By Steven T. Jones
There's lots of talk about a compromise that might avert this fall's campaign battle between advocates of giving even more space to cars (the downtown, developer and conservative players who paid $60K for a measure to undo progressive city parking policies) and those who understand that we must fix Muni and provide for more transportation alternatives if we're to avoid gridlock, global warming, air pollution, and ugly and dangerous auto-centric neighborhoods.
But personally, I think this is a debate that we should confront head on -- particularly now that top campaign consultant Jim Stearns will be running the effort to approve Sup. Aaron Peskin's Muni measure (which will kill the heinous pro-parking proposal if it passes, thanks to Peskin's smarts and spine). "This is the future of San Francsico transit that we're debating," Stearns told me.
A hard-fought campaign would also expose Gavin Newsom's underhanded tactics in undermining smart growth policies on behalf of his downtown backers, as well as a new analysis by Planning Director Dean Macris of how the downtown-backed parking push would reverse city policy and conflict with our General Plan in ways that may be illegal, and which are most certainly short-sighted and stupid.
But then again, this parking measure is so bad that perhaps we should opt for certain death instead of giving it any chance at all, as long as we don't weaken the city's long-established transit-first stance in the process.
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