but this bus standing area will not stand.

*Appointed Mayor Ed Lee, who, really, is lucky to have his gig, and really, is nobody special, thinks he’s REALLY REALLY SPECIAL. So when the Googlers came to town to meet with him a few years back they’d say stuff like, oh, good idea Mr. Mayor – we’ll get back to you on that, that kind of thing. Well, our Dear Leader, who bruises easier than a Cavendish banana, hit the ceiling and ended up all sore, due to the fact that Google sent some, some underling up to Frisco, an underling who couldn’t make a deal with SFGov. Well, G learned its lesson after that – it hired Rebecca Prozan and it gave $6.8 million to the SFMTA and it did a host of other good deeds, you know, to ease the pain. Of course, G was stupid to allow its contractor drivers to make such a low hourly wage. Why? Because it invites the Teamsters to move on in, right? What G should have done was say to the bus contractors, OK, what’s your lowest bid assuming that you’re going to pay your drivers extra for split shifts and that you’re going to pay them, IDK $40 per hour, something like that. Now what’s happened is that the Teamsters are fully activated and a begrudging 20% pay bump to fight off further unionization, and more and more “work rules,” isn’t going to help, IMO. Google went hog-wild outfitting these buses, but it forgot about some pretty basic stuff. IMO. IMO, based upon observing this GBus program for the past nine years…

That Long Walk Home: What Happens After a Bike Thief Swipes Your Front Wheel in Ed Lee’s San Francisco

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

As seen in Mid-Market:

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Haunting Graffiti in the GGP Panhandle – Hey, How Many Gallons of Pure HETCH HETCHY Water Has SFGov EVER Recycled? Ever?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

This* is arresting:

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It’s at the famed half-million-dollar Honorable Gavin Christopher Newsom Toilet Building** in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle. (Learn about the building itself from SF Weekly’s Joe Eskenazi here – “Class For Your Ass.”)

Anyway, yes, our drinking water comes from the Yosemite area [Please see Comments for this correction], from a thousand li away. So, you’re oll korrect on that score, artiste de graffiti.

But IMO, the arrow points in the wrong direction. ‘Cause the Ladies Room doorway you can see there has toilets filled with the very same drinking water.

So yeah, SFPUC, the chairs you sit on up there above Civic Center are sustainable or whatever, and that, somehow, helped your new building become Platinum Leed certified or whatever, but what about your actual operations, man? Oh, you inherited a big chunk of flooded Yosemite and that’s the way you like it and you’ll fight to maintain your Way Of Life for as long as possible and that’s part of the reason why the “World Capital of Innovation” can’t worry about recycling any water at all? OK fine. Hey, SFGov, how about the water you spray on the street from the street sweepers? Oh, that’s drinking water so pure that you don’t need to filter it as well, huh? OK fine.

*Does the jogger have a white shirt with golden (red) hair or a blue shirt with black hair? Well, actually, my camera chose to give her white shirt a blue tinge, which I hastily fixed with one click. Anyway, when you do this kind of thing, everything in the background in direct sunlight goes to heck, but that’s white balance for you. In mitigation, the colors you see on the right side should be pretty much spot-on.

**IDK, that could be its name, who knows. Willie Brown will go to his grave having failed at having SFO and/or long long 3rd Street named after him, after decades of effort. (I think he eventually got an airport terminal or something.) But Gavin has a long road ahead of him afore the NAAWP or some other org will become the front organization for naming anything of significance after GCN.

MTB Legend Gary Fisher Calls for Ouster of Ed Lee – The Mayor’s Misstep on Polk Street – Small Biz vs. Big Urbanism

Friday, February 27th, 2015

[UPDATE: It begins. The lily-white urbanists vent against Asian-American optometrists on Yelp. JUST ONE STAR FOR YOU, DR HIURA! GOOD DAY TO YOU, SIR!]

Let’s see if I can pay off on the headline here.

Here’s MounTain Biking (MTB) legend Gary Fisher on appointed Mayor Ed Lee:

“OUT! This guy can not get away with this, are we this stupid?”

And here’s what GF was riffing on:

SFMTA Cuts Block of Polk Bike Lane Fought by Visionless Mayor’s Optometrist

Now mind you, this is from an “urbanism” advocacy outfit straight outta Park Slope, so I’m sort of wondering why the Mayor’s handlers even let him make off-the-cuff remarks on this topic. Here’s the offending graf, which one assumes is properly transcribed:

“I’ve heard from many different groups,” Lee told Streetsblog. “I know we want to make the streets safer, make it bike-friendly, small businesses don’t want to lose parking for their constituents… I can’t have a particular position on it except to endorse the most balanced approach that they have because there’s issues that should not be in conflict. We shouldn’t promote bicycle safety over pedestrian safety over cars and parking. I think they’re all going to be important.”

First of all, why would you even have your executive speaking directly with activists in the first place? It’s like sending President Nixon out to the Lincoln Memorial at 4:00 AM to talk with the hippies about the Vietnam War. Second of all, Ed Lee can’t even handle a little Question Time at the Board of Supervisors without having the questions submitted in advance and without having an underling type up a reply for him to read into the record, so why would you have him give the bad news to the activists themselves? The StreetsBlog isn’t an SFGov-funded non-profit like the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition or the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, right?

And Ed Lee thinks he’s playing it safe with all this talk of a “balanced” approach, but look at what he says – he’s literally saying, “We shouldn’t promote bicycle safety…” Now that sounds like a complete sentence if you quote only that part. But the Mayor’s talking about cyclist safety vs. ped safety, so I’m not sure what he’s talking about. I was thinking the design of the SFMTA-designed “bulbout” at the deadly southwest corner of 6th and Folsom could be an example of this, but I don’t think this was on Ed Lee’s mind. Frankly, I don’t know what the Heck he was talking about.

So all that leaves Mr. Mayor wide-open for castigation. I’m not sure how much pull any one particular optometrist has on the SFMTA (check out this doc – it’s amazing*), but this coincidence allows a reference to SF’s VisionZero 2024 to come into the headline. Ed Lee ends up seeming like an out-of-touch Mr. Magoo:

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I don’t know, if you’re pushing a “balanced” approach, but you don’t have an exec who can talk right, because he’s out of practice, because he was appointed to his position so he never really needed to get into practice, it seems foolish to afford advocacy journalists a chance at actual journalism.

But that’s what happened here, on the topic of Polk Street.

Wow.

*Wow, these people with bidnesses in Polk Gulch are mostly American millionaires, but look how they self-describe: 

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And what about the poor guy who can only describe himself as “European?” Poor little feller.

And I’ll tell you, I’m shocked at the amount of time SFMTA chief Ed Reiskin has spent on the back-and-forth about a single solitary block of SF when his primary mission should be sweating the details of getting MUNI up to par…