Thursday, March 06, 2014

Community Justice Center: Bay Guardian, city progs wrong again

Photo Lee Suzuki, SF Chronicle

Five years ago city progressives denounced Mayor Newsom's proposed Community Justice Center as if it was nothing but another front of his alleged war on poor people. They were wrong about Care Not Cash, and now it's clear that they were wrong about the CJC as reported yesterday (Verdict is positive for Justice Center) in the Chronicle:

Newsom first pitched the Tenderloin court as a place to tackle quality-of-life crimes such as camping on sidewalks and public urination, an idea that drew scorn from the public defender, homeless advocates and progressive members of the Board of Supervisors. They dubbed it Newsom's "poverty court" and said it would criminalize homeless people. In 2008, Newsom placed an advisory ballot measure to fund the court before voters---and lost resoundingly. Nonetheless, he'd already secured funding to run the court for one year and managed to keep it running after that. The San Francisco Superior Court, which runs the Community Justice Center, changed the focus to more serious crimes such as drug dealing, shoplifting and car break-ins. It handles misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, a focus that eased many critics' concerns.

The Bay Guardian opposed the Community Justice Center in 2007 here and in 2009 here and here.

Mayor Newsom and Kamala Harris in an op-ed supporting the Community Justice Center idea. It was already looking like a success in 2010.

Speaking of prog failures, Jim Herd at SF Citizen revisits the Octavia Blvd. planning and traffic fiasco. The Chronicle's John King had a long love affair with the "boulevard of dreams," beginning back in 2005:

San Francisco's Octavia Boulevard already is one of the nation's most unusual stabs at neighborhood revitalization, with an elevated freeway being replaced by a landscaped road designed to be a community centerpiece.

Shortly after Octavia Blvd. opened to traffic, it was bringing more than 45,000 cars and trucks through the middle of Hayes Valley. By 2007 there were more than 63,000 cars on Octavia Blvd. coming through the middle of that neighborhood.

But Rich Hillis, now on the Planning Commission, thinks all that traffic is somehow "healing" the neighborhood.

The backstory on Octavia Boulevard.

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At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Octavia has become an unmitigated disaster. Almost no one goes to Hayes Valley anymore, it's too crowded.

At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, Hayes Valley was a thriving community of bums, junkies and muggers, united by a beautiful overpass that provided shade, shelter and privacy. Now it's an open-air wasteland of cafes and baby strollers. It's sad what kind of social engineering the so-called "progressive" anti-car nuts have forced up on us.

At 8:12 AM, Blogger Rkeezy said...

Octavia is proof positive that the unchecked starry eyed one track minds of the development authorities in the city buy into whatever happens to float their boat at the time, without thought for reality or impact on any of their non-preferred group.

Recently I read a MTA document (which I can't remember where I found the link) stating that they were looking at modifying the pedestrian crosswalk that crosses Fell at Octavia to automatically display the walk signal and slow down Octavia and Fell traffic. They were basing this decision on "people are always hitting the button anyways", with NO metrics to back this up, and NO mention of the HUGE impact that even a single unnecessary walk signal has on all the traffic that is backed up on Octavia and on the 101 offramp. Just goes to show that the planners do not care about people who use motor vehicles and views us as second class citizens without rights and without a vote. And for as long as the MTA leadership is appointed by the bike coalition controlled board, we'll continue to have this blatant disregard for the 60%+ of us that take a motor vehicle to work (not to mention the poor saps who have to commute to SF or through SF to get to their job or school or whatever) and the 35% of the people who take public transit. Our agendas are filled with filling Fillmore, bike bulbouts, increasing parking meter fines, etc. The agenda has always been "make the undesirable option horrible" versus "make the desired option preferred". In a transit first city, the city's message is instead "bicycle/pedestrian first". Do traffic bulbouts do anything other than make it tough to make right turns? I see the park benches on Cesar Chavez and Mission which no one ever sits in. Do bulbouts make it so people have to spend exactly 0.5 seconds less in the street when crossing? And at what cost to the general transit health? That cost is never measured, and never taken into account. Due to the Octavia changes, vehicles idle all day long, people take side streets and make dangerous maneuvers out of confusion and desperation. The most convenient action and response by the MTA is to make things hard for drivers then blame drivers for the problems that the MTA has created. What a crock.

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"Octavia has become an unmitigated disaster. Almost no one goes to Hayes Valley anymore, it's too crowded."

There aren't any crowds on Octavia Boulevard itself, and there aren't any businesses, except for that forlorn cafe that seems to change hands every few months. That's because the blocks on Octavia between Market Street and Fell Street are a lot like a freeway. My favorite touch is the bench on the island in the middle of Octavia. Funny but I never see anyone sitting on it.

At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That's because the blocks on Octavia between Market Street and Fell Street are a lot like a freeway. "

Isn't that a good thing..? Cars can go faster and cause less pollution.

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

But they don't "go faster" on Octavia Blvd. The street is often congested, especially during commute hours.


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