Plans and Programs Committee - April 19, 2011

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Meeting Notice

Date:                  10:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Location:                Room 263, City Hall
Commissioners:     Commissioners Campos (Chair), Chu (Vice Chair), Avalos, Chiu, Wiener and Mirkarimi (Ex Officio)
Clerk:                      Erika Cheng


1.                   Roll Call

2.                  Approve the Minutes of the March 22, 2011 Meeting - ACTION* attachment

3.                  Citizens Advisory Committee Report - INFORMATIONattachment

4.                  Recommend Amendment of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's JFK Drive Parking-Buffered Bikeway Project (Resolution 10-75, Project Number 139.907043) to Revise the Scope, Schedule and Budget and Change the Funded Phase of Work from Construction to Planning and Design, and to De-Obligate $50,900 in Prop K Funds - ACTION* attachment

In June 2010, through approval of Resolution 10-75, the Authority allocated $112,000 in Prop K funds to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) for construction of a parking-buffered bikeway on John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park from 8th Avenue to Transverse Drive. The parking-buffered bikeway was to be the first of its kind in San Francisco- the bike travel lanes would be situated between the parking lane and the curb completely separated from vehicle traffic.  The SFMTA was going to implement the bikeway on a pilot basis to test aspects of the design and use of this innovative facility. In June 2010, the SFMTA anticipated the project would be completed by December 2010. In the refinement of the preliminary design and through ongoing coordination with San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department (RPD) over the past year, it became clear to SFMTA staff that the original proposal for two unidirectional side-running cycle-tracks was more complex than originally conceived, and approximately twice the anticipated staff time has been expended on design and planning to date.  All parties (the SFMTA, the RPD and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition) recognize that they underestimated the complexity of the planning and design process for this project.  Therefore, the SFMTA is currently seeking an amendment to revise the project's scope and schedule and to reduce the original $112,000 allocation to $61,100 for continuing planning and design work for this project. The balance of this allocation will be de-obligated ($50,900).  The Standard Grant Agreement needs to be amended to allow the SFMTA to complete further planning and design work on the JFK Drive Parking-Buffered Bikeway project. We are seeking a recommendation to amend the SFMTA's JFK Drive Parking-Buffered Bikeway Project (Resolution 10-75, Project Number 139.907043) to revise the scope, schedule and budget and change the funded phase of work from construction to planning and design, and to de-obligate $50,900 in Prop K funds.

5.                  Recommend Allocation of $15,016,000 in Prop K Funds, with Conditions, to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency for Three Projects and $1,241,000 to the Bay Area Rapid Transit District for One Project, Subject to the Attached Fiscal Year Cash Flow Distribution Schedules - ACTION* attachment

As summarized in Attachments 1 and 2, we have four Prop K allocation requests totaling approximately $16.3 million to present to the Plans and Programs Committee at its April 19 meeting. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has submitted three requests: $14.9 million for design, construction and operational start-up of the SFMTA's new central control facility at 1455 Market Street; $333,674 for construction of seven miles of bicycle facilities citywide; and $97,000 for reopening a closed crosswalk at Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street. The Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) has requested $1.2 million for construction of water intrusion prevention measures at the Powell Street Station. Attachment 3 provides a summary of our staff recommendations, highlighting issues of potential interest to the Plans and Programs Committee, such as recommended special conditions. We are seeking a recommendation to allocate $15,016,000 in Prop K funds, with conditions, to the SFMTA for three projects and $1,241,000 to BART for one project, subject to the attached fiscal year cash flow distribution schedules.

6.                  Update on Initial Vision Scenario of the Bay Area's Sustainable Communities Strategy - INFORMATION* attachment

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) are developing the Bay Area's first Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) an integrated transportation, housing, and land use plan that will form the basis for the 2013 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and Regional Housing Needs Allocation  process. In March 2011, MTC and ABAG released the Initial Vision Scenario (IVS) for the RTP/SCS, which responds to requirements that the SCS must identify a strategy to accommodate the region's entire housing need by income level. In April and May, MTC and ABAG will seek input from San Francisco stakeholders. This input will be used to develop multiple Alternative Scenarios (varying transportation and land use assumptions) that will build on the IVS. While the IVS does not assume any funding constraints and represents an aspirational goal for how the region would ideally develop, the Alternative Scenarios must be financially constrained as required by Federal air quality conformity rules.  Refinement of the Alternative Scenarios will lead to the selection of a preferred RTP/SCS scenario in late 2011. We have been leading coordination among City agencies to develop a unified set of San Francisco messages about the IVS. Our initial staff reaction to the IVS, informed by input from other San Francisco agency staff, is detailed in this memorandum. Two of the key messages include: 1) the amount of growth targeted for San Francisco, while consistent with San Francisco's own vision, should not be taken for granted and will require significant policy and funding support from the region to achieve; and 2) development of the Alternative Scenarios should be accompanied by an accelerated discussion of regional discretionary transportation policy to clarify the link between regional transportation and land use policy and provide incentives for achieving SCS housing and carbon reduction goals. This is an information item. We are seeking input and guidance from the Committee.

7.                  Update on Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy and San Francisco Transportation Plan Call for Projects - INFORMATION

On February 18, we released a joint call for projects for San Francisco's portion of the Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS) and for the San Francisco Transportation Plan (SFTP).  Transportation projects seeking federal or state funding or having regional air quality impacts must be included in the Bay Area's RTP/SCS, which sets policy and transportation investment priorities in the nine Bay Area counties for the next 25 years.  The Authority coordinates San Francisco's priorities for the RTP and submits these to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).  We have conducted significant public outreach and coordinated with San Francisco project sponsors to identify projects they wish us to consider for inclusion in the RTP/SCS.  At the April meeting we will present a summary of the project ideas we received from members of the public and transportation agencies.  We will also outline the process we will use to develop the draft staff recommendation of San Francisco's RTP/SCS priorities, which will be presented at the May Plans and Programs Committee.  This summer we will release a second SFTP call for projects which, in combination with the feedback we received in this call for projects, will help determine San Francisco's priorities for long-range planning and infrastructure investment that will feed into future RTPs. For more information, please visit is an information item.  We are seeking input and guidance from the Committee.

8.                  Recommend Commitment of Up to $150 Million in Additional State Regional Improvement Program Funds, with Conditions, to the Central Subway Project to Provide Supplemental Assurances to the Federal Transit Administration in Support of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's Plan to Cover Potential Cost Overruns Beyond the $1.578 Billion Baseline Project Cost - ACTION* attachment

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is currently targeting December 2011 for Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approval of a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) for the Central Subway project.  A FFGA is the FTA's official commitment of federal New Starts funds to the project and it is a necessary milestone that signals the project's ability to move into the construction phase.  As shown in Attachment 1, the project's funding plan includes $942 million in federal New Starts funds, equivalent to 60% of the funding for the $1.578 billion project.   One of the key milestones in seeking a FFGA is having a full funding plan for the project, which the SFMTA was able to develop in coordination with the Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and submit to the FTA in February.  FTA's review of the project's financial plan involves a determination as to whether the project has a full funding plan and a financial capacity assessment that includes evaluation of the SFMTA's plans to ensure that it can meet the cash flow needs of the project in the event that some of the funding is delayed or if costs increase over the baseline.  These sensitivity tests are part of the FTA's FFGA approval process. The SFMTA has been working with the Authority, the City, and other funding partners to develop a strategy to respond to FTA's request that a plan be in place to address both potential cost overruns of up to 10% of the overall project cost, about $150 million, and potential delays in the availability of funds.  The SFMTA needs to have a solid plan in place by the end of the month to keep the project on track to receive approval of the FFGA in December.  In order to leverage assurances from other funding partners, the Authority is proposing to commit up to $150 million in additional state Regional Improvement Program (RIP) funds to cover potential cost overruns equivalent to 10% of total baseline project costs.  Other funding partners will need to address how to secure bridge financing to cover delays in the availability of both state bonds and federal funds earmarked for the project. The proposed action by the Committee will therefore be contingent on securing those assurances in time for the Authority Board meeting of April 26. In addition, the conditions attached to this specific Authority commitment of RIP funds are shown in Attachment 2, and have already been agreed upon by the SFMTA. We are seeking a recommendation to commit up to $150 million in additional State RIP funds, with conditions, to the Central Subway project to provide supplemental assurances to the FTA in support of the SFMTA's plan to cover potential cost overruns beyond the $1.578 billion baseline project cost.

9.                  Update on Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit Administrative Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement - INFORMATION

The Administrative Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement (DEIR/S) for the Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit Project is complete, and currently under review by the project's NEPA lead agency, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), as well as Caltrans, SFMTA, and other partner agencies.  Comments from these agencies are expected by the end of April, allowing public circulation of the DEIR/S in May.  Following the required 45-day public circulation and comment period, staff will prepare a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) Report, identifying a preferred BRT Alternative from among the four alternatives and design scenario analyzed in the DEIR/S.  The LPA Report will be presented to the Committee in Summer 2011 for adoption.  While the Administrative DEIR/S is under review, staff has been working on a number of fronts to progress the project development effort.  First, a public notification and outreach approach and supporting collateral materials have been drafted and reviewed by the Van Ness BRT CAC.  In addition, early tasks in support of the Conceptual Engineering Report (CER) and 30% engineering are underway.  The 30% engineering effort will begin in full following the selection of an LPA.  Finally, coordination continues with the FTA; this month, the FTA released their Small Starts Readiness Review Report for the project.  The Report confirms the reasonableness of the project cost estimates and implementation timeframe, and identifies project development priorities for the September Small Starts annual report.  The project team is focused on supporting and overseeing the SFMTA's vehicle identification and procurement process, specifically, undertaking a review of the vehicle cost estimates and vehicle need analysis.  The purpose of this item is to provide a status update on the Van Ness Avenue BRT project, focusing on the public notification and outreach approach that will support the DEIR/S circulation period.   This is an information item.  We are seeking input and guidance from the Committee.

10.               Introduction of New Items - INFORMATION

11.                Public Comment

12.               Adjournment



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