SFCTA Newsletter for April 2016

The Messenger: The Newsletter of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority

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April 2016


Walk to Work Day participantWALK TO WORK

We are proud participants and supporters of Walk to Work Day.

Each April, the Transportation Authority is proud to sponsor Walk San Francisco’s Walk to Work Day, which celebrates and encourages walkers throughout the city.

People who live or work in San Francisco showed their support on April 7 by walking just 15 minutes of their daily commute, stopping by a “Walk to Work Day Hub” or competing with their co-workers in WalkSF’s Golden Millipede Award given to the workplace with the most commuters walking to work that day.

Among the many projects we fund at the Transportation Authority are those that promote pedestrian circulation and safety. Based on voter-approved expenditure plans, we allocate funds each year from the city’s half-cent sales tax for transportation and Prop AA vehicle registration fee program toward sidewalk repair, new crosswalks, new pedestrian signals, curb extensions, pedestrian refuge islands and traffic calming projects citywide. Visit MyStreetSF.com to look up projects in your neighborhood!

Google autonomous vehicleSMART CITIES CHALLENGE

San Francisco was named by US DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx as one of seven finalist cities nationwide in the running for a $50 million federal grant to showcase automated vehicles and other technology-enabled transportation applications in the pursuit of congestion reduction and environmental goals. The U.S. Department of Transportation will announce the winner of its “Smart Cities Challenge” in June.

San Francisco’s proposal seeks to address neighborhood transportation access and safety needs through partnerships with civic and community groups, research universities and the private sector.

The Transportation Authority is supporting the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which is leading the development of the city’s proposal in coordination with the Mayor’s Office. SFMTA Chief Innovation Officer Timothy Papandreou presented on San Francisco’s approach (PDF) at the March 22 meeting of the Transportation Authority Board.

Among the efforts already underway are policy frameworks for autonomous vehicle regulation and new ways of linking on-demand ridesharing services with public transit.

Photo: Ed and Eddie via Flickr Commons


The California Transportation Foundation has named the Doyle Drive rebuild Project of the Year for 2015.

The new, state-of-the-art Doyle Drive opened to drivers in July 2015.

The project, a public-private partnership between Caltrans and Golden Link Concessionaire, is co-sponsored by the Transportation Authority. The project features numerous safety enhancements while also respecting and enhancing the natural beauty of the national park it traverses.

The CTF Transportation Awards recognize excellence in California transportation across all modes, in both the public and private sectors and from all regions of the state.

Congratulations to all the project partners!

Photo: Copyright 2016 Caltrans

SFCTA 2015 Annual Report coverANNUAL REPORT

Check out the Transportation Authority’s 2015 Annual Report, which summarizes the agency’s ongoing work to plan, fund and deliver transportation improvements across San Francisco.

A copy can be downloaded from the TA website.

Highlights include the opening of the new Doyle Drive, ground-breaking of the Mansell Street Improvement Project and progress on construction projects large and small.

Among the ongoing construction projects underway are Muni’s Central Subway Project, the Transbay Transit Center, and the Yerba Buena Island East Side Ramps as well as traffic signal upgrades along Sunset Boulevard, Franklin and Gough streets, and resurfacing projects throughout the city.

Learn how the Transportation Authority works side-by-side with partner agencies and neighborhoods to increase safe routes to schools, to support new development plans, and make transit more frequent and reliable for everyone.

The annual report details the Transportation Authority’s stewardship of federal, state and local funds, including how we leverage each dollar of our local transportation sales tax by 4-7 times and our continued record of clean audits and a new credit upgrade in 2015.

About the TA

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority plans, funds and delivers transportation projects in San Francisco. The agency collaborates with transit providers like Muni, BART and Caltrain, other government agencies and the public to enhance the safety, sustainability and economic competitiveness of the city and region.

To find out more, visit the Transportation Authority online. For information on projects in your neighborhood, visit our interactive project map MyStreetSF.

About the TA

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News Updates

Balboa Park BART station interior


In collaboration with transit riders and residents, the Transportation Authority has issued a study aimed at creating better, faster transit connections throughout the city’s west side neighborhoods.

The Strategic Analysis Report on West Side Transit Access, initiated by Commissioner Katy Tang, explores several options to make transit more competitive with driving and to improve access to local and regional transit hubs such as Daly City and West Portal.

Download the report from the Strategic Analysis Reports website.

Among the options highlighted include exploring a rapid service for Muni’s 29-Sunset line; modifying underutilized bus routes, such as the 66-Quintara, piloting methods to encourage carpooling and ridesharing to hubs and providing secure bicycle parking and reducing conflicts at West Portal Station.

Key study recommendations already moving forward include Commissioner Tang’s request for Neighborhood Transportation Improvement Program (NTIP)planning funds for Muni to conduct service planning on the 66-Quintara and the programming of Prop AA vehicle registration funds to create more space at the Daly City BART station to accommodate planned local bus service increases including for the 14R-Mission.

The study area encompasses the area south of Golden Gate Park and north of the city line and includes the Sunset, Parkside, West Portal and Golden Gate Heights neighborhoods as well as the areas around Stonestown Mall, Lake Merced and San Francisco State University.

Photo: James_A_Castañeda via Flickr Commons


Alemany interchange aerial viewThe Alemany Interchange—where U.S. 101, I-280, Alemany Boulevard, Bayshore Boulevard, San Bruno Avenue and local streets intersect—presents challenges to pedestrian and bicycle safety.

At Commissioner David Campos’ request, the Transportation Authority is working with neighboring communities, led by the Portola Neighborhood Association, to make the area safer and more accessible to all travelers.

Transportation Authority staff are coordinating with SFMTA planners and engineers and Caltrans staff to develop potential circulation and safety enhancement projects for the area. Community outreach is also underway to obtain input on the various improvement options.

The Alemany Interchange Improvement Study is just one of several efforts under the Transportation Authority’s Neighborhood Transportation Improvement Program (NTIP), which funds neighborhood transportation planning efforts and capital projects in every district in San Francisco. The program was developed through the Transportation Authority’s 2013 Countywide Transportation Plan to strengthen the pipeline of projects at the neighborhood level, particularly in underserved areas and Communities of Concern.

See where else NTIP work is taking place across San Francisco and let us know your ideas for the next update of the San Francisco Transportation Plan, now underway.


San Francisco has become the first city in the state to change the way it measures transportation impacts under California’s environmental laws, following the issuance of recent guidance by the California State Resources Agency’s Office of Planning and Research.

The new method calls for San Francisco to replace automobile delay—also known as Level of Service—with a Vehicle Miles Traveled threshold for the transportation section of all California Environmental Quality Act review.

The Level of Service analysis focused on how quickly cars moved through a given intersection, a time-consuming approach that was inconsistent with the city’s Transit First policies and Climate Action Plan.

Prior studies (PDF) conducted by the Transportation Authority and other researchers throughout the state had identified this metric as a barrier to transit-oriented infill development and sustainable transportation projects such as bus rapid transit.

The switch to Vehicle Miles Traveled is a more comprehensive and fair way to determine the impact of a project on the environment, taking into account the mode of travel (e.g. transit vs. private car), the length of trips and number of travelers per vehicle.

A multi-agency city team comprised of the Transportation Authority, Planning Department, SFMTA and Mayor’s Office developed the new policy approach as part of the Transportation Sustainability Program. The San Francisco Planning Department adopted the new measure at its March 3 meeting, and the Transportation Authority has also announced the use of the new measure for its environmental determinations going forward.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to implement this landmark CEQA reform,” said Tilly Chang, Transportation Authority Executive Director. “The new methodology properly credits transportation and development projects that promote sustainability and is a much-needed boost to climate protection efforts across the state.”

Read press coverage of the switch to Vehicle Miles Traveled.


Pedestrians at Powell and Ellis streetsMoving rapidly to meet Vision Zero goals, San Francisco has completed 30 high-priority projects ahead of schedule—and more are on the way.

Vision Zero is the city’s policy aimed at eliminating traffic-related fatalities by 2024 through education, enforcement and engineering.

See a full list of the 30 Vision Zero projects completed.

SFMTA representatives also recently shared a list of planned projects for the next two years at the March 31 Vision Zero Committee of the Transportation Authority Board (PDF).

The Transportation Authority is a member of the Vision Zero Task Force and provides funding for capital and education projects. Some recent projects backed by the city’s half-cent sales tax for transportation include a safety video for drivers of large vehicles, traffic signal upgrades, bicycle lanes, new crosswalks, road diets and more.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority Vision Zero Committee, comprised of three members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, meets quarterly to advance policy and funding in support of Vision Zero. See the TA’sMeetings, Agendas and Events webpage for more information.

Photo: Sergio Rodriguez via Flickr Commons


Burton High School students tour YBIA group of Burton High School engineering students recently toured the Transportation Authority’s Yerba Buena Island East Side Ramps project site, getting a first-hand view of the $97 million project directly from those who are managing this complex job.

During the daylong event, 14 students got a close look at the construction zone and heard about the different roles and methods that go into delivering a major infrastructure project.

The students are seniors at Burton’s Engineering Academy, which provides a broad understanding of engineering careers, design principles and how other academic fields – such as math and English – contribute to engineering.

The tour helped Burton High students learn “about the career journeys of engineers, project managers and SFCTA staff, which inspired these seniors who are preparing for college,” said Frank Viollis, Career Technical Education Coordinator with the San Francisco Unified School District.

Burton is the city’s only public high school to offer an engineering track and the Transportation Authority staff gladly provided a ‘behind the scenes view’ to the group.

“It was great to share this project with interested high school students,” said Eric Cordoba, the Deputy Director for Capital Projects at the Transportation Authority. “They are the potential civil engineers of the future.”


SFCTA DBE/LBE outreach eventThe Transportation Authority hosted nearly 50 attendees from 39 companies at its annual Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/Local Business Enterprise event.

The event brought together women- and minority-owned firms with prime consultants and contractors to learn about upcoming opportunities in the fields of construction, architecture and engineering, tolling system integration, and professional services.

Among the agencies that presented were the Transportation Authority, Treasure Island Mobility Management Agency, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, and San Mateo County Transit District/Caltrain.

The DBE/LBE event included representatives from the San Francisco Office of Small Business, San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce, and Small Business Development Center. For more information about the event, including a list of attendees, visit the Available Contracting Opportunities section of our website.


We hope you find this newsletter informative. Let us know if you have ideas for future editions. Questions, comments or suggestions can be sent to Eric Young, Senior Communications Officer, at eric.young@sfcta.org.


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