BART Board votes to endorse Wiener housing bill

Transit agency members support upzoning -- despite growing community opposition

On March 8, the BART Board voted 5-4 to support SB 827 – state Sen. Scott Wiener’s housing bill — with undetermined amendments that address tenant protections, affordability, incentives for developers, and prevailing wages. The BART directors who voted for the endorsement included Nick Josefowitz, who’s running for District Two supervisor. During the board’s deliberations, Josefowitz downplayed the bill’s impact, stating that it “would trigger some changes in local zoning.”

To be precise, SB 827 would slash cities’ authority over land use: The bill exempts housing projects within a half-mile of a major transit stop or a quarter-mile radius of a transit stop on a “high-quality” transit corridor (defined as “fixed route” bus service no less than every 15 minutes during peak commute hours) from local controls on

  • density
  • minimum parking spaces
  • maximum heights
  • and zoning that limits additions onto existing structures that comply with the bill’s own maximum height limitations of 55 of 85 feet, depending on the width of the street.

As Wiener, has it: “Developers can choose to build shorter, but cities can’t force them to build shorter…” According to the San Francisco Planning Department, SB 827 would upzone almost 96% of the city. When the state’s density bonus kicks in, under certain conditions, buildings could go as high as 105 feet.

Until March 8, other than the bill’s co-authors, who include State Senator Nancy Skinner, the supporters of SB 827 were all private members of the state’s growth machine:

  • real estate interests that will cash in on the speculative frenzy that would be triggered by the bill’s loosened restrictions on development
  • tech companies whose highly-paid employees have bid up the Bay Area’s residential real estate values to their current obscene levels
  • academics at the University of California, USC, and San Jose State University who lend their credentialed expertise to the growth machine
  • pro-growth non-profits, including think tanks and philanthropies with housing, environmental, and/or equity agendas.
  • the machine’s new “shock troops” (Wiener’s term): the highly educated young professionals who call themselves Yimbys for Yes in My Backyard but really mean Yes in Your Backyard. SB 827 was drafted by CA Yimby Executive Director Brian Hanlon.

The BART Board gave the bill its first endorsement from a public agency.

Board followed staff’s lead

The agenda for the BART Board’s March 8 meeting included a memorandum, “State and Federal Legislative Update” (Item 6A), written by Rodd Lee, the manager of BART’s Government and Community Relations Department, that recommended support for SB 827. The associated one-page “analysis and recommendation” is stunning in its superficiality.

Summarizing the bill’s provisions, Lee noted that SB 827 expands on two laws enacted in 2017, Chiu’s AB 73 and Wiener’s SB 35, that addressed California’s “severe housing shortage” by “establishing state minimum zoning near high quality transit.” He offered no assessment of this legislation.

Lee also noted “[r]ecent amendments” to SB 827 that “seek to address early concerns regarding displacement and affordability.”

  • the adoption of local mandatory inclusionary housing requirements and voluntary programs that grant zoning bonuses and waivers for affordable housing
  • local control over demolition bans and [demolition] permitting
  • and a Right to Remain Guarantee for all displaced tenants provided by the developer

According to Lee the amendments “provide some assurance against the loss of low-income housing.” How much, he didn’t say.

Most revealing is his sanguine analysis of the bill’s impact on BART. “By incentivizing the building of housing near transit,” Lee wrote,

SB 827 provides many potential benefits to BART. BART stations by nature are “major transit stops” and could see an increase in housing built within a half-mile radius. Denser housing near BART could increase ridership as data show that residents within a half-mile of BART are twice as likely to walk, bike or take transit for their commute trip, and own fewer cars.

That data comes from the U.S. Census American Community Survey, 2010-2014 and consultant Nelson/Nygaard. It’s displayed in bar charts on the BART website:

“In addition,” Lee wrote,

housing next to BART and high-quality transit offers a sustainable way to ensure ongoing ridership, which helps reduce freeway congestion and greenhouse gas emissions related to vehicle trips. SB 827 compliments [sic] many aspects of BART’s TOD Policy and performance targets.

BART certainly needs more riders and more revenue. Even with the region’s  megagrowth and voters’ 2016 approval of a $3.6 billion BART bond, the agency is losing patronage and money, as Item 2E on the March 8 agenda, the “FY18 Second Quarter Financial Report,” makes clear:

Total Ridership was 3.2% under budget for the second quarter of FY18, compared to 2.4% under budget in the first quarter, and 3.4% lower than ridership in the same period of FY17. Despite reduced budget expectations for FY18, monthly ridership in FY18 is still trending below the lower budget. Second quarter FY18 weekday trips were 2.7% below budget and weekend/holiday trip were 5.3% below budget. Passenger revenue in the second quarter was $3.6M (2.9%) unfavorable, more than the first quarter negative budget variance of $1.0M.

The financial report ends with a dreary prediction:

“[t]he ridership decline is expected to continue into the second half of FY18, with a negative impact on operating sources. BART’s focus on filling only critical operating positions has helped manage labor expenses, however, the second half of the year is expected to be more financially challenging due to pressure to increase staff to address service and quality of life issues. The ridership and expense trend may result in an operating deficit of FY18 YearEnd.

Transit-Oriented Displacement

A crucial question, then is whether SB 827 would likely increase BART’s ridership and revenue. A satisfactory answer requires more than data about how car ownership and commuting modes positively correlate with residential proximity to BART. We also need to know whether transportation-oriented development (TOD) reliably increases transit use and reduces driving. BART’s staff and its board assume that it does. That assumption is not borne out by scholarly research.

The 2010 study from Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, “Maintaining Diversity in America’s Transit,” analyzed socioeconomic changes in 42 neighborhoods in 12  metropolitan areas first served by rail transit between 1990 and 2000. The “predominant pattern,” the researchers found, was that TOD inflated real estate values, driving out low-income people, who use transit the most, while drawing new, wealthier residents into the transit-accessible neighborhood who were more likely to own a car and to use it to commute.

With that pattern in mind, it’s hard to take seriously the claim, put forth in the Yimbys’ letter to BART urging support for SB 827, that “reliable high quality transit” such as BART, is “an effective anti-poverty program.”

But what about the recent amendments to SB 827 addressing displacement and affordability?

Unfortunately, the amendments are sops.

  • Most California cities lack inclusionary ordinances, that is, requirements that housing developers include a certain amount of affordable housing in their projects.
  • “[V]oluntary programs that grant zoning bonuses and waivers for affordable housing” cannot be enforced.
  • Respecting local control over demolition means little because many California cities, including the biggest one, Los Angeles, have no such controls.
  • The “Right to Remain Guarantee” for all displaced tenants is more accurately labeled the “Right to Come Back After You’ve Been Forced Out of Your Home For Up to Three and a Half Years.” The bill provides no funding to enforce or monitor the temporary relocation process. In any case, moving is a burden, especially for people of modest means. Most tenants won’t return.
  • The amended bill does not mandate the creation of a single unit of affordable housing.

Above all, by raising heights and densities, SB 827 will set off a flipping boom and strengthen the major force behind displacement: real estate speculation. In the words of former LA Councilmember and LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, SB 827 “isn’t a housing bill; it’s a real estate bill.” That’s why 37 affordable housing, tenant rights, and transit equity groups signed ACT-LA’s letter opposing the bill. Wiener’s amendments haven’t changed their opposition.

During public comment at the BART Board’s March 8 meeting, Public Advocates Senior Staff Attorney David Zisser said that the tenants’ rights community is “extremely concerned” about the SB 827’s silence on affordable housing and land value capture (returning to the public some of the jump in property values resulting from public investment in transit). Zisser asked the Board to oppose or at least not support the bill.

SB 827 has other big problems that the staff report ignored: It says nothing about funding the myriad new services—police, firefighters, sewers, water, parks, schools, and, yes, transit—for the new housing it would presumably foster. It bypasses the state’s premier environmental law, the California Environmental Quality Act. And it eliminates due public process—notifications, workshops, rights of appeal—for all properties in its coverage areas.

What pro-SB 827 BART directors said

San Francisco has three BART districts. Annoyingly, the numbers of the districts are not on the map proper that’s posted on the agency’s website. From west to east: Josefowitz represents District 8 (orange). Number 9 (deep pink) is represented by Bevan Dufty. Lateefah Simon represents District 7 (yellow), which also covers parts of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Josefowitz, Dufty, and Simon all voted to support SB 827. Josefowitz’s campaign for District 2 Supervisor has been endorsed by Wiener and Simon.

Speaking in favor of SB 827, Josefowitz averred that the bill would not give BART new powers. He made that claim after commenting on another bill under consideration at the board’s March 8 meeting, AB 2923. Introduced by Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Tim Grayson (D-Concord), AB 2923 would authorize BART to impose new TOD zoning guidelines over contiguous BART-owned land larger than a quarter acre and within a half-mile of BART stations in San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. (San Mateo County escapes, because its voters have no elected BART representative.) Within two years of such imposition, local jurisdictions would be required to adopt an ordinance that approves the application of the TOD guidelines.

Josefowitz told Bay Area News Group Bay Area News Group reporter Katy Murphy that he supports AB 2923. At the Board meeting, he denied that the bill is “an attempt by BART to grab more power.” Later in the meeting, General Manager Crunican stated that “none [i.e. neither] of these bills were BART-initiated.

But whatever its origins, AB 2923 would greatly aggrandize the agency’s land use authority—and so would SB 827. According to BART’s 2017 “Transit-Oriented Development Guidelines,” the agency owns about 250 acres of “developable land” spread across 27 current and under construction stations. In 2017, the state Legislature approved SB 680, which extended the distance in which BART may engage in TOD projects from one-quarter mile to one-half-mile from a transit facility. The agency already had the authority to acquire property, including by eminent domain, in order to operate its transit system within its jurisdiction. Introduced by Fremont Senator Wieckowski, SB 680 was sponsored by the Bay Area Council. Its supporters included BART, the Building Industry Association of the Bay Area, SPUR, Yimby Action, and the Yimby legal arm, the California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund (CaRLA).

Under SB 827, BART, like any other owner of property within a half-mile of a major transit center or a quarter-mile radius of transit stop on a high-quality transit corridor, would have the legal right to build housing at least 55 to 85 feet high (and higher with the State Density Bonus), with no parking minimums or residential density maximums.

Stating that SB 827 was a work “in progress,” and that “various concerns will be addressed,” Josefowitz said that “it would be a shame” to oppose the bill, and that if his colleagues “want to see how it evolves,” he wasn’t “in a massive rush” to vote on it. Once it had become obvious that a bare majority of the board was willing to support the embryonic measure, he voted to endorse.

I couldn’t understand most of what Bevan Dufty said or, at times, even if he was the one who was speaking, because Board President Robert Raburn didn’t name the directors on whom he called. For anyone watching the meeting online, as I did, it was often impossible to tell who had the floor. Moreover, Dufty repeatedly failed to speak into his mic, making his statements incomprehensible. We didn’t have a timely chance to discuss those statements before this story went to press.

By contrast, Lateefah Simon was both audible and comprehensible. Citing California’s “tremendous housing shortage and the “audaciousness” of SB 827, Simon expressed support for the bill, pending strong amendments for tenant protections. “I’m not willing to say No about either [SB 827 or AB 2923],” she said, adding that she was “open to further conversations before we vote.” Apparently, subsequent discussion swayed her to say Yes to SB 827. Simon also joined the six other directors who voted to follow the staff recommendation and remain neutral on AB 2923. Like Josefowitz, she didn’t reply to request for an interview.

The other two Directors who voted to endorse SB 827 were Raburn, representing District 4 (magenta), and Saltzman, representing District 3 (green). Raburn lavished praise on the bill. After reciting pro-SB 827 boilerplate—“we’re in a [housing] crisis”—he declared:

We need an Apollo-like program to house the two million people that, ABAG projects, will be living next to us in the Bay Area over the next twenty years….Will they be living in Tracy or Manteca, or will they be living over a BART station?….I look at 827 and personally wonder, what’s not to like? Maybe something about labor.

But labor “isn’t an issue for BART,” Raburn opined, alluding to “labor project-specific agreements” that “have been in place since 2011.

Given BART’s recent labor history, this was a confounding statement. In reply to my emailed query, Raburn explained that he was referring to the BART policy that requires a Project Stabilization Agreement with local hire provisions on the agency’s TOD projects. The agreements are negotiated by BART staff between the developer and the building trades council of the county in which the project is located. 

Raburn did express concerns about TOD-fostered displacement of small businesses and non-profits as well as tenants. Overall, however, he deemed SB 827 to be “incredibly elegant,” because it “doesn’t burden any one jurisdiction with development.”

At the meeting, Saltzman provided a clarifying voice, as the meeting threatened to dissolve into chaos, due to Raburn’s failure to direct deliberation. Her ultimate vote to support SB 827 was predictable, given that on January 4, the day after Wiener had introduced the bill, she tweeted thanks to him for “a bold proposal that would increase and accelerate housing production on BART property and around stations. BART is committed to dense TOD but does not control zoning: this bill would help us meet our ambitious goals.”

Saltzman and I spoke after the March 8 meeting. When I noted that the board hadn’t detailed the amendments it wanted to see in SB 827, she said that writing those amendment wasn’t the board’s responsibility. But when the board voted 7-2 to remain neutral on AB 2923, it directed it staff to work with state legislators on changes to the measure. In any case, the prudent move would have been to wait and see what, if any, additional changes Wiener and Skinner make in their bill, before supporting it.

Saltzman also demurred when I asked about SB 827’s failure to address the provision of new services and infrastructure—including transit—for the explosion of new housing that the bills’ authors hope it will prompt. In January, I’d asked Wiener the same question at the UCLA Extension’s Land Use and Law Conference. He ducked the issue, and so did she, in words that echoed his. “People are coming to California,” she said. “The population is growing. They’re here, and we need to accommodate them.” So all they’re going to need is a place to live?

Saltzman seemed unaware of TOD-instigated gentrification, displacement, and reduced transit use. I sent her links to a few studies.

Anti-SB 827 directors

The four BART Directors who voted not to support SB 827 were Debora Allen (District 1, blue), Joel Keller (District 2, brown), John McPartland (District 5, pale pink),  and Thomas Blalock (District 6, charcoal). Allen and McPartland voted also against remaining neutral on AB 2923, which they adamantly oppose.

Allen began by acknowledging that the combination of high density and transit is good for housing. That was the last positive thing she said. BART, she observed, is already “at capacity,” and is going to remain that way for a while. More importantly, “this agency should not be the anointed redevelopment agency for the Bay Area…..We are a transit agency” that “has struggled and still struggles to accomplish that mission.” BART needs to continue addressing “crime, cleanliness, modernization of our stations, and infrastructure improvements.” Building housing, she said, would be “a diversion from all of those priorities.” Moreover, due to shortages in the building trades, “we don’t have the labor available.” Staff recently told the board that it would take “seven years to replace all of our escalators.”

McPartland gave Wiener a nod, saying that he “appreciate[s] the senator’s “perspective.” He does not, however, appreciate SB 827, which he called “cookie-cutter legislation for TOD that works in San Francisco, not in Piedmont.” As for AB 2923: “I can’t overstate how viscerally offended I am by this legislation. We want to be partners with our municipalities” and “should be sharing concerns about the amount of density we can put on this property.” Then, a quote you rarely hear from an elected official: “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Commenting on both SB 827 and AB 2923, Keller referred to “the inability of local jurisdictions to get [housing] projects approved.” But he also voiced his “strong conviction” that “these decisions are best made at the local level.” In any case, “the market does not support this kind of housing.” The Pittsburg Bay Point station has “acres of land” nearby, but “the numbers don’t pencil out.”

BART Board elections and RM3

As more and more people find out about SB 827, opposition is growing. The bill has become a major factor in San Francisco’s mayoral election. It may well figure in the city’s supervisorial races and in the BART Board elections as well.

BART Directors have staggered four-year terms. In November, Keller, Raburn, Blalock, and Josefowitz will be up for re-election. Raburn is running. His district covers Alameda and southern Oakland. The endorsers listed on his campaign website include Bay Area Council CEO Jim Wunderman, the Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County, and Oakland City Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan and Dan Kalb, who’s running for the 15th District Assembly seat.

Josefowitz, however, is running for District 2 Supervisor in San Francisco. Prohibited by State law from running for two offices at once, he unsuccessfully sued the city to have the election moved up to June. His attorney argued that the San Francisco City Charter calls for limiting the amount of time a political appointee can remain in office; his opponent, Catherine Stefani, was appointed by former District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell after Farrell became Interim Mayor in the wake of Ed Lee’s untimely death in December. Had Josefowitz prevailed in his lawsuit, he could lose the Supervisor race in June and still run for re-election on the BART Board. Now he has to win in District 2, or he’ll be out of office.

In June, Regional Measure 3 will be on the ballot in all nine Bay Area counties. RM3, as it’s familiarly known, would raise tolls on all the region’s bridges but the Golden Gate by $3. The $4.45 billion measure includes nearly a billion dollars for BART: $500 million for “expansion BART cars,” $375 million for Phase 2 of BART’s expansion to Silicon Valley, and $50 million for new transbay BART tube and approaches—in all, $925 million.

Will Bay Area voters who care about local democracy, fiscal responsibility, and social justice protest the BART Board’s support for SB 827 by voting No on RM3?

204 COMMENTS

  1. I already understand what words mean. Glad you’ve discovered a dictionary, you need one.

  2. You should get yourself a dictionary.

    ci·ta·tion
    sīˈtāSH(ə)n/Submit
    noun
    1.
    a quotation from or reference to a book, paper, or author, especially in a scholarly work.

  3. You’ve repeated what I said, not refuted it.

    A zoning regulation is NOT a covenant. NIMBY groups have hijacked the planning process to impose additional rules (as a condo association would do through covenants) on property owners.

    Idiot.

  4. What you call a “publicly enforceable covenant” would more precisely be a zoning regulation. These zoning regulations are legislatively detailed in the city’s planning code. When you purchase a titled property you enter into a legal agreement to abide by these regulations.

    I don’t need to refute what you’ve said, you’ve done it yourself.

  5. > “In essence, they’re seeking to create publicly enforceable covenants based on ownership of private property.”

  6. An anecdote is the very definition of evidence. What do you think happens in court?

    Again, you’re an idiot.

  7. You spew blatant ignorance (your claim about covenants is too stupid to be a lie) and the demand that others prove you wrong.

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone stupid enough to claim that a building code is a covenant, or that zoning is a covenant. I’ve also never heard anyone seriously claim that the sun circles the moon, but you could try that, too.

    I shared a specific example for which there are numerous corroborations in the public domain.

    You’ve claimed the sun circles the earth.

    You’re a moron.

  8. You claimed tha building codes were covenants.

    You clearly do not know what a covenant is.

    I’d tell you to go fuck yourself, but you’ve already done that.

  9. What I said is true. I shared a precise example. The quote you chose doesn’t support what you claimed. Not my fault you either cannot or will not read.

    It’s obvious why your lashing out. You’re an idiot.

  10. You said it, not me.

    > “In essence, they’re seeking to create publicly enforceable covenants based on ownership of private property.”

    Somebody is lashing out , that is for sure.

  11. I did not say any such thing about the Hill Dwellers trying to “insert covenants”. I explained my claims in detail. Not my fault you cannot read or chose not to.

    I’ll add reading comprehension to the growing list of your struggles, which now include basic concepts of real estate law, political analysis and anger management.

    You’re a smoldering, angry troll. It would help if you actually knew something, but since you don’t, you’re just lashing out at those who know more than you.

  12. Because you never disclosed your secret definition of a legal covenant.

    You say the Telegraph Hill Dwellers are trying to insert covenants, but then can’t back it up. You go on to insinuate you have some greater understanding of the word ‘covenant.’.

    Instead of providing a citation to represent your interpretation of a covenant, you claim to have an “expertise in law,” as if that qualifies.

    You’d rather engage in ad hominem because you can’t back up what you say. Are Telegraph Hill Dwellers trying to ‘create publicly enforceable covenants’ on properties or not? You said it, not me.

  13. And you would know this because you’re an expert Wikipedia jockey? You’ve shown no further expertise.

    Troll harder.

  14. You ought to learn what it means to back something up. Expertise in law? Didn’t see it. See ya.

  15. Oh, there it is. Troll boy doesn’t like being corrected. I provided specific examples, illustrated my points and backed them up with my expertise in law. But that’s not enough for the troll boy whose sole claim to authority is based on a single, poorly chosen Wikipedia reference.

    You ought to be more open to correction. That way you wouldn’t come across as an angry idiot.

  16. Are what you refer to as “zoning rules” your specialty? Is that a term you learned in law school?

    > “In essence, they’re seeking to create publicly enforceable covenants based on ownership of private property.”

    In essence, you’ve failed to prove this. Go fuck yourself.

  17. Those are not covenants because they are based in legislation and municipal code. You misunderstand covenants.

    It’s not my job to teach trolls basic concepts of real estate law.

  18. You accuse groups of enacting covenants, but then state your property has zero enforceable covenants. Like I said, zoning ordinances and building codes are covenants.

    You want to claim I have no grasp then prove it. It’s not my problem you switched to ad hominem attacks. I’m surprised you didn’t resort to it sooner.

  19. Why? You can’t.

    You also refuse to assign blame where due for the housing crisis, so it’s hard to take you seriously. You’re a troll.

  20. Crazy racist cult lady, you do realize that your real name is easy to figure out, don’t you? How many former writers for the Uniification Cgurch currently reside in San Francisco?

    Why are you advertising for a real estate agent? You troll nearly full time here and, with whatever time you have left over, you’re eating and reviewing places like KFC and Panda Express.

    You’re crazy. You’re a raging racist. You openly admit to have worked for a cult. And you’re obviously short on resources (or have terrible taste in food, I don’t know). You’re obsessed with the tech guy who donates money.

    Do you really want to invite comparisons?

  21. The more he carries on, the more obvious it is. I mean, really, you can’t have THAT many people this stupid. And wow, according to the article, he is basically homeless. But he apparently is a real estate agent. Obviously not a very successful one. Or a very smart one. Or a very honest one. And again, he fits the description in the article.

  22. Really? Crazy racist cult lady, you’re more likely to cause fits of hysterics than anything resembling panic.

    You should stick to reviews of cheap chain restaurants. Reporting, researching, observing and writing are not among your strengths.

    Sorry.

  23. I do believe Idiot Boy is a bit panicked. Of course, nothing is certain, buy yes, I think we may well have a name to go with this idiot, Donald Dewsnup.

  24. Scooby Doo!

    Didn’t they train you to do research while you were in the cult?

    Sorry crazy racist cult lady. You’ve been foiled again!

  25. Ah, I have a pretty good idea who Idiot Boy is. I have mentioned this in another. I strongly suspect that he is Donald Dewsnup, who shows much the same behavior. https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Political-gadfly-Donald-Dewsnup-charged-with-7252330.php

    The description i the article fits a lot of Idiot Boy’s characteristics. Perjury, an obsession with Aaron Peskin, “cyberactivist,” political gadfly… Yeah, a very likely match for Idiot Boy.

  26. > In property law, land-related covenants are called “real covenants” and are a major form of covenant, typically imposing restrictions on how the land may be used (negative covenants).

    What you initially describe would be a “racial covenant.” House color would be another type of covenant, but would more precisely fall under zoning ordinances and building codes (which are covenants that were transferred with your deed).

    It’s laughable that you would cite a property in San Francisco (yours) as having no covenants.

  27. My house. There were covenants in the deed from the 1940s barring resale to Jews or Mexicans, and an additional covenant restricting sale to Anglos. These covenants were illegal and were not transferred with the deed in my late 1990s purchase.

    The link you shared describes the legal murkiness of covenants. Those that have been judged to be illegal are effectively null. The reference to a homeowners association is a good way of understanding how some of the NIMBY groups (e.g., The Hill Dwellers) attempt to create and enforce covenants at the district level through control of the planning process.

    There is no covenant requiring my home to be a certain color. But painting requires a permit, and permitting requires a review, so a representative from the local association can object to my choices, delay the work and effectively ask me to choose colors from a pre-approved palette or face endless reviews and objections. This is how these groups kill new housing and drive up the cost of real estate. They hijack the planning and permitting phase of construction to enforce unwritten rules on those attempting to build.

    I’m not sure how you would formulate a path out of the housing crisis without understanding those who currently benefit from it and are working to perpetuate it.

  28. Your link goes nowhere.

    My property in SF comes with two covenants, both unenforceable. I believe that qualifies as zero covenants.

    Not surprised to learn you have trouble assigning blame.

  29. Thanks for that odd soliloquy, crazy racist cult lady.

    Please, by all means, continue to align yourself with segregationists. You can take an old lady out of the crazy racist cult, but you can’t take the crazy and the racism out of the old lady.

    You’re proof of that, crazy racist cult lady.

  30. No, you fail to understand both English and real estate law. And you need to understand what a covenant is, legally.

    Clearly, you struggle with attribution of cause an effect. It’s not uncommon for people to be unable to process abstract information when it implicates people close to them. If your neighbors are NIMBYs, they are part of the problem. If you fail to understand that, or simply refuse to understand that, you’re also part of the problem.

  31. >”Covenants are only enforceable to the extent they echo those zoning rules, regimes of ownership and are consistent with rules governing access to the housing market.”

    Do I need to brush up on real estate law, or do you need to brush up on the English language? Where are these properties with no covenants?

    Nobody identifies as a nimby — the qualification is based on a vague set of parameters set by those who identify as yimbies. Personally, I will not judge my neighbors on their stance related to housing issues. I find that utterly ridiculous.

  32. Well, I will say one thing for Idiot Boy…he doesn’t let the truth get in his way. Nope, he is not right. I think he is just throwing out anything he can dream up. I am not likely to have much control one way or the other. I just want Wiener to stop trying to shove the agenda of the people who finance his lust for power down other people’s throats. Wiener is the last person who believe in equality. He only cares about the wealthy.

  33. I don’t need that term to discredit my neighbors. They brought discredit and shame upon themselves.

    As for covenants, I think you ought to brush up on real estate law. You’re sorely mistaken. Especially given how self righteous you are as you defend the position of protected property owners, you ought to know better,

  34. It’s not true that all titled land has covenants? Of course it is.

    One could pretty easily argue that SB 827 and HAA lawsuits are also a hijacking of the planning process, if one were so inclined. It’s hard to think yimbies are coming in with grand solutions when you have someone like Watson Ladd, who questions a light rail over the Sepulveda Pass; or someone like you, who uses the term ‘nimby’ in a vitriolic attempt to discredit their neighbor.

  35. That’s not true. Covenants are only enforceable to the extent they echo those zoning rules, regimes of ownership and are consistent with rules governing access to the housing market.

    NIMBYs want to use planning rules to run neighborhoods like private condominiums. It’s a hijacking of the planning process in the service of property owners.

  36. All titled land has covenants. We’d be completely fucked without them. It doesn’t matter how rich you are or how much land you have, ownership is nothing more than a temporary stewardship. What’s of most importance on one’s deathbed once Xanadu hasn’t panned out?

    Your definition of a nimby is someone who is organized, wants to prevent new housing in their close proximity, and wants hyper-local control over planning. Fair enough, I was just trying to figure if I qualified or not. I don’t think many would call me organized .. guess I’m safe for now.

  37. NIMBYs are easy to define. They’re organized and have been for a very long time. Their goals are clear and do not stop at preventing housing from being built. They want hyper-local control over planning decisions that in other states, cities and countries would be left to a metropolitan, state or federal authority. They seek that control because they’re unwilling to allow cities, states or metropolitan planning authorities to have the authority they have in other places. In essence, they’re seeking to create publicly enforceable covenants based on ownership of private property.

    In San Francisco, The Hill Dwellers are a fantastic example: they opposed new transit, they opposed a new library, they opposed a new playground. They effectively control what color people can paint their houses. They opposed affordable housing (on the grounds that it should be “for everyone”) and now they oppose a bill that would take away their power to decide what does or does not get built in their neighborhood and, by extension, how far sprawl will extend into the central valley. They have little interest in the city other than ensuring that their control over local zoning, planning and licensing remains unchecked.

    Assigning blame where it belongs is a very helpful exercise. It clarifies the power relationship and the interests of the players. If you see “NIMBY” as nothing but a default, you’re not paying attention or have little understanding of how planing works. Just as school districts and city councils managed to enforce restrictive covenants through local control, these groups ensure that lower-income people will never get a toe hold in the urban centers because they will never be able to afford to do so.

    More perniciously, NIMBYs ensure that sprawl will continue to encroach on undeveloped parts of California because those will be the only places building can occur. They’ll ensure a dependency on automobile-based planning by refusing to allow mass transit, which in California, NIMBY’s understand as serving the sole purpose of allowing poor people to travel where they do not belong.

    I agree that there it is clear why people are moving to the Central Valley: NIMBYs have effectively created a planning structure that allows them to restrict development to income and tax-poor parts of the state. NIMBYs’ power needs to be checked, the sooner the better.

  38. I’m looking at several factors. Nimby isn’t a clearly defined sect of people. Would you care to add a definition as you did for millennials? It’s trickier.

    Cities not producing units fast enough seems reasonable enough to me. But on the other hand, of course people are going to be attached to their homes and their neighborhoods. I’m not going to begrudge anyone for that, and obviously the crunch goes way beyond entrenched SF neighborhood opposition to housing.

    The clearest factor is income. There’s no murk in why people have been streaming from coastal cities to Modesto, Fresno, Stockton, Tracy, etc…

    The blame game is not productive. Yimby is an organized group, and nimby is seemingly nothing more than a yimby default. Unless you have some accurate definition of nimby I’ve missed along the way?

  39. Then I would suggest you look at what’s causing sprawl. Refusal of cities in major metropolitan areas are driving people out into the Central Valley, causing unreasonably long commutes and moving into areas with far fewer protections for renters.

    NIMBYs are driving much of this by refusing to allow new housing in core urban areas.

  40. Zel, I never called you a “poopface” or any other disparaging name. Perhaps you are confusing me with another poster here.

    Lisa Schweiitzer’s article was well balanced and excellent, in my view. She sees SB827 as a good first step in recognizing that NIMBYism is a driving factor behind our acute housing shortage – and high rents – throughout California.

  41. Schweitzer:

    ‘Ad hominem doesn’t just mean dumb personal attacks like “you poopface.” It means that you reject the argument simply because of who made the argument and what motives you impute to that person….You critique the arguments–you mention the motives in passing–if you are going to engage in public reason….Self-interest? Sure, you may want to apply a discount to their points, note that you don’t find them to be a trustworthy source…but you still have to deal with their points.’

    You don’t deal with my points. You just call names.

  42. But you are inherently biased in any argument about residential property because you are a major property owner.

  43. Speak for yourself. Calling an opponent biased is not debating an opponent. It’s avoiding the issues at hand.

  44. I have no problem with localities closing BART station if they don’t want development. Transit stations make a neighborhood extremely desireable, and it’s a good think if towns realize that the choice is that if you want the advantage of transit access, you have to accept more development so the infrastructure doesn’t go to waste.

  45. Well, we engaged in a long term exploration of how well things work with substantial local control, and it turns out to be a complete and utter failure. You had a good run, and whatever benefits to stopping development around transit there are you have reaped for decades. All things comes to an end, and so has the broken development zoning policy.

  46. I am not attacking you, ad hominem [sic] or otherwise. I’m merely pointing out that you, as a major property owner, have a conflict of interest when analyzing housing issues, whether regarding supply/demand or personal profit.

  47. The “well-heeled” aren’t my focus at all. I’m not a member of any groups, and fyi I’m a renter. My main concerns are how income inequity is affecting in/out migrations, and how can shorelines and wild spaces best be protected.

  48. You do own rental housing property, right? And preventing new housing construction will help you raise rents on your properties. Did you see that the average housing price just topped $1 million in Santa Clara Country recently? That’s NIMBYism in action.

  49. So, YIMBYs are foreign invaders then? Like killer bees?

    I’m a YIMBY and a fourth-generation Californian.

  50. Yes. And since state law usurps local law, Scott Wiener’s bill will be a good first step in finally resolving our state’s housing shortage, in my humble opinion.

  51. Fine. So how would you choose which things should be controlled locally and which things should be controlled by the state?

  52. Thank you for highlighting two egregious cases in an attempt to prove your point. I could provide links to 50 cases in which local control has seriously damaged California.
    But I don’t do cherry-picking of facts.

  53. Tom H. is a white, ivy league educated tech engineer who moved to the Mission in 2014 and drips entitlement. Apparently he doesnt give a damn whose lifes get destroyed from redevelopment. Just wants cheaper rent.

  54. No. I live in one of those areas.

    Your insistence that arguments against sprawl, the environmental and the social damage it causes are “vendettas” is bizarre. Allowing a tiny group of people to have de facto control over urban planning in the state is odd, to say the least, in the context of a democracy.

    It’s the kind of blindness you show that has driven lawmakers to measures like this one.

  55. Maybe. ‘Hipsters’, ‘Nimbys’, etc. are all highly relative terms. The term ‘Millennials’ has clearer parameters.

    Regardless of who you or I think we’re looking out for, the first direct implementations of these new and/or strengthened bills are in highly desirable areas and are vastly geared toward upwardly mobile people.

    Your focus on your personal vendettas is affecting your ability to look at the housing bills objectively on state and class levels.

  56. Except that I’m right.

    You’re making the same argument George Wallce made.

    Sorry crazy racist cult lady, you’re a segregationist at heart.

  57. Our crazy racist cult lady believes that our democratically elected leaders are “usurping power” when they legislate as described in our state and federal constitutions.

    Crazy racist cult lady aligns herself with George Wallace and the Tea Party.

    Sad.

  58. You’re the one who said, “The majority, at the local level, will always vote against change. Fortunately, state and federal law usurps local NIMBYism,” and “Voters make decisions, and state law trumps local law, which is good. Providing locals with too much control leads to serious problems”. That applies to quarries same as to highrise condos.

    By the way, this is not a hypothetical, and nor is this.

  59. I think you’re confusing hipsters for millenials. Increasing sprawl and suburbanization mean that the middle class are increasingly looking to shave time from commutes for other purposes, hence the preference for denser, closer-in suburbs. They cannot afford the urban center and see exurbs as a last resort.

    In CA, we have a policy regime that allows entrenched homeowners in the priciest parts of the state to dictate urban policy statewide. It’s obvious why these people oppose this bill. But the bigger picture is that NIMBYism is driving far more environmental and social damage than Weiner’s bill could possibly do.

    I have no sympathy for the Hill Dwellers or Nie Vlley folks who really opposed this measure. They’ve done enough damage.

  60. Point is that implementing a light rail takes decades — 827 could cause a further delay during a period of rapid air quality degradation contributing to global warming.

  61. I’m not at all sensitive about prop 13 and I’m not sure what aspect you want analysis on. There’s some truth in a lot of these comments, that’s why this issue is controversial and easily debatable. And sure I’ve got another analysis:

    What I think is obvious is your focus is on upwardly mobile millennials who want to live in the coolest parts of the coolest cities.

    Stockton, Fresno, and Bakersfield are not the focus areas for all these state bills, but it is having a big impact there.

    If you look where these bills are being used heaviest so far you are looking at extremely prime pieces of real estate, which are often located in areas of increased environmental susceptibility or historic significance.

  62. You have highlighted a terrible hypothetical and applied it to the entire universe.
    What if the locals decide they want a sewage treatment plant on a school yard? BAD, BAD! Therefore, locals should have no say in anything.

    That’s your logic, honey, not mine.

  63. check your reading comprehension.

    “With those concerns, BART directors asked the Marin County Board of Supervisors to vote the county out of the system.

    “There is one significant difference – (San Mateo) withdrew voluntarily,” Supervisor Peter Behr said at the time Marin withdrew in May 1962. “We are withdrawing involuntarily and upon request.””

  64. What he claims to “believe” is of no real value, since his ignorance is appalling. We are not talking about “states rights,” we are talking about the appropriate role of various levels of government. States right, which is pushed by segregationists, claims that a state government can ignore the U.S. Constitution, and Federal laws passed in compliance with it. That was the law until the 14th Amendment was passed, extending the protection of the FULL Constitution to apply to state laws.
    al
    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Prior to this amendment, states could pretty much do what they wished.

    This has NOTHING to do with whether it is proper, or legal, for the state legislature to usurp the power of a local government over zoning. Can you imagine how this nut case would how if a Senator introduced a bill to limit building heights across the state? Or to control density? He would be frantic.

  65. While I realize that, for an idiot like our resident troll, junior high would seem like a lofty goal (he obviously flunked elementary school civics), I also find his definition of democracy laughable. What he describes is a republic, not a democracy. I am not claiming the right to decide. He has. I honestly don’t know if he is really as ignorant as he comes across, or if he just thinks he is clever and fooling people. I’ve had courses at the university level, and passed with an A. He just spits out insults, and lies.

  66. Again, our resident idiot troll shows no semblance of intelligence or valid arguments. Just the usual round of ignorant insults and slander. Again, what is hilarious is that I am not the one remotely averse to democracy.

  67. What caught my eye was the percent of households with 0 or 1 vehicle available. Why combine the two? Zero vehicles and 1 vehicle measure different things. There is a negative correlation between zero vehicles and one vehicle.

    In San Francisco there is a positive correlation between zero vehicles and transit use but a negative correlation between transit use on one vehicle available. And of course, a positive correlation with one car and income; and a negative correlation between no vehicle and children.

    Is that what you referenced? Most of the other data are taken from the census economic surveys. The percent that drive versus transit is from the census.

  68. Again, so would you be OK with a gravel pit next to you, or next to a school, without local input? Do you think the state should have been able to override SF’s local decision back in the day, and build an extension of Highway 101 to the GG bridge over GG park?

  69. Yes, but politicians generally don’t approve of heinous actions for fear of losing elections. So I wouldn’t worry too much about democracy in action. Voters make decisions, and state law trumps local law, which is good. Providing locals with too much control leads to serious problems—such as a statewide acute housing shortage.

  70. Nope. That is urban legend. Bart removed Marin because it was uneconomic to include the Northbay.

  71. I believe that’s what segregationists have long argued.

    Sorry crazy racist cult lady, you just hung your hat with the KKK.

  72. It isn’t really much different than NIMBYs refusing to build housing. They’ve strangled growth and driven sprawl. The pendulum is swinging against you. The faster, the better.

  73. Building new freeways is virtually impossible. CA NIMBYs have painted themselves into a corner. At this point, it’s rail or congestion pricing.

  74. What about if the state allowed for gravel mines to be opened anywhere, including near schools, overriding local zoning? What if the state allowed for freeways to be built anywhere? How is that different?

  75. Of course Zelda is against new housing construction in Berkeley. Bronstein Associates LLC owns multiple rental properties there. New housing construction will help alleviate the severe housing shortage in Berkeley and lower her company’s profits.

  76. We’re Baaaaack!
    SB 827 will streamline housing construction and alleviate the severe housing shortage throughout California. The NIMBYs will no longer dictate housing policy in the Golden State.

  77. Gee, Steve. Why post a video by The Ayatollah of North Beach (owner of two properties) stating that he gets emails and hates state laws? What’s the connection here?

  78. The majority, at the local level, will always vote against change. Fortunately, state and federal law usurps local NIMBYism.

  79. There’s nothing ironic when transit agencies promote more transit.

    Marin opted out of BART in the ’60s because the residents there did not want the unwashed masses coming to their county. The were the original NIMBYs.

  80. Crazy racist cult lady, perhaps you should consider a junior high civics course. Democracy is when we elect officials and they make laws as we’ve authorized through our constitution. Democracy doesn’t mean that crazy racist cult lady gets to decide.

    Sorry.

  81. Rail expansion, whether light or heavy, in an increasingly densely populated state is good for the environment and good for alleviating the housing shortage statewide.

  82. Crazy racist cult lady, your tendency toward soliloquy simply augments your lunatic paranoia.

    All those years in the cult really did your head in, huh?

    Your aversion to democracy is interesting. Is it a result of exposure to an authoritarian cult? Or did you have delusions before the cult?

  83. Good news! Viva el YIMBYismo! Viva la revolucion!

    California now has 40 million residents and a dire housing shortage. Letting NIMBYs dictate policy is no longer viable.

  84. Again this idiot troll has no concept of democracy. It is not bypassing local officials in order to shove unwanted laws down people’s throats. And it is not voting for something simply because of the influence of monied interests. I rally wonder? Does he think his ignorant, and rather silly rant fool,anyone?

  85. This idiot troll does not even have a clue what democracy is. He has already admitted that this is an attempt to force this on people who oppose it. He clearly fears the name Conway and needs to silence it from being mentioned. The sad thing is, this fool actually thinks he is clever.

  86. Again, crazy racist cult lady, you refer to legislative action by duly elected representatives as “contempt for democracy”.

    That cult really did a number on whatever was left of your mind. Obviously, you are now nothing but a raving lunatic.

  87. Sorry crazy racist cult lady, if that were true it wouldn’t have progressed this far in Sacramento.

    What really horrifies you and your ilk: the specter of democracy working, short circuiting your parochial, racist grip on political power in the city of SF, where you also claim votes can be bought by developers.

    And again with the maniacal obsession with Conway. Enough of that, crazy racist cult lady. You sound crazier and crazier each time.

    I rejoice at the idea that this has your panties in a wad. That alone makes me happy.

  88. The problem is, Millenium Tower is NOT anchored to bedrock. It is on fill, which WILL liquify in an earthquake. It is already leaning, and sinking. They saved money, but at what cost?

  89. It is opposed overwhelmingly by those affected. Wiener had no hope of getting this passed locally, so he is trying to get it passed in the Senate, and Assembly, where votes can be bought by developers. It should be obvious why this fool is so defensive of Conway and other special interests.

  90. This idiot again shows his contempt for democracy. He wants to cram YIMBY (which is a lie) policies down people’s throats. Regulation should be local, not at the state level. It should be decided by voters, not crammed down their throats by politicians bought by developers, and their “YIMBY” sock puppets.

  91. Can you provide a citation? I look at census data all the time. I have not seen anything about strong preference for high density or transit rich. Can you identify a Bay Area city?

  92. As you say, the biggest migration factor is what people can afford. That’s why the Central Valley cities are blowing up.

    There’s a lot of factors and you’re over-emphasizing prop 13. LA ain’t doing so hot for millennials.

  93. And 80% of NIMBYs will be dead in 20 years. Your days are numbered. Our city will not miss you.

  94. That was unusual for those soil conditions in this day and age. I remember Twin Towers of Malaysia was on a similar sloped perch, and they put pylons down to bedrock (it was on modern marvels). That was the 90’s.

  95. So then they pass you a note or something? If so, is it a short list like on a post-it, or more like a dossier?

    Just wondering. Btw, I liked your quote in the Joe Rodriguez piece.

  96. Why should we build transit extensions to wealthy suburbs unless the density is there to make them economical?

  97. That’s not what the census is telling us.

    According to actual data, when people move to suburbs, the preference is strongly for high density, transit-rich suburbs. Lower density, transit deprived areas are areas of last resort, usually for people who don’t have enough money to afford better areas.

  98. How do you know what they want? If they want density they can buy density. If they want suburban bliss they can buy suburban bliss. As Millennials age they are moving back to the suburbs.

  99. Today’s home buyer does not share your vision of suburban bliss.

    They want density and they want public transit.

    And even with Prop 13, they’re paying 10-20X what you pay.

  100. I love how you refer to legislative efforts by democratically elected representatives as “outrageous power grabs”. This will be voted on, idiot.

    All that time you spent in the cult really did a number on your head. Whatever the cheap fast food hasn’t destroyed, the cult seems to have messed up.

    You may now go back to racist fear mongering.

  101. Not so. NIMBYs are fueled by Prop 13. As they move away and transfer their tax status, as they die, they become less relevant.

  102. Ah, this idiot troll is ignorance incarnate. This is is an outrageous power grab by Wiener. And of course this fool ignores the fact that it is widely opposed. Of course, this jerk hates democracy. He wants to tell people how things will be.

  103. Thanks, crazy racist cult lady.

    This isn’t the first time we’ve heard you spout nonsense, it won’t be the last.m

    Making this a matter of state, rather than NIMBY control is simply changing the way regulation occurs.

    You may now go back to racist scare mongering.

  104. If your folks were the majority, you might be able to get your wishes through local elections. That isn’t happening anywhere. Do consider listening to what the majority has to say, rather than shutting them up.

  105. Ya… Well, the codes are there, anyway. People don’t usually build on fill anymore without anchoring to the bedrock below, and (again, “in principle”) buildings are designed to not fall apart in realistic earthquake scenarios. It’s not like the merry old days of unanchored houses and freestanding structural brick.

  106. How is anyone this incredibly ignorant? Of course it is deregulation. Weiner couldn’t get away with this when he was a Supervisor, but the State Senate doesn’t care about San Francisco, just the money pouring in from developers.

  107. My understanding is split roll doesn’t raise taxes on apartment buildings as those are residential.

  108. Same reason North Beach Napolean led the SFBOS on the same pointless exercise.

    The difference is that BART works better than SF Transit, where little boy Peskin is chair..

    Oh, and Peskin is the spokestroll for NIMBYS,

  109. How is additional regulation deregulation?

    This is crass fear mongering. We have to put this power in state hands because NIMBYS have ruined the state and are the primary drivers of sprawl.

  110. Current building codes are based on a lot of earthquake engineering. Earthquake risks are very much taken into account in every stage of highrise design, at least in principle.

  111. My fear is this will enter as a consideration into future heavy rail expansion in California (light rail is incredibly slow and does not compete against newer competitors such as ridesharing). Every new transit stop would automatically bring rezoning, so quality transportation proposals anywhere in the state – including the Sepulveda Pass in LA and future BART expansion – will get shot down by local opposition.

    The sad thing is density can be done well.

  112. New arrivals pay more in taxes and development pays impact fees that are supposed to cover service expansion. People don’t magically stop going to school if they live elsewhere. Maybe Zelda could pay more in taxes on her millions of dollars in property if she’s concerned about municipal budgets.

  113. 80% of the Yimby’s didn’t live in the Bay Area in 1999 let alone 1989. Wiener didn’t move here until 1997.

  114. SB 827 and its companions are essentially zoning deregulation. They take much zoning power away from local municipal governments, clearing the way for corporate developers to maximize their profits. As with other sorts of deregulation, this creates a very significant financial incentive for scam artists to step in, simply because there is so much wealth for them to harvest.

    We saw this in banking deregulation where mortgage-backed securities and derivatives were created to take advantage of the new lack of rules, which in turn created armies of fly-by-night, high-pressure mortgage brokers (I was getting nearly daily phone calls to refinance for years before the collapse) and crooked real estate appraisers who, for a bit of a kickback from the broker, would ridiculously overstate the value of your home, qualifying you for disastrously huge loans. Your new mortgage was then instantly flipped and robo-signed over to one of the big Wall Street banks, where it was securitized. All this happened, remember? And tens of millions were cheated out of their homes, while the bankers got bailed out and walked off with billions in profits.

    Zoning deregulation opens the door wide to similar abuses. Homeowners in affected areas (which includes nearly all of San Francisco and very large parts of most other surrounding cities) will likely be under huge, persistent pressure to sell to scam artists who may promise the moon, but who will immediately flip the property to either a developer directly, or to another intermediary. Tenants will be evicted, followed by similar sales and flipping. And where will all these displaced people go? Developers really do not want to build so-called “affordable” housing, simply because it isn’t maximally profitable, even if all they do is build and flip to some other real estate holding corporation. So the displaced wind up forced out of the area (Fresno? Tulsa?) or perhaps on the streets, where those residents left demand “something be done.”

    And then what of the many tens of thousands of brand-new empty luxury apartments? Are there enough suckers around to lease them? Or will they just sit until the bankers again go bust and demand to be bailed out?

  115. What does her owning property have to do with what she has to say? Her reasoning is the same that I hear from some renters. I most definitely consider her an ally of affordable housing, based on her advocacy.

    “Rap sheet”? Anyway. I have read that she has evicted some tenants, but I haven’t seen any details. Are they for being a week late with the rent? Are they for being a year late with the rent? It makes a difference. I have personally experienced a number of bad landlords, but I’ve also known bad tenants. I haven’t seen anything about Bronstein doing anything unethical.

  116. Interesting that BART announces a plan to close the tube for an extended period of time for seismic upgrades and improvements right after voting to support SB 827. How does BART expect people to get around without the tube? How many buses are we looking at adding to the traffic on the Bay Bridge? And, they also want us to finance the disaster they have planned by voting to increase bridge tolls. RM3 is the bill they are anticipating we will support. Think again BART Board. The voters are fed up with your idea of cutting back service and removing seats to crush more humans in your tubes. Vote the bums out next time. They work for us. We do not work for them.

  117. That census study could use some scrutiny. It looks like they may have done some cherry picking. But it may be true that the closer you are to a transit center the more likely you are to get to work by transit. I am assuming some who can get to work by transit choose to live closer to transit.

    However, in San Francisco it would appear that where you work, and how much you make, are greater factors for transit use than how close you live to transit.

    Around transit centers close to downtown, Castro Metro, Church Metro, and Mission Street BART stations, more people get to work by transit than by car. However, as you move away from downtown, Forest Hill Metro, West Portal Metro, Glen Park BART and Balboa Park BART, more people get to work by car than by transit. It the West of Twin Peaks Metro areas around 30% get to work by transit, and 60% by car.

    In my neighborhood, all of which is within a half mile of Forest Hill Metro, only around 30% of those with steady employment work downtown. And more than 40% of those who work downtown get to work downtown by car. 45% leave the City to get to work (reverse commute). Many of the remaining 25% who work in San Francisco can’t use the Metro to get to work.

    It is true that increasing the population near transit center will increase the number of people who take transit. But it will increase the number who get to work by car even more.

  118. Every public agency has a state legislative lobbying agenda they assemble and vote on. Local city councils, transit boards, even air quality and water districts. Its fairly routine, and even desirable for them to weigh in on things that affect them.

  119. This discussion always amazes me. The whole Bay Area is an earthquake zone. Unfortunately we always somehow dis-remember 1989 which was small in comparison to others. Many earthquake areas around the planet will not allow multi-story construction.

  120. kinda surprised TR is still publishing Zelda.

    She owns 30m in SFBA real estate.
    She has 6 evictions on her rap sheet.
    She is not an ally for affordable housing, she is an ally for no new housing, which seems to be tim’s revealed preference.

  121. The YIMBYs are awfully quiet here recently (not that I’m complaining). Their ballot measure got put off from June to November, too.

  122. Why is the BART board even voting about this? And they’ve done such a lousy job of running a transit system that they should try to do something about improving BART.