April 27th, 2011, As Seen by SFPark from Josh Bingham on Vimeo.

Watching SF Parking
San Francisco’s revolutionary new parking paradigm, Park SF, has been getting less than stellar reviews for its smartphone app, but the program’s ability to use real-time parking information to set ideal parking meter price points such that 15% of spaces on any given block are consistently free may be prove its key asset.

SF Park is already displaying data from the program on its website and Pedestrianist is hosting a cool video from its feed showing how parking density in various area of the city fluctuates throughout the day. For example, Fisherman’s Wharf stays uniformly dense but Downtown experiences major waves of cars flowing in and out. Let’s see if SFMTA can turn all this info into a more fluid parking situation for everyone.

SFMTA Holds Workshop Encouraging Minority-Owned Business To Bid On Central Subway Construction Projects
This Thursday, SFMTA held a workshop encouraging Disadvantaged Business Enterprises to bid on projects related on the construction of the new Central Subway. Since 1998, the Department of Transportation has mandated that at least 10% of all contracts go to small businesses owned by traditionally disadvantaged groups, such as racial and ethnic minorities, women and individuals with disabilities.

“When we help small businesses, we help the U.S. economy grow,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “California’s small business community has much to offer and we are anxious for them to take part in the important transportation projects that are shaping this nation

The Central Subway is a nearly two mile extension of the T light rail line that currently runs down Third Street in the Bayview, Dogpatch and Mission Bay neighborhoods. The plan is to bring it all the way though Downtown and into Chinatown.

The workshop drew attendees from various national transportation agencies, members of the local business community and labor union officials and is part of a series of similar workshops the Department of Transportation is holding around the country. The government is hoping to use these meetings to encourage minority- and women-owned small and disadvantaged businesses to compete for nearly $20 billion in federal contracts.

If any of the business who attended the workshop win contracts for the subway, they’re going to have their work cut out for them. The new, $1.58 billion light rail line isn’t without its critics. Last month, an article in the Examiner highlighted a handful of experts who called the the subway’s design “inefficient” and “unsafe.”

Don’t Park On The Sidewalk
Yeah, it’s always been illegal but now the Department of Parking and Traffic is going to start giving out tickets for blocking the sidewalk with your car like it’s going out of style.

Since DPT is stepping up enforcement in an effort to close SFMTA’s massive budget deficit, if they don’t start raising revenue soon, SFMTA may actually go out of style.

The City Lets USF Students Figure Out What To Do With Unused Muni Substation
The city hasn’t been able to decide what to do with a long-abandoned Muni substation at the corner of Fillmore and Turk Streets so they’re temporarily giving it to the University of San Francisco. The building was once slated to be turned into music school for children but the city was unable to find a developer and used the money once set aside for the project to get Yoshi’s, a jazz-themed sushi restaurant (or is it a sushi-themed jazz club?), off the ground.

The new project will see USF students assessing the building for possible new uses and developing a workable plan for its future.

Honestly, the city might be better off assigning more and more essential government functions to eager, young college students willing to do all the boring, complicated work of city governance for course credit.

Speaking or which, I hear Muni may be looking for a new Executive Director/Unpaid Intern…

The Greening of Market Street
I meant that literally. Starting today, SFMTA crews are going to paint more green bike lines down the side of the bustling thoroughfare. Just make sure the paint’s all day before you wheel on though.

Pedestrian Hit In The Mission
A pedestrian was sent to the hospital after being hit by a car while crossing the intersection at 24th and Mission.

Sadly, this happens in San Francisco over 800 times per year.

Mystery Item Hit By L-Taraval
Friday morning’s commute was slowed when an L-Taraval hit something, somewhere. MTA spokesperson Paul “did not have details on what the L-Taraval struck or where on the system the incident occurred,” says the Ex, but the issue was significant enough to put all Muni Metro trains in manual mode while in the subway, which meant slow going.

Dolores Park Parking
There’s going to be a hearing at City Hall on the morning of May 6th to determine whether a two hour residential parking zone should be installed in the area immediately surrounding Dolores Park.

If you have strong feelings either way, or have too much free time and love watching people argue about parking, this might be worth checking out.

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