Monday, September 20, 2010

Putting the Noe Valley plaza in context

Anonymous has a good comment on the post on the Noe Valley plaza issue:

"Confusion, confusion. A lot of dancing, but everyone is going home alone. P2P was created for one reason; to further the political ambitions of an alchoholic adulterer whose mommy told him he could be President one day. The rest is details. The bike coalition is a voting block, and oh so young, cute and fresh. Maybe even have some dippy sorority girls in there for big Gavie. So the mayor's office has one of their svelte boys go over to planning and create this neat lil program, all the svelte boys get together and decide where they want to 'do' some Plazas, and that's where we are. What shut Noe St Plaza down was not in any way to do with anyone coming to their senses. It was about Bevan, half as ambitous as Gavie, walking into the mayor's office, hat in hand, begging to have the svelte boys back off so he could run for mayor without the Plaza albatross hanging around his neck like a five day dead fish. A few lil facts for the record, I will repeat them here because they continue to be lied about. The 'leak' re the Plaza happened 1st week in April. The grant from the mayor's office was awarded in Feb. That means the NVA HAD to write the Grant Request in Jan., at the latest. Did the NVA go to the mayor's/supervisor's office unprovoked, uninvited re this subject? If you think so, I have a nice lil rental in Healdsburg with a 2 car garage I am willing to let go cheap."

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At 2:31 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

Cute. This guy learned to write from Willie Brown.

For reference

"The twelve new locations will include a new plaza at the intersection of 24th Street and Noe Street in Noe Valley and Parklets, or wooden sidewalk extensions, on Divisadero Street in Nopa, 22nd Street in the Mission, Columbus Avenue in North Beach, and Clement Street in the Richmond."

- February 25, 2010

At 3:09 PM, Blogger rocky's dad said...

Ok, so this anon person thinks he or she is a clever writer. They said nothing I learned.. And they said false things.

What shut the silly plaza..I mean Noe St. closure down was enough of us educated and logical Noe Valley residents, including me, to demand one of our public streets we pay taxes for is NOT closed to create a useless, windswept seating area to drink lattes and park strollers. In other words, a dumb idea from the beginning.

Bevan Dufty listened to us and supported the correct decision to not pursue the plaza idea further.

As for the parklets, I still have mixed feelings about them. Largely, they seem to be trivial and "of the moment"..without adding any notable substance to the quality of life in Noe V or elsewhere. They remove much needed and used parking spots, causing traffic to circle more for a space. Are the parklets horrible? No, just trivial.

Let's use public money to clean up the dog shit, plant more trees and sidewalk landscape, increase police foot patrols and deal with our homeless people...


At 3:32 PM, Anonymous mikesonn said...

If there are so few parking spots in Noe Valley, why push to have a parking lot closed down?

And thank you for pointing out that you are "educated and logical", I would have missed that otherwise.

At 7:37 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

While rocky's dad thinks the parklets are trivial - Noe Valley disagrees.

Andres Power sent out a mail to Noe Valley indicating the results of a survey done by P2P at a meeting held June 30.

"a survey at the June 30th workshop, for example, demonstrated 3 to 1 support for this proposal"

75%... that's filibuster proof, even in Rob Anderson land.

At 9:20 PM, Blogger rocky's dad said...

Doesn't mean they won't get built and used. Big deal.

I feel they are trivial and a very flimsy and temporary "solution" if you can call it that, to making NV more...shall we say.."livable"..

They will come..and they will go. And the city will continue to ignore better long term permanent solutions to creating great streets.

At 10:27 PM, Anonymous mikesonn said...

rocky's dad, what are your amazing solutions to great streets that the city is ignoring?

Also, if parking is in such shortage, why push for the closing of a parking lot?

And if they get built and used, isn't that the point?

At 12:59 PM, Blogger rocky's dad said...

Ok, I'll clarify a few things for you mikesonn:

Read some of my comments a few lines back: Plant more street trees (with city money), clean up the dog shit (or figure out ways to solve the damn problem), solve the homeless problem, add more police foot patrols in all 'hoods.

Just to name a few ways to create "great streets" Parklets won't do it.

The parking lot on 24th near Vicksburg is losing money for the owners; The Noe Valley Ministry. They need money (a lot) to completely renovate their aging building and bring it up to seismic safety codes. Selling the parking lot would bring them the money. The lot is not used a lot. The parking spots adjacent to businesses are. Go figure why. I'll leave that to you.

Any more questions, mike?

At 2:36 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"The lot is not used a lot. The parking spots adjacent to businesses are. Go figure why."

Please tell us. Are you saying that parking lot is not in a good location... a.k.a. next to businesses? So let me get this straight - we put parking spots in good locations, and we put parks/plazas in shitty locations.

At 2:45 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

There's even more circular logic there... my head is spinning...

The lot is not used a lot. The parking spots adjacent to businesses are.

Rob Anderson 101 - in order for business to thrive, it needs parking. There is ample parking in that lot. But nobody parks there because the lot is not adjacent to businesses. But why aren't there thriving businesses there, given that there is ample adjacent parking?

And while God Bless the Noe Valley Ministry, their retrofit is not the City's problem. The fact that the NVM needs money should play ZERO part in whether this project goes forward. If the plaza is a good idea, we do it. If not, we don't, and the NVM will have to find a buyer.

At 2:56 PM, Anonymous mikesonn said...

No questions, just statements. Parking isn't THAT important if many open spots can be found within a block or two. You could walk around with a scooper if the dog crap problem is really that bad. And contact Friends of the Urban Forest if you feel more trees are needed in your neighborhood.

At 2:57 PM, Anonymous mikesonn said...

oh, and it's mikesonn, respect me enough to call me by my real name!!

Ha, the irony with you, rocky's dad, never ceases to amaze!

At 7:17 PM, Anonymous kwk said...

These sMurph types pushed themselves as some kind of fabulous we're so green right in the big-bad inner city pioneers with that idiotic Noe/24th street blockade. One merely need go to the edge of Noe Valley to see another of Andres Power's creations; Newsom even put up a youtube video extolling this Guerrero Park.

(The video is 18 minutes of sheer boredom in which Newsom practices his media training on the taxpayer dime; he needs to look good when he runs for governer and then President.)

But the "park" itself is just plain ugly, it's not an "oasis" as it's creators call it but rather an urban eyesore. If the people involved in the design and implementation of that thing are proud of what they accomplished then they're in the wrong line of work.

And like the Noe/24th plaza the instigators claimed Guerrero Park was just a "trial" (for these kind a "trial" is a way of sneaking something in) yet they have all dissociated themsevles from it ("Andres Power, the project manager for Pavement to Parks, said he will no longer be involved in building parklets" [ September 16, 2010]) leaving the collection of ratty weeds, dried out shrubs and seven foot high metal cans to block an intersection and fester and decay.

No one, literally no one, is ever in that "park," it's sole purpose was to allow Power to add to his resume for the next job and for Newsom to brag about accomplishing something. It's the residents that remain who lose.

At 7:18 PM, Blogger rocky's dad said...

Ok guys, I'll indulge you a bit to clarify a few things and respond to some of your comments.

1. I don't know why the parking lot is not used more, or making money for the NV ministry. I have only read that it isn't. One can go by there almost any time of day and find it somewhat empty. Maybe it's the cost of parking. I don't know.
2.Of course it's not the city's problem to help fix the seismic/structural issues of the NV Building. No one said it was, including me. You read too much into things.
But they need the money. The lot has value. The lot is a strong candidate for becoming a permanent NV And I suspect there are many times of funds available; public/private/grants to eventually purchase the lot for the plaza. That's my hope.
3. I know you hate it when I attack your Parklets. To me they seem a trivial way of adding livability to our urban streets. They are cute, trendy, and flimsy. They cost money. They serve mostly hipster/white folks with money (sorry if I offend anyone, my opinion)to hang out for a short time and drink an espresso drink. Big deal. Do they make streets better? Prob not. Do they hurt streets? prob not.
I'd rather see more long term, permanent urban design solutions to create more greenery, more casual seating areas than the parklets.
Sad to say, I feel, our city leaders often go for quick fixes, great sound bites and great picture opportunities (such as the mayor at a parklet) rather than serious major solutions to our problems of crime, homeless, safety, etc.

btw: I have worked with the Friends of the Urban Forest for a number of years in Noe V planting and paying for lots of street tree planting. They are awesome.

At 9:33 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

Kim - you spent a lot of time on that comment and referenced sources incorrectly.

Andres Power is no longer involved in building parklets, but he is still the manager of Pavement to Parks. Parklet is a defined term - examples of which are the parklets on 22nd, Divisadero, and soon to be on 24th Street. Guerrero is not a parklet - it is a plaza, like 17th and Castro and Showplace. That article does not indicate that Power is disassociated from plaza type projects - he is not.

Doug - the parklets received 75% approval from your neighbors - not the City leaders. Noe Valley asked for them, collectively. You are the one that is out of touch.

At 8:19 AM, Anonymous mikesonn said...

That was probably one of your most reasoned responses, rocky's dad. Thank you. Now, if I may...

1) That means either the parking lot is too expensive or on street parking is too cheap (or a combination of the two).

2) I have no iron in that fire so not going to comment.

3) I completely agree that quick fix, fancy photo ops are exactly what our elected officials (especially Newsom) want/get. However, I think parklets fill a demand (trivial or not). I'd argue that if they are used by more then one person per hour then they are serving a greater good then private automobile storage on public land.

And well done on your work with FUF. They do some great work.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger rocky's dad said...

Thanks mikesonn.

@murph: Well, obviously there are others (kwk) who have strong opinions about the plaza debacle and the guerrero plaza. Trust me, plenty of us feel those ideas were and are mis-guided.
(thanks kwk for your comments. much appreciated.)

I think the most insightful part of kwk's comment was the notion that others, such as murph, and other "green obsessed types" is that you bully and push your agenda on all other citizens here, rather than allow for a variety of ways to live in The City. You consistently come across as arrogant and self-righteous. Why not simply temper your tone somewhat and allow that, for example, biking is great for some people and their particular situation, rather than continue to push for others to live just like you.
For many people, cars are there preferred and best mode of most transit. So is walking, for some. So is public transit, for some.

That's always been my approach: being very open minded to many ways of living the urban life.

At 3:22 PM, Blogger rocky's dad said...

I always love how people can "re-purpose" thoughts and ideas into a new vocabulary.

So, parking spaces that have existed on city streets for, oh, I don't know..maybe 75 years or more were never thought of as selfish, or self serving, or even for "private" use.

Now we have this new language: they are now called "private automobile storage on public land". Yea, right.

Using that same logic could one call designated and striped bike lanes say..."private bike routes for bikes ONLY on public land"? After all, a bike (except for bike sharing) are "private" modes of transit.

And get this: The bikes don't even pay any form of vehicle tax or transportation tax for use of this "free" route. Hmmmm.

At the very least car drivers pay for metered parking, not to mention DMV fees, and gas taxes which goes to pay for our PUBLIC STREETS where the bike lanes reside.

This doesn't smell right.

At 7:56 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"At the very least car drivers pay for metered parking, not to mention DMV fees, and gas taxes which goes to pay for our PUBLIC STREETS where the bike lanes reside."

Not only that, I get a $20 per month tax deduction for riding my bike to work.

It's not my fault you suck at politics. Rookies.

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, you're so slick, Murph, but apparently not slick enough to sell people in Noe Valley on the plaza idea. Still sounds like that neighborhood group was scheming with the city long before anyone else in the neighborhood knew about it.

And exactly when did you learn about that idea, Murph?

At 9:05 PM, Blogger rocky's dad said...

Good grief. murph seems to be getting a little hot under the collar these days.

He's such a good little boy, and rewarded for riding his bike to work.

And of course he diverts my previous comments to his own ego.

And yes, Rob. The intelligent folks of Noe V saw thru that lame attempt to try and hi-jack one of our streets for his little stroller park. Didn't work.

We're pretty good at keeping those suburbanite newbies at bay.

At 9:13 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

While screwing up traffic riding up the new bike lane on Clipper...mmm... bike lanes...

At 2:02 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...


Noe Valley, Noe Valley

At 7:39 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Murph still hasn't answered the question: When did he first learn about the Noe Valley plaza idea? Was he in on it from the start?

At 8:27 AM, Anonymous mikesonn said...

Gas taxes, registration fees, DMV fees pay for a VERY small percentage of actual road maintenance or new road construction. The majority of costs for roads are paid through property taxes. So, Rocky's dad, by Murph being on a bike and imparting less wear and tear on the road, he is OVER paying for his use of the road.

At 9:57 AM, Blogger rocky's dad said...

Ok mike, fair enuf to a point. Yes, we all agree that bikes cause less wear and tear on our public roads. I agree.

But you kind of sidestepped my comment about bike riders paying some sort of vehicle fee (as well as liability insurance). That seems reasonable.

And why shouldn't bikes be legally registered like cars? Perhaps these fees, albeit small, would pay for some additional bike amenities, such as bike racks, bike parking meters, striping, etc.

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

And don't forget: cyclists are also saving the planet.

At 1:37 PM, Anonymous mikesonn said...

You totally missed my point that car drivers DO NOT pay near as much for roads as you claim. Obviously, you focus on my comment about bikes because that is easier for you to attack. Facts that don't fit the narrative get tossed out the window.

And setting up the system for a bike registration would cost multiples more then any revenue received. But if you'd enjoy charging cyclists, I'd gladly pay the couple cents a year so the discussion could return to reality.

And my name is mikesonn, rocky's dad. Get it straight. I complied with your request to refer to you as "rocky's dad".


At 3:00 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Like Murphy and the other bike nuts who comment on this blog, you never read anything I link. The Chronicle story you link provides no context for the number they use. But when you read the "City of San Francisco 2008 Bicycle Collision Report" and the "San Francisco 2008 Collisions Report," you learn that accidents on the streets of the city have been going down for years. Go to the MTA's website, click on "Bike," and then click on "Reports and Studies," which will take you to those reports.

Like Murph, you can keep trying for the quick, witty score with your comments, but, like Murph, wit clearly isn't your strong suit, Mike. It just makes you look dumb.

At 3:10 PM, Anonymous mikesonn said...

Rob, if you think I look dumb, you just made my weekend.

I think I'll go for a bike ride this weekend and put wings on an angel!

At 3:34 PM, Blogger rocky's dad said...

I almost always miss mikes or murphs "points" cause they are never clear.

Bottom line...once again:

Vehicles pay SOME fees to our state coffers, in the form of registration and gas taxes. Drivers are also required to have insurance.

Bike owners pay NONE of that, yet use the roads. Even if bikes cause little if any wear and tear to road, and they prob dont, I'd like to see them pay SOME amount for riding on the public way.

At 3:45 PM, Anonymous mikesonn said...

From your study:

"There were 468 injury collisions in 2008 involving bicyclists, up slightly from the 451 total recorded in 2007. The 2008 bicycle injury collision total is the highest in the past ten years."

Um, highest in the past ten years is the same as our streets getting safer?

At 3:56 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"But you kind of sidestepped my comment about bike riders paying some sort of vehicle fee (as well as liability insurance). That seems reasonable."

If I cause an accident on my bike, my auto insurance policy would kick in, unlike the 12% of California drivers who are uninsured (and unlicensed due to never having a license, a suspended license, etc...)

At 7:11 PM, Blogger rocky's dad said...

As usual you guys sidestep every issue here, and focus back on some component of the bike culture.

You seem to ignore the fact that all the cyclists who don't own a car, in all probability, do NOT carry any kind of liability insurance, nor do they carry any kind of biking license, nor do they pay any fees whatsoever to ride FREE on the public streets.

At 8:33 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

You are far more likely to be involved in an accident not your fault with an uninsured driver than an uninsured cyclist simply because there are tens of thousands more uninsured drivers than there are uninsured cyclists.

Additionally, the magnitude of financial cost due to an accident by an at fault uninsured driver is substantially higher than an accident due to an uninsured cyclist - on average (cue - Doug Shoemaker's hypothetical anecdote).

Period. It's not even close.

If we charged cyclists 50 bucks a year that would not come close to covering the underfunding of the DMV due to drivers who don't have a license, registration, or pay insurance, not to mention the money all of us pay in higher insurance premiums to cover their misdeeds.

Not even close. Address that...

At 12:58 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"Um, highest in the past ten years is the same as our streets getting safer?"

Now you're sounding dumb and dishonest, since the total number of accidents isn't the only way to measure safety. On page 7 of that same report: "At the same time, however, bicycle ridership is on the rise in San Francisco. Numerous measurements have documented the dramatic growth in bicycling in San Francisco in recent years." And on the next page: "The 2009 data revealed a 53.5 percent citywide increase in bicyclists since 2006."

Abnd on page 10: "Figure 6 shows that despite the recent sharp rise in 'raw' injury totals, the bicycle injury collision rate for San Francisco since 2000 has remained relatively stable and even decreased 20.1 percent since 2005...)

And, despite years of anti-car hysteria from the Bicycle Coalition, on page 22 we learn that cyclists in SF are responsible for 49.6% of their own injury "collisions," which doesn't account for solo falls that injure cyclists, which are much more numerous than collisions with motor vehicles ("San Francisco 2008Bicycle Collision Report, February 2010")

At 4:51 PM, Anonymous mikesonn said...

Did Rob Anderson just admit there are more bikes on the road then in previous years? Case closed! We win! All the angels can fly and the air is cleaner and babies are born with tickets to heaven. Thank god for bike people or this world would be in the shits!!! Amen.

At 6:49 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

There's this from the San Francisco 2008 Bicycle Collision Report:
"The 2008 Census American Community Survey found that 2.7 percent of work trips in San Francisco are made by bicycle, a substantial increase from the 2.0 figure in the 2000 Census. Furthermore, the 2008 San Francisco State of Cycling Report used phone and intercept surveys of City residents to determine that 6 percent of all trips in San Francisco are made by bicycle. This amounts to over 128,000 trips made by bicycle each day" (page 7).

Actually, I've, written before about the flawed methodology of the State of Cycling report, wherein they did most of their interviews on Bike to Work Day, not exactly a typical sample of city cyclists. Even if you accept the 6% of all trips figure, which I think is inflated, that still makes you bike zealots a small minority of those who use city streets. But, yes, I agree that there are more cyclists in SF than there were 15 years ago, when I moved back to SF.

At 9:35 AM, Anonymous mikesonn said...

Rocky's dad, here is a nice write up about drivers vs cyclists paying their share for roads.

Grist article

Referenced PDF with stats

You keep advocating for bikes to pay a registration, but only if you start advocating for drivers to start paying their fair share.


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