Local Issues - public meeting summaries & announcements.
NOVEMBER 2016 BALLOT ENDORSEMENTS
We had a great meeting on September 14 at the Upper Noe Rec Center. Upper Noe neighbors was one of the first neighborhood groups in the city to highlight a few of the 42 ballot initiatives of this 2016 election season. See the meeting summary.
We strongly endorse Scott Wiener. Scott has a long history in our community and been responsive to our concerns. He has supported our residents and he in turn deserves our support. Scott is a seasoned, balanced representative who understands both the small and large issues facing San Francisco neighborhoods. He has a proven record of accomplishment and leadership in finding solutions. He is dedicated and relentless on even the most complicated and long-term issues. Scott's support was instrumental in eliminating SFMTA plans for a tech shuttle hub on Dolores Street. We appreciate his persistence, willingness to collaborate and ability to find compromise.
Prop. I and Prop. E are in the best interest of our residents currently and will likely have a significant positive impact for local citizens for years to come.
Prop E returns responsibility for trees and sidewalks back to the city. It sets aside $19 million from the city budget to address directly our urban canopy. Dan Flanagan of Friends of the Urban Forest explained beautifully how the city has realized the error of forcing homeowners to pay for maintenance of legacy street trees and the resulting sidewalk damage. Trees beautify our city, slow traffic, clean the air, absorb water, and increase home values. Most major cities have well-funded tree care departments and it is right for San Francisco to do so as well.
Prop I will restore funds for senior services and adults with disabilities. We are concerned that budget cuts over the years have resulted in reduced operating hours for our senior centers, Sunday closures, and an end to many programs. By setting aside $6 million of the budget initially and $3 million more each year, our seniors will be able to rely on resources that allow them to age in place with dignity. We have the highest confidence in the accountability of the Department of Adult and Aging Services and that every penny will go towards improving the health and livelihood of our citizens.
June 23, 2016 Notes from SFSAFE Block Captains meeting at SF Police Academy
Capt McFadden of Ingleside Station:
- The captain and SFPD use Neighborhood Watch to help monitor crime and disseminate info.
- NW groups take crime down to almost zero in their areas
- Report, report, report - you might just have the small, missing piece of the crime puzzle.
- use suspect card - note what is unique about the clothing or vehicle. Not just a white Honda but a white Honda 4-door with a dented driver's side rear quarter panel and tinted windows. Not just a black hoodie, but a black hoodie with a green logo.
- if no response from police non-emergency, call the plattoon commander at the station, (415) 404-4000.
- Suspicious person looking in cars is a non-emergency call; if he uses a flashlight to see inside, that is a 911 call.
- Help catch criminals. Register your camera with the DA's office at http://sfdistrictattorney.org/register-your-camera .
- New officers are rotating in. They are young.
- Let the captain know when good things happen involving his officers.
Other notes from the meeting:
- Can report suspicious activity, vehicle break-ins, broken glass clean-up, and other non-emergencies through 311.
- report chronic graffiti on buildings as blight to Dept of Health through 311
- DataSF.org has 311 histories, housing and property info, and more.
- New MySF311.org website is more robust, better organized.
Update SFMTA Board Meeting, Tuesday May 17
John Giordano of Dolores Street attended and offered the following.
Dolores Street bus stops were not on the agenda but SFMTA Director of Sustainable Streets Tom McGuire gave a brief update:
MTA has begun reviewing weight restrictions on Guerrero and Dolores. They do not see any technical reason for a weight restriction on Guerrero (currently a 3 ton weight restriction exists between 18th and Cesar Chavez)
Lane widths on Guerrero - both lanes = 11 feet
Lane widths on Dolores - one = 10 feet, the other = 9.5 feet
Both Guerrero and Dolores have road grades that are less steep than Castro (Castro currently does not have a weight restriction, is a minor arterial, and has a large number of commuter buses running on it.
John's take on Tom's comments is that SFMTA is leaning towards saying that the weight restriction is not needed on Guerrero and they will then conclude that it is therefore not needed on Dolores.
A few important differences between Castro and both Dolores and Guerrero that were not mentioned:
Lanes on Castro are significantly wider than Dolores - perhaps 14 feet wide.
Both Dolores and Guerrero have elevated medians. There is no leeway for manuvering towards the left. Castro does not have an elevated median.
The narrorwer lanes and elevated median on Dolores would present significant safety and traffic flow problems when large buses are present. It is likely that Dolores traffic would be limited to one lane in the direction of bus travel.
A very well organized group attended who are opposed to moving a bus stop to 26 and Valencia. They made some good points and presented a petition with about 100 signatures but the Board approved the bus stop anyway. John gained contact information in case we want to coordinate efforts.
Dolores Bus Stops will likely be on the next agenda, June 7 at 1 PM.
Update May 16 - Tech shuttle stop
The agenda for the SFMTA Board Meeting on Tuesday (5/17) is posted and the request for bus stops on Dolores are is NOT on it. Also, there is no item or presentation shown on the agenda for a review of weight restriction on Guererro (vs Dolores). So, for now, it seems that the issue is on hold pending the SFMTA review of the weight restriction issue.
John Giordano plans to attend the meeting just in case something comes up but there is no need for a large presence at this meeting on this issue. John willl keep an eye on the MTA Board Meeting agenda and inform the community when this issue is raised again.
'Tech Buses' Commit Hundreds of Violations on San Francisco Roadways
Some of the biggest tech companies in Silicon Valley use private buses to shuttle their employees to and from work, but records obtained by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit reveal a growing problem that could put other commuters in danger.
Watch the story on NBC Bay Area News - Friday, April 29, 2016
***Upper Noe Neighbors republished this story as evidence that funneling shuttle buses onto Dolores Street and creating a de facto hub at 29th Street is likely to have consequences that should concern neighbors. Again, we ask SFMTA to rethink their strategy for these large, private buses.From the UNN Board Regarding Dolores Street Shuttle Stops - April 28
As mentioned in the recent email sent to UNN Members, the MTA (Muncipal Transportation Agency) has planned four shuttle stops on Dolores—two at 18th and 19th and two at 29th Street. The stops would replace approximately 7 parking spaces each and be marked as “No Parking zones” Monday through Friday from 6 AM to 10 AM and 4 PM to 8 PM; however shuttles will be able to operate all hours of the day.
We had asked neighbors to send an email or call Supervisor Wiener and the SFMTA to ask them to rethink this policy and, among other things, impose commercial vehicle weight restrictions on Dolores for safety reasons (very steep road grades, narrow lanes, unprotected pedestrian cross walks, etc). In addition, a petition supporting this was circulated by concerned neighbors and UNN members who were able to get over 600 signatures from SF residents.
The petition and public comments stating the overarching concern about safety of large vehicles on Dolores Street were presented to the MTA Board at their April 19, 2016 meeting. Supervisor Scott Wiener also showed up at the meeting to request that a significant number of buses not be “funneled” onto Dolores. Prior to the meeting he also requested that MTA review the characteristics of Dolores St. to determine if a weight restriction is needed. At the hearing, Mr. Nolan the chairman of MTA requested a review of Guerrero St. to determine if the current weight restriction should be removed – this would allow buses to operate on Guerrero.
The concerns expressed by UNN members, neighbors and the significant number of signatures and the presence of Scott Wiener at the hearing undoubtedly had an impact in moving the MTA to take these actions - we would like to extend a big THANK YOU to ALL of you for your support.
We also need to be vigilant to make sure the MTA follows through and that their analysis is fair and accurate. They have agreed to present findings at a future Board meeting – this will likely occur at the May 17, 2016 meeting at 1:00 PM (City Hall). The results of their analysis of Dolores & Guerrero streets will be of upmost importance to Noe Valley as it will impact bus stop locations and where buses can operate. Your support in attending future MTA Board meetings or sending them comments on the findings is appreciated.
We will continue to provided updates on our UNN website – MTA Board meeting agenda and materials can be found at https://www.sfmta.com/calendar/meetings and emails can be sent to MTAboard@sfmta.com
With Much Gratitude,
April 28, 2016
SFMTA Public Meeting – Dolores Street Commuter Shuttle Bus Zones
City Hall, San Francisco
March 25, 2016
20+ people attended the meeting; 18 comments regarding addition/removal of permitted shuttle bus zones. Focus of comments was proposed stops (hubs):
o Dolores/29th St
At the conclusion of Pilot Program 1/31/16, a new approach was proposed to limit buses larger than 35 ft. to certain streets.
MTA representative gave brief overview of Commuter Bus program:
o The buses can legally operate on city streets
Comment: over 10 years, the city has never enforced state law prohibiting buses from using Red Bus Zones
o Pilot Evaluation Report has made changes
Removed 40-45 ft. buses from residential streets
Larger ID decals on buses
o More robust data on passengers and locations
Pilot data collection for passenger count and locations was inadequate.
o Public outreach: mailers, utility pole postings
Too short notice or none at all
Public Comments (highlights, not in chronological order)
o Café owner not in favor of removal of AM permitted white zone at Church/15th St.; potential loss of business.
Church St. designated “residential”; therefore buses over 35 ft. cannot occupy white zones.
At 11/27/2015 MTA mtg., resident reported on exhaust fumes, engine noise from 6-10 am
o Remaining speakers all commented negatively on corporate commuter bus stop locations/operations in their neighborhoods.
o Lack of adequate notification. Word of mouth spurred attendance at meeting.
Dolores street lanes are narrower, grade on hills steeper than Guerrero
Minor arterials are for intracity shuttles, not intercity shuttles
Fewer pedestrian signals on Dolores than on Guerrero
St. Paul school children cross Dolores
Buses too wide for Dolores
Dolores is part of 49-mile scenic drive
Eliminate large buses for public transportation, smaller shuttles to HUB
o Fell/Masonic plus other Panhandle stops
General comments: block driveway access, buses too big, not in front of residences
Concluding remarks from MTA staff:
o San Jose/Dolores stop will be removed in near future for realignment of merge from Dolores to San Jose Ave.
Will this transfer bus volume to 29th/Dolores??
o The issue of steep streets was countered by additional training for drivers
No comment about bus engine and air conditioning noise that is amplified by slow buses especially on steep streets
NEXT ACTION: Check MTA website https://www.sfmta.com for next Board meeting
April 5, 2016 at 1:00 pm, Room 400, City Hall
April 19, 2016 at 1:00 pm, Room 400, City Hall