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tv   [untitled]    November 28, 2013 7:30am-8:01am PST

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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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>> 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
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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.
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>> 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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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safety strategy youth and seniors and people with disabilities. the turning busses at the intersections of hayes, steiner, fillmore-hayes, fell and scott and fell and divisadero arch into the traffic of the opposing coming lanes of traffic which impairs crossing youths, which is what val spoke of, she is the assistant of supervisor london breed, and the seniors and people with disabilities who are traveling on hayes street. there is a hospital on hayes street and there is mercy terrace senior housing which used to be the southern pacific railway hospital at the intersection of hayes and baker. they are traveling down hayes street to go to the intersection of 7th and market, which is the closest major bus lane intersection for access to
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the social security building at the corner of mission and 7th street. so the point of pedestrian safety, as i live there and i hear the busses coming by every day and i fear for the safety of pedestrians crossing those intersections where the busses turn. i strongly urge you to support option 1. do not allow tour busses in that zone. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> jason collins, ej patente followed by michael lyons. >> my name is jason cohen, i have been a tour guide in san francisco for 8 years and i urge you to approve option 2. option 2 is a reasonable compromise that should dramatically reduce the impact of tour busses in the neighborhood while still allowing visitors some access to the famous view. as you know, the tour industry is very important in our city. in my own work, for example, the visitors i lead on tours every
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year represent literally thousands of nights of hotel rooms, thousands of restaurant meals. i work for a local company that takes people on half day tours, i work for a national tour operator where the groups are with me for 10 days doing an entire west coast tour. in both cases we use enclosed tour vehicles so there's no narration audible outside the vehicle. none of the vehicles are tall enough to see in second floor windows. tour busses are good for the environment and good for parking by removing literally hundreds of cars from the roads. other means of access such as muni are excellent but for many people that's not a way that will work for them, for example a business person who is here for meetings may only have a couple hours free time to experience the city. someone who has arrived for a longer visit may like the idea
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of an introductory tour to give them an overview so in those cases guided tours such as we provide are a terrific way. we take very seriously our 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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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,


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