Who needs cars? Aggressive transit plan for Chase Arena discourages driving

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

When Metallica plays at ear-splitting decibels in the soon-to-open Chase Center in September — the arena’s first-ever event — the thousands of concert goers won’t be humming “Enter Sandman” as they drive home to far-flung points across the Bay Area.

Instead, most will be head-banging on Muni, Caltrain, BART and ferries. At least, that’s according to The City’s plan…

Long-time San Francisco Giants fans may remember Muni shuttles that served Candlestick Park. Well, SFMTA is instituting two similar shuttles for Chase Center, one running down Van Ness Avenue from the waterfront and the other running directly from 16th Street BART

(more)

Head-banging takes on new meaning when applied to the new Muni side facing seats. Asses may stay firmly in place, but, heads and shoulders may indeed lunge forward, or sideways, as the vehicle brakes are applied, meaning heads may be jerked into the adjoining seat or head. I am surprised no one thought of this when they designed the seats. The laws of perpetual motion do apply.

After a couple of ventures out, many will take the easiest method to avoid traffic, crowds, and potential head-banging. They will watch the action from their couch. It will be interesting to see how many people take that route, or go the nearest sports bar to drink and cheer or jeer with the fans.

One more thing that concerns everyone is the plan to dig up 16th Street at the time when it is most needed to assure completion of all the other construction projects that are ongoing, and to keep the constant flow of traffic, including the buses and shuttles moving between the Bay and the rest of the city. What will it take to stop work on 16th Street before a reasonable plan is devised to use an alternate route. Only 16th Street and Cesar Chavez cross both 101 and 280. Large numbers of the public are at risk of being cut off if either of those streets are not passable at all times.

Random Access – 3 Mayors Discuss Affordable Housing and Traffic Concerns

Video and comments By Sunnyvale City Council Member, Michael S. Goldman

A 15 minute round-table with: Mayor Lynette Lee Eng of Los Altos, Mayor Eric Filseth of Palo Alto, and Mayor Steven Scharf of Cupertino.

“City bankruptcies, deteriorating public services as funds are drained from cities trying to cope with increased demands by new construction. That will be CASA’s main impacts. See a transcript on Michael’s site: https://meetingthetwain.blogspot.com/2019/03/three-mayors-on-silicon-valley-housing.html

Thanks to these Mayors for their frank discussion on what many consider to be overlooked considerations that were not addressed adequately by the SF Bay Area regional planners who concocted the CASA Compact. Forcing more up-zoning on landfill that is sinking under the tall towers already built, is a losing proposition. How many people want to throw more money at the Joint Powers Authority that designed and built the closed, failing Transbay Terminal?

Potrero Bus Yard Project meetings turn up many suggestions, little consensus

By Gisela Pérez de Acha and Julian Mark : missionlocal – excerpt

After four public meetings on a development project that could add nearly 1,000 new units atop the Potrero Bus Yard, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will review the comments from the 100 or so people who attended the gatherings and try “to figure out consistency and trends, if they exist,” said Licina Iberri, one of the planning managers.

The project, now in the planning stages, seeks to not only upgrade the 100-year old bus and Muni transportation facility but to add as many as 900 new units – at least 25 percent affordable – as well as add ground floor retail space. The market rate housing would help finance the project(more)

Projects like these, that are opposed by the public, are forcing many people to leave San Francisco and the state. New figures on population exits from Silicon Valley are showing zero population growth. We don’t need more houses in the pipeline when there are already over 40,000 NOT being built. SFMTA staff is supposed to run the Muni not build future housing for non-existent residents.

If SFMTA staff managing the Muni system they would not have time to develop 1,000 market rate units and they would not need the money to support the Muni system if they quit tearing up the streets.

SFMTA staff who do not want to manage the Muni system, but prefer to design the future are in the wrong business. Voters should loudly oppose all future development projects that are built to hold investor dollars and add to the cost of living in this city for everyone who is stuck here. Quit treating San Francisco residents like cattle to be moved about in crowded containers. No wonder ridership is going down. and people are leaving.

The department that can’t keep the trains running on time now due to major switching problems can’t wait to put in more switches. The department that can’t provide a safe ride on the monster buses wants to hire security guards for bigger buses, instead of hiring more drivers to for smaller buses that hold fewer riders, with comfortable seats for everyone. Where is the humanity at SFMTA?

The Sierra Club and the luxury-housing developer

By Zelda Bronstein : 48hills – excerpt

Northern Alameda chapter backs San Leandro project in a sign that the pro-growth forces are trying to take over the environmental group.

Are you a Sierra Club member who lives in Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville, Alameda, Piedmont or San Leandro? If so, you fall under the aegis of the club’s Northern Alameda County Group, which is nested within the larger Bay Chapter.

Be aware, then, that the NAC Executive Committee is currently dominated by a pro-growth coterie that’s exploiting the Sierra Club’s cachet to push a pro-development agenda that violates the club’s commitments to affordable housing, neighborhood integrity, and democratic governance.

If you’re a Sierra Club member who lives elsewhere in the Bay Area, you should also be concerned. The growth boosters on the NAC Ex Com include two men who wield considerable influence in the Bay Chapter, Igor Tregub and Andy Katz. Tregub also chairs the chapter Executive Committee. Both he and Katz sit on the Bay Chapter’s Political Committee, which makes the Sierra Club’s endorsements of political candidates and ballot measures. In the Bay Area, where the club claims nearly 60,000 members, and environmental values are widely embraced, Sierra Club endorsements carry a lot of weight. (UPDATE: Tregub tells me he has stepped down from the Political Committee, which only makes advisory recommendations on endorsements.)

This is an alarming trend for the club; already in San Francisco, Yimbys have tried to take over the local chapter (and so far failed). But the pro-development forces know that placing people on the boards of all-volunteer organizations is not that difficult. There’s little doubt that “smart growth” advocates are trying to shift the influential Sierra Club in their direction, locally and nationally(more)

Latest data shows you can’t bring prices down by building more housing

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

When prices soften, developers stop building. So that plan isn’t going to work.

A Dec. 29 story by the Chron’s real-estate reporter, J.K. Dineen, who knows the market as well as anyone in town, shows exactly why the Yimby agenda will never work in San Francisco. The story dropped in the middle of the week when news readership is the lowest of the year, so I’m not sure how many policymakers saw it. But it has critical information about the way housing markets really work.

To wit: Developers now think that the market for condos and apartments is “softening” – that is, it’s not rising as fast as it used to – so they aren’t planning to build any more, except at the very high end.

In other words, you can’t bring down housing costs by removing barriers to more market-rate housing – because as soon as those costs come down, the developers (and more important, the speculative investors who finance them) put their money somewhere else…

“Everything that is going forward is falling above the $2,000 (per square foot) price point,” Garber said. Projects with a projected price of $1,300 or $1,400 per square foot are not worth it to developers, he said. “In the short term, we are not going to see a lot of those delivered.”(more)

In 2018, San Francisco made choices. In 2019, we’ll deal with them.

By Joe Eskenazi : missionlocal – excerpt

It’s difficult to come up with a valediction for 2018, an overstuffed year that was to San Francisco political developments what Buca di Beppo is to portion size and sensible interior decor.

n short, there was so much loaded onto our plates that, by the time we were halfway through with one course, we’d forgotten what came only just before. There was just too much to get through; it left us all feeling a bit sick…

We made our decisions. In the coming year, for good or ill, we will live with them…

The board of supervisors likely hasn’t had this much potential leverage and power since 2001, following a progressive sweep of Mayor Willie Brown’s handpicked slate. It remains to be seen how this board will govern and what issues our legislators will take up, but this much seems clear — a majority of them owe Mayor Breed nothing…(more)

Industry experts and SF notables reveal which neighborhoods they broke up with in 2018

By : sfcurbed – excerpt

Canceled?

There’s much to love about San Francisco—and much to loathe. And to confuse neighborhood ire and frustration with flippant snark would be a disservice to our readers and to the city we adore so deeply. Which is why we’ve asked our handful of industry experts and local notables to thoughtfully weigh in on the areas of San Francisco they had enough of in 2018… (more)

Not many neighborhoods are spared from distain. Most of the least popular are south of Market with SOMA and Market Street leading the pack. Interesting to note that the least appreciated are the ones with the most construction and the worst traffic. Of course the idea that you could even stem the tide of traffic accessing the multi-billion dollar Bay Bridge was always a farce. Until it falls down, it will be the route of choice for connecting the populace to the city. Until the city authorities establish a fast and easy parking process for people driving across that bridge, they will drive across town or whatever it takes to park.

We know that the cost are prohibitive. What isn’t?  Our regional MTC and other agencies would rather spend the billions of a new headquarters than help people park to get out of the their cars faster once they arrive. This kind of backward thinking makes SOMA and other points near the bay bridge hostage in the game of traffic control.