Thursday, June 16, 2011

Groundhog Day in SF

Of course Ed Lee is "more of the same," as Chris Daly says. But Daly was pretty much more of the same when he was a supervisor. The only important city issue Daly dissented on during his two terms on the board of supervisors was Mayor Newsom's homeless policies, which Daly called a declaration of war on the poor. 

Turns out that Daly was even wrong about that, since the policies Newsom put in place have had considerable success. Daly and Gavin Newsom actually agreed a lot more than they disagreed---on the Bicycle Plan and anti-carism, the highrises for Rincon Hill and development in general, in particular the half-baked transit corridors, dense-development ideas that City Hall uses to justify it's aggressively pro-development policies.

When he was a supervisor, Daly recused himself from voting on the Market/Octavia Plan because he owned a condo near the project, but now that he's out of office he's free to speak up on that destructive project and, while he's at it, speak up about allowing UC to hijack the old extension property on lower Haight Street for a massive housing development. He hasn't and he won't because he doesn't dissent on either of those awful projects. 

Like the progressives in City Hall, Daly opposes the Parkmerced project because it endangers a lot of rent-controlled housing. That's an important issue, but, like other city progressives, he ignores the impact on traffic that allowing thousands of new housing units will have on an already densely-populated part of town, the 19th Avenue corridor.

Daly has nothing to say about these awful planning decisions because he shares the dubious assumption they're based on, that the city can encourage a lot of development anywhere near a major traffic corridor---Market/Octavia, UC extension, Treasure Island, Parkmerced---without suffering any negative consequences. That's surely a false assumption, but, like Daly the city officials making these bad decisions will be long-gone and enjoying their generous retirement benefits by the time that's evident.

Daly has an unearned reputation as a radical, but erratic behavior and bad language are not the same as serious dissent on important city issues.

The folks at the Bay Citizen agree that this is a one-party town.

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At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Treasure Island is a major traffic corridor?

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The Bay Bridge already funnels a lot of traffic in and out of SF and the East Bay. Hard to believe that a Treasure Island population of 19,000 isn't going to make traffic a lot worse on the bridge, regardless of how many ferry boats or jitney buses they deploy.

At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Octavia Market Plan was before the Planning Commission our SOMA neighborhood, which is less than 30 feet away from the South Van Ness and Mission 400 foot monster highrises begged for some rationale discussion of the endless issues related to unmitigated impacts (like zero parking provided yet can guess that some of the people moving into those monsters will still have a care). The physical impact of having residential and light commercial use in the shadow of the monsters...wind tunnel, added noise if we don't have enough already. Of course the Commission passed it not even considering a tapper height transition. So where was Daly?? Of course he never picked up the phone to answer our plead to raise those questions.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Daly was MIA on the Market/Octavia project because he recused himself, as did Dufty. The City Attorney allowed this, but it seems odd to me that, in a district election system, a supervisor can be recused because he/she owns property in a district that by law they have to live in! In a large project area like the M/O Plan, of course it's hard to own property that doesn't approach those project boundaries.

But the entire progressive leadership in SF has allowed this highrise, dense development theory to go unchallenged. In part this is a consequence of the anti-car views that dominate in City Hall, which leads to an inadequate approach to mitigating the traffic impacts of large developments.

The EIR on the M/O Plan even fails to examine the impact of the Octavia Boulevard traffic, which, according to the city, carried 45,000 vehicles a day only months after it opened in 2005.

Nevertheless, the BOS okayed that project, even though the plan has no serious mitigations of the traffic impact of bringing in thousands of new residents into that area. And of course that project limits the number of parking spaces developers can provide for new housing developments. The EIR on M/O even lists the Van Ness BRT as a mitigation of traffic impacts!

The city is proceeding on the false assumption that it can allow massive housing developments---the M/O Plan, Parkmerced, Treasure Island, the UC extension project, etc.---without dealing realistically with the traffic all this new housing will generate.

But here's how the bike people and the anti-car movement are thinking: yes of course these projects will create a lot more traffic on city streets, which means they can then push even more radical anti-car policies, like Congestion Pricing. Hence, it's a win-win deal for the anti-car movement: create more traffic with heedless development policies, which will then allow them to implmement even more anti-car policies to deal with the traffic they helped create!

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Here's link to an earlier post on the Market/Octavia Plan, a huge project that has received very little media coverage in SF. The so-called alternative media has also been MIA on this issue.

When thinking about the recusal issue on the M/O Plan, you have to look at the extensive boundaries of that project. It would be hard to own property in District 5 and District 6 without bumping up against those project boundaries.

By recusing himself from voting on the M/O project, Daly is able to avoid voting on a project that nicely exemplifies all the half-baked planning and traffic theories that now predominate in City Hall, the consequences of which won't be evident until years hence, when all the chickens come home to roost.

At 3:17 PM, Anonymous City Planner said...

This is nothing. Now Daly and the SFBC are tag-teaming to strong arm the owner of the ARCO station at Fell/Divis to take the property over for the city, to replace the gas station with a 7 story mixed retail/residential. And of course NO parking in order to remove the conflict with their precious bike lane on Fell!

The backroom deals by Daly - don't be fooled by his "I'm just running a bar" schtick will ruin the city. This was dropped off at planning and while ridiculous appears to be "bulletproof"

At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Bob Assderson said...

Only post those who agree with you, asshole.

At 4:37 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I'm posting this just to tell you that going out of your way to insult me is not the same as "disagreeing" with me. Got it? Either you make an effort to address the contents of a post or I dump your comments.

At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Rocky's Pop said...

Another high ranking public official bike-nut.


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