tv [untitled] November 23, 2013 7:00am-7:31am PST
responsibility to deliver high quality tours for our visitors. no. 1 they are paying customers and no. 2 we are in many ways ambassadors for the city. it feels like as neighborhood after neighborhood becomes off limit to tour vehicles pretty soon we're going to be restricted to market street van ness and lombard going to the bridge. you can't experience the real character of san francisco just on those streets. the neighbors have very legitimate concerns but option 2 is a legitimate compromise. >> good afternoon, my name is e. j. potente, i live on fillmore street which is on the route of the double ducker tour busses on a regular basis. i know for a fact those busses can see right into my flat so it's very clear that they would be able to do the same on fell
street as well. and on hayes street as well so i don't see any advantage in restricting them only to that particular avenue. the problem of course with option 2 is that hayes street will simply become a kind of a boulevard for tour busses and there will be a lot of them. and i certainly wouldn't want to be a resident on that street under those conditions. i urge you to support option no. 1 because i believe that those tour busses are completely out of scale to the neighborhoods in which they navigate the streets and they are a hazard to all vehicular traffic as well as pedestrian and bicycle traffic. there is no way that you can logically expect a bus that advertises that if you think this bus is big, you should see
our airplanes, could possibly make a reasonable turn on any of the antique streets that surround the area. so i believe that you need to seriously to eliminate them completely from the historic district and allow the tour companies to come up with smaller options that benefit the scale of the neighborhood and i thank you. >> thank you, next speaker. >> michael lyons. >> good afternoon, commissioner, members of the board. i am a property owner of the second floor on mccallister street and i'd like to speak about these open top busses. can you hear me all right? that's good. because the way it seems that hearing level goes
down every year. every year the buses are louder and louder. ask me to quiet down, i could ask them to quiet down, i've tried and they get louder and louder. i'm on the second floor, i work from home and this is the kind of imposition i am faced with, people looking and photographing, and the amplified noise coming right in my window. i feel it's ironic that if i want to have an amplified event, if i want to have a lecture, if i want to have speakers, i need a permit and yet -- and if someone makes the request it has to be turned down and you have to use these every year, every summer, i look forward to these amplified busses louder and louder and louder. >> thank you. next speaker,
please. >> lavon hickerson followed by felicia faulkner. >> good afternoon, lavon hickerson, i'm a native san franciscoan, 12 years in alamo square. feel very privileged about that and an asthma board member. i don't think i can add a lot of details to what you've heard about the unsafe conditions option 2 presents. i'm kind of old school, we have a public high school there, i always thought when you had a school you had a quiet zone. what is it going it look like when you funnel all of the tour bus activity down hayes street? so i can't see how option no. 2 is going to work. it's also a very dangerous option when you think about cresting on that hill and trying to pass blindly around
tour busses. that, to me, spells disaster. so i would ask you to please support option 1. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> felicia faulkner. >> good afternoon, miss faulkner. >> my name is felicia faulkner and i've owned a building for 23 years. at the time we purchased the building we reis fored the front of it, there's statues, these two sta khues were completely restored, they have been there for a hundred years and restored about 23
years ago. the other day one rr of them fell off the building and we've got significant cracks in the balconies which are very fragile and the busses stop on mccallister on this alternative route pretty much to photograph this house which in one way makes me feel very happy everyone loves it but on the other hand i think the emissions and vibration compromises it. in this book, called painted ladies, the square is the home of the largest collection of the painted ladies and the most important collection of victorian buildings in the world. we really have some beautiful homes and they are fragile, they are getting dirty, the vibrations are massive, there's a little dip down mccallister street and it makes a sit bounce. my son
lives in one of the front windows and he's constantly complaining, we've got thick curtains and there's constant noise and rattling. i am for option 1, i don't see how we can have all neighborhood full of all these busses. we have an old dog, we walk, we need to get rid of them. >> joann etherington. >> good afternoon, thank you for giving us the opportunity to talk. i would like today to focus on the fact that the city provides a very good bus service to the alamo square neighborhood. there are 4 busses that come to the area where tourists can either stay on the bus and look at the houses and the view or very easily get off the busses and
walk. and additionally the no. 5 bus route has added the excellent new electric busses recently and the service seems to have become even more regular and easy to deal with. beautiful buses. i don't see why the tourists would not be happy with these, the new electric busses. and i also want to emphasize the situation about the vibration. we also notice it in the house i live in on mccallister street. the tour busses seem to be the worst for this. the street is also, mccallister street is also very narrow and a lot of the hop on hop off busses have been shifted over to mccallister street instead of being actually operating on the
square. another thing i wanted to mention was with regard to the travel association saying that obviously they are disappointed since they have alamo square on their brochures, they might have to change this, but i did have a question as to whether the neighborhood was ever consulted with in the first place when this was put on their brochures. to my knowledge i don't think we were. and i strongly support option 1 and i appreciate all the research and meetings and help that jerry robins has given us in the past few years. >> next speaker, please.
become so popular. it's funny, that was the view on the opening of full house, the television show. looks like we have a full house here today, a very important issue for us neighbors. i've lived in the alamo square neighborhood association for 25 years and for 12 of those years i've been across from the park. i'm here to speak for my wife, my children and my neighbors. of the 6 houses there, 3 of those houses are homes to elderly folks who can't be here ka but they have been putting up with the drastic change in our neighborhood. in the past 5 years we have been dramatically overrun by tour busses, as you have heard. there are 52 other neighborhoods that have bus restrictions and why not alamo square. there are 4 busses that support those lines, not these invaders. alamo square have been an integral part of our city for
50 years, that's fine, but the busses don't belong on those narrow streets. otherwise there would probably be muni lines on scott street or steiner street. let's let the muni busses service the area. >> good afternoon, mr. geist >> good afternoon, my name is todd geist, i've worked in the tour industry for 11 year sz as a tour director. i could have worked anywhere in the country but i chose to move here for the same reason many do, the culture, the architecture, the food, these are the same reasons people want to visit us, this makes us a world-class city and that's one of the curses. that's also a blessing because all those folks are getting into hotels and restaurants and they are
spending money to stay here. they make references and those people spend money. i've worked with 3 different tour busses, we never have audible commentary, we would go around the a entire square and we went down hayes street. my 3 tour companies that i've worked for in the next year alone will bring 163 tours, 450,000 passengers who are all spending money in this city. they don't have time to get on local busses and get out here. i want to show them the most they can, they want to see the most they can. the residents have valid concerns but many of the companies such as ours are not stopping, not having open air commentary and not inhibiting the streets any more than
normal traffic will. i don't want to change my city tour but i will because i think something has to be done and i think the healthy compromise is going to be option no. 2. >> next speaker, please. >> andrew olive. >> good afternoon, thanks for your time. i'd like to agree with a lot of the ideas about alamo square being a historic area and the fragility of the houses. i have a house that's 102 years old and i live in the historic district. we do have a store on fell and divisadero and we're right next to the corner store where the tour busses drop off. as far as i'm concerned it's working really well. the tourists are dropped
off, they walk up through the local merchants, they stop and get coffee, they stop at our store and get a tee shirt, they go across the street and get a book, they really get an experience of san francisco without blocking and going up and down these really narrow busy streets. i agree i don't think the busses should be going around that circular area around alamo square because it causes complete havoc. i think that i wouldn't move it up to fell and pierce because i used to be a school teacher out at ocean beach and we had a lot of tour busses going by the beach. parents at the school were really worried when a tour bus would come flying down the street when their kids were out in front of the school. it's not the best vantage point if you are coming up fell from downtown and thirst a tour bus in your right lane. it's already set up, as far as i'm concerned, i'm there every day, it seems to be working. i'll just keep it at that. thanks for your time. >> next speaker, please.
>> christian rossin, sue valentine. >> good afternoon. >> thanks for your time. so, like my business partner says, we have one of our 3 stores at 505 divisadero a which is on fell street. there's some concerns did he beginning saying busses weren't close enough to the curb, that's going to be an issue the same way with both options. there's going to be those issues. there's a lot of danger for cars coming up and over fell and suddenly there's busses, there's going to be some accidents, trust me right now. the small streets in the grid, there's going to be complaints
all over. those narrow streets and small lanes, it's not good. we have seen success on the div, tourists are getting off the bus, they are spending money left and right, both sides, the money is going into the local economy and all the alamo square neighbors are without all the busses if that happens and for us we're about community and that's the whole way our company started, it's what we're about. i think that what it does is it helps both, all angles. busses are still able to go there, tourists can still see alamo square. if you good to new york, when you go to new york, when do you never walk? you are walking everywhere. in san francisco we're giving door to door access to these people. san francisco is amazing because of things like rent control. new
york has no rent control. we should stick to these things, make these people we are here for certain reasons, make them understand when they come they have to give and when they give they will receive and they will be happy and excited. >> j. b. aligiani, sue valentine. >> good afternoon, sir. >> good afternoon, thank you for allowing us to provide comment. i have lived in the alamo square area for 18 years and i, like everyone else, has seen the number of tour busses go up dramatically in the last few years. we had plenty of tourists in the square in the area before the tour bus ramp up and i believe if you support option 1 and prohibit the tour busses we will still have plenty of tourists and still get plenty of activity on the divisadero street corridor. i helped deliver flyers for both of these meetings to advertise them and one thing i found is that the density in
these neighborhoods, the housing density is astonishingly high. you cannot believe how many people live in such a small area that we've outlined in here. i know, i ran up and down all those steps delivering these flyers. 1 thing i found is that it's surprising what a such stone issue this is for our neighbors. so many people feel the burden of these tour busses and they can't be here today. the people you see here are a small fraction of the number of people tired and pissed off about all this. i ask you to support option 1, we need a total ban on this. >> sue valentine. >> good afternoon, miss valentine. >> hello, thank you, i represent 2 very much -- 277 people in our neighborhood who signed a petition regarding
tour busses in our neighborhood. i am a little bit puzzled by the assertion that alamo square is the no. 1 tourist destination. i did sent you this copy of the destination analysts research which they did in 2011 and it gives 17 destinations that people wanted to see and alamo square wasment among them. it gave 5 neighborhoods people visit the most and alamo square wasn't among them. people are saying it's the no. 1, unless there's some other study that's been done since 2011, i'm not sure that might not just be observational and not scientific. i don't think, also don't think people need to see alamo square from the seat of a 45
foot bus. we have disabled people and seniors who will still be able to use 9 passenger vans, it will not stop anyone from seeing alamo square. in fact they'll be able to get closer to it than we are now. we are served by many muni bus lines, four, i think, there are bicycles, rentals, good cart rentals, published walking tours, lots of different ways to see alamo square. lastly as i mentioned in my letter we are paying the cost. we are paying a non-monetary cost, we lose peace of mind, our houses are ruined by the vibration and the noise, the lack of safety, we are paying the price and the tour companies are making the profit. thank you. >> next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, commissioners, mr. ruskin, thank you for hearing bolt
sides of this heated debate. i am a tour guide in san francisco, i've been a guide for 17 years. i've worked with seniors, i've worked with people from all over the world and this is one of the most iconic cities in the worldment we have the golden gate bridge, we have the painted ladies, a lot of tourists don't know it's called alamo square but it would definitely have come up if you put in the paipted ladies. we have 16 million visitors coming to san francisco every year, we have huge conferences, very important meetings that bring a tremendous amount of income to the city, not just the tour companies. it represents hotels, restaurants, attractions and we have had every year like for example with the 75th anniversary of the golden gate bridge, the parking lot for motor coaches
was reduced substantially, we can no longer go on the south side, we have to go to the north side. what happens when someone from another country says, gee, i'd like to bring 6,000 people to your city for a convention, we would like to see the following sites on our city tour. oh, i'm sorry, we only have 3 bus lots left on the golden gate bridge so we can't take you there any more. how about those beautiful victorian houses? i'm sorry, we can't take you any more. how about the painted heights? no. how about the crooked street? no. there is a concern if people can't go to the places san francisco is so famous for, perhaps they will not choose to come to san francisco as their destination. imagine going to paris and not seeing the eiffel tower. imagine going to london and not seeing big ben. imagine going to new york and not seeing the statue of liberty.
that's the impact these restrictions will have on our city. >> good afternoon, thank you. can i have the overhead please? i'm the infamous kelly edwards from the infamous alamo square. this is my time of year on the historic national registry mansion that thousands of people have taken pictures of. get off your big fat tour bus and experience san francisco. okay? this is unsafe. it's the crest of 33 rr hills at the corner of scott and fulton. this car here
is going this way going across the street in fell and it's going fully in the crosswalk where pedestrians are crossing. in the peak season there's over 50 busses a day and i can show you that data too. okay? right here, notice the yellow car right here, bug. here is the second picture. having to move again making this turn. this is all day long and these are two bike lanes that go up and down this area too that come this way, so here he is, he has to move over again. what happens on the other side coming up fulton here? people start getting pissed so this guy shoots across, this guy is trying to look around the bus and he shoots. meanwhile there's bikes going all over here. it's crazy. the number of busses. september 14th, okay, this is me counting, september 14th, that's the first page, okay?
that's the second page, okay? same thing on sunday. these are all large tour busses from out of town that are multi million dollar companies from dubai, london and elsewhere. we're not going to take it any more. >> next speaker, please. >> option 1. >> john dallas, christine that odonnell >> good afternoon. >> thank you for hearing us, i'm john dallas with the alamo square neighborhood association. a couple, 4 years ago i kind of started this ball rolling because i was trying to have a conversation on my sidewalk and i couldn't hear the person i was talking to, it was a saturday morning and the busses were so loud and so frequent i thought this was starting to be a problem. when we began, when alamo
square originally contacted mta and asked about our options we asked for a ban. we didn't ask for option 1 and we didn't ask for option 2, we asked for a ban of the buses in our neighborhood just like the 52-odd other areas. i don't think we need to accommodate them with a parking area, i don't think we need to lose neighborhood parking. these guys don't belong here, they are too big, they are dangerous. the reason they are being blocked in all parts of the city is because they don't block, they are too big. they are bad neighbors, they don't belong, we don't need to make accommodations for them, i'd say option 3, ban the busses, no accommodations (applause) thank you. >> next speaker, please. >> christine that odonnel, owen odonnell >> my name is owen odonnell and
i'm going to speak for my wife, christine that. i've lived in al low square for 40 years. i really glae with virtually everything you've heard from the neighbors. one sunday morning about 10:00 my wife stood on the front porch and counted the busses. there were 11 in 10 minutes. factor that into trying to live in a residential neighborhood on a sunday morning. if you approve option 2 i suggest that you cancel the 21 hayes bus line. it won't work any longer. and your on-time performance will plummet because that will have an on-time performance below 50 percent. in the 60's for two summers i
was a tourist guide in washington, dc. there were a lot of restrictions back then about where you could take the busses and it all worked. we were on arterials all the time and you think about it for a minute, if you've been there, if somebody had come to me and said, i want to see georgetown, so take a 60-foot bus and take it up wisconsin avenue and then turn into georgetown, that's what happens to us. busses that size don't fit on our residential streets. please stop it. the other thing is that if you put, i prefer option 1, but if you put the stop at pierce street and fell, with that number of busses it's never going to work so just remove it and tell them they have to go
someplace else and have the tourists walk to our community. thank you. >> thank you, sir. next speaker. >> good afternoon. >> hi, there, good afternoon, thank you commissioners and director riskin. i live on the third floor on a house on scout between fulton and mccallister who was not included on the map, thank you very much for the informative presentation with the kind of entrance ways to the park were not really featured. my block is one of those entrance ways. the folks on the bus are right below me from my window. as the presentation indicated there is the noise of the bus going uphill, the narrators, i have heard the same part of the same sentence hundreds of times, it's terrifying to think of the same person saying the same sentence