To Improve Transit Quality, 2 Supervisors Propose Breaking Up SFMTA

by Teresa Hammerl : hoodline – excerpt

As the Chronicle reported yesterday, the Central Subway‘s main contractor claims that the $1.6 billion project won’t be completed any earlier than 2021—a year after the city’s expected completion date, and three years later than the original target.

Contractor Tutor Perini Corporation also notes that the project will be tens of millions of dollars over budget.

In a report the contractor published for the Board of Supervisors, it noted that infrastructure delays are to blame for the later date. Because Tutor Perini was asked to relocate power lines near the Central Subway’s Chinatown station, at least 15 months were added to the project timeline, it claimed.

Phase 1 and 2 and of the T-Third expansion | IMAGE: SFMTA

Earlier today, the Examiner also reported that two Supervisors announced their own proposal for the future of the city’s transit agency.

District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin and District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai may introduce a June 2018 ballot measure to split the SFMTA into Muni and a separate agency that handles parking and traffic management.

The proposal would give supervisors the ability to make their own appointments to the SFMTA’s Board of Directors. Currently, that power is held only by the mayor… (more)

The one thing we can count on is a daily Muni meltdown. Let’s face it, the grand experiment failed and it is time to stop the bleeding. We need a new method of managing transportation based on the real world and the needs of today’s residents. The SFMTA spends way too much time envisioning and trying to sell the perfect design for the future while ignoring the needs of the public today. Any agency that ignores its customers, blames everyone for their failures, and can’t get by on 1 billion dollars a year deserves a quick timely demise before they do any more damage or sign any more bad contracts. Hopefully, the Board of Supervisors will not dole out any more money to start any new projects until they finish the ones they are already in the middle of. If this move surprises you, you should watch some of the hearings that have been conducted recently as the entire Board has been the brunt of thousands of complaints, petitions and angry public comments. Bad decisions on the part of the SFMTA management are costing possibly hundreds of millions of dollars. It is past time to cut our loses.

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Special Deal Would Benefit Influential Oakland Developer

By eastbayextress – excerpt

The Oakland planning department quietly proposed zoning changes that would greatly benefit a politically connected developer in the heart of First Friday.

The proposed zoning changes would make it easier for Signature Development to build a large mixed-use project across the street from the company’s Hive development in Uptown.

The Oakland Planning and Building Department recently attempted to quietly push through changes to the city’s zoning code that would greatly benefit a politically connected developer who has acquired a big chunk of real estate in Uptown Oakland, right in the heart of First Friday, the Express has learned. Planning staffers buried the proposed zoning amendment in a six hundred-plus page document amid other proposed changes that they described as routine and neutral efforts meant only to “clean up” Oakland’s planning code. But the zoning change, which underwent no public scrutiny before the planning department recently proposed it, would greatly increase the value of property recently purchased by Signature Development Group, a major Oakland real estate company run by Michael Ghielmetti, and would make it easier to build a large development project between 24th and 25th streets near Broadway.

“There seems to be a blatant disregard for the community,” said Hiroko Kurihara, founder and director of the nonprofit 25th Street Collective, in an interview. “The zoning changes that were proposed at the last minute … left even members of the planning commission scratching their heads.”… (more)

The technique is described really well by someone who researched the methods used by SFMTA to illegally alter the parking policies while claiming they were not making any substantive changes. See details here: https://metermadness.wordpress.com/actions/

San Francisco tech shuttle pilot program clears road block appeal

By Nick Statt : cnet – excerpt

The controversial “Google bus” pilot program will go ahead without the environmental review opponents appealed for, but now the tech industry backlash undercurrents at play may only intensify…

SAN FRANCISCO — The tech bus pilot program that would charge companies such as Google and Apple a fee for using municipal transit stops to shuttle workers down to Silicon Valley survived a heated attempt to stall its implementation Tuesday. After a nearly seven-hour public hearing, the appeal that would have thrown it back for environmental review was knocked down by a San Francisco Board of Supervisors ruling…

“Before we write those rules, we should know what we’re writing,” said appellant attorney Richard Drury. “That’s what CEQA tells us. When SFMTA wants to reroute its Muni buses, it does a CEQA and figures out where its route should be.” Ultimately, Drury’s arguments, and many others’, were to no avail… (more)

Many voters are fed up with the SFMTA and ready to take matters to the polls. If you have a beef with SFTMA let the city officials know. Sign the petition to Stop SFMTA. All your comments go directly to the recipients.

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-sfmta-san-francisco

 

 

TEP CEQA appeal filed in SF

Nothing in the news yet, but, A CEQA appeal was filed yesterday to stop the TEP. Does anyone trust the SFMTA to fix the Muni, balance the budget, reduce traffic congestion, make parking easier, or make the trains run on time? If you are one of the millions of frustrated taxpayers who wonder what happens to the public funds SFMTA sucks up and begs for more, you might want to join the efforts to reform the MTA. They are growing in number, but here is one option: Stop SFMTA: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-sfmt…
Be sure to write your grievances in the comments as those go directly to the city authorities.
If you are a Muni rider who disagrees with the TEP, write the supervisors and tell them to deny funding:
http://discoveryink.wordpress.com/letters-…