Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Today is Election Day, so please please please make sure you vote! On the off chance you haven't made up your mind, here are some thoughts on some of the measures on today's ballot:

Yes on AA
Increases the Vehicle Licence Fee in SF by $10 in order to fund road improvements. Raising the cost of car ownership (even by a barely-noticeable amount) is a good thing, and AA specifically allocates $1.25 million for Pedestrian improvements, and another $1.25 million for transit.

No on L
Sidewalks are for people, as the No campaign's slogan says.  Of course they ought to be civil - every corner of society ought to be civil - but measure L does nothing to make sidewalks more civil.  Every horror story proponents cite as a reason why SF needs a sit/lie law describes behavior that is already illegal.  Making it more illegal won't stop it because nobody's there to enforce the law in the first place!

If you're frustrated with bad behavior in public spaces, consider voting for Measure M instead.  Measure M would require the police to create a plan for running foot patrols city-wide, putting cops on the sidewalks instead of taking people off them.

No on 23 and 26
Statewide propositions 23 and 26 may not seem closely related at first read, but they're being funded by the same big out-of-state oil companies.  23 would suspend AB32, California's greenhouse gas law, whenever unemployment is above an arbitrary number.  26 would raise the number of votes required to raise or levy new fees.  26 especially would directly affect San Francisco's efforts to pay for improvements to its pedestrian environment by raising fees on car drivers.

Bert Hill and Robert Raburn for BART board
The entire Bay Area needs BART to do a better job of serving the urban core and promoting good land use.  Its Board of Directors, however, is dominated by representatives of suburban and exurban districts, more interested in running BART tracks to the moon at any cost than connecting to hundreds of thousands of potential riders in SF and Oakland.

Bert Hill is running to replace James Fang in District 8 (PDF) and Robert Raburn is vying for Carole Ward Allen's seat in District 4 (PDF).  Both oppose BART's trend toward expensive and ineffective "blingfrastructure," and would represent the interests of their urban districts well.

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