The proposed ballot measure “to restore the transportation balance in San Francisco” by establishing a number of pro-car policies, including limiting the operation of parking meters and establishment of a Motorists’ Citizens Advisory Committee, has been titled “Policy Regarding Transportation Priorities in San Francisco” and the official summary of the measure was filed today:

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The sponsors of the proposed measure now have until July 7, 2014 to gather 9,700 signatures in order to qualify for the November ballot.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Joshua

    Will get my vote.

  2. Posted by Futurist

    I support it.

  3. Posted by 94123

    I will be voting for this and so will my friends and neighbors.

  4. Posted by 94112

    Not mine or my friends

  5. Posted by Jill

    Count me in

  6. Posted by Keepitup

    Count us in…we’ll be voting twice for it….so will my kids and grandmother…

  7. Posted by Zig

    Wonder if they want to take on parking ratios? I say a free parking spot for every man woman and child!

  8. Posted by Joel

    So let me get this straight: you all support “freezing” the current meter/citation/permit fees for 5 years (which I take to mean prohibiting increases AND decreases in rates?) Because that’s what this measure is purporting to do. Additionally, the measure freezes the rates after it passes, guaranteeing they’ll get increased quite a bit beforehand if it passes.

  9. Posted by Morgan Driver

    Will vote for this for sure. Does this mean they collected the necessary petition signatures?

  10. Posted by sf

    Was in the city a few days ago and remember seeing a political sign for a proposition authorizing $1 billion for “transit” improvements. Are San Franciscans really that gullible? Wasn’t a bond measure passed a few years ago to fix potholes? Every time I go back the asphalt conditions are worse and worse.

  11. Posted by Sic Transit

    Nearly every provision in this measure conflicts with Prop E, which is part of the charter. All conflicts between the charter and declarations of policy are resolved in favor of the charter language, even if it’s older. So even as advice from the voters, the Transit First policy, which is part of the charter, trumps anything this measure says.
    The SFMTA’s policy authority over parking meters, the requirements for its composition, the use of bonds it issues, what advisory committees it must have, and the Transit First policy it must follow are ALL part of the charter, and therefore are unaffected by statements of policy.
    If the proponents were being honest, they would propose this as a charter amendment. But they’re not, so by putting this on the ballot as a statement of policy, they’re perpetuating a fraud on the voters, duping them into believing that SFMTA must or even should deviate from the language of Prop E to enact the provisions of this measure.
    This dishonesty doesn’t end there. The measure calls for (again, with no legal weight) the SFMTA Board to include fair representation of motorists. My understanding is that five of the six SFMTA Board members (and six of the seven before Leona Bridges resigned, creating a vacancy) are motorists. The suggestion of the measure is that motorists must be underrepresented on the board when, in fact, they’re overrepresented already, given that about 29% of households in San Francisco don’t own a car at all.

  12. Posted by savvy

    Yes!

  13. Posted by SocketSite

    Does this mean they collected the necessary petition signatures?
    They have not. Having been titled and summarized, they can now start the petition process.

  14. Posted by R

    This is like a scene from Idiocracy.

  15. Posted by hmmm

    absolute idiocy. they have no idea what makes this city functional now or in the future. But as a matter of mechanics, as @sic transit mentions above, this has little to no teeth or practical impact.
    @sf: there have been no bonds funding public transit in SF in my memory (going back a couple decades). The bond you are recalling was specifically for fixing/repaving roads and sidewalks. The MTA measure would actually fund some major transit projects. If you’re not willing to pay for more/better transit, you can’t complain that we have inadequate transit. The growth is happening, and the federal government has stopped funding urban transit. I would think the lurkers on this blog would be wise to the need to keep infrastructure in pace with growth.

  16. Posted by Rillion

    This doesn’t go far enough, it should eliminate all parking permits and meters. Why should we have to pay to use public streets to store our cars. Parking is a human right!

  17. Posted by zouaf

    Next up, a ballot measure calling for free Muni for everyone, a free parking spot, a free house, a free pony. Have your cake and eat it too, San Francisco.

  18. Posted by intheknow

    I think we should stop funding this stupid transit and instead start tearing down some housing in every neighborhood to build some parking garages. That’s progress!

  19. Posted by Fishchum

    This is just idiotic. Paint a few bike lanes in San Francisco and motorists feel they need a ballot measure to “restore the transportation balance”? Restore it to what? To a time when streets were dedicated to cars 100%?
    Like I said, motorists bitching about an “imbalance” in transportation is like Tom Perkins bitching about how the 1% are persecuted.

  20. Posted by Little_Boxes

    This has my vote.

  21. Posted by Futurist

    It’s NOT just about a “few bike lanes”.
    It’s also about reducing and removing parking spaces, reducing lanes, increasing congestion and pollution, reducing off street parking ratios, AND, IMO, not enforcing traffic laws that apply to cyclists.
    That’s the imbalance, as I see it. I’m certainly voting in favor.

  22. Posted by R

    Yes! We need to stop those scofflaw bicyclists not stopping at stop signs! They are affecting my quality of life! I’m not entirely sure how, but I’m pretty sure I’m adversely affected. Stop them now!

  23. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Establishing a Motorist Advisory Committee is like requiring a University to establish a program in White Men’s Studies.

  24. Posted by Fishchum

    Yeah, what an unbelievable “imbalance”. I don’t how car drivers have survived so far, what with a majority of the city’s infrastructure being dedicated to cyclists, pedestrians, and public transit and car drivers being pushed aside and given nothing. How have they managed?
    From the belly-aching here on SS from the pro-car crowd, you’d think the SFMTA was rounding up car owners and having them shot.

  25. Posted by Jake

    Aside from the specific restrictions on parking meters and fees, is there anything else in this with enough teeth to force a change?
    SFMTA can use a “portion of funds…parking garages” so tiny it doesn’t matter, like enough to study building a Polk St garage for years but never build it.
    A committee with no authority can be politely ignored.
    SFMTA traffic engineers claim they are already making “safer, smoother-flowing streets.”
    How do you measure “equally enforce traffic laws”?
    Really, other than for parking meters and fees, how is this much different from a rant one might read on a website?

  26. Posted by Rillion

    > IMO, not enforcing traffic laws that apply to cyclists
    I’ve seen more cyclists getting tickets then I have seen car owners get tickets for double parking or just turning lanes of traffic into parking lots on a Sunday.
    But yeah, somehow car drivers are the oppressed majority.

  27. Posted by observant neighbor

    This is like rent control or Prop. 13 for drivers. San Francisco’s commitment to the gross misallocation of scarce resources speeds ahead!
    Demand-responsive parking is about the only wise policy that San Francisco has rolled out in the last decade. Anyone who has tried to park on Valencia Street during the day (when demand-responsive rates work their magic) and again in the evening (when the meters are shut off) can only hope that the city will extend the hours of metered, demand-responsive parking.

  28. Posted by Transit First

    The transit first crowd would have a lot more credibility if they pushed to fix SFMTA before asking for more money. Most of bus ops should be contracted out like they do for ADA transit. Muni Metro needs a better long term plan to effectively be a hybrid subway and street system with a reliable fleet that doesn’t require a super-customized fleet. They should be required by the charter to competitively bid bus ops and probably rail ops too. That would improve service quality (have you ever ridden a bus in Las Vegas?) and leave more $$$ for capital investment.

  29. Posted by Jackson

    This is getting interesting.
    If you own a vehicle in San Francisco, the current mantra of the SFMTA is to sock drivers with every fee possible, such as raising parking meter charges, limiting parking, and the ballot proposal to severely increase the Vehicle License Fee for City drivers.
    If both proposals make the November ballot, the SFMTA is panicked about their cash cow.
    The ballot measure “to restore the transportation balance in San Francisco” is drivers pushing back. Frankly, I’m surprised drivers were organized enough to get the ballot proposal created.
    I give props to the SF Bicycle Coalition as they are excellent in getting publicity for their positions. The extremist element want drivers to pay to park in front of their homes.
    Fishchum, it is not a done deal so don’t get your heart rate elevated.
    I’m voting yes and will make sure my friends are aware of the choice.

  30. Posted by smartdriver

    As a driver, I have to say that demand-responsive parking and sunday meters have made finding parking so much easier. Before sunday metering, on streets like Clement (or valencia, or any other commercial street), all the parking was fully occupied by nearby residents parking from saturday afternoon through Monday morning. No parking for shoppers or visitors. With sunday metering, there’s actually parking for shoppers who need to stop by! That’s why merchants actually invented parking meters in the first place (not evil cyclists), and why the Chamber of Commerce and merchants have actually been pleased with the results of sunday metering. Amazing – this City likes to shoot itself in the foot over and over.
    One step forward, two steps back.

  31. Posted by Rillion

    >The extremist element want drivers to pay to park in front of their homes.
    I know! It is totally outrageous that the city demand I pay almost $9 a month to park on PUBLIC property. What part of public should mean free don’t they understand? And then they force me to move my car once a week so they can clean the street. Forcing me to move my private property against my will is one tiny step removed from communism.

  32. Posted by Jackson

    >>and that “$9.00″ you quote is still nine dollars more than bicyclists contribute to bicycle lanes.
    Oh I hear ‘ya, bicyclists contribute for special lanes through their property taxes!
    Guess what, so do car drivers by paying heavily for using a vehicle in the City through their property taxes, fuel taxes, and vehicle registration fees and license fees.
    Like I said, it’s going to get interesting.

  33. Posted by Dan

    I’m a cyclist, and I pay property taxes, sales taxes, state income tax, fuel tax, vehicle registration fees, and license fees.
    My car spends most of its time in my garage, while I bike to work.
    I pay a lot more in taxes than most car drivers.
    Does that mean I can take the whole lane when I ride, since I’ve paid for it?

  34. Posted by Jackson

    Yes Dan, that would be the law.
    As the big yellow traffic sign says “Bicyclists have full use of the lane”

  35. Posted by Rillion

    >and that “$9.00″ you quote is still nine dollars more than bicyclists contribute to bicycle lanes
    Right on! We’d be much better off if every bicyclist was driving a car instead and contributing more to the city coffers, and pollution, and congestion, and wear and tear on the roads. We would have millions more in revenue and a much improved quality of life in the city if all the bicyclists would instead drive cars.
    You know who also uses up even more space on our streets and contribute nothing, pedestrians! Even better would be to ban pedestrians, what with their walking around the city for FREE. We could add 2+ lanes to every street by eliminating those special pedestrian only lanes known as sidewalks!

  36. Posted by Mark

    Just reading all this bickering makes me sick. In a nutshell, the SFMTA is mismanaged and misguided. In the end, we all are paying for the agency’s inability to run itself properly and to effectively meet the needs of everyone…peds, cyclists, car drivers, and transit riders.

  37. Posted by Peter

    This is idiotic SF Ballot Box planning at its worst.

  38. Posted by Jonny

    I’ll sign the petition and I’ll vote for the measure when it’s on the ballot.

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