tv [untitled] November 19, 2013 1:30pm-2:01pm PST
of your house because you happen to have the right address. well, that needs to be reconsidered, i think. it's time. what is the purpose of this thing? we bend over backwards in all these things and people get their parking spot and the next thick -- thing they do they use their car and there's that bus in the bus zone and all that. >> last speaker, jim mitchell. mr. mitchell here? >> are you mr. mitchell? >> mr. mitchell? >> please come forward. good afternoon, mr. mitchell. >> good afternoon, my name is jim mitchell, my company is j mitchell group in san
francisco. i've been an lbe for 21 years in this city and i came today to get paid. i was a subcontractor for 13 years on your worker's compensation program. i have an outstanding invoice of $66,000 that you guys have done an investigation on and found out that the crime was in noncompliance of 14b. that amount totals $18 million in contracts over 13 years, of which i was the subcontractor. the 5 percent goal was not met. yet and still in your investigation you saw fit to find out that the $800 million a year contractor who had the contract was in fact in compliance and didn't have to pay. right now i have a $66,000
invoice that's been outstanding with mta for the last 7 months and there have been several, there's been an investigation and on behalf of your compliance officer that found out that my case has merit. that was in the last letter that we received in november the 14th. i came to find out where can i get paid and how quickly can i get paid? right now my doors are closing, my telephones are off and i'm still looking at $66,000. the port has asked me, has held back on this -- evicted me because they say how can, how can they evict me when their landlord, which is the city, owes me money? so that's where i'm at today. thank you very much for your time. >> public comment on that -- so a couple things, members of
the public. i think mr. chelus raised an issue i've been asked about feir a while, what is the policy on putting things on the headers so at some point if we can get a brief report. mr. rose left the room but sunday's event really was a wonderful event, it was very warm and affirming, great to meet the drivers and their families, just very well done, i was very proud to be there. you could feel the pride in the room. good job. then i hope director riskin or somebody with deal with mr. mitchell's problem at some point. mr. chairman, moving on to your consent calendar, these items are kered to be routine unless a member of the public or member of the board wishes to have an item severed or considered separately. i will not read them all but no member of the public or member of the board has asked an item be
severed. >> item 11, the regular calendar amending the transportation code to either restrict commercial passenger vehicles with more than 9 seats, accepting employer shuttle busses on street segments on the alamos square neighborhood and making traffic and parking modifications east of pierce and repeal an expired exception to the street restrictions for people activity busses operating on segments of lyon and chestnut streets. this is option 1. commercial 2 is excepting certain activities but permitting enclosed passenger vehicles to operate on hayes street and then making the required, the necessary traffic, parking and traffic modifications including establishing a tour bus loading zone on the north side
(inaudible). >> before we begin the item, director ripke has a comment. >> i think there is a potential conflict for me on this item because my firm represented a client that may be affected by this, so i'm looking for your consideration to sit this one out. >> board policy, we would have to vote on that so i would vote we excuse director ripke from participating and acting on this item. is there a second? >> second. >> all in favor say aye. thank you. okay, director ripkin. >> jerry robins from our sustainable department has been working on this for quite some time has a brief presentation we want to lay out before you which is how do we address the
challenges we are facing, people in the alamos square are facing. >> good afternoon, jerry robins, i have a brief presentation on the background on alamos square. get the presentation going. it's a very popular destination for visitors to san francisco. in the last several years we have seen a big increase in the hop on hop off tour bus industry, these are busses that sell individual fares and allow people to get on and off the bus at particular destinations and get on a later bus. it's become very popular. four or five different companies that operate this type of service in san francisco. in september of 2011 the alamo square neighborhood association requested a prohibition of all commercial vehicles with 9 or more seats in the alamo square area similar to restrictions in
other parts of san francisco. some of the issues raised is the busses often stop at the viewpoint at hayes street just east of pierce street so people can see the view and take pictures of the painted ladies victorian homes. as you can see in the upper picture here, that sometimes results in traffic having to stop behind a stopped bus. here we see a 21 hayes bus stopped while the tour bus is stopped ahead of it. in the lower picture you see traffic going on the wrong side of the street in order to pass the stopped bus. the busses are long, they make wide turns and in the photo here you can see a bus encroaching into the on coming traffic lane in order to execute a right turn. the open top busses have amplified loud speakers which can be disturbing it neighbors. the engine noise, particularly going up hills, is an issue.
the emissions of the busses when they are idling is a concern and finally just the sheer number of buses is a frequent complaint. people can tolerate a certain number of busses but beyond that it's a problem. on the other hand, tourism is san francisco's no. 1 industry. the busses are an efficient way to move people around. the busses are very popular with people, it's a good way to see a lot of destinations in a short period of time. so in october of 2011 we did a study of volume of busses, we wanted to quantify how many busses there are, where the busses are going, what type of busses they are, what type of services they provide. the picture shown at the top is one of the typical hop on, hop off buses with an open air vehicle. back in 2011 they constituted about 47 percent of the busses that we observed in about 4
hours of observation at various times of the day and the week in october of 2011. the second picture from the top shows a more typical enclosed tour bus. these type of busses don't pick up individual people, they pick up a group at a hotel or a convention center, take them around the city and bring them back where they started. these are about 27 percent of the busses that we observed in 2011. about 20 percent of these busses will stop at alamo square, we estimate, let people out of the bus and wander into the square. the other 80 percent just drive by and slow down as they go by but don't let people out. we also noticed about 24 percent of smaller busses, perhaps 20 to 30 seats, and then finally there were a small number of employer busses or google busses, about 3 percent
at that time. so we tracked where the busses are going and this map shows that almost all of them wound up on hayes street on the south side of alamo square at one time or another, some were going east, some were going west. the ones going east tended to fan out on to various neighborhood streets after crossing steiner street. in june 2013 the alamo square neighborhood association asked us to do some updated counts. this is primarily because things have changed, the hop on hop off operators have formed an organization and decided to stop going by alamo square, they changed their route in order to not be so disruptive to the neighbors. so we got some different findings at that point. overall in 2011 we
counted a bus about every three minutes. in 2013, two years later, it was down it a bus about every 7 1/2 minutes mainly because the hop on, hop off busses were not coming by at that time. we had about the same number of enclosed busses so their percentage jumped up to 62 percent. we had a little decrease in the small busses and we had an increase in the employer busses mainly because we did our surveys a little earlier in the day intentionally in order to find out how many of these employer google type busses there were in alamo square. this map shows the route that some of the hop on hop off busses detoured to. instead of going on steiner street, the line in red is on fillmore
street. in february of 2013 we established a tour bus loading zone as a 6-month trial on fell street just west of divisadero street. the busses west on fell street started using that on their stop so people could get off, walk up to alamo square and walk back and catch a later bus. this is a picture on fell street at divisadero street. it hasn't worked perfectly, the busses do not always pull over to the curb. when that happens they are blocking the right-hand lane of fell street, delaying traffic, causing people to honk their horns. the zone is not long enough to accommodate more than two busses so the photo at the right you see 3 busses stopped, double parked on fell street. the residents in the building nearby have complained about noise and vibration from the
busses and they would like to see the zone removed. parking loss is also an issue.. so some of these enclosed busses are still operating around alamo square. the picture on the left is pierce street along ida b school. the busses there seem to think it's okay to stop and block traffic. the busses here have stopped and you can see people crossing the street. there's really no place for the busses to park legally at alamo square right now and some of the hop on hop off busses have returned since we did our data collection in june so some of those double decker busses are back. so we have two proposals for your consideration today. option 1 is the request from the alamo square neighborhood
association that all streets within that shaded area be restricted to commercial vehicles with 9 or more seats with the exception of employer busses, the neighborhood association does not want to prohibit the google type busses from operating in the neighborhood, and also relocating the tour bus loading zone which is currently on fell west of divisadero to fell street just east of pierce street. so all the east-west streets and all the north-south streets within the shaded area would be restricted to tour busses. some of the issues, it would require san francisco police department to enforce these restrictions. we put up signs like the one shown on the top. with the tour bus loading zone on fell street there is a safety concern because it's just west of the crest of the hill between steiner and pierce streets. if people don't park -- if the busses don't pull all
the way over to the curb and double park people wouldn't see the bus until they were pretty close to coming up right behind it. the left lane of fell street here is two feet 9 inches wider than the right lane, so if we do decide to put a tour bus loading zone there on the right side of fell street, we'd want to restripe the street so that extra width is in the right lane rather than the left lane like it is now. picture at the left is the location of a proposed tour bus loading zone alongside the side of idle wild school. nobody lives there and it's not as likely to generate complaints. there's no bike lane on this block so we have a little more width as far as restriping the
street. it would be designed mainly to accommodate the hop on, hop off busses. if the restriction goes through we think most of these enclosed busses would decide not to visit alamo square rather than try to use this zone. if we tried to accommodate the enclosed busses we'd have to take out more parking which i think would not be very popular, but an enclosed bus could stop, let their passengers off, come back later, drive around the area, perhaps go to the tour bus loading lot in golden gate park near the band stand and park there until they are ready to come back. with the same as option 1 would allow employer busses, the only difference is that hayes street would be open to only the enclosed tour busses. this was a request from the san francisco tour guide guild as a way to allow visitors who are
disabled or handicaped, this would be their opportunity to see the famous view from hayes street. this would require more enforcement, we don't want the buses to be stopping anywhere on hayes street, we ask that the tour busses not stop in any driveways or muni bus zones and would beef up our enforcement of those restrictions. finally, we've done a lot of outreach. we had a very well attended public hearing on october 4th a few days after a front page article in the chronicle announcing the public hearing. we've got, we sent emails to inform people of today's meeting to all the people who attended the public hearings as well as the policy
and government committee meeting and several citizens advisory meetings, we've reached out to neighborhood groups and the police department and at the public hearing on october 4th we had 30 speakers. 19 of them spoke about the problems of tour busses in the al low square area and urged us to restrict tour busses, 11 of the 30 people supported continuing to allow tour buses in the area in some fashion. that concludes my presentation. >> thank you, mr. robins. member s of the public, let's hear from the member s of the public. >> good afternoon, miss brown. >> hi, thank you commissioners and director ruskin, i'm sally
brown, administrative assistant for supervisor breed. supervisor breed is very much aware of the safety and transit impacts on these large corporate busses. the transit impact, these large tour busses through the alamo square neighborhood, it's been a constant struggle for the community. it's not a safe virpb environment for the pedestrians because of the wide turns the busses need to make. also noting the safety of the idle wild students, traffic has to go around the buses in ood lane and what we also have been seen and told idle wild students are actually stepping off the streets into the crosswalks and the traffic does not have a few of the students
going into the streets and they can't see the traffic coming on, on-coming traffic. so it's also, one of our biggest complaints in the office, in the district 5 office, is of course muni and time of muni running. and for the hayes 21, we've been getting several complaints that the tour busses are stopping in the muni stops and so the busses come, they are waiting behind and/or they are making people that are trying to get on the hayes 21 go out into the streets to get the bus, which is not safe. so we're hearing a lot that it's slowing down the hayes 21 bus because of that. so because of all of these reasons, safety and efficient transit, supervisor breed supports option 1. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> judy ford, bill emmic, lisa zoner. >> good afternoon, miss ford.
>> i am also here to support option 1, together with opposing the buses, the larger busses on hayes. i live on hayes between divisadero and scott and i believe that the tour busses make my neighborhood unsafe. between me and my neighbors on either side, we have 6 children 6 and under. our children play on the sidewalk, they walk up to the park, they walk around the corner, they are -- it is unsafe tor the busses go up and down hayes. imagine for a minute what it would be like to have two 21's, one on either side, two tour busses, and cars trying to get around. it is not a safe environment for our children. i would suggest instead of go niners how about alamo square and i think that would take care of the people, the handicapped people who need to get there without having to take a large tour bus. i ride
the muni all the time and i know there is access for the handicapped people on 21. instead of saying steiner, it could say steiner/alamo square prompting people to get ready to get off. >> brian emmic. >> my name is bill emmack, just wanted to voice my strong support for option 1 and my strong opposition for option 2. i have lived on hayes street at steiner for 11 years, i have been a san francisco resident for 21 years. i have seen the impact of the busses grow dramatically in recent years around the area. and so i'm here in support of my fellow
citizens. i'm also a former tour bus driver, i've driven tours and been restricted from other areas in the city and i would like to see that same consideration xeplded -- extended to my own neighborhood which has been impacted. i am a bicyclist and also a commercial driver now. i understand the need for drivers in the city and for tourists to see the area but i think there are many options besides the large tour busses. once again i would like to express my strong preference for option 1. >> good afternoon.
>> good afternoon, commissioners and mr. ruskin, my name is lisa zoner and i am the president of the alamo square neighborhood association. we love our neighborhood and alamo square. we are not so fond of the tour busses, however. in the past 5 years we have seen an explosion in the number of busses circling our homes and our park. we have had people take pictures while i sat nursing my daughter in my living room and one of our board members was cliped by a bus while he biked. it's not that we don't want to have tourists going through our neighborhood, but san francisco is a transit-first city and we're fortunate that alamo square is served by 4 bus lines with 8 bus stops within one to two blocks of the park and the famous view of the painted ladies so for safety and
environmental sustainability we ask that large commercial tour busses be prohibited from the historic district of alamo square and particularly not allowed on hayes street where busses already block the 21. so here's a thought, why not take our transit policy and be a little bit entrepreneurial and make it easier for folks to buy their clipper tickets and take a few of our hybrid muni busses and turn them into a tour bus. we already do the loop. we go to golden gate park, fisherman's wharf and even alamo square and i'll bet you'd get some regular commuters too. so please consider that idea. another thought, we really want to say thanks to jerry robins for his tireless help. >> next speaker, please. good
afternoon, miss perkins. >> good afternoon, i am here to represent the san francisco destination management council which is a collective body of cmc's within sf as well as the greater bay area. and just some food for thought, we are definitely sensitive to the issue but we think option 2 is a good happy medium. the san francisco tour is the second most popular attraction only to alcatraz, it is the thing our customers want to do when comes to san francisco is a tour around this infamous area. keep in mind that we will do everything to screen vehicles, not stop, not create traffic congestion, but we see option 2 as kind of the best of both worlds. >> thank you, next speaker, please. >> francis gorman, cat hontis.
>> good afternoon, miss gorman >> i am francis gorman, i represent the tour guides that work for companies like miss perkins we are talking about enclosed vehicles of preformed groups, these are preformed groups already traveling around the city and they include alamo square as a feature. i opened my paper today and saw a puzzle of alamo square being advertised. san francisco travel has it on the front of its brochures. we are very sensitive, i understand the alamo square concerns, i live in the cal hollow district which is now dealing with google busses coming through so i understand that, but we believe there can be some operation. i would like to say option 2 so that we can at
least drive by and show our people without stopping. we completely agree that stopping is unsafe. we believe in the safety issues, we simply wapt to get our people on preformed groups who otherwise will not see alamo square, they come in, they have 3 hours included in their tour, from england, from all over the world, whatever language, they simply will not have time to go on their own even if they were encouraged to do so. we either have to stop promoting alamo square through all our media, which is a way, or reducing there because getting there only by that way so we urge support for option 2. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> cat hontis. >> good afternoon. >> good afternoon, i'm cat hontis and my family, my husband and my two small kids moved here from new york just recently and we found a
beautiful house in alamo square neighborhood and it's actually right on the corner of grove and steiner, which is up until recently when i met lisa i actually thought it was an official tourist bus stop because there are so many busses that literally stop right there on that corner and let people on and off. and there have been, our house is under construction so it's a construction zone so a lot of times there's no one parked there and so frequently they will just, they will be there and that's where they park and i'll come out and have to go pick up the kids or something and there's, i have to wait for everyone to get back on or everyone to get off, they don't move. so it kind of just, it speaks to regulation. i think that lisa and the group have done a lot of work ahead of me coming here and, you know, the local bus companies have tried to self-regulate but they have no influence on out of area
companies. unfortunately the only way to regulate some offenders is to regulate all participants so i actually am in favor of option 1 and i thank you for your time and i appreciate all the hard work that was done ahead of our arrival. thank you. >> thank you very much. next speaker, please. >> john alex lowell, jason cohen. >> good afternoon, mr. lowell >> good afternoon, mr. nolan, i, john alex lowell, a senior member of the advisory committee, appointed by two mayors in the city, to support option 1. my point is on pedestrian safety. for those who are defined to be vulnerable in the pedestrian safety strategy youth and seniors and people wi