•"8 Washington St. project good for city," Opinion, Tuesday
Tough questions for condo tower backer
Could Jim Chappell please answer these questions about the 8 Washington St. article he wrote?
1) It will "fund new affordable housing." Where? Certainly not the million-dollar-plus condos that are being proposed on that site. Where, Jim, where?
2) It will "establish open spaces." Where? Within the confines of the new condo development? No? Then where, Jim? Where?
3) "This plan will revitalize ... a members-only club and an asphalt parking lot." What else would a parking lot be made of in a city? And, Jim, anyone can join the Bay Club.
4) Are you in the pockets of the developer, Simon Snellgrove? Are you being paid for your "endorsement"? Just curious.
You state that "the opponents" are asking all of "us" to forgo it for the sake of protecting a private club and a parking lot. No, we don't want a high-rise blocking views facing The Embarcadero.
The opinion piece on the 8 Washington St. project is an almost word-for-word cut-and-paste job from the developer's campaign brochure and provides no new information, just rhetoric.
The fact is that the 8 Washington ballot referendum is officially opposed by the San Francisco Democratic Party, the Sierra Club, the Affordable Housing Alliance and the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods because it would employ spot zoning to raise height limits on the waterfront for a luxury condo tower more than 50 feet taller than the torn-down Embarcadero Freeway.
Rather than allow 8 Washington to create a wall on the waterfront, let's reject this clumsy effort at ballot-box planning in November and open the waterfront for a project that abides by existing law and works for San Francisco.
Campaign director, No Wall on the Waterfront
Muni needs real solutions
•"Report on Muni's lightrail trains is latest bad news for agency," The City, Monday
The fact that Muni's on-time performance falls below 50 percent for May is no surprise for those of us who rely on Muni daily.
The "solution" proposed by supervisors Scott Wiener and London Breed to mimic the layout of New York subway cars shows their complete lack of understanding of the system, its faults and what might eventually lead to improvement.
"By simply replacing forward facing seats with perimeter seats, similar to a New York City subway car, we can take a demonstrable step toward better vehicle capacity, and, hence, better service," a letter to Transportation Director Ed Reiskin said.
Vehicle capacity can only be increased or decreased, not made "better." More people standing on a train stopped going into a tunnel does not make for "better service." What might would be more punctual arrivals, better timing and the spacing out of individual trains on a route according to ridership.
Their suggestion is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. When were these supervisors writing to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency when maintenance was being deferred or flatly ignored?
Muni will soon bid for new rail cars — no doubt prematurely due to lack of maintenance on the current fleet — and will demand yet another bond from the citizens who shoulder the price for delusion both at the Board of Supervisors and the transit agency.