Emergency Resolution needed to preserve San Francisco businesses

Op-Ed

Here is an idea. SF has carved out hundreds of miles of car-free lanes for bikes and pedestrian-safe zones with no regard to the losses of the businesses that are effected by loss of traffic and parking. The streetscape programs have resulted in huge numbers of business closures and what appears to be an average 30% drop in income of the businesses that survive. No one is talking about the loss of jobs or the flight of the families those jobs once supported.

Why don’t we support the rights of businesses that require traffic and parking by setting up a SFMTA-free enterprise zone, that protects businesses that rely on customers who drive. We need a parking-protected zone to protect businesses while their streets are under construction.

We have see the future as it is being written by Plan Bay Area 2040 and they are anticipating a loss of 40% of the middle class by 2030 or 2040, depending on which report you read. As they extend the debt they extend the time to pay it off and the year of the study changes to meet that goal

Perhaps the Supervisors could legislate a temporary protected zone for businesses to escape from the SFMTA while their streets are under siege with protected loading and parking zones for motor vehicles only. We could use one in China Town and pretty much every neighborhood, The Supervisors can treat it as an emergency resolution to save middle class families by saving the small businesses and jobs they depend on them that are being killed off by the over-zealous SFMTA and developers.

We understand there is a history of placing limitations on disruptive construction projects in one area to protect residents and businesses from the negative impacts of too much construction in one place. Perhaps it is time to revisit that limit. Why not finish the major street projects now underway before starting any new ones.

Perhaps it is time for the Board of Supervisors to devise some method for curtailing city agencies and reigning them. There is ample evidence that the departments are not working well together or communicating changes to large projects as they rush to get them underway.

Perhaps we need new procedural rules to protect our citizens like the CEQA administrative amendments that were enacted to help developers a few years ago. Others are suggesting some Charter amendments may be in order. That will take time. We need some faster protections and we need them now to stop the damage to is being done to our city in the name of future plans.

This was inspired by story on ABC7 News on the plight of Chinatown businesses:

Chinatown merchants say Central Subway construction leading to business bust

by Leslie Brinkley : ABC7news – excerpt (includes video)

Up to 2 million visitors stroll through Chinatown per year. Locals hit the markets in the area too, but lately business is down…. (more)

These stories all have one thing in common. The Future is heavily featured as the reason for the disruption we are living in today. Always the promise of a better tomorrow and know consideration of what is being done to make our lives better today. How can you trust a system that doesn’t function today to make tomorrow better? Let us see some proof. Fix it now.

 

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Millennials Plan on Fleeing the Bay Area, Apparently

Nuala Sawyer : sfweekly  – excerpt

A new study states that almost 50 percent of young people are itching to escape our seasonless mecca of liberalism.

Living in the booming Bay Area requires a fair amount of hustle, luck, and resilience. While it’s possible to secure that rent-controlled apartment, find a well-paying job and forgo a car-dependent lifestyle, it’s usually an uphill battle. But now a new report states that the struggle is just too real for many of our millennial residents. Forty-six percent of 18 to 39-year-olds interviewed earlier this year voiced an interest in leaving the Bay Area.

The data comes after the Bay Area Council, a public-policy advocacy organization, interviewed 1,000 registered voters from around the Bay Area on issues of economic growth, housing, transportation, drought, education, and workforce. Of the millennials polled, 65 percent listed the cost of living as a major reason for wanting to move.
Out of the nine counties that make up the Bay Area, Santa Clara had the highest number of residents thinking about throwing in the towel: 47 percent. And in an unsurprising trend, renters surpassed homeowners in a desire to bounce: 50 percent of leasers wanted to leave, while only 31 percent of homeowners considered a move elsewhere… (more)

After they tire of living on top of each other and want a home they can call theirs, millennials will move out of the minuscule units and landlords we will have to find something else to do with them. Perhaps they can be reformatted into livable homes at some point. Maybe the landlords will have saved enough to remodel.