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tv   [untitled]    September 10, 2013 11:00am-11:31am PDT

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>> good morning. today is tuesday, september 10, 2013. welcome to the the san francisco county transportation authority. my name is john avalos, the chair of the authority. our clerk today is erika change and we'd like to thank sfgtv staff, greg best of and josh alexander for your
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work today. roll cal. >> avalos present, breed present, campos absent, commissioner chiu present, cohen present, farrell present, kim present, mar present, tang present, wiener present, yee present. we have quorum. >> very good. thank you. we have two main i at tems here today. the approval of the ei r for the van ness bus rapid transit. we have our board meeting at 2 o'clock today and we may go into close to the board meeting and if that looks like the case, i'd like to recess this meeting at 1:30 and then continue on after our board of supervisor's meeting
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with transportation authority deliberations on these items if we need to. okay? just want to make sure we understood that moving forward. madam clerk, if you could call item two. >> item two, approval minutes from july 23 meeting. this is an action item? >> any comments on the minutes. minutes are open for public comment. seeing no members of the public come forward we will close public comment. can we have a roll call vote on approval of the minutes? >> avalos i, breed i, cohen i, farrell i, kim i, mar i, tang i, wiener i, yee i. item passes.
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>> very good. our next item please? >> item number three, certify the environmental impact report, approve the findings of fact, approval statement of overriding of mitigations and approval [inaudible] single median and limited left turns at the preferred alternative for the van ness avenue bus rapid transit project. this is an action item. >> i want to thank the transportation awe authority and the lpa. i want to reiterate that the authority and the sfmta staff were able to bring bus rapid traffic to the middle of the roadway where it'll be less imimmediated by turning and slow traffic. this is clearly the right alternative for this project on
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a number of levels. i want to recognize the good work that went into the eir. this is a well written and informative document that allows us to make a measured decision about approval and modification. it makes it much easier than a standard document of this size and nature. i want to recognize the large amount of work in outreach that staff have done on this project. it's always good if we can do more, as it seems inevitable we can do more, but we've done very good with 17,000 mail that went out to inform people of this work. i want to thank the effort of the van ness bus rapid transit system advisor committee for their work as well. we can go on to staff presentations unless staff have
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any comments they'd like to make. and i believe we have michael shorts will be presenting from staff. >> good morning, maria lombardo. the i want to echo the chair's remark, but also to thank the ta and mta board, including mta director. this is something the city and these two bodies should be very proud of it this is the highest ranked small start project in the nation. it will show us a brand new mode of transportation for san francisco. i want to thank miss change and the team that really delivered this. some of the members from the mta, tim, peter, paul. from the ta, michael shorts, sherry
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-- i always mess up your name -- rachel, and of course kelly change for the leadership. i'll conclude. >> thank you. >> avalos and commissioners, i'm going to briefly go through, as maria said, i'm just going to go through the document and what your approval actions are today. so the van ness brt is the first in the brt network and the main goal is to fill in this main rail network gap in the east and southwest parts of the city. we don't have heavy infrastructure in that part of the city. van ness is the first one going from mission to lombard street. it supports the rest of the rapid network, and as many of you know, the
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draft eir is out for public review and comment. we're looking for approval on these lines. it supports regional network, which is the golden gate transit, which you can see on this slide. brt is a new mode of transportation here in san francisco. it features a combination of improvements. you've seen some of these in different parts of the city, but it's the full combination that makes it brt. the obvious one is the transit lane that is in the center of the street away from right turning and parking vehicles, as well as signal priority. new low floor vehicles are designed to line up with platforms. we see this as a complete streets project with many pedestrian -- you can see nose cones at the medians,
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thumbnails, to protect pedestrians from turning vehicles. in addition there's pedestrian scale lighting and high quality shelters. the local alternative that was selected by this board is [inaudible] with single median right /saoeuld loading unlimited left turns. the buses travel in the left most travel lane straddling will medians and will allow for standard right side buses to load from the left and right side. in addition, the limited left turns means all left turns will be removed with the exception of at lombard and at broadway,
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a double left turn. findings in the document, which was carefully vetted through local region /tphaol and these really match with the goals of the project were so they're im/pro*ufing transit travel times at the 32 percent. that could be up to 7 minutes from mission to lombard. improving transit reliability up to 50 percent. we know that people are just as much as they want to move quicker, they want to know when the bus is coming, that it will come to when the scheduled headways would be. this would cause an increase in transit boarding due to the superior service. finally we know that we want to maintain [inaudible] this is u.s. 101. we know it's important to move cars and people through the area. we have to maintain the ability to do that so we are able to keep it similar to where it is, however, many more people are riding on transit than would ride without the project. we are able to keep the same number of people
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moving through the corridor on van ness as well as the parallel streets. the decrease in transit travel time will save up to 30 percent and we know there will be improvements on safety through many of the pedestrian improvement that i talk about. the elimination of left turns -- the number one cause of vehicle accidents on van ness are left turns so we are eliminating them. this final document that is before you -- the main things that are in here that's different than the draft is that it includes the locally preferred alternative that was identified by this board and selected and we refined drawings and some analysis to re/tphrebgtd to show what the impacts would be of that preferred alternative and that is a refinement of three and
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four. there were a number of comments related to transportation modelling approach, people commenting on the analysis for [inaudible] removal and replacement, air quality as well as other answers to other comments. i should know some additional comments have come in after the formal close of the public speculation period. seqa does not require us to respond to those documents, however, we did distribute a memorandum to commissioners addressing those comments. we don't believe this identifies any new impacts or new mitigations not previously in the environmental draft document. the final environmental document also includes a mitigation monitoring program.
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finally, in the document are staff initiated changes. so just a little bit about notification for the final environmental document. we did mail cd's to all commenters on the document who provided physical addresses. public agencies received responses and cd and hard copies. the document is available on the website on july 5 and we have multiple [inaudible] and a mailing to 17,000 plus addresses so everyone who lives on van ness avenue over the 2 mile corridor, as well as all buildingings fronting franklin and [inaudible] street. we made multilingual news announcements in multiple
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newspapers. just for the overall project, we had three major /proupbdz adds part of this project. the first was with the notice of /spwepbts and preparation where we did radius mailing, fliers on buses, and really tried to take input on the scope of the alternatives and impact areas. the second major push was during the public speculation of the draft and there we actually posted posters up and down van ness after anywhere that was not a bus stop so people were aware this document was out and then during the lpa decision we made concerted efforts to reach out to many effected stake holder groups. there were 26 meetings for the [inaudible] advisory committee. they were very involved committee that really helped shape the project that you see before you. we also made presentations at more than 35 stake holder public agency and committee
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meetings. many of these committees we went to multiple times and some of them were in languages over than english. the website was constantly updated with information related to the project. as i mentioned before there were those multilingual announcements and newspaper advertisements during the major rounds of outreach. in addition, we did hold a focus group with low vision transit riders and we made accessible materials where they were able to look at the alternatives just to get input from that group. finally, there were public hearings, including this one, as well as one during public circulation and during the noi, no p. this was circulated with a public webinar during /serbglation. these are the key areas of interest that you may here during public comment and that we have heard from traffic divergence. the left turn
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removals, parking and loading including some loading zones that we are working to replace on side streets, as well as alleys. the transit stop consolidation, as well as visual effects including trees and landscaping. i'll move on and follow up with any questions you may have. the findings from the documents in terms of impacts. there's really one area with significant impacts and that is with traffic circulation and delay. in 2015 there would be three intersections with a delay impact. this is similar to the no build [inaudible] we think that this is a manageable number of impacts. in terms of the long term 20135 -- 2035 there would be 8 intersections
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with auto delay impacts. we need to look at a lot of the developments coming into the area and think about big strategies. i know the authority is working on the san francisco transportation plan, the mobility access and pricing study and potential tools that are larger than just engineering treatments. we know with the implementation of brt, if some of those larger, major strategies then the brt would cause some significant impacts. just looking at some improvements in the corridor, the property streets bound, which i know has been in front of the board of supervisors, looks to repave goth, franklin and poke. also some [inaudible] in the southern end
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of the corridor, funded in part through the mash /ket funds. there is a polk street conceptual design, but the intent again is to have that project be implemented ahead of the conduction of the /srab /tphesz brt so these are really area improvements. there is one [inaudible] in front of you today. the lpa right now includes a new station at vallejo street in the southbound direction and this is put in in part due to some concerns from the community about a gap in stations really looking at a steep grade particularly between broadway and pacific.
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it's the only remaining double level turn which means that the existing stop at broadway would have to be removed to allow enough right away for that stop so we were able to work with mpa to find a stop in the southbound direction, which has more ridership than the northbound direction currently. we have cleared a northbound variant which would allow inclusion of that but it's not part of it as of today. these are the proposed actions in front of you. first is the certification of the eir pursuant to seqa. have we disclosed the appropriate impacts and mitigations? the second is the [inaudible] summarizing this process and the findings within that document. approval of statement of overriding consideration so this is where
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we have significant and unavoidable impacts you would be approving a statement of override to implement the project. approval of the mitigation and monitoring program. and finally is the product approval, which would be the brt right side boarding single median left turn as the preferred alternative. just a quick summary of cost, we're at $126 million. 75 million of that would come from the sta small starts program, as well as cal-trans has highway maintenance funds to repair the roadway and the [inaudible] is willing to make a contribution to the project. it'll leave a funding gap of about $18 million. we can find finding for that and i think
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the goal is to be able to close that gap in the near future. so the timeline right where the abc red bar is where finishing up the environment phase right here. and mta is already starting some of the preliminary studies for their design conceptual engineering report. that will take them through 2014 and into 2015. advertising for construction will be 2015, construction beginning 2016, ending by end of 2017 and if they stay on schedule, the revenue service would begin at the beginning of 2018. the next steps after today is the following tuesday the sfmta would consider approval action on the project as well and then after that the fta will
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consider a record of decision on the environmental impact statement. that would officially end the environmental review process. through the fall of 2013 the project team will work with stakeholders on replacement parking solutions in areas that are particularly impacted, affected by parking loss and mta will consider legislative package to impact the project. it will be a package that will make some of the changes including removing the bus stops and implementing the brt lanes and removing parking and any replacement parking. 2013 to 2015 is detailed design with revenue service to start in early 2018. thank you for your time and at this time i'll open it up. >> thank you for your presentation and your work on this item. colleagues, any comments or questions? i would like to call up our mta
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director, mr. ramos. >> thank you president avalos and commissioner. i'm director with the san francisco mta. i'm also a resident of supervisor yee's district, district 7. also a long time, proud to say, transit rider and resident of san francisco. this particular project before you is part of the reason why i am serving the role that i am. twenty years ago i was a regular rider of the 49 putting myself through san francisco state university and working at the square and i had to take the 49 up and down van ness and it was one of the most painful rides in