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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Bayview Uncorked

It is time for Bayview Uncorked Third Edition!

Tickets on sale NOW!

Bayview Uncorked brings the Bayview community together for a great tasting event featuring local wineries, breweries, and distilleries, as well as food from local eateries and live music. Proceeds will benefit the Center for Youth Wellness.
Check in at the 3rd Street Gallery to pick up your tasting glass and event map!
From there wander between the local restaurants to SIP EAT SUPPORT:
SIP: Taste delicious beer, wine and spirits from 12 local breweries, wineries, and distilleries using your commemorative tasting glass
EAT: Sample food bites at local Bayview Restaurants
SUPPORT: Proceeds go to the Center for Youth Wellness
Live entertainment!
Your ticket includes:
Tastings
A custom made Bayview Uncorked tasting glass
Food bites at local Bayview restaurants

Support for Eastbound Paul Ave Bike Lane

According to SFMTA, cars should menacingly intimidate bikes
so that their car friends have a place to sleep.
Thanks to SFMTA and Supervisor Cohen for hosting the meeting regarding the bike lanes and parking on Paul Ave this past Thursday. However, I was disappointed that the meeting was less of a continuing discussion than it was advertised to be. I was also disappointed to see that there had been a complete capitulation to the parking advocates and disregard in the proposed design for the City's Vision Zero efforts and the safety of a growing segment of the population who want transportation options. Below I have outlined why Supervisor Cohen and the SFMTA board should support keeping the bike lanes as they currently are.



Summary

Residents who live on and around Paul Ave have identified speeding, lack of on-street parking, sidewalk parking, and personal safety as reasons to remove the bike lane in the eastbound direction. Speeding may or may not have gotten worse but we won’t know until a new speed survey is completed. Regardless of the results of this survey, new speed cushions should probably be considered for Paul Ave. Parking and sidewalk parking have long been an issue and will continue to be until the number of cars in the neighborhood is reduced. Improving the bike infrastructure is one way to accomplish this. Crime in this neighborhood in 2017 is less than half what it was in 2010, so personal safety has improved significantly and shows no sign of reversing since or as a result of the installation of the bike lanes, so residents are likely confusing insecurity with inconvenience. To use any of these as reasons to remove the bike lanes and replace them with sharrows would be to rely on untruths or incomplete information in the decision-making process. Sharrows are not a solution when creating viable bicycle infrastructure, and as such should not be used on Paul Ave to replace the existing bike lane. By suggesting sharrows as a compromise, city leaders need to realize that sharrows do next to nothing to improve safety and do absolutely nothing to contribute to increased bicycle use when compared to bike lanes, which do. In our transit first, Vision Zero city, to replace a bike lane with sharrows in favor of parking would be nothing short of immoral. As such, I strongly encourage Supervisor Cohen and SFMTA to rely on data and facts to support keeping the existing bike lanes and not allow them to be removed in favor of parking spaces.


Discussion

Residents identified speeding, lack of on-street parking, sidewalk parking, and personal safety as reasons to remove the bike lane in the eastbound direction and replace it with vehicle parking and on-street green-backed sharrows. Below I address those concerns and discuss why sharrows are not a viable alternative to bike lanes.

Speeding

The posted limit is 25 mph. An SFMTA engineering and traffic survey of average speed data collected between 2004-2010 showed the average speed to be 24.65 mph with 18% of drivers exceeding the posted limit by an average of 8 mph. A new speed survey has apparently been scheduled for August.

Anecdotal reports of increased speeding by those opposing the bike lanes should not factor into a decision regarding the bike lanes until a new SFMTA speed survey has been completed.

Lack of parking/Cars parking on sidewalk

Google street view images of the side streets south of Paul Ave from the past nine years indicates that sidewalk parking has always been an issue. Residents I spoke with at the meeting backed this up, saying that sidewalk parking has been an issue for years.

The only way to address the lack of parking is to reduce the number of cars in the neighborhood. Improving transit and bike infrastructure are two ways to do this. Eliminating illegal in-law units and incentivizing people to reclaim their garage space for car storage and reduce the number of cars they own are three other things that could be done. A study of the number of cars registered to addresses in the neighborhood plus a door-to-door survey of residents should also be done along with a count of on street parking spaces to gauge supply and demand.

Personal safety

As per DataSF, the number of incidents reported to SFPD shows that the neighborhood has become safer in the past eight years, with crime in the first seven months of 2017 less than half what it was in the same period of 2010.

After being relatively consistent from 2010-2013, crime has been on a downward trend in the neighborhood for the past four years, dropping to less than half of what it was 2010. Claims of reduced personal safety are simply not borne out by the data. More likely the case, people simply don’t like the inconvenience of having to walk a few extra yards from their cars to their homes.

Existing Lanes are Needed

Vision Zero and a connected bike plan are crucial to the growing bike riding population in the Southeast neighborhoods of San Francisco. Paul Ave, in particular, is a vital link in that bike plan and as such deserves its existing improvements to bike network. Without it, we would be denying supporting the introduction of Jump and GoBike to the Bayview and Portola, which includes a GoBike corral at Paul and San Bruno Aves. Residents I spoke with at the community meeting mentioned their surprise at how well-used the new bike lanes were already, and with increased safety and new bike-share options, it will only increase.

Sharrows vs Bike Lanes

A study by civil engineers at the University of Colorado looking at bike lanes vs sharrows vs nothing showed that bike lanes not only increased bike use but also increased safety. Sharrows had about as much effect on ridership as doing nothing, while sharrows might actually make it less safe for cyclists who erroneously feel they give them a sense of security while actually providing none at all. A conclusion of this study was that the use of sharrows with speed limits over 20 mph was simply immoral.

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2016/01/14/study-sharrows-dont-make-streets-safer-for-cycling/

https://www.citylab.com/solutions/2016/02/sharrow-safety-bike-infrastructure-lane-chicago/460095/


Suggestions

Best Option

Retain the existing bike lanes in both directions; install speed cushions (if a survey shows speeds to be more than 5 mph over the posted limit) and/or reduce the posted speed limit to 20 mph; and enhance the bike lanes by installing soft-hit posts (which would also reduce speeds).

Worse Option (but maybe the only true compromise)

Before doing anything else, study the efficacy of moving the bike lane from the roadway to the sidewalk. The north sidewalk along most of Paul Ave is 12’ wide, so taking 5’ for a bike lane is feasible. Bikes could enter and exit the bike lane via existing driveway curb cuts. The bike lane would have to be located on the north side of the sidewalk (away from the curb) and should be painted bright green with appropriate signage where it crosses the few driveways that it does warning drivers and cyclists. Prior to reaching Bayshore, the bike lane could enter the road for a short distance, replacing the existing right turn lane with a protected bike lane.

Worst Option

The least safe option would be to reinstate parking and paint sharrows in the eastbound direction. If this option is chosen, then the entirety of eastbound Paul Ave from Third St to Bayshore be painted in a continuous green stripe with the periodic placement of sharrows. In addition, speed cushions should be installed and the speed limit reduced to 20 mph.


Conclusion

There is no good or valid reason to remove the eastbound bike lane on Paul Ave. and their removal should not be supported by Supervisor Cohen and must be rejected by the SFMTA board. To remove this bike lane would be an immoral step backward against people who use a mode of transportation of which the City of San Francisco is working hard to increase. The Southeast has an oft-held perception that it is left out of Citywide improvements, so we can't lose one of those improvements the minute a few residents realize that they will be slightly inconvenienced by it to give others a chance at using transportation options besides a car.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Become NERTIFIED!

Become prepared to take care of yourself and your family in the event of an earthquake or other emergencies.

Classes begin on Tuesday, April 4 at the City College Campus on Evans Ave. New Students can enroll for the six-week program at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nert-training-bayview-tickets-31978386214 and recertification students enroll (for the final two classes only) at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nert-graduates-recertification-bayview-tickets-31979056218

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hunters Point Shipyard CAC Meeting

Monday, March 13
6pm - 8pm
SECF, 1800 Oakdale Ave

It may seem a little dry, but these kinds of community meetings are how we know what's going on and by attending we let city agencies and developers know we care. 


Presentations/Update:
A. Presentation on temporary activation uses for Hunters Point Shipyard Phase 1 Block 1.....La Shon Walker (FivePoint)

B. Update on Southeast Treatment Plant, specifically the Headworks and Biosolids project, upcoming draft EIR for Biosolids, architecture for both projects, and possible construction impacts for both projects............................. Marsha Maloof (SFPUC)

C. Presentation on design for Candlestick Point Block 6A, a mixed-use development consisting of 128
for-sale condominiums, including 12 townhomes, 13 affordable units and 16,000 SF of commercial space. Block 6A is located between Candlestick Park Drive North and 7th street on Harney Way in the Candlestick Point South development area and on design for Candlestick Point Block 8A, a mixed-use development consisting of 127 for-sale condominiums, including 12 townhomes, 13 affordable units and 17,200 SF of commercial space. Block 8A is located between 7th street and 8th street on Harney Way in the Candlestick Point South development area. .................................................................................... Faye Brandin (FivePoint) – ACTION ITEM

D. SF Connect Presentation and workshop on the future of Transportation in San Francisco. The presentation will provide an overview and be a discussion of the 50-year vision for transportation in San Francisco........................
Peter Albert (SF Planning Dept.)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Palou Ave Streetscape project gets approval, on-street car storage getstighter

http://www.sfexaminer.com/bayview-nets-major-traffic-safety-changes-time-new-development/

SFMTA and SFPW have been holding neighborhood meetings for Palou for some years now. I have gone to many of them, and there have always been conflicts between people who store their cars on the road and those who want more infrastructure for biking, walking, and transit. I’m afraid neither agency really met people - especially those who drive - where they are. Staff stood up strongly in support of cyclists, pedestrians, transit riders, and newer residents while the existing community who predominantly drive mostly stood up by itself. Unfortunately, the reason that many in the community don’t believe or trust staff is that they don’t feel like they’re represented and that staff only want to listen to their modeling and needs for new users.

Angled Parking

A complaint that came to staff a few years ago was that removing angled parking at Newhall was a bad idea. Staff pushed back, but as is everyone’s right, some folks wouldn’t take no for an answer and collected 500 signatures to keep it. I’m not sure those eight angled parking stalls benefit 500 people, but good for neighbors getting so many signatures. In the end, there is really only one new location that could be converted to angled parking and that's at Palou and Dunshee. At Newhall, where angled parking exists now, the complaint was that it would be taken away to make room for a bus bulb. Fair enough. Maybe at Dunshee we could consider back-in angled parking (as it’s generally safer) to replace the angled parking lost at Newhall. All other locations on Palou have driveway curb cuts, and so angled parking probably wouldn't work (or at least wouldn’t add capacity). Near Crisp, cars are already parked perpendicular, so this area’s parking is maximized.

Multi-car households need on-street parking (but will more condos necesarrily make this worse?)

Cars parked on the sidewalk in Bayview
Yes, five (and more) car households are a reality, and while everyone deserves to have an independent way of getting around, the reality is that dense urban living doesn't lend itself well to each household having so many vehicles. Something that people may not realize however is that new condo residents would not have that many vehicles, if any at all. These new condos will have space on-site for 0.5 cars per home, which to someone who has 2-5 cars may seem ridiculous, but to those buying the condos is probably just right (otherwise they wouldn’t be buying them). This speaks volumes to the inherent lack of understanding on both sides of the people who are already here and those who are coming and how their needs should be addressed. At the end of the day, I’m not sure that a slight decrease in on-street parking capacity will change things much. New residents, even in old neighborhoods, will likely have fewer cars and be more likely to take transit than existing residents, so for those who remain and have their five vehicles, new residents should lead to more parking on its own. This all said, why aren’t we looking at underutilized off-street sites that might work as overflow parking lots. Probably because people insist on parking as close to their houses as possible, even if that means parking their five cars keep their neighbor from finding a space for their one car. People become extremely selfish when parking is involved - we’ve all heard people talk about “their parking space” in front of their house, for instance.

Improving Transit to relieve our parking woes

Improving all public modes of transportation, including transit and bike for those who can use them, should slowly lead to people reducing their reliance on cars, but it’s going to take years to notice any reduction in vehicle ownership in the Bayview. That said, for those for whom owning/driving/parking a private vehicle is the only solution, improvements to transit/bike means fewer cars on the road and more space to park your vehicle. But it’s “chicken and egg” as far as I see it - transit in Bayview is not perceived as reliable and realistically won’t be until there are more people who use it regularly and discover that it works well. In the meantime, most people won’t give up using their cars and won’t start taking transit until such time as transit is reliable. The Palou project is supposed to improve transit, but until it is shown to (or more importantly, perception about its reliability improves), car ownership rates won’t budge. Sadly, the reality is that people don’t trust SFMTA to deliver improvements.

Culture and geography leads to more cars

We all know that our culture encourages people to own car. A car not only means convenience and the freedom to go where you want when you want, but a car can also show status - a bus or bike simply can’t (though some of my biking friends would disagree on the latter). I happen to live in a one-car household and so I ride my bike most places (over 17000 miles in the last three years!). It works for me and my personality, but my husband has tried and it’s simply not for him. For him, it’s more about the convenience and freedom (and not arriving at work a little sweaty). For me, riding my bike is also about freedom (from traffic) and the convenience of always finding parking at my destination. For shorter distances, it’s generally faster on my bike, too. I don’t expect everyone to ride a bike or take transit, but for those who don’t/can’t, realize that me riding my bike means there’s one less car competing for that parking space you need.

Our geography in the Bayview (and Visitacion Valley, Portola, Excelsior, and all points far from the center of the city) leads to greater car ownership if people want to reliably get to their jobs. Hills don’t climb themselves, and the Bayview has lots of them that for most people, riding a bike is just too much. Our here, having a car is seen as necessary for a lot of reasons, and no matter how much you improve transit, it’s going to take a long time for that necessity to abate.


At the end of the day, the streetscape will be improved much as SFMTA and Public Works wants. Car owners will jostle for space but will be asked to do so with less.

Bayview Farmer's Market Survey

If you haven't already, please fill out this quick survey about your grocery shopping habits and desire for a new farmers market in the Bayview:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/bayviewfm

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Final Hearing - March 7 - Palou Streetscape Improvement Project

Palou Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project
Final Hearing for Proposed Parking and Traffic Changes

The SFMTA Board of Directors will be voting on the proposed design for traffic and parking changes for the Palou Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project. These include bulb-out and median island construction, and a proposed cul-de-sac at Quint Street and Palou.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
1 p.m.

Meeting at:
San Francisco City hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 400

Notices will be placed on street poles 10 days before the public hearing and on the SFMTA website. You can also visit Public Works for more information about the project and past community meetings.


For more information about the hearing, please contact:
mtaboard@sfmta.com