Category Archives: TEP Projects

Fire Department and Emergency Response Issues

Fire Department issues with the street improvements:

SFFD 1-desktop from zRants on Vimeo.

CSFN General Assembly Presentation by Assistant Deputy Chief Anthony Rivera, July 18, 2017
Powerpoint attached

Most difficult issues: When asked which of the many issues SFMTA is throwing at the department, the chief had to pause to think about it. His final answer was the parking protected bike lanes. They create a lot of issues, especially when they are near the Muni power lines, or any high-voltage power lines when steel ladders are needed. They create additional problems with ladder access. Anything that creates a barrier between the response vehicles and people in distress, or property that needs protection is a problem. The only thing the public can do to improve the situation is to apply political pressure. Let your authorities know who you trust to put out fires and protect human life in emergencies. Insist that they set the standards for doing their jobs.

Standards: There are state regulations and OSHA regulations that apply to the Fire Departments and their personnel. We need to look into where the authorities lie at the state, federal, and city levels and act accordingly. (more on this subject as we look into it.)

Time: Fires double in size every minute. We need to watch the response times as those are a major factor in determining the effects of traffic on arrival times. All arrival times are tracked and information is available to the public.

Geography: SF has a unique set of problems with geography, hills, narrow roads, winding roads, etc. that make the job of fighting fires more challenging. Trucks must carry huge heavy loads of water because not all fire hydrants are working of available.

Bulbouts: are dangerous on a number of levels. The trucks are meant to be level to balance heavy loads. Trucks need 4″ high to roll over. Most are 6″ high. If SFMTA changes to 4″ they may rollover them, but the trucks are not level and the pedestrians must know to avoid being hit by trucks rolling over “pedestrian safe” bulbouts. This concerns fire department as it puts pedestrians at risk. Some hydrants were moved to accommodate bulbouts without their notice or approval and cannot be easily accessed.

Truck specifications: City is spending millions to replace trucks that were purchased around six years ago that don’t meet the new “Wiener” standards that require more narrow trucks for the narrowing lanes. Not all will be replaced so they will have a mix of trucks. (This makes for a more expensive repair shop, my comment)

Damages due to road conditions: All the trucks are susceptible to damage as they hit higher than 4″ bumps. New buses, ordered to specifications, are on order but will not be delivered for a while. They will have a better turning radius and a better fit for the narrow streets. Much of the ambulance equipment is delicate and easily damaged by flying over and landing after hitting a bump. The public may request reports and cost of repairs.

General Hospital: There were major designs changes after approval of the project. As we understand it, medians were approved based on ER the entrance on 23rd Street. At some point the entry was moved to 22nd street. The Fire department was not involved in that decision and no one looked at the medians in front of the 22nd Street entrance that are hampering the access for ambulances and ER vehicles.

Parking protected bike lanes: OSHA sets standards for workers safety around electric wires. Steel ladders cannot touch or be within 10 feet of those wires because they are high-voltage and may arc. Rain creates a particularly dangerous situation. Trucks have to balance their loads and extending ladders may require a space of up to 16 feet of open space on the opposite side of the ladder. Ladders need to be as vertical as possible to balance loads so they need to be as close as possible to the buildings where they are deployed. More details and more accurate information may be gleaned from the powerpoint presentation.

Incident counts: We understand the average counts of fires and incedents involving emergency vehicles is one significant fires per day and around 700 ambulance calls a day, so emergencies are not rare. Some neighborhoods experience a lot more than others.

Fire Truck and Engine Maneuvers on Potrero prior to the medians and other street obstacles.

Speed Camera Pilot Program in San Francisco and San Jose was stopped by people in Southern California

Thanks for your help!

WE STOPPED THE SPEED CAMERA BILL AB-342, AUTHORED BY DAVID CHIU THIS YEAR, BUT IT WILL RETURN. If you haven’t yet,  SIGN THE PETITION. has a full explanation of the bill, a petition to sign, and phone numbers of legislators to call. Call David Chiu at (916) 319-2017 and tell him you don’t appreciate him introducing legislation that takes away your rights!

Assemblymember David Chiu from San Francisco has introduced legislation to allow speed cameras to be used in California for the first time. The bill, AB-342 does not simply allow enforcement of speed laws using an automated enforcement system rather than a live police officer.

AB-342 drastically changes California speed laws and enforcement in very negative ways. While some might view the use of speed cameras as a tool in promoting roadway safety,

AB-342 is seriously flawed. It eliminates virtually all current protections afforded to motorists in speed related cases and allows jurisdictions to run speed traps in their cities, ensuring that the program will be used as a revenue generation scheme, not for public safety.

AB-342 makes the vehicle owner responsible for speeding tickets and takes away a defendant’s right to a trial. Instead, the ticket is treated as a civil violation which will be adjudicated in an administrative hearing without traditional due process rights.

Now sign the Petition to Protect Your Rights! Tell David Chiu you don’t appreciate his legislation that takes away your right to a trial, makes you responsible for the actions of others, and eliminates protections against cities running speed traps.

Details of the Taraval “improvements”


The Supervisors to contact about this plan are:
D-7 Supervisor Eric Mar:

D-4 Supervisor Katy Tang:

Hello Supporters of Keeping Our L Taraval Stops:
Here are some of the “Improvements” coming to Taraval and how you can comment on them. 

Many of you have : seen the signs posted on various corners and the big electric signs flashing that changes are coming.  We wanted to update you on he details so you will know what to expect on Taraval Street and where you may go to comment on them:

Keep Our L Taraval Stops

Keep Our L Taraval Stops
September 20 at 1:00 pm
Room 400 City Hall SFMTA Board Meeting Hearing
Up for Approval: Making Taraval Safer and Better for Muni Riders

The neighbors and Riders oppose many aspects of this project and request your help in making this a temporary pilot project:

Hello Supporters of Keeping Our L Taraval Stops,

Below are links to the staff’s presentation to the SFMTA Board of Directors for their meeting on Tuesday September 20 at 1 pm. at City Hall Room 400. All of the arguments that we made at the July 22 Public Hearing were rejected, and the staff rebutted each of our arguments, and specifically discussed on pp. 22-23 why the stops at 17th, 24th inbound, and 28 should be removed.  If you are interested, you can skim through the presentation to see what they said about the items that interest you, and you can rebut it in your emailed public comment if you want.
Staff Report PDF
Slide Presentation PDF


1.  Please make every effort to attend the meeting on September 20 at 1:00 pm in City Hall, Room 400.  We are the only item on the regular agenda and should come up by 1:30 or 2.  The staff will present the Project, and then we will make our public comments.  We will be allowed to speak only 1-2 minutes.  We need the largest turnout possible to have an affect on the Board’s vote.  Let us know if you can attend.

2.  Email a public comment, even if you are attending the meeting.  We found out that If emailed by Monday noon, the Board members will receive it in time, but the sooner they receive the emails, the more time they will have to read them. Sample letter

3.  Forward this email and the l-taraval-save-our-stops-postcard-for-9-20-board-meeting-jpeg to your friends and family members, post the relevant information on Facebook and your other social media sites, and encourage your friends/family to email the Board (with cc to us) and to attend the meeting on Tuesday September 20 if they can.

Thank you so much for your support.  We are all in this together, and we need your help now!

Paula Katz, Save Our L Taraval Stops!

Surprise move on Masonic – last minute meeting notice

Tuesday, January 26, 6:30- PM
John Adams Campus Room 139, SFMTA meeting to explain the Masonic plan to will begin construction of the Masonic bike lane project in mid-2016.  They will provide more information at this meeting. This meeting will be a good opportunity to find out information, question MTA and express your opinion about this $18 million project. Unfortunately, for some reason, the meeting may not appear. Try this: On the Masonic Streetscape page:
Click on Documents and Reports. The top report “Project Update” shows.

For questions about construction, please contact Alex Murillo at or 415.558.5296.
If you have any questions about potential added parking near Masonic Avenue, please contact Maurice Growney at or 415.701.4549.
There are two departments involved, Dept of Public Works and MTA. Write to both of them.

If you object to this project sign the Save Masonic petition and tell the supervisors and the candidates why you object and ask them what they plan to do to reign in the SFMTA. All comments go directly to the recipients.
Comments on the meeting are welcome here. Let us know if this is a Show and Tell or a serious discussion meeting.

Stop 16th Street BRT

Tuesday, January 19, 1 PM – agenda
City Hall, Room 400 SFMTA Board Meeting: Item 12. Amending Transportation Code, Division II, Section 601 to designate transit/taxi only lanes on 16th Street from Seventh Street to Church Street in the westbound direction. They want to reject the TTRP.22 Moderate Alternative as infeasible, and approve the proposed Modified Expanded project. We need to dispute this decision.(January 2016 plans) to be approved January 19 at the SFMTA Board Meeting. (Presentation) (staff report)

With all the new development, what is in the pipeline, plans for a Warriors Stadium, and Pier 70, there has not been an adequate independent traffic study addressing the cumulative impacts in the area of this project. We request a continuance.

Email or send a letter of opposition: Sample Letter

This is a dangerous plan that needs serious consideration before moving forward for a multitude of reasons.

16th Street is one of the major arterial streets that cross from East to West. It is the only street that crosses both 101 and 280.

The 22 Fillmore is one of the most popular and relied upon routes across town. Spending millions of dollars to change something that works really well for most people is insane.

Clearing all traffic on 16th Street to allow emergency vehicles only was given as the emergency plan to ally fears that Warriors Stadium traffic would limit access to the new Mission Bay medical facilities.

Adding more restrictions to an already over-burdened street that could be cleared during major emergency situations is pure lunacy.

Electric buses will be stopped in their tracks and the public will be trapped. Emergencies happen fast. Clearing a few cars off the street is one thing, but clearing a lot of buses stuck on tracks is another.

During the Loma Prieta earthquake the only thing that worked was the diesel buses that now run on clean fuel. Electric vehicles are useless without power.

Cars are not MUNI’s biggest problem. The invasive private tech and other shuttle services cause most of the MUNI delays. They are slow and constantly getting in the way of MUNI buses. Cars are fast and nimble in comparison.

This plan includes a bicycle path next to the bus lane that is totally inappropriate and dangerous. Bus drivers can’t see bicycles. There is already a bike path on 17th Street so no bike path is needed on 16th Street.

PDR businesses and small neighborhood retail merchants rely on parking for delivery, clients and customers. Making driving and parking on 16th Street more difficult will drive these businesses out at a time when the city claims it is trying to preserve them.

Stop this plan and send it back to the drawing board.


Third Street is dangerous to drive on because you can’t see the lines between the lanes. The lanes south of Hudson are constantly moving on and off the MUNI tracks without warning.

Last night I was driving in the rain on Third Street. You cannot see any where the lanes begin and end at night in the rain. Your entire attention must be on where you are going, so you have no opportunity to look for pedestrians or bicycles or anything other than “where did my lane go?” This is too dangerous. We need white lines between the lanes that glow in the dark on Third Street.

This video shows how dangerous Third Street is in the day light.

1. Drivers of cars and bikes have no time to watch for pedestrians stepping out onto the street because attention has to be given to following the winding path of the road.

2. At night in the rain the street lanes are impossible to see. The raised ridge between the street and the MUNI line is not visible. This is the most dangerous street in town for everyone.

3. What will it take for reason to prevail? Must we sue over this too?

4. The raised platforms and street trees make it MORE DIFFICULT to see pedestrians and others waiting to cross.

Approval of Wiggle Project Delayed, Divisadero Turn Restrictions Debated

hoodline – excerpt

A final vote on the Wiggle Neighborhood Green Corridor Project has been delayed, as at least one neighborhood group withholds its support in response to proposed traffic restrictions on Divisadero.

The project, which has been in the works for about two years, is a joint effort by the SFMTA and SFPUC to both calm traffic in the area and install technologies to better absorb rainwater and prevent flooding along the Wiggle. It would involve corner sidewalk bulb-outs at various points along the popular bike route, coordinated signals on Divisadero to improve the flow of traffic, a raised crosswalk at Steiner and Hermann to enhance pedestrian safety, and permeable pavement to allow rainwater to soak into the ground instead of the sewer system, among various other changes in the area.

But there’s one specific issue that appears to be holding up the project.

According to a recent SFMTA document, left turns would be prohibited on Divisadero at the following streets “to reduce clogging and prioritize through-traffic”:

  • Haight (southbound)
  • Hayes (both directions during peak hours only)
  • McAllister (both directions during peak hours only)

That proposal has apparently riled some neighbors, and the Lower Haight Merchants and Neighbors Association (LoHaMNA) is currently refusing to back the plan due to the turn restrictions. The project was originally scheduled to head to the SFMTA Board of Directors next Tuesday, May 19th for final approval. While the SFMTA hasn’t announced why the project has been struck from next week’s agenda, the timing indicates that the left-turn issue may be a factor. …(more)

Muni boosts service starting this weekend

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

San Francisco Muni riders are getting a boost in Muni service starting this Saturday.

The Municipal Transportation Agency is increasing frequency on some of Muni’s heaviest lines and adding new amenities to transit shelters. With more than an average of 700,000 daily boardings, the transit agency said this is its biggest service increase in decades.

SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin said as complex as it is running a transit system, it was clear what riders wanted:

“It’s really pretty simple in terms of what they want. What they’re looking for is a bus or a train that’s going to show up with reasonable level of reliability and a vehicle they can actually get on when it does show up.”…

SFBay reported earlier this month that Muni lines like the 10-Townsend, 14-Mission, 28-19th Avenue and 38-Geary will have more frequent service during the morning and evening commutes (Full list of service increases and route name changes)… (more)

Inner Sunset Streetscape Design Review Draws a Lively Crowd

Inner Sunset Streetscape Design Review Draws a Lively Crowd
hoodline – excerpt:

San Francisco Public Works (DPW) held a community meeting last night at the County Fair building (1199 9th Ave.) to present revised plans for the Inner Sunset phase of the Irving Streetscape Improvements Project. Once completed, DPW says the project will shorten travel times and “provide a safer and more inviting environment for pedestrians, motorists and transit riders.”

The presentation reviewed proposals for Irving Street between 9th and 5th avenues. Project manager Mike Rieger said the goals for this section of streetscaping were to add green space and new, safe transit amenities, as well as community spaces “which reflect the neighborhood identity.” Project costs are covered by a 2011 Road Repaving and Street Safety Bond (more)