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The GrowSF Report: Bold plans, no action from Board of Supervisors on housing
PLUS: Newsom doubles CHP officers in SF downtown
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of June 26, 2023:
- Bold plans, no action from Board of Supervisors on housing
- Newsom doubles CHP officers in SF downtown
- CA accuses SF of fabricating data against driverless cars
- Bay Bridge toll may rise to $8.50 to enter SF from East Bay
- Six months after city hiring reform announcement: nothing implemented
- Not-so-leaning Millennium Tower: The $100 Million fix
Bold plans, no action from Board of Supervisors on housing
Last year SF passed a bold new plan for housing growth. But what's happened since then?
The stakes are high: millions in State funding and control over local land use hang in the balance, but the SF Board of Supervisors continues to not take this responsibility seriously, writes David Broockman for The Chronicle. The city is charged with accommodating growth of over 80,000 new homes over the next 8 years — about 830 per month — but has been permitting just 8 per month with no change in sight.
Last year Mayor Breed and the Planning Department devised a workable plan to accommodate that growth, but it’s stalled out. Supervisor Melgar is tasked with leading the implementation of the city’s growth plans, but her vote this week to oppose 10 new homes shows she’s setting the city up to fail.
SF will lose out on millions of dollars and lose control over land use because of the anti-growth majority on the Board of Supervisors. Share the GrowSF Report with your friends to help us win a pro-growth majority in November 2024 and build a better San Francisco!
Newsom doubles CHP officers in SF downtown
“Gov. Gavin Newsom will double the number of state police officers helping crack down on fentanyl dealing in San Francisco,” writes Gabrielle Lurie for The SF Chronicle.
This is welcome news to residents of the Tenderloin. The early signs from the increase in police personnel are positive: arrests of fentanyl dealers are up and street conditions show some early signs of improving.
Governor Newsom (who is a former Mayor of SF) was quoted expressing frustration at San Francisco: “We have a lot of existing laws on the books. I’d like to see us start to enforce the damn existing laws. I’ll be honest with you, my biggest gripe right now in San Francisco has been, frankly, we’re not enforcing existing laws … we’re not prosecuting the law breakers.”
With more help from the State, we can make real progress!
CA accuses SF of fabricating data against driverless cars
Bloomberg correspondent Anna Tong dropped an exclusive on twitter: California regulators have accused San Francisco of fabricating data to halt the rollout of fully autonomous vehicles and that “San Francisco’s analysis lacks sufficient rigor and nuance.” Most glaringly, San Francisco reported 4 Waymo collisions but ignored that the Waymos all had human safety drivers and were rear-ended while following road laws.
This is, perhaps, not surprising for anyone following the recent press hysteria against driverless cars, as well Progressive Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Dean Preston suddenly attacking them and calling for a full ban. We certainly understand being wary of this new technology — after all, the stakes are high! But the facts on the ground are that driverless cars are at least 10 times safer than human-driven cars.
Every year about 40,000 Americans are killed and over 2 million Americans are injured in car crashes. According to data that Waymo was required to submit to regulators, their autonomous cars had just 18 minor incidents, zero injuries, and zero deaths over 1 million miles driven.
Bay Bridge toll may rise to $8.50 to enter SF from East Bay
The upcoming transit “fiscal cliff” the Bay Area is facing has no easy solutions, only hard compromises, write Dustin Gardiner at The Chronicle. State Senator Scott Wiener has put forward one such difficult compromise: increasing bridge tolls to at least $8.50 in an effort to raise $900M over five years. Although this would not cover the entirety of the shortfall, it would help.
Senator Wiener’s bill, SB532, is facing fierce opposition from other members of the senate whose constituents (people who live outside of SF but work within it) would face the brunt of the effect.
Additional support from the state to cover the shortfall in funds is possible, but Governor Newsom has already signaled skepticism, having cut $2B in capital funding for transit projects, although this is being fought by legislators.
An expansive, reliable public transit system is crucial to the functioning of any metro area like the Bay, and is an integral part of addressing transit inequality and climate change. Here is hoping our leaders can figure something out.
Six months after city hiring reform announcement: nothing implemented
A basic function for any organization is to hire and pay people for their work. Without qualified workers staffing an organization, nothing can get done. Unfortunately, the SF City Government seems to be failing at this task, adding another topic to the list of basic competencies that the city is struggling with.
Six months ago, Mayor London Breed put forward reforms to slash the 255 days on average it takes to hire someone by 40%. 6 months later, none of these reforms have been implemented, and no progress has been made, writes Mallory Moench for The Chronicle. The city now has a 11.6% vacant position rate, which is better than the 14% rate it faced a little while ago, but still means 1 in 10 positions remains unfilled.
We cannot expect city services to improve unless we can fill these roles, and we cannot do that until this reform is implemented. We call on SF City Hall to pull together in an “all-hands on deck” effort to fix this problem, fast.
Not-so-leaning Millennium Tower: The $100 Million fix
The Millennium Tower has been a source of concern and frustration for residents within and around the tower, and scorn and ridicule for SF haters everywhere. The luxury building - once and still one of our most expensive - started leaning to a concerning degree, 2 feet in one direction and almost 8 inches in another.
According to J.K. Dineen at The Chronicle, after many years and $100M spent, the issue seems to have been fixed: 18 piles, each designed to support 1 million pounds of weight, have been driven to bedrock 275 feet below street level. 1 inch of tilt has been recovered, and more is expected to follow.
We’re all for housing at GrowSF, and we hope all new housing can be tilt-free!
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The Spirit of San Francisco
There’s a lot to love about our city and the Bay Area. Here’s what makes it great. Brought to you by The Bold Italic.
What we’re doing this week
Bring your dog to Paws-itively Summer
WHEN: Every Saturday in July, 10 AM-noon
WHERE: 1 Warriors Way — San Francisco, CA 94158
Bring your dog to Chase Center’s Thrive City, which hosts a pup park, pup cup bar, and puppy mixers where you can connect with other pet owners. Put on your best outfit and decorate a pet bandana at their craft station, then snap a photo at their “paw-parazzi” photobooth.
4th of July fireworks at Pier 39
WHEN: July 4th, 2023 at 9:30 p.m.
WHERE: Pier 39
Our annual Independence Day activities wouldn’t be complete with barbecued food and firework watching. What better place to watch them in San Francisco than Pier 39? The free show begins at 9:30 p.m.
What we’re writing about
We rented a vintage San Francisco streetcar — then got trashed on it
Do these things when you’re in San Francisco: spend a day at Dolores Park, watch sea lions at Pier 39, and get wasted on an old-school streetcar. What if you could rent that train, invite all the fun people you know, blast music and have a party? You can, and we did.
What does Pride mean to you in 2023?
Pride is both celebration and protest. It began as a riot against police raids at gay bars — most notably Stonewall — and has grown into a broader event promoting acceptance for all who don’t fall under typical gender binaries and a heteronormative society. But how can people celebrate Pride this year, knowing that so many in the LGBTQ+ community are under attack? We asked on Saturday.
SF restaurant standouts from Mexican brunch to upscale Indian
These newcomers or new menus cover the gamut, from upscale Indian to casual Mexican food.
Photos from San Francisco Pride Parade 2023
Everyone brought their smiles. Fierce looks strutted on sidewalks and asphalt, while many others danced from convertibles, floats, and streetcars. SF weather was its typical fickle maiden, giving us both sprinkles in the morning and sunshine as the afternoon wore on.
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