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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Updates from past Akit's Department Posts

It's time to provide some updates to previous blog posts that I've done, so here we go!

--The Chronicle reports that California State Senator Carole Migden will be charged with a misdemeanor for stupid driving. How about a DUI charge?

--The manager at FedEx Kinkos did not call me back yet in regards to the $37 charge for laminates that really costs $20.

--A response back from complaining via e-mail to San Francisco Supervisor Jake McGoldrick:

Dear Mr. Akit:

I have been asked by Supervisor McGoldrick’s office to respond to your email with regards to the San Francisco Marathon.

The San Francisco Marathon site has a lot of very good information on the route with a map and course description. The course description can be found at http://www.runsfm.com/images/PDF%20MARATHON%20ROUTE.pdf and the map can be found at http://www.runsfm.com/course/full.pdf. In addition, they have information on traffic detours which can be found at http://www.runsfm.com/course/traffic-impact-2007.doc. All of these can be found under the heading of Race Info which is on the Marathon Home page. While I do not agree with you on the difficulty of finding this information on the website, I am happy to bring this issue up with the SF Marathon organizers to see if there can be a separate category created on the website which would contain this information.

Both the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner had articles related to the Marathon several days before the event. In addition, they both published a map of the route. This has been a big help in getting information out to the public. The SF Marathon mailed out letters to residents and businesses in the area of the marathon which described the closures in their area and suggested detours several weeks before the event.

I made the decision to refer people to the SF Marathon website for detailed information as the information on their website was more complete than what we would be able to put up on the SFMTA website. It seemed like a waste of time to try to duplicate what they had already done. 311 had been notified of the information and they should have referred people directly to the SF Marathon website rather than to the MTA website.

I can not say why the officer who answered the phone at the Richmond District Police Station did not have information on the Marathon . The SF Police Department is very involved with the planning of this race. However, the information may not filter down to the police officers who answer the phones at the district stations. I will bring up this issue with the police department to ask the Special Events officers from the impacted district stations to be sure the information is available to the station staff.

All street closures for special events are handled by the Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation (ISCOTT). ISCOTT is a staff level committee made up of representatives of various City departments including The Department of Parking and Traffic; MUNI; SFPD; SFFD; DPW; Taxi Commission; DPH; Port of SF and the Entertainment Commission. There is a lot of coordination which happens between the event producer and the various impacted City agencies. The information on all of the closures are distributed to a wide number of agencies and individuals. We have no control over what other agencies do with the information which we provide.

We are continually looking at ways to improve events in San Francisco. We appreciate your feedback and we will look to improve the communications with the public about the closures.

If you have any further questions, please give me an email or a call.



Cindy Shamban

Department of Parking & Traffic

1 South Van Ness Ave., 7th Floor

S.F., CA 94103-5417



Ms. Shamban,

I feel that you misunderstood my point about the Marathon's website. The Chronicle and other information sources referred readers to their traffic page that should have included a PDF copy of their full course map, however they failed to include on that specific page on that site. To view what I was referred to from the Chronicle's online website, see this link: http://www.runsfm.com/course/traffic.html There is a simple map on that page of how to get around the short course in downtown (that basically omits Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, Richmond, etc.), but no full map. They put the full course map on another page on their site, something that just demonstrates that there was poor oversight by the event organizers. If the average citizen has to look at that specific page, I think they would expect to find all the information without clicking in other regions of the website to learn more.

Also, is there a response from the SFMTA on why some of the event information on the bus lines were incorrect and/or obsolete on their website? Why was the 15 Third still on there?

Also, I disagree that the SFPD are "very involved" in this process. How can the information to the higher ranks not go down to the lower ranks? In the first Nike women's marathon, they didn't know, and for this year's SF Marathon, they did not know either. And just to add insult to injury, they don't even know where to tell me to contact for more information. If a police officer on the phone can agree with me that not knowing information about events happening in their district is "B.S." (and yes, I did say the exact word to the officer), this is just a flat-out embarrassment.

Citizens of this city expect clear and concise information; consider how many constituents of Supervisor McGoldrick complained about the first Nike Marathon, and how much improvement came after that. I always expect that our city leaders and officials will always make an effort in the best interest of its citizens to provide fun events for everyone and making the impact on citizens as minimal as possible.



dmf415 said...


Akit said...

Thanks Doug... :-P