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tv   [untitled]    September 10, 2013 9:30pm-10:01pm PDT

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preferred alternative and that is a refinement of three and 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
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document also includes a mitigation monitoring program. 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.
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we made multilingual news announcements in multiple 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
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more than 35 stake holder public agency and committee 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
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divergence. the left turn 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
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there would be 8 intersections 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
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and poke. also some [inaudible] in the southern end 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
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stations really looking at a steep grade particularly between broadway and pacific. 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
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document. approval of statement of overriding consideration so this is where 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
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about $18 million. we can find finding for that and i think 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
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would consider approval action on the project as well and then after that the fta will 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
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this item. colleagues, any comments or questions? i would like to call up our mta 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
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it was one of the most painful rides in the city. later, as i've evolved in my understanding about transit work, i also started to figure out this is one of the most expensive systems to run and the way to move our transit, to move folks around the city. when i learned about this particular project, i couldn't be more excited. the member that stood out for me more than anything else was the 30 percent reduction of operations cost and the way that we would run service along this line. as you all know very well, this particular project has tremendous potential to be a parodyne shift for the way we run transit in san francisco. the kind of shift something like the bart system itself was or like any of the streetcar systems in the past and/or the light rail vehicle systems that
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we have. this system itself effectively could become the way that we redo the way that we move around san francisco and i'm thinking about van ness, i'm thinking about 19th avenue, maybe lombard, mission, all of these corridors that are yearning that we really need to improve or transit service along so that everyone can get around more easily, more reliably, more efficiently and obviously would save cost. working at the mta, you all know very well that we are turning over every dollar, every cent within our budget to make sure we can deliver service with a minimal resources that we have and these resources have been constraining over and over over the past years. this, i think is what we will call one of the best returns on
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investment -- a threefer d for every dollar we spend we have to get $3 of return on it and this particular project itself obviously -- it saves on operations, costs, it creates a safer corridor for bicyclists and pedestrians and obviously, most importantly, it delivers fast, frequent, reliable service. i think that's all i really need to say right now. i'm happy to speak more about the partnership if you'd like between the mta and the cta. kudos to 'tilly and michael and tim on our side and everybody else that's been working on this. we're really excited about moving forward together on, not just this project, but looking at the rt and other corridors in the future so we can deliver and get more people -- deliver better transit service so that more people
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will leave their cars at home. they're going to opt for more growth if we want to plan for more growth we can't stretch our streets anymore. we have to do more with what we have. this is one of the ways we can do that. thank you for all your work on this. i'm looking forward to the discussion. >> thank you for your great work and oversight on this as well. we do have comments from some of the commissioners. commissioner yee. >> yeah, real quickly. i -- just for clarification, -- first of all, i'd like to make comment that i'm glad we're looking at alternative parking for those areas where parking is impacted. i made this observation several months ago when we're trying to get from point a to point b to improve peoples' ability to move from
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one place to another. sometimes we make these improvement and do not make adjustments for impact that it has on a particular neighborhood in regards to parking. we take it away from them to help people from outside our neighborhood get from point a to b. that's a good thing. i need some clarification . on page 3 -- it could be just the illustration that's inaccurate, but on page three it shows sutter and van ness and if you're looking at the stop that's going southbound, that's pretty clear in how the pedestrian gets to that particular stop. then if you look on the other side going northbound there's a picture that shows that the stop is in
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the middle of the street and i'm not too sure how the pedestrian gets -- would get to that stop. is there anybody that can clarify that? on page four it's pretty straightforward to me in terms of where the stops are and how the pedestrian enter through the crosswalk. it seems like on this particular one, unless it's just an error under illustration, it's, like, you have to jaywalk in the middle of the street to get to the stop. >> hi commissioner yee. that's a good point and i realize that these drawings are conceptual in nature and aren't as detailed in providing all the details for every little item. the way this would work is actually the entrance is at the next block farther north. you would not enter through sutter
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street. >> i didn't want to assume. from the illustration it looks like it stops right in the middle of the block. >> sure. >> one other comment. the comment about this could be the way of the future for transportation. i think this is great in general that we have these middle lanes and for people to cross into -- get into the bus stops by crossing the street. it's, i think in general, 95 percent of the streets -- it's probably the most practical, safe thing to do for a pedestrian, but on the other hand on 19th avenue when we're looking at the muni stop, we're trying to move it away from the center because it's so unsafe for pedestrians to try
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to cross to get to the middle. perfect example of that is over at san francisco state when you see basically people unloading and several hundred people trying to cross the street on one signal and it would make a lot more says that it's not in the middle of the street. so hopefully on van ness we don't have the same situation where everybody's trying to get off at one time and there's not enough room for people to stand and wait for the signal to change. >> okay, great. i know that commissioner mar had [inaudible] so commissioner mar. >> thank you chair avalos. i wanted to thank michael schwartz and the mta staff. i'm very anxious to make sure our rapid network and the brt systems are moving forward as
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quickly as possible. chair avalos mentioned our visit to mexico city brt's and they were surprised how long our approval process was. i also wanted to say i think the rapid network we're creating in san francisco is critical for many areas that lack strong public transit support like the west side of the city. so with the van ness' brt's hopefully speedy imelementation that we can work towards the gary brt networks as well. i wanted to say i'm appreciative that the center lane alternative has been the one that's going to be proposed. i think it's the
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superior brt, the more effect ive ones according to the transportation and development policy that sponsored our trip to mexico city. those that cut corners and don't support the center lane alternatives, i think usually get the weaker ratings and are not as effective in connecting up the city with speedier, more reliable and higher quality transit. i'm glad the van ness brt is including some of the safety improvements that commissioner yee mentioned, but also tremendous street scape improvements as well. so i'll be looking forward to supporting the approval of the alternatives that are presented today, along with the eir. thank you. >> thank you. commissioner breed. >> thank you. i know this project has been underway for
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some time. i personally would have preferred to see an approach towards underground opportunities and i know again, it's too late to turn back the clock, but my biggest concerns about moving this project forward, although i of course support this as an option, are the loading for some of the small businesses. i know that was briefly mentioned and hopefully that would be taken into consideration. i know this we don't have the kind of alleys that maybe other places have to load and unload into certain businesses, but i know that's a continual problem with our businesses. parking will be a challenge, and also with the significant number of tickets that many of the delivery trucks are receiving as a result of double parking and everything. it's a challenge to our city, especially when we make significant changes and put in
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bike lanes and take out parking, but i want to make sure we are taking the concerns of the businesses who are significantly impacted seriously. if we come up with solutions that really work for them because we are taking out a significant amount of parking. the other thing that was mentioned was the landscape and trees and those sorts of things. i think san francisco has not done a very effective job, both when i served on the redevelopment commission, of looking at landscape that is sustainable, that has maintenance attached to it, but more importantly, putting the appropriate trees in the places where they don't negatively impact sidewalks, they don't negatively impact underground pipes and other things. there's been really a number of /khal he thinks specifically in district five where there are trees in locations where they
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shouldn't be and they're causing a lot of damage underground and to sidewalks and so when we're looking at landscape, we need to make sure that the kind of things that we place really make sense and they don't damage some of the infrastructure that we plan to put into place. that's all. i just wanted to make a few comments. looking for to see this project move forward and looking forward to bus rapid transit in general. i'd like the city to focus more effort on trying to do what we can to move some of these projects underground. we have a lot of people to move around, a lot of work to do to increase transportation efficiency and i just think that there are some projects that don't necessarily always have the space to do that and taking away parking consistently in huge numbers is not always completely the answer. we need to strike a
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balance. thank you. >> thank you. commissioner chiu. >> thank you mr. chair. first of all, i have some general comments about the project. as one of the district supervisors along the proposed brt, i have been supportive of the project for years. when i come to work, van ness is my main area of commute. have of the travel time is spent loading and unloading passengers and i think it's important we move forward with real change, which proposal represents. we've heard the /sta statistics -- it will reduce travel time by 33 percent. it will increase ridership by 37 percent with half of those new drivers being former drivers. i think those are incredibly compelling. i want to talk about the
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vallejo northbound station variant and i do plan to make a motion at the appropriate time to add the northbound station at vallejo street as part of the locally preferred alternative and i want to thank the community members that have worked with my office on this as well as the ta and mta staff. the need for the northbound station stems from the fact that this project will be eliminating existing bus stops at broadway. this will impact hundreds of low income seniors that live within a block of that van ness and broadway intersection. the northbound vallejo station has been environmentally cleared, but is not currently part of the lpa definition and that is what i would be motioning to add. i think it's incredibly important to ensure safe and convenient access for our
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seniors for disabled residents and others in that neighborhood. as you heard before from ta staff, without this station, seniors and others who rely on public transit would have to walk up the steepest grade of van ness to get to that closest northbound station of pacific and with the two double lefts at broadway, seniors would have to cross a dangerous intersection to get to pacific station, with the only alternative to walk three blocks south to get the other northbound station. the addition of the northbound vallejo station would not significantly add travel time to the route. it's estimated to be no more than 16 seconds for that stop and wouldn't create other impacts. i know seniors use that to go to the safeway and other places to buy
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groceries and access other goods and /s*fgss and i've heard from many residents that access to public transit in that particular area is very vital. so i will be asking your support in a motion to add the local northbound vallejo station to the the northbound alternative. >> thank commissioner wiener. >> thank you. i wanted to thank everyone who had a hand in moving this forward. it's been a long process and we've discussed what this process says about project delivery in san francisco generally and i hope we're moving in a positive direction in terms of improving that process so we can deliver projects in a time hi, efficient and cost effective manner. whatever the history, i'm glad we're here and that the project can move forward. this, i believe, is a
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transformational project for public transportation in san francisco and i share the desire for this to be just the first brt that we deliver in the city. i hope that we have a quite a few, although i agree with supervisor breed that sub ways are absolutely wonderful, subways are also extremely expensive and challenging in their own ways. so while we should not give up on building subways, brt is also a very good and cost effective way of making muni run faster. brt is a key part in implementing the transit effectiveness. as i understand it, muni has the slowest average speed of any major transit agency in the the west. i think it's 8 miles per
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hour on average and the tp is designed in large part to improve those speeds and brt is a key part of that. specifics of van ness -- i, as a fairly regular user of the van ness lines during the day, during non rush hour, during rush hour, i think anyone that using the van ness lines will know it is a salute disaster. it is a traffic cesspool. there are times when i'll be coming back from city hall from somewhere north of here and i will get off the bus to walk because it is -- the bus is just not moving. it has to go through multiple cycles even to get through a traffic light and there are times when