Yes on A / No on H Campaign Launches

September 14th, 2007

The Transit Not Traffic campaign, led by SPUR and many other community groups supporting better public transit, has launched. This campaign supports Proposition A (Muni Re-Reform), which would dedicate additional funding to Muni and improve many work rules that today make it very difficult to improve service reliability, and opposes Proposition H, the so-called “Parking For Neighborhoods” initiative that would dramatically increase parking downtown and allow new parking spaces and garages to block Muni lines and remove street trees citywide. If you agree that better transit should be SF’s priority and not huge increases in auto traffic, get involved! (Comment here or sign up at SPUR’s page.)

“Sensible” Parking Initiative Coming In February; No Campaign Against Muni Reform Now?

August 10th, 2007

Don’t even think of parking hereThe Examiner reports today a compromise between the campaign for the so-called “Parking for Neighborhoods” initiative and Supervisor Aaron Peskin, sponsor of the Muni re-reform measure that recently was approved for the November ballot. In exchange for the anti-transit, anti-rider parking campaign suspending work now, the supervisors will put a new “Sensible Parking Initiative” on the ballot in February. We’ll see how bad it is for riders, but it’s good news anyway that there will not be a six-figure campaign against Muni reform this fall.

Meanwhile, Matt Smith of the SF Weekly wonders why Mayor Newsom didn’t take a stand for transit riders against the downtown interests (notably Gap founder Don Fisher) who sponsored the anti-rider Parking for Neighborhoods plan. And the Bay Guardian has a comment as well.

Examiner Slams Parking Initiative

August 2nd, 2007

Don’t even think of parking hereThe Examiner profiled the so-called “Parking for Neighborhoods” initiative today. The initiative, opposed by Rescue Muni and many others, is “a veritable minefield of unintended consequences. … Incredibly, the initiative specifies that new residential driveways have priority over lesser civic niceties such as bus stops or trees. Bus riders could be forced to walk farther and trees could be cut down to accommodate a private driveway. … Since virtually every passenger car and truck sold in America as of 2008 will qualify as low emission, this means there essentially would be no limits on how big new garages could be.”

The Muni Reform amendment passed by the Supervisors will override this initiative if passed, so voters should support it. But the Examiner is only the latest editorial page to point out that the parking measure will be a disaster on the merits.

(See also Marisa Lagos’ blog entry at the Chronicle. Also the Planning Department has a report on likely impacts.)

Son of Muni Reform Goes to the Ballot

July 31st, 2007

This afternoon, the Board of Supervisors voted to put Board President Aaron Peskin’s Muni charter amendment on the November ballot. A very big thank you to everyone from Rescue Muni who called the supervisors to let them know we support the measure.

Seven supervisors voted to put the measure on the ballot: Aaron Peskin, Tom Ammiano, Chris Daly, Bevan Dufty, Sean Elsbernd, Sophie Maxwell, and Ross Mirkarimi. All seven deserve our thanks for letting this go forward now. Voting against the measure were: Michela Alioto-Pier, Ed Jew, Jake McGoldrick, and Gerardo Sandoval.

The vote was a bit different from last week’s, when supervisors considered various amendments which would, effectively, kill the measure. We should extend a very special thanks to the five supervisors who not only voted to put the measure on the ballot today, but also voted against all of the attempts to deep-six it with amendments. They are: Board President Aaron Peskin, and Supervisors Tom Ammiano, Bevan Dufty, Sean Elsbernd, and Sophie Maxwell. All five of them deserve a very big thank you from supporters of better transit; all five, incidentally, carried Rescue Muni’s endorsement in their most recent elections.

Now for the hard part: This measure, because of the parking limitation language, which runs counter to the pro-parking, anti-transit ballot measure also appearing on the November ballot, will be more controversial than was Prop E. The supporters of the parking measure will surely be out in force to oppose Muni Reform II. Passing this measure will require a major effort on all our parts.

-Daniel M.

Update: The Chronicle and Examiner report on the measure going to the ballot, and the Guardian comments.

Muni Re-Reform: Contact Your Supervisor TODAY To Urge A YES Vote!

July 30th, 2007

Please take a moment TODAY to contact your Supervisor to urge him/her to put the Muni Reform amendment on the ballot!

Last week, as we noted, a consensus was reached at the Board of Supervisors on the proposed Muni reform package sponsored by Supervisor Peskin. (Ex Editorial.)

Supervisor Alioto-Pier and Mayor Newsom have both expressed concerns about the measure after a provision was added to block the so-called “Parking for Neighborhoods Initiative”, strongly opposed by Rescue Muni, because increased parking would be a disaster for Muni and highly counterproductive to Muni reform.

However, Rescue Muni supports this measure, and also strongly opposes the Parking for Neighborhoods measure. We urge the supervisors to pass it tomorrow and place it on the ballot this fall. We also encourage Mayor Newsom to take a strong stand in opposition to this anti-rider parking measure that threatens to undo Muni reform and push more San Franciscans into their cars.

To keep San Francisco a Transit First city, please contact your Supervisor to encourage a YES vote, and also call Mayor Newsom’s office to urge him to oppose the parking measure! The Supervisors vote tomorrow, so a call today is essential.