Plans and Programs Committee - May 15, 2012

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Meeting Notice

Date:                  10:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Room 263 250, City Hall

Commissioners:     Commissioners Avalos (Chair), Kim (Vice Chair), Cohen, Farrell, Olague and Campos (Ex Officio)

Clerk:                      Erika Cheng  

1.                   Roll Call

2.                  Approve the Minutes of the April 17, 2012 Meeting - ACTION* attachment

3.                  Citizens Advisory Committee Report - INFORMATION* attachment

4.                  Recommend Programming of $400,000 in Cycle 3 Lifeline Transportation Program (LTP) State Transit Assistance Funds to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)'s Free Muni for Low Income Youth Pilot Program and Concurring with the SFMTA's LTP Prop 1B Project Priorities, Including a Wait List Project in Case There Are Unneeded LTP Prop 1B Funds - ACTION* attachment

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) established the Lifeline Transportation Program (LTP) to fund projects improving mobility for low-income residents.  For Cycle 3, MTC has assigned the largest LTP fund source, Prop 1B state infrastructure bond funds, directly to transit operators for programming, subject to Congestion Management Agency (CMA) concurrence.  As the CMA for San Francisco, the Authority is responsible for programming the other three LTP funding sources, i.e., Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC), Surface Transportation Program (STP), and State Transit Assistance (STA) funds, as well as for administration and oversight of the overall LTP.  We are recommending $1,200,942 in JARC funds for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's (SFMTA's) Continuation of Bus Restoration project, as selected through a competitive process, in a separate agenda item. We had postponed programming of the remaining $3,984,843 in Authority LTP funds, and the SFMTA had deferred submission of its project priorities for $11,732,430 in LTP Prop 1B funds, pending a decision about whether to commit a portion of the LTP funds to a new free Muni youth pass program.  On April 17, the SFMTA Board approved the Free Muni for Low Income Youth pilot program, a 22-month program to provide a free Muni pass for low income youth at an estimated cost of $9.9 million.  The SFMTA's funding plan for the pilot program includes $400,000 in Authority LTP funds and $5 million from the MTC.  On June 13, MTC's Programming and Allocations Committee is expected to act on a regional funding contribution for the SFMTA's request, and at least one other request from the Valley Transportation Authority.  Thus, Chair Campos has requested that the Plans and Programs Committee consider recommending $400,000 of the Authority's LTP funds for the SFMTA's pilot program in May, prior to MTC's action in June.  With the LTP Prop 1B funds, the SFMTA proposes to program $9,310,080 to the 8X Mobility Maximization project and $2,413,350 to the Mission Mobility Maximization project to offer a premium transit service along the 8X and Mission corridors, which run through multiple neighborhoods consisting of a high percentage of low-income census tracts.  The 8X project also includes lighting and wayfinding improvements at the Balboa Park Station.  We are seeking a recommendation to program $400,000, with conditions, in Cycle 3 LTP STA funds to the SFMTA's Free Muni for Low Income Youth pilot program and concur with the SFMTA's LTP Prop 1B project priorities, including a wait list project in case there are unneeded LTP Prop 1B funds.

5.                  Recommend Programming of $1,200,942 in Cycle 3 Lifeline Transportation Program Jobs Access Reverse Commute Funds to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's Continuation of Bus Service Restoration Project - ACTION* attachment

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) established the Lifeline Transportation Program (LTP) to fund projects improving mobility for low-income communities.  Projects must evolve out of a collaborative and inclusive planning process, address gaps or barriers identified through community-based transportation plans or other substantive local planning efforts, and improve a range of transportation choices for low-income persons.  The LTP is complicated to administer, since it is comprised of four different funding sources with varying eligibility requirements which don't always fit well with the program intent.  For Cycle 3, responsibility for programming the Prop 1B LTP funds was delegated to the transit operators with concurrence required from the Congestion Management Agencies (CMAs). The Authority was tasked with programming $5,333,667 in LTP funds from the federal Jobs Access Reverse Commute (JARC), State Transit Assistance (STA), and federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds.  In February, we released a call for projects for the $1,200,942 in available LTP JARC funds.  Applications were due to the Authority on March 14, 2012.  Of the four applications we received, only the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's (SFMTA's) Continuation of the Bus Service Restoration Project met the eligibility requirements for JARC funds, which require a strong linkage to improving access to jobs and job-related activities.  The SFMTA's project will continue the expanded service levels and late-night service provided by its Bus Service Restoration Project that received funding through San Francisco's Cycle 2 LTP for six bus routes that serve low income communities: 19-Polk, 21-Hayes, 27-Bryant, 29-Sunset, 44-O'Shaughnessy, and 54-Felton.  The Cycle 3 LTP evaluation panel determined that the project met the goals of the LTP guidelines, demonstrated its benefit to low-income San Francisco residents, and recommended fully funding the SFMTA's request for the $1,200,942 in available JARC LTP funds. We had postponed programming of the remaining $4,132,725 in Authority LTP funds, and the SFMTA had deferred submission of its LTP Prop 1B project priorities, pending a decision on the free MUNI youth pass.  Following the April 17 SFMTA Board approval, with conditions, of a free low income youth pass pilot program,  we are now bringing a recommendation on the youth pass and SFMTA's LTP Prop 1B project priorities as a separate agenda item this month.    We are recommending programming of $1,200,942 in Cycle 3 LTP JARC funds to the SFMTA's Continuation of Bus Service Restoration Project.

6.                  Recommend Appointment of Three Members to the Citizens Advisory Committee - ACTION* attachment

The Authority has an eleven-member Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).  CAC members serve two-year terms.  Per the Authority's Administrative Code, the Plans and Programs Committee recommends and the Authority Board appoints individuals to fill any CAC vacancies.  Neither Authority staff nor the CAC make any recommendations on CAC appointments, but we maintain an up-to-date database of applications for CAC membership.  A chart with information about current CAC members is attached, showing ethnicity, gender, neighborhood of residence, and affiliation.  There are three vacancies on the CAC requiring Committee action.  The vacancies resulted from the resignation of Rosie West and the term expirations of Chris Jones and Conrad Wu.  We are seeking a recommendation to appoint three members to the CAC.

7.                  Recommend Selection of Center Lane Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) with Right Side Boarding/Single Median and Limited Left Turns as the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for the Van Ness Avenue BRT Project and Approval of the Draft Van Ness Avenue BRT LPA Report - ACTION* attachment   enclosure

As part of the alternatives analysis required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project will include the selection of a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) along with an evaluation of the LPA's environmental impacts. The Draft EIS/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) included three build alternatives for consideration, one side lane option (Alternative 2) and two center lane options (Alternatives 3 and 4), as well as a reduced left turn variant. Based on technical analyses and agency and stakeholder input throughout the project, the joint San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and Authority staff recommendation for the LPA is Center Lane BRT with Right Side Boarding/Single Median and Limited Left Turns, a refinement of the center alternatives in the Draft EIS/EIR. This recommendation considers the project's purpose and need, with an emphasis given to transit performance. Although center running alternatives (3 and 4) demonstrated the greatest transit travel time reduction and reliability benefits, each also had significant challenges. The LPA represents an optimized center-running alternative. BRT vehicles would operate alongside the median for most of the corridor, similar to Build Alternative 4. At station locations, the BRT runningway would transition to the center of the roadway, allowing for right side loading using standard vehicles, similar to Build Alternative 3. This alternative would retain the high performance features of Alternatives 3 and 4 (e.g., maximum transit priority, fewest conflicts) while avoiding the need to acquire left-right door vehicles or remove/rebuild the entire median.  The LPA includes consolidation of 6 Muni stops in each direction and incorporates Design Option B, eliminating all left turns from Van Ness Avenue between Mission and Lombard streets with the exception of the southbound (two lane) left turn at Broadway.  As described in the Draft EIS/EIR, this limited left turn variant (Design Option B) provides substantial travel time benefits for transit, reduces weaving of the transitway, and facilitates overall north-south traffic flow on Van Ness Avenue. The recommended LPA will be considered at the May 15 SFMTA Board and Authority Plans and Programs Committee meetings, and at the May 22 Authority Board meeting. We are seeking a recommendation for the selection of Center Lane BRT with Right Side Boarding/Single Median and Limited Left Turns as the LPA for the Van Ness Avenue BRT Project and approval of the Draft Van Ness Avenue BRT LPA Report.

8.                  Recommend Appropriation of $60,000 in Prop K Funds for the San Francisco Parking Pricing and Regulation Study, Subject to the Attached Fiscal Year Cash Flow Distribution Schedule - ACTION* attachment

The San Francisco Parking Pricing and Regulation Study (Study) will develop and evaluate parking-based approaches for the management of traffic congestion in San Francisco's greater downtown. This planning effort will build on the Authority's Mobility, Access and Pricing Study (MAPS), which was approved by the Authority Board in December 2010. MAPS evaluated roadway congestion pricing options and identified high-performing, feasible cordon-based pricing scenarios that would effectively reduce peak-period traffic in the greater downtown and generate revenues sufficient to operate the program and deliver associated mobility improvements.  The goal of the Study is to identify a parking option, if any, that would both reduce peak traffic in the city's most congested areas and provide for the necessary supporting transportation system investments. The Study approach will be similar to the MAPS effort, which utilized technical analyses, multi-agency input, and a robust outreach program as the basis for the review of feasible options. A newer feature of this Study will be the consideration of various regulatory options for implementing a parking-based demand management strategy. The requested Prop K funds will serve as one half of the needed local matching funds for a $480,000 grant of federal Value Pricing Pilot program funds awarded to the Authority by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission will provide an additional $60,000 in local match for the Study. We are seeking a recommendation to appropriate $60,000 in Prop K funds for the San Francisco Parking Pricing and Regulation Study, subject to the attached Fiscal Year Cash Flow Distribution Schedule.

9.                  Fiscal Year 2012/13 Prop K Annual Call for Projects - INFORMATION* attachment   enclosure

The intent of the annual call for Prop K projects is to bring as many of the programmatic and other individual capital project allocations to the Authority Board for action in June. This allows project sponsors to incorporate the level of Prop K funding in their annual budget processes, and to put into place the staff and other resources necessary to deliver Prop K projects and programs. Project sponsors that can demonstrate need and project readiness can also receive allocations for individual projects and programs during the year. We received nine applications by March 26 in response to the Fiscal Year 2012/13 Prop K annual call for projects, requesting approximately $12.3 million in Prop K funds. This month we are presenting the project requests as submitted by sponsors to the Plans and Programs Committee (Committee) for information. Next month, we will bring our recommendations for the annual call to the Committee for action. Attachment 1 summarizes the applications received, including project phases and the proposed leveraging compared to Expenditure Plan assumptions. Attachment 2 provides a brief description of each project. Attachment 3 highlights issues of potential interest to the Committee and policy considerations that we are exploring as part of our on-going review of the allocation requests. We have invited Department of Public Works (DPW) staff to the Committee meeting to address concerns raised by members of the public and the Citizens Advisory Committee about its policies for street tree planting and maintenance given the limited resources available for such work, and to explain its tree relinquishment policy to transfer maintenance responsibilities from the City to fronting property owners.  We are seeking input and guidance from the Plans and Programs Committee. This is an information item.

10.               Introduction of New Items - INFORMATION

11.                Public Comment

12.               Adjournment










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To obtain a disability-related modification or accommodation, including auxiliary aids or services, to participate in the meeting, please contact Erika Cheng at 415.522.4800 or via email at at least two business days before the meeting.

The nearest accessible BART station is Civic Center (Market/Grove/Hyde Streets). Accessible MUNI Metro lines are the F, 5, 21, 47, 49, 71, 71L, J, K, L, M, N, T (exit at Van Ness Station). MUNI bus lines also serving the area are the 6, 7, and 9 San Bruno. For more information about MUNI accessible services, call (415) 701-4485.  There is accessible parking in the vicinity of City Hall at Civic Center Plaza and adjacent to Davies Hall and the War Memorial Complex. Accessible curbside parking is available on Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place and Grove Street.

If any materials related to an item on this agenda have been distributed to the Plans & Programs Committee after distribution of the agenda packet, those materials are available for public inspection at the San Francisco County Transportation Authority at 1455 Market St., 22nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103, during normal office hours.

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