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The GrowSF Report: Rapid bus lanes coming to Geary after 20+ years
PLUS: Two more home insurers exiting California, over 50,000 affected
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of August 14, 2023:
- Rapid bus lanes coming to Geary after 20+ years
- Two more home insurers exiting California, over 50,000 affected
- Workers at the Nancy Pelosi Federal Building told to work from home due to crime
- Construction stopped on “Hayes Point” tower
- BART Board President Janice Li fined for lobbying violations
Rapid bus lanes coming to Geary after 20+ years
Yep, these bus lanes are old enough to drive.
A transit-improvement process started back in 2002 is finally moving forward. After more than two decades spent talking about a plan to add bus rapid transit lines to Geary, and scaling it down, commuters on the busiest bus line in the city will shave a bit over five minutes off of their daily commutes, writes Ida Mojadad at The Standard.
Some small businesses are worried that a faster bus and losing a single parking space each block will hurt sales, but studies have repeatedly shown that increasing access via public transit helps merchants. Small business owners in San Francisco routinely over-estimate the share of customers that arrive by car vs bus.
San Francisco’s bureaucracy and governmental fetish for meetings let a common-sense improvement languish while commuters paid the price for over twenty years. A city that takes twenty years to paint a lane red has fundamental problems that must be fixed. Chief among them: we must end the process known as “discretionary review” which allows any random person to gum up the gears of government.
Two more home insurers exiting California, over 50,000 affected
Two more home insurers are leaving the CA homeowners market, with AmGUARD and Falls Lake Insurance following Farmers Insurance, State Farm, Allstate, Liberty Mutual and SafeCo in either dropping policies, refusing to renew expiring policies, or removing coverage from the state altogether, writes Matthew Kupfer at The Standard.
High wildfire risks, climate change, high inflation, and exorbitant construction costs have all made the CA market unworkable for these insurers; AmGuard began writing policies in the CA market in 2019 and subsequently saw major losses in 2020, 2021, and 2022. A regulatory framework that makes it difficult for insurers to put in place rate increases made the situation untenable for AmGUARD and others, resulting in the exodus out of the state.
A lack of insurance companies willing to write policies for homes in the state means that homeowners cannot find coverage, something that is required if you are buying a home with a mortgage. Unless our State officials can find a solution, we will be adding yet another impediment to California becoming (and staying) the home to millions of people.
Workers at the Nancy Pelosi Federal Building told to work from home due to crime
The Federal Government is telling its San Francisco employees to work from home due to the crime and miserable street conditions surrounding the Nancy Pelosi Federal Building, writes Kristin J. Bender for The Examiner.
Apparently, the conditions have become so bad that the Speaker Emerita herself asked for more to be done.
“At about the same time the memo was sent, Rep. Pelosi herself met with the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California to express concerns about the safety of workers at the building.”
Construction stopped on “Hayes Point” tower
The $1.2B Hayes Point tower that was supposed to come up at 30 Van Ness was a rare bit of positive news for San Francisco’s commercial real estate sector, bringing 300k square feet of office and retail space and 333 homes to the city. Construction has been put on hold, however, pending commitments from tenants or new capital partners, according to Kevin Truong at The Standard.
The San Francisco real estate market continues to reel from record-high vacancies and low return-to-office numbers, with no solution or end in sight. Lendlease, the developer behind the project, remains optimistic, saying they are looking for a potential restart in 2024.
BART Board President Janice Li fined for lobbying violations
BART Board Director and President Janice Li has been fined $5,275 from the SF Ethics department for lobbying without registering as a lobbyist, writes Eddie Sun for The Standard.
From April 2017 through the end of 2021, Janice Li lobbied city officials 219 times without reporting it, according to the agreement
Director Janice Li lobbied city officials on behalf of the SF Bicycle Coalition, which has recently mounted an anti-autonomous vehicle campaign. If you’re an SF Bike member and would like to voice your frustration over their anti-progress positions, you can cancel your membership by emailing email@example.com.
This improper behavior will weigh heavily on our future endorsement considerations.
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Your Action Plan
Now that you know what’s happening, help us shape what happens next:
Rally for homelessness solutions
Please join small business owners, community leaders and residents from across San Francisco on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023 at 9am in front of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (95 7th St).
The rally will call on the 9th Circuit Court to overturn Judge Donna Ryu’s injunction prohibiting San Francisco from enforcing its laws against public lodging or camping.
Please wear BLUE to show your support!
“Supervisors Matt Dorsey, Rafael Mandelman and Joel Engardio are expected to attend the rally,” writes Annie Gaus in The Standard.
WHEN: Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023 at 9am
WHERE: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (95 7th St).
Back to School: Coffee & Donuts with the School Board
Join the Westside Family Democratic Club for conversation, coffee, & donuts with SF School Board Members Jenny Lam, Lainie Motamedi, and Lisa Weissman-Ward. Co-hosted by GrowSF.
Learn from our school board leaders about their priorities this year, followed by a short Q&A focused on how we can all collaborate to strengthen our public schools.
WHEN: Sunday, August 20, 2023, 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
WHERE: Rossi Playground - Edward St Annex, 61 Edwards Street
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
Free dance day at Yerba Buena Gardens
Happening today! Yerba Buena Gardens transforms into an outdoor dance center where participants can sample dance in a variety of forms and flavors with some of the Bay Area’s most talented teachers. Classes are one-hour long and genres include salsa, bachata, body percussion, rhythm & motion, soul line dance, contemporary dance, dancehall and more.
What we’re writing about
It’s the Outside Lands rewind special edition this week at The Bold Italic.
This is how I enjoyed myself alone at Outside Lands 2023
“For a second year in a row, I launched a three-day solo adventure at my favorite and only festival I attend, Outside Lands. Three very important circumstances keep me coming back for more: It’s cool, it’s local, and however much money I spend on food I save on not buying a hotel room.”
The real question is: How do you have fun at a music festival alone? T Von D. tells us all about it.
Why Foo Fighters still holds my heart after 20 years of seeing them
“In-person Foo Fighters felt a lot more screamy and maybe in an abrasive way, but it grew on me throughout the night. Grohl embodied the moment, he didn’t phone it in. None of it was pre-recorded, and it quickly became obvious that this performance would be distinctive from the next, and the next by this band.” TBI Editor in Chief Saul Sugarman describes why Foo Fighters remains memorable and noteworthy after two decades.
Food and cocktails from Outside Lands 2023 that we’re ready to order again
This year’s Karl the Fog added to the mystique and magic as thousands of people flocked to music, food and drink in Golden Gate Park at Outside Lands. And although prices got even higher for good eats in a post-pandemic market, so too was their high quality. We ate and enjoyed seven dishes and cocktails at OSL 2023 that we can’t wait to try again next year.
Scenes from Outside Lands 2023
This year’s Outside Lands music festival once again delivered us amazing music, greasy food, and plenty of surprises.
Michael Bublé finally made good on a long-running joke by the Foo Fighters and showed up in person. Doctor McSteamy Eric Dane casually dropped by to see Lana Del Ray perform. We loved checking out the fashion, hearing great sound, and feeling all the good vibes from an estimated 225,000 attendees.
These are the women-fronted acts who took over Outside Lands 2023
These female-fronted bands showed up and rocked out all weekend — we give you short reviews of Janelle Monae, Pretty Sick, Maggie Rogers, No Vacation, Coco & Breezy, and Ethel Cain.
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