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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

SFPark Plan for Potrero Hill & Dogpatch on hold, Mission Bay OK

Updated Mission Bay SFPark plan
The Potrero Hill Boosters and the Dogpatch Neighborhood  Association have rallied residents and forced the SFMTA to drop plans, for the moment, to install parking meters throughout these two areas.  However, there is still a large swath of city that will become metered, as shown in this graphic from SFGate.

Tonight, the Coalition of Residents and Businesses in San Francisco's Eastern Neighborhoods will be meeting to discuss the plan.  Supervisors Jane Kim and David Campos will attend today's meeting, as well as SFMTA officials. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Project Artaud (Z-Space) at 450 Florida St.

The SFMTA, like many agencies throughout the city and beyond, miscalculated the resistance that they'd receive, didn't do the amount of outreach necessary to get people on-board, and ended up losing - or at least delaying - receiving funds that the agency says it needs, all while further alienating the citizenry. 

It seems these agencies make a cost-benefit analysis on their outreach.  Last year, SFWater seemed to think it could do very little outreach to the Portola and change plans midstream without anyone noticing that they were not going to reopen Bacon St over their reservoir.  They didn't count on a few dedicated neighbors catching wind of the plan (which wasn't a 'plan', according to the agency, but rather a 'proposal') and pushing back, getting hundreds of neighbors out to a public meeting that ended up forcing the agency to reverse course, much like what happened in Potrero Hill.

Why can't these agencies just do the actual work or engaging neighbors, laying out their case, showing the whole picture and being honest throughout, and coming to an amenable solution for the majority of people.  The minute you try to go behind someone's back, they'll mistrust you forever.

I just wish these agencies would follow one simple rule: engage, don't enrage!

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