Posts Tagged ‘sfbc’

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:

Capturelkj copy

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: 

gffhgg

Click to expand

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…

Our San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Has Lost Thousands of Paid Members Lately

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

[UPDATE: I’ve omitted Stanley Roberts’ video from this post as I mistakenly thought it was new as of this week when in fact it was posted almost two years old now. My apologies, Stanley. As you can see, Mr. Roberts goes after everybody (including fake monks and nuns) and certain people at the SFBC have been irritated by that over the years.]

Our San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has lost thousands of paid members lately.

Now part of that’s due to “churn,” which is something that every organization has to deal with, but most of it has to do with behavior of the SFBC itself. I’ll tell you, I’ve been riding bikes around town longer than the current SFBC has existed – no, I’m not saying that I’ve been here since the “early 70’s,” I’m saying that the SFBC didn’t really exist in the 1980’s when I came to SF. I’m saying that before Critical Mass (and its predecessor, the “Commute Clot”), the SFBC didn’t really exist – they were nowhere, man. What _did_ exist, a little later on, was the car-centric Willie Brown Administration. And all those functionaries working for Willie Brown were trying to find some “bicycle people” to cut a deal with, to tame Critical Mass, to give grant money to. But no, all the Critical Mass leaders were saying stuff like, “Critical Mass doesn’t have leaders, Man.” Eventually, the SFBC managed to practically become a part of the SFMTA, you know, conducting surveys for SFGov, receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in taxpayer and feepayer money, forcing companies like Twitter to deal with the SFBC, you know, officially, and, in return, the SFBC stopped promoting Critical Mass, and SFBC now offers pols a nice photo op every year on Bike to Work Day and it actually endorses (without consulting the Members at all) for election Willie Brown protegees like, I don’t know, Ed Lee, for example. So that’s the history, and during this history I’ve seen the SFBC grow in membership, from “over 1000″ to “over 5000″ to “over “10,000” and then “over 11,000″ and then “over 12,000″ and then, uh oh, back down to “over 11,000″ and most recently back down to “over 10,000.” What are the numbers now? IDK, 9000-something? The SFBC isn’t exactly candid about its recent loss in membership. The SFBC certainly doesn’t want people freely looking at its tax forms or its older webpages, so that’s why it recently started suppressing this kind of information. Mmmmm… I’ll tell you, of course, there’s been a huge increase in bicycling in San Francisco since I’ve come here, and for various reasons, fine. (It’s sort of funny about how the big annual jumps in cycling came exactly during the rise of the fixie craze, and exactly when the Bicycle Plan injunction froze all infrastructure changes, but whatevs.) I’ll ask you, why can’t a monomaniacal advocacy organization like the SFBC concede anything? I guarantee you that the SFBC people who went the extra mile to “reach out” to Stanley Roberts of KRON-TV are pissed off about the above video coming out right before the Big Vote on Polk Street, which is supposably [what, no red underlining for a word I purposefully misspelled? Amazing] coming March 3rd, 2015, but who knows how that will work out. I’ll tell you, IMO Polk Street is a triple beam lyrical dream the way it is now. What are the other options to go north south in the area? If I don’t take Polk, then I’d be thinking Stockton, Grant, Kearney or the Embarcadero to the east or, to the west, Steiner (it’s sort of the pass over Pacific Heights, sort of) or Arguello through the Presidio. In your efforts to pursue your goals, SFBC, which I don’t necessarily oppose, you go too far and you end up alienating people like me, a man in his 40’s, and even older people such as Junior the Bike Messenger, and, apparently, THOUSANDS OF OTHER FORMER SFBC MEMBERS.

The question is, WHY IS THAT, SFBC?

 

How the Magic Word “VisionZero” Has NOT Changed the SFMTA’s Half-Assed Approach to Transportation Safety: “Focus On The Five”

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Here’s the SFMTA’s official six-figure-a-year spokesperson on the topic of when pedestrians can cross a street, from just last year:

“They can start whenever they want,” Rose said.”

Of course this is wrong, as even Paul Rose himself would admit now, after being corrected.

So, why did he say that? Because he, like his employer, has a half-assed approach to safety, and, one supposes, he, like his employer, is mired in politics.

Now do you suppose that Paul Rose was at all interested in examining why he told the peds of San Francisco that it was A-OK for them to violate CA state law? Oh no, not at all. And do you think he checked with anyone before he spouted off? Prolly not.

Like I say, a half-assed approach.

Now we’re in 2015, the era of SF VisionZero 2024, which has the goal, one that nobody actually believes in, but they have to pretend that they do believe in it, of having no more transportation deaths in San Francisco County starting in 2024 and continuing in perpetuity.

It’ll look a little something like this, supposedly:

sdfhjjjjkj

Now do you see the beauty in this? By the time SFGov fails to achieve this impossible goal, all the people who glibly made the promise will be out of office, right? How convenient.

The big problem with the approach that SFGov is taking is assuming that traffic deaths are a street design issue, as opposed to a human behavior issue. So most of the emphasis appears to be upon SFGov spending more money, which of course SFGov loves to do anyway.

And the part of VisionZero SF that’s focuses on behavior seems misplaced, for political reasons.

For example, there’s this:

Focus on the Five – Using multi-year collision data, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is focusing on enforcing the five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking. The goal is to have half their traffic citations be for these five violations.”

So if the SFPD started handing out tickets for jaywalking, you know, in a big way, that would certainly help with traffic safety, over the long term, to at least a slight degree, but that would take the SFPD away from its “Focus On The Five” goal.

The problem with Focus On The Five is that it ignores Vehicle Code violations on behalf of pedestrians, one supposes for political reasons. In fact, the cause of most pedestrian and cyclist deaths last year in San Francisco was the behavior of the pedestrians and cyclists themselves.

And what’s this talk about “automated enforcement?” How about this, how about hooking up all of the SFMTA’s vehicles to an automated enforcement mechanism that would detect speed limit, stop sign and red light violations using on board sensors and GPS? Then, after Ed Reiskin parks his government-paid SFMTA car or an operator parks her bus, SFPD tickets would be issued, you know, daily. Whoo boy, what are the odds of something like that happening?

So that’s SF VisionZero 2024, a buzz-phrase that means absolutely nothing.

 

 

NIMBY’s vs. the SFMTA: Local Objections to New Traffic Signals on McAllister at Broderick and Scott for the 5 Fulton

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

This effort appears to be similar to the SFMTA’s attempt to add traffic signals on Haight at Scott and Pierce.

This isn’t the worst example of NIMBYism, but I’d say it’s fairly alarmist, fairly absurd.

20150126_165532 copy

I’ll just say that, generally speaking, it’s generally harder to get around town these days by car, by bike and by MUNI, compared with ten or twenty years ago. Part of this has to do with our newer, absurdly-wide sidewalks, designed for pedestrian “comfort.”

And yet, most ped and cyclist deaths in San Francisco involve fault from the peds and cyclists. Here’s 2014:

The Police Department found that in the 17 pedestrian deaths, drivers were responsible for eight and pedestrians were responsible for nine. Bicyclists were responsible in all three instances when they died.” 

(I should do a video on how to be a pedestrian in SF. It might involve some jaywalking but it would also involve extreme alertness on behalf of peds. You see, the way to prevent a lot of ped deaths in SF would be to get inside their heads to see what’s going wrong.)

IMO, the SFMTA should leave McAllister alone and then start taking out as many bus stops as politically possible.

I’ll tell you, not that many cyclists pass by Broderick and McAllister compared with Scott and McAllister, it seems, owing to geography. So looking at McAllister and Scott, it seems that the lights will be timed against cyclists using FULTON DIVISADERO MCALLISTER eastbound as an alternative to the already-overcrowded Wiggle route to get from the Golden Gate Park Panhandle to the Financh.

So for my own selfish reasons, I’d prefer that MUNI not make these changes, but who am I to stand in their way? What the MUNI people are saying is that we’ll all be better off overall, and 40 seconds each way each day will add up to millions of seconds, eventually.

In conclusion, meh. If MUNI wants to put in lights, we should let them do it.

Oh, the Urbanity! Incoming SF Bicycle Coalition Director Noah Budnick is Looking for a 2-Bedroom Apartment for _Less_ than $3K per Month

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Wow, a person made a post trying to help out incoming San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Director Noah Budnick by getting the word out about an apartment hunt

And check it, the poster is just like me, as he doesn’t agree with with everything the SFBC does AND he thinks the SFBC is an effective advocacy group.

And here it is:

“While I don’t agree with everything SFBC does, it is certainly the most effective advocacy group I’ve ever belonged to. And here’s a way to help them: by finding  their new director, who is moving here from the east coast, an apartment in San Francisco. I know xx#xers care a lot about bicycle advocacy, and we all know that finding an apartment here is a bloodsport where knowing tenants and landlords is a definite advantage, hence this message.

Desired attributes:
• Close to a BART stop
• Two bedrooms
• Less than $3,000/month

If you have any leads, please email me and I’ll make the connection.”

The kicker is that NY Noah wants his crib to be in SF and he wants it to be close to a BART stop.

(IDK, these requirements rule out Crackton as an option.)

I think I’d advise young Noah to lower his expectations, but who knows – it’s in any event smart to get the word out.

This was the first of many replies:

“Awwwww, he’s adorable. I hear Daly City is nice…”

Ouch.

Now lately, the SFBC has stopped boasting of its increasing membership, because lately membership is way down – thousands of people have decided not to re-up. Now why is that?

Mmmm…

Now you tell me – which is a bigger problem to solve? Is it:

1. Finding a “nice” 2-bed close to BART for $2K-something in 2014; or

2. Finding 2K-something more people to join the SFBC AND then get them continue paying dues, year after year.

That’s a toughie.

Now You Can Protest Your Unfair SFMTA MUNI DPT SFBC Ticket Online – One Weird Trick – Here’s Your Link

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Via SF Bay’s Transportation Writer Jerold Chinn, here’s your link, Baby!

https://wmq.etimspayments.com/pbw/include/sanfrancisco/dispute_request.jsp

It’s New, it’s You. It’s Now, it’s Wow.

Of course, most of the citations handed out by the SFMTA MUNI DPT SFBC (oddly, the SFMTA/SFGov gives a lot of money to our local San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, so it acts as an arm of the government these days. Oddly) are handed out “fairly.” And I would even go as far as to say that most of the tickets protested as “unfair” were handed out fairly as well.

OTOH, there are some SFMTA employees who do bad things – they steal multiple $6 cable car fares each and every day or they say you parked for more than two hours in an RPP zone when you didn’t. And then the official SFMTA spokesmodels bend over backwards to say that no SFMTA employees ever do anything bad ever. EVER!

(And considering how often these spokesmodels get their facts wrong, well … oh well. Bygones.)

Here’s your screenshot:

Capturefsfsf copy

Good luck, Offenders!

“Online Citation Protest

Step 1 of 6

This website allows you to protest one citation at a time.
As part of the review process, you will be allowed to upload 3 documents to help us in our decision-making process.
Do not use your browser’s back arrow to navigate or you will need to start over.

Citation Number: where to find

Per the California Vehicle and Public Utility Code, you may have only one review per citation within the statutory time limits.
While in the process of protesting your citation, additional penalties will not be added to the violation.

Technical Support for Online Services
If you need help or have questions about this service, please complete this form or call 311 (415.701.2311).”

Finally, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Acknowledges that Pedestrians Don’t “ALWAYS” Have the Right of Way

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Well, this is refreshing, this new bit from the SFBC.

You see, they used to go around telling peds that peds “always” have the right of way.*

But, the always is now gone from their new materials.

Do you think the SFBC learned something from this tiny WordPress blog?

I do.

To review, telling peds they always have the right of way is always the wrong thing to do.

*That was all the way back in 2012, except now this old SFBC posting is down the memory hole, lost forever. Also lost forever are the SFBC’s tax forms, which used to be posted but now are hidden away, oh well.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Dishonest Approach to Lauding Props A and B and Decrying Prop L

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Here we go:

Understanding This Year’s Transportation Ballot Measures by Tyler Frisbee

Proposition A, Proposition B and Proposition L present stark contrasts for our city’s future, and the November elections will give voters a chance to weigh in on whether they want to move our transportation system forwards or backwards.

EVERYTHING IN SF WILL BE PRETTY MUCH THE SAME REGARDLESS OF HOW WELL THESE PROPS FARE IN NOVEMBER – THIS IS A FACT. THERE ARE NO “STARK CONTRASTS FOR OUR CITY’S FUTURE.” I CAN SAY THAT BECAUSE I’M NOT TRYING TO RAISE MONEY FROM YOU, GENTLE READER.

Proposition A renews current property bond taxes to fund over $52 million for better bikeways, including $22 million for Better Market Street, in addition to $68 million for pedestrian improvements, $22 million for signal upgrades, and $358 million to improve Muni. Since it’s simply renewing a current property bond, Proposition A won’t raise taxes, and it will result in a markedly better commute for all of us.

PROP A. AUTHORIZES “PASSTHROUGHS” SO IT WILL ALLOW YOUR LANDLORD TO RAISE YOUR RENT TO THE TUNE OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS, RIGHT? NEGLECTING TO MENTION THIS POSSIBILITY IS DISHONEST.*

In the first year, Proposition B would mean an extra $6 million for Vision Zero projects and an additional $16 million to improve Muni.

AND IN ITS FIRST YEAR, PROP B WOULD MEAN _LESS_ MONEY FOR SAN FRANCISCO NON-PROFITS, RIGHT? DON’T YOU THINK YOUR MEMBERS SHOULD KNOW THAT? OH WHAT’S THAT, YOU’RE A MONOMANIACAL POLITICAL GROUP SO YOU DON’T CARE? OK FINE.

Proposition L is a policy declaration statement that rolls back San Francisco’s Transit-First policy, and would result in the City having to prioritize car traffic and parking above all other modes.

UH NOPE. ITS PASSAGE WOULD NOT FORCE THE CITY TO DO ANYTHING, IT’S BASICALLY A MEASURE OF HOW VOTERS ARE THINKING.

Proposition L would require the SFMTA to value “free-flowing traffic” as highly as human life when designing streets, and would take money away from Muni to build more parking garages.

AGAIN, THE SFMTA WILL BE “REQUIRED” TO DO NOTHING.

END OF LINE.

As for myself, I’m agin Prop A, as I want a better MUNI. Pouring more money down the SFMTA rat hole doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. Hey, shouldn’t the head of MUNI be an elected position ala the DA’s Office? Where’s that proposition?

And I’m for Prop B. Some politically-connected non-profits are hopping mad about it, but I don’t care.

And Prop L doesn’t matter, so I don’t care about it. If it wins by a surprisingly large margin, it will end up being a face-punch to the SFMTA and its needy vassal, the SFBC.

*AND OH YEAH, THE SFMTA AND SFGOV PROVIDE THE SFBC WITH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS PER YEAR – DID YOU KNOW THAT, GENTLE READER? IT MIGHT BE NICE FOR THE SFBC TO POST A NOTE TO THAT EFFECT ON ITS OP-EDS, YOU KNOW, LIKE THIS ONE…

What Those “BICYCLES ALLOWED USE OF FULL LANE CVC 21202″ Signs Mean – “The Exception Swallows the Rule?”

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Well, here’s the sign:

I’m reading that as “BICYCLES ALLOWED USE OF FULL LANE CVC 21202″

Now here’s what that section of the California Vehicle Code actually says:

“V C Section 21202 Operation on Roadway

21202. (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations…”

That’s the rule.

There are exceptions of course – see them below.

But you don’t want the exception to swallow the rule, right?

Oh, what’s that, you do? Oh, OK. Well, that would explain all the T-shirts, but you’re celebrating the wrong CVC section. What you’re looking for is CVC 21200, actually.

And actually, what 21202 does is take away your right to use the whole lane.

Now of course, in the opinion of some, all lanes are “substandard width lanes,” so if that’s the case, one of the exceptions listed below will “swallow the rule” and, therefore, 21202 doesn’t mean anything.

But IRL, the rule means something, just saying. 

Oh what’s that, you’ve been told different? Well, people tell you different because of their ideology. Hey, would you prefer to hear from a bicycle advocate who’s not an ideologue? Well, here you go:

“Ride to the Right, But Within Limits – When riding slower than the normal speed of traffic, you are required to ride as far right as “practicable” (meaning safe). You are not required to ride as far right as possible, which may not be safe. You are allowed, but not required, to ride on the shoulder. CVC 21202CVC 21650CVC 21650.1 9″

Hey, how would that look as a T-shirt? Not so hot, really. It would sound like a lecture, you know, like we all need to keep to the right ‘n stuff.

But it’s the Truth, like it or lump it.

“(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.

Amended Sec. 4, Ch. 674, Stats. 1996. Effective January 1, 1997.

Amazingly, the Corrupt SFMTA Gives the SFBC Money to Say that the Corrupt SFMTA Needs More Money

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Republican Sean Walker is financing a ballot proposition this fall and the SFBC is not amused:

Despite an official “Transit-First” policy in San Francisco, biking, walking and taking transit in our city have been historically underfunded…

Uh, riding a bike isn’t actually “transit,” which IRL is “a system of buses, trains, etc. that people use to travel around in a particular city or area.”

This lack of funding and priority, means Muni is too often overcrowded and unreliable…

Or perhaps MUNI is poorly managed? Oh you don’t care because you get hundreds and thousands from the SFMTA each year? Why don’t you disclose that fact before crowing the SFMTA’s party line? Oh, you used to post your tax returns but now you don’t because you’re worried people might actually look at them? OK fine.

…dozens of people are killed just trying to walk across the streets each year.

Not dozens. Too many to be sure but not “dozens.”

…livable streets…

Our streets currently aren’t “liveable?” What does that mean? How Orwellian is your fund-raising “framing” going to get?

…there is a group of San Franciscans who think that there’s actually too much space given to sustainable ways to get around…

Well now, if you give the voters of the 415 / 628 the chance to freeze for five years the amount of money the SFMTA MUNI makes from parking tickets, they just might say “Aye,” right?

Your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition will be working with partners to make sure our transportation system is moving forward

MUNI is a disaster, right? MUNI is not “moving forward.” How much does the SFMTA give the SFBC every year to say stuff like this?

Our Board of Directors voted last week to oppose this “Transit-Last” measure, while supporting two important transportation funding measures on this November’s ballot, which will advance and truly better balance our city’s transportation needs. The first is the Transportation & Road Safety Bond, a $500 million general obligation bond dedicated to transportation capital improvements, including modernizing our transit system and investing in bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

Will this allow landlords to up rents in SF? Howard Wong, who is not on the SFMTA payroll, says it will “raise property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.

(It’s important to note that this measure will not raise local property taxes, as it only infills expiring debt.)

What does this mean? Is Howard Wong incorrect?

And the second is a charter amendment linking population growth to transportation spending, specifically long-ignored transit & safe streets needs. 

So the corrupt SFMTA gives you money to say that the corrupt SFMTA needs more money?

Here’s the rest of what Howard Wong has to say, FYI:

Arguments against MUNI infrastructure improvement bond

What does the ballot measure do:

Raises property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.

Funds “may be allocated” for transit and roads—carte blanche authority for unspecific projects.

If the Bond is rejected by voters, property taxes and rents would be reduced for everyone—not just for rich companies and the wealthy.

To read the Ordinance’s legal language is to oppose the Bond Measure.

http://www.sfgov2.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/elections/ElectionsArchives/Meeting_Information/BSC/agendas/2014/November/1-B%20Transportation%20Road%20Improvement%20GO.pdf

The Ordinance’s legal language makes no definitive commitment to any specific work:  “Projects to be funded under the proposed Bondmay include but are not limited to the following: 

Then, for eight project types, all eight begin with:  “A portion of the Bond may be allocated to…” 

In financial decisions, never sign a contract when the terms and deliverables are ambiguous.

Throwing billions of dollars at bad Muni projects hasn’t worked. 

Since 2006, Muni has cut service in every neighborhood, decreased annual vehicle revenue miles/ hours, eliminated 6 bus lines, shortened 22 routes, deferred maintenance, increased missed runs/ switchbacks/ late buses, increased fares/ fees/ fines/ meters (1,549,518 parking citations annually)…. Large project cost overruns have cut funds for infrastructure and maintenance.  The Central Subway alone has taken $595 million in state and local funds.  Huge subway cost overruns loom ahead, unveiled by the Central Subway’s cost engineer, whose whistle-blower’s complaint alleges a cooking of the books.

Bond Does Not Restore Muni Service Cuts

Muni has cut neighborhood transit, cross-town routes, night service and route frequency, hurting the low-income, families, disabled, youth and seniors.  …  Eliminated bus lines will not be restored—Lines 4, 7, 15, 20, 26, 34, 89…  Shortened bus routes will not be restored:  Lines 1, 2, 10, 12, 16X, 18, 21, 29, 36, 38, 42, 48, 53, 67, 88, 91, 108…  Muni has been an integrated citywide transit system, interconnecting outlying neighborhoods.  By cutting neighborhood transit, driving is encouraged—then penalized by more fees/ fines/ parking elimination.

Learning From the Past:  SFMTA’s Poor Spending Habits 

·        In 1999, Prop E created the SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) with more powers, more General Fund dollars and a 85% on-time performance mandate.  Instead, Muni falsified on-time performance data and paid bonuses to its Director.

·        In 2003, Prop K extended the transportation sales tax and provided a list of projects.  The Central Subway’s listed cost of $647 million escalated to $1.578 billion.  The citywide Transit-Preferential Streets Program and Bus Rapid Network were never implemented.

·        In 2007, Prop A gave SFMTA more funding authority, revenue-bond-authority and even more General Fund dollars.  Instead, work orders sent the new funds to other city departments.

·        In 2011, voters approved a Road Repaving Bond of $248 million, with $181 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $429 million.  Debt isn’t efficient for maintenance.

·        SFMTA’s budget grew by hundreds of millions of dollars to $978 million.  Number of employees grew by thousands to 4,921.  Salaries have soared.  And riders get service cuts.

Mayor’s Transportation Task Force (TTF) and Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP)

This proposed Bond, a second Bond, future fees and taxes will not meet objectives.  Only 49% of the TTF”s recommended funding goes to Muni.  TTF’s proposed $2.955 billion does not remotely solve Muni’s $25 billion in 20-Year Capital Plan Need.  The proposed TEP continues transit cuts to neighborhoods, shifting service to rapid corridors.  Better planning is needed for a citywide integrated Muni system.  Oppose this Bond Measure.

Sincerely,

Howard Wong, AIA, a founding member of SaveMuni

www.SaveMuni.com

www.SaveNorthBeachVillage.org