San Francisco might muffle loud tour buses 

click to enlarge Board President David Chiu said that he's "heard from countless residents that their quality of life is being negatively impacted by loudspeaker noise, parking and idling issues" from tour buses in The City.
  • Board President David Chiu said that he's "heard from countless residents that their quality of life is being negatively impacted by loudspeaker noise, parking and idling issues" from tour buses in The City.

City officials are considering new restrictions on San Francisco’s tour bus industry to reduce its annoyance factor without adversely impacting The City’s high-dollar tourism industry.

The Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee meets today to vote on legislation introduced by board President David Chiu that would prohibit open-top tour buses from using amplified sound to communicate with passengers. They could instead use headsets, which is the practice in other tourist destinations such as Paris or Barcelona, Spain.

“While we appreciate the importance of tourism, I’ve heard from countless residents that their quality of life is being negatively impacted by loudspeaker noise, parking and idling issues,” Chiu said Friday. “My hope is that these policy changes will allow for peaceful coexistence between residents and tour buses.”

Another piece of legislation being voted on concerns a 2011 effort by Chiu and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to develop a program regulating other facets of the industry including passenger loading and unloading, long-term parking and tour bus-only stands. The agency is believed to be devising that program.
Supervisor Christina Olague also has requested a hearing during the meeting for transit officials and police to discuss problems related to tour buses.

“Sometimes, these tour buses have an impact on the quality of life in certain residential areas, where people who live by these tourist attractions on Sundays have to deal with noise and congestion of buses,” Olague said. She said The City needs to examine requiring specific routes or other rules for tour buses.

“Right now it’s kind of like the Wild, Wild West,” she said.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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