Monday, May 20, 2013

Remove the sculptures on Crissy Field

Turns out that I'm not the only one who doesn't like the steel beam sculptures on Crissy Field. Please sign a petition here calling for their removal.

Some comments on the Golden Gate National Parks site: 

From John Oliver:

MOMA and CalTrans have conspired, moving construction debris from the nearby Doyle Drive project to the Crissy Field green for storage. To fool the public, MOMA has christened these erections as "art" and has given one of them a coat of bright orange contrasting with its huge black balls. Is anyone willing to say that "Emperor MOMA" is not wearing clothes let alone demand that this blighting scrap metal be removed PRONTO!

From Elizabeth Leaf:

These sculptures are eyesores. They detract from the beauty of the natural view of the bay & the gorgeous Golden Gate Bridge. They are annoying obstructions & they are visually offensive. Please remove them so that we can have our beautiful and serene view back.

I agree entirely.

Beams with balls

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Tilly Chang, the SFCTA, and Congestion Pricing

Tilly Chang

People in the city are familiar
with the Municipal Transportation Agency, otherwise known as "Muni." It's the burgeoning city bureaucracy of more than 5,000 employees[Later: As of 2015, the MTA had 6,263 employees] that mismanages our bus system and preys on everyone who has to drive in San Francisco.

Not many are familiar with the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) that administers the sales tax money for transportation from Proposition K, but it's also an important player in City Hall's ongoing war on cars. (Finding out exactly how much money the SFCTA gets every year from Prop. K is not easy. Based on some obscure agency documents, I concluded that it raises $70-80 million a year. Earlier today I sent the SFCTA a request for that information, but have had no response yet.[Later: They provided it. See this post.)

The SFCTA pays for Bike to Work Day and a lot of "improvements" to city streets. On its homepage right now there's an announcement for Cycle Tracks: "CycleTracks uses a smartphone's GPS to record users' bicycle routes, times, and display maps of their rides. It was developed to help San Francisco transportation planners understand the trade-offs cyclists evaluate when choosing a route."

Like the folks at the MTA, the SFCTA sees dealing with our dysfunctional Muni system as secondary to making the streets of San Francisco more "comfortable" and convenient for cyclists. See the SFCTA's Bicycle Program Coordination page.

Tilly Chang has been pushing Congestion Pricing for the SFCTA for years, when she isn't trying to undermine the present sensible LOS method of measuring traffic jams in San Francisco. But it's all part of the same project: making it as difficult and expensive as possible to drive in San Francisco. Over the years, Chang's agenda has been written about mostly in the San Francisco Business Journal: here, here, here, and here.

Now comes the SF Examiner's Will Reisman, who has been embedded in the City Hall transportation bureaucracy for years. His story in today's examiner reads like a rewrite of a press release or, just as likely, an account of a phone conversation he had with Chang:

“It’s time to really plan proactively to avoid gridlock,” Chang said. “If the growth anticipated in the region happens, we’ll be facing massive delays and really unsafe conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists.” The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, has been working with the authority on the circulation study. Spokesman Paul Rose said the agency is interested in exploring some of the ideas put forth in the authority’s report.

The problem Chang and the anti-car folks in the MTA and the SFCTA have: public opinion polls show that the people of San Francisco are overwhelmingly opposed to paying a fee to drive downtown in their own city. The latest Chamber of Commerce poll showed 69% against and only 26% in favor of Congestion Pricing.

And, according to Proposition 26, the city will have to get a 2/3 vote of approval from city voters before they can shove Congestion Pricing down our throats, which doesn't mean they won't keep trying.

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Larry Bush's CitiReport

Latest edition of Larry Bush's CitiReport is out:

This week the Board of Supervisors may take up their one appointment to the SF Ethics Commission. The appointee will serve until 2017---years past the terms of some of the supes who will vote on this, the only appointment the Board can make. 

Two candidates applied, but the Rules Committee forwarded only the candidate who has political ties to themselves, Brett Andrews. He is backed only by an organization regulated by the Ethics Commission. They did not forward Hulda Garfolo, who chaired the Civil Grand Jury report on Ethics called The Sleeping Watch Dog. Garfolo is backed by Friends of Ethics and more than two dozen community leaders.

Two of the three Rules Committee members have been in office for less than six months and appear to lack any knowledge of the Civil Grand Jury report or the Harvey Rose report on Ethics calling for reforms...
And check out the links on Bush's Ethics Syllabus page.

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Bay to Breakers neighborhood poll

The North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association (NOPNA) and something called the District 5 Neighborhood Action Committee (D5NAC) would like people in the neighborhood to take this poll on yesterday's Bay to Breakers race.

Represented Neighborhoods:

North Panhandle Neighborhood Association (NOPNA), Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association (HVNA), Divisadero Merchants Association (DMA), Alamo Square Neighborhood Association (ASNA), Lower Haight Merchants and Neighborhood Association (LoHaMNA), Haight Asbury Improvement Association (HAIA), Buena Vista Neighborhood Association (BVNA), Cole Valley Improvement Association (CVIA) and Inner Sunset Park Neighbors (ISPN), Fillmore/Lower Fillmore Neighborhood Association, Haight Asbury Neighborhood Council (HANC)