Saturday, October 20, 2007

Vote against Proposition A and for Proposition H

Don Fisher and his wife Doris open their first store
Photo by SF Chronicle

I'm voting against Proposition A and for Proposition H because of the parking poison pill Supervisor Peskin put in Proposition A. Don Fisher is right about the stupidity of not allowing developers to provide enough parking spaces for new housing units. It's all part of the anti-car bicycle baloney that has our lemming-like leaders in its PC grip. 20,000 more cars in SF over the next 20 years? Big deal. According to the Visitors Bureau, there are now more than one million tourists who stay in our hotels every year who drive rental cars in the city. According to the DMV, there are 460,150 motor vehicles now registered in the city. According to the 2000 Census, there are already 214,660 people inside the city who drive to work every day (page 40, Countywide Transportation Plan, July 2004, SF County Transportation Authority). There are 35,000 people who drive into the city every day to work, with thousands more coming to dine, shop, or visit.

Consider too that a lot of the traffic in cities consists of people cruising for a place to park. Hence, more available parking means less time spent looking for parking, which means less traffic, not more.

Interesting that both the Chronicle and the Examiner are now opposing Proposition A. It may be that the more city voters suspect that Proposition A is just another anti-car, anti-parking measure from our precious PC leadership in City Hall they are going to vote against it.

Peskin and the SF Bicycle Coalition and their fellow travelers better start worrying about this vote. They should see last year's Proposition E, the measure raising the parking tax, as a cautionary tale: The mayor nominally opposed it, while all the PC progressives supported it, though there wasn't much of a visible campaign for or against it. Even so Prop. E failed by more than 2-1: 151,628 to 73,922!

What I hope happens: city voters reject Proposition A and pass Proposition H, thus handing the crackpot anti-car forces in the city---particularly the SF Bicycle Coalition---a huge defeat.

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At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Kratto said...

Both of the bills are bad - I say vot no on both.

Muni does not need money, it needs someone with balls and a brain to run it.

As for parking, I have no problem with more curb cuts at people's homes, but more cars downtown is a bad idea whether you take muni, walk, bike, or pogo stick. We have to draw the line somewhere. NO ON BOTH A and H!!!

At 10:16 AM, Blogger efsully said...

I can't understand your support of Proposition H. Do you want San Francisco to become another Los Angeles? I agree with you that the bike adovcates sometimes go to far but Prop. H is not the answer. Prop. H means more congestion, more cars, more smog, etc. If thats what you want then there is already a place for you, its called Los Angeles.

At 11:20 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

SF becoming more like LA is not the likeliest scenario we face. Instead, SF is becoming more like Manhattan, as city progressives endorse the rash of residential highrises on Rincon Hill and in the Market/Van Ness area. Then they turn around and try to limit the amount of parking available for the thousands of new, well-heeled residents they have encouraged in the city. The fantasy is that all these well-off folks moving into the thousands of new housing units are going to take Muni or ride bikes! This is substituting ideology for responsible planning. Prop. H will allow developers to provide adequate parking for all the market-rate housing already in the pipeline for the downtown area---and, importantly, for the 10,000 new residents in all the new housing encouraged by the Market/Octavia Plan in that area.

At 11:53 AM, Blogger efsully said...

Does Don Fisher, who is bankrolling Prop. H really give damn about whether Muni runs on time? I doubt it. When was the last time he took Muni? I think like Leona Helmsley, he sees Muni as only for "the little people." I still think Prop. H is bad in that anything that puts more cars on the street means more Muni busses on Market Street being delayed due to more congestion which of course translates into Muni's on-time performance going down. Perhaps we could build some new parking garages downtown but then ban cars on Market Street so the busses can run free.

At 12:16 PM, Anonymous dsuffoll said...

I'm not a fan of the bike crowd, but prop H is lame. There is no shortage of parking downtown, nor is there a shortage of parking in those high-rises. Even if there were a shortage, let the price go up. The last thing we need is more cars. What we need is better muni, 24-hour bart, and a big garage in West Oakland to store the cars.

It blows my mind that cars are even legal in Manhattan! I don't think this city should be so draconian, but we should have the balls to stand up to suburban laziness, fix muni and keep our quality of life the way it is or better.

I also find it hard to believe that the bike crowd is also pro-high-rise. Those are pretty different demographics so I suggest no hypocrisies there. Yeah, they are often pro "density" but that does not mean manhatan, nor mid-market, it just means sensibly walkable.

At 1:28 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"I also find it hard to believe that the bike crowd is also pro-high-rise. Those are pretty different demographics so I suggest no hypocrisies there."

You may find it hard to believe, but it's true. The Rincon Hill highrises--all six of them---couldn't have happened without the help of Chris Daly and Aaron Peskin. And Mirkarimi voted for them, thinking that they were a great deal. The Market/Octavia Plan includes 40-story highrises in the Market/Van Ness area. This is the progressive vision for SF: encourage population density via thousands of new market-rate housing units, while discouraging developers from providing adequate parking for these inevitably well-off folks. Let them ride Muni or bikes! If you want to walk in the sunny Civic Center, you better hurry up, since those 40-story highrises in the Van Ness/Market area will cast shadows on our beautiful government center.

At 11:10 PM, Blogger The Realist said...

Y'know, I used to be dead set against the "Manhattanizing" of San Francisco, but now I say bring it on! Have you BEEN to Manhattan lately? It's awesome! I think it's still possible that San Fran has a couple of incredible arty-freedomy cycles left in it, but not in the short term. Here's an idea - and NO it's NOT a well-thought out one - but wht not redo prop m from 40 feet to say 80 feet. We don't need to be Park Avenue all over, but we can't keep being Palookaville and claim to be a world class city. If we're paying Park Avenue prices we should GET Park Avenue - kapish?

At 3:24 PM, Anonymous Mary said...

I have been back and forth on Prop H, but I'm leaning against it for the sole reason that adding parking garage cuts often takes away 1 1/2 spaces, and most often not adding enough parking spaces to make up the loss (or if they do provide more than one parking space in the garage added, not allowing neighbors to use the garage/driveway).
I'd like to see more driveway cuts allowed, but only when it will not adversely affect the street parking situation in areas that really need it.
But I am totally with you on the anti-Prop A part!

At 7:04 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The actual number of curb cuts created when property owners put garages under an existing building is small. The few contractors in SF who do this kind of work can only do a handful of garages a year, a drop in the bucket compared to the total number of street parking spaces in city neighborhoods. And my understanding is that these new garages almost always have more than one space, which in effect means several cars are taken out of that neighborhood's Darwinian struggle for street parking. More importantly, if city voters reject Prop. A and pass Prop. H, it would send a clear message to the city's anti-car forces that now have a grip on city traffic policy.


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