MTA Allows Overnight RV Parking in SF Outer Mission

By Phil Matier : KPIX5 – excerpt (includes video)

It was a victory for RV dwellers in one San Francisco neighborhood but it’s not sitting well for nearby homeowners. Phil Matier reports… (more)

Editorial: Muni’s terrible summer may cost SFMTA head his job

It’s been a terrible summer for San Francisco Muni riders, and Mayor London Breed is losing patience.

In a letter to SFMTA director Ed Reiskin last week, Breed wrote, “I have communicated to the SFMTA Board of Directors that I want to see significant improvements in Muni service, and in fact, in all facets of the SFMTA.”…

The letter felt like a strong hint that Reiskin’s job may be in jeopardy. Replacing him isn’t likely to happen overnight — the SFMTA board is the body that would fire Reiskin. On Tuesday, the board voiced support for Reiskin after he apologized for Muni’s failures.

But Breed fills empty seats on the board, and vacancies could easily allow her to engineer Reiskin’s ouster if improvements don’t happen quickly…

The MTA has said the company failed to disclose those violations — but the MTA should have done its due diligence.

Asked about Muni’s string of woes, SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said, “We did not correctly anticipate the level of impact on our system and riders at the time.”

Rose added that the agency is trying to find solutions that can be implemented quickly. To combat a long-standing driver shortage, it’s converting some part-time operators to full-time hours and working to certify more than 200 operators by the end of the year.

Those are fine ideas. Unfortunately, they should have been taken before the June tunnel closure. If they’re not implemented rapidly, they may not be enough to satisfy either City Hall or the hundreds of thousands of frustrated riders who rely on Muni every day.

This commentary is from The Chronicle’s editorial board. We invite you to express your views in a letter to the editor. Please submit your letter via our online form: SFChronicle.com/letters.

Please send your letter as we are invited to do. You may also want to suggest some new board directors if you have any in mind as a new one will be appointed very soon.

Why the cops get a raise without accountability

By Tim Redmond : 48hils – excerpt

An obscure 1990 law, that passed with a lot of progressive support, forces the city into a very bad deal that lets the POA keep blocking reforms

An arbitration panel has decided that the San Francisco cops don’t have to back off from their efforts to delay or block reforms and will get a nine percent raise anyway.

The decision undermines the position of the mayor, the supervisors, and many of the city’s communities, who have been frustrated by the Police Officers Association and its constant resistance to reasonable changes in department policies(more)

How many obscure laws have been passed that tie the hands of our elected officials?  How do the citizens take back control of our city from the rogue agencies that are out of control and appear to be beyond the ability of our elected officials to regulate or even review?

Transit, Vision Zero, Livable Streets, and other Highlights of the “Focus on the Future” Conference

: streetsblog – excerpt

hat if San Francisco becomes the next Detroit?” asked Jonathan Miranda, Director of Strategy at Salesforce.com, during a keynote speech this morning at the “Focus on the Future” conference in downtown San Francisco. Given the region’s meteoric growth, that may seem far fetched–but no more so than Detroit’s fall after the booming years of the auto industry. He said that given San Francisco’s inability to build sufficient housing, that’s a real possibility. “Companies are moving to Austin, Denver, Seattle–what happens if software and Silicon Valley start looking for a different place?”

Miranda’s warning was part of a theme at the conference about how important it is for the Bay Area to address issues such as housing costs, transportation, and the safety and livability of our streets. The conference is run by the “Self-Help Coalition,” an organization of 24 different California transportation authorities and government organizations which share planning and policy intel. The event also featured tours of the Central Subway, the Transbay Transit Center, and a discussion of the Better Market Street plan. (more)

GENTRIFICATION is the word that is making the rounds these days to describe the economic disparity that is plaguing the nation. Pretty much everyone is concerned about it but no one is attempting to solve the problem of extreme cost of living increases that are exasperating the homeless crisis and causing much of the stress in our cities.

GROWTH has limits and inviting disruptive high tech industries to experiment with our society is exacerbating the conflicts between the top and bottom levels of society as everyone scrambles for empty units like empty seats in a game of musical chairs.

DISRUPTION is not a game to be taken lightly, but, it is the new tech mantra that is being sold to cities that want to partake in the technology revolution. Citizens get no say in the matter and many are unaware that they are being sacrificed on the corporate alter of progress until it is too late.

COMPANY TOWN is the title of a movie that Investigates Tech Industry’s impact on tow of SF’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. There is a new attempt to mitigate some of the housing crisis by creating “company towns” that include housing on the corporate campus to alleviate some of the housing crunch.

Kim packs housing forum as former LA mayor hints at gov run

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt – (video link)

Small protest features tents in a sign that Wiener supporters are using homeless people as a wedge issue

The Mission High School auditorium is a big venue, room for more than 1,000 people, and it was packed last night for an event featuring Sup. Jane Kim, former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and BART Board candidate Lateefa Simon talking about housing and transportation policy.

It was part of the Jane Kim for state Senate campaign; Kim sent out mailers promoting the event and her team worked every possible social media angle to get people out…

Kim talked at some length about housing and homelessness, and while there wasn’t anything new that she hadn’t said before, she got a rousing reception.

This is part of her political strategy – to use events to get the word out and increase enthusiasm. “We know we are going to be outspent,” Eric Jaye, her campaign manager, told me. “So we need 1,000 people to each tell ten people why they are supporting Jane.”

It’s something that Dean Preston, who is running against incumbent Sup. London Breed, has also been doing. He’s been holding workshops on housing issues, attracting large numbers of tenants who are worried about staying in their homes…

So the campaigns are heating up even before Labor Day. And from the way Wiener’s folks are acting, it’s just going to get more ugly… (more)

Jane gets in a lot of her issues on a regular basis no matter what the subject matter is. She covers Prop X to keep the arts and at risk jobs in the city, the temporary housing, disparate charges for corporations and the public. There is a link to the video and a little transcript of some of Janes’ comments that relate to transportation are below.

Continue reading

Candidate for Supervisor Proposes New Mission District BART Station

By : missionlocal – excerpt

A new BART station and thousands of units of housing may transform the area of the Mission District south of Cesar Chavez Street, if a candidate for District Nine supervisor has his way.

Josh Arce, a community liaison for laborers union Local 261 running to replace Supervisor David Campos, laid out plans on Thursday to replace the Safeway and its parking lot at 30th and Mission streets with a new BART station, and to develop dozens of parcels in the area to increase the neighborhood’s housing supply by 2,000 units.

The development, part of a proposed “Mission Street South of Cesar Chavez” plan, would “not touch any existing housing,” Arce said. The housing built would be a mix of market-rate projects and affordable housing.

“There’s never really been a plan for this neighborhood,” he added, standing with some 20 supporters in the Safeway parking lot at 3350 Mission St. where the new station would go. The Safeway itself could be incorporated into the new station, Arce said, or a new store could be built elsewhere…

Arce’s plan parallels that of one of his opponents, Hillary Ronen, who is also running for District Nine supervisor and currently serves as chief of staff for Supervisor Campos. Ronen announced in January her intention to build 5,000 affordable housing units in the Mission District in the next decade, saying she would develop empty lots and raise heights to accomplish the feat.

The Mission District has seen no new units of affordable housing constructed in the last decade and just 455 units approved across four sites for the next four years. Those will be joined by a couple hundred more once funds from the housing bond passed last November are disbursed, but that would still be a fraction of the total Ronen has pledged for her term in office... (more)

Who needs food when you can BART? Can we find a politician who cares what the residents in the neighborhood want to do, instead of demanding we follow their plans to change our lives? How about if we just slow down the pace of change and allow everyone to catch up before running off on a new tangent?

 

Look for a wild supes meeting tomorrow

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Who will stand up to the cops? Who will stand up to the mayor? Who is for higher taxes on mansions? Key votes will put the members on record

It’s going to be a week of fireworks at the Board of Supes: The city budget is up Tuesday/19, as are a series of ballot measures, including some that had to be called out of committee last week because the six-vote progressive majority on the board has been undermined by the conservative committee appointments of President London Breed.

Most of the work on the budget happens in committee, and that process is over. There is always some jockeying around last-minute cuts and additions (or “add backs”) but the big issue this week, which will overshadow the rest of the discussion, is a plan by Sup. John Avalos to put part of the Police Department budget on reserve pending demonstrable reforms…

Then there’s almost every ballot measure that’s still hanging.

Among the key votes: Sups. Scott Wiener and Mark Farrell want to increase the sales tax in the city by a total of .75 percent to pay for transportation and homeless services (if this passes, the city’s sales tax would be more than 9 percent).

That dynamic duo also has a measure to criminalize homelessness – and the progressives aren’t happy about it…

Sup. Jane Kim’s measure to increase the transfer tax on the sale of properties that go for $5 million or more is also before the board, and while she got a solid majority for the concept of free city college, which this would pay for, the supes still have to approve the tax plan. She’s got six sponsors, so it will go on the ballot.

Sup. Norman Yee wants to give the board some power to appoint members of the agency that oversees Muni; the mayor doesn’t like that, but it’s going to be popular with the voters...(more)