October 12, 2007
Could This Be Curtains For Cirque Du Soleil In The City?
The Port of San Francisco is moving quickly on the potential redevelopment of the 14-acre Seawall Lot 337 (a.k.a. the Giants parking lot A) that Frederick initially noted six months ago. From J.K. Dineen at the San Francisco Business Times:
Assuming a key piece of legislation gets Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's OK, the port hopes to receive proposals for the site by mid-February. Qualified developers and proposals would then be screened by an advisory panel and the Port Commission, with a group of finalists selected by March. The port wants a development team in place by June of 2008.
Expect a battle over the percentage of parking versus green space (perhaps a clever developer/architect could propose an elevated park over a parking lot and call it “City Park(ing) South”). And could this be curtains for Cirque du Soleil (note tent above) in the city?
UPDATE: Eddy's liberal interpretation of the topic at hand ("parking") has turned the focus of conversation to the use of handicap parking permits in San Francisco. And while we might normally intervene by steering the conversation back towards the development Seawall lot 337 (and starting a new thread specific to handicap parking), it's Friday and we've had a long week. So what the heck, have at it...
∙ The Port, The Piers, The Parking And The Terminal [SocketSite]
∙ Port preps prime land for building [Business Times]
∙ Did The Port Get Punked? (San Francisco Seawall Lot Redevelopment) [SocketSite]
∙ Hines And Pelli Clarke Pelli Bid The Most (And Get The Transbay Nod) [SocketSite]
First Published: October 12, 2007 2:50 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
While we're on the topic of parking; is it even worth talking about the insanity that is the SF Handicap Parking Permit situation. I'm not kidding that I've never once actually seen a disabled person get in or out of a parked car in SF with an HC sign on the rear view mirror. I know this problem isn't unique to SF, but it certainly seems to be exaggerated here. Where I work, every day there are 5 cars parked on the street, each with the HC tag and I've seen the owners get in and out. They look fine to me. Obviously, if you are disabled than you are more than entitled to this benefit, but for people that are abusing the system it seems a total joke.
Anyone know how I can get one! ;)
Posted by: eddy at October 12, 2007 10:24 AM
great point eddy and i thought of the same thing this morning when i read that article. until we can stop the insanity that is the current dmv handicapped placard problem (you can get one for sneezing twice in ten minutes) we need to hold off on any attempts to change public policy on parking. did you know that all the loading zones downtown are largely a response to abuse of the meters by these same folks? next time you go to a giants game, look at all the abusers (giants retired ushers) along king or second street. why anyone ever let them use a placard to park more than the one hour alloted meter for free is beyond me. i hear the mayors office is trying to do something about it. we should sue the dmv for giving these things out and costing us millions in income as a city.
Posted by: james at October 12, 2007 10:35 AM
As Baby Boomers age and become less able (not to mention retired), expect to see more Gen Xers and Millennials borrowing grandma's handicap placard to get all day street parking for free while they're at work. It is a big problem - I think street parking should have 2 hour limitations downtown regardless of whether you're handicapped or not. Street parking should be used for folks making relatively quick trips ... not to park all day long while they're working or whatever. All day parking needs to move into the parking garages that are pretty darn empty at most times of the day right now.
Posted by: Jamie at October 12, 2007 11:08 AM
It's about time something was done with this lot. Everything around it is being developed except the lot.
And you're totally right Eddy, 95 out of a hundred people I see get out of a handicapped-placarded vehicle look like they're walking around with no issues whatsoever.
Posted by: anon at October 12, 2007 12:00 PM
Don't be so quick to judge. I've had friends who have been yelled at and spit on for getting in and out of their handicapped cars, and they have to actually explain over and over to total strangers that they actually do have a handicap, whether it's a serious heart condition, hip issue, or other problem which isn't apparent to the casual observer. One of my friends gets so frustrated that he sometimes removes the tag and parks in an ordinary spot against his doctor's advice, just to avoid the abuse.
Posted by: tharpo at October 12, 2007 12:37 PM
"Where I work, every day there are 5 cars parked on the street, each with the HC tag and I've seen the owners get in and out. They look fine to me."
Ok, i don't pretend to know what qualifies you for a HC parking sign and I am sure some people abuse the system.
However, what I do know is that people that have had heart attacks or bypass surgery or a pace maker are considered disabled and qualify for HC parking. They may not look disabled (aka - in a wheelchair, etc) but they definitely have a need for parking in HC spaces.
Remember the saying don't judge a book by its cover? Here is a perfect example. Just my 2 cents.
Posted by: JJ at October 12, 2007 12:43 PM
Nevertheless, the system for HC issued passes seems very flawed and abused in SF.
Posted by: eddy at October 12, 2007 2:36 PM
Seawall Lot 337 is the perfect site for a multi-pupose arena in San Francisco. The idea for an arena was floated in 2002 by the owners of the Giants, and I'm hoping its revisited today. An arena could serve a basketball (hello, Sacramento Kings?!?) or hockey team. It could also host concerts, political conventions, and college games. Plus, the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau has been clamoring for extra convention space since Moscone West was completed.
Posted by: Tony at October 12, 2007 3:20 PM
There has to be some parking garages for the Giants stadium folks - otherwise, Potrero Hill will finally succumb to the same lack of parking the rest of San Francisco experiences. Dear lord!
I just wish the port would move with such expediency to do something about the eyesore that is Pier 36 or the "Brannan Street Wharf" - blech!
Posted by: Jamie at October 12, 2007 3:38 PM
According to an article earlier this year in the Chronicle, there are about 90,000 holders of disabled placards in SF alone -- 1 for every 4 or 5 residents. This doesn't include those who live outside SF and commute into the city. That's four times more disabled placards than there are parking meters.
I think we all need to write our state representatives and demand changes in the law. I'm all for handicapped parking spots, to be used by those who are legitimately disabled (who may or may not "look" disabled.) But I'm not sure why a disability should entitle someone to park for free, or to ignore parking time limits that everyone else has to obey.
And it seems obvious to me that 20-something percent of our population is NOT disabled, placards notwithstanding. Doctors who sign the paperwork for these things for bogus reasons should be ashamed of themselves. People who request them for bogus reasons should be even more ashamed.
And to be politically incorrect... has anyone else noticed that, more often than not, the folks taking the close-in disabled parking spots appear to be the ones who could most benefit from the exercise of a bit more walking?
Posted by: David at October 12, 2007 6:04 PM
As the old joke goes, you have to wonder if the DMV has loosened restrictions on HC placs to include handicaps other than physical.
Posted by: EH at October 12, 2007 9:45 PM
While the ADA legislation from 1990 has driven disabled parking requirements in private developments, the rehabilitation act of 1973 did designate a portion of public street parking for handicapped parking, however neither act requires parking fees or costs to be waived by the city, county or property owner.
However other than mall/retail parking where the developer/manager is incented to provide easy access to all potential customers, the fact that most people are using the placards for free public street parking downtown is offensive. Even if you are handicapped, access and availability acts designate accesibility, not "free" parking.
The solution is to force all cars to obey time limits and pay for their parking. While I do appreciate that many people do rely on easy access for specific medical conditions which require a wheelchair, cane, etc., since when does having a heart condition, bad back or morbid obesity due to your own actions merit free parking.
Posted by: jimmy at October 13, 2007 10:16 AM
alex, you've been very patient on this one. i have the latest email communication from the port about this seawall lot development and i'll forward it. i fear the port will be forced into a transbay type situation and will sell to the highest bidder, another one rincon, ughhh!
Posted by: james at October 13, 2007 9:26 PM
I am a social worker with people with disabilities and an ADA specialist (Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990).
I am also 52 and recently determined by a neurologist to be "severely disabled" due to three medical conditions. Probably "permanently". I've been on short term disability five times in four years and used a temporary parking placard in the winter. My body freezes in cold weather.
The government and society have done a pathetic job of educating non-disabled people about the ADA and what is meant by "disabled". As someone mentioned, I look perfectly fine. Even when rested, my energy fluctuates throughout the day. After a sleepless night from unrelenting pain, I'm on the couch for a day or even two. I cannot stand or walk for long. Also, after an hour or so, I am totally exhausted and often can barely make it back to my car. This is true for millions of people.
The "Boomers" you mentioned, my generation, are increasingly being diagnosed with autoimmune diseases such as lupus, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's. We are also falling to cancers. Personally I believe this is due to growing up in a poisoned world - air, water and food.
On the surface it seems unfair that people with disabilities do not have to pay parking fees. Please take into consideration that everything we do takes four times as long as a disabled person. We move slowly, taking a long time to get into stores, shop and get back to the car. Some of us have limited motion and could not even put the quarters in the meter. Our cars have been adapted for our condition but most of the world has not been structured to include us. The main purpose of the ADA is to simply provide us with Equal Access to buildings, programs, and jobs.
As someone else also said, I would give a lot to be healthy, especially free parking.
Posted by: Laurie Loving at October 14, 2007 4:56 AM
With all due respect to people and their problems, we're still left with the reality that if everybody is special then nobody is.
Allowing 20% of the population to be labeled as disabled for special parking privileges is unworkable. 5% max seems more reasonable.
Posted by: diemos at October 14, 2007 12:33 PM
Handicap should equal unable to walk without assistance, from either wheelchair or two crutches.
Canes don't count, if you don't need a wheelchair or two crutches, you can walk.
This makes it much easier to police as well: wheelchairs and crutches are visually apparent.
Being tired doesn't count. Being in pain doesn't count. If you can get out of the house on your own two feet then you can park your car like everyone else. Sorry. Life is hard.
Posted by: missionite at October 14, 2007 5:43 PM
glad to see i'm not the only unsympathetic bastard on this board. ;)
i'd like to ask laurie what she thinks of all the retired giants ushers from the east bay that drive brand new mercedes or suv's with zero modifications parked all day along kind/second for 12 hours at a time to go work their shifts as volunteer ushers. they can walk up and down the stairs of their assigned sections to deal with unruly fans or keep folks from entering while a batter is in the box.
what do you think about this abuse of the system laurie? i'd really like to know.
my impression is that a lifetime of bad eating habits is now being rewarded by the dmv with free parking and it is these exact folks that are in dire need of some exercise, not free parking.
that's just me though.
Posted by: james at October 15, 2007 1:22 PM
I'm loving missionite.
Posted by: curmudgeon at October 15, 2007 1:34 PM
I am 'severely' disabled in the eyes of any agency that needs to 'name' it. I use a power wheelchair. Most parking isn't really designed for my use (wheelchair van w/ a lift coming out the side...requires a MINIMUM of 7 feet to realistically get out of my vehicle. I do get frustrated with the #s of disabled placards, but limiting to 2 hours would be a NIGHTMARE. When I need to park somewhere, I need to be able to be there till I'm finished. Waiting for my doctor to get to me requires more than 2 hours most of the time. I can't park my van in most decks because it is too tall (raised top to allow me to sit up right in it in my chair). Time limits are the WORST of the ideas being brought out. While an implementation nightmare, a tiered system would make sense in a lot of ways. Cars parked in wheelchair van spots is the bane of my driving existence. But for many people that are able to walk a little, but sure as heck can't make it more than 50 yards or so, disabled parking is a serious need. There are many reasons (many of which aren't able to be mitigated by the person and their habits) that someone can't walk very far. Tho' many of those people for their own safety in locomotion would probably be well served in using a cane or crutches or a walker, most of the places those people would be going REALLY don't want their cane or walker in the establishment to be dealt with. My aunt regularly leaves her cane in the car when going in places because she doesn't like getting treated like crap. I'd be happy to be able to leave my wheelchair in the car, but...I could go on for ages. Let me end with the fact that many people have severe weakness and fatigue that is unable to be mitigated with any currently available medication or therapy. I'm determined, I'm in physical therapy 3x a week. I'm no more able to locomote under my own power in strength or endurance than when I started. My quality of life is better tho. Disabled parking is NEEDED and their isn't enough of it.
Posted by: Kriss at November 22, 2007 3:33 PM
Wow, you're a colossal dick. I was born with a disability, however at the moment I'm not visibly disabled. As I age, it will get progressively worse. So I have to ride around in a wheelchair just to satisfy your smug, ill-informed requirements?
I suggest you not tell the Internet in general that "life is hard". Chances are there are loads of people who know -- far better than you do -- just how hard life is.
I, for one, am proud to live in a nation where so much has been done to promote equality (and equal access) for everyone. Sure, there are problems, but it's well worth the benefit to society as a whole.
Posted by: El Jefe at January 3, 2008 2:12 PM
Wow, I'm amazed at how we have two groups who totally ignore what the other is saying and talk right past each other. One group who says the HC system should not be abused by healthy people - and one group who says their disability is private. It seems the two positions are not inheirently opposed - people with legitimate disabilities would benefit more from a system that has more public confidence - yet the two groups talk right past each other. What happened to civility and public discourse? Probaly went away with those many people who do abuse the HC parking permit program.
Posted by: pablo diablo at January 22, 2008 11:37 AM