Community Clashes Over Choice Of Proposals To Improve Polk Street

Cars or bikes? Pedestrians or parking spots?

Another community meeting was held today on proposals to revamp San Francisco’s Polk Street that have groups facing off on what the city’s priorities should be for the new design.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is asking for the public’s input on at least six proposed layout options for the popular commercial corridor when the street is repaved in 2015.

While one option would largely maintain the status quo with some pedestrian improvements added, others propose adding bike lanes, parklets, curb bulbouts and other changes that would cause a substantial reduction in parking spots for cars along a 20-block stretch of Polk Street.

After the Middle Polk Neighborhood Association held a meeting last week on the proposals, another neighborhood group, the Community Leadership Alliance, held another one this afternoon attended by a few dozen people at the San Francisco Main Library.

David Villa-Lobos, the group’s executive director, said, “We have a big issue with finding parking on Polk Street.”

He and others said they were worried that getting rid of existing spots would worsen the situation, both for merchants and residents.

“It’s a mess as it is,” said another resident who declined to give his name.

But Marc Brandt was among other attendees at the meeting who said he thought more biking improvements could improve Polk Street and bring more customers to its businesses.

“More cyclists coming through means you get more people coming through and spending money,” Brandt said.

Luis Montoya and Darcie Lim from the SFMTA attended today’s meeting and answered questions from community members.

The pair said the agency will host its own larger public meeting on the design proposals in April or May and is seeking to finalize plans by this summer, then will go through the city’s approval process before construction would begin.

The various design proposals and a survey for residents or interested parties can be found online at www.sfmta.com/polk.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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  • gneiss

    Since 1980 the city population of San Francisco has grown by 18% from 678,974 to 825,683. In addition, car ownership has changed from owning one car per family to one car per adult in families. If we want to maintain a vibrant city streetscape that isn’t choked with cars we need to rethink how we get around. There simply isn’t enough space to accommodate cars for all the people trying to shop in Polk gulch even if we keep the 7% of parking that the city is considering removing.

    I think many long term residents and merchants are failing to see how many more people live here now then when they were younger and how trying to accommodate car storage for all these new residents only makes the situation on our streets worse. We can’t just bury our heads in the sand and pretend that the city won’t change. It already has, and will continue to do so for some time given how many people want to live here, and how many new housing units the city is considering adding. Instead we should be thinking about what we can do to move more people with the existing infrastructure, and that means providing bicycle and walking improvements. Moving that many people in individual cars just isn’t scalable in a city that’s a 7×7 mile peninsula.

  • gneiss

    Since 1980 the city population of San Francisco has grown by 18% from 678,974 to 825,683. In addition, car ownership has changed from owning one car per family to one car per adult in families. If we want to maintain a vibrant city streetscape that isn’t choked with cars we need to rethink how we get around. There simply isn’t enough space to accommodate cars for all the people trying to shop in Polk gulch even if we keep the 7% of parking that the city is considering removing.

    I think many long term residents and merchants are failing to see how many more people live here now then when they were younger and how trying to accommodate car storage for all these new residents only makes the situation on our streets worse. We can’t just bury our heads in the sand and pretend that the city won’t change. It already has, and will continue to do so for some time given how many people want to live here, and how many new housing units the city is considering adding. Instead we should be thinking about what we can do to move more people with the existing infrastructure, and that means providing bicycle and walking improvements. Moving that many people in individual cars just isn’t scalable in a city that’s a 7×7 mile peninsula.

  • PolkStreetResident

    Make Polk Street safe and inviting for everyone. Support the SFMTA’s improvement plans (wider sidewalks, parklets and dedicated bike lanes) by signing the petition here:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/mayor-edwin-lee-supervisors-david-chiu-and-jane-kim-sfmta-ed-reiskin-move-forward-with-the-polk-street-complete-streets-project

    (Or search Change.Org for “Folks for Polk.”)

  • PolkStreetResident

    Make Polk Street safe and inviting for everyone. Support the SFMTA’s improvement plans (wider sidewalks, parklets and dedicated bike lanes) by signing the petition here:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/mayor-edwin-lee-supervisors-david-chiu-and-jane-kim-sfmta-ed-reiskin-move-forward-with-the-polk-street-complete-streets-project

    (Or search Change.Org for “Folks for Polk.”)

  • Is there really anything all that wrong with Polk Street today? Not really. The issue with traffic has a lot to do with delivery trucks, buses, and people trying to find parking. Adding bike lanes is going to make the problems a lot worse.

    One of the questions SFMTA should be asking people at these meetings is how many of them ether own a businesses or live within a block of Polk.

    Do not destroy a neighborhood just to push an ideology that is not based in reality. People need cars to get around. And people need cars to shop. You can’t take multiple shopping bags on MUNI. And a simple shopping trip might take over an hour in transit time alone just to go less than a mile. Driving can take less than 10 minutes.

    It’s time to put this issue on the ballot and let the people of San Francisco decide if we want to spend tens of millions of dollars pushing a seriously flawed ideology. Statistics might make it seem like bikes are a great option but the reality of life in San Francisco proves that statistics are wrong.

    • gneiss

      The reality is that only 15% of people who shop on Polk get there by car. Why should we spend millions of dollars that is scheduled to be used to improve the street making it better for this minority of users? Also, while it may only take 10 minutes to drive to the street, it will take you 20 to circle around looking for on street parking.
      It’s time to stop pushing a mode of travel that serves a minority of people in the city and give people choices about how they get around that makes more efficient and safer use of our public space.

      • There is no data to support the 15% citation. Far more people have cars than bikes, and drivers spend more money than bikers. No one bikes to a nice dinner or a good evening out on Polk Street. No one goes shopping for large or many items on a bike. Many people can’t have bikes where they live, or can’t physically bike. If there were better public transit or more/affordable cabs, that would make a difference. No removing parking.

    • pablo_skils

      Transportation is not an ideology, it is a practicality. Please try to not confuse these two issues. The fact of the matter is this is the nation’s second most densely populated city and there simply isn’t room for everybody to be driving around in their own car like they do in Lubbock, Texas. 150,000 more people are coming to live in SF in the coming 20 years. Are they all going to drive their own personal cars? Nobody in their right mind would think that. So you tell me: how are these people going to get around the city?

      Tell me how many car drivers and buses will get to Polk Street when there is gridlock? Not that it would make much difference to the prosperity of the street, because a study showed only 15% of Polk Street shoppers arrive by car anyhow. It would just mean a lot of upset car drivers and frustrated Muni riders. The cyclists and pedestrians of course are hardly affected by gridlock.

      I live within one block of Polk Street. I would like SFMTA to go farther and remove ALL car parking from Polk Street. This would reduce the problems of prostitution, drug dealing and homeless people using the gutter as a toilet. All three activities require a barrier of parked cars to form a visual shield. By supporting parked cars on Polk you are enabling these activities.

      You know how doctors are always telling people to use their cars less and walk for those local shopping trips? Now here’s your opportunity to make your doctor smile.

      The SFMTA plans stimulate the patronage of the shoppers that spend the most, namely pedestrians and cyclists. People who travel on foot or bike to shop must do so more frequently and thus they spend more money (people almost always buy more than they plan to). Several businesses have told me that most of their customers walk, including to grocery stores such as Trader Joe’s (two blocks off Polk).

      Also, removing the parked cars will reduce the number of serious traffic accidents on Polk Street,caused by car-dooring and drivers turning right on a red light, unsighted by cars parked near the junction, and hitting pedestrians in the cross walk. Serious accidents on Polk number about two a month making it one of the city’s more dangerous streets.

      These are all real arguments. I hear what you are saying, I can see where you’re coming from, but try this as an alternative: get out more. Make more frequent shopping trips, buy only what you can carry, or use a small cart as I do to carry groceries. Women love my little cart and stop me to ask about it! Use these trips as regular exercise. Get to know your neighborhood more. You notice a lot more when on foot.

      Besides, Polk Street is rather scrappy as it is. A lot of people in the neighborhood are saying this, and lots outside the area say they don’t bother coming here because what’s to see? I’d love to see the Polk Street merchants start to take some pride in their street and treat the place well. If SFMTA is offering to take the lead in that, more power to them. They have my full support.

    • snapshotist

      I live within a block and have invested in business on Polk Street itself. I also spend most of my money in the neighborhood.

      I want the 2 bike lane proposal to go through. The reduction of parking spaces, which seems to be the single issue against the changes, is so minimal versus the benefit of creating a safe, main city thoroughfare for cyclists. I look at the increased traffic the cyclists create as a very positive thing not only for businesses, but for the city as a whole.

      And I’ve said this a lot, but those of you who oppose the changes really need to tone down the rhetoric. Saying stuff like “destroy the neighborhood” makes you look silly. How can you truly believe the neighborhood dies if these changes are made? I think what you want to say is, “we believe this will reduce the revenue businesses see from the reduction in foot traffic and increase the inconvenience of deliveries for businesses.”

  • Is there really anything all that wrong with Polk Street today? Not really. The issue with traffic has a lot to do with delivery trucks, buses, and people trying to find parking. Adding bike lanes is going to make the problems a lot worse.

    One of the questions SFMTA should be asking people at these meetings is how many of them ether own a businesses or live within a block of Polk.

    Do not destroy a neighborhood just to push an ideology that is not based in reality. People need cars to get around. And people need cars to shop. You can’t take multiple shopping bags on MUNI. And a simple shopping trip might take over an hour in transit time alone just to go less than a mile. Driving can take less than 10 minutes.

    It’s time to put this issue on the ballot and let the people of San Francisco decide if we want to spend tens of millions of dollars pushing a seriously flawed ideology. Statistics might make it seem like bikes are a great option but the reality of life in San Francisco proves that statistics are wrong.

    • gneiss

      The reality is that only 15% of people who shop on Polk get there by car. Why should we spend millions of dollars that is scheduled to be used to improve the street making it better for this minority of users? Also, while it may only take 10 minutes to drive to the street, it will take you 20 to circle around looking for on street parking.
      It’s time to stop pushing a mode of travel that serves a minority of people in the city and give people choices about how they get around that makes more efficient and safer use of our public space.

      • There is no data to support the 15% citation. Far more people have cars than bikes, and drivers spend more money than bikers. No one bikes to a nice dinner or a good evening out on Polk Street. No one goes shopping for large or many items on a bike. Many people can’t have bikes where they live, or can’t physically bike. If there were better public transit or more/affordable cabs, that would make a difference. No removing parking.

    • pablo_skils

      Transportation is not an ideology, it is a practicality. Please try to not confuse these two issues. The fact of the matter is this is the nation’s second most densely populated city and there simply isn’t room for everybody to be driving around in their own car like they do in Lubbock, Texas. 150,000 more people are coming to live in SF in the coming 20 years. Are they all going to drive their own personal cars? Nobody in their right mind would think that. So you tell me: how are these people going to get around the city?

      Tell me how many car drivers and buses will get to Polk Street when there is gridlock? Not that it would make much difference to the prosperity of the street, because a study showed only 15% of Polk Street shoppers arrive by car anyhow. It would just mean a lot of upset car drivers and frustrated Muni riders. The cyclists and pedestrians of course are hardly affected by gridlock.

      I live within one block of Polk Street. I would like SFMTA to go farther and remove ALL car parking from Polk Street. This would reduce the problems of prostitution, drug dealing and homeless people using the gutter as a toilet. All three activities require a barrier of parked cars to form a visual shield. By supporting parked cars on Polk you are enabling these activities.

      You know how doctors are always telling people to use their cars less and walk for those local shopping trips? Now here’s your opportunity to make your doctor smile.

      The SFMTA plans stimulate the patronage of the shoppers that spend the most, namely pedestrians and cyclists. People who travel on foot or bike to shop must do so more frequently and thus they spend more money (people almost always buy more than they plan to). Several businesses have told me that most of their customers walk, including to grocery stores such as Trader Joe’s (two blocks off Polk).

      Also, removing the parked cars will reduce the number of serious traffic accidents on Polk Street,caused by car-dooring and drivers turning right on a red light, unsighted by cars parked near the junction, and hitting pedestrians in the cross walk. Serious accidents on Polk number about two a month making it one of the city’s more dangerous streets.

      These are all real arguments. I hear what you are saying, I can see where you’re coming from, but try this as an alternative: get out more. Make more frequent shopping trips, buy only what you can carry, or use a small cart as I do to carry groceries. Women love my little cart and stop me to ask about it! Use these trips as regular exercise. Get to know your neighborhood more. You notice a lot more when on foot.

      Besides, Polk Street is rather scrappy as it is. A lot of people in the neighborhood are saying this, and lots outside the area say they don’t bother coming here because what’s to see? I’d love to see the Polk Street merchants start to take some pride in their street and treat the place well. If SFMTA is offering to take the lead in that, more power to them. They have my full support.

    • snapshotist

      I live within a block and have invested in business on Polk Street itself. I also spend most of my money in the neighborhood.

      I want the 2 bike lane proposal to go through. The reduction of parking spaces, which seems to be the single issue against the changes, is so minimal versus the benefit of creating a safe, main city thoroughfare for cyclists. I look at the increased traffic the cyclists create as a very positive thing not only for businesses, but for the city as a whole.

      And I’ve said this a lot, but those of you who oppose the changes really need to tone down the rhetoric. Saying stuff like “destroy the neighborhood” makes you look silly. How can you truly believe the neighborhood dies if these changes are made? I think what you want to say is, “we believe this will reduce the revenue businesses see from the reduction in foot traffic and increase the inconvenience of deliveries for businesses.”

  • Polker

    This is a great neighborhood that is based on local residents supporting local business. Parking is key both for a convenience for residents and for businesses to attract customers. This is a ridiculous waste of time and money that people who clearly don’t live in the neighborhood have created as some sort of social experiment. But the reality is there is plenty of room for bikers and pedestrians. Go play Simcity on your own time and leave our neighborhood alone. Make your voice heard and tell them how ridiculous this proposal is. Save Polk St!

    • snapshotist

      I agree this is a great neighborhood. I disagree with you that this hurts Polk Street. I also think it’s overly dramatic to say “save Polk St,” as if the neighborhood is doomed if one of the three proposals passes through.

      As one of many local residents, I don’t know many that even own a car. And I can’t recall a single story of any local I know driving to park on Polk. It doesn’t make any sense for someone to do so.

  • Polker

    This is a great neighborhood that is based on local residents supporting local business. Parking is key both for a convenience for residents and for businesses to attract customers. This is a ridiculous waste of time and money that people who clearly don’t live in the neighborhood have created as some sort of social experiment. But the reality is there is plenty of room for bikers and pedestrians. Go play Simcity on your own time and leave our neighborhood alone. Make your voice heard and tell them how ridiculous this proposal is. Save Polk St!

    • snapshotist

      I agree this is a great neighborhood. I disagree with you that this hurts Polk Street. I also think it’s overly dramatic to say “save Polk St,” as if the neighborhood is doomed if one of the three proposals passes through.

      As one of many local residents, I don’t know many that even own a car. And I can’t recall a single story of any local I know driving to park on Polk. It doesn’t make any sense for someone to do so.

  • R.Hiller

    Another shining example of how politics in this city are no longer about “what is best” but what is profitable “in theory”. As a resident of Russian Hill, I can be certain all this will do is fill Polk Street with more inconsiderate cyclists who run stop signs, ride in the middle of the street, all without realizing 3,000 pound metal objects could flatten them at any moment – and then blame everything else besides their oblivious mindset. Get ready for law suits, City of SF.

    Furthermore, the rules for street parking are already so challenging that people with Permits still get tickets regularly (I have managed to avoid this, but I know others). It has become an expectable added expense, to just know a Permit will really cost you $55 more (the minimum ticket from SFMTA).

    I have submitted several simple requests to SFMTA to paint parking lines on 1 block of 90-degree parking, that gets completely abused by drivers who want to save spots for friends, or their driveway, etc. They won’t come out and spend the probably $100 of time/materials required to make my block a better place, yet they want to do one of the most pointless projects ever conceived on TWENTY blocks? Come on……SFMTA is just another power-hungry, over-fat public organization that needs to be checked and stopped.

    There is no way this was proposed or pushed forward by someone who truly understands day-to-day life as a resident of this city or neighborhood. Obviously there is someone standing to gain from the increase in profits from the “local businesses” and also from skimming off the construction contracts that will result.

    Oh and don’t forget – how slow is public works with executing projects? I’ve been driving down Hyde Street to work every day for a month now, and for no apparent reason the middle lane has been blocked off and half the time, I see no workers even present. If this starts, the Hell it will create during the process might be worse than the result. This is just sad, and needs to be stopped.

    • WhatIsYourFavoriteColor

      As another Russian Hill Resident who owns a car, walks a dog on Polk 5 times a day, and bikes to work in the Mission daily, I suppose I’ll adress your points one by one:

      1: It’s ludicrous to think that the driving force behind this plan is profitability. In fact, most of the merchants on Polk are fighting this because they claim it will drive their profits down as people find it harder to park. The city does point to examples such as Valencia Street where bike lanes and widened sidewalks have been ultimately well received by merchants, but these changes are being proposed to improve safety and efficiency, not profits.

      2: Due to geography Polk Street is the only feasible bike corridor between Mid Market and the northern neighborhoods so like it or not, it will always be used by bicyclists. Ridership is up in general and yes, safety improvements will draw new riders to Polk. These new cyclists are most likely to be the more timid riders who were deterred from commuting because of the dangers of Polk Street. The blow-through-stop sign assholes are probably already using Polk, so if anything the overall proportion of these riders should go down. (As a side note, I firmly believe that the proportion of asshole bikers is the same as the proportion of asshole drivers, and for that matter, the same as the proportion of assholes in general. We’re all just so used to asshole drivers that it doesn’t register as out of the ordinary anymore.)

      3: The white lines on 90 degree parking aren’t a bad idea, but trust me it would cost far more than $100 and my guess is that it would actually reduce the number of spaces because they would stripe them with more room than people typically leave between vehicles. Also, how exactly are people abusing the system saving spaces for their driveways? If you block someone’s driveway you get towed.

      4: This is an MTA initiative and it’s being pushed by pedestrian, transit and bicycling advocates who represent the way 85% of the neighborhood uses Polk St, so yes it might not be pushed by someone who advocates the way you use polk street, but that doesn’t mean that this project’s backers don’t understand day-to-day life in the neighborhood.

      5: Who exactly is skimming off the construction contracts? Supervisor David Chiu opposes the plan, so probably not him. The MTA? The Mob? If anything they’ll provide much needed working class jobs.

      6: The center lane on Hyde at (Eddy I think?) is closed because there’s a giant, dangerous pot hole that needs to be fixed. Yes, the city moves slowly on this kind of thing but once they start a repaving and street reconfiguration project they generally keep it moving. Valencia went through the same thing but they were working on it consistently and it was worth the wait.

      So in conclusion, I guess, if you live in Russian Hill like I do, why do you need to drive to Polk Street? I get that it’s occasionally necessary to move something heavy or bulky but the places that sell these types of things basically all have parking (Lombardi’s, Trader Joe’s, Brownies) and don’t try to tell me you don’t just go to Safeway for your groceries anyway. I get that most if not all of these businesses rely on customers from out of the area as well, but if they’re so reliant on them that taking a couple hundred parking spots out of the neighborhood will drive them out of business, maybe they should rethink their location. A lot of people forget that the purpose of a neighborhood commercial corridor is to provide a human scale shopping experience where you can walk down the street, grab a cup of coffee, wander into a few stores and go home. If this isn’t the experience you’re looking for I think the South Bay, East Bay, or Sacramento can offer you plenty of fine alternatives at a fraction of the cost.

      • M.

        All the high points perfectly delineated, Whats/Color! The majority of us know that the days of the preeminence of cars are now gone. It’s up to us to be seen and carry through the paradigm shift. Our young are going to have to live – and die – by our decisions.
        (Please join the rest of us in Folks for Polk)

  • R.Hiller

    Another shining example of how politics in this city are no longer about “what is best” but what is profitable “in theory”. As a resident of Russian Hill, I can be certain all this will do is fill Polk Street with more inconsiderate cyclists who run stop signs, ride in the middle of the street, all without realizing 3,000 pound metal objects could flatten them at any moment – and then blame everything else besides their oblivious mindset. Get ready for law suits, City of SF.

    Furthermore, the rules for street parking are already so challenging that people with Permits still get tickets regularly (I have managed to avoid this, but I know others). It has become an expectable added expense, to just know a Permit will really cost you $55 more (the minimum ticket from SFMTA).

    I have submitted several simple requests to SFMTA to paint parking lines on 1 block of 90-degree parking, that gets completely abused by drivers who want to save spots for friends, or their driveway, etc. They won’t come out and spend the probably $100 of time/materials required to make my block a better place, yet they want to do one of the most pointless projects ever conceived on TWENTY blocks? Come on……SFMTA is just another power-hungry, over-fat public organization that needs to be checked and stopped.

    There is no way this was proposed or pushed forward by someone who truly understands day-to-day life as a resident of this city or neighborhood. Obviously there is someone standing to gain from the increase in profits from the “local businesses” and also from skimming off the construction contracts that will result.

    Oh and don’t forget – how slow is public works with executing projects? I’ve been driving down Hyde Street to work every day for a month now, and for no apparent reason the middle lane has been blocked off and half the time, I see no workers even present. If this starts, the Hell it will create during the process might be worse than the result. This is just sad, and needs to be stopped.

    • WhatIsYourFavoriteColor

      As another Russian Hill Resident who owns a car, walks a dog on Polk 5 times a day, and bikes to work in the Mission daily, I suppose I’ll adress your points one by one:

      1: It’s ludicrous to think that the driving force behind this plan is profitability. In fact, most of the merchants on Polk are fighting this because they claim it will drive their profits down as people find it harder to park. The city does point to examples such as Valencia Street where bike lanes and widened sidewalks have been ultimately well received by merchants, but these changes are being proposed to improve safety and efficiency, not profits.

      2: Due to geography Polk Street is the only feasible bike corridor between Mid Market and the northern neighborhoods so like it or not, it will always be used by bicyclists. Ridership is up in general and yes, safety improvements will draw new riders to Polk. These new cyclists are most likely to be the more timid riders who were deterred from commuting because of the dangers of Polk Street. The blow-through-stop sign assholes are probably already using Polk, so if anything the overall proportion of these riders should go down. (As a side note, I firmly believe that the proportion of asshole bikers is the same as the proportion of asshole drivers, and for that matter, the same as the proportion of assholes in general. We’re all just so used to asshole drivers that it doesn’t register as out of the ordinary anymore.)

      3: The white lines on 90 degree parking aren’t a bad idea, but trust me it would cost far more than $100 and my guess is that it would actually reduce the number of spaces because they would stripe them with more room than people typically leave between vehicles. Also, how exactly are people abusing the system saving spaces for their driveways? If you block someone’s driveway you get towed.

      4: This is an MTA initiative and it’s being pushed by pedestrian, transit and bicycling advocates who represent the way 85% of the neighborhood uses Polk St, so yes it might not be pushed by someone who advocates the way you use polk street, but that doesn’t mean that this project’s backers don’t understand day-to-day life in the neighborhood.

      5: Who exactly is skimming off the construction contracts? Supervisor David Chiu opposes the plan, so probably not him. The MTA? The Mob? If anything they’ll provide much needed working class jobs.

      6: The center lane on Hyde at (Eddy I think?) is closed because there’s a giant, dangerous pot hole that needs to be fixed. Yes, the city moves slowly on this kind of thing but once they start a repaving and street reconfiguration project they generally keep it moving. Valencia went through the same thing but they were working on it consistently and it was worth the wait.

      So in conclusion, I guess, if you live in Russian Hill like I do, why do you need to drive to Polk Street? I get that it’s occasionally necessary to move something heavy or bulky but the places that sell these types of things basically all have parking (Lombardi’s, Trader Joe’s, Brownies) and don’t try to tell me you don’t just go to Safeway for your groceries anyway. I get that most if not all of these businesses rely on customers from out of the area as well, but if they’re so reliant on them that taking a couple hundred parking spots out of the neighborhood will drive them out of business, maybe they should rethink their location. A lot of people forget that the purpose of a neighborhood commercial corridor is to provide a human scale shopping experience where you can walk down the street, grab a cup of coffee, wander into a few stores and go home. If this isn’t the experience you’re looking for I think the South Bay, East Bay, or Sacramento can offer you plenty of fine alternatives at a fraction of the cost.

      • M.

        All the high points perfectly delineated, Whats/Color! The majority of us know that the days of the preeminence of cars are now gone. It’s up to us to be seen and carry through the paradigm shift. Our young are going to have to live – and die – by our decisions.
        (Please join the rest of us in Folks for Polk)

  • Lenny Kovlak

    not everyone is physically able to ride a bike………….

    • WhatIsYourFavoriteColor

      Which is why the project is designed to also improve pedestrian safety and transit efficiency. It just happens that Polk is an important bike corridor so it needs to be a major part of the plan. It’s like saying not everyone owns a car so we shouldn’t try to make traffic safety improvements on Van Ness.

  • Lenny Kovlak

    not everyone is physically able to ride a bike………….

    • WhatIsYourFavoriteColor

      Which is why the project is designed to also improve pedestrian safety and transit efficiency. It just happens that Polk is an important bike corridor so it needs to be a major part of the plan. It’s like saying not everyone owns a car so we shouldn’t try to make traffic safety improvements on Van Ness.

  • Guest

    Street, for cyclists, pedestrians, or anyone else. It’s a phony claim the MTA uses to justify bicycle projects for a small, obnoxious special interest group at the expense of everyone else that uses city streets.Only 3% of trips in SF are made on bicycles. By the city’s own numbers, there has been no great surge in cycling in San Francisco since the year 2000. One only needs to check page 3 of the city’s latest Transportation Fact Sheet to verify that reality.

    As with most things in City Hall you simply have to Follow the money. The Bicycle Coalition functions like a City Hall agency, and receives lucrative city contracts and endorses political candidates who have anti-car views. The SFMTA has recently laid out 200 Million dollars in deficit spending to build bicycle lanes that less than 3% of the population is using. Why is this?

    The SFMTA Board is stacked with “bike people”. Cheryl Brinkman came
    from Livable City and Joel Ramos came from Transform. These two spend
    all of their time trying to push people on to bikes (and a lifestyle) that is not of their choosing. Both of these “transit advocates” should be removed from the SFMTA Board and replaced with qualified people who will prioritize the task of fixing the problems with the MUNI transit system.

    • snapshotist

      You sound crazy. Just FYI. A conspiracy to force people to ride bicycles? What the hell are you talking about?

  • Guest

    Street, for cyclists, pedestrians, or anyone else. It’s a phony claim the MTA uses to justify bicycle projects for a small, obnoxious special interest group at the expense of everyone else that uses city streets.Only 3% of trips in SF are made on bicycles. By the city’s own numbers, there has been no great surge in cycling in San Francisco since the year 2000. One only needs to check page 3 of the city’s latest Transportation Fact Sheet to verify that reality.

    As with most things in City Hall you simply have to Follow the money. The Bicycle Coalition functions like a City Hall agency, and receives lucrative city contracts and endorses political candidates who have anti-car views. The SFMTA has recently laid out 200 Million dollars in deficit spending to build bicycle lanes that less than 3% of the population is using. Why is this?

    The SFMTA Board is stacked with “bike people”. Cheryl Brinkman came
    from Livable City and Joel Ramos came from Transform. These two spend
    all of their time trying to push people on to bikes (and a lifestyle) that is not of their choosing. Both of these “transit advocates” should be removed from the SFMTA Board and replaced with qualified people who will prioritize the task of fixing the problems with the MUNI transit system.

    • snapshotist

      You sound crazy. Just FYI. A conspiracy to force people to ride bicycles? What the hell are you talking about?

  • sfparkripoff

    It’s important to understand that the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Walk San Francisco are special interest groups with an anti-car agenda. Their mission is to promote the bogus MTA “improvements” to Polk Street and make it appear that they are needed for public safety. These organizations deliberately foment a sense of emergency about the safety of our streets to push “improvements” to city streets that are only designed to make it harder and more expensive to drive in San Francisco.
    As with most things in City Hall you simply have to Follow the money. Some people seem think that the Bicycle Coalition is a city department. That confusion is understandable, since City Hall and the MTA treat it like one, including giving it lucrative city contracts to stage Bike to Work Day ($50,000 a year!) and other events. The SFMTA has recently laid out 200 Million dollars in deficit spending to build bicycle lanes that less than 3% of the population is using.

    Why is this? Well, The SFMTA Board is stacked with “bike people”. Cheryl Brinkman came from Livable City and Joel Ramos came from Transform. These two spend
    all of their time trying to push people on to bikes (and a lifestyle) that is not of their choosing. Only 3% of trips in SF are made on bicycles. By the city’s own numbers,
    there has been no great surge in cycling in San Francisco since the year
    2000. One only needs to check page 3 of the city’s latest
    Transportation Fact Sheet to verify that reality. At some point the Feds will take notice of the corruption and launch an investigation into the obvious conflicts of interest.

    • snapshotist

      Yes, the space between buildings is limited and in order to serve the interests of pedestrians, public transit, bicycles and cars, compromises need to be made. And since the city, like most cities, has favored the car for that space, it means serving the interests of the other parties will result in a compromise that takes away from cars.

      So it’s not so much that these groups are anti-car as they are pro their group. If they had infinite space, I’m sure they’d be happy to keep the car situation exactly as-is.

  • sfparkripoff

    It’s important to understand that the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Walk San Francisco are special interest groups with an anti-car agenda. Their mission is to promote the bogus MTA “improvements” to Polk Street and make it appear that they are needed for public safety. These organizations deliberately foment a sense of emergency about the safety of our streets to push “improvements” to city streets that are only designed to make it harder and more expensive to drive in San Francisco.
    As with most things in City Hall you simply have to Follow the money. Some people seem think that the Bicycle Coalition is a city department. That confusion is understandable, since City Hall and the MTA treat it like one, including giving it lucrative city contracts to stage Bike to Work Day ($50,000 a year!) and other events. The SFMTA has recently laid out 200 Million dollars in deficit spending to build bicycle lanes that less than 3% of the population is using.

    Why is this? Well, The SFMTA Board is stacked with “bike people”. Cheryl Brinkman came from Livable City and Joel Ramos came from Transform. These two spend
    all of their time trying to push people on to bikes (and a lifestyle) that is not of their choosing. Only 3% of trips in SF are made on bicycles. By the city’s own numbers,
    there has been no great surge in cycling in San Francisco since the year
    2000. One only needs to check page 3 of the city’s latest
    Transportation Fact Sheet to verify that reality. At some point the Feds will take notice of the corruption and launch an investigation into the obvious conflicts of interest.

    • snapshotist

      Yes, the space between buildings is limited and in order to serve the interests of pedestrians, public transit, bicycles and cars, compromises need to be made. And since the city, like most cities, has favored the car for that space, it means serving the interests of the other parties will result in a compromise that takes away from cars.

      So it’s not so much that these groups are anti-car as they are pro their group. If they had infinite space, I’m sure they’d be happy to keep the car situation exactly as-is.