Chair Mandelman gives open remarks

In late October, the Transportation Authority joined the Self-Help Counties Coalition in hosting 800 attendees from across California for the 34th Annual Focus on the Future Conference. 

The Self-Help Counties Coalition is the association of 25 counties across the state with voter-approved transportation sales tax programs. The Coalition’s annual Focus on the Future conference brought together public and private sector leaders to share recent innovations and explore future directions to promote infrastructure delivery, equitable access, and healthy and sustainable travel options. 

Conference Highlights

During his welcome remarks, Transportation Authority Chair Rafael Mandelman (District 8) emphasized that self-help counties provide about $5 billion annually in transportation solutions throughout California and thanked many participants for their support in passing Proposition L, the Transportation Authority’s re-authorized half-cent transportation sales tax, last November. 

Self Help Counties Coalition Executive Director Keith Dunn also shared data illustrating the multi-modal nature of sales tax counties’ investment plans, shown below in aggregate:

A bar graph showing the share of all SHCC sales tax measures spent on the following categories. Transit: 44% (transit operations: 27%, transit capital: 17%); Pavement Rehab and Complete Streets: 28%; Highways, Multi-Modal Corridors, and Managed Lanes*: 21% (*also includes interchange, safety, and multimodal improvements); Active Transportation (includes pedestrian, bicycle): 3%; Other**: 3% (**examples include TDM, grade separations, traffic management, airports, environmental enhancements, and neighborhood

The conference featured several roundtables and breakout sessions, including insight from over 60 leaders at transportation commissions, transportation authorities and transit agencies throughout California. Speakers shared models of success for state and local partnerships, Vision Zero traffic safety efforts and active transportation initiatives, and the future of transit, among several topics.

Transportation Authority staff also spoke on panels which addressed innovative project delivery and financing, harnessing new technology, and advancing equity in communities. 

Project Tours 

Conference participants enjoyed a number of technical tours highlighting  innovative projects in San Francisco and Oakland, including several that the Transportation Authority supported through our half-cent transportation sales program:

Behind-the-Scenes of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority’s (TJPA) Salesforce Transit Center

  • Participants toured the rooftop park as well as the train box - the two subterranean levels of the Transit Center which include the future train station mezzanine and the train platform level below it, also called the future Grand Central Station of the West. We thank Lily Madjus Wu, Adam Van de Water, and Ed Sum from TJPA and Dominic Lucchesi from the Transportation Authority for co-hosting this tour.

Parkway to Parklands: New Presidio Parkway Expands Presidio Parklands

  • The tour provided insight to the park’s history and the vision behind the multi-agency construction effort to replace Doyle Drive (US101 through the Presidio National Park) with the Presidio Parkway that improved safety and enabled creation of the Tunnel Tops park, while improving access to the Presidio. We thank Michael Boland and Dana Polk from the Presidio Trust, Sabine VanderSluis from WSP, and Daniela Rible from the Transportation Authority for co-hosting this tour.

The Central Subway and the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit Projects 

  • Participants experienced San Francisco’s first center-running bus rapid transit lane on Van Ness Avenue and toured the Central Subway, the city’s newest subway connecting Chinatown and Union Square with South of Market and Third Street neighborhoods. We thank John Gravener, Enrique Aguilar, and Lulu Feliciano from the SFMTA and Elijah Saunders from the Transportation Authority for co-hosting this tour. 

Developing San Francisco’s Treasure Island

  • Participants visited several recently completed ramps connecting Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island with the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and had an opportunity to ride the Treasure Island “Loop” - our free, autonomous and wheelchair accessible shuttle serving Treasure Island neighborhoods. We thank Bob Beck from the Treasure Island Development Authority, John Fisher and Mike Scott as the WSP Platinum Shuttle sponsor, Paul Pendergast from PSG as the Gold Sponsor, and Carl Holmes, Yana Waldman, Jielin Pan and Aliza Paz from the Transportation Authority for co-hosting this tour.

Explore the Core of San Francisco’s Bike Network 

  • Riders discovered “the Wiggle” and learned about the city's new bikeways and bicycle projects as they rode through the Mission, South of Market, downtown, and along the Embarcadero waterfront. We thank Matt Lasky and Mark Dreger from the SFMTA, Kyle Hinds as the Lyft/Baywheels sponsor, and Mike Pickford from the Transportation Authority for co-hosting this tour.

Bay Ferry and Port of Oakland

  • Participants took a ride on the SF Bay Ferry to visit the Port of Oakland, hosted by the Alameda County Transportation Commission. We thank Tess Lengyel from the ACTC, Matt Davis from the Port of Oakland, and Lauren Gularte from the SF Bay Ferry for co-hosting this tour.