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Jane Natoli 🥑🚲 @wafoli
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I forgot it was @aeaken's first @sfmta_muni board meeting today. Exciting times!
Already getting warned it's gonna be a long meeting and they are rejiggering the agenda. 6th/Taylor up first, then Howard, then taxi medallions, then Great Highway. You have been notified
Current questions from Director Heinecke about more outreach about new train designs. Outreach!
I always like the recognition of someone awesome at Muni section, it's nice to feel better about something before occasionally challenging hearings
Oh...CAC time. Good for them to call out the ongoing harassment issues @sfmta_muni is experience, definitely work to do
@JaneKim speaking now, starts off mentioning the work on Townsend, and here to voice her support for safety improvements to Taylor, 6th, and Howard, no surprises there. Glad to see her lending her voice here
Mentioning the names of some of the folks who have been killed on the streets affected by this project, never forgot that it's real people who lose their lives and all the other folks they know who are permanently impacted by that loss. Powerful comments by @JaneKim
Now hearing 6th and Taylor, talk about the equity focus as well as the challenges of moving traffic there, etc, now the speaker focusing on 6th street and @VisionZeroSF, both good places to start with these projects
A person is hit by a car every 16 days on 6th? Wow
Now talking about some of the specific changes, nothing surprising, widened sidewalks, bulbouts, better signals, better lighting, shortened crossing distances, largely accomplishing a lot of this through a lane reduction of a southbound lane between Market and Howard
Interesting tidbit of widened sidewalks as an equity issue for people living in small spaces such as SROs and people experiencing homelessness. Hadn't thought of it that way, but I like it
Emphasizing the prioritization of pedestrian safety on 6th, and I think that's a good decision there
Widened sidewalks will be full of...bikes? I'm not sure I understood that question by one of the directors there
Sorry, there was a weird bit about homelessness that derailed my ability to think about this. But now we are talking about parking again and I am here for it. No removal of parking, not total #waroncars
Onto Taylor Street. Lots of the same sort of ideas, wider sidewalks, lane reduction, better loading access, street art(!)
Construction not starting on Taylor until 2021 though :sadpanda:
Taylor is another street that has a high nexus to SROs which makes inviting and activated streetspace even more important
Both 6th and Taylor planners have emphasized the importance of outreach to get to the designs they have today, which I think is important
"no noticeable increase in congestion" by doing a pop-up lane reduction 🤔
"Excess vehicle capacity, linked to strong collision patterns"...this could be said of just about any street in the US
I learned a lot about how @sfmta_muni thinks about the City from these projects. Those of us who care about mobility options slag on them a lot on here, but remember, they are doing lots of good work like they are on 6th and Taylor. Let's give them more tools to do that work!
Alright folks, public comment time, hold onto your seats. Charles from @sfbike up first to talk in general about the delays of projects like 6th, Taylor, and Howard, naming several of the folks who died on just these stretches, urging the City to do more and do it faster 👏
Now the hotel folks are opposing changes to 6th because it's hard for cars to get to 280. We should build better transit so there are fewer cars out there
"keep some of that traffic moving"...sigh
Already a couple folks out here speaking against removing lanes, like that is going to make traffic better. If we want to make traffic better, we need to get people out of cars. Better streets to walk on do that imo
Wow, I want to get up and speak in favor of 6th and Taylor just after hearing several speakers against, idk, maybe we should figure out how to deliver things in ways other than by car and truck
Everyone keeps talking about 1 lane like that's what solves traffic or makes it better. I wish we had more vision when it comes to our city streets
Last speaker emphasized homeless people deserve safe streets too and I couldn't agree more
Hotels are out strong against all of these safety improvements on 6th and Taylor :(
At this point, my galaxy brain solution of solving SoMa traffic is to just tear down 280
@walksf showing up strong with 108 postcards about the improvements on 6th Street. Nice visual of the postcards put together...sorry, typing on the computer, find it later :)
Call to prioritize improving all the streets of the Tenderloin, yes
Call out the folks who use streets of SoMa and Tenderloin as freeways all day long, current speaker. We should be centering those who live there, not those who use it to get through them to other parts of the city
Chamber of Commerce, unsurprisingly, against lane removal, but a comment about making it harder on people driving is weird. If folks cannot drive safely, they shouldn't be driving
@catrope crushing it pointing out our need to do even more, everywhere, to make our streets safer for our most vulnerable users
Now someone dropping some taxi knowledge in a weird rant about hotel prices, placing ex-cons in hotels, and a weird murder story. And tying that back to 6th and Taylor? 🤔🤔🤔
@johnson_d6 now highlighting our need to improve these streets and how we need to do more everywhere. Calls 6th as an extension to 280 untenable and mentions pushing 280 back to Mariposa!
Now someone complaining about sidewalk sales and encampments and how they need to be cleared first. Gross
We support it but we don’t actually want to do anything to support it is a far too common subtext
Weird tangents are my favorite thing about public comments, but good comment about making streets better to walk with fewer cars
Last comment actually the first to mention "Transit first", if you had 2:52 pm in the pool, collect your winnings
Last call on 12 and 13, and then maybe we get 11? Fingers crossed
It always amazes me when the @sfmta_muni board transitions back to asking staff questions how much things calm down and we get to the nuts and bolts of why they chose the designs they did, etc
Heinecke supportive, I believe the first Commissioner to tip his hand on 6th/ Taylor as a part of his questions
The ultimate question is whether the small section of 6th (two blocks) is a test for changes to come further down 6th Street and they say there are no plans to roll it all the way down to 280. Boo
@sfmta_muni should do more trial balloons for our future car-free city. Thank you, I'll be here all week
Well, it looks like I may get to hear about an unexpected bonus item today, taxi medallions. Joy
It's almost 3:30 and we are finally finishing up the first couple of items. Get involved, sit at City Hall, live the dream
Board members cannot abstain at @sfmta_muni hearings. Huh. Torres is currently asking about that before voting no on both. The ayes have it thoug
Oh wow, taxi drivers are here
They asked if folks were here to speak about Lower Great Highway or Howard to note that they are recognized. That was nice at least
And actually, unless anything wild happens during taxi medallions, gonna check out and get a little work done
Of course this is the problem of some prop from 1978...big surprise
Also mad respect to some old school organizing to get this many taxi drivers here. It's honestly impressive
Crowd outside is feisty. I think we are going to get some fire comments. Murmur and laughs throughout the room at a comment by an @sfmta_muni planner. Crowd is getting the thumbs down gesture now
Meanwhile outside
☠️80 speakers on one item before we even get to the item I came to speak on (not including all the folks on the 2 before), government working for the people ☠️
And these speakers look like they are taking their full 2 minutes each. V excited to speak about Howard at 7:30 pm
I am jesting a bit, there is definitely a lot of moving testimony from drivers.
Current speaker emphasizing a lot about how TNCs and the housing crisis intersect to particularly hurt taxi drivers, for example, and making a lot of great points about how we are letting them down at the intersection of these various crises
They do love clapping at this meeting
Also this crowd did not get the turn off your phone/ringer memo
There are some fun comments and a bit of verve mixed in. Definitely a lot of folks are passionate about the medallion changes
City Hall is my new home. I shall miss you all
Oh people shouting from the gallery after a rambling pro-TNC guy, sheriffs are in here, things are getting feisty. First pro-TNC guy I've heard today
There are still folks turning in comment cards to speak out against SF's taxi medallion plan here. If there are literally hundreds of folks here speaking against it, just gonna guess we should have done a bit more work on this plan before we got here
6 pm and no signs of stopping; City Hall is a game of endurance
They just asked for a show of hand of the room of people remaining to speak and it's like 25 folks. And then maybe item 11? Maybe?
Props to Cheryl Brinkman. Gotta take some practice to continue to be measured after so many speakers, especially when some of them are getting more unruly as the day goes on
Lol, it took a while, but someone finally mentioned they were a native San Franciscan. What does that have to do with the taxi medallion system?
Everyone is going over time now, no one has had to be escorted out, but it's been close. Been a rough 5+ hours here
Now we had our first person escorted away from the podium. Understandable. Folks are talking about their livelihood right now
Down to about 5 folks in line right now, looks like now may be a good opportunity to get to Room 400 if you want to speak about Howard
3 speakers, including one person who really angled to go last, no pressure, but I am really looking forward to his taxi comment now
UPDATE: it was not the fire I needed or expected
Please put "public comment is closed" on my headstone. Blessed words
First question is about why no one showed up to support this? No kidding
Around all of this, there are a lot of interesting questions about how the City serves taxis and what we can do as a city to support the taxi industry. Great to hear Director Borden note some of the challenges that previously existed while musing on how to solve these problems
Brinkman now threatening to clear the room because the crowd is...being the crowd that's been here all day. And wouldn't that be something to spend all day here just to get moved out of the room
Another break! Two break day!
And we're back! Someone forgot to silence their phone at at this time the @sfmta_muni board can only chuckle. Director Heinecke bringing us back from break
I do think the break did everyone good, they are trying to figure out thoughtful ways to approach the tough issue of dealing with medallions and the directors are trying to come up with solutions. Because end of the day, there's still a problem to solve and that's why we're here
At this point, I also hope my bike is still there. Don't usually leave it on the street for 8 hours in the same spot
We are getting a motion to amend that involves the removal of some medallions and there are also some SFO restrictions and there's a lot gong on here
We just had a vote on an amendment, but I think we still need a motion to approve it as amended, and folks, I'm spent here, I'm spent
Oh. A vote. We have a vote. Kind of. There are still some questions about the SFO piece and about some medallion revocation, and the room routinely keeps laughing and I'm honestly amazed this hasn't fallen apart. Room is very close to getting cleared right now, it feels
Right now, there's lots of technical dickering, but there's a vote, Cheryl Brinkman has called a vote, going to a roll call vote, 4-2, the ayes carry it
We are finally onto item 11 people, It's time to talk Howard Street
For those of you who may have forgotten from 7 hours ago, the Howard Near-Term project also ties to Folsom; while there are plans for longer-term improvements, the aptly named near-term projects are there to make it better now. Howard from 6th to 11th and Folsom from 5th to 4th
All the ideas here look pretty good as quick improvements to help improve the experience for our most vulnerable street users on Howard and Folsom, not perfect, but nice, things like parking-protected bike lanes and left turn boxes
In addition to bike elements, nice to see transit boarding islands, daylighting of alleys, and improved crosswalks; they are also doubling loading zones, which sounds nice.
Unfortunately one small stretch of Howard at 8th without a parking protected lane, but that appears to be due to how a specific business and community input. I can live with that, but I'll be curious to see how it looks in practice
I have been here so long they forgot my name. Public comment, catch the fever! Speaking to @sfmta_muni soon though
@catrope back again to remind us to do more and not just settle for some of the near-term improvements on Howard
After a speaker against on behalf of a nearby business, Charles from @sfbike back at it again to express his support for this project and talk about the value of signalized intersections for all people riding
And now he’s taking them to task for the long meeting and joking about not turning this into Planning. Lol
@TaylorAhlgren speaking now and rightly talking about the need to do more on Howard outside this area in light of Russell Franklin’s untimely death
Me, then Bryan Klofas taking us home. Unsurprisingly not a lot of comments at this point, but nice to see several folks stick it out and support improving Howard
Closing out with some Qs from the @sfmta_muni about loading zones, curb cuts, etc., but nothing major at this point. Concerns about bus following distance, transit island locations
@sfmta_muni approves Howard! Yay!
Epilogue: I have escaped City Hall
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