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tv   [untitled]    May 8, 2012 9:30am-10:00am PDT

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windows. this is from all over coffee. we are contract printers for all kinds of organizations all across the country. >> thank you very much for showing us around today. i really appreciate you taking the time to let me get better acquainted with the operation and also to share with our "culturewire" team. supervisor campos: good morning manalapan to the tuesday, april 24, 2012 meeting of the san francisco county transportation authority. if my name is david campos, the chair of the transportation authority. the vice chair is commissioner scott wiener -- the de klerk is
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erika cheng. i want to thank the following members of sfgtv staff, bill and charles. madam clerk, have roll-call. >> supervisor avalos present. supervisor campos present. supervisor chiu present. supervisor cohen present. supervisor elsbernd: present. supervisor farrell: present. supervisor kim: present. supervisor mar: absent. supervisor olague: absent. supervisor wiener: here. >> march 27, 2012 meeting, approval of minutes and said. action item. supervisor campos: is there any public comment? seen none, public comment is closed. colleagues, this is an action item. we can have a motion on item number two. motion by commissioner cohen. a second by commissioner elsbernd.
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we can take that without objection. please call item number 3. >> treasury report. and -- shares report. and information item. supervisor campos: thank you very much. we have had a pretty busy last few weeks since the last time we met as a commission, and i especially want to highlight a very important development that took place. we had the approval by the california high speed rail authority of a new business plan which actually incorporates the memoranda of understanding for early work on high-speed rail corridors in both northern and southern california. i especially want to thank commissioner wiener and his staff, my staff, and executive director for the work we have done in collaboration with other agencies to negotiate a regional agreement with the ntc and our
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caltrain corridor partners. as a result of that collaboration, we now have a memorandum of understanding that fully reflects the importance of -- high-speed rail and it will ensure that caltrain is electrified in the downtown extension is actually built. i am proud to report that because of this work, the project will be delivered at least a decade before originally proposed by the authority. this is truly a major victory for san francisco, because it not only puts the downtown extension on the top of the regions of birdies, but it also ensures that our interests are fully protected. it is once in a lifetime opportunity, which i am proud that we were able to seize that opportunity. the second point i want to make with respect to high-speed rail is that even the we have had that very important development, the work is not completed.
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we still have a number of issues that need to be sorted out. among them is actually the way which high-speed rail will enter san francisco. this past week, there was some work done around this issue, and i want to thank the mayor's office, jillion, as was the office of supervisor wiener and my office. we work together on an application to the federal transit administration, which if we are successful, we will receive a grant that will allow us to carry out a $1 million study by the alternative alignment's by the high-speed rail to connect the city and region the transbay transit center. this is a continuation of the work that our executive director and his staff have been doing in terms of exploring alternatives. that not only ensures timely completion that lowers the costs of the project. i want to thank the county transportation authority staff for the prompt response.
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i know the deadline set were implicated were pretty short. i have to say that we certainly have high hopes for this grant. depending on what happens with the grant, the matter would come before the county transportation authority for full approval. so you'll be hearing about that in the very near future. the grant would have to be matched with prop 2 funds. the hope is we will continue to engage our partners at the transbay jpa, mta, ntc, caltrain. on the federal front, there was a development. it was actually an amendment that was introduced into the house version of the surface transportation act. the amendment was introduced by a representative from elk grove. this amendment, if successful, would threaten court eliminate the $942 million, and it starts funding for the central subway. i do not know the people fully
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understand the magnitude of what is being proposed. we're working with the mayor's office here at the county transportation authority, with the federal transit administration, and our representatives in washington, d.c., to make sure this amendment is not successful, and that is something we all should watch. i know the central subway is a priority for not only the authority but for this entire board of supervisors. finally, a very important piece of good news. i think this builds upon the work that has been started between our executive director and the new director of transportation that the mta, ed reiskin. they have come to an agreement and understanding for a preferred alternative for the van ness rapid transit project. i think a number of you, especially those whose districts are geographically impacted by this project have been briefed on this, but it
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will be a hybrid of alternatives three and four. this would take advantage of the best features of each one of those alternatives and minimize impacts and costs. if all goes according to plan, we will have here in san francisco, plus rapid transit running in the center of the van ness in just a couple of years. i know that the executive director will have more details for all of us, and as this matter progresses and as the lead agency here in the county transportation authority, we actually get to vote on the environmental document for van ness and brt, and we expect that that will happen in -- sometime in may, in our may meeting. i know that plans and programs, the chair of that committee, commissioner john avalos, will be scheduling that hearing.
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i believe that is for may 15. this is a very important development. i want to think the two agencies commit the mta and the ta for working together. i think it is important to be on the same page for these kinds of projects. the last thing i will say is that today we will be getting a brief report from staff on some of the projects that the county transportation authority is funding in the district's two and 10. this is an opportunity to highlight some of the work that is being done in the individual districts that we represent and so our constituents are aware of what you're doing for them as a member of this authority. unless you have any questions, i will open it up to public comment. >> you spoke on a number of topics, three or four, and i
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want to focus on the transbay. is there a way that we get an idea now, because we have spent so much time on the planning of the trains, the high-speed trains that would go from san francisco to l.a., and now for some reason you are shortening that distance, so what happens with all the planning -- i mean, the drawings of the various platforms? where can we get that information? what happens is we come here to several committee meetings, this meeting, and if you listen to what happens at the transbay meetings, they talk more in terms of some project or some type of construction with some timelines, the public should
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know exactly what is happening, with what type of a model with our train system. you keep on saying now, and it looks as if caltrain will play an important role coming to san francisco, so all i am asking is that on some sort of website we get the latest information. thank you very much. supervisor campos: thank you, mr. da costa. if staff and follow-up and make sure he gets that information and to the extent that there is any information we have available, that we can also make available to the rest of the public, we would be happy to do that. any other public comment? public comment is closed. call item number four. >> number four, executive director's report. this is an information at a. >> thank you. we will hear from our executive director. i want to thank our executive director and his staff for all the work that has been done. >> good morning. my report is on your desk. just a few comments, it
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certainly has been sort of a red letter month in the way some of these big projects have finally congealed. i want to comment very briefly on the fact that congress is now poised to take a look at the senate version of the bill to reauthorize the surface transportation act. this is a big deal which is becoming a smaller and smaller deal as the clock ticks, because it was supposed to be a two-year bill, but that was ending in september 2013. because we are getting so late into the conference committee, by the time there is agreement, and i hope there will be agreement, it will probably be a one-year bill. let me reiterate what i said before. there is no way to run the
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infrastructure investment policies of the country on a one-year or two-year bill. we need a multi-year bill. it is difficult thing to do today in congress because of the difficulty with approving new revenue, and i am afraid we're going to continue to do that. and as we continue to see that picture stretch into the future, the activities of authorities like this aboard become more and more important. because a larger share of the revenue that is available is actually directed and spend at the local level. it does not, however, make up for what the federal government should be doing, or for that matter, what the state should be doing, but that is the reality we're living with. it is even more extraordinary that we still have some major pieces of progress to report. the chair's report already attests to that. so we will keep you posted on
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the progress of the conference committee, and we're hoping at least we will have 01-year bill. the topic i want to highlight today beyond that is confirmation that there will be a closure of the existing oil dried starting on april 27 for a long weekend. come monday, all of the traffic will be in it the new alignment, because the first half of the project is finished. that is a major milestone for a project we have been working at for the last 15 years, and we're delighted to see that happen. i expect there'll be some kind of celebration of the opening of the first half at some point in may. i will keep you closely posted. i hope that all of you can attend. i would like to just follow up on a couple of issues that come from the last board meeting. we had a question related to the
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schulta block -- a particular site in the future of the development on that site, opposed the demise of the redevelopment agency in california. i wanted to reiterate that, following the request from commissioner olague at the last programs committee meeting, we have been making contact with mayor's office. i spoke with the director of planning. we have had contact with development. while i cannot give you a definitive answer, i can tell you that the city family is working proactively to try to find a way to move the project forward, even outside of the redevelopment process. i reiterate the background that projects that were under contract at the time that the change took place were protected, but this project did not have a contract.
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therefore, it found itself in limbo. we continue to work on it. the rationale for which the decision authority has a major stake in this is of course that there's a major investment at the south end of the third light rail line. there is an investment plan for a multi-modal transfer station at the bay shore station of caltrain, where we connect with the third straight line. it makes no sense to make all of that investment and not have the land development, the neighborhood orientation that the project would have brought to the picture. we continue to believe that we can energize that conversation and the good advocates for the right kind of development there by the decisions this board will eventually make on infrastructure investment. i would like to also second the comments that the chair made. page 3 of the report, there is a
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drawing that shows what the recommended alternative for, locally preferred alternatives, would be for transformation -- transportation authorities that and mta. i am delighted that we were able to come to this agreement, because it paves the way for the approval of the local alternative, the completion of the environmental document, approval of the document, and it clears the way for us to really focus on delivering a van ness brt. and the challenge for us now, strike that down, the schedule for the project, and we are 120% committed to that. i know that i can say that for ed reiskin as well. i am happy for the partnership we are able to obtain on that. one of the key things on this alternative is it would allow us to operate van ness brt with the fleet we have without the need
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to acquire a vehicles with the doors on both sides. from a cost standpoint, it is a major step forward that reduces costs and makes the project much more viable, much more interesting, and much more regulable -- replicable in other corridors. geary brt will follow suit quickly after that, because this project will set the stage for how the geometry of the streets will do that in the other corridors. the last two things i would like to do is for the public that may be watching the proceedings today, there are going to be public meetings on monday, april 30, at 6:00 p.m. on the better market street project. ideas that have been developed over the last several months bit of that will take place at our offices at 100 van ness, 26 floor. that is monday, april 30, 6:00 p.m. and then on and the caltrain
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bridge project, which is something we have been working on with supervisor cohen's office, that is replacing a bridge with a berm, requiring a street closure. there has been an amount of effort to reach out to the community in the area. there will be a meeting actually tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. at the southeast community facility commission building. and we encourage people who are interested in that project to attend that meeting to find out the characteristics of the proposed alternatives, one of which is the closure of the street. i will skip over the other items in the report. i am happy to answer any questions. supervisor campos: thank you. we have a question from supervisor cohen. commissioner?
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supervisor cohen: thank you very much. good morning to my fellow commissioners. good morning. i have a follow-up question on and the local issues section that specifically relates to what your talking about. i was a little unclear. are you telling me that the transportation authority is pulling out of supporting transportation around that area and you will be yielding to the mayor's office of budget? >> no, quite the contrary. we have a long-term commitment already made to the completion of the station at the end of the third street line. that is essentially pending assignment that we have on that. that is at the subject of a long-term process and study. it is also linked to the bi-
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county study to try to sort out transportation in the entire southeast corner of the county and its connection to development opportunities south of the county line. we have a longstanding commitment to do the right infrastructure investment from the sources we have but also to team up with the jurisdictions in san mateo county to be about to essentially an advocate for all of the improvements along the 101 corridor that are necessary, to make sure that development at scj;age ;pcl and all -- at schlage lock, also including candlestick and others, are achievable and that we have infrastructure with another piece of the city that has the appropriate about the transit service. it does not begin to look like a suburb.
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a car-driven suburb. we have a full commitment to that. the glitch in the current picture we have is with the disappearance of the redevelopment agency, we do not have a concrete development plan anymore for the schlage lock site. so we're building transit and building walkable infrastructure, and then we do not have anything happening there. so we are, i believe, but a vector of advocacy to make something happen at schlage lock and to make something happen that is good and includes affordable housing and the amount of density that is necessary to make that area turn into a real neighborhood anin sn francisco. supervisor cohen: perfect. are you aware of any movement on the state level? you talk about how the redevelopment project area is not able to qualify for ifv
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dollars. is there a movement afoot to begin to get the schlage lock and other redevelopment project areas designated and qualified for ifd financing? >> yes, commissioner, although i would characterize it as embryonic at this point. we are not the only area or a municipality in california that has been left hanging by the -- especially, the suddeness of the change with redevelopment. there is a forming a coalition, especially urban core jurisdictions like san francisco, oakland, to some extent san jose, and some of the older cities in southern california. they are looking for an opening legislatively to try to find some relief. supervisor cohen: my specific question is, are our legislators actually moving to introduce
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that legislation? >> yes, there is a movement underway. i do not know, however, that we will see a successful bill this session. if nothing else, because only so many ways to deal with this issue of the capture of the value of land development, and the governor has sent over a strong signal in the way he has treated the redevelopment movement. so there is the distinct threat that the governor would not sign a bill this session. so i believe what needs to be done is quite a bit of discussion and negotiation on how a bill like that would be characterized so that it would be acceptable to the governor. that is my assessment right now. that is why i am not giving it a really strong likelihood of having this session. it may still happen, but i would think that this is a two-year process. supervisor cohen: to piggyback
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off something you said earlier, the previous plan for the southeast sector of san francisco was largely moved and governed by the redevelopment agency. that agency is no longer. i want to let you know that i am going to be calling a hearing to bring together multiple departments to begin to discuss what exactly this plan is going to be. as of right now, it is piecemeal. you have the mayor's office of housing doing something over here. you have the ta doing some of over here. we need to begin to have a coordinated conversation, looking at all of our resources we have available. i would hope that you and staff would be about to participate. >> supervisor cohen, we would welcome the leadership you could bring to the table on a topic like that in your district. it would be very needed and positive. supervisor cohen: one last thing. last saturday at the bayview opera house, there was a very
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thoughtful conversation led by your team and a few of the planners discussing the future of transportation in the southeast part of the city. i want to compliment your team. it was a healthy turnout and very diverse. one of the issues that mr. da costa raises is about the community not being informed. judging by what i saw in the opera house for several hours, it was a good cross-section. so you're getting better. >> thank you, commissioner. on the issue of information, there is information available on our website, the ntc website, the mou, and high-speed rail. of course, the entire business plan was approved on the california high speed rail authority, and that is available on their website. these are public documents. the entire emphasis of approving a business plan is that it now will be reviewed by the entire
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legislature for an approval needed in the next mother of two. so while there is a lot of arcane detail in it, the public does have the opportunity to access all of that online right now. so i would suggest that people who are interested in that, simply google california high speed rail authority, and they will find the document on the site. and the ntc will have the mou that captures the regional agreement. supervisor cohen: also in this meeting, there was opportunity for contractors to learn more information on how to bid, where to bid on projects, particularly related to caltrain. >> that is a feature of our website as well. supervisor cohen: thank you very much. supervisor campos: thank you, commissioner. thank you to staff. we have a question from supervisor mar. supervisor mar: thank you for
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the presentation. i wanted to ask about the van ness brt in the geary corridor bus rapid transit as well. looks like the transportation authority is suggesting the center running brt and working with the mta to bring that forward on may 15 and to the ta on may 22 as well. my district, richmond, but i think district 5 are a justly awaiting the geary brt as well. i am wondering if you can reiterate the planning and the public outreach and the stakeholder outreach meetings and the public open houses that are coming up very soon with in district 5 and district one? >> absolutely, supervisor mar. thank you for pointing that out. there is absolutely information in the report about that as get a to shorten my report a little bit. but we do have public outrage -- outreach meetings planned for
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may and july in the neighborhoods to essentially look at not just the corridor in a general but the specific intersections at masonic and fillmore, which have been the source of a lot of debate, and they're the most difficult challenges that that project has. i would reiterate what i said earlier, the agreement on how to design and van ness will have a major impact, positive impact, on our ability to move geary forward. geary has had a very detailed analysis of issues like parking impacts and so on. and many of the issues have been addressed already. i believe that the extra time that it has taken us to come to agreement on van ness will be essentially -- it will be capital that we can use to
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shorten the development period for geary. that is a tremendous benefit to the geary corridor. while it is definitely a little bit behind the van ness corridor, it becomes our next priority and probably a major regional priority for brt. i believe we're discussing this not just with mta but with the transportation commission as the next generation of priorities for the federal small start funding, because we think that, similar to van ness but perhaps even to a larger scale, the geary corridor has the ridership already in place, the largest ridership of in the corridor in san francisco, to really compete very effectively at the federal level. there are a few places in the country that could boast that kind of ridership, and those places would probably be applying for rail money already appeared we