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Author Topic: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF  (Read 5414 times)

TheStranger

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #75 on: December 05, 2022, 05:25:15 AM »

A couple quick comments.

The land below the Central Freeway is already mostly developed. There's 13th St, a dog park, a skate park, and a couple businesses (including a U-Haul) store their vehicles in the parking lots under the viaduct. There's very little land that can be developed as most of it is already in use. The giant parking lot at 11th and Bryant is probably where a new I-80 interchange hits the streets.

When former Mayor Ed Lee proposed converting 280 north of Army (Cesar Chavez) to boulevard, his concept was basically market-rate housing alongside the new street.  In the end, local opposition (ironically championed in part by Embarcadero Freeway teardown advocate ex-mayor Art Agnos) in Dogpatch and the fact CalTrain's rebuild in the area would have cost more with this plan ended up dooming the project.

---

Actually took the Central Freeway again to go towards Japantown today, then took it late at night to head to 80 east.  The regular backup on the Central Freeway is the segment that is no longer 101 (westbound between Van Ness and Market) - a combination of traffic heading to the Hayes Valley restaurants/boutiques and to other surface streets in the area (i.e. to Japantown like myself, or to Franklin Street via Market).

Prior to the 2005 reconfiguration where the structure to Fell was removed, I don't recall traffic west of Van Ness on the freeway being all that notable, but in the 17 years of the current setup, the Market Street light has been the source of congestion since.  Some of the former freeway right of way north of Market has been taken up by a brewpub and the Smitten Ice Cream retail outlet (now closed, sadly, with the chain down to 2 locations).
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Chris Sampang

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #76 on: December 05, 2022, 07:01:40 AM »

Housing is expensive where there are jobs that allow enough people to pay those prices.
You're ignoring the huge role investors and developers have played in propping up real estate prices.
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ZLoth

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #77 on: December 05, 2022, 08:00:49 AM »

That's a lot of words to say a whole lot of nothing, other than perhaps you think California is the only state that works that way, which is wildly incorrect.

Lets see here.... by MSA....
  • Kansas City - 30.4%
  • Wichita - 22.0%

In terms of land area, they represent a small chunk of Kansas. But, in terms of political power, they run Kansas, and the policies made under the Capital Dome in Topeka affect all of the Kansans whether it be KDOR registration fees or gas taxes at the pump.

In terms of population density, California is the #11 state, while Kansas is the #41. In terms of land area, California is almost double the size of Kansas. In terms of Congressional Representatives, Los Angeles county has (until redistricting) eighteen congressional districts either partially or wholly. Kansas has a total of four congressional districts. As for population, Kansas City is the 31st largest MSA with a population of 2,199,490, while Wichita is the 93 largest MSA with a population of 647,919. Combined, they total about 21.9% of the population of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim MSA or 61.5% of the population of the San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley MSA.

Do you actually have anything worthwhile to contribute to these threads about California roads besides how much you hate the state?

When my family moved to California in 1977, it was the state that many people wanted to move to. It is a beautiful state to drive in, especially along the coast and the Sierra Nevadas, including many a nice drive along CA route 70, 49, 88, and 4. I even had a desire to drive US-395 end-to-end.

No, it's not the state I hate, it's the policies and decisions that have been made over the past 40 years that turned California from the Golden State to the Pyrites state. And, some of those wounds have been self-inflicted. The Elvas Freeway in Sacramento (part of CA-51/Business 80) is a congestion choke point going down from three lanes to two near Arden Way. It has never been expanded. There was a plan to replace the Capital City Freeway with one that met Interstate standards, but it was canceled in the late 1970s and what was constructed was turned into a light rail station. There is a desperate need for an additional bridge across the American River between Watt Ave and Sunrise Blvd because of the notorious rush hour congestion. Nope, the best they can do is covert those bridges, along with the Hazel Ave bridge, from two lanes each direction to three. After 9/11, the Folsom Dam road was closed and replaced with the Folsom Lake Crossing. These, along with other mothballed if not outright canceled construction decisions made decades ago, is now coming back to haunt that state. Yet, some of those advocates keep proposing public transit projects. Nice idea, but it only is cost effective if you have dense urban housing. Dense urban housing usually means apartment buildings, which means that the rent check you write every month builds up zero equity, and is subject to increases. While my property taxes go up each year, I should have my home paid off by the end of the decade.

Would I like to talk more about the roads of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana? Oh yes, but circumstances prevented it. In 2019, I moved to North Texas, and had some road trip plans drawn up, only for them to the scuttled into just plan day trip plans due to Covid. In 2020 and 2021, I was also too damn busy leading a team that provides premium support for online conferencing. 2022 looked to finally be a year of driving opportunity, only for gas prices to go sky high. In the middle of this, I became a adult caretaker of my mother having to make the difficult decision to take away her car keys due to health issues and, in turn, curb my own freedom. Since I moved here, I haven't been further north than I-40 (thanks to the Indian Nation Turnpike), further south than Waco, more east than Bossier City, and only once was I further west than Granbury. Because I live so close to work, all I can complain about is the traffic on US-75 on Tuesdays and stare out of my office window at the George Bush Parking Lot in the morning.

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I'm an Engineer. That means I solve problems. Not problems like "What is beauty?", because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy. I solve practical problems and call them "paychecks".

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #78 on: December 05, 2022, 08:12:18 AM »

What gets me is the generalization that the entire state is one way because of the Bay Area or Los Angeles Metro Area.  I guess you missed all the major projects recently in places like District 6 or donít care to recognize them? 

There is a lot of unlikeable things about every state, thatís not a new story.  There is a lot of unlikeable things in California and you left because of them.  I even noted upthread I refused to move to a major city in California due to some of the misgiving you mentioned.  All the same, what  do those misgivings have to do with generalizing the entire state as a single thing when it clearly isnít?  This would be like going onto the Midwest Board about Michigan and Metro Detroit (where I grew up) ruining the entire state when it certainly didnít
« Last Edit: December 05, 2022, 08:16:12 AM by Max Rockatansky »
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kkt

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #79 on: December 05, 2022, 08:27:40 AM »

Well, a lot of the high income areas like S.F. have higher state or local minimum wage than the Federal 'tipped minimum wage' that some states let employers get away with paying.  And many workplaces do pay above the local minimum wage in order to attract workers, or not have to replace them every six months.  And local governments do take some steps to create or maintain some affordable housing, though it's a bit like bailing out a swimming pool with a teaspoon the demand is so high.  I take exception to the "cantagion" comment.  Expensive cities with higher wages and higher costs pop up all over the United States and all over the world.  It's not a disease, it's economics, any place the economy is not so depressed there are no good paying jobs at all.

The workers who manage to live on service job wages in high cost cities are making sacrifices to do so - long commutes, less desirable living areas, living with parents or sharing an apartment with roommates.  Many hope it will be a short term deal and are studying or working to qualify for one of the higher paid jobs in the area.

The workers I feel sorry for are places like Maryland or Georgia where there are certainly expensive areas to live, but the "tipped minimum wage" is a joke that no one could possibly live on and enforcement of a credit to make the wage up to the Federal minimum wage isn't really enforced.

There's plenty of people who look at apartment costs here in Seattle and look at their pay and decide to leave.... and go to a less expensive area... and then discover that yes apartments are a lot cheaper in Virginia or the midwest or somewhere.  But instead of getting $16 an hour plus tips, they're lucky to get $7 including tips, and they're not living any better than they were, and there are fewer chances to move up to a better job.

I suppose it would be worth pointing out that I grew up in the S.F. Bay Area, but I live in Seattle now and have no plans to move back.  Although I still enjoy visiting.

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ZLoth

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #80 on: December 05, 2022, 11:10:36 AM »

All the same, what do those misgivings have to do with generalizing the entire state as a single thing when it clearly isnít?  This would be like going onto the Midwest Board about Michigan and Metro Detroit (where I grew up) ruining the entire state when it certainly didnít.

Scale and scope, plus representation in state and federal decision making. DetroitĖWarrenĖDearborn, MI MSA is only about 4,365,205 people, which is about ⅓ the size of Los Angeles MSA and slightly over the population of the entire state of Oregon. The state of Michigan has 13 congressional districts which is fewer than the county of Los Angeles. The California state legislature consists of a 80 seat assembly and a 40 seat senate, and the districts are drawn by population. And remember, if it weren't for fresh water, Los Angeles would be a desert, so where does it get the water from? The central valley and the Colorado River. Guess which lake is about to hit empty? Lake Mead. Because of water, Los Angeles will not allow California to be split up into multiple pieces.

What most of you are missing is that Los Angeles is large in both population and land area used. Only Texas, New York, and Florida have more people as states than Los Angeles as a MSA. The only MSA bigger than Los Angeles is the New York City MSA, and that is split between the states of New York, New Jersey, and Pike County, PA.
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I'm an Engineer. That means I solve problems. Not problems like "What is beauty?", because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy. I solve practical problems and call them "paychecks".

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #81 on: December 05, 2022, 11:29:57 AM »

My god, do you have some sort of obsession over politics?  I also lived in Chicago, Phoenix and Orlando if you want a fuller break down.  Are you going to give a political critique on all those places as well?  What about major cities Iíve worked?

I donít know, I find this odd having moved as much as I have holding onto an axe to grind with a state I no longer reside in.  Usually when a situation has become untenable for me in one particular state my general tact has been look elsewhere.  You say that you moved to Texas for similar reasons which I can totally get.  What I donít understand is how you can claim to be happy when you clearly are hanging onto political baggage in the place you left. 

Edit: the political premise of this thread and the Central Freeway isnít lost on me for anyone reading this exchange. 
« Last Edit: December 05, 2022, 12:01:03 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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ZLoth

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #82 on: December 05, 2022, 12:35:29 PM »

My god, do you have some sort of obsession over politics?  I also lived in Chicago, Phoenix and Orlando if you want a fuller break down.  Are you going to give a political critique on all those places as well?  What about major cities Iíve worked?

Yes, both by living in the same place for 40 years as well as the political decisions have an effect on the quality of life including attracting and chasing away of residents and businesses and the priority given to transportation projects. They say that the road to hell is based on good intentions. There were plenty of good intentions accumulated over the four decades that caused me to take an opportunity... any opportunity... to escape. The only thing that kept me in California was that I would inherit a home with low property taxes, but everything else? Nope. What is the point in living in "Paradise" if you can't afford to live there?

Chicagoland and, by extension, Illinois is on my list of places NOT to move to, partially based upon the weather, partially based on it's notorious reputation. The other places... besides the weather and the sports teams, not much. When I moved to DFW, I did a in-depth study of where I wanted to live to ensure that I was making the correct decision. Thankfully, this was before the surreal estate period, and I have no regrets about the decision. Now, if only they would complete the I-635 project not to mention the two US-75 projects north of me.
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I'm an Engineer. That means I solve problems. Not problems like "What is beauty?", because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy. I solve practical problems and call them "paychecks".

Bobby5280

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #83 on: December 05, 2022, 12:38:17 PM »

Quote from: kkt
Well, a lot of the high income areas like S.F. have higher state or local minimum wage than the Federal 'tipped minimum wage' that some states let employers get away with paying.  And many workplaces do pay above the local minimum wage in order to attract workers, or not have to replace them every six months.

San Francisco's minimum wage for both tipped and non-tipped employees went up to $16.99 per hour in July. While that sounds like a lot for a minimum wage, a person would have a hard time trying to live on that anywhere in the Bay Area. That especially goes for anywhere inside San Francisco city limits. As I said earlier, San Francisco has had the luxury of drawing labor from low income areas in Oakland to fill a lot of McDonald's type jobs. If the remaining low income neighborhoods in the Bay Area get gentrified what are those service businesses going to do then? It's not like someone is going to commute clear from Stockton to work a job at the In-N-Out Burger on Fisherman's Wharf.

I remember when San Francisco's minimum wage went up to $15. Some people here in Oklahoma were fuming how stupid and "liberal" that was, but conveniently overlooked just how much it costs to live in locations like the Bay Area. Oklahoma's minimum wage is still just $7.52 per hour (the federal level, which hasn't changed since 2008). But living costs here are such that it might be easier for someone to survive on $7.52 per hour here than it is for someone getting paid $17 an hour in San Francisco.

Quote from: kkt
And local governments do take some steps to create or maintain some affordable housing, though it's a bit like bailing out a swimming pool with a teaspoon the demand is so high. I take exception to the "cantagion" comment. Expensive cities with higher wages and higher costs pop up all over the United States and all over the world. It's not a disease, it's economics, any place the economy is not so depressed there are no good paying jobs at all.

There is nothing natural about the "economics" of this situation. San Francisco is hardly alone in this. Cities across the US have made it an overwhelming priority to zone as much land as possible in cities and suburbs to R-1 single family unit homes. There is fierce resistance against building any housing that's deemed "affordable." Build a condo complex with units costing $500K and up? Great! Build units someone making less than $40K per year can afford? Pump the breaks on that crap! We can't have any "riff raff" living nearby! The hypocrisy is these douches depend on a lot of "riff raff" people working at jobs that provide a foundation for their quality of life.

Many cities across the US have created a living situation that is not sustainable. Rent prices actually started easing a little in San Francisco recently. But that is due to factors like people migrating out of the area or sharing an apartment with one or more roommates if they stay. Young people are graduating from college faced with the choice of moving back in with parents or moving to another part of the country in order to afford leaving home. Living with roommates is hardly an "upgrade" over living with parents. Anyone stuck in that position will have a hard time meeting a spouse, getting married and having kids. Many systems in America depend greatly on young adults continuing to do the getting married and having kids dance. Being able to buy or just rent family-sized housing is part of that equation. Too many young people are just getting priced out of parenthood. This doesn't seem like a problem at all right now. But it's going to be a pretty terrible one in about 20 years.
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kkt

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #84 on: December 05, 2022, 01:17:19 PM »

If it weren't for fresh water, Los Angeles would be a desert, so where does it get the water from? The central valley and the Colorado River. Guess which lake is about to hit empty? Lake Mead. Because of water, Los Angeles will not allow California to be split up into multiple pieces.

Since you bring up the water, I should at least point out that most of L.A.'s water comes from the EASTERN side of the Sierra - Mono Lake and the Owens Valley, via the Los Angeles Aquaduct.  Also some from the Colorado River.  Some but not so much from the Central Valley.  Yes, water is and will continue to be a huge problem in the southwestern U.S. and the powers that be have been just kicking the can down the road for decades rather alarm people by doing something that might help.

A lot of water practices are more wasteful than they would need to be.  Yards with decorative thirsty plants, agricultural crops not optimised for the climate.  There's been insufficient motivation to conserve for senior water rights users.

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skluth

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #85 on: December 05, 2022, 01:21:28 PM »

If it weren't for fresh water, Los Angeles would be a desert, so where does it get the water from? The central valley and the Colorado River. Guess which lake is about to hit empty? Lake Mead. Because of water, Los Angeles will not allow California to be split up into multiple pieces.

Since you bring up the water, I should at least point out that most of L.A.'s water comes from the EASTERN side of the Sierra - Mono Lake and the Owens Valley, via the Los Angeles Aquaduct.  Also some from the Colorado River.  Some but not so much from the Central Valley.  Yes, water is and will continue to be a huge problem in the southwestern U.S. and the powers that be have been just kicking the can down the road for decades rather alarm people by doing something that might help.

A lot of water practices are more wasteful than they would need to be.  Yards with decorative thirsty plants, agricultural crops not optimised for the climate.  There's been insufficient motivation to conserve for senior water rights users.

Los Angeles city, yes. But most of Orange County and from east of LA through the Inland Empire gets their water from the Colorado.
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kkt

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #86 on: December 05, 2022, 01:49:04 PM »

It's not primarily a zoning issue.  Based on the hope that developers would build affordable housing, zoning rules were relaxed to allow more midrises... and what did we get?  Affordable housing for people making $40k a year?  You're joking!  We got towers of tiny but premium-looking condos that sell for 3/4 of a million.  And why should developers do anything different?  They don't make as much money making cheap housing.  So they knock down old housing stock that might be 70 years old, evict a bunch of low-income tenants who tolerated poor conditions, and put up towers full of premium-priced condos, make a pile 'o money, and move on.  The low-income tenants move into their cars or tents in parks or homeless shelters or out of the area entirely.

Now Seattle might have predicted this.  They allowed a whole neighborhood of mixed light industrial use and cheap housing to be replaced by Amazon's headquarters.  100K new high-paying jobs, plus loss of the existing cheap housing the neighborhood held before = already bad housing shortages throughout the city made much worse, with more money coming in to bid up what housing there is.

That similar things happen in city after city should be a clue that this IS a problem with our economic system, NOT just one or two cities.  Some very well paid jobs indeed in a city where many others are paid very little.

This is a bad situation.  Bad for young people who don't want to have roommates, and I don't blame them.  Bad for middle aged people who are not going to be getting higher paid jobs to pay higher rent.  We agree about that, I think.  But I am not seeing simple easy way out.
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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #87 on: December 05, 2022, 02:37:18 PM »

The Northeast doesn't have this problem as much. If you look at quality of life rankings, California ranks below most solid blue states (New Mexico is the major exception here and is arguably not solid blue), although still in the top half overall. I think some of it is that you can live on less if you don't drive, and public transit is better in the Northeast due to being less spread out. California's government has also made some questionable decisions (e.g. Proposition 65 may cause cancer, repeatedly changing COVID guidelines in mid-2020, the gig economy law intended for rideshare drivers unintentionally affecting musicians negatively, decriminalization of theft under $950), blunders that the Northeast would not make. In addition, most homeless have shelter in the Northeast while it's comparatively less in California.

I don't know how Oregon, Washington, or Illinois compare. Minnesota does quite well.

Now if we could get New Hampshire's minimum wage above $7.25/hr...
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Bobby5280

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #88 on: December 05, 2022, 03:25:33 PM »

Quote from: kkt
This is a bad situation.  Bad for young people who don't want to have roommates, and I don't blame them.  Bad for middle aged people who are not going to be getting higher paid jobs to pay higher rent.  We agree about that, I think.  But I am not seeing simple easy way out.

There is no simple, easy way out. For one thing, too many people are making too much money off the current housing market paradigm for anything to change. We're not learning any lessons from previous boom-bust cycles either. I was not at all surprised by the Great Recession when it hit in the late 2000's.

To me the current situation feels worse due to so many absurd conditions being present. For instance, there is a massive amount of real estate property sitting empty, just being held like trading cards by investors. It spans everything from penthouses in skinny Manhattan skyscrapers to ordinary homes in small cities. America's real estate market has turned into a global investment playground. Combine that with developers building most new units of housing on the luxury-price end of the spectrum.

I'm afraid we'll have to learn the hard way (again) and suffer consequences in both the near term and long term. Service-sector businesses have been struggling at filling job vacancies. Their struggles are bound to get worse. Meanwhile everyone else seems to think the problem doesn't exist. When they get inconvenienced by staff shortages at a restaurant, grocery store or wherever they barf out the line, "nobody wants to work." They take all the "losers" working those low pay jobs totally for granted.

I probably wouldn't give a damn about this problem either if I didn't have to worry about how it might affect me 20 years from now. I think I'll be eligible to retire and start drawing Social Security by then. But our nation's generational demographics could be a complete shit-show by then -based on how we are royally screwing over so many young adults right now.

It might be kind of fun, in a darkly humorous way, to see San Francisco start reaping what it has sewn in the coming years. This thing with the Central Freeway just seems like them re-arranging the chairs on the Titanic as it's heading toward the ice berg.
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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #89 on: December 05, 2022, 05:00:02 PM »

California's government has also made some questionable decisions (e.g. Proposition 65 may cause cancer, repeatedly changing COVID guidelines in mid-2020, the gig economy law intended for rideshare drivers unintentionally affecting musicians negatively, decriminalization of theft under $950), blunders that the Northeast would not make.

Point of clarification: Most of those laws you cite came not from the legislatures, but from the initiative process. In other words, the people put them on the ballot, and the people passed the law. Even though AB5 came from the legislature, the screwed up fixes came from inititivi-cough, lyft--tes.
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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #90 on: December 05, 2022, 08:38:33 PM »

I wonder if it would be legal to put a tax on VACANT housing.  Hmm.
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Scott5114

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #91 on: December 05, 2022, 09:20:43 PM »

That's a lot of words to say a whole lot of nothing, other than perhaps you think California is the only state that works that way, which is wildly incorrect.

Lets see here.... by MSA....
  • Kansas City - 30.4%
  • Wichita - 22.0%

In terms of land area, they represent a small chunk of Kansas. But, in terms of political power, they run Kansas, and the policies made under the Capital Dome in Topeka affect all of the Kansans whether it be KDOR registration fees or gas taxes at the pump.

In terms of population density, California is the #11 state, while Kansas is the #41. In terms of land area, California is almost double the size of Kansas. In terms of Congressional Representatives, Los Angeles county has (until redistricting) eighteen congressional districts either partially or wholly. Kansas has a total of four congressional districts. As for population, Kansas City is the 31st largest MSA with a population of 2,199,490, while Wichita is the 93 largest MSA with a population of 647,919. Combined, they total about 21.9% of the population of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim MSA or 61.5% of the population of the San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley MSA.

So what? "A few major cities have more population and dominate the rural areas politically" is the case in pretty much every state (barring a few of the really rural states). I just picked Kansas as an example. I could have done the same analysis for Oklahoma, Missouri, New York, or Nevada and I would have got the same results. You are just making it seem like a problem unique to California because you don't like California. (Whether cities controlling the state politically is even a problem is likewise up for debateóI happen to think it's not.)
« Last Edit: December 05, 2022, 09:23:35 PM by Scott5114 »
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Bobby5280

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #92 on: December 05, 2022, 10:03:36 PM »

I thought the Tulsa metro called the shots here in Oklahoma. :biggrin:

Quote from: kkt
I wonder if it would be legal to put a tax on VACANT housing.  Hmm.

While such a thing might be an appealing idea in principal such an idea would be Dead-On-Arrival in any legislative body, federal down to local. Too many people are "getting their beaks wet" in that real estate racket, including lots of elected lawmakers. I'm sure they would have a list of excuses ready, such as having to pay too much in property taxes -although I'm sure these elected millionaires have plenty of loop holes their accountants can exploit to minimize those costs.

A sort of "squatters tax" on vacant real estate might have unintended consequences too. It would really be bad in an economically depressed market. The effects would hit local property owners with just a couple or so properties harder than some rich investor. One of my friends just moved into a new home, but still has an old house his parents owned that's sitting vacant. He needs to do some renovation work before he can put it up for sale. He'd be pretty screwed if he got hit with an extra vacancy tax on top of the property tax he pays already. Rich guys can get out of paying taxes. The rest of us can't. 
« Last Edit: December 05, 2022, 11:11:09 PM by Bobby5280 »
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kkt

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #93 on: December 05, 2022, 10:30:59 PM »

Examples of vacancy taxes I've seen include exemptions for repairs and renovations being done to prepare them for occupancy.
I suppose a person determined to avoid the tax could easily make those take forever.
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Bruce

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #94 on: December 06, 2022, 06:30:13 AM »

San Francisco's minimum wage for both tipped and non-tipped employees went up to $16.99 per hour in July. While that sounds like a lot for a minimum wage, a person would have a hard time trying to live on that anywhere in the Bay Area.

That's lower than I expected. For comparison, Washington's statewide minimum is set to hit $15.74 in January (up from $14.49) and Seattle's city minimum is $18.69 for employers who don't pay medical benefits.
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Scott5114

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #95 on: December 06, 2022, 06:48:16 AM »

San Francisco's minimum wage for both tipped and non-tipped employees went up to $16.99 per hour in July. While that sounds like a lot for a minimum wage, a person would have a hard time trying to live on that anywhere in the Bay Area.

That's lower than I expected. For comparison, Washington's statewide minimum is set to hit $15.74 in January (up from $14.49) and Seattle's city minimum is $18.69 for employers who don't pay medical benefits.

I'm sure the weird change at the end is due to the output of some formula, but couldn't they round up to the next nickel?
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bing101

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #96 on: December 06, 2022, 10:11:10 AM »

On the rare occasion that I attended a show in San Francisco, usually at The Warfield Theater, I would end up taking BART from the Orinda station rather that try to lose my mind crossing the bay bridge and finding parking in that area. The problem is that, when you combine the population of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim and the San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), you are effectively talking about 45.6% of the total population of California in those two areas alone.

As I have stated too many times, I lived in California for 41 years, and so glad to have escaped almost four years ago now. I have no desire to move back or visit.

When I worked in Los Angeles, San Diego and the Inland Empire I would commute in from Phoenix.  My employers back then kept giving me relocation offers to move to California, it just wasnít workable given the cost of living compared to Arizona.  The story was very much the reverse when I was offered a transfer from Orlando to the Central Valley.  As much as you like to paint the entirety of California as consisting of Bay Area/Los Angeles elements donít agree with it isnít the reality across the board.
True too there is more to California besides Bay Area and Los Angeles.

https://www.thereporter.com/2020/10/22/vacaville-launches-california-biomanufacturing-center/
https://www.genengnews.com/topics/bioprocessing/vacaville-unveils-california-biomanufacturing-center/
Here in California we had stories about the Biotech Industry setting up shop in Vacaville, CA which is halfway from Sacramento and San Francisco. But that story got overshadowed with Elon Musk bragging about moving to Austin TX from the San Jose area and got more national attention because of that.
https://www.thereporter.com/2021/07/09/agenus-purchases-site-in-vacaville-for-biomanufacturing-center/
https://www.dailyrepublic.com/all-dr-news/solano-news/vacaville/vacaville-solano-college-at-center-of-new-biomanufacturing-hub/


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bootmii

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #97 on: December 06, 2022, 11:41:01 AM »

A couple quick comments.

The land below the Central Freeway is already mostly developed. There's 13th St, a dog park, a skate park, and a couple businesses (including a U-Haul) store their vehicles in the parking lots under the viaduct. There's very little land that can be developed as most of it is already in use. The giant parking lot at 11th and Bryant is probably where a new I-80 interchange hits the streets.

So what is the thru traffic?  Chopped liver?

This is San Francisco. Thru traffic doesn't rate that highly. You're basically an annoyance to them and if they could get away with banning all thru traffic, they would.

Sorry to be so negative about this but I think I'm just being realistic. I agree it would be nice to have a freeway connection from the south end of the Golden Gate to I-80 or I-280. I just don't believe it's going to happen. If a meteor destroyed everything from Pacific Heights to Union Square, SF residents would probably insist the entire area be rebuilt as a car-free zone. That's the warped political reality of San Francisco.
Pacific Heights, Pacifica/San Bruno? That Pacific Heights? I wouldn't pedestrianize that far.
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citrus

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #98 on: December 06, 2022, 12:21:46 PM »

Okay, I'll bite a bit more here. I would venture a guess that I am the forum member that lives closest to the Central Freeway. The building I live in abuts it. I've lived here for 8+ years. Obviously I moved here knowing it's there, so I'm not going to insist on its removal, but...the removal would probably a net benefit for me.

My local lens is: the Central Freeway does not carry much *thru traffic* - it's mostly traffic bound to and from parts of SF north and especially west. Real thru traffic is on CA-1 or on I-580 over the Richmond Bridge. The other freeway portion that Weiner mentions, the Bayshore Viaduct section, *does* carry a ton of thru traffic that goes from the East Bay to the Peninsula via SF, and there would be a huge impact if it were impacted as well.

Removing the Central Freeway has some benefits, but they are probably small. The biggest benefit is likely to be saving on long-term maintenance costs. There is not a lot of land to reclaim under there (as skluth noted), as the street below is a major surface street. BTW, this doesn't really have anything to do with forcing everyone into bike lanes. The surface street already has protected bike lanes east of Foslom St, and they are in the works west of there as well. You don't need to take down the freeway for people to use those.

The biggest benefit to me, personally? The area down under the freeway tends to be dark, dingy, gross, most people don't wanna be down there so you have a higher concentration of more unsavory activity. And this is worse than other freeways in the city as it is a long, continuous stretch, as opposed to occasional bridges mid-block. The bridge supports also make sightlines at basically every intersection pretty bad (the stretch is on the city's "high injury network"), and the transitions from freeway speeds to surface streets results in drivers being more aggressive than elsewhere in the city other than perhaps that Bay Bridge approaches. The sidewalks are narrow. Removing the freeway _would_ fix all of these problems - and I don't think the drawbacks are that high given that most traffic is relatively local and ends up queued up at a stoplight anyways.

Re: Vacancy tax, lots of speculation, but the City has a commercial property vacancy tax that went into effect this year, and just voted a limited residential property vacancy tax that goes into effect in 2024. So, I suppose we will find out how that works in practice.
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skluth

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Re: Senator Scott Weiner Petitions Caltrans to remove the Central Freeway in SF
« Reply #99 on: December 06, 2022, 01:06:03 PM »

A couple quick comments.

The land below the Central Freeway is already mostly developed. There's 13th St, a dog park, a skate park, and a couple businesses (including a U-Haul) store their vehicles in the parking lots under the viaduct. There's very little land that can be developed as most of it is already in use. The giant parking lot at 11th and Bryant is probably where a new I-80 interchange hits the streets.

So what is the thru traffic?  Chopped liver?

This is San Francisco. Thru traffic doesn't rate that highly. You're basically an annoyance to them and if they could get away with banning all thru traffic, they would.

Sorry to be so negative about this but I think I'm just being realistic. I agree it would be nice to have a freeway connection from the south end of the Golden Gate to I-80 or I-280. I just don't believe it's going to happen. If a meteor destroyed everything from Pacific Heights to Union Square, SF residents would probably insist the entire area be rebuilt as a car-free zone. That's the warped political reality of San Francisco.
Pacific Heights, Pacifica/San Bruno? That Pacific Heights? I wouldn't pedestrianize that far.

Pacific Heights is a neighborhood in San Francisco near the Presidio. The blast I described would wipe out about 10 sq km of the city. For comparison, the Tunguska event wiped out over 2000 sq km while the Berringer Crater in Arizona is about 1.25 sq km.
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