I feel for the church groups and businesses who stand to lose out when the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency implements their proposal to end free Sunday parking meters; however, the SFMTA itself is not to blame for this proposal. As a government agency they need to do what they regard is in their best interest to serve The City’s needs, which includes balancing the Muni budget by increasing parking fees and generating more revenue for The City.
I’ve read several editorial letters denouncing the Sunday parking meter plan, but not one writer identifies the root of the problem. We as voters have only ourselves to blame for giving the SFMTA the power to balance the Muni budget on the backs of motorists. We empowered the SFMTA when the voters approved Proposition E, which amended the City Charter by consolidating Muni and the Department of Parking and Traffic to create a new department called SFMTA.
Before the creation of the SFMTA, the Muni and DPT were fiscally responsible for balancing their own budget. The creation of the SFMTA changed the playing field by allowing the Muni to use parking funds to help balance their budget. The SFMTA raised the bar one step further by capitalizing on The City’s “Transit-First Policy” which was intended “to make Muni a convenient alternative to automobiles.” The unwritten interpretation of “Transit-First Policy” is now to make Muni a convenient alternative to automobiles by increasing parking fees to make Muni a convenient alternative.
I think I’m one of the few that recalls the DPT’s first priority was to ensure unrestricted traffic flow and generating revenue was secondary.
Has the Board of Supervisors lost its collective mind?
First they want to make the Muni free to everyone between the age of 5 and 17 — a very bad idea in itself — and now they want to allow baby-strollers with few, if any, restrictions. The buses are just not wide enough to allow unlimited numbers of strollers. And when you consider the fact that some riders try to bring on everything but the kitchen sink, it becomes even more of a problem.
Irving Q. Waldorf
I am trying to understand the premise in regard to the current use of the Masonic facility atop Nob Hill. If the neighbors were so concerned about “crowds” and that which tends to accompany these crowds, why then, did they allow the facility to be built? It’s like building a church and expecting that there will be no church services held there.
In my youth, one great thing about the Masonic Temple was the chaperoned teen dances. It is truly sad that well organized and supervised events are not offered today. It was a good way to keep youth busy in a positive manner. Just another not-in-my-backyard issue!
William J. Coburn
I am researching the history of the firefighters of Santa Barbara County Fire Department that have died in the line of duty. One of our fallen heroes, William Marxmiller, has San Francisco roots.
When William was killed in 1953, his only survivor was his father, Chester, as he had no children; his only sibling Robert had been killed during World War II; and his mother Irma died in 1948. William was born in San Francisco in 1922 and the family moved to Santa Barbara in 1933.
It is my hope that there is some extended family or friends in the area that can help me with this project.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any information on the Marxmiller family. Thank you.