The Subway Master Plan

I recently authored a piece on Medium on the need to dramatically increase underground transportation throughout San Francisco, and this week I introduced legislation to put create a long-term plan to build more subways. My proposal to create Subway Master Plan drew broad support from transit advocates and urban planners. It is long overdue for San Francisco and the Bay Area to address the underfunded, overcrowded, public transportation system. You can read the coverage by clicking the links to ABC7, CBS SF Bay Area, KQED, NBC Bay Area, sfist, and The SF Appeal.

San Francisco Should Always Have a Subway Under Construction

By Scott Wiener

A couple of years ago, I was with my friend Adam Cohn when he made this simple yet important declaration — “San Francisco should always have a subway under construction.” My first reaction was to think of every possible objection to the concept — too expensive, too disruptive, too controversial, too many difficulties siting subway stations and determining alignments. But, I quickly realized that the statement was both insightful and correct.

San Francisco is experiencing unprecedented growth. The city has 200,000 more people than in the early 1980s and 100,000 more than in the early 2000s. We are growing by about 10,000 people a year and are projected to add another 150,000 residents by 2040. We see the results of this growth on our streets every day, with more and more auto congestion and a harder time for our extensive bus network navigating the streets and meeting schedules. Indeed, Muni buses travel at the slowest average speed of any urban bus system in the country, at just over eight miles per hour on average.

Click here to continue reading.

Helping the Homeless Doesn’t Mean Anything Goes on San Francisco’s Streets

By Scott Wiener

Homelessness and street behavior are eternal issues in San Francisco, on par with Muni’s ups and downs and the perpetual and real anxiety around housing costs. I use the terms “homeless” and “street behavior” separately because, while there’s overlap, they aren’t the same thing. We see plenty of awful street behavior by people who aren’t homeless, and there are many homeless people we never, ever see on our streets, who don’t cause problems for anyone, and who would never engage in the anti-social street behavior so common in our city. It’s important not to broad-brush or stereotype homeless people and to instead focus on providing people with the support they need to succeed while at the same time having zero tolerance for awful behavior by some people — whether or not they are homeless — on our streets.

Click here to continue reading.

Update: I was recently on KQED's Forum where the discussion continued. You can listen to the conversation here.

Investing In Muni Pays Off

A new study shows that for every dollar we invest in Muni, we receive $2-$3 in economic benefit. We've made significant advances in prioritizing Muni and other public transit funding, but we can and should do more. We need to tackle our significant deferred maintenance on Muni, BART, and Caltrain, and expand capacity to account for our growing population. This study shows that these investments -- which are critical for region's environment and quality of life -- have positive economic outcomes. You can read the story here.

Leading The Way With Future-Focused Water Policy

California is currently in a crippling drought, and cities across the state are looking for alternative water conservation measures. The New York Times recently singled out my legislation requiring new developments over 250,000 square feet to recycle water as a "future-focused move." The measure was passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors and makes San Francisco the first city in the United States with such a requirement. You can read the full article about how California is leading the way here.

Let’s Focus Traffic Enforcement on Dangerous Behaviors, Not Minor Bike Violations

By Scott Wiener

Recently, the San Francisco Police Department began focused bike enforcement along the “Wiggle,” a popular and important bike route connecting the Panhandle to Market Street. Cyclists have been cited for a variety of infractions and particularly for failing to obey stop signs. This focused enforcement has caused significant controversy, including a protest during which a large number of cyclists came to complete stops at all intersections, leading to significant traffic snarls.

Click here to continue reading.


 Legislation by Supervisors Wiener and Christensen will allow for new in-law units — which are the most affordable type of non-subsidized housing and are subject to rent control if built within rent-controlled buildings — in unused spaces such as garages, large storage areas, and basements in Districts 8 and 3.

San Francisco, CA-- Today the Board of Supervisors passed two pieces of legislation authored by Supervisors Scott Wiener and Julie Christensen to allow the construction of new in-law units throughout Districts 8 and 3, which they represent on the Board of Supervisors. These two pieces of legislation follow on Supervisor Wiener’s Castro In-Law Unit legislation passed last year, as well as his recently passed legislation to allow for the addition of in-law units in apartment buildings undergoing seismic retrofit. New in-law units must be added within a building’s existing envelope, and new units added in rent-controlled buildings will be rent-controlled as well.

Read the full press release here.

Transit Funding for New Developments

As our city grows, we need to make sure that our transit system is growing with it. I introduced legislation to require that new residential development pay transit impact development fees to reflect the transportation impacts of new development. Funds generated by the fee are invested in transit improvements.  Our current transit impact development fee has a blanket exemption for residential development, meaning even a massive residential development does not automatically pay the fee. This legislation closes that exemption and ensures that as we grow as a city - including adding much-needed housing - our transportation systems grow as well. Adding housing without transit capacity and reliability improvements is a recipe for a big mess. You can read about this long overdue legislation here

Keeping Our Urban Forest Healthy

As our city grows, we need to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect our urban forest. To do this, I introduced legislation to protect trees nearbillboards and other general advertisements, which are often vulnerable to being mutilated to improve viewing of the advertisements. While most advertising companies respect our street trees, others don’t. By requiring anyone conducting tree maintenance within 150 feet of a billboard to get a permit, we can ensure that our street trees aren’t butchered in the name of maintaining billboard visibility. The legislation also strengthens existing requirements to protect street trees during construction by requiring a tree protection plan to be submitted to Public Works prior to the commencement of construction. This is a simple and straightforward requirement and will help ensure that the aesthetic and environmental benefits of our urban forest are protected. You can read more about this legislation here.

Reducing Towing Fees on Stolen Vehicles

For years, victims of car theft have been hit with excessive tow fees when their recovered vehicles have been towed. I've been working with the MTA to fix this unfair system. The Board of Supervisors has passed my legislation to approve a new city towing contract that will dramatically reduce the towing fees for victims of stolen vehicles. Reducing and eliminating towing fees on stolen cars is a significant win for victims of auto theftThe new contract terms call for San Francisco residents to receive a grace period from towing fees of 48 hours, and non-residents to receive a grace period of 24 hours. Currently the grace period for residents is four hours, and for non-residents there is no grace period. Also, the MTA will waive any admin fees for residents and halve the admin fees for non-residents.

Contribute Volunteer


Paid for by Re-Elect Scott Wiener for State Senate 2020. FPPC # 1392654.

Mailing Address: 5940 College Ave., Suite F, Oakland, CA 94618