Stop building high-rises on San Francisco’s waterfront

“Waterfront high-rise approved,” The City, Sept. 4
Stop building high-rises on San Francisco’s waterfront

Just what is going on at City Hall? The story “Waterfront high-rise approved” simply defies logic, let alone any evidence that our city leaders are listening to us residents.
I think we have made it quite clear that we:

  • Do not want high rises on the waterfront;
  • That our housing problem is with the poor and middle-class, NOT the super wealthy;
  • That we do NOT need or want more housing unless or until we have the infrastructure (public transit, water/sewer, parking, safer streets, better police protection, etc.) to support it;
  • And that something be done to seriously and permanently address homelessness and mental health services in this city.

And yet our mayor and the Board of Supervisors forge ahead with more OKs to the rich developers to build more luxury housing — and this time by eliminating 8 stories of parking while only providing 100 parking spaces for 133 residential units and 5,821 square feet of retail space! The continued loss of street and off-street parking is criminal!

These actions are like slapping the “regular folks” in the face because “wealthy people” want to live in San Francisco. Well, that’s too darn bad! Let the rich live where they work — and that sure isn’t in The City. Where are all these rich folks going to park their fancy cars? You know they sure are not going to take Muni.

The City says, “Adding to the supply [of luxury housing] is only going to help things.” What things? They City’s tax base? Sure, but it won’t help improve public transit. It won’t give us more parking. It certainly won’t help the homeless or help the market-rate housing crisis.

The City says the 75 Howard St. luxury high-rise project will “not go before voters” because it is on private property. How is it that The City can dictate to existing provate property owners what we can and can’t do to our private property (rent control, construction, etc.), but all of a sudden they can’t stop a luxury high-rise that only the developer and City Hall want?

Past efforts to stop what our city leaders just approved seems to have gone in one ear and out the other. Besides, if this projected needed Planning Commission approval, why can’t they put a stop to it by simply disapproving it?
They don’t want to stop these projects so they are going to use the “private property” thing to cop out on doing the right thing.

Somehow, some way we have to put a stop to this and take our city back.
John Schambre
San Francisco

“Jaywalking and other poor life decisions,” The City, Aug. 30
Jaywalking is not the problem

Kelly Dessaint’s recent column is counterproductive victim blaming. Contrary to the author’s assertion, Vision Zero isn’t “being interpreted, literally, as the right to not look before stepping off the curb.” The goal of Vision Zero is to eliminate all traffic deaths, and The City is doing that by curtailing the most dangerous behaviors.

“Jaywalking” is not one of the most dangerous behaviors — not by a long shot. In 2/3 of traffic injuries that involve pedestrians, the car driver is responsible. “Jaywalking” isn’t even in the top five causes for pedestrian injury.
Rather than blaming pedestrians — the most vulnerable road users — we should all be focused on eliminating the real dangers that drivers pose (speeding, failing to yield, etc).
Josh Bingham
San Francisco
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