Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Motorists Coalition Restoring Car Dominated Transportation Balance to San Francisco - Finally!

If you look around San Francisco, you'll undoubtedly see every street moving car traffic, and cars parked on every street.  What you didn't know is that it's severely out of balance with nine slightly dedicated bus lanes, and six dedicated bike lanes strewn about the city.  Well a ragtag group of motorists are about to change the landscape of San Francisco to balanced levels not seen since - five years ago.  
A Transit only lane? Unbalanced!!!
Geary at Powell Street. Photo: Cheryl Brinkman
The "Motorist Coalition" believes that balanced transportation policies would better serve San Francisco motorists, pedestrians, motorists, first responders, motorists, motorists, taxi riders, Muni riders, motorists and bicyclists, motorists, and it also addresses the unique needs of the senior motorists, children motorists, families with motorists, and motorists.  Hopefully they can be more powerful than the enraged car lovers that managed to severely alter or halt plans on Geary BRT, Van Ness BRT, Market Street, Irving Street, and Polk Street.  
A bike lane wedged between car traffic and dooring zones? Unbalanced!
Image found here.  
Their aim is to restore balance to the City’s transit policy and adopt a 'WWCD?' ideology (What Would Car's Do?) .  All traffic laws should be equally enforced, from the distracted pedestrian walking outside of a magical crosswalk, a cyclist taking an Idaho roll, or an SUV speeding and going through red lights.   Variable meter pricing should not be imposed on neighborhoods unilaterally, because unlike everything else in San Francisco, parking should be free. In short, motorists should not bear the brunt of the SFMTA’s unreasonable regulations and mandates that make parking market based, manageable and effective. 

Unbalanced! It should be 110% capacity and FREE!
Image found here
The Motorhead group also believes that despite the benefits of boosting business by making it easier for drivers to park in commercial districts, to reduce circling time and congestion by improving spot availability, and to subsidize operational costs for the Muni transit service, it was severely unbalanced because it only helped out everyone.

Most of the balance will come from their charter:

1. Parking (not transit) is and should always be super cheap, free, and also available to everyone, somehow.  Parking meters should not operate on any City and County holiday listed on sfgov.org, on Sundays, or outside the hours of 9:00 am to 6:00 p.m. Commencing July 1, 2015, fees for parking garages, meters, parking tickets, and neighborhood parking permits should be frozen for five years, allowing the City to annually adjust thereafter only for Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases.

Image found here
2. Only put meters in places where merchants and household want them, like we do with stop signs, stop lights, and speed limits.  The introduction of parking meters or variable meter pricing into neighborhoods where they currently do not exist should be allowed only upon petition by the majority of the affected households and merchants.

3. Construct neighborhood parking garages in magical space located in all neighborhoods that will be underutilized and far below the market price of anything else that exists in SF.  A portion of any additional parking or motorists' fees and new bond monies earmarked for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) should go to the construction and operation of neighborhood parking garages.

4. Ensure the roads are safe for everyone, but also make it easy for cars to swiftly move through streets free from the distraction of bikers and pedestrians.  Any proposed re-engineering of traffic flows in the City should aim to achieve safer, smoother-flowing streets.

Fair and Balanced
Image found here
5. Enforce traffic laws the same way we treat all laws in San Francisco - manslaughter, littering , vandalism, drug dealing, public nudity. It's all the same!  Traffic laws should be enforced equally for everyone using San Francisco’s streets and sidewalks.

6. Regular Muni riders, pedestrians, and cyclists, are not people who ever drive cars.  There should be people on the SFMTA board who exclusively drive a car so there's a more balanced perspective.  The seven-member SFMTA Board should include not only four regular riders of Muni, but a fair representation of all transportation stakeholders, including motorists. The SFMTA should create a Motorists’ Citizens Advisory Committee in addition to its other advisory committees.

Hopefully with the help of the motorist coalition, we can 
achieve this kind of balance in San Francisco again!

7. Apply a WWCD policy to everything that happens on San Francisco streets.   The Board of Supervisors shall make every reasonable effort to implement the components of this policy through appropriate legislative and administrative acts, including but not limited to acts relating to enacting, repealing, reconciling, amending, and/or ameliorating the components of this policy with other existing laws, regulations, blah blah blah blah blah cars blah.

Hopefully the Motorist Coalition can put a little sense and clarity into San Francisco Street Design, where motorists can have more of most of everything, and free of charge, as god intended.  


  1. I love your blog! Suck it Rob A.

  2. You've been on fire recently - keep it up.

    1. Thanks! Hopefully it's enough to see a permanent ban on bikes and a freeway built through the heart of San Francisco within my lifetime.

  3. Did you watch the pedestrians in that video? I need to go lie down now.

  4. Some people liked the way the streets were before. If you are one of them go here for details on how you can help get the Reform Transportation Balance initiative on the November ballot.

    1. The site you want to go for the details is:

    2. Yes! Of course we're talking about the time when cars dominated the roads, but not the time BEFORE that when children and the neighborhood could walk around without the threat of getting struck by a vehicle.