Plans and Programs Committee - October 18, 2011

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Meeting Notice

Date:                  9:30 a.m., Tuesday, October 18, 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 September 20, 2011 Meeting - ACTION* attachment

3.                  Citizens Advisory Committee Report - INFORMATION* attachment

4.                  Recommend Allocation of $135,000 in Prop K Funds, with Conditions, to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency for Two Requests, Subject to the Attached Fiscal Year Cash Flow Distribution Schedules - ACTION* attachment

We have received two Prop K allocation requests from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) totaling $135,000 for presentation to the Plans and Programs Committee at its October 18, 2011 meeting. The SFMTA has requested $41,000 in Prop K funds to fund an addendum to the 2009 San Francisco Bicycle Plan's Environmental Impact Report for the Masonic Avenue Streetscape Improvements project. The Masonic Avenue project was identified through the Masonic Avenue Street Redesign Study and would apply a complete streets approach to transforming Masonic Avenue between Geary Boulevard and Fell Street into a balanced, multimodal facility that is safe and efficient for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit users alike. The SFMTA anticipates that environmental review would begin January 2012 and be completed by June 2012. The SFMTA has also requested $94,000 in Prop K funds for the Cargo Way Cycletrack project, which would install a two-way on-street cycletrack on the south side of Cargo Way from Illinois to Jennings Streets to improve safety and provide connectivity from existing bicycle lanes on Illinois Street to Heron Head's Park.  Prop K funds would leverage $185,000 in Regional Bicycle Program grant funds programmed by the Authority in June 2010 and $195,000 in Port of San Francisco capital and other grant funds. Construction would begin in January 2012 and be completed by March 2012. We are seeking a recommendation to allocate $135,000 in Prop K funds, with conditions, to the SFMTA for two requests, subject to the attached Fiscal Year Cash Flow Distribution Schedules.

5.                  Recommend Approval of San Francisco's One Bay Area Block Grant Advocacy Principles - ACTION* attachment

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) have entered the second major phase of the Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS) effort by releasing Alternative Scenarios that represent: 1) different ways growth in households and jobs through 2040 could be distributed in the Bay Area, and 2) different transportation networks and programs to support growth plans. Concurrently, MTC and ABAG have released a proposal to alter the framework for how federal Surface Transportation Program and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds would be distributed to better align with RTP/SCS goals of accommodating the region's entire housing need. The intent of the proposed One Bay Area Grant (OBAG) program, which would be administered by the congestion management agencies (e.g. the Authority), is to link transportation funding to local housing and smart growth policies as a way to incentivize regionally-supportive decisions at the local level. While the new framework would not change the amount of funding San Francisco would receive, it would represent a significant policy change in the region because: 1) its distribution formula would consider countywide housing production and housing plans; 2) it would require jurisdictions to have supportive policies in place to be eligible for funding; and 3) it would require that 70% of funding within a county be spent in Priority Development Areas. Given that MTC staff has indicated that it may soon release a revised OBAG framework, we are seeking Board approval of OBAG advocacy principles in order to influence the revised framework prior to its release. We will continue to seek input from the Plans and Programs Committee as we develop financially constrained San Francisco transportation investment RTP/SCS priorities this winter. By April 2012, MTC/ABAG will select a Preferred Alternative with a finalized land use element that informs the Regional Housing Needs Allocation and a financially-constrained transportation investment plan that commits $68 billion in discretionary revenue to specific Bay Area transportation projects and programs. We are seeking a recommendation to approve San Francisco's OBAG Advocacy principles.

6.                  Update on the Central Subway Project - INFORMATION* attachment

The Central Subway project is at the critical juncture between planning/engineering and construction, with the final design phase progressing simultaneously with the early construction phase.  On September 19, 2011, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) submitted to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) its request for the project's Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA), a major milestone in the New Starts process.  Approval of the FFGA, expected in January 2012, is the FTA's official commitment of the remaining $849 million in federal New Starts funds to the project and is a necessary milestone that allows the project to move into the major construction phase.  Consistent with FTA guidelines, work is also under way on an early construction phase that includes three construction contracts. Utility Relocation 1, in the area of the Yerba Buena/Moscone Station and at the tunnel portal is now complete. Utility Relocation 2, in the area of the Union Square station, is 45% complete, with substantial completion expected in May 2012. The tunnels contract, which is the first major construction contract for the project, was awarded in June 2011, to the Joint Venture of Barnard/Impregilo/Haley in the amount of $233.9 million, $13 million below the engineer's estimate.  On July 19, 2011, the Authority Board allocated $57.2 million in Prop K funds to leverage $14.2 million federal funds for the tunnel boring machines and launch box portions of the larger tunnel contract.  Notice to Proceed is expected for the boring machines in late October 2011. The ongoing State financial crisis and prolonged economic downturn continues to bring uncertainty as to the timing of availability of over $368 million in state bond funds for the project.  Authority and SFMTA staffs are working together on an advocacy strategy to prioritize the project for future bond sales.  We are also working with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and other funding partners to determine the timing and mechanism through which bridge funding for the state and federal New Starts funds could be provided.  The project remains the highest-rated pre-FFGA project in the country. This is an information item.

7.                  Introduction of New Items - INFORMATION

8.                  Public Comment

9.                  Adjournment



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