Letters: Keep the newcomers out

San Francisco at 1 million series, The City

Keep the newcomers out

If you build it, they will come. If you don’t, they won’t.

Population growth is a version of family planning. Why is San Francisco concerned with building for a population we don’t have? If The City does not create new housing in its already overpopulated 49 square miles, the population cannot grow. Thus, no need to increase the infrastructure (sewage, public transit, emergency services, etc.) and no need to increase taxes to pay for them.

San Francisco should be concentrating its efforts on making life better for the population it has, not encouraging an increase to its density of 17,000-plus people per square mile.

Jay W. Ensley

San Francisco

➤ “Pedestrian deaths cap bad year,” The City, Thursday

Tell stories behind deaths

Thursday’s San Francisco Examiner reported that in 2013, 20 pedestrians were killed in San Francisco accidents, the highest tally since 2007.

What made this news particularly distressing was the article’s report that just four hours before the end of 2013, a vehicle struck a family of three, killing a 6-year-old girl. Because this accident was so recent, it was understandable that no details were provided on who was at fault in this accident or the other pedestrian death reported on New Year’s Eve.

However, since The City appears to be going in the wrong direction in preventing these tragedies, I would like to read more in-depth reporting on pedestrian deaths and injuries, including who was at fault and any consequences.

Although pedestrians sometimes may be negligent, they are also at a distinct disadvantage to vehicles weighing a ton and a half or more.

John M. Kelly

San Francisco

➤ “Weighing on waterfront’s fate,” The City, Tuesday

Ask voters about projects

The conclusion of the excellent article, that going to the ballot to limit heights on the waterfront could be both costly and risky, is not born out by previous experience of a similar ballot initiative.

Proposition H, passed by voters in 1990, placed restrictions on building within 100 feet of the waterfront. The total cost for that successful ballot initiative did not exceed $32,000, a figure that included $15,000 for signature collections.

That measure was sponsored at the time by San Francisco Tomorrow, an organization of great stature and integrity, in partnership with the then-proactive Residential Builders Association of which I was president at the time.

For the RBA, it was a rite of passage into the political activism that defined our organization for the next decade.

No doubt the same cast of characters who opposed Prop. H in 1990 will be in opposition again — SPUR, the Chamber of Commerce and the Building Trades Council.

Joe O’Donoghue

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