News | Thursday, March 15, 2018

This week, the Transportation Authority Board advanced funding totaling more than $8.7 million for several transportation improvements across the city. The project funding comes from San Francisco’s half-cent sales tax for transportation. 

The board’s Tuesday, March 13 funding vote served as initial funding approval; final board approval is scheduled for our March 20 board meeting.

Improvements coming to a street near you...

Cable Car Pulley Rebuild

PulleysThe SFMTA will use $280,999 in half-cent sales tax dollars to help rebuild the 25 large pulleys that allow cables to move throughout San Francisco's cable car system. The pulleys have reached the end of their useful lives.

San Francisco's cable cars are pulled along rails by connecting to a moving cable beneath the street. Each cable runs at a constant speed of 9.5 miles per hour and is driven by an electric motor using an intricate system of pulleys.

The SFMTA plans to coordinate this project with its concurrent project to overhaul the cable car gearboxes, which requires shutdowns of individual cable car lines. Most of the work will be performed concurrently to minimize down time.

The new cable car pulleys are expected to be up and running by the end of 2020. Learn more from the SF Examiner.

District 11 Near-term Traffic Calming

speed humpThe SFMTA will use $600,000 in half-cent sales tax dollars to implement quick and effective near-term traffic calming measures at locations in District 11. This project was initiated by Transportation Authority Commissioner Ahsha Safai to improve safety in neighborhoods including the Excelsior, Mission Terrace, Outer Mission and Ocean View-Merced Heights-Ingleside, as part of the Neighborhood Transportation Improvement Program.

Examples of improvements could include speed humps, raised crosswalks, stop signs, and more. Specific locations and improvements will be determined in collaboration with Commissioner Safai’s office, and will be based on factors such as feasibility and proximity to schools, as well as community input. 

“We are going to prioritize looking at our neighborhood parks first,” Connissioner Safai said at our board meeting. “We hope to, in an aggressive manner over the next year, get many speed bumps installed.” Read more from the SF Examiner.

19th Avenue Complete Streets

28 busThe SFMTA will use $425,000 in half-cent sales tax dollars to support the 19th Avenue Complete Streets project, which will improve pedestrian safety and transit performance on this Vision Zero High Injury Corridor.

As part of this effort, the SFMTA will install 21 new transit bulbs and 45 new pedestrian bulbs between Lincoln Way and Holloway Avenue. In addition, the agency will install new signals at the intersections of 19th Avenue and Moraga, Wawona, Sloat, and Winston, along with SFPUC sewer and water infrastructure upgrades.

This project is expected to begin in September 2018 and complete in August 2020. Caltrans will repave 19th Avenue after the project is done.

New Traffic Signals

Pedestrian countdownThe SFMTA will use $5,289,722 in half-cent sales tax dollars to construct new traffic signals at nine intersections to improve traffic, pedestrian, and bicycle safety. In addition to new new signals, upgrades include pedestrian countdown signals, accessible pedestrian signals, and curb ramps. View a map of the signal locations.

SFMTA staff selected these intersections after careful review of traffic signal requests received by the agency, as well as locations nominated by agency staff. Locations were prioritized based on collision history, traffic volumes, benefits to roadway users including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit and motorists, proximity to schools or senior centers, and any opportunities to synchronize with other departmental street projects. 

This project is expected to begin in fall 2018 and complete in December 2019.

On-street Message Signs

Sign on streetThe SFMTA will use $1,000,000 in half-cent sales tax dollars to upgrade existing on-street message signs at 22 existing locations in SoMa, the Financial District, the Bayview, and more. The equipment that is slated to be replaced and upgraded has reached the end of its useful life.

These signs give travelers real-time information about current and future traffic conditions, parking garage space availability, and emergency alerts. The signs also help reduce congestion and allow first responders easier access to closed areas.

The signs are expected to be upgraded by December 2018.


Traffic Camera Deployment

cameraThe SFMTA will use $1,200,000 in half-cent sales tax funds to purchase and deploy 270 closed-circuit television traffic cameras at locations throughout the city. The SFMTA uses these traffic cameras to monitor traffic conditions and properly dispatch parking control officers, transit supervisors, and traffic signal electricians as needed. The cameras are also used by traffic engineers to evaluate traffic signal timing to better accommodate the various modes of travel. SFMTA policy prohibits video footage from being recorded.

The cameras are expected to be installed by July 2019. Learn more from the SF Examiner.


More information

Board presentation (PDF)
Funding requests (PDF)
Funding resolution (PDF)

About San Francisco’s half-cent sales tax for transportation

The Transportation Authority administers the Prop K half-cent local transportation sales tax, which San Francisco voters approved in November 2003. The local transportation sales tax funds everything from signals to streetcars, bicycles to boulevards, and pedestrian safety improvements to paving.