Posts Tagged ‘Merchants’

Oh, I Guess the Hated / Beloved Pedestrian Bridge over Geary at Webster is Going to Stay After All? – Geary BRT Update

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Look at all this stuff our SFCTA was going to do:

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Note “Roadway redesign – mid 2016”

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Well guess what – the SFCTA / SFMTA recently caved, so the Bridge Over The River Geary will remain at Webster.

So all these meetings were a big success, or a huge failure for the SFCTA, depending on how you look at it.

And look at all the Haterade that the SFCTA poured over the pedestrian bridges of Geary – and this is just 20% of the references made:

In the Japantown and Fillmore areas, there are closed crosswalks and circuitous pedestrian bridges that are not compliant with accessibility standards for people with disabilities.

In the Japantown area, as depicted in Figure 1-6, some aspects that discourage pedestrian movement and activity include narrow medians and circuitous pedestrian bridges that intimidate some and are not compliant with accessibility standards for people with disabilities.

Spanning Geary Boulevard are two pedestrian bridges at the Webster Street and Steiner Street intersections, where closed crosswalks limit pedestrians‟ ability to cross Geary Boulevard at ground level. These overcrossings are several decades old and, although they provide separation from traffic, are often perceived as an inconvenient way of crossing Geary Boulevard due to the long and indirect ramps, change in elevation required, and some users‟ sense of insecurity. Additionally, the pedestrian overcrossings are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), hindering the mobility of people with disabilities.

Pedestrian bridges at Steiner Street and Webster Street: These two pedestrian overcrossings would be removed, to eliminate conflicts between these structures‟ piers and the proposed bus lanes, as well as to provide new pedestrian crossings at street grade.

Two pedestrian bridges span Geary Boulevard at the Webster Street and Steiner Street intersections. The grade-separated walkways allow pedestrians to cross over Geary Boulevard. These overcrossings are several decades old and are perceived as an inconvenient way of crossing due to the long and indirect ramps, change in elevation required, and some users’ sense of insecurity. Additionally, the pedestrian overcrossings are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) due to their average inclines exceeding the ADA standard of a five percent maximum grade (i.e. a slope increasing in elevation by five feet for every 100 feet in length), which makes wheelchair crossings difficult.

Like I said, this is just 20% of the vitriol our SFCTA spewed upon these two bridges in just one document. I get the feeling these SFCTA people would say just about anything to get nine figures from the Feds. I mean if the Feds would give the SFCTA $100,000,000 to recommend keeping everything on Geary EXACTLY THE SAME FOR THE NEXT TEN YEARS, then I’ll bet the we would have gotten a document what extols the virtues of these bridges.

Anyway, the Webster bridge is staying, that’s the news.

It’s Official: San Francisco’s Recent Super Bowl 50 Corporate Party for the NFL was a “SUPER BUST,” per Our Castro Merchants and Others

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Well, here’s my memory of SFGov’s recent free-to-the-NFL hosting of Super Bowl L:


(I think this one is from shanand.)

But the grown-up rich kids running our local “Host Committee” (who of course don’t want to reimburse SFGov) think everything went so great for us that we’ll be ready to do this whole thing over again as soon as five years from now – Super Bowl LV let’s say.

But we haven’t even cleaned up all the garbage yet, and we haven’t had time to add up all our losses.

Oh well.

Oh look, our Castro merchants are now weighing in on what they’re calling Super Bust 50.” See?

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“As the Super Let Down after Super Bowl 50 starts to fade, let’s remember who is going to end up paying the biggest price for Santa Clara hosting this huge sporting event – – we are: local merchants, especially in The Castro.  But, we are not alone, we hear, as local merchant associations all over San Francisco report down, soft revenues during SB50.  From all over The Castro and Upper Market neighborhood, I’ve heard from fellow merchants.  The nine days of official SB50 events in the City ballooned, for us, into over three weeks of SB50-related interruptions.  Customer traffic (locals and visitors alike) and revenues were some of their slowest on record during what had been promised as a “busy time.”   Nightmare predictions of over-crowded streets and traffic jams kept Bay Area local folks out of San Francisco.  Running “Bustitues” instead of the F Line historic streetcars between The Castro and Ferry Building for over three weeks further hurt our area’s local and visitor traffic and revenues.”

Read all about it at our Market Street Railway.

I’ll tell you, I was in the office one time when a Marin County realtor* tried to screw over an Area Attorney by trying tack on about $3000 to the attorney’s own executed deal for him to buy a house. The realtor was like, “Well, it loks like you don’t want this deal then, Sir.”

This was his reaction:

“I’m going to sue you. I’m going to sue your supervising broker. I’m going to sue your brokerage. I’m going to sue…”

And then, magically, poof, all the supposed necessary fees went away. This is how an attorney represents an attorney’s own personal interests.

Now, do I think that the attorneys who negotiated this lousy deal between SFGov and the NFL represented We The People the way they represent themselves when, say they buy a house for themselves? No, not at all. They view this corporate party as a way to please certain parties and as a way to have fun and excitement themselves, a way to show that our not so large city is actually in fact “world-class” and a way to compensate themselves for all the stress and strain involved with putting up with us, Us The People.

Oh well.

Oh hey, is our hotel tax a one-for-one substitute for our SB50-reduced sales tax revenue for our suffering Castro merchants and others? NOT AT ALL! Take a look at where the revenue goes – some of it gets siphoned off, instead of going to run SFGov / pay our unfunded pension liabilities etc.

Oh well

At least we’re not going to get the Olympics…

*Always lower-case. This is the only entry in my stylebook.

Apparently, People Use the Pedestrian Bridges Over Geary Quite a Bit – A Newsflash for our SFMTA SFCTA Alphabet Soup

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Just saying

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I don’t know if it was such a great idea to build these bridges and I also don’t know if it’s such a great idea to spend big big bucks to tear them down…

SFCTA Confirms Public Comment Cards for Geary BRT Stolen – But Some Returned “Anonymously” – Comment Deadline Extended

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Here’s the latest on this issue, from the SFCTA, below.

If our SFCTA wanted to handle this issue with the least possible effort, then I give it an A+, or a passing grade if we’re grading pass/fail. Another approach would have been to notice another meeting and yada yada.

This project has been on the radar for a long, long time, but I never really paid attention to it until the pedestrian bridges issue came up. If the SFCTA were a person and we took what it said seriously, I’d tell you that our SFCTA is in deep denial on this bridges issue.

(And how much would a BART spur under Geary end up costing, like a billion dollars a mile, like our already-failed Central Subway? Is something like this unreachable pie in the sky? IDK.)

Anyway, here it is:

“To the Participants at the Geary Bus Rapid Transit Project’s November 5, 2015, public comment meeting:
Thank you very much for the time you spent coming to the meeting to learn about the project and for submitting comments on the Draft Environmental Document. Your input is important and appreciated.
Unfortunately, we wish to provide notice that during the meeting, at approximately 7:10 p.m., sign-in sheets with your personal contact information and a few completed comment cards were stolen, at least some of which were later returned by mail anonymously. We sincerely apologize for this incident and have contacted the police about it.
We take your privacy seriously. When we share publicly the comments submitted to us by community members, our policy is to remove any personal contact information. We do not share any personal contact information with third parties, nor do we condone the use of stolen contact information by others. Please let us know if you receive any suspicious communications from anyone who would not normally have access to your phone number or email address. It may help with the investigation of this incident.
Third, in response to these extenuating circumstances, we are extending the public comment period until November 30, 2015, and we encourage you to contact us if you submitted a comment card at the public meeting before 7:10 p.m. and are concerned about whether we received it.
Feel free to contact us to verify your comment’s receipt, or simply submit another comment, via email at

Here’s One of the Pedestrian Bridges that Our SFCTA Now Despises – 99% of Us Can Use It, Of course

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Here you go, click here and then Control-F for the phrase pedestrian bridge – 26 mentions you will find.

Can you see anything positive at all mentioned about the bridges of J-Town? Perhaps our SFCTA doesn’t think there are any? Or perhaps it thinks it’s writing an advocacy document and so it feels free to lie? IDK.

There were about a dozen people on the bridge when this photo was taken – they’re hard to spot:

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And if these bridges aren’t up to standards, well, then why hasn’t anybody sued us over accessibility? Perhaps they are up to standards?


Oh well.

Our SFCTA SFMTA Tries to Impress the Feds But Loses Box of Public Comment Cards? – Geary BRT – 75 Million Smackers

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Is this the box what got swiped from the basement of St. Mary’s the other day?

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I think it is!

(That’s what some railfan/urbanist/Googler told me, and this particular demographic has ne’er lied to me yet.)

And what’s that, the whole point of this meeting was primarily to be able to tell the FTA that we had a meeting so give us some money money money?

“As the San Francisco Examiner reported, Geary BRT is jockeying for a $75 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Small Starts fund, which may be awarded after public input is taken on the draft environmental impact report.”

And this drive for money is what fuels the SFMTA’s rabid hatred of the pedestrian bridges in the Japantown area on Geary?

Oh, I see!

Gentle Reader, check out any EIR, draft or whatever, then control-F for “pedestrian bridge” and then brace for the haterade. Shouldn’t an EIR, draft or whatever, outline the pros and cons of destroying the ped bridges? And hey, does the SFCTA want to tear down all structures in town what aren’t 100% ADA compliant right now? Oh, no, just these bridges?

(I should say that the SFCTA is already on secret double probation for the disastrous Central Subway and the failing T-Third, among other crimes and misdemeanors.)

On It Goes.

Will the Geary BRT be a good thing? IDK. But certainly, the honest answer to this question won’t come from our SFCTA. (Perhaps we should pay them $75 million to recommend doing nothing and then we’d be better off, IDK. )

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Latest SFCTA SFMTA Public Meeting Promoting the #38 Geary BRT a Kind of Fiasco – Ped Bridges in Japantown in Peril

Friday, November 6th, 2015

1. Will the Geary BRT end up being a good thing? IDK.

2. Will the Geary Merchants Association ever accept it? No, definitely not.

3. Will our transit overlords figure out a way to placate Japantown, which is up in arms over the pending destruction of the pedestrian bridges connecting the north side with the south side? Probably, but I don’t know how they’re going to do it.

Here’s some video of Geary merchant David Heller berating said transit overlords, with county worker Peter Lauterborn playing the role Dr. Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park:

How many Seinfeld-ian moments did I see last night afore I left? A whole bunch.

Oh, and some monkey wrencher(s) stole the registration sign in sheets and some filled-out comment cards? Whoops. Is this kind of thing akin to Target getting hacked and having your email address spread about? Sort of.

On It Goes…

Selling the Richmond District, Alliteratively! – “Enjoy Our Parks & Piroshki & Biking & Bagels & Beaches & Burgers…”

Friday, September 11th, 2015

Here you go:

An Invest in Neighborhoods grant was awarded to Richmond District YMCA and Geary Merchants Association to install banners along the corridor.”

I don’t know, perhaps I didn’t come across all of these banners, but this version of our Richmond District seems like sunny Santa Monica with a schmear of Caucasian emigres thrown in:

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What is SFGov funding here, a nostalgia trip for the Wizened & White, the Millionaires & Merchants of Geary Blvd?

Could be…

These banners remind me of this effort in North Beach back in The Aughts

I mean, are we talking about the Richmond District of 2015, or of 1915?

(And “burgers,” what? I can think of exactly one burger place in the Richmond District what has more than 3.5 Yelp stars and it is in no way a destination restaurant.)

Tell me, Gentle Reader, what have I missed?

I’ll leave you with this, a neutral snapshot of the Richmond IRL, a perspective NOT funded by SFGov:

The Richmond District is a neighborhood in the northwest corner of San Francisco, California, developed initially in the late 19th century. It is sandwiched between Presidio of San Francisco (north) and Golden Gate Park (south). It is sometimes confused with Richmond, a city 20 miles (32 km) north of San Francisco. With the Pacific Ocean on its west, the Richmond is known for its foggy weather and colder climate due to the wind chills blowing from the ocean. It is also home to a vast affluent Chinese population and its commercial strips on Geary Blvd. and Clement Street are commonly referred to as the second Chinatown and boasts more highly rated Chinese restaurants than Chinatown itself. The Richmond also has deep Irish and Russian roots and has many Catholic and Orthodox churches.”

Christmas on Sixth Street! At Long Last, Our City Family Puts Up Lighted Snowflakes from Lower Market to Mid-Market

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

This is unprecedented.

This is the City Family extending the Market Street lighted Christmas snowflake zone all the way to Mid-Market.


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They used to stop at 5th Street, but now they don’t – they go farther this year.


Won’t this please our corporate overlords at Twitter? (Probably not, but, you know, can’t hurt to try.)

All right, come to the annual lighting ceremony with the Mayor this Thursday evening, if you want:

“Snowflakes on Market – Lighting Ceremony
Nov. 17, 2011 through mid-January 2012

More than 140 five-foot-wide energy-saving LED illuminated snowflakes will decorate Market Street’s signature “Path of Gold” light poles this winter from Second to Sixth streets. A lighting ceremony, featuring dancers from the San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker, is scheduled for Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. near the cable car turnaround at Powell and Market streets. The event is free and open to the public. For information, visit

It will go a little something like this, probably.

Dixitque Gavin fiat lux, et facta est lux:

Those are Nutcracker-starring “Snowflakes” from the San Francisco Ballet. (The run starts up again December 9th this year.) Jessica Carter is the snowflake in the middle, so I’m told.

Happy Holidays!

One-Way Blocks of Hayes and Fell Street in Hayes Valley To Go Two-Way? SFMTA Holds a Public Hearing Friday

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

The NIMBYs and small-time millionaire bidness owners of Hayes Valley don’t want you Sunset District-living Chinese-Americans driving your Toyotas through Hayes Valley when you head home from SoMA.


So, why not take out lanes, put up No Left and No Right signs and do whatever else they can to prevent west-bound traffic using Hayes to get to Fell, aka The Panhandle Freeway? See below for the deets.

Oh, and speaking of Fell, well, the Hayes Valley Merchants Association doesn’t want you using a few short blocks to jink from eastbound Oak to 10th Street southbound and the freeways beyond neither. They want you using hopelessly-clogged Octavia instead. (Hey, who thunk up our disastrous Octavia Boulevard “Boulevard-Movement” experiment, anyway?)

Look at all these trees proposed for Hayes Street – how many of them are useful fake cell-phone-antenna trees? Probably zero.

Don’t even try it, Sunset denizens. All the outreach meetings are over and done with, and you weren’t invited. You are not a stakeholder. You are the Yellow Horde from the West. So, shut up, pay your taxes and deal. Whether you like it or not.

And who knows, maybe someday the SFMTA will come on up to like 32nd and Lawton or someplace way out there and then outreach you about how tout le monde should pay for your neighborhood improvement project.

Just give it a few decades…

“Director of Transportation Engineering – Sustainable Streets Division will hold a public hearing on Friday, January 21, 2011, at10:00 AM, in Room 416 (Hearing Room 4), City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, SanFrancisco, CA  94102, to consider the following proposals:

Hayes Street Two-Way Proposal


Hayes Street, between Van Ness Avenue and Gough Street (currently one-way westbound)


Hayes Street, eastbound at Van Ness Avenue


Hayes Street, westbound at Gough Street



Hayes Street, westbound at Van Ness Avenue


Hayes Street, eastbound at Franklin Street


Hayes Street, south side, between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street

Hayes Street, north side, between Polk Street and Van Ness Avenue




Hayes Street, north side, between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street


Hayes Street, south side, between Market Street and Polk Street


Hayes Street, north side, from Franklin Street to 64 feet westerly


9th Street, west side, between Market and Howard Streets

Fell Street Two-Way Proposal


Fell Street, between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street (currently one-way eastbound)


Fell Street, south side, between Franklin Street and Van Ness Avenue


Van Ness Avenue, northbound, at Fell Street


Fell Street, north side, from Franklin Street to 90 feet easterly

Fell Street, south side, from Franklin Street to 50 feet easterly


Fell Street, both sides, from Van Ness Avenue to 20 feet westerly

The above items have received environmental clearance from the San Francisco Planning Department through an Addendum to Environmental Impact Report dated December 16, 2010, for Project Title 2003.0347E – Market and Octavia Neighborhood Plan; Hayes & Fell Two-Way.