Transportation Authority Supports Unique McLaren Park Project (November 2015)
Chinatown Neighborhood Transportation Plan Approved (September 2015)
Folsom Street Off-ramp Reopens (July 2015)
New Doyle Drive Opens to Traffic (July 2015)
Transportation Authority Supports Walk to Work Day (April 2015)
McAllister Streetscape Project Scheduled for June Finish (February 2015)
San Francisco Releases Late Night Transportation Plan (January 2015)
Transportation Authority Releases 2014 Annual Report (January 2015)
TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY SUPPORTS UNIQUE MCLAREN PARK PROJECT
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority is proud to support a first-of-its-kind project that will transform McLaren Park.
The agency is helping to fund a renovation project that will convert two of Mansell Street’s four lanes into a pedestrian walkway and bike path.
Designed with the help of the community, the project includes traffic calming measures such as raised crosswalks, flashing beacons and clearly marked crosswalks for the major intersections. The condition of the road will be vastly improved for drivers with new paving. Street-level lighting, trees and landscape and site furnishings are also included in this complete streets project.
The Mansell Streetscape Improvement Project is a partnership between the Recreation and Park Department, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Public Works and the Transportation Authority.
“We’re proud to support this important project by securing a host of funding sources, including the city’s Prop K half-cent sales tax, Prop. AA vehicle registration fees and One Bay Area Grant funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission,” said Transportation Authority Executive Director Tilly Chang. “Projects like these are at the very core of what we do as an agency – planning and funding transportation infrastructure that has a meaningful impact on people’s lives.”
The project, to be completed in fall 2016, got underway last month with a ceremony attended by Transportation Authority Chair Scott Wiener; Transportation Authority Commissioners John Avalos, David Campos and Malia Cohen; Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru; Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg; Transportation Authority Executive Director Tilly Chang; SFMTA Board Vice-Chair Cheryl Brinkman; members of the McLaren Park Collaborative and community; and the Burton High School Band.
CHINATOWN NEIGHBORHOOD TRANSPORTATION PLAN APPROVED
With a focus on pedestrian safety in Chinatown, the Transportation Authority Board has approved a community-based plan for one of the city’s densest neighborhoods.
The Chinatown Neighborhood Transportation Plan focuses on strategies to help protect people walking along two high pedestrian-injury corridors: Broadway Street between Van Ness and Columbus avenues, and Kearny Street between Bush and Jackson streets.
For Kearny Street the study recommends the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency consider a series of pedestrian scrambles—which stop vehicle traffic in all directions, allowing pedestrians to cross an intersection in any direction—a traffic lane reduction, or different signal timing and lane striping treatments. These changes are aimed at reducing pedestrian injuries while still meeting other objectives for the street, including implementing Muni Forward and the SFMTA Bicycle Strategy.
On Broadway Street, the study finds that safety improvements are planned for each intersection between Van Ness Avenue and Columbus Street, and will be completed within the next two years. The study encourages consideration of additional changes to signal timing to further enhance pedestrian safety.
The study’s work was based on regular input from community groups such as the Chinatown Community Development Center.
Commissioner Julie Christensen has approved the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to use Neighborhood Transportation Improvement Funds to advance implementation of some of the study's recommendations.
EXPANDED BART BIKE STATION DELIVERED WITH SFCTA HALF-CENT SALES TAX FUNDS
The Transportation Authority’s half-cent sales tax funds have helped deliver a beautiful, expanded bike station in BART’s Civic Center Station. The facility increases bicycle access on transit and contributes to more seamless travel in the city. It can hold as many as 248 bikes, up from the previous facility's 60.
The Transportation Authority’s half-cent sales tax funds were an important source for design and construction of the project, which features an eye-catching glass wall. The project also used funds from the Prop. AA vehicle registration fee and from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
BART’s Civic Center bike station is not the only place where the Transportation Authority’s half-cent sales tax funds have encouraged and enabled bicycling. We've allocated almost $9 million in recent years for construction of bike lanes, bike safety programs, bike counters, bike sharing and other cycling-related improvements all over San Francisco.
The Transportation Authority was proud to help make the Civic Center bike station a reality—and we continue to work on other bike-related improvements to promote this sustainable transportation choice.
FOLSOM STREET OFF-RAMP REOPENS
The Folsom Street Off-Ramp project reached a major milestone July 21 when it was reopened to traffic.
The new off-ramp features safer conditions for pedestrians while creating a significantly more valuable parcel of land that will allow for development of new retail space and housing, more than one-quarter of which will be affordable.
The realigned Folsom Street Off-Ramp allowed for the creation of a new crosswalk, designed to help the flow of pedestrians in an increasingly residential area of downtown. The new crosswalk, which will allow pedestrians to cross the off-ramp where it meets Fremont Street, has an actuated pedestrian crossing phase. A pedestrian seeking to cross the off-ramp uses a push-button to activate the pedestrian crossing signal while the off-ramp traffic has a red signal. At all other times, the off-ramp traffic will have a green signal.
The design and construction was led by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority in collaboration with Caltrans, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and San Francisco Public Works.
NEW DOYLE DRIVE OPENS TO TRAFFIC
The new, state-of-the-art Doyle Drive opened for the first time to drivers on July 12, marking a major milestone for a project that has transformed San Francisco’s northern waterfront and converted an aging roadway into a graceful gateway to the city and the Presidio National Park.
The new Doyle Drive features numerous safety enhancements, including a roadway that meets current seismic safety requirements, a landscaped median separating north- and southbound traffic and standard shoulders. It also respects and enhances the natural beauty of the national park it traverses. The design features new tunnels that create new open space extending the Presidio to Crissy Field.
The project—co-led by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and Caltrans—was funded through a combination of federal, state and local sources, underscoring the breadth of cooperation that enabled this complex project to take shape.
The entire roadway had been closed for an extended weekend July 9-12 to allow construction crews to make final preparations. The crews, overseen by Golden Link Concessionaire, finished the job earlier than anticipated and without incident.
Transportation officials joined with representatives from government, industry, labor and the community to celebrate the opening on July 13. See photos from the event.
Speakers at a ribbon cutting ceremony underscored that partnership and creativity were hallmarks of the project, which resulted in more than just a functional roadway.
MOODY'S BOOSTS ISSUER RATING FOR SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
Moody's Investors Services has raised the issuer rating for the San Francisco County Transportation Authority to Aa1 from its prior rating of Aa2.
Moody's cited several reasons for the ratings boost, including the size and diversity of the economic base that generates San Francisco's half-cent sales tax for transportation, the primary revenue source overseen by the Transportation Authority. Moody's also cited strong growth in sales tax revenues since the recession and high current and anticipated coverage levels.
The Transportation Authority has no long-term debt, but does have a $140 million tax-exempt revolving credit agreement with State Street Bank, with $135 million outstanding.
"This ratings upgrade is a testament to the Transportation Authority's strong agency leadership and stellar financial management," said Scott Wiener, Chair of the Transportation Authority Board. "Amid a strong economy, the Transportation Authority's financial strength and technical expertise are major assets to our growing city."
Standard & Poor's Financial Services and Fitch Ratings reaffirmed issuer ratings for the Transportation Authority with AA and AA+, respectively.
The strong issuer ratings mean:
- Reduced borrowing costs when the Transportation Authority uses its revolving credit facility.
- A low probability of defaulting on debt or payment to vendors, a favorable sign to investors.
The Transportation Authority on June 11, 2015 finalized an agreement with State Street Public Lending Corp. for a revolving credit agreement, replacing a commercial paper program. The revolving credit agreement is used to finance various transportation projects. Under the revolving credit agreement, financing costs are expected to be reduced by as much as $500,000 per year as compared with the costs of the agency's prior commercial paper program.
"The Transportation Authority understands the critical role financial management plays as we plan, fund and deliver essential projects for San Francisco," said Tilly Chang, Transportation Authority Executive Director. "We are gratified to be recognized for our focus on transparency and sound, cost-effective management of public funds."
The agency's history of sound financial practices extends for many years before the latest rating upgrade. Fiscal year 2014 marked the eleventh consecutive year that independent auditors issued clean reports for the Transportation Authority.
Since its start in 1989, the Transportation Authority has administered San Francisco's half-cent transportation sales tax, allocating more than $2 billion to voter-approved projects, large and small. The sales tax program helps fund major capital projects such as the Presidio Parkway, Central Subway, Caltrain electrification and the Transbay Transit Center, as well as neighborhood-scale improvements like pedestrian crosswalks, faster bus routes and new traffic signals, citywide.
POTRERO HILL NEIGHBORHOOD TRANSPORTATION PLAN MOVES AHEAD
A community-based transportation plan for the Potrero Hill neighborhood is one step closer to implementation.
The Transportation Authority Board approved plans June 23 to improve pedestrian safety and enhance transit stops with a novel construction technique.
A collaboration of the Transportation Authority with neighborhood residents, Bridge Housing and various public agencies resulted in a Neighborhood Transportation Plan to address some of the area’s most pressing mobility needs.
A main element of the plan calls for the use of temporary sidewalk extensions to make bus stops and intersections along a walking school bus route safer and more attractive while decreasing Muni’s loading times. These low-cost improvements at various intersections in Potrero Hill can be constructed in the near-term, well before the site is redeveloped wholesale under the Rebuild Potrero project.
These improvements would be constructed from relatively inexpensive yet durable materials like manhole barrels or quarry rocks, have eye-catching designs and be built in a fraction of the time that permanent projects would take.
"This pedestrian improvement process is really key to having residents see visible change as soon as possible rather than waiting to the end of the 10 year period when the (Rebuild Potrero) project comes to completion," said Thu Banh, Rebuild Potrero Program Director.
The innovative idea of applying parklet style treatments to create bus bulbs is getting media attention and it could serve as a model for other San Francisco neighborhoods. The Potrero Hill Neighborhood Transportation Plan also calls for new lighting along part of the walking school bus route.
Several of the plan's recommended projects are already funded. The new lights will be installed within the next year along an unlit pathway behind the Potrero Hill Recreation Center. The roadway and light improvements are being funded with a combination of San Francisco’s half-cent sales tax for transportation, Lifeline Transportation Program, and development fees.
TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT FOR REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN
Share your ideas about the future of transportation in San Francisco.
The Transportation Authority is asking the public for project ideas that will help update Plan Bay Area 2040, our regional transportation plan and sustainable communities strategy. The Transportation Authority joined with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments in a kick-off of public outreach in San Francisco on May 13.
Members of the public are invited to submit San Francisco project ideas for Plan Bay Area 2040 by July 17, 5 p.m. Submissions can be made via the Transportation Authority website at upcoming public meetings, or by calling 415-522-4800 (in English) or 415-593-1655 (for Spanish, Cantonese, or Mandarin).
In September the public can offer comments on the projects that are under consideration. See more information about the September meetings.
The Transportation Authority seeks to create a better city through improved mobility for everyone—and your ideas can help us make that happen. READ MORE
DOYLE DRIVE EXTENDED WEEKEND CLOSURE SET FOR JULY 9–13
The Doyle Drive extended weekend closure has been rescheduled for July 9–13, from 10 p.m. Thursday night to 5 a.m. Monday morning. The closure is rescheduled to the second weekend of July to avoid the 4th of July holiday weekend and give the public advance notice. The closure was postponed to ensure the fire-life-safety systems in the new tunnels were functioning correctly. Key elements of tunnel testing and emergency drills were completed this week.
"Testing of the tunnel systems during the past two weeks has been very successful. Our team was able to identify and resolve system integration issues and the drills have allowed San Francisco Fire Department and emergency service providers to become familiar with the fire-life-safety systems of the new tunnels. We are looking forward to opening the new roadway to the public on July 13," stated Peter van der Waart, CEO of Golden Link Concessionaire.
Once the roadway is opened, motorists will be driving on the new Doyle Drive! The roadway that links the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco will be completely replaced by a new state-of the-art roadway. The closure will allow crews to finalize roadway connections and transfer traffic to the new permanent roadway, including the new Main Post Tunnels, northbound Battery Tunnel, northbound High Viaduct and restored connections to Highway 1/Park Presidio.
For more information on the Doyle Drive closure, see the Presidio Parkway weekend closure web page.
TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY SUPPORTS BIKE TO WORK DAY
Bicycling is a healthy, sustainable and fun way to get around San Francisco.
As more people choose to bike around town, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority was proud to support this year’s Bike to Work Day on May 14.
The Transportation Authority’s commitment to cycling is not limited to Bike to Work Day. In fact the agency has allocated almost $9 million from the city’s half-cent sales tax for transportation for bike-related projects citywide. Those funds have gone toward the construction of bike lanes, bike safety programs, bike counters, bike sharing and other improvements that encourage and enable safe bicycling citywide.
We hope you had a great Bike to Work Day—and check out MyStreetSF.com to see what other bike projects are coming to your neighborhood.
The San Francisco Business Times has named Tilly Chang, Executive Director of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, one of the Bay Area’s Most Influential Women for 2015.TA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NAMED ONE OF THE BAY AREA'S MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN
The recognition comes as Ms. Chang oversees the Transportation Authority’s $700 million half-cent sales tax investment program which provides funding for major capital projects like the Doyle Drive rebuild, Muni Central Subway extension and Caltrain electrification and extension to the Transbay Transit Center. The agency also funds neighborhood-level transit and street infrastructure improvements across San Francisco.
“I congratulate Tilly Chang on this well-deserved recognition,” said Transportation Authority Chair Scott Wiener. “Tilly’s knowledge of the city, expertise in transportation planning and funding issues, and collaborative spirit are tremendous assets to the Transportation Authority.”
“It is an honor to be included among this diverse group of dynamic women in our region,” said Ms. Chang. “I am privileged to work with colleagues at the Transportation Authority and with our many partners to make a positive impact on San Francisco’s communities and our region.”
The Transportation Authority plans, funds and delivers transportation projects across San Francisco’s multi-operator, multi-modal network. Led by the Board of Supervisors, the agency is developing San Francisco’s streets, highways and transit systems to increase access, promote safety and advance the livability of the city.
Ms. Chang was named Executive Director of the Transportation Authority in 2013. Before that, she led planning initiatives for the agency including bus rapid transit projects, neighborhood studies, and San Francisco’s first long-range transportation plan. The agency’s current efforts include coordinating BART, Caltrain and Muni capacity improvements, developing carpool lanes on regional freeways, and advocating for new transportation revenues at the local, state and federal levels.
Ms. Chang serves on the Association of Bay Area Government’s Regional Planning Committee and advises SPUR and the UC Transportation Centers research program. Prior to joining the Transportation Authority, she worked at the World Bank, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and in the private sector. She holds degrees in Transportation, Economics and City Planning from M.I.T. and U.C. Berkeley.
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority was a proud sponsor of Walk to Work Day on April 9.TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY SUPPORTS WALK TO WORK DAY
The annual event in San Francisco encourages the most healthy, sustainable form of transportation: walking.
Among the projects we fund at the Transportation Authority are many that promote pedestrian safety. We have allocated more than $14 million from the city’s half-cent sales tax for transportation toward sidewalk repair, new crosswalks, new pedestrian signals, curb extensions, pedestrian refuge islands and other projects that help pedestrians get where they need to go.
We hope you enjoyed Walk to Work Day—and check out MyStreetSF.com to see what pedestrian safety projects are coming to your neighborhood.
MCALLISTER STREETSCAPE PROJECT SCHEDULED FOR JUNE FINISH
This June pedestrians along McAllister Street will enjoy a wider, safer, and more pleasant streetscape near the University of California Hastings College of the Law. The project will result in numerous improvements to the north side of McAllister between Larkin and Leavenworth streets, including sidewalk widening, new lighting, landscaping, and curb extensions to reduce crossing distances for pedestrians. The improvements advance the city’s Vision Zero policy of building safety and livability into our streets as San Francisco works to eliminate traffic-related fatalities citywide by 2024. Neighborhood residents called for these various safety enhancements during a Tenderloin-Little Saigon neighborhood study led by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.
The McAllister project is funded by UC Hastings and the Transportation Authority's Prop AA vehicle registration fee program. A ribbon cutting and community tree planting event is scheduled for June 13, 2015.
SAN FRANCISCO RELEASES LATE NIGHT TRANSPORTATION PLAN
The San Francisco Late Night Transportation Working Group has released a new roadmap for improved late night and early morning transit.
The groundbreaking study contains recommendations to improve service, accessibility, reliability and safety for those who are working or playing after nightfall or before daybreak.
“San Francisco doesn’t shut down once it gets dark, and our transportation system shouldn’t either,” said Supervisor Scott Wiener, chair of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.
The Transportation Authority released the report along with the San Francisco Entertainment Commission and the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development.
The report’s recommendations include:
- Beginning a process to expand all-night bus service;
- Requesting BART, Caltrain and SFMTA produce studies documenting operational constraints for longer hours;
- Advocating for funding for infrastructure needed to operate 24 hour service;
- Creating a pilot program for location-specific improvements to safety and comfort for travelers; and
- Improving the dissemination of information about late night transit options.
The Late Night Transportation Working Group, organized by Wiener, was comprised of representatives from local and regional transportation agencies, labor groups, the business community and other stakeholders.
Download the report (PDF).
TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY RELEASES 2014 ANNUAL REPORT
SFCTA 2014 Annual Report coverThe Transportation Authority announces the release of its 2014 annual report, a summary of the agency’s progress on projects that improve health, safety and access across the city. Download a copy of the document.
Highlights of the annual report include updates on major construction projects like Central Subway, Transbay Transit Center, Presidio Parkway, Yerba Buena Island and Folsom Street off-ramps. Readers can find information on how the Transportation Authority is helping shape the next generation of Muni, BART, and Caltrain plans to support growth. The annual report also discusses how the Transportation Authority works side-by-side with residents to plan, fund, and implement critical neighborhood-scale projects and programs across the city.