Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Mark Farrell - Moving San Francisco Forward Into the 20th Century

“It boggles my mind when I take my kids to basketball on a Sunday and I’m still in a traffic jam”
Image found here.
Mark Farrell, District 2 Supervisor, acknowledges that his beloved suburb is going through some "growing pains" but Mark knows that true leadership involves mitigating changes to a grinding halt through a process called "balance" & "community input".

From The Marina DoubleSpeak Times: "With our city’s population marching higher month after month, some of those growing pains are felt on our city streets in the form of traffic congestion, crowded Muni buses, and overflowing sidewalks with pedestrians. I firmly believe a responsive and accountable city government should and can impliment needed improvements to address problems. But the responses to the growing pains must take into account the reasonable concerns of the residents and neighborhoods affected."

After the SFMTA conducted a painstaking year-long study to address the needs of 28,000 daily bus riders along the 30 Stockton, one of the busiest routes in the city.  Through this data-driven study, they came up with a package of changes to increase pedestrian safety and speed up the bus.  But Mark, who takes the bus twice a year, knows these kinds of meaningful changes need to be properly weighed with the screams & tantrums of the residents.  He laments not having the authority to prevent these changes entirely, but promised to amplify the resident's lust for parking spaces over pedestrian safety & dedicated bus routes.

Chestnut Street "Character"
image c/o Henry
Mark sought "balance with the SFMTA" and clearly beat Ed Reiskin, the director of the SFMTA, into submission.  His priority was to ensure "the project would no longer involve the elimination of any parking spaces." by removing the following from the 30 Stockton plan.
  • Traffic Signals 
  • Transit Only Lane
  • Bus bulbs  
  • Turn pockets
  • Anything Resembling Pedestrian Safety
The District 2 parking warrior also helped set the tone with the Polk Street Redesign. “When they presented the Polk Streetscape project, I saw diagrams that were totally car-free. I said, ‘Okay, then we need to build some parking garages.’ Getting around the city is more frustrating than ever in my lifetime, and everyone shares the blame — people bike, walk, and drive recklessly."  It's this kind of pedestrian & bicyclist shaming, grounded in reality, that clearly puts Mark ahead of the pack when it comes to street safety.

Who would be better suited for making ~balanced~ decisions on public transit than someone who took Muni twice during the 22 day Muni Challenge?
As Mark says, "the soul of San Francisco has always rested in our unique neighborhoods, and we cannot lose sight of their character as our city population continues to grow".  And that soul is filled with free on-street parking, slow buses, and speeding cars.  Thanks for all you do for San Suburbscisco, Mark Farrell!

And don't worry folks, Mark has plans to "Save" Lombard Street".

With Mark's help ~balancing~ priorities of safety, parking, parking and parking on Lombard, we can go from this, to this.
image c/o Kyle

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