Poop on My Driveway and I Will Run You Over With My Stroller

The Chronicle‘s C.W. Nevius just filed a report called Worrisome changes roil the Mission District. In it, he takes a look at homelessness and gentrification, in part through the eyes of a longtime Missionite called Pergola. At the end, they come across some of those sidewalk stencils we all love so dear:

“Sanctuary city for the rich,” one reads. Another said, “Gentrification, better than crack.”

It leaves residents like Pergola wondering how he got on the wrong side of this.

“I was going to make one up that said, ‘Poop on my driveway and I will run over you with my stroller.’ “

In the Mission, people might not think that was funny.

I think it’s funny! But seriously, it’s nice that our paper of record is taking an interest, yeah? Read the whole thing for some startling facts and figures, and insights from city officials and others in the neighborhood.

Previously on Mission Mission:

Sanctuary City for the Rich

69 thoughts on “Poop on My Driveway and I Will Run You Over With My Stroller”

  1. It’s interesting how the situation presents a false dichotomy about gentrification. Pretty much anyone who has contributed to the rent increases in the Mission are agents of gentrification, which means if you didn’t live here before the dotcom boom in the late 90s, you are essentially gentrifying the neighborhood because you’re contributing to the uptick in housing costs with your demand for Mission housing.

    Also, people who are from the Bay Area will probably realize that we don’t want to go back to some sort of non-gentrified state in the Mission, as it used to have a status similar to that of the Tenderloin.

    San Francisco dealt with crime in the 90s more effectively than any other city in the country and saw the largest reduction in crime rates from 1990-1998 than any other major city in the country. Along with the dotcom boom and the general cultural draw of SF, this led to an influx of middle to upper class, highly educated residents. We would basically have to drive up the crime rate, remove jobs from the area and diminish the cultural appeal of SF to stop gentrification.

    Instead, as the article suggests, it probably makes more sense to tackle specific issues that people have that stem from the yuppie/hipster influx. And I’m still confused as how someone can come down on the wrong side of not wanting people to shit on the sidewalk.

  2. The issue is less “gentrification” than displacement.

    Doc: I had the SAME THOUGHT when I read the paper this morning!

  3. So I moved to the Mission in 1990. I couldn’t afford anything else working a blue collar job. I had a railroad flat on Shotwell that was a 1 bedroom but I rented the dining room to make ends meet. I worked hard and advanced at my job. I moved to a bigger flat across the street from the firehouse and still rented rooms. I worked harder and went back to school getting a masters. I started a company and I sold it. I had enough money to buy an apartment. Now I guess I’m part of the gentrification. But you know what fuck ’em. I started with very little but I got with the program and made it through to the other side. You’re only displaced if you can’t compete. Get with the program.

  4. Why? why do i fucking look at this blog? Fuck ’em indeed. It’s cool for you to park in someone
    s driveway, cause you know, you work hard and you are just running into Ritual for a minute. But, some bum BEST not shit in your driveway. Yeah. We will take what is ours. Fuck ’em. Let the weak, who can not advance in their jobs and sell their companies be culled from the herd. You are with us or against us!!!

  5. Dude Mr. BBQ’d Pig,
    You know not of what you speak. I’ve never been to ritual, I buy my coffee from Fred on 24th and Mission, he is a great guy, I walk to his shop daily, my car sits in my garage undriven, and my driveway is frequently blocked by chronic inebriants sprawled on the concrete, and supposed neighbors who think its ok to park their car so it blocks the driveway. The drunks piss on my plants, yell and scream at phantoms I cannot see, and break bottles.

    A great man, George Bush, once said, “you’re either with us or against us.” It’s a stupid notion, simplistic notion. It avoids deep consideration and analysis. It is juvenile.

    But we could meet somewhere in the middle, I think that’s true. We could agree that the small percentage of chronic inebriants that cause the most problem should be handled in some way. What I believe is so wrong is to try to protect them as a special class. By misidentifying drunks as homeless, by declaring that they somehow have rights to homes without contributing to, and in fact tearing apart our neighborhood, only reinforces their bad behavior. Life’s a tough thing and deeply tragic in many ways, but when I hear Sister Bernie, and everyone who buys into her rubbish, say that everyone has a right to home, I do say fuck ‘em.

  6. Driveway nazis are far worse than homeless poopers, that is for sure. The defense of one’s driveway seems to be the most righteous cause around. I’ve seen housewives leave notes calling friends “douchebags” and “horrible people” for being barely in the red, which causes these SUV driving housewives consternation as they try and squeeze into their garages.

    The sovereign right to one’s driveway is probably the best example of the worst effects of gentrification because it takes a relatively small problem that could be solved by a polite conversation and instead it causes yuppies to stand in their kitchens and complain and then write passive aggressive notes. It reminds me a lot of the drivers who say, “But the bikes never stop at stopsigns…” whenever anyone mentions anything about how the drivers in this city are morons.

  7. “Driveway nazis are far worse than homeless poopers” is the biggest load of self satisfied rhetoric bullshit i have ever fucking heard.

    i cant say i agree with ChrisH’s “fuck em” attitude, nor do i think that a typical yuppie asshole’s manifest destiny attitude is defensible either….but jeez, man. you’d rather have human feces on your sidewalk than someone trying to keep their property the way they like it? even in a less than civilized way? come on brother. live in the real world.

    and, this is EXACTLY what the guy is reacting to.

    in SF, a homeless guy has more rights than a homeowner (or a renter for that matter) BECAUSE HE’s HOMELESS. in SF, an undocumented immigrant thug has more rights than joe citizen BECAUSE HE’S AN UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT.

    the system is fucking gamed, made so by those snake oil guys i love so well, poverty pimps, etc.. and folks on the wrong end of the game will ALWAYS BE PISSED. problem for joe homeowner is, no on gives a fuck about him because he’s a working sap with no NGO cottage industry built up around his misfortune. far as he’s concerned….all this shit happens ON HIS BACK. and from a tax perspective….it does.

    i personally believe that homeless folks and new immigrants deserve help. really they do. and economically disadvantaged folks. and blind folks. and folks that are allergic to tomatoes. but NOT at the expense of other folks also just trying to get by in the city. inconsiderate, smug yuppie assholes? ship em off with the thugs & addicts. put em all into programs, self help groups, NGO babysitters, whatever… i dont give a fuck.

    but dont indict someone, or group them into some bullshit stereotype when all they’re doing is busting their fucking ass to get ahead. not everyone with a driveway is an asshole….just like not every new immigrant is a thug, and not every homeless person is a filthy, addicted parasite (though most on my block are).

    i dont understand why a centrist attitude isnt more prevalent in our hood, given all the challenges. everyone for some reason needs to be all the way on some radical side of some rhtorical bullshit argument, striving or a future that is impossible (ie NO HOMELESS PEOPLE or NO YUPPIES or I WISH IT WAS 1968 AGAIN or I WISH MY SIZE 34 PANTS WOULD FIT)

    me, i’d rather just clean up the hood a little bit and get on with my fucking life, with a little less human shit on the street, a lot fewer crackheads & hos…

    understanding that there will ALWAYS be homeless people (how can we help them?) and that gentrification is real (if we look it in the eye, maybe displacement can be managed) and that the Mission is simply the most vibrant hood in the city….worth fucking fighting for my piece of it, and yours too.

  8. People with driveways- cool
    People who defend their driveways like they’re defending innocent children- not cool

    Assertion that homeless people aren’t exactly homo sacer in SF- True
    Assertion that they have more rights than “people who work hard to get ahead”- False

    No yuppies- Boring
    Yuppies- Fun targets


  9. But isn’t it also the case that being a long-term home or apartment owner in the mission also contributes to ‘gentrification’ simply by equaling an inflow of investment? Owning a home in an urban center is not something that is done merely to provide safety and shelter; it is effectively a form of market governance over an urban space. Those who bought Mission flats in the 90’s were probably well aware of this.


    This is a tough argument. Displacement – whether caused by government sanctioned constriction or a bunch of yuppie’s who want to be closer to Mission Cliffs – is a real force to be reckoned with. I actually disagree with the standard critique of displacement – namely, that it is anti-democratic because it denies an existing community of people the right to self-determine. Not exactly. If you really want to be serious about it: displacement simply reveals the fact that people in the Mission (as a stand-in for all urban spaces) cannot possibly be self-determining in nature.

  10. “in SF, a homeless guy has more rights than a homeowner (or a renter for that matter) BECAUSE HE’s HOMELESS. in SF, an undocumented immigrant thug has more rights than joe citizen BECAUSE HE’S AN UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT.”

    Come on, I know you don;t really feel this way (as indicated by the rest of your post). Do you mean any argument about homeless or immigration policy in SF will always find an advocate for homeless people or immigrants? That’s hardly the same thing as having more rights than a homeowner. Don;t believe me? ask those honduran kids that got trucked back across the border.


    And driveway owners (?) are giant welfare queens. They never compensated the city for the public space they’ve reserved for their own use. We don;t have a spending problem in this city we have a revenue problem. Stop making the 50%+ of the city that doesn;t drive pay for your infrastructure, you deadbeats.

  11. ya know, Josh, i really have a hard time deciding what i think is the truth about these issues. i know there’s truth in every facet. and it’s hard to find a righteous way through.

    that said, in cases, i DO believe that IN SF, a homeless guy has more rights than a homeowner…and that an undocumented immigrant thug has more rights than joe citizen. and it’s just wrong.

    killer thug undocumented immigrant, protected by sanctuary laws. you can read that shit in the paper. you don’t need me to tell you about it. and it’s a really deep & complex issue, deep in the community and affecting lots & lots of families. i don’t pretend to have all my thoughts together there, but that Bologna case really got to me. the system there is broke, big time.

    that said, i do have strong opinions about how the wack-job homeless dude is NOT required to accept treatment, regardless of how much he may be hurting himself or others. it’s an infraction on his civil rights, apparently. he’s NOT subject to the same consequences as joe citizen. he’s free to {{insert any number of infractions, including attacking a SFPD officer like the dude in the Castro}} with nary a thought. joe citizen walks up to SFPD officer and even threatens (heaven forbid he’s a person of color), he’s got his head cracked open and he’s in jail, and on the headlines. don’t get me wrong, i think he deserves it. but why not the homeless mentally ill guy? why not lock that fucking guy up??

    BECAUSE THE HOMELESS HAVE BEEN PUT INTO A PROTECTED CLASS VIA THE COTTAGE INDUSTRY THAT LIVES OFF THEIR MISFORTUNE. and this cottage industry…driven by the lying, thieving snake oil “progressive” machine.

    it’s a fucking travesty. these are groups within our community that truly need help and services. many of them are truly deserving…”regular” people in need of help. i am 110% behind poeople in need – financial, health, whatever – getting help.

    but why are so many “regular” folks so fed up about it? because the system is gamed, and this shit happens on our backs. i can’t get the fucking crackheads, bums and hookers off my block because – in some weird “progressive” way – they have a right to be there, and their rights are more important than mine.

    i’m not talking about “i hate poor people” or “i only want white (or brown or black) people on my block” (which for me isn’t true). a diverse socio-economic community has all kinds of people, and those people have every bit of rights as i do. maybe more in some cases….sure.

    i’m saying the nut-ball homeless guy with his pants down pissing on my corner, smoking crack and shouting epithets (real story) is allowed to do whatever the fuck he wants…the killer thugs are allowed to do whatever they want….and i have to toe the line because i have something to lose… and that fucking pisses me off.

    maybe it’s powerlessness which, being yuppie scum, makes me uncomfortable.

    and then again, maybe i know that the bums, hos & crackheads, the dealers and pimps and thugs…they shouldn’t be allowed to do whatever the fuck they want. maybe i know that when i see what i see at 16th & mission, or on any fucking block in the hood…i know it doesn’t have to be that way.

    i hate to use the word SHOULD, but fuck man…that shit SHOULD be cleaned up.

  12. far as driveways go, i dont know anyone that has one in SF that isnt paying through the fucking nose for it, either in mortgage / taxes or in rent (which LL pays taxes on). so they HAVE compensated the city. in spades.

    folks pay for shit, they’re going to protect it. i dont see how folks’ driveways are any sort of imperialistic affront on the backs of workers or anything like that.

    no defense of uncivil behaviour (which i agree is ridiculous, barring a blocked-in car and a medical emergency)…but i do get it.

    plus, if one doesnt drive…one should never encounter an uncivil driveway jackass, no?

  13. Why would anyone want to get poop/homeless cooties all over their stroller?! That’s the important question no one is asking.

  14. park in my driveway so that I can’t get into or out of my garage, no doubt, I’m going to open my mouth on your self-absorbed behavior. “I’m just going to be a couple of minutes” or “I didn’t realize that was a driveway” (the cut out curb and garage door evidently aren’t enough clues) are the most common answer.

    How about you leave me your keys, and then “I’ll just be a couple of minutes” when you are ready to go?

  15. Again, show me what ACTUAL RIGHTS homeless people have that you don’t? I can show you a bunch you have as a homeowner/renter that they don’t.

    As for driveway defense- This seems to reflect the attitude of drivers in this city in general. No one wants to wait at stop signs, no one wants to wait for slower vehicles or bikers, drivers expect everyone to clear their path so they can get where they want to go RIGHT NOW DAMMIT.

    I witnessed a hilarious traffic jam of commuters trying to avoid an EMT in the street helping a guy who’d just passed out in the street (old man, not homeless, for everyone who would immediately play that card) and how they could not fucking help but get as close as possible to the scene in an effort to shave a precious minute and a half off of their commute time. It just makes me feel sorry for them.

  16. What is the goal of people who oppose gentrification? Is it anything more than “I hate yuppies” hipster resentment? Neighborhoods change. Thats life. There should be a balance, I would hate the city to turn into disneyland (*cough* north beach *cough*) but at the same time its ridiculous to have this kind of resentment towards middle class homeowners in the mission. I mean, those of us who live in tic units are hardly “land barons” as the stencil person would claim. We have enough money to afford to own a home and we choose to live in the mission because we like it there. But nobody likes the situation with the homeless, with the drug dealers.

    We can solve the problem without “cracking down” and driving out people who give the neighborhood its character. But assuming that any and all proposals to improve the mission are just attempts to drive out people who aren’t white is counterproductive. Especially considering a fair number of those opposing gentrification now moved into the mission as part of the first wave in the 90s.

    Anyway, the solution to the homeless problem is to invest in housing and services so we don’t have people crapping in the street. Everyone would benefit from that.

    Oh and Jim Beam: thats what cities are like. People are in a hurry, they shout and honk. Have you been in LA? New York? Paris? Tokyo? If you don’t like urban life..

    1. I think the point of gentrification-hatred is not hatred of wealthier people, and the improvements, services, and drops in crime that tend to coincide with their presence, but the fact that their presence drives out those who would like to live in the neighborhood and can no longer afford to. The real villain behind all of this – gentrification, and the “rich, white refuge” that SF is rapidly becoming – is the rampant NIMBYism that rears its ugly head whenever anyone wants to build more housing in SF.

      A prime example is the Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association, who recently stopped a 5-story development on Valencia that would have added much-needed housing to the neighborhood, all because it supposedly wasn’t in keeping with the rest of the neighborhood (too tall). If wealthy SFers want to turn our city into a rich, white, suburban bedroom community, by all means, they should continue with ridiculous protests like this one. But if they want to keep the city as diverse and funky as the city they fell in love with (because presumably that’s the reason they moved here in the first place) they’ll start supporting the building of more and taller housing, which any city worth its salt needs, and quit the NIMBY bullshit.

  17. I live in a city and I’m not like that.

    I have lots of friends who live in cities and they’re not like that.

    But I guess it’s productive to completely stress yourself out about things completely out of your control, right? That’s what being in a city should be all about, right? Especially if that stress will lead you to be a complete asshole to a random stranger, right? ;)

    Besides that, the argument that because things are they should be is never a very strong one. Although, if things changed, I wouldn’t be able to feel so smugly superior all of the time, so…

  18. Your driveway (the one you pay rent/taxes on) ends at the property line, which is on the other side of the sidewalk from the street. Everything else ois public property. Now since your garage/driveway is useless without access to the street, the city grants you special control over this section of public space. You pay no more for it than any of your fellow citizens, who now cannot use those square feet.

    Public subsidy for private gain is welfare. Yer either fer it or agin it

  19. oh come on Josh. get real. a driveway is a fucking driveway. DRIVE WAY. you need to DRIVE in it to be a DRIVEWAY.

    the rent / taxes entitle (ooooh….bad word!) the payor to DRIVE there. and it entitles the payer to fucking tow away anyone who prevents them from DRIVING there.

    your argument is just silly.

  20. far as rights of the homeless, i know my post was long (and so is this one, probably), but my PoV is there. a homeless guy can do whatever he wants…crap in the street, attack a police officer, shout epithets at passers by, smoke crack on the corner, be passed out covered in vomit on the sidewalk, endanger himself and others by being mentally ill and off his meds, pretty much anything….without consequence.

    i’m not saying i have it bad as a homeowner. i’m not saying i dont have – overall – more benefits and services than the homeless guy. i do. i have it good. i know that.

    i’m saying if i did any of that stuff — and this is ALL STUFF THAT FUCKS UP THE NEIGHBORHOOD IN THE VIEW OF MOST (not all) PEOPLE — i would be scooped up and put in jail. the homeless guy…asked to move along, maybe, if the cops are called and they dont have anything more important to do. certainly these guys dont need to respond to me when i ask them to move along, or stop crapping or shooting up in front of my house….

    you dont think that’s a different set of rights?? you dont think it’s a horrible affront on the rights of most folks who would rather not see it all day every fucking day?

    isnt that what it’s all about…the needs of the many?

    my view, we all need to hold up our end in making the hood livable for as many of us as possible. it’s a crowded and diverse hood. there’s responsibilities when we’re all packed in together. homeowners need to keep up their property. renters need to pay rent. folks should care enough bout the hood to try to do unto others blah blah blah.

    the homeless situation is one that needs management.

    more housing? sure. more outreach? sure. more services? sure.

    a required acceptance of managed housing / counseling services (or a very clear road to jail) for chronic homeless folks who can’t take care of themselves, harm others or make a consistent nuisance of themselves? my opinion, sure.

  21. “you dont think it’s a horrible affront on the rights of most folks who would rather not see it all day every fucking day?”

    No, I don’t think this is a “horrible affront on” anyone’s rights. You don’t have the right to a beautiful view. You don’t have the right to not be “affronted.”

    You do have the right to choose where you live and to have your life, liberty and property protected. So, if someone was messing with your shit, I would agree, you have a right to redress. But a bum, shitting on the sidewalk, as gross as it might be, isn’t infringing on your rights as you simply do not have the right to live in a shit free world (as much as you might want the privilege of living in one). And I hate to say it, but we both know of a thousand little ‘burbs around here that would afford you the privilege to not be “affronted.”

    Again, the bums don’t have more rights than you. If you think the “right” to shit on the street is something the bums have and you don’t, try and look at it logically- public restrooms are few and far between and I’ve yet to see a restaurant or business willingly let a bum into their facilities. So, if you’re a bum, what are you going to do, never shit? Of course not, you’ll be shitting daily. Do you really want the cops picking up bums daily because they’re shitting? Now, non-homeless person has many options as to where he/she can shit, which is why it’s an issue when you do it. But I’d also hazard a guess that you’ve never tried to shit in front of a cop so neither of us is really sure as to what would happen.

  22. first off, you dont have to dance around your impression of me as an imperialist yuppie asshole grinding out displacement & gentrification-friendly manifestos on the backs of workers (and by “workers”, i mean homeless crackheads, prostitutes and drug dealers). you can just come out and say it. i can take it.

    with that out of the way, i’m saying that deranged homeless guys… they have the “right” to shit in the middle of the sidewalk with no consequences, and crackheads have the “right” to smoke out on my corner with no consequences.

    its the LACK OF CONSEQUENCES that irks me, and a lot of other people. THAT’S the affront. it doesnt have to be this way…but no one gives a fuck about the Mission…where it IS allowed to be this way.

    the shit is a matter of course. the drug trade is a matter of course. the cause in an environment of TOLERANCE for things that, quite simply, should not be tolerated. in our hood, or anywhere else. THERE IS NO REASON FOR US TO TOLERATE THIS…

    the SOLUTION is getting these folks off the streets. and into programs. and into jail if that’s the right answer. so yes, i am HAPPY for cops to pick up bums…

    not for just shitting (obviously they have to shit somewhere), but for shitting on the sidewalk. yes. 1000 times yes. because bums that shit in the middle of the fucking sidewalk are deranged, and they’re a danger to themselves and the community.

    (dude, i lived on the street for over a year, and i NEVER shit in the middle of the fucking sidewalk).

    all that said, this argument is going nowhere. your tiresome “progressive” rhetoric is just so dated and out of touch, it makes me puke (on myself, before i lay in the sidewalk and pop my vein…oh wait, the spot in front of my house is taken…let me do it in front of YOUR house).

    my view, this line of thinking is the reason that the Mission is a fucking cesspool in so many unnecessary ways. bums, crackheads, hos, pimps, drug dealers, thugs….they’re all the same. they effect our hood because we let them. because the “progressive” machine has turned our hood into an experiment – a FAILED experiment – in posturing and grand-standing without a thought to what’s good for the people that live here. .

    you want to live in squalor and keep the hood “gritty”, you fight for that. you want to believe the poverty pimps and defend the cottage industry built on the backs of the homeless, you go right ahead. you want to argue for a bum’s right to shit on my sidewalk (yes MY fucking sidewalk, that I fucking clean every fucking 3 days), that’s cool with me.

    me, i’ll fight to get these people off the street and into services or jail – because they cannot take care of themselves – and get the hood cleaned up.

    because you know what..i may not have the right to live in a shit-free world (there we agree) but i DO have the fucking right to fight for one, wherever the fuck i damn well please.

    me and everybody else that decides the mission is worth fighting for…

  23. Chillax. My argument isn’t silly. Our budget has a structural deficit because of money pits like maintenance and enforcement of private curb cuts and rights of way. Tell me why driveway hoggers should get a bigger piece of the pie?

  24. sorry if i wasnt chillaxed. i think i went a little nuts on JimBeam too. sorry dude. i have a hard time with you “progressive” guys…probably because i agree with so much of what you stand for, but so little of what you say.


    driveway hoggers, or driveway renter/owners? renter/owners, for the most part, i would say.

    they get a bigger piece of the pie because they pay for it. no one in SF (that i know of) has a driveway that doesn’t pay through the nose for the privilege.

    plain & simple. it’s the american way.

    what about driveways in apartment buildings that service a dozen cars? or the driveway on 19th in the new condo that has like 3 dozen cars? i cant say i love that condo, but does that driveway – serving many more of “the people” – make more sense to you?

    to me, its all the same. people pay for services in the real world. and then they expect those services to be provided. it doesn’t seem unreasonable.

    that said, our budget has a structural deficit because it’s poorly managed and corrupt on every level. cops, education, maintenance, parks, planning, all mismanaged. this is well known about SF, isnt it? the ineptitude and corruption is barely concealed.

    and THAT said, i’d reckon we spend A LOT more on carting the same 200 chronic bum addicts to & from the ER (these stats are out there, ask any EMT tech) than we do on “enforcement of private curb cuts” which, by the way, also provides income via the tickets.

    this argument got started talking about idiot behavior in defending driveways. i think those people are daft & uncivilized…the worst kind of self-absorbed assholes (barring an emergency, of course).

    but indicting driveways as a concept? i do think that’s a little silly. sorry not to be chillaxed again.

  25. Do you pay more property tax when you have a driveway when compared to houses that don’t? (of the same size, etc.)

    My guess is no, you do not. Therefore driveway owners are taking advantage of resources that the rest of us are taxed for. The same thing happens when you drive down the road. This is pretty normal and we don’t necessarily begrudge you even though you’re contributing to pollution, congestion and the likelihood of accidents.

    SF makes $30 million a year in parking tickets. I guarantee you that spending on the homeless by SF does not equal $150,000 per bum or more.

    A guy who takes a dump on the sidewalk is no more a danger to society than an idiot who speeds in his car, rolls through a stop sign or doesn’t signal when he turns. Do we want to lock those people up, too?

    There are tons of consequences for crackheads, but we KNOW that throwing people in jail does not solve the problem. It doesn’t solve homelessness and it doesn’t solve drug abuse. It also costs YOU a lot more money to lock a homeless guy up than it does to provide him with services that might actually help him.

    I have no clue who you are and so I don’t think you’re an imperialist yuppy, but I do think you’re very frustrated by things you don’t have a lot of control over and whether or not your environment is ordered seems to have a huge effect on your happiness. Again, I would say that if this is the case, you might not be living in the right place.

  26. JimBeam, we’re gonna have to agree to disagree on this one.

    our points of view – at least at the tactical level – are so far apart, i don’t see a meeting of the minds.

    ideology and rhetoric aside… i’ll still fight to clean up the hood.

    to me, and a lot of other folks i am betting….it’s the right thing to do.

    (OK i can’t resist, i just have to make one point. houses with driveways are ALWAYS worth more than comparable ones without. so, yes, they will pay more taxes. and if a homeowner puts in a garage / driveway, where there wasn’t one…the city will generally applaud the effort, and then their house will be re-assessed at a higher value…so again, more taxes. sorry, i just can’t keep my mouth shut.)

  27. Just remember that owning a piece of property doesn’t make you any more worthwhile than someone living on the street and that “solving the problem” by removing them from where you have to look at them isn’t actually fixing anything.

  28. guys, you must be baiting me, bacuase you can’t be that dense. driveway possessors pay for their driveways via TAXES and RENT. it’s a simple answer to a simple question. people pay for things, and then they are entitled to those things. yes, entitled. maybe not on your hippie commune, but in the real world, yes. it’s true.

    and JimBeam, please. i think i have shown in many many (long winded) posts that this isn’t even close to what i think. not even fucking close.

    like i said, you want to direct some specific vitriol at me, be my guest. i can take it. but keep your passive aggressive bullshit “progressive” lecture to yourself. ugh. it makes me fucking puke.

    howsabout some solutions here guys? i’ve run my mouth off across the whole fucking gamut, for weeks, from locking people up to providing them with PROPER, EFFECTIVE services (a far cry from what they get now).

    and while i appreciate that you guys participate in the discussions (i wish more people did, lazy fucking hipsters)….all i hear from you is how private driveways represent some affront to the working man (utter bullshit in my view), and how we all should be satisfied with the feces-encrusted status quo because trying to improve things is too “ordered”, and how the Mission aint what it used to be (more bullshit in my view).

    what are you all doing to make the hood a better place? anything? i’d love to hear about it. because you can’t sit there and tell me there’s no improvements to be made.

    i figure you guys must be the picture of civic duty & community building. then again, maybe you never leave your room.

    let me help you out, hippies. howsabout these as suggestions:

    actively support a D9 supe candidate because you believe in them & what they’ll do
    start a neighborhood association to foster community and safety
    build a relationship with Mission police station reps & beat cops
    meet with community groups like MEDA or HOMEY or ADC
    meet with the developers of up and coming yuppie condos
    contact owners of empty lots and parking lots to understand the disposition of those properties
    start a NGO to fund kids in the hood going to farms
    (try to) meet with the morons who are going to outlaw homelessness in tourist areas
    work with the city to get the orange vest probation guys to sweep more of each block
    develop a relationship with the Mission St. Business Assoc

    let me know how that goes for ya.

  29. zin seems to be advocating that people who poop in driveways should actually be incarcerated or something, which I don’t believe — everyone poops, even people with nowhere to go. But the idea that pooping in driveways is somehow defensible, or less of an offense than owning a driveway, is a cheap troll.

    This is a breakdown in the discourse — people are arguing about different things and pretending they are in conflict. Surely everyone can agree that pooping in public is gross?

  30. just to clarify, that’s NOT what i’m advocating.

    i’m advocating that SOMETHING be done to, for, with or about deranged homeless guys that shit in the middle of the sidewalk, because they’re clearly in special need, can’t take care of themselves and they’re a danger to themselves and the community.

    ALL homeless people deserve better than what they’ve got. let’s just get that out of the way. ALL.

    but the ones that are OBVIOUSLY in special need – usually mental health duress – should be REQUIRED to accept help. and usually that means being placed into a controlled environ. (and i know they closed up the mental wards a long time ago).

    and the ones who REPEATEDLY smoke crack/ pass out / crap on my corner, barring some other solution i really wish existed, should be put in fucking jail.


    i am advocating that the city not dump ALL of its deranged homeless people into the Mission, because believe me, that’s what’s happening with Gavin’s “green” Civic Center, with these guys making homelessness illegal near Moscone, with homeless “outreach” in SOMA.

    all of these efforts have a good side…but as usual, the Mission isnt seeing any of it, because NO ONE GIVES A FUCK ABOUT THE MISSION.

    we all have an opportunity to make positive change in November. we all have an opportunity to rid ourselves of the ineffectual “progressive” machine that has held the city hostage for years.


  31. Suggesting homeless people should be incarcerated for being homeless is what I was referencing. I’m not angry with you, which is why you’re mistaking me not being angry at you for being passive aggressive. I think the fact that you continually try and label those who disagree with you to be laughable.

    No one said you should be satisfied with poop on your sidewalk. No one said driveways are oppressing anyone. These are caricatures of what people have said on this thread.

    But here’s the thing that puzzles me- you say you want to make the neighborhood a better place and I believe you. You even gave us some suggestions about how you’d go about doing it (albeit in a condescending manner), but what I don’t get is why you keep directing all of this anger at a bunch of people who are obviously interested in the Mission and want to enjoy the neighborhood.

  32. “driveway possessors pay for their driveways via TAXES and RENT.”

    Which taxes and rent do they pay that non-driveway possessors don’t? Is there a Driveway Fee that y’all pay at the DMV? Or are driveway possessors hogging public space? remember, public rights of way (sidewalks and streets) and public spaces.

    I’m picturing Reagan’s welfare queen thinking the world owes her a driveway at no cost to her.

  33. The argument is that having a driveway increases the assessed value of your property. So Unit X with a driveway pays more in property taxes than Unit X without a driveway.

  34. As a side note, since some people don’t seem to be clear on this, in California, sidewalk upkeep (including a driveway, if there is one) is the responsibility of the adjoining property owner, not the state or city. If your curb is broken, the city will force you repair it at your own expense. (Additionally, you assume liability for any injury resulting from negligence in upkeep.) So the idea that driveway maintenance is some sort of tax burden is incorrect.

  35. It’s not a financial cost to the city, it’s an opportunity cost. It’s a sizable chunk of limited public space reserved for the privileged few.

  36. Opportunity cost? So say the driveway *isn’t* there, what can you do with the space? A patch of grass? Or more cars parking out front? It’s not like I can set up restaurant seating in front of my house. (Though a food truck on the other hand, mmm….)

  37. You’ve lost me. Parking Day has nothing to do with driveways — it’s about reclaiming parking spaces on the street.

    If there were no driveways, there would just be more parking spots along the curb. (Driveways are really mostly an annoyance to drivers, since they chop up the curb. To a pedestrian on the sidewalk, there isn’t much of a distinction, unless you’re planning to build something on the sidewalk.)

  38. So you are suggesting scaling Parking Day city-wide, all the time? While I would love nothing more than to tread on verdant, miniature Chrissy Fields where barren parking spots now lay, Muni, BART and Caltrain aren’t up to the task. Will you let me park my helicopter in front, or do I have to keep it on my roof?

    I’m curious — do you still have issues with driveways and parking spaces if I have a hybrid or a hybrid-electric vehicle, or just gas-fueled vehicles?

    When SF has the transportation network of Manhattan, then we can talk about getting rid of driveways. But given how much money the city makes on parking meters, fines and extra tax revenue from houses with garages (and driveways) and the lack of alternatives, I don’t think we’ll see them hike up the curb or roll up the asphalt soon.

    Click to access BasicFinacialStatements.pdf

  39. “You’ve lost me. Parking Day has nothing to do with driveways — it’s about reclaiming parking spaces on the street. ”

    I’m sorry, I thought that’s what we were talking about. Nobody;s accusing anyone of parking in their garage, and parking anywhere on the sidewalk is illegal, not just driveways. This whole discussion has been about the public enforcement (and public cost thereof) of private use of the public space on the street in front of your driveway.

    “do you still have issues with driveways and parking spaces if I have a hybrid or a hybrid-electric vehicle, or just gas-fueled vehicles?”

    You’ll have to explain to me the difference.

    “When SF has the transportation network of Manhattan, then we can talk about getting rid of driveways”

    You and I can differ on this, but frankly you just have to do it. give up the car. Most citizens of SF don’t own one and many don’t have licenses. Our network of buses is thorough enough to get anywhere you want. Incidentally, a large part of the MTA’s budget goes to maintaining streets for private autos. Given those funds, Muni would be a hell of a lot more extensive and reliable

    (While SFMTA’s budget does indicate that DPT brings in marginally more money than Muni, it doesn’t distinguish between DPT expenses and Muni expenses. it’s safe to say, however, that our road network is a significant expense)

  40. You just don’t seem to like cars. Just wonder if it’s the environmental impact since you brought up Parking Day — if I had an electric car charged with solar panels on my roof, i.e. minimal environmental impact, would I get a parking spot or a driveway, or am I relegated to the bus? (For the record, yes I do take the Muni, BART, and yes I bike down Valencia, and yes I do have a car.)

    Unless McCray and Newsom use the General Fund to develop a floating bus, the MTA budget would still have to be used to maintain streets due to 12,000 lbs per bus wheel.

    Though I would *so* take a hover-bus. Of course, this would invariably lead to Star Wars landspeeders and then we would be back where we started. (But we wouldn’t have to worry about curbs!) However, we would also have to deal with these guys:


  41. A dedicated parking space typically increases the value of a unit by $50,000.
    A tandem parking space typically increases the value of a unit by $25,000.

    The annual property tax rate in SF for 2009 is 1.163%, therefore

    Homeowners with a dedicated parking space pay an additional $581.50 in property taxes.
    Those with a tandem parking space pay an additional $290.75 in property taxes.

    Simple math…

  42. And what does that cost the city in terms of services it’s obligated to provide to motorists? A fair bit more that $600 per year, I’ll bet!

    Once again we’re getting side tracked. The owner of the property doesn’t pay rent on the public space he or she has ‘reserved’ in front of his or her curb cut. That’s welfare. I’d like my space back please!

  43. Actually, you are getting at something I could agree with. In areas with metered parking, the city loses parking revenue due to driveway accesses. In areas without metered parking, it doesn’t. My questions are:
    – Is there actual variation in the increased assessed property value due to owning a driveway, between these two neighborhoods? (And how much?)
    – How much lost parking revenue does the loss of a single spot represent to the city on an annual basis?

    In other words, if a driveway in the outer sunset (where street parking is not metered and not an issue) increases property values the same as a driveway downtown or in the (metered) Mission, then the owner of the driveway in the metered area is under-taxed. (Or the owner in the non-metered area is over-taxed, but this seems less likely.)

    In reality, I would guess the variation is at least partly reflected in the property values, and some sketchy napkin-math makes me think the revenue from a parking spot is less than $3700 a year (and probably much less). There may be additional costs to losing the public spot that are more difficult to quantify, though.

    But yeah, I do sort of agree with this point. Earlier in the thread I thought you were arguing about the driveway cutting across the sidewalk, which I consider pretty harmless. But the loss of the street space is annoying, and the idea that the opportunity cost is not always reflected in the tax system seems plausible.

    That only took, what, 54 comments? We’ll have this Mission place sorted out in no time!

  44. Pretty ironic that you talk about welfare when only 20% of the SFMTA budget is covered by fares. Another third of the budget is specifically paid for by cars (parking and traffic fees) and 29% is from the general fund, which can easily be accounted for by property taxes, plus grants and advertising. Don’t forget that doesn’t actually cover MTA fees — there’s a $150 million operating deficit.

    So let’s do some math. If we take a look at the SFMTA and city budgets:

    Click to access SFTransportationFactSheet2008.pdf

    Click to access BasicFinacialStatements.pdf

    Car-related revenue is:
    – $89 million in parking ticket revenue
    – $43 million through city-owned lots
    – $30 million in meter revenue
    – $5.7 million in parking permits

    = $168 million

    We see that in 2006:
    – there were 322,547 households in the city.
    – there were 382,341 cars in the city.
    – there were 529,325 drivers licensed.

    For the sake of a back-of-the-napkin calculation, let’s say there are 200,000 houses with garages in San Francisco. At $600 worth of garages in property taxes, this equals $120 million, but let’s just say $100 million to keep the math easy. (For reference, total property tax revenue for SF was $894 million in 2007.)

    $100 million + $168 million = $268 million.

    If every one of those 200,000 driveways that you think are tax-free gifts were in fact street parking, and if everyone parking in those spots paid for a parking permit, the city could theoretically get another $10 million (but given they only now get $5.7 million from permits now, a bit of a stretch.) That’s about one month worth of Muni deficit.

    I can’t find any specific figures for road construction and maintenance, but given what SF car owners are paying, and that buses use the same roads, I don’t see a lot of car-specific infrastructure (other that parking garages which is worth $43 million to the city). Networks are funny in that they can be used for all sorts of purposes. I like to ride my bike on the newly smooth Valencia. The food at Bi-Rite and the farmers markets isn’t parachuted in. And I presume you receive packages from Amazon via UPS?

    Sod costs about $3 a roll at Home Depot, or 25 cents a square foot. The city estimates there are 320,000 street parking spaces. If you assume 12 x 5 feet per street parking space, to grass over every spot it would cost

    60 sq.feet * $0.25 * 320,000 = $5 million. (Pretty cheap, actually.)

    This of course ignore the cost of digging up the asphalt or landscaping fees, or watering, or mowing (and if you look at Dolores we know how often that happens). But the city would lose that quarter billion dollars in car related revenue that is not even covering SFMTA operating expenses…

    I have no problem that my property taxes and meter fees and parking tickets heavily subsidize Muni. Taxes = civilization. In fact, I wouldn’t mind if those fees were increased slightly to put Muni in the black. But remember that in order to pay for the operating deficit alone, fares would have to jump by about $5 = ($150,000,000 yearly deficit / 680,000 rides per week * 52 weeks a year), and that’s *with* cars subsidizing the SFMTA.

    Cars are paying for your bus. Be careful what you wish for.

  45. Ct, just saw your post. There are about 25,000 parking meters in SF, and the city gets about $30 million from them per year, or about $1200 per meter. And don’t forget the $6 million in permits.

  46. ha. johnny0…that post rivals mine in length. i don’t know what that says about you.

    good thinking though. thanks for the math lesson.

    “Cars are paying for your bus. Be careful what you wish for.” i LOVE it.

  47. zinzin, I felt bad that you were doing all the typing. :)

    Math is your friend, it wants to help you.

    And I hope everyone realizes I want transit increased. All things being equal, I’d rather not drive (big reason I live in the Mission), but sometimes things aren’t equal.

    Of course, taking away the 26 Valencia bus isn’t helping, but that’s a different subject.

  48. Johnny, you’re being awfully selective int he figures you analyze. Cars do not pay for my buses, that’s a myth. Cars are an immense drain on the MTS’s budget. Granted, there is marginal use of asphalt by buses and bikes, but those roads are for cars first and foremost. Without private autos on the streets, asphalt would be narrower and roads would cost less and need less maintenance.

    For starters, you’re a little off on MTA’s revenue:

    Operating Grants

    Transit Fares

    Parking and Traffic Fees & Fines

    Transfers and Fund Balance

    Rents and Advertising

    So that’s 20% vs 24%, not 20% vs ‘a third’

    Remember that this is the budget for the entire MTA (Muni+DPT) not just for muni. To simplistically say that since less than 100% of the MTA budget is from fares, cars are paying for our buses is wrong. That’s like saying Muni passengers are paying for your roads. You’ve got to look at both sides of the ledger.

    Now, if you want to talk about the increases in property tax a parking space generates, you should also properly compare the taxes generated if an apartment was in place of the garage, or a park or streetcar in place of a curb cut. Those are the analogues, not the comparison of “could have” taxes generated by driveways to actual costs of maintaining roads and enforcing curb cuts.

    As they say: figured don;t lie, but liars can figure.

  49. I like how you drop down to the basement when challenged. So you’re calling me a liar? Thanks Josh, that’s very adult of you.

    Please look at

    That’s where my figures came from. Where are *your* references?

    It clearly shows parking/traffic fees accounting for 32%. Sorry I rounded up to a third.

    32% – parking/traffic fees
    29% – general fund
    19% – operating grants
    18% – transit fees
    2% – advertising

    Yes, MTA’s budget isn’t all transit, the fact of the matter is transit is *heavily* subsidized and there is a deficit, or do you deny that? Yes, there is a cost of cars, and roads don’t build themselves, but taxes on those cars pay for a lot of transit, like it or not. Curbs just aren’t the issue.

  50. ha. well, someone has to keep sparring with Josh. be careful, johnn0, he’s a wily one. and smart.

    i am staying out of the driveway kerfuffle. i like having a driveway.

    that said, call me when we’re talking about poop in the driveway. that part, i have something to say.

    PS it takes me 7 minutes to drive to work. takes me 45 minutes on BART. go figure. i don’t have the time. makes me an asshole? OK. it’s not the only thing that makes me an asshole.

  51. ugh, sorry everyone, I shouldn’t have fed the troll.

    I say we get rid of all curbs. That nice a quality of stone is very expensive per linear foot and makes for a bumpy jump on my bike.

  52. aw. Josh is not a troll. just has very strong…opinions.

    today there was a guy – literally – passed out IN MY DRIVEWAY. no poop that i could see. but he was sprawled right up against a car, right in my god-given, paid-for-with-taxes, MUNI subsidizing, racist, imperialist, built-on-the-backs-of-workers curb cut-out.

    then i got to thinking…can i get the city government subsidies that SROs get?

    it would be safer, and cleaner (because i patrol and sweep) than the SROs on Mission, from what i hear.

    or is that just in bad taste?

  53. No new driveway tax, just ending the driveway expenditure. Paygo

    Just wait till it happens, guys. there is no such thing as a free driveway.

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