In my mind, it all comes down to housing policy. Prop 13 needs to go. Restrictive zoning needs to go. The right of residents to complain and lawsuit development projects out of existence needs to go.
In the shorter term, while all this plays out, we need to invest heavily in sheltering our homeless population, getting them off drugs, and getting them help with any mental health needs. Acceptance of this needs to be mandatory: once we have sufficient services in order to help the entire homeless population, I actually do want to "criminalize homelessness". It should not be an allowable choice, and those who are homeless and need help getting back on their feet can get that help, every last person.
Of course, I don't expect any of this to happen. I agree with the OP that the next 15 years aren't gonna look great for the city. I just wonder what it will take. Will people actually wise up, see the actual roots of the problem, and fix them; or will there be a backlash that results in a giant exodus that crashes home prices and leaves the city in shambles?
 This one is especially insidious. Often a housing developer will be delayed multiple years before they're able to break ground. The extra money that they have to spend on legal fees, as well as being paid to sit on land they own but can't make money on, drives up the cost of the finished product. I hear so many complaints that all the new development is "luxury housing" -- well, duh. Because of all the anti-housing activism, high-end housing is the only way developers can turn a profit.
How about people who are an utter nuisance on their neighbours? Do we just say tough luck to the neighbours?
Have you ever experienced that?
People who have zero respect for their neighbours and just do whatever they want at whatever time they want?
How many noise complaints will the neighbours be forced to tolerate because I have zero doubt given SF's governance that putting these people in jail will not happen.
Should people just tolerate their lives being disrupted until all avenues of addiction/mental health/other treatment are exhausted?
Fines are obviously not a great option, since someone who has been recently homeless likely can't pay them. Maybe jail time is the right answer? I agree that SF wouldn't reach for that solution, but I wasn't talking about things that SF likely would do, just what I think it needs to do in order to get us out of this hole.
Prop 13 permitted my grandmother to stay in her home on SS as a widow into her 90s.
Four generations of my family have lived in the Bay Area.
I’ve lived in the Greater NYC/Long Island Area for going on 13 years and it’s a much different story here. Property taxes essentially force retirees to move south. Away from their families, grandchildren and the homes they own, but can’t afford to keep because of high property (plus school taxes).
People here never heard of Prop 13. And why should they? The East Coast is completely different—-older, tighter geographic communities, and years of aging adults moving away from the freezing north.
Before people in CA decide to make Prop 13 the scapegoat, you should look at what property taxes do for all home owners here on the right coast.
And BTW, luxury housing? You said it, ‘turn a profit’. Americans have too much ‘stuff’ to live in the smaller units that would also turn a profit. IMHO
It's not really true that California is ranked 50th out of the states on spending per student. Here's a detailed explanation: https://www.politifact.com/california/statements/2018/jan/17...
The low-ranking cost per student depends on a quality-of-life-adjustment and is also now several years old.
Also, SF public schools are a very mixed bag, they aren't uniformly terrible. The lottery system rewards parents who are willing to do a bunch of research and not just pick their neighborhood schools. Places that are neighborhood schools for neighborhoods that include a lot of low-information parents are likely terrible, other schools are much better.
Well, that makes one person who thinks San Francisco is a better city because at least two of its surface streets are clogged with "freeway" traffic 24/7.
Not building a freeway doesn't change the fact that people are driving Highway 101 (and Interstate 280) through it. It just reduces the average speed, lowers the efficiency of the trip, and increases pollution.
Sure, there are people whose sole reason to be on Van Ness/Lombard (101) or 19th Ave (280 to Golden Gate Bridge) is to drive through the city and not to it, but I'd guess the majority of it is local traffic that could be replaced with better transit (and even if not the majority, certainly enough to make a difference).
People drive in and through SF because the alternatives suck. As much as I love using Uber/Lyft, they've undeniably made traffic in SF worse.
Restrictive housing is more of a liberal phenomenon than a conservative one, wouldn't you say?
I'd say that's the extent of deep thought and analysis on this one.
The right stereotypes the left as standing in the way of progress, where "progress" is defined as commerce.
So I'd say both parents are correct, and the author of the "Thoughts" on SFO is letting his politics cloud his objectivity.
I would guess that the overwhelming majority of SF homeowners would self-identify as liberal / Democrat voters. But on the topic of local housing policy, they would like to conserve the status quo.
I don’t think you can really personally blame someone for wanting maintain the character of their neighborhood (and inflate the value of their home). It’s perfectly rational behavior. The problem is that the preferences of this relatively small cohort are overriding the social and economic health of the city as a whole. Ideally, a democratic majority would overrule these narrowly self-interested concerns and force more development, more homeless shelters, etc., but for whatever reason this doesn’t seem to be happening in SF.
I think the author is using conservative in the more direct sense: the people are fighting to keep things the way they are in terms of housing. This is at odds with the way the city is normally thought of in terms of being "liberal" (more accepting of change).
I don't think it's a statement on whether or not left or right wing policies contribute more to the issue.
It's a fairly common outcome for political words to get stuck to changing movements rather than identifying unique positions and policies over the course of decades and centuries.
You can argue that "Conservatives" (note the capital letter, denoting that his means an actual group) would be against rules on housing, but if you actually look at the rules in Republican leaning highly urban areas I bet you will find similar rules.
People dislike dealing with the effects of large scale changes. That really is not a Liberal or Conservative thing (note the capital letters).
It seems to me that the whole Bay Area metropolitan area would be much better off if there were a single city government.
Talking to other coffee enthusiasts who have traveled globally they also expected better coffee elsewhere given this prevailing feeling that “coffee is amazing in Europe” but found it wanting.
Edit: I suppose OP means I280 which was repaired and realigned after Loma Prieta. The neighborhood is called China Basin. South Beach is an adjoining neighborhood.
Statements like this make it clear that the author hasn't really seen must of the world or even America.
I'm open to disagreements, but I'd say SF has the prettiest surroundings of any US city. The only place I've lived I think was prettier was Rio de Janeiro. I can think of other places that are also very beautiful though, such as Salt Lake City or Jackson Hole.
I like to say the worst thing about San Francisco is San Francisco - everything around San Francisco is gorgeous! Muir Woods, Half Moon Bay, Sausalito - those are within a ~30 minute drive from where I live. The coastal drive north once you get to Stinson Beach might be my favorite road to drive on because of the views.
As for the city itself, I would absolutely give the edge to Chicago for their architectural designs.
What places do you find the prettiest?
But I would accept "not a major city" as ruling out Jackson Hole and Breckenridge, because in fact they are not major cities.
I might accept San Francisco as being above Salt Lake, but not by much. I might consider Seattle to be as good as San Francisco.
San Francisco is a city with beautiful natural surroundings but so is Denver, Boulder, Seattle, Jackson, Honolulu, Kahului, San Diego, Los Angeles, Anchorage, Salt Lake City, Sedona, Carmel, etc. Even if by city they mean a large city or metropolis, I would still argue that Los Angeles, San Diego, and Seattle would be in the same tier of beauty.
I don't think it's an unreasonable candidate for someone's favorite, but it's pretty surprising for the author to not recognize that this is both subjective and highly controversial. If I had to predict what people in America would describe as "the American city with the prettiest natural surroundings," I think cities with large mountains would score very highly.
I can see this argument. There are certainly enough interesting sociological issues in San Francisco regardless of whether you think it deserves the "most" qualifier.
San Francisco has the prettiest natural surroundings of any city in America.
I think this one is very hard to argue. It's highly subjective, so I don't doubt that the author believes it, but if someone were asking me where to move and told me that they prioritize beautiful surroundings, San Francisco wouldn't make my list of recommendations.
On the other hand, I kind of understand the sentiment of not appreciating a place if you grew up there. I'm originally from Miami, FL, and it took moving away + a few years to be able to appreciate the beauty of that place for what it is.
But yeah, this is a hugely subjective metric, and I think we should allow the author his biases there, even if we disagree.