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tv   [untitled]    September 14, 2013 4:30pm-5:01pm PDT

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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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.
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>> 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 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
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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 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
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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 i'm kicking moist -- myself for not getting ting off the bus because we have been sitting for ten minutes to go one block. i am thankful -- i hope approving the middle lane option -- it is -- i think to make this work it needs to be in the middle lane and putting
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in a side lane, while i understand the desire of some to do that, means the buses will get caught behind every right turning car and i think it'll be much less effective. i also think this particularly for any brt project where we're investing significant public money and making significant trade offs in terms of parking and traffic and trade offs that i believe are /wo*t worth it, but we are making /traeuld offs and spending public money, we need to get it right in the first one out of the gate. i have some concerns about the addition of the northbound vallejo stop. i completely understand why folks are advocateing for this and i am sympathetic, but i have some concerns. i have a question for staff
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about the addition of the northbound vallejo stop. what is the additional cost of adding that stop to this project? >> the high level estimated is about $500,000 for another station. >> and we're already short on the budget for this project? >> there are currently a budget short fall, yes. >> okay. can you -- if we do this, are you able to guarantee that there won't be additional requests for additional stops on various parts of the line? >> i cannot personally guarantee that that would be the case, no. >> okay. has there been discussion about whether this -- what kind of precedent this
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might create in terms of adding additional stops? >> yes. it's a very good point and something that staff took very seriously was the precedent knowing things -- like, the transit [inaudible] on a number of lines and we noted that we are removing about a third of the stops as part of this project. that is partly why the southbound, from a technical standpoint, was justify dude to the ridership. we did clear environmentally [inaudible]. >> so the stop is not in the locally preferred alternative. >> just to add on to michael's response there. i think we're unique on several levels. we deliberated for a while on how
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this context may apply city wide. we have a few other factors that have unique to this particular location that maybe may not make it a precedent for the city wide for for stop con consolidations. we also have a remaining double left turn which is the only one we are retaining on the corridor in the southbound direction so we are able to take away and the left turns elsewhere, we are leaving this large movement here and that presents a challenge. finally we have some folks using it, but there's not a large number of folks on the bus at that point, so we don't think this will be particularly burden some from a travel time standpoint? on the southbound
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side we did, in recognition of the five block gap that would have been left had we taken away the gap. >> the agencies made a /khoeusz not to incloud it on the lpa? >> that is true. on the north bound. >> now, in terms of /pres /tkepbts, precedent, we have a very significant senior population throughout san francisco. we have a lot of hills. is there any analysis in terms of implementing the brt, where there are significant senior populations in relation to hills? one thing to say we looked at the city and really this is the only place we have this [inaudible] of senior housing, a particular grade,
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but we see that throughout san francisco. >> sure, let me invite some mta colleagues. the double left turn is a pretty substantial movement and everywhere else many in the corridor was a very unique situation. >> how confident are you that this isn't going to be a precedent as we roll out other brt's /stphr ? >> i recognize that.
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>> i am not in any way saying this proposal is somehow ill founded or irrational. i understand the basis and i'm sympathetic to it. i am concerned that this is the first brt outta the gate and we're at the beginning of tep implementation. i'm concerned about the precedent it's going to set. one of the points of brt is to separate it and don't stop at every block so we can get efficient movement of the buses. this will increase the cost by about half million dollars, which is not insignificant. we don't know if there are going to be other
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requests on this brt line. as we know in san francisco, the closer you get to finalizing the project, the more people tend to focus on the details and come forward and say hey, what about this? that's just natural. i'm concerned /thao we do this and then we're going to have other requests as well so i don't know how global this consideration would be. i just -- i don't understand brt, the tep is going to be very politically challenging in terms of implementation. it's /tpoeupbg going to be hard for all of us when you reroute line, consolidate bus stops. i'm not suggesting we can't add a bus stop here or do a consolidation. i know mta's still doing out reach about that, but i'm concerned about the /pres tent -- precedent
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that this sets. >> thank you. i know commissioner farrell was trying to get on the stack. go ahead. >> as one of the supervisors, along with supervisor ciao and i believe kim and breed, who this -- and i think wiener at the end here -- these districts are impacted by some of the brt. i just want to make a few comments as well. in terms of rent dents in district two who have commented on it, i want to thank them for their input. i see george here who has a letter here from. so thank you for your continual input here. to echo what my /kol colleagues have said, i believe
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cesspool is an appropriate comment. anyone who's local in san francisco -- if you can avoid it, you avoid it. i think that's really unfortunate. i absolutely believe [inaudible] the project has taken a long time to implement and i agree with supervisor wiener's comments about project delivery. a long process like this -- this won't be a perfect project from everyone's point of view. i will absolutely be supporting supervisor chiu -- van ness stop at vallejo. there's a principal concern for those in russian hill, certainly the local neighbors. i think these have to be evaluated on an
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individual basis and they do have very significant impacts on residents living in the neighborhoods. from my perspective, it is time to move forward. i hope we get this out today. >> as we think about van ness brt and from my perspective in district two as the gateway of san francisco we are going to have that /ud /aud parkway in a number of years and my focus is going to start to be on lombard and what happens and reenvision that street and we need to now think about lombard street as well. again, thank you for everyone involved in district two and certainly staff for all your
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full-time -- time and /harpd work on this. >> i think /hropl lombard is a very important intersection and we have to connect the improvements we're doing throughout the city. i am very, very excited about the certification of the cir and checking off a milestone on this very important project. one of the things that i think that we've done a decent job at here in the city is our horizontal options. i think because of the historical nature because of the west to eastbound traffic, something that i think we have been sorely lacking in is our vertical transit, going north and south. the van ness brt is
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going to be an incredibly important piece being able to move through san francisco going north and south. i'm really excited about this plan. i want to say i came in in the last couple of years of the project planning and i thought this was a great example of the transportation authority and sfmta working together to be creative about the deseens and /shaougss that work for everyone. of course has been pointed out, there are a couple of kinks /thao won't make everyone happy, but i think overall we have a really beautiful plan that was able to incorporate lot of peoples' /tpoed back and you address a lot of concerns. i wanted to echo, exhibitioner chiu, i will also be supporting the amendment on the northbound vallejo stop. i don't think it's a bad thing that this
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creates some sort of perez tense. i think that level of senior citizen community -- notre dame a huge project. i know on van ness in general we have a number of senior housing along the door /taor. the seniors ride the 47 and 49. i think we need to think about our current ridership and not just our future ridership. i think that /pwer intersection is very difficult to cross. i think the double left hand turn just adds to the danger of that intersection. that is something that i will be sporting as well. i think it's also exciting about van ness is we're seeing a hot of new development on van
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ness all the way from triple a building, up to [inaudible] on clay street. there's cpmc hospital as well. there's going to be a lot of residents and workers along van ness so i'm glad this project is moving alongside of that. i look forward to support, certify this eir and then move on to so many of our other priority projects. i just wanted to thank the ta and sfmta. i'm really excited to support and ride the brt when it's finally implemented. >> thank you. commissioner campos. >> thank you. i won't repeat the comments that have been made. i want to take this opportunity to thank the ta staff as well as all the other say general is, the mta in particular as who have been working on this matter when we
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saw where this was a couple years ago when /sph-pl some of the new members to this body had been elected there were a number of questions that remain. i appreciate that in a very short /poerd of time the various agencies were able to engage this commission and the constituents that are represented to get to this point and i think it took a great deal of creativity of the ta staff to come up with a solution that brought people together and i do support consideration for addressing the needs of seniors with respect to this project. i'm very prod that we are where we are and, you know, just again, thank you to everyone who made it possible. i want ton
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acknowledge [inaudible] who was largely responsible for thinking outside the box in terms of how we got here. thank you. >> commissioner breed. >> i actually have some questions because of the proposed revolution to add an /aeu /teugsal stop. i didn't think i heard clearly in terms of the efficiency of the brt with this change in terms of percentage wise to add an addition until stop. i haven't gotten a specific number to that. >> sure. so the tep has developed a set of rule of thumbs for what additional stations, additional stops would be in terms of travel time. so it could be up to 15 seconds. /theupbs since
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>> based on this project, the percentage in terms of increase in efficiency was mentioned at 33 percent, so as a result of an additional stop, what does that change to? a: >> i don't have the number off my head but it was going from 32 percent to 31 percent, something along those lines. >> were there any surveys done to figure out how many seniors we're talking about specifically? it's my understanding that in this -- if /thr-fts any information or was there any outreach to determine how many of those seniors actual /hru used the buses along