Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vote no on the street bond in November

For years the city has been waging a predatory war on drivers in San Francisco. Mayor Newsom made that policy explicit several years ago: “Make it harder to drive and make it costlier, and then you use the money to fund public transit.” 

The city already extracts a lot of money from everyone who drives in San Francisco. From MTA's San Francisco Transportation Fact Sheet (go to the MTA website, scroll down and click on "reports"): from parking meters, $38,868,351; from the city's parking lots, $37,515,348; from residential parking permits, $7,905,051; and from parking tickets, $95,727,234 for a total of $180,015,984 collected in fiscal year 2009/2010.

The city also has a steady flow of Prop. K sales tax money that's supposed to be used for city streets and our transportation system: $72 million this year. 

(Alas, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority---governed by the Board of Supervisors---is throwing a lot of the Prop. K money---$123 million---into a bottomless pit called the Central Subway project, the political deal masquerading as a transportation project.)

But that's evidently not enough for a bloated city government to keep our streets paved. A story in the Chronicle warns us that City Hall is going to run a $248 million bond by the voters in November to raise more money to maintain city streets, because people in the neighborhoods are getting restless about the condition of their streets. From the Chronicle's story:

[Mayor] Lee said that in a series of recent town hall meetings he convened in neighborhoods across San Francisco, a common demand---or plea---has emerged at each: "Mayor Lee, can we just fix the potholes?"

According to the city, it costs $50 million a year to maintain city streets. Seems like the money the city already raises should more than enough to do that and still leave a lot left over for Muni.

While city voters are voting for a sensible pension system for city workers in November, they should reject this bond and insist that City Hall use the money they already raise to pave our streets.

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At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were 100% less Nuclear Meltdowns this month than last. Ergo, getting safer!

The absolute numbers in this report are still appalling.

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

Apparently you meant to make this comment to the post on the Collision Report. "Appalling"---like Stampe's use of "outrage"---is hyperbole, since the numbers show that our streets have been getting safer every year.

At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"very bad" is safer than "very very bad" but it doesn't mean that it's acceptable.

If you were penniless and I gave you a penny, you'd probably still whine that you're poor, despite the increase in your net wealth.

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

If pigs had wings, maybe they would fly. Obviously you haven't read the report I linked in the post you're supposedly referring to ("Latest City Report...", May 21). The MTA is doing an excellent job of making our streets safer in the last 10 years, and, as they make clear in the report, they have an ongoing system in place that evaluates the intersections wtih the most accidents to see how they can make them safer.

You cling to the SF Walk, SFBC party line, that there's an ongoing safety emergency on city streets. If you persist in this falsehood even after you've been referred to information that contradicts it, you qualify as a liar.

At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like the SFMTA has been on a roll in the last year or so, all the new bike lanes have been a terrific asset in calming traffic, but I'm not voting for this bond. If SF was so cash poor, they shouldn't have given Twitter a six year tax holiday

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Where exactly have new bike lanes "calmed" traffic? Yes, the bond must be rejected just as a new retirement system has to be endorsed by city voters. I'm a Democrat, but City Hall is squandering public money with the Central Subway project. Muni only covers 25% of its costs with the fares it collects, which tells me there's a lot of savings to be made in MTA's labor costs.

At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like how Rob says, "The MTA is doing an excellent job of making our streets safer in the last 10 years". Isn't the MTA implementing the bike plan? They are doing an excellent job, just not with stuff Rob doesn't like.

Bike lanes on streets make the streets safer for pedestrians as well as safer for cyclists.

At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

--> Where exactly have new bike lanes "calmed" traffic?

So what you are saying is that the new bike lanes have not "Screwed up" traffic?

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Which bike lanes where? You have to be specific to make that argument.

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, why don't you cite a specific one that has "screwed up traffic". I think the onus is on you.

At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems anon got you by the tongue because no streets have been "screwed up". It was just your "sky-is-falling" hyperbole. You hate bikes. Your goal is suppress their use as much as possible. Grow the fuck up.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You mean I'm supposed to go out and do traffic studies on city streets to see if new bike lanes have made traffic worse?

The most important streets haven't been "improved" with bike lanes yet---Second Street, Fifth Street, Cesar Chavez, and Masonic Avenue, for example.

But the EIR on the Bicycle Plan did tell us that the Plan is going to make traffic worse in the city. I did a post on the DEIR, and the Examiner did a story on it, too.

We are already learning that the Bicycle Plan is making it difficult by removing street parking that small businesses rely on: upper Market Street, on Ocean Avenue, and on 17th Street.

At 5:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Upper Market Street "write-up" was from 2006 and the 17th street NYT column was a hack job. That was such a joke of an excuse of journalism. He went out looking for people who were bitching and only interviewed them. He didn't get one person who rides or even drives on that stretch.

Your sources are shit.

At 7:23 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

How convenient to reject evidence you don't like. The upper Market bike lanes were in the Bicycle Plan. In fact we used declarations from a lot of those merchants to show that the city continued implementing the Plan before the hearing, which helped convince Judge Warren to issue the injunction.

You mean the Examiner reporter was supposed to interview cyclists on 17th Street to find out what they think about taking away street parking for those businesses? Gee, I wonder what they would have said? The reporter did interview MTA's Sallaberry and control freak Leah Shahum, who even tried to quash the story!

What about Ocean Avenue? Another put-up job?

The more that people in the neighborhoods have contact with you folks, the less they like you.

At 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"you folks"? Who are "you folks"? You act like people who use a bike sometimes are a different species. We are all people who use different means at different times to get around.

You frame the debate in a way that hurts everyone and helps no one.

At 9:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that his lawsuit is a distant memory, nothing that Rob does hurts anyone. He is an irrellevant blogger. As it should be.

At 9:37 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I thought you were a different. That's what I learned at the movies.

"You frame the debate in a way that hurts everyone and helps no one."

Oh, bullshit. What debate? I notice that we stopped talking about the street bond and how much transportation money the city is pissing away. Why would I want to help City Hall and the SFBC? They're both a plague on the city, basing development and traffic policy on half-baked, pseudo-intellectual "smart growth" crap.

Like the above post on pedestrian safety, Murphy's comment changes the subject to parklets, which is typical. He never reads any of the links and often misreads the post itself. And then the anonymous commenters, grateful for the change of subject, chime in.

What you can't deal with is the fact that the city's own accident reports show that our streets are steadily getting safer over the years. That contradicts the whole anti-car hysteria fostered by Walk SF and the SFBC.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"Now that his lawsuit is a distant memory, nothing that Rob does hurts anyone. He is an irrellevant[sic] blogger. As it should be."

And, as it happens, you're another gutless San Francisco "progressive" offering up another content-free comment that's so lame it's like a parody. The street bond and the city's mismanagement of transportation money isn't "a distant memory." No comment on that, Distant Memory?

At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing like a hillbilly from the far reaches of humanity to come down and lead us ignorant city folk to the promised land. We all thank you Rob for saving us from ourselves.

At 3:44 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Look, you're anonymous, so you can say what you really think about the proposed street bond. Instead, we get this witless crap.


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