Sunday, January 25, 2015

What exactly is the Polk Street bike project?

Save Polk Street sends this message:

SFMTA planner denies plans to create evening tow away zone along Upper Polk Street

Luis Montoya, SFMTA lead planner of the Polk Streetscape Improvement Project, faced concerned residents and merchants in a closed door meeting Thursday in preparation for the upcoming January 30th Public Hearing to approve the agency's long awaited project plans. Community members were alarmed to read that the MTA is proposing a morning and evening daily tow away zone for the implementation of a "temporary floating" bike lane from Pine to Broadway as posted on public notice posters wrapped along utility poles in their neighborhood.

Further questions and concerns grew from a report released from the planning department detailing the project's exemption from an environmental impact report and the proposed plans including raised cycle tracks from Pine to Union, the removal of parking along the entire eastern side of Polk St., and the removal of up to 250 parking spaces at project completion. The report suggests the desire for future implementation of a fullā€time raised cycle track along the east side of Polk St. from Pine to Broadway (and permanent parking removal).

In response to these questions, Mr. Montoya commented that the posters were misprinted and there are absolutely no plans to implement a PM tow away zone along upper Polk St. from Pine to Broadway. He went on to comment that the report from the planning department is not his preferred proposal he will present at the public meeting on January 30th, but the planning department's own interpretation of the project plans and data collected. How the Planning Department concluded the PM tow away zone he could not say. 

He did confirm his agency's intention to implement the morning tow away zone despite minimal ridership numbers the SFMTA has recorded along northbound Upper Polk St. on weekday mornings, and denied the SFMTA is planning to present a plan that calls for the removal of all northbound Polk St. parking to create a raised cycle track from Pine to Broadway St.  He added that his plan will remove approximately 150 parking spaces along the 1.3 mile Polk St. corridor (in addition to the hundreds of spaces being removed for the Van Ness BRT project), not the 250 listed in the Planning Department report.

At the conclusion of the meeting he asked the group for their trust and support despite the inaccurate and misleading public notice posters and planning department report, and left with a permanent marker in hand to personally alter the posted public notice signs. On Friday a majority of the posters had been removed entirely, again questioning the agency's accountability to the community in providing appropriate public outreach.

SAVE POLK STREET asks for your support in preserving and protecting our neighborhood. Please attend the hearing: Friday, January 30, 2015 10:00 a.m. City Hall, Hearing Room 416 

Please email the SFMTA telling them we need our parking on Polk Street:

Rob's comment:

Recall that Montoya was also MTA's point man for the Fell/Oak bike lanes.

The city calls this a "streetscape project," but it's really just a bike project. The city makes the same bogus claim about the Masonic Avenue bike project. 

The lie about safety is now also routinely made to justify these bike projects. Recall that the MTA first made the phony safety claim about Polk Street in a press release two years ago during their first attempt to push this project through. Not surprisingly, Polk Street makes only the briefest appearance in the last Collisions Report (see page 25) because of seven cycling accidents at the Polk and Ellis intersection in three years; even a separated bike lane can't prevent intersection accidents.

Montoya asks the people in Polk Gulch to "trust" him and the MTA, but this is an agency that can't be trusted even to count the accidents on city streets! We're still waiting for an updated Collisions Report, since the last one was issued way back in August, 2012.

The folks in Polk Gulch did good in that meeting two years ago, but it hasn't had any effect, regardless of all the mealy-mouthed talk and pro forma community "outreach" by the MTA. The city is clearly going to do this project no matter what. 

Bike lanes are now exempt from CEQA review, by the way, thanks to our "progressive" Democrats in the state legislature and Governor Brown.

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At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats Kristin, SFMTA, and San Francisco!

At 3:16 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You made your comment to the wrong post, moron. Yes, Kristin is on the gravy train, and city taxpayers lose again, as the MTA adds another feather-bedder to its bloated payroll.

At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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