The City’s proposed vision to guide the future planning and development of transportation in San Francisco is about to be formally released.

As we first reported last year, the “ConnectSF” project is a city-wide effort to both consolidate and coordinate all transportation-related planning efforts in the city as well as to improve the mobility of its residents, in-bound commuters and visitors.

The Draft Vision sees the city “[maintaining] its unique identity” while planning for “an out-migration of people who desire a more suburban environment or who prefer more localized or more laissez-faire governance over a strong central government” and allowing for San Francisco to double-down on becoming “a major employment hub and center for innovation.”

And the ConnectSF team is now aiming to secure formal buy-in from San Francisco’s Planning Commission and transportation agencies this spring in order to move forward with detailed transportation studies, planning and major land use decisions. We’ll keep you posted, connected and plugged-in.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Notcom

    “planning for “an out-migration of people who desire a more suburban environment or who prefer more localized or more laissez-faire governance over a strong central government” and allowing for San Francisco to double-down on becoming “a major employment hub and center for innovation.””

    TRANSLATION: Send us your jobs – and money! – and you can keep your problems and (neutered) local governments.

    • Posted by Hunter

      I read that as “we’re gonna densify the west side and those suburbanists can GTFO” 🙂

      • Posted by Mark

        The west side is already built up. Well, rather built down in that you have tons of low-rise, row house type housing…99 percent of which have garages and driveways…being suburban, you know.

        • Posted by Hunter

          right, which is why I said “densify” not build out. At some point, the non-owner (and younger cohort) of SF will outvote the aging single-family-home dwellers and we will be upzoning in the Sunset and Richmond, particularly near transit (and hopefully the beach and parks). Well overdue for some big changes.

          • Posted by Mark

            Residents are already adding a third story to their homes in many parts of the Sunset. This area is comprised of SFHs. That won’t change. Zoning laws are in place for a reason. Even if they are allowed to upzone, our transit and streets can’t handle any sizeable influx of new residents. NIMBYs won’t go away any time soon, either. Just look at Geary…it’s a prime commercial corridor yet the mere mention of BRT (we’re not even talking real transit upgrades, like a subway or light rail) and additional height gets slammed. All I can say is good luck, folks.

          • Posted by Hunter

            BRT is happening on Geary, despite the NIMBYs.

            For the entire length of the Sunset, the Muni trains are relatively uncrowded—and it’s a lot easier and cheaper to add more cars/frequency than a new rail line. The transit infrastructure can handle it. We will get denser. Move to Fresno if you don’t like it.

      • Posted by Panhandle Pro

        Demolish all the things! Specifically, single story commercial and industrial things.

        • Posted by Pablito

          Agreed. We need to change the tax structure so single story commercial pays a premium. Multistorey residential a discount…

    • Posted by Pablito

      Lacking in the plan is “subsidize transit for minimum wage employees” or “subsidize transit for low income living in housing projects” or any sort of rational means test
      It does say “subsidize transit for seniors, people with disabilities, and youths” Many of of the seniors are quite well off and do not need a subsidy. It’s just a appeal to emotion.

      I know it is a “Vision” but it tries to appease too many while not really committing to much. So a fair amount of the document reads to me as poor public policy cheerleading instead of a roadmap to get to better transportation situation.

      • Posted by jwb

        This drives me crazy. Seniors are the richest people around, but we’re always bending over backwards to give them free bus rides, free housing, etc. The bus should just be free for everybody, and there should be enough housing so the housing price doesn’t go bananas.

        • Posted by Pablito

          I agree the bus should be free to everyone. Taking the bus is a social ‘good’ – it gets cars off the road and encourages density and good land use. But taking the bus is often slower than driving – so it ‘costs’ the bus riders. Since we have to put up with slow – it should be free.
          You can see this in Uber and Lyft price structure – express drive alone rates are more than slower ‘pool’ shared ride rates…
          SF City government spends a huge % of its resources on benefiting a few people. It should be spending its money on programs – like free transit – that benefit a much wider audience.

          • Posted by Notcom

            Staying home and playing canasta takes cars off the road too: why should homebodies pay for people who want to go out clubbing every night ?? On, that’s right, the latter is “good” b/c it provides jobs and taxes….’course it’s mainly the “clubbing” part that provides them and I’m assuming you wouldn’t advocate making that free, so I don’t see why the incidental part should be.

          • Posted by Mark

            And there are households with no kids, but they pay into the school districts.

            Forget free transit. Work on the internal agency issues that make it $2.50 a ride. Muni employees’ ridiculously high incomes, plus the bloated pensions, cash strap the agency.

          • Posted by Amewsed

            Driverless vehicles. No more huge salaries, sick days, strikes, pensions. Use that money to invest in safe technology which will provide multi-fold benefits over its costs. BART would be the easiest to convert.

            Even transit rich global cities like Hong Kong and Singapore do not have free transit for all.

          • Posted by Mark

            Driverless or not, you still envision tons of cars on roads. Now that’s real smart. Not.

          • Posted by Pablito

            I’m all for a canasta tax credit. 🙂

            So long as they are electric – or hydrogen – i.e. silent and no pollution – who cares how many cars are on the road?

      • Posted by Accounting

        That SF spent $3M on this fuzzy nothingburger is indicative of the lack of political leadership in this town.

  2. Posted by Joey

    The depiction of a modern low-floor tram in that graphic is interesting. Such a vehicle is not currently used in San Francisco. Maybe a hint as to what’s in the report?

    • Posted by Mark

      No, it’s not a hint. Muni would have to rebuild all the Market St. subway platforms from West Portal and then the Embarcadero stations for the N line and the entire T surface line. And replace its entire fleet of cars. Ain’t ever gonna happen.

  3. Posted by Joe

    I’m skeptical of any “planning” studies which rely on outmigration.

    • Posted by Mark

      We already have outmigration of the middle class. As for the outmigration of the suburban mentality…LMFAO. Does SF plan on investing tens of billions of dollars in transit infrastructure to get rid of the suburban car culture? Jesus, it can’t even connect Caltrain with a $3B bus station without decades of delays and cost overruns. Center for innovation and doubling down on being an employment hub? Really? Sounds like major tax breaks for companies at the expense of residents to me.

      • Posted by Martin

        Well, to be fair SF has been more successful at attracting big employers than say Oakland or downtown LA with a lot less tax breaks than say Wisconsin. Facebook didn’t need any incentives. Salesforce is chipping in money for Transbay, Dropbox is building a big office, GM’s Cruise is also expanding in SF and testing in SF despite less regulation in in AZ.

        In exchange, many of the rundown buildings get restored and paid for via tech companies and will be around for years to come.

        • Posted by Mark

          You referring to all those rundown buildings between Van Ness and Market/5th? The same streets that are filled with crack addicts and homeless? Just curious.

          • Posted by Pablito

            SF has been more successful at attracting big employers – but I think Mark is spot on – walk outside the door of those fancy buildings on market and you literally have lots of people dying from addiction in their own feces. So no wonder people want to live in the suburbs…. That’s not a plan – that’s dystopia.

  4. Posted by Martin

    Do you have any indication as to when, exactly, it’ll be released? The graphic is nice!

    • Posted by SocketSite

      We actually provided a direct link to ‘The Draft Vision’ in our third paragraph above…

  5. Posted by Pero

    With +100 people being part of the Future Taskforce, nothing stands in the way of a speedy and efficient process

    • Posted by seriously

      I think we should have several community meetings to determine just WHO those +100 people are to make sure none of them are shills for greedy developers.

      • Posted by Pablito

        Once you eliminate the shills for greedy developers, the shills for greedy politicians, the shills for greedy nimby neighborhood groups, etc… You won’t have 100 people left in this town to choose from. 🙂

  6. Posted by oh my

    The good news is that the graphic only cost MTA $10k.

  7. Posted by Amewsed

    SF is very good at spending money on “studies” and graphics, the equivalent of a mission statement on a CV. How about automating 40% city services jobs and outsource the project to Amazon? So many wasted man hours.

    • Posted by jimbo

      agree with you. Google or amazon would be much better at buildings SFs future than our idiotic govt employees

  8. Posted by Dave

    These are the same folks that promised us DTX to the TTC?! Yeah right. Waste of resources churning paper like this when city services are in the state they are.

    What is interesting is how this jobs focus aligns with the Central SOMA plan 7:1 jobs/housing (im)balance. Housing will be secondary – a wink and a nod – “the out-migration of the middle class”. A city of the very wealthy and the few lucky enough to be in rent controlled units or to score a BMR unit

    This also aligns with some comments about future commercial real estate in SF and how the city is built out as is so the Central SOMA plan needs to be approved and Prop. M modified so the developers can start building offices again. Follow the money as they say.

    • Posted by Pablito

      I’m beginning to think DTX to the TTC will only happen after either Hades freezes over or the San Andreas let’s loose with a 8.0

  9. Posted by Conifer

    I think the smartest solution, respecting the current residents, would be to continue developing the huge area south of Market with high rise residences, not six stories, but sixteen or more. This would eventually meet the need for housing, especially if very large apartments are included for those who want them. Then the settled residential areas, the northern areas, and Richmond, and Sunset, would not feel threatened. I think it is time for SF to stop burdening the Sunset with things they do not want, like pot stores and high rises. We would not need NIMBY if the newer areas of the city were allowed to grow properly.

    • Posted by Mark

      Development and infrastructure need to go hand in hand. Adding 10,000 new residents (just throwing that number out) in SOMA will severely strain the existing infrastructure is already decades behind. It would be foolish to assume that the majority of these new residents would work within a short distance of where they live.

    • Posted by Hunter

      You throw out a lot of inaccurate statements there: 1. 6-10 stories is not a high rise (and not even that height is being allowed in the Sunset). 2. Sunset residents are the ones who will be opening (and shopping at) dispensaries. 3. SoMa has added over 50% of the new units in SF during the last decade. It’s way past time for the western hoods to do their part: Drive less and densify more. We’re getting new Muni cars just in time.

    • Posted by Hunter

      4. Your suggestion that SoMA is a “newer” area is laughable, as it was one of the first settled parts of SF. You don’t get to push development on others just because you want to live in a city and have it feel like a suburb.

      • Posted by Mark

        1. SOMA is newer in terms of major residential development given that it had been light industrial with some housing for decades.

        2. I’m a Sunset resident. I’d like some facts behind your statement that these residents will be opening and shopping at dispensaries.

        3. Drive less and densify more in the western hoods? Sure thing…once the city provides a real mass transit system to the Sunset and Richmond areas. If you consider a 45-minute Muni ride that doesn’t operate on a schedule then it’s all yours. I’ll continue to drive.

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