Saturday, July 6, 2013

What (surprisingly) did not come up at transportation forum?

The 15 Third stopped running in 2007.
The last time Bayview Footprints organized neighbors to discuss transportation issues was in 2007.

Times were different then. The T Third MUNI line was just beginning operations. The old 15 Third bus was still running. Bicycle fever hadn't reached Bayview.

In the 2007 discussions, parking came up as a significant issue with residents. Some wanted to maintain parking, if not for drivers, then for pedestrians who might feel protected from traffic by a lane of parked vehicles. Others thought there were just too many cars, that too many people blocked sidewalks and double-parked, and that we should encourage the building of parking facilities that could be financially self-sustaining.

It may be an indicator of changing times that, at last month's Bayview Footprints Transportation Forum, parking didn't come up at all.

What did come up were issues associated with MUNI, transit agencies' outreach and cultural competency, pedestrian safety, and trash on the streets. (For the record, a lot of that came up before.) Here's a sampling:
  • Use Chinese radio and library computer systems for outreach, and report back after these meetings.
  • Safety inside buses is as important as pedestrian safety.
  • There is a lot of congestion on San Bruno Avenue. The Portola Neighborhood Association has ideas such as rerouting the 8A and 8AX back along Bayshore.
  • Lower income people use buses, so we should focus on MUNI reliability, affordability and operations.
  • Transportation to and from the Hill is insufficient, and so is the bicycle infrastructure.
  • We need more walking paths throughout the neighborhood. We shouldn't be completely focused on Third Street.
  • The jobs associated with building out these plans in the Southeast Sector should go to workers and businesses located here, further refining "local hiring" policies.
  • There are opportunities for communities located on transportation arteries to define themselves, but we need to clarify where it is appropriate to transfer real decision-making authority to communities and where transit professionals should control the money and decisions.
Rachel Hiatt from SFCTA presented to about 25 residents from the Southeast Sector on the topic of the SF Transportation 2040 plan. Her PowerPoint presentation is here.
Here are a few highlights from Rachel's information-packed presentation:
  • Sixty percent of transportation projects are locally-funded today. That's very different than the days when we enjoyed more state and federal funding.
  • Crowding on transit is going to get worse, if only because population is increasing.
  • As population increases in the Southeastern neighborhoods, distinct driving patterns will emerge from here to parts of the City and to the East Bay.
  • Pedestrians in the Southeast have the greatest risk of injury.
  • People don't seem to use bicycles much here, at least for commuting.

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