Adopting NACTO Street Design Guidelines

urban_street_design_guide.jpgStreet design is an important part of ensuring we have livable streets in San Francisco. The National Association of City Transportation Officials (which our own MTA head Ed Reiskin is the current President of) is an organization that brings together the transportation departments of cities all across the country to share ideas on transportation ideas and best practices. Their official guidelines put forward are the embodiment of progressive transportation policies. I've introduced legislation to adopt these guidelines here in San Francisco, which will serve to complement our Better Streets Plan.

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Creating a City Streetlight Policy

streetlightbayview.jpgOur city's streetlights have suffered from neglect and underfunding for years. Part of this stems from our system that divides ownership and maintenance responsibilities between the City and PG&E. This leads to overlap and insufficient coordination. I've introduced a City Streetlight Policy that will establish clear city policies like switching to LED lighting, creating pedestrian scale lighting, and establishing a requirement that burned out streetlights be fixed within 48 hours. Additionally, the policy calls for the City to develop a single, city-managed streetlight program, which requires acquiring PG&E's streetlights. Well-lit streets and sidewalks create a safe and vibrant nighttime environment, and we need a clear policy vision to set us on that path.

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Legislation will allow construction of new in-law units in buildings undergoing either mandatory or voluntary soft-story seismic retrofits, which will incentivize creation of new housing as well as seismic upgrades

San Francisco, CA - Today, Supervisor Scott Wiener will introduce legislation at the Board of Supervisors allowing the construction of new in-law units in buildings that are undergoing either mandatory or voluntary soft-story seismic retrofits.  Adding new in-law units to a building while it is being retrofitted will be efficient and cost-effective for property owners by combining two projects into one, will add new, more affordable housing stock, will provide a financial benefit for owners who are being mandated to perform often expensive retrofits, and will incentivize owners to perform voluntary retrofits.

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Seismic Safety Evaluations for Private Schools

seismic1.jpgPreserving our building stock and keeping people safe when - not if but when - the next earthquake hits must be a top priority here at City Hall. This includes our private schools, which educate 1/3 of our city's children. The Mayor has moved forward with legislation -- which I have co-sponsored -- that will require private schools to undergo a seismic evaluation within the next three years, so that the city and the schools will have a better understanding of what, if any work, needs to be done to improve the safety of these schools. There were some initial concerns from the private school community, but we worked with everyone involved and now the legislation has moved forward. It was approved by the Land Use and Economic Development Committee on Monday, and will head to the full Board of Supervisors for approval next Tuesday.

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Constructing New In-Law Units During Seismic Retrofits

safe_image.php_.jpgProducing new housing and seismically strengthening our existing housing stock are two pressing priorities for our city. To address both these issues, I am introducing legislation to allow in the construction of new in-law units in buildings undergoing seismic retrofits. This will provide a financial benefit to building owners going through our mandatory soft-story retrofit program, as well as encourage them to do more robust retrofits. It will also provide an incentive for more building owners to enter the voluntary soft-story retrofit program, which covers soft story buildings that aren't a part of the mandatory program. This legislation will provide new, low-impact housing in our neighborhoods while making our buildings safer.

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Reforming Towing Fees and Policies for Stolen Cars

towcar.jpgHaving your car stolen is a painful process, and the city is not making it any easier on victims by making them pay large fees when these stolen cars are towed. These fees are set in a contract between MTA and Auto Return -- the private entity that runs the tow yards. This contract is up for renegotiation in 2015, so I have called for an oversight hearing now to explore how MTA, SFPD and Auto Return handle stolen vehicles and what we can do to make this process less onerous on victims of car thefts. One idea is to explore longer periods of time for victims of auto theft to be able to reclaim their cars free of charge.

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In anticipation of expiration of AutoReturn's towing contract in 2015, hearing will explore need to modify new contract to treat owners of towed stolen vehicles more fairly, particularly around exorbitant fees and fines required to retrieve towed stolen vehicles

San Francisco, CA - At today's Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Scott Wiener will call for a hearing to review the city's automobile towing policies and fees with respect to stolen vehicles. At the hearing, the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA), AutoReturn - the private business that provides towing service for the city - and the San Francisco Police Department will be asked to discuss how the city and AutoReturn treat recovered stolen vehicles, including towing policies, how tow fees and penalties are structured, how stolen cars recovered on the street are processed, and how any new contract can be modified to treat the owners of stolen towed vehicles more fairly.

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Castro Street Rainbow Honor Walk Dedication

tom_waddell.jpgToday I attended the unveiling ceremony of the new Rainbow Honor Walk on Castro Street, which recognizes 20 amazing LGBT leaders with sidewalk plaques. Famous LGBT icons like Oscar Wilde and Frida Kahlo and local heroes like Tom Waddell and Randy Shilts will now grace our iconic boulevard. This new walk of fame -- which will eventually be extended down Market Street to Octavia -- is a wonderful celebration of our LGBT community.

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Growing Our Muni Light Rail Fleet

muni001.jpgYou've probably noticed over the past week that Muni's light rail system has been functioning even worse than normal. The fundamental problem with the light rail system is that we don't have enough vehicles. Muni didn't order enough in the 1990s, and because the light rail vehicles (LRVs) have serious defects and are now old, they break down too much, with few if any replacement vehicles available. This week saw a higher than normal failure rate, including mechanical failures and accidents, in addition to the Giants playing at home all week. The situation is unacceptable and, frankly, embarrassing for our world-class city.

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Calling for Hearing on Drought & Legislative Solutions

drought.jpgDuring our ongoing drought, we need to ensure we are effectively managing our limited water supply. We also need to look at possible legislative solutions that we can undertake as a city to improve how we conserve and use water, such as requiring separate water meters in new buildings, instead of the current situation where multiple units rely on a single water meter and thus have no idea of individual water usage. To address these two issues -- water usage practices and legislative solutions -- I've called for a hearing at the Board of Supervisors, which will take place in September.

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

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