Statement on Sheriff Mirkarimi

San Francisco Green Party: Statement in Support of Sheriff Ross
Mirkarimi Remaining in Office as the Duly Elected Sheriff of San

Based on the following criteria, which are vitally important to our
community and to families struggling with domestic conflict, the San
Francisco Green Party strongly supports Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi
remaining in his duly elected office. We will accordingly defend and
support any Supervisor or other decision maker who stands for what is
right in supporting, and where possible voting, in favor of retaining
Ross Mirkarimi as the duly elected Sheriff.

1. We Must Set a Strong Example for Other Families Experiencing
Domestic Conflict

Sheriff Mirkarimi made a powerful public act in admitting his role in
his family's struggle with interpersonal conflict, apologizing and
accepting responsibility for that role, and most importantly,
beginning counseling and education in order to become a better person
and to keep his family healthy and intact. This action has set an
example for other men and families in domestic conflict, to address
their problems by openly admitting them and seeking help.

To punitively remove Sheriff Mirkarimi from office in response to his
important act of taking open public responsibility for his family's
health and well-being would send a terrible message to other families
in conflict. It would show them that to openly admit their problems
and seek help will bring harsh retribution and punishment instead of
support and empowerment. To set such a precedent would encourage other
men and families with domestic conflict problems to adopt the outdated
shame-based approach of seeking to silence themselves and hide their
problems. This would run counter to fundamental principles of good
domestic conflict intervention.

2. We Must Support San Francisco's Ethic of Redemptive Justice

It has long been a powerful ethic in San Francisco to end the
historically failed revenge and punishment-based approach to community
justice. Our experience in San Francisco has clearly shown that is far
more effective to employ methods of prevention rather than reaction,
and to provide those who have entered our justice system with
education, support, and job security, to give them a path to dignity
and redemption, and to becoming better citizens.

These modern methods, founded and championed by the previous Sheriff,
Michael Hennessey, were also strongly supported by Sheriff Mirkarimi
in his role as a Supervisor, resulting in reduced crime his district
and the City as a whole. Sheriff Mirkarimi must be held to the same
standards, and be given the same support, that he has defended
throughout his life of public service

3. We Must Continue the Sheriff's Strong Defense of Undocumented
Citizens, People of Color, Constitutional Rights, and the Right to
Public Protest, Against Unconstitutional Interventions by the Federal

Sheriff Michael Hennessey set an outstanding precedent in the
Sheriff's Department by refusing to the greatest extent possible to
participate in unconstitutional federal 'law enforcement' actions by
the Departments of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, and the FBI, in order to protect undocumented citizens,
people of color, protesters, and our fundamental democratic civil
rights and privacy.

Recently we have witnessed extremely alarming national trends toward
demonizing and disenfranchising undocumented citizens and people of
color, and violently cracking down on public protests like those of
the Occupy movement at the behest of corporate interests. Even more
alarming are recent revelations that the FBI and the San Francisco
Police Department have engaged in secret agreements to
unconstitutionally spy on and investigate people of Arab descent
and/or Islamic faith, peace activists, and others in the name of
'national security.'

It is imperative that we have the strongest, most progressive champion
of civil rights possible in charge of the Sheriff's Department, in
order to ensure that the legacy established by Sheriff Hennessey
continues uninterrupted. It is clear that the public elected Sheriff
Mirkarimi, based on his proven ability to build on his predecessor's
legacy in the face of national political pressure.

4. We Must Not Enable Political Gamesmanship in Our City Government

A misdemeanor conviction in a family conflict case, which the court
itself has decided will be best resolved by family counseling and
education, clearly does not constitute sufficient reason to remove an
effective and dedicated public servant from office.

We can only conclude that members of the Downtown political machine
and its media allies have cynically seized upon this case as a means
of removing the one progressive citywide elected executive in San
Francisco from his position, in order to advance a more reactionary
and corporate-oriented control over our local government and our

Progressives on the Board of Supervisors know well the recent
manipulations by Downtown forces, which have led to retreat from the
progressive accomplishments that we have achieved in San Francisco
over the past decade.

The recent FBI scandal noted above and the Mayor's subsequent veto of
good legislation that would have corrected this problem, as well as
other reactionary policies encroaching in San Francisco, such as the
Sit-Lie Law and the Mayor's use of it to expel Occupy organizers, are
red flags warning us that progressives need to draw a line in the sand
and not allow Downtown to further erode progressive gains in San

We call on the progressives of the Board of Supervisors to therefore
not only do what is right, but also do what is politically wise, and
not allow corporate interests in City Hall to further entrench
themselves by undermining the will of the voters and appointing a
Sheriff who would be far more in line with the interests of the 1%,
than the interests that we as progressives support.

Rick Wolff address to Green Party

Rick Wolff is a well-known Marxist economist and one of the people who first helped organize the Green Party in the United States; he also ran as a Green for Mayor of New Haven.  He gave an address to the to the New York City Green Party several weeks ago about the state of the US economy ("it's over") and what's next.

Wolff was optimistic about the Green Party's chances of helping to lead the country out of this mess, if we spread the message that "the emperor has no clothes" and tell people the truth about the economy.  He suggested that Green ideas for how to democratize workplaces should resonate with people and provide a sensible alternative to both capitalism and state-run economies.

Part of the talk was broadcast on KPFA last Saturday morning.  KPFA is also giving away a Wolff book and CD as premium options for people who become members during their current fund drive, but it doesn't look like the CD is this specific talk.  However, you can watch the talk online or download it from the NYC Green Party site.  There is a one hour talk plus 40 minutes of Q&A, and it's well worth watching for Green Party members and others who share our values.

SF Green Party supports boycott and divestment of Israel

Resolved by the San Francisco Green Party:

Because all other nonviolent and diplomatic means of resolving the
crisis in Palestine/Israel have consistently failed for over four
decades, the San Francisco Green Party sees a worldwide boycott and
divestment of Israel as the only remaining viable option to bringing
an end to the crisis.

Therefore the San Francisco Green Party is now actively engaging in a
full boycott of all purchases of products and services, the financial
gains of which will accrue to any individual or entity within Israel,
until Israel is in compliance with all United Nations-recognized
international laws; all resolutions of the United Nations General
Assembly and Security Council; and, all decisions and directions by
all United Nations-recognized international courts, regardless of
Israel's participation in or ratification of such courts.

The San Francisco Green Party calls upon all of its members, and all
San Francisco residents, businesses, nonprofits, educational
institutions, and political parties to join in the worldwide boycott
and divestment of Israel.

The San Francisco Green Party calls upon the City and County of San
Francisco, by action of its Board of Supervisors and Mayor, to
likewise engage in a full boycott and divestment of Israel.

The San Francisco Green Party also calls upon the United States
government to immediately cease all civilian economic and material
support to Israel until Israel complies with all international laws,
resolutions, and court decisions.

Finally, the San Francisco Green Party demands that the United States
government immediately and permanently cease all funding and material
support to the Israel military.


As part of the Green Party of California and the Green Party of the United States, many of our political positions are expressed in our state platform and national platform.  However, as a party that honors the values of Decentralization and Grassroots Democracy, we formulate policy locally before building consensus in larger groups.  Therefore, we take positions on issues at all levels, from local to international.

Our local platform currently contains only a Transportation Plank.

Other relevant platforms are those of

SFGP Transportation Plank

Transportation Plank
Adopted by the SFGP on 10/20/04

We also provide a formatted version of this plank (PDF).

The San Francisco Green Party believes that good local transit is an
essential element of a safe, healthy, attractive, and livable city.
Public transit should be an efficient, reliable and appealing option
for all people, not just a last option for those who have no other
choice.  Walking and bicycling should be promoted as healthy and safe
options for the able-bodied.  Taxi service must be improved without
compromising safety or livelihoods of the drivers.  Cars should be
accommodated gracefully in planning, but no longer given priority over
other forms of transit.  Traffic reduction is a goal.  We advocate
that drivers should pay more of the true costs of automobile operation
and parking, which are currently subsidized at the expense of other
means of transit.  The majority of the cost of improving our transit
systems should be paid for through progressive tax policies.

The southeast neighborhoods of our city bear a particularly high share
of transportation costs in the form of air pollution from freeways.
Although transit improvements are necessary in all our neighborhoods,
the southeast neighborhoods should be compensated with an increased
share of transit-related spending.

Several of the following proposals require changes in state law; we
ask that our local legislators and representatives attempt to change
California law to enable San Francisco to control these aspects of our
transit policy.

This plank will be supplemented and amended by other planks we will
adopt in the future, including a plank on Housing and Land Use.


Our present transportation system has created a monopoly on a very
basic need: mobility.  Its primary function has been to nourish and
coddle the massive energy and automobile corporations.  This has
resulted in a loss of power for the common person.  Specifically,
these industries have created false needs through advertising and
manipulated statistics in order to foster a fruitless competition for
status at the expense of good transportation for all.

Taking back the power to meet our own needs means we will have to
overcome our addiction to the automobile as a symbol of freedom and
success.  This will be a process involving many different
interconnected and interdependent factors which therefore need to be
implemented in a coordinated fashion.  This ever-evolving document
outlines many local aspects of that process.  It is a collection of
policies intended to work in conjunction with each other to eventually
create a vastly improved system of transportation that supersedes
economic class and means.

This plank addresses a deep crisis which our mainstream leadership
refuses to honestly acknowledge.  To do so would seriously jeopardize
the status quo, which is the bedrock of economic stability and profits
for an elite few.  Consequently, taking on this leadership means we
are also taking on some hard and perhaps unpleasant challenges for
many of us.  However, to continue on our current path would mean slow
suicide for us as well as the Earth over the next several generations.

A. Transit Justice

Many of our current means of funding transit are regressive: a much
higher share of the incomes of working class people is consumed
through sales taxes and fixed fees.  We advocate moving to more
progressive forms of funding.  We support efforts to relieve the air
pollution in the southeast neighborhoods of the city, which is caused
in part by freeways with diesel trucks, and advocate for special
attention to be given to improving transit in these neighborhoods.

The San Francisco Green Party advocates:

1. Recruitment of neighborhood residents for a major share of the new
jobs created by transit projects which have an impact on those
neighborhoods, such as the 3rd Street Light Rail.

2. Employment by Muni of an increased number of San Francisco
residents for jobs at all levels, so that income from these jobs
stays in the City.

3. Conversion of Muni buses in the southeast neighborhoods to electric
or less-polluting technology such as CNG (compressed natural gas),
to mitigate air quality problems caused by the freeways and other
sources such as power plants.  Such conversion will reduce
particulate pollution in these neighborhoods.

4. Creation of a local progressive vehicle registration fee, which
would mainly apply to luxury cars and/or multi-car households,
combined with state subsidies for low income families to either
turn to reduced-fuel forms of transportation, non-fuel, public
transportation, etc, with the objective of dramatically reducing
gas-dependent transportation.  The fee could be based on the engine
size, weight, fuel type and efficiency, and value of the vehicle.
This fee could be partially offset by a transportation tax credit
for all San Franciscans, including those who do not rely on cars
for transit.  The net effect would be to raise revenue, while
rewarding non-drivers and drivers of smaller, less-polluting, and
more efficient cars.  We want to ensure the total impact of these
changes is not regressive and not adversely affect people with
disabilities.  This would be a much more equitable distribution of
the tax burden, which currently taxes drivers and non-drivers
equally to fund oil wars.

5. Gradual elimination of subsidies for automobile commuters, such as
free or below market rate parking in areas where commuters park.
Current subsidies mask the true costs of commuting by car,
encouraging driving over more environmentally and economically
sustainable modes of transit.

6. Increasing the share of transit costs to be paid by developers at
the time of new development, based on the anticipated impact of the
development on public transportation costs (including street
traffic).  In addition, the Planning Department should aggressively
collect all past unpaid fees from developers.

7. Increasing the share of public transit costs that are paid by the
largest businesses which profit the most from our current
car-oriented culture, including the ballpark, utilities, and other
businesses with gross receipts exceeding $5 million per year.

8. Planning on a regional level that incorporates more dense housing
development (see section G) along corridors rich in public transit.
Planning should take into account the transit impact of commuters
as well as residents: areas such as San Francisco, which have a
higher daytime population due to commuters, should receive a higher
share of funds and have greater representation on regional planning

9. Democratic reform of the commissions that determine our transit
policy and spending priorities.  Representatives on each committee
should reflect the diverse range of people being served by transit.
Representatives on the most important commissions should be
democratically elected, pending campaign finance reform, and other
commissions should be appointed by a variety of elected officials
(e.g., district supervisors).

10. Amendment of San Francisco's environmental review procedures, as
required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), so
that traffic changes that are a result of improvements to the
environment for pedestrians, transit, and bicycle riding are not
subject to lengthy and time-consuming environmental impact
reports, provided that such improvements would not result in an
increase in car vehicle miles traveled.

B. Muni and Regional Transit

In order to increase use of Muni, public transit needs to be safe,
efficient, affordable, reliable, and appealing.  Muni's performance
should be improved to the point where it's an attractive option for
most people going about their daily business, not just those commuting
to and from work.  Funding for Muni should be increased and operating
costs should be shifted to sources other than the riders.  Public
transit should eventually be free to riders, funded by all citizens as
are public parks, public schools, and public libraries.  Increased
Muni ridership benefits everybody: businesses get the added benefit of
more mobile customers, drivers benefit from less congestion, and
everybody enjoys better air quality.

The San Francisco Green Party advocates:

1. Creation of a citywide bus rapid transit (BRT) network to ensure
that people can reliably travel between most neighborhoods in half
an hour or less.  This would entail the development of a system of
dedicated bus lanes and traffic lights controlled by Muni operators
along major transit corridors.

2. Gradual replacement of the citywide BRT system with light rail.
Light rail should then be expanded into neighborhoods that will
benefit from improved rider experience and faster movement.
Expansions that have the least per-rider cost and that help the
lowest-income riders should be the first priority.

3. Immediately roll fares back to $1 ($35 for Fastpasses) and make
Muni free to youth, seniors, and persons with disabilities.
Continue to roll back fares towards zero as new funding sources
become available.

4. Ensure that as long as riders have to pay fares, frequent riders
receive a substantial discount for use of the Fastpass, which
speeds boarding time and encourages casual ridership.

5. As long as riders have to pay fares, expand Proof of Payment to all
Muni routes to decrease boarding times.

6. Expand programs which enable employees to pay for public transit
with pre-tax earnings.

7. Maintain infrastructure in good repair so less money is spent on
equipment failures and emergencies.

8. Eliminate redundant Muni stops on the same line that are only one
block apart, except in hilly areas where this would pose a major
inconvenience for riders.

9. Ensure faster service by allowing all Muni buses and trains to
control traffic signals as they approach.  Replace stop signs along
the busiest Muni routes with controlled traffic lights.

10. Create clearer marking for transit priority corridors and lanes
and enforce them more aggressively, especially parking violations
in bus and rail lanes.  Gradually designate more lanes as transit
priority lanes.

11. Establish timed, no-wait transfers at key junctions between
Muni lines.

12. Expand Nextbus or equivalent service to all lines.

13. Transition the Muni fleet to cleaner-fuel and electric buses, and
buy new low-floor vehicles to ensure easier boarding.

14. Extend Caltrain downtown, electrify it, and coordinate Muni bus
arrivals and departures with the Caltrain schedule.

15. Improve transfers between all public transit systems in the City:
in particular, allow direct Muni-BART transfers at Civic Center
and Embarcadero stations, and improve connections at Balboa Park
and Glen Park stations.

16. Maintain 24-hour OWL service on major routes to ensure people can
safely walk the distance to the nearest line.  If ridership is
low, run idle paratransit buses at night on these routes to save

17. Institute "class pass" programs at the city's colleges in which
fares are prepaid as part of school fees, similar to the program
at UC Berkeley, but not subsidized by students.  Institute student
discounts on Fastpasses for all students, to cover those unable to
participate in these programs.

18. Include the cost of a monthly Fastpass in residential parking
permits to give drivers the option of taking Muni at no additional

19. Improve transit service in the southeast part of SF.
Specifically, build a new Caltrain station at Oakdale Avenue to
better serve the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood.  Improve the
Bayshore station with direct connections to the Third Street light
rail and Geneva Avenue buses to better serve the Visitacion Valley

20. Direct more regional funding toward Muni's operating costs rather
than expensive capital projects.

21. Improve scheduling such that Muni drivers and other transit
operators work shifts and hours they deem reasonable.  In
addition, all Muni employees who work split shifts (both rush
hours) should be considered full-time and earn equivalent hourly
rates and benefits.

22. Build the "G line" and run it from Market Street, and then along
the N-Judah line to 9th Avenue and into Golden Gate Park.  Operate
historic streetcars on this line.  This would be relatively
inexpensive compared to other new light rail projects, and provide
a more convenient way to the park than driving for many people,
especially those coming on BART from outside the City.

23. Mandate that BART charge for parking at all BART parking lots,
and lower fares for the riders.

24. Improved access to MUNI for persons with disabilities.

25. Encourage the simplest possible transfer between new transit

C. Parking:

Parking has a huge impact on our transportation system.  Every car
occupies space at its owner's residence and three to four spaces
elsewhere.  Space used for the storage of private automobiles amounts
to vast areas of pavement and building space that could be used for
parks, natural areas, public recreation, housing, retail, sidewalks,
bicycle lanes, transit lanes, or many other public benefits.  With 210
million square feet in San Francisco dedicated to car parking, even a
reduction of 10 percent in the amount of space we need to store our
cars would free up 21 million square feet!  Providing so much parking
also subsidizes car use by San Francisco residents and visitors and
discourages use of transit, walking, and bicycling.  Parking also
reduces population densities, requiring people to travel greater
distances to meet their needs, and obstructs efficient and safe
travel by walking, bicycle, and transit.

The San Francisco Green Party recommends that the City:

1. Allow conversion of garages in private homes to living quarters.
In most areas of the city, current law forbids a homeowner from
adding a housing unit unless the homeowner also adds a parking
space.  These "in-law" units, in converted basements, garages and
carriage houses, will provide housing that will in most cases be
less expensive than standard apartments and closer to jobs and
transit than housing outside the City.  Such units will also reduce
the use of automobiles by reducing storage capacity, and thus
reduce congestion on City streets.

2. Legally protect all existing "in-law" units and protect tenants who
currently live in these units from eviction.

3. Prohibit new public parking facilities in the downtown district
north of Townsend and Division, east of South Van Ness and Van Ness
Avenues, and within 500 feet of a transit preferential street
anywhere in San Francisco.  A few cities in the U.S. and many in
Europe have reduced parking in their downtowns as a means to reduce
traffic and promote alternatives to the automobile; San Francisco
should emulate these successful programs.

4. Increase the tax on commercial parking lot operators. Currently, a
25 percent tax on parking lot operators' receipts (which are exempt
from the regular sales tax) generates roughly $50 million a year,
not nearly enough to compensate for the impact of such parking
facilities on public transit and urban livability.  The tax should
be increased substantially to devalue the use of land as parking
lots, to discourage driving, and to generate public funds.  Such
taxes are progressive user fees, paid primarily by non San
Franciscans who commute to high-paying jobs, offering collateral
benefits to transit passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

5. Eliminate parking requirements for new housing, starting with
affordable, senior, and SRO housing, and institute maximum parking
limits for new housing.  The specific maximum limits should vary by
neighborhood, ranging from a high limit of one parking space per
housing unit in less transit-friendly areas such as parts of the
Sunset and Bayview, to a low limit of .25 parking spaces per
housing unit in neighborhoods such as downtown, North Beach, and
the Mission, which are densely populated, already congested with
traffic, and well-served by transit.  Parking requirements in new
housing are subsidized by developers for the private benefit of
relatively wealthy housing consumers.  These changes will result in
lower housing prices for consumers as well as higher profit margins
for developers.  Parking requirements should never be an impediment
to housing construction.

6. Allow non-independently accessible parking to meet parking
requirements for new housing, until such requirements are
eliminated.  Require that parking be sold and rented separately
from multi-unit housing, so that people who have no need for a
parking space are not mandated to purchase one when they buy or
rent a condominium or apartment.

7. Reform the residential parking permit program to provide parking
for people who truly need it, and raise revenue by charging a fair
price for that parking.  Our current practice of giving a large
number of permits to one individual at very low cost severely
undervalues precious urban space.  While it costs hundreds of
dollars a month to store a few thousand pounds of private property,
it's free in most neighborhoods to store a private car on the
public streets.  This is a disservice to people most in need of
on-street parking and who should be willing to pay for it.  People
should pay market price for on-street parking.  However, any
transition to a system where people pay higher prices should
protect current residents by grandfathering in current prices until
people move.  A good portion of the money generated by parking fees
should remain in the neighborhood to be used for neighborhood
amenities as advised by local committees.  Parking in front of
driveways should be permitted as reserved, personal parking, but
users should pay a premium.

8. Convert certain public garages and lots to housing.  Above-ground
parking lots are a menace to lively street life and can cause great
disruption to transit and bicycle traffic.  The city should
identify a few garages and parking lots and acquire the property,
or otherwise cause the property to be converted to housing.

9. Mandate car-sharing parking pods in every neighborhood and in new
developments, preferably in highly visible and accessible
locations.  Car-sharing permits residents to have access to cars
without having to invest in permanent ownership.  The pay-per-use
system of car-share cooperatives and nonprofits saves residents
money and reduces car use.

10. Encourage businesses to be "green."  Free parking forces customers
who do not drive to subsidize customers who do drive.  The San
Francisco Green Party encourages businesses to charge for parking
or provide a financial benefit equal to the subsidized cost of
parking to customers who do not drive.

11. Ban parking garages in city parks.  Institute a moratorium on new
municipal parking garages and lots.  The city should meet
transportation needs through balanced provision of alternatives to
driving, and, in the short term, more intensive use of existing
parking lots.

12. Charge market rates at all off-street parking facilities owned or
operated by San Francisco in areas well served by Muni, with a few
exceptions for spaces reserved for night shift workers, emergency
personnel, or workers who are required to use their personal
vehicles for their job.

13. Eliminate free VIP parking at the airport.

14. Dramatically increase the cost of new curb cuts to make way for
new driveways to garages.  Curb cuts for new or widened driveways
result in the elimination of public parking space, often in the
removal of trees, and the transformation of sidewalk right-of-ways
into driveways.  The cost of new curb cuts should be proportional
to the length of the cut, and increase with each tree removed.
All trees removed should be replaced, on the same block wherever
possible.  Mandate that trees be indicated in plans, and
inspections conducted prior to issuing building permits.

15. Enforce existing zoning laws against the paving of front yards to
provide parking.

16. Convert one car space at the forward-facing end of some city
blocks to motorcycle-only parking, especially in areas in which
motorcycle-parking is practically non-existent.  Priority should
be given in cases where a large car or SUV parked in the space
would block drivers' vision and present a safety hazard to
pedestrians and other drivers.  Install physical barriers to
protect motorcycles in such parking spaces from being hit by
careless drivers.

17. Allow dedicated motorcycle parking on sections of curbs between
driveways that are too small for cars.  Many of these areas are
currently painted red.  These spaces should be illegal for cars,
but legal for motorcycles, and different markings (e.g., striping
on the curb or street) should be used to indicate this.

18.  Any new parking should be constructed underground.

19.  Require neighborhood notification for any decrease in on-street
parking or increase in off-street parking.

D. Taxis

Taxis account for a significant portion of the trips made each year in
San Francisco.  Taxis operate almost continuously; they therefore
contribute proportionally less to most forms of air pollution than private
automobiles, as cars produce more air pollution in the first half hour
of operation.  San Francisco's cabs should thus be acknowledged
as a vital part of the city's Transit First policy.

To this end, the San Francisco Green Party recommends that the City:

1. Implement one of the following options, which would create a
professional class of drivers with city-sponsored health care and
other benefits:

i. Municipalize the taxi system.  Cabs would be owned by the City and
driven by employee drivers.  Under this system, drivers would be
paid an hourly wage plus commission for any fares over 15 to 20 per
shift; or,

ii. Provide drivers with city-sponsored benefits, but maintain the
existing system of private vehicle ownership.

2. Retain the cap on gate fees that companies charge drivers as long
as taxis remain in private hands.

3. Establish centralized dispatch.  Currently cab companies either
have their own dispatch service or affiliate with one.  However,
because independent cab drivers (and not their passengers) are
clients of cab companies who are responsible for dispatch, there is
currently no direct incentive for cab companies to improve
dispatch efficiency.

4. Subsidize taxis for the purpose of supplementing Muni.  People who
work unusual hours need dependable and affordable transportation.
Taxis can fulfill this need; in many cases, this would be cheaper
for the city than expanding bus service along certain routes at
certain times.

5. Incorporate taxis into any future local and regional Translink pass
systems to ease the transition from buses and BART to cabs.

6. Require taxi companies to take credit/debit cards.

7. Create cab stands at the termini of Muni lines, major transit
junctions, commercial areas, and in parts of the city underserved
by Muni OWL service and other forms of transit.  Cab stands are
good for drivers, riders and the environment.

8. Create transit-only streets that can be used by Muni and cabs.
(see section G).

9. Require that all cabs be replaced by low-emission or zero-emission
vehicles once such vehicles appropriate for taxi purposes become
available; the new vehicles would be phased in as old cabs are

10. Require that cabs be inspected a minimum of two times in the first
year and thereafter four times a year.  The average cab in San
Francisco is driven about 100,000 miles per year, and cars that
are tuned up generate less pollution.

11.  Require drivers be trained to avoid bikes.

E.  Pedestrians

At some point in the day, almost everyone is a pedestrian.  The
advantages of walking are borne out in both the health of pedestrians
and the health of the environment itself.  The San Francisco Green
Party challenges the city to lower the number of households with cars
from the current rate of about 30 percent.  One part of our proposed
solution is to improve three main areas of pedestrian welfare: safety,
health and access.  At the same time, we should increase the number
of retail stores, libraries, schools, restaurants and other services
within each neighborhood - perhaps on the ground floors of buildings
that once had garages - in such a way as to make every neighborhood
self-sufficient or nearly self-sufficient.

The San Francisco Green Party encourages the City to:

1. Require police and parking control officers to enforce laws which
improve pedestrian safety and convenience.  Aggressively enforce
violations of pedestrian rights-of-way such as parking on

2. Dedicate more City funds to pedestrian projects such as safety
awareness, zebra striping, lighted crosswalks, and countdown signals.
Redesign crosswalks in high-density neighborhoods with many
pedestrians (e.g., Haight Street, Chinatown, and others) to allow
for diagonal crossing during a traffic signal cycle in which lights
are red in both directions.

3. Combine doubling of speeding fines in problem areas, such 19th
Avenue, with increased enforcement of speed laws.  As success is
achieved in these areas, step up enforcement in other parts of the

4. Make walking more attractive by planting more trees along
sidewalks, ensuring their well-being, and enforcing laws to prevent
them from being trimmed improperly and/or destroyed.  Increase the
number of benches on sidewalks, while complying with the Americans
with Disabilities Act.  The City must pay for upkeeps of its own

5. Encourage changes in state law such that pedestrian injuries and
deaths as a result of moving violations result in much more severe
penalties.  Currently, unless intent can be proved, motorists are
only charged with moving violations.

6. Tow vehicles that block the right of way of pedestrians when
violations are observed by parking control officers, rather than
waiting for someone to call DPT.

7. When designing sidewalks, use level of service standards that
account for pedestrians in motion, not just those waiting to cross
streets at intersections or in pedestrian crosswalks.  Such a
change would encourage planners to design wider sidewalks.

8. Increase traffic-calming measures that improve safety for
pedestrians.  Such measures include narrowing streets, planting
trees, and pedestrian bulbouts, among others.

9. Construct pedestrian bulbouts in such a way that bike lanes go
through them, or in such a way that bikes waiting to go through
intersections serve as a buffer between pedestrians in the
crosswalks and cars (which wait behind the bikes).

10. Enforce existing laws regarding operation of motorized vehicles
on sidewalks.  The only legal vehicles are motorized wheelchairs
traveling at eight miles per hour or less, and cars and
motorcycles entering or leaving garages.

F. Bikes

Bicycling is quiet, clean, practically free, and personally healthful.
Bicycling, like walking but to a lesser degree, is an antidote to
alienation, encouraging interaction with and engagement in the public
life of the streets.  It provides independent, door-to-door
transportation for every able-bodied person, and can even provide
mobility for physically impaired people who find it difficult to walk.
In a city where most trips are under five miles, bicycling should
become a first-choice transportation means for at least 10 percent of
all trips within the City.  San Francisco should support all measures
to remove the obstacles that prevent residents and visitors from
enjoying easy, safe, and pleasurable bicycling to any destination in
the City.

The San Francisco Green Party recommends the following measures to
accomplish this:

1. Allocate substantial funds over the long term to bicycle planning,
infrastructure, and promotion.

2. Build a complete citywide bicycle network that provides separated
bike paths, bike lanes, and streets on which it is safe to bicycle.

3. Create more and better bicycle parking.  Sidewalk bike parking
should be as ubiquitous as possible without blocking pedestrians or
violating ADA requirements.  Workplaces should provide bicycle
parking indoors, and showers and lockers for bicycle commuters.
Every parking garage should comply with the law requiring secure
bicycle parking and the advertising of such, and the law should be
strengthened to require monitoring of the bicycle parking area by a
security camera or attendant.  All major transit stations should
provide secure, covered bicycle parking.

4. Improve design of bike racks and bicycle access on Muni, BART, and

5. Include bicycle safety information in driver education courses.
Fund mandatory bicycle education, including safe operation and
social aspects, in our schools for children age 10 to 12.

6. Provide funding for bicycle cooperatives that offer less expensive
bikes for sale and rental to those who can not afford them.  These
co-ops would also provide a place to repair and learn about bikes -
especially health and safety.  Co-ops could also sponsor teach-ins
which would strive to reach out to potential cyclists and anyone
who wants to participate in making transportation better for all.

7. Instruct San Francisco police to deprioritize bicycle violations at
stop signs and red lights where bicyclists yield the right-of-way,
and urge the California legislature to amend the Vehicle Code to
adopt the Idaho vehicle code's unique treatment of bicycle behavior
at intersections: yield at STOP signs and STOP (then proceed) at
red lights.

8. Establish bike patrols that ensure that bike lanes are clear during
all times, especially commute hours.

G.  Streets and Cars

The San Francisco Green Party recognizes the need of many people to use
cars for business and personal reasons.  However:

i. World fossil fuel supplies are dwindling and, as yet, there is no
viable, cheap alternative to gasoline or natural gas.

ii. The number of dwelling units in San Francisco has increased by
approximately 34,000 while the number of cars has increased by
165,000 since 1955, having a severe impact on the quality of
street life in the city.

iii. Obesity is becoming epidemic across all ethnicities, and
especially in children, in some part due to the fact that
Americans are in the habit of driving instead of walking or

The City and other entities should therefore:

1. Support nonprofit and cooperative car-sharing enterprises through
parking policies that dedicate spaces specifically for vehicles
owned in common (see section C).

2. Increase the price of parking a car, and allocate fewer development
resources to building parking at the expense of housing (see
section C).

3. Provide shared fleets of environmentally friendly vehicles at
worksites for people whose jobs necessitate driving (e.g., building
inspectors and visiting nurses).

4. Design ALL our streets to encourage slower and safer speeds and
less competitive driving.  This may include narrower street lanes
(and wider sidewalks, bike lanes and more trees) so as not to give
a freeway-like atmosphere to city streets.

5. Increase enforcement of traffic violations such as speeding and
blocking intersections.

6. Support experimental programs such as "Way to Go Seattle" that paid
families to leave their second car at home and only depend on one
car or on alternative means of transportation.

7. Encourage state lawmakers to triple fines for any moving violation
that occurs while the driver is talking on a cell phone.

8. Create more carfree areas and close JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park on
Saturdays as well as Sundays.

9. Create more dedicated bus lanes (see section B), as well as zones
(such as the downtown section of Market Street) with restrictions
on private automobile use.  Delivery trucks, public transit, taxis,
paratransit, and bicycles would not be restricted in such zones.

10. Strictly enforce noise regulations against vehicles that violate
noise pollution laws.