tv [untitled] October 30, 2013 7:30am-8:01am PDT
i think the commission has ideas as well on where it would be a good target point moving forward. i think we'd definitely appreciate that. >> commissioner riley. >> yes. hi, welcome and thank you. this questions for francis 'cause i know -- thank you for handling the language barrier in the clement street area. but the language part is pretty complicated in the chinese community because of the different dialects so do you find that challenging and -- >> i think that's my professional background 'cause i have a multidegree in chinese languages and also i come from hong kong so i'm hopefully fluent in cantonese and mandarin. i think besides the language how you present yourself is going to be a very crucial
factor. even with spanish populations, like, for the last week, i spent almost a whole week time at middle mission 'cause we get a call that the whole 16 to 24 corridor was being sweeped by an attorney that's sending outleters trying to sue chinese business. we go door to door for eight days, i signed up [inaudible] i think two thing is the language that you speak plus the [inaudible] interaction is going to be counted as a part of it, and two, understand the cultural [inaudible] my second mother is asian american so we study a lot with how to working cross cultural situations. >> hm, thank you. >> any other commissioner questions?
we have any public comment on this item? >> mr. president we have one speaker card. members of the public, public comment is limited to three minutes, and we ask you to please state your name but you're not required to do so. >> i've been long involved with people i came now because i see this. i want to make a request or suggestion of you folks is you go back to respective merchant groups, but also of the job squad staff. it's based on a really bizarre negative experience i had several years ago. there was an attorney who was engaging in what i would call drive by ada complaint filings and since job squad assists with this i'm bringing it to their attention. so in the district i live in a supervisor arranged for a meeting with the [inaudible] group about this issue. i got invited.
i had to walk up three flights upstairs. nobody bothered to look for an accessible place. if you're going to talk about constituency and have it at a site that excludes that constituent say sends a very bad message. with that negative experience in mind, i want to ask and suggest when you folks hear of an issue about ada complaints and compliance needing some attention please ask your merchant groups look for an accessible meeting site and the job squad people, maybe you should ask when you're asked to present ask is the meeting site accessible, if not, look for one. excluding people with disabilities and requiring them to walk up three flights
upstairs sends the wrong message. it lets merchants know that people with disabilities think these drive by filings ing should not have been done were extortionist in some ways. i helped some latinos in where we could meet. so there may not be a public building nearby, but there's spaces you can have meetings, presentations from job squad or from other city staff when it comes to talking about access, compliance and responsiveness. thank you. >> thank you. any other members of the public who would like to make comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. are there any other commissioner comments? i'd just like to thank both of you for coming and thank you
for the good work you do 'cause you guys have been out there in the community, i've been hearing about it. your work with the office of small business has been great. i like the collaboration with the two of those so i want to thank you for that. we're all working together as a team for small business, so thank you. >> thank you. >> next item. >> next item is item number six, discussion on the package of policy recommendations from the accessible parking policy advisory committee to increase access and placard misuse. we'll have a presentation. >> welcome. >> thank you. so i'm bob planthold. i chair cal transresponse to their ada lawsuit settlement. i was part of this process and
even before that i helped write the grand jury report in 2007 that called for some changes in state legislation and enstated responsiveness. i'll let lisa introduce herself too. >> i'm lisa foster, a consultant to the sfmta, and i was named project manager for the accessible parking policy advisory committee. did you already say that jessie couldn't come? >> so carla johnson, the interim director of mayor's office on disability and jessie the director of independent living resources of san francisco were both going to be here today and they couldn't make it and they send their apologies so i will be presenting with bob instead. >> on the screen to your left you see a picture of a man
driving a vehicle equipped for use by hand control. part of what we need to make you clear of is description of the problem, then the process we went through, our recommendations and next steps. we want to increase access to parking for people with disabilities, as well as decrease the parking placard abuse or misuse. in gentleman is driving a vehicle equipped with hand controls, has the placard. his problem is not his limitations or his disable. his problem is finding a parking space. people who have disabilities, we can't find the parking we need when we need it close to our destination. that's because current parking policies and state legislation failed to increase access to convenient parking for people
with disabilities. in context, the california state law is very, very broad and maybe even outdated. a person displaying a placard has the right to park for any unlimited amount of time without any payment at any green zone that you merchants pay for. we'll address some of that in our recommendations. now on the screen you'll see a list of the stakeholders. the names may not mean much to you in terms of who we are. there were 16 of us, but 9 of us had a disability. we're going to continue to stress that so you understand this is not a staff driven or staff dominated process /-ft the people with disabilities not only formed a majority of the full body, but we had an internal steering committee and people with disabilities were a majority of the steering
committee. that committee was carla you johnson, myself, the point is you're getting input from the people directly affected by what we're recommending by what we suggested. let's go on then to the next slide. in this slide you'll see several cars parked each displaying a blue placard so we felt there were three challenges to finding parking that we could use. people with disabilities can't find parking, there isn't enough parking turnover to ensure there's parking for everyone and a public perception with people with hidden disabilities.
those hidden disabilities, some people feel if you're not limping, if you're not in a wheelchair you don't deserve a placard, that's not true, but the public then find the use of placards questionable. we need to address that in a larger context. we started to ask criteria -- what will make it easier for us to finds parking in blue zones. will the policy make it easier for people, all of us, you, me, all of us, people with disabilities or not, to find parking in general metered spaces and will these policies reduce placard misuse. with that lisa can take over for a bit. >> on those problems, san francisco and even california are not alone. other cities across the country have tried to tackle the problem that people with
disabilities can't find parking when and where they need it. the slide you're looking at shows a map of the united states and a small portion of canada. the 11 dots represent cities that the city surveyed for best practices. they include philadelphia, houston, new york, chicago and arlington, virginia. we heard from disability rights advocates in some of these cities and cities that have various policies in place to find out what has worked for them. looking at these best practices it bake clear that all successful programs took an approach that integrated three elements -- first, provide for blue zones; second, conduct sufficient enforcement for black placard use and blue zone use, and third, charge placard holders at the meter. we also discovered that cities
had only implemented one or two of these were not as successful. houston established a very rigorous enforcement program giving out 12,000 plus citations a year, but it wasn't until they established some meter payment for placard holders that they really saw a decrease in misuse. >> [inaudible] curb painted blue with the mta symbol. that's the more mall designation of a blue zone. we're recommending increasing the number by almost 70 percent which would bring the total of blue zones up to about 4 percent of meter spaces. that's in line with the ada recommendation. this means that the city would make it easier for us to find
parking nearby. i've done my own informal surveys around the greater civic area and found a lot of problems with people parking in blue zones or in accessible loading zones and not getting tickets and not displaying the placard. but mta's already [inaudible] add more blue zones. that's something we can do. we don't need state approval, authority or money for this. the next slide to increase enforcement of placard abuse, and here again this doesn't require any state law change, but because we talked to the head of security for mta and they gave us the stats on how long and difficult it is to enforce, they're adding three more pco's to the placard detail. we also want the dmv to find a way to code in to the placard
number the photo id of the placard holder. right now most people either have a california id, a california driver's license or for seniors and disabled we also have this photo id card that allows for a discount on transit so there's multiple ids that are government ids that can be used and coded to the number on the placard. the reason is simply that if a pcl is getting out of a car and she goes into a building, they can't automatically know if there's a problem until they actually wait for her to come out. that could be a few hours. but if they can quickly punch in the number on the placard and it shows my face and she's getting out of the vehicle, then they know right away there's a problem. it would make enforce forcement faster.
right now it's very time consuming. that's something dmv would need to do, but there's something else, and lisa will talk about more dmv initiatives. >> the third recommendation is to increase state level 'cause the dmv issues the placards. they recommend that the dmv upgrade its database to the dmv's current database is really outdated. i think it's dos and doesn't have this information in a searchable format. the dmv should also take steps that providers are legitimate and their cigna /kphurs are valid. this will increase the chances for finding placard issuance fraud . the committee also recommends clarifying the eligibility criteria on the application,
but not removing any of the existing eye tier criteria and this would ensure they're issued to people with a functional need for them. >> we'll get to the two that are paired regarding meter payment and use of those funds. california's one of only 15 states that exempts blue placard holders from meter payments. thirty-five states still require placard holders to pay at a meter. those states include arizona and florida, big havens for retirees and for people who age beyond 80. the meter exemption as been around since 1980 and it was started when various veteran's groups pointed out that the
parking meter technology was inaccessible, that the meter head was too high if you were in a wheelchair you couldn't read the signs to know how much to put in, how much time you were getting. you needed to be able to grasp a coin and put in a specific coin. some people don't have real grasping use of their hands and fingers, but they can wrap themselves around special knobs on a steering wheel and manage to drive a vehicle with levers and knobs. the idea was make it free because you couldn't easily use the technology. now we've gotten various technology that makes it possible for people to pay by phone, by a smart card, by any number of ways. what we are suggesting is the state law be amended to allow the authorized and local jurisdiction to require meter payment, but if,
and only if, the technology is fully accessible. if they're still using the old meter heads that are high and you have to put coins in, that jurisdiction will not be able to use it. san francisco is moving to accessible parking meter technology. i'll add a personal point here. i mentioned earlier a transit discount card. seniors and disabled do pay for transit. maybe at a reduced rate, but we do pay. there is no economic basis for why we are getting free parking at the meter. parking costs money, costs money to pave the street, clean the street, paint, pave, that costs money. we should be eligible to pay for that parking service as well as you folks so this is why we're recommending removing the meter
payment exemption. some cities like philadelphia found when they did that the meters in the downtown area were more available. now we have the im/prebgs that there use a family member's placard to drive free or easy. i was there one day and i saw a woman that was in a blue placard vehicle, drove away, came back, got out, took her kid. again, maybe she has a hidden disability, but there's a question of how so many placards are on the street. well, we also went to talk about then if we're going to be asked to pay, rather than just have that go into, if you will, the mta general fund, we're suggesting to direct those
meter payments to fund accessibility improvements. what you see there is an accessible traffic signal so there would be count down, lights, sound, to help people know how much time they had to cross the street so we would be partially self funding some of our own improvements. if there was disability to link payment with funding accessibility improvements. okay, with that i'm going to let lisa finish up. >> the committee's final recommendation is to establish reasonable time limits. they recognize that establishing reasonable time limbs can open up parking spaces and recommend that placard holders have four hour time limits unless the posted time limit is longer. this means if it was two hours they
would have four hours. if it is unlimited it would be unlimited. we talked to and they reported that it seemed to provide sufficient time for people with disabilities to do the things they needed to do. at green zones and meters the committee recommended that placard holders be able to stay up to 30 minutes. as you know, green zones are paid for by qualifying merchants in san francisco and there are short term parking zones to support local businesses. currently placard holders can stay for an unlimited period of time at green zones and we have heard stories of some businesses choosing not to renew their green zones because
it's not helping them, it's not serving the short term parking purposes the way it's supposed to. at the state level the committee recommended that local jurisdictions would have the option of instituting time limits, but no shorter than four hours at regular and blue meters and no shorter than 30 minutes in green zones. to let you know what the next steps are and what we've been up to since the committee released the recommendations in may, we've been conducting a lot of outreach. since may committee members have done 20 presentations to stake holder groups and we had forum open to the public, widely publicized a couple weeks ago as well. this fall and winter we will be seeking support from the sfmta board,
and that date is november 19. in the meantime the sfmta is taking steps to implement items that are under local control including new blue zones and increased enforcement. if approved to move forward we would seek a state sponsor and a state bill could be introduced in 2014 and go into effect in 2015. this is long timeline we're on. today we are here asking the small business commission to support the committee's recommendations to reduce disabled parking placard misuse and increase access for people with disabilities. we have quite a bit of information at our website if you want to
delve into our all research, it's sfmta [inaudible] you want to send via email, parking access as sfmta.com. if you have any questions or comments. >> we have any commissioner comments? >> presentation to the council district merchants we were of our group was henry from that group so that we've already done some outreach to small business and just wanted you to be aware of that too for however you respond to this issue. >> commissioner dooley. >> i want to thank you for your presentation. it was really informative and i think your recommendations seem really valid and serve both the
businesses and disability community so thank you for your work. >> commissioner o'brien. >> i'd agree. thank you for your presentation. i have a couple thins to say. one, i am a victim of getting a green zone for the purposes of giving temporary parking for three different businesses operating out of that building. within a week a relatively close neighbor saw a golden opportunity and used it to park her car there between street cleanings which occurred once a week and i didn't appreciate the outcome that happened after all the trouble we went to get the green zone. she graciously come to the realization that that's not right and she doesn't do it anymore. i would definitely support the idea that there's a time limit for people parking on the green
zone, handicap or not. two, just wondered if, for the purposes of pr, probably more than anything else, have you ever considered having a different colored placard that identifies somebody who may have a handicap that's a hidden handicap so that people -- we see someone who apparently looks like they could compete in the olympic 100 sprint dash and claiming they got a handy cap, to maybe understand. i do have a close relative who is relatively mobile, but suffers chronic arthritis and it arrives without any notice. i understand how somebody could very cynical towards him and yet, i understand why he has a placard. and then the third thing that i would like to put out there
because we're talking about parking central to this discussion, that the sfmta, whom we've had a presentation from before, would revisit the policy of not adding anymore new parking garages to the city of san francisco to not get out of cars and get on to alternative modes of transport. i think this discussion should involve opening up the possibility of at least consideration /tkpweufpbl /tkpw*eupb given to adding new parking garages in the city because that's going to continue to resolving the issue. those are my comments. >> may i answer? on the second one, i appreciate that comment in suggesting
about a different colored placard. that's within the sole jurisdiction of the dmv and state legislature. right now there's two colors, red, which is 6 months or less. blue is permit permanent. we know chicago is going to a gray and yellow one so there is an option for different colors. we can't control that. dmv and the state legislature could control that. that's a topic we could ask them to consider. regarding more parking garages, here again, i don't know how much mta thinks this might be differing with their transit first policy. i would tell you personally that years ago when bill mahr was the head of parking and
traffic, i said to him i think there needs to be city parking lots /o*t in the neighborhoods. nobody ever followed through. i don't have a knee jerk reaction no new garages ever anywhere, but mta is its own large institution and have to be convinced on that. >> [inaudible]. >> thank you. and through the commission president, were there any discussions during the advisory committee, again, sort of through the mta's planning that where some of the projected plans are going to be removing extensive amounts of parking along commercial corridors for blocks and blocks? >> no. >> in terms of how they're address the removal of an accessible parking spaces? >> the idea of removing parking
spaces was not part of our you know consideration. we were looking to expand parking access where parking is allowed. i'll give you examples that we didn't really go into detail. right now the current city policy or guidelines says if there's a tow away zone you don't put a blue placard zone there. well, why can't i still be as responsible as you on monitoring the clock and moving my car if i have one. we're suggesting that mta revise its guidelines so as to allow a blue placard space in a tow away zone on bush or pine or whatever for rush hour so there might be more accessible parking on streets where there isn't any. but >> the committee's recommendation to increase the number of blue zones has prompted the sfmta to