Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Supervisor Yee and the tunnel fantasy

Scott "Pixie Dust" Wiener

Last week in the SF Examiner:

San Francisco’s sleepy West Side — from the Richmond District to Parkmerced — is often characterized as The City’s suburb, replete with one-story homes, slow-rolling fog, and many, many, many cars. But that may change. Someday, it could be home to The City’s newest underground rail extension. San Francisco is exploring plans to dig a new subway tunnel between West Portal and Parkmerced and also south out to the Ingleside neighborhood, after roughly $960,000 to finish a study of the project was accelerated by Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee on Tuesday morning.

And "someday" I could be the  Pope of Rome.

More from the Examiner story:

[Supervisor]Yee told the San Francisco Examiner that Parkmerced and other neighborhoods he represents will soon see thousands of housing units built — at Parkmerced, at San Francisco State University and perhaps by Stonestown Galleria — necessitating more transit for perhaps 20,000 new residents as well as thousands of current ones.

Yee wasn't the supervisor for that district when I wrote about this way back in 2011 about an earlier study of the area: City study: Parkmerced project will degrade city's quality of life

So why don't we just build some tunnels to avoid traffic gridlock on 19th Avenue?

Right, since the Central Subway project---less than two miles long!---has been such a great success so far, as the Examiner reported the other day. And that project could never have been done without federal and state money.

City politicians and journalists seem to think they're visionaries when they talk about tunneling under the city. Scott Wiener leavens his tunnel fantasies with "pixie dust" to indicate that he's counting on money from an unknown source to pay for that foolishness.

More from the Examiner:

“This concept has been growing and evolving over time,” explained Sarah Jones, planning director at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. “We haven’t fully made it there yet on what it takes to make this a real project,” she said. This new study then, she said, “is the last piece of that.”

No, "the last piece" will be getting the money to dig the tunnels. Where will it come from? Like the dumb high-speed rail project, advocates for these local visions/hallucinations are apparently counting on the success of the Democratic Party next year. 

Taking control of the White House and Congress will presumably allow huge bundles of money to be parachuted into San Francisco by Nancy Pelosi and whichever Democrat is elected president next year.

That seems unlikely as we evidently are moving into a recession next year regardless of the political outcome of the election.

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