Wednesday News Roundup
BOARD VOTES TO REIMBURSE STREET ARTISTS, VENDORS DISPLACED BY SUPER BOWL CITY
San Francisco supervisors voted today to reimburse street artists and vendors displaced by Super Bowl City, many of whom lost several weeks worth of income.
The board voted 8-2 today to in support of legislation by Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Jane Kim that would allocate $100,000 for reimbursements of up to $600 each for those most directly affected by street closures for Super Bowl celebrations.
The city closed streets around Justin Herman Plaza and Market Street for nearly three weeks in February for Super Bowl City, a free fan village, displacing 116 spaces normally reserved for artists to sell their wares as well as street vendors with permits to operate in the area.
In testimony before the board, those affected have said they were given little warning and in some cases were incorrectly told that they would be able to continue to operate until shortly before the event.
Peskin today said the $600 payment was so small as to be largely “symbolic,” given the amount of income some potential claimants lost.
“This offers really a very small modicum of support,” he said today. “At this point it really is about showing San Francisco is a city that knows how to take care of its own.”
The fund will be administered by the Arts Commission, which handles permits for street artists, and the city controller’s office.
Supervisors Katy Tang and Scott Wiener voted against the ordinance. Tang said she would prefer to see such issues dealt with before major events rather than after, and noted that the board is still waiting for a final report tallying up the costs and benefits of the city’s Super Bowl 50 celebrations.
Wiener said he could not support the fund because it failed to include merchants such as those in the Castro District, which he represents, who were harmed financially by the shutdown of the F Market Street line during Super Bowl events.
TRANSPORTATION FEE INCREASE FOR DEVELOPERS DEFEATED AFTER BOARD FAILS TO OVERRIDE MAYORAL VETO
An attempt by San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos to override a mayoral veto on legislation that would have increased the amount paid by developers toward transportation met with defeat today.
The Board of Supervisors voted 6-4 this afternoon in support of increasing the transportation sustainability fee charged on large commercial developments, but failed to muster the eight votes needed to override the veto announced by Mayor Ed Lee on March 11.
The board approved a transportation sustainability fee last year that imposed fees on residential development and raised fees on commercial projects up to around $19 per square foot for projects over 100,000 square feet.
However, Avalos and transportation advocacy groups have argued that the fee was set too low. The proposed $2 per square foot increase defeated today would have generated an additional $2.4 million a year and $30 million in one-time revenue for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Avalos said.
In his veto message, Lee said that reopening the discussion over the fee would”undermine the trust of impacted stakeholders and hinder our ability to create consensus in the future.”
Avalos today said the mayor’s approach was not about consensus but about “concessions” to developers.
“This veto underscores the economic bias of Mayor Ed Lee, a bias that favors the wealthy at the expense of working people,” Avalos said. “The SFMTA will be forced to make up for the gap in revenue through increased fares and fines or further defer much-needed maintenance and capital projects.”
Supervisor Scott Wiener rejected the accusation that the fees approved last year favored business interests, arguing that they nearly doubled the amount paid by developers for transportation, from around $26 million a year to $45 million.
“Anyone can always take the position that it’s not enough, but what we did is a gigantic step forward,” Wiener said. “What is being proposed today is very small, it’s not going to accomplish anything, but it makes for good political theater.”
Wiener voted to uphold the veto, along with Board President London Breed and supervisors Katy Tang and Malia Cohen.
WOMAN, INFANT DAUGHTER HIT BY TRUCK NEAR DALY CITY BORDER
A mother cradling her 6-month-old baby daughter was hit by a pickup truck near the San Francisco border with Daly City on Tuesday morning, San Francisco police said today.
Both the 36-year-old woman and her daughter were hospitalized but their injuries are not considered life-threatening. The truck driver was not arrested, police said.
The woman and child were struck by a Toyota Tacoma pickup driven by a 45-year-old man near the corner of San Jose Avenue and Goethe Street at about 7 a.m., police said.
The woman had her child in her arms and was in a crosswalk at the time, according to police.