Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Parking-protected bike lane on 13th Street under the Central Freeway.
Mary Miles (SB #230395)
Attorney at Law
San Francisco, CA 94102

Edward Reiskin, Director
Roberta Boomer, Secretary, and
Members of the Board
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency ("MTA")
1 S. Van Ness Ave., 7th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

DATE: September 5, 2017


This is public comment on Agenda Item 10.1(S) of the September 5, 2017 MTA Board Meeting “adopting environmental findings and approving the following parking and traffic modifications…(S) ESTABLISH---TWO LEFT LANES MUST TURN LEFT---13th St. eastbound at Bryant St.” (Referred to in this Comment as the “Project”) Please provide a copy of this Comment to all MTA Board Members and place a copy in all applicable MTA files. As noted on the MTA Board Agenda, a determination under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) is subject to appeal to the Board of Supervisors within 30 days. 

As already explained in previous comment incorporated by reference here, The Project will clearly have significant impacts under CEQA, including transportation, air quality, safety, and parking impacts. The claimed "categorical exemption" does not apply for the reasons already stated. 

In addition, the approval action before you must be denied, because MTA staff Jennifer Wong repeatedly, emphatically and without qualification stated in testimony both before this Board on April 18, 2017, and before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on June 27, 2017, the falsehood that the 13th Street Project would not remove two traffic lanes on 13th Street eastbound at Bryant Street. 

Those and other material falsehoods by Ms. Wong and other MTA staff substantively and materially misled the public and the Board of Supervisors as to the Project’s impacts on traffic, parking, air quality, GHG, and emergency vehicle access.

The failure to accurately describe the Project violates CEQA’s fundamental purpose to inform the public and decisionmakers and distorts and invalidates the environmental analysis. Here Ms. Wong and other staff repeatedly insisted (over public evidence to the contrary) that the Project would NOT remove two traffic lanes on eastbound 13th Street. 

Further, CEQA prohibits piecemealed and segmented environmental “review” such as MTA’s attempted deception here. 

For all the reasons previously stated and stated here, the Board must therefore reject this proposed Project because it violates CEQA. Further, as an ethical matter for misleading the public, the MTA should immediately take action against its employees who, as here, lie to the public and the decisionmakers.

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Why is all this traffic on Octavia Blvd. in the first place? See Octavia Boulevard and the "transit-rich" mythology and John King's amen chorus: Norquist and Macdonald.

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Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - DACA
Deb Milbrath

President Trump's cruel and gutless action on DACA is typical of bullies and blowhards like him, since they are usually also cowards. Instead of forthrightly rejecting Obama's executive action protecting dreamers, Trump punted the issue to a congress that's unlikely to act.

There is an eerie familiarity to President Trump’s position on deporting immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children. It contains the same mix of cruelty and desperate incompetence as his position on repealing Obamacare. There is the alternating of threats and bluster with sweet promises; the repeated delays in hopes a solution will somehow materialize; the lack of interest in programmatic detail...and the final lurch into blame-avoidance that we are seeing now (“Congress, get ready to do your job---DACA!,” Trump demands, bluntly framing the policy as something Congress, not Trump, was supposed to have been working on these past seven and a half months...

It should be obvious to everyone by now that Trump is not a serious person about anything of importance. He doesn't really care about public policy or the impact it has on people. He doesn't care about religion, which made his mealy-mouthed piety the other day about "praying" for the people of Houston particularly revolting.

Willie Brown in last Sunday's Chronicle:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has become the latest victim in our new world of politics — one where instant emotional gratification and ideological reinforcement crowd out intelligent discourse. Feinstein jammed a stick into a snake pit when she said in a Commonwealth Club appearance that there was little chance of President Trump being impeached, and that she hoped “he has the ability to learn and to change, and if he does he can be a good president.”

Everyone understands that a Republican congress won't impeach Trump---at least not yet based on what we know now. But it's just stupid to hope that Trump will ever become anything but the contemptible human being he has always been. That Feinstein even voiced that hope shows that at 84 she's well past her sell-by date and should retire.

More from Brown:

Look, folks. There’s no reason to root against Trump learning and changing and being a “good president.” That would mean he wouldn’t blunder us into a nuclear war with North Korea, and would get religion on immigration, and wouldn’t let corporations do whatever they want to the environment. If he became a good president, that would mean he wasn’t using the office to enrich himself and his family and that he was respecting the rule of law...That is the way it is in today’s politics, where the key to success is to pander to people’s emotions rather than getting them to think or face reality.

If pigs had wings, they might fly. Donald Trump is---and always has been---a swine. Brown matches Feinstein's stupidity with some of his own.

See also Paul Krugman: The Very Bad Economics of Killing DACA.

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Jim Morin

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