Will the SFMTA Gut Muni Improvements to Prop Up the Central Subway?

by Aaron Bialick : sf.sftreetsblog.org – excerpt

The Central Subway’s latest funding troubles with Congress have brought some burning questions to the surface: How far will the SFMTA go to prop up the project, and what will the price be for Muni riders?

The U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment to an annual appropriations bill last week that would block $850 million in federal funds for the project. The amendment could be stripped in conference with the Senate, but as the Bay Citizen revealed, SFMTA management is concerned that Congress may not deliver the $942 million — the majority of the project’s funding –  in a timely manner (assuming it comes through at all). The SFMTA had expected the funds to be approved in December 2011. If the agency doesn’t get the funds by September, according to the Bay Citizen, it will waste $4 million in staffing costs every month until it does…

But the project’s cost has already risen from the original estimate of $995 million (in 2011 dollars) to $1.6 billion, according to the SFMTA’s Central Subway blog. Tom Radulovich, executive director of Livable City, said he’s worried the SFMTA may take funds from Muni’s existing service, its abysmally neglected maintenance department, or needed improvements like the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP), which he says should be a higher priority than the Central Subway.

Though the SFMTA insists that the Central Subway won’t take funds away from other projects, Radulovich said the agency has already been digging into discretionary funds — the money that could be used for any project. ”That’s part of their funding plan,” he said. ”The trajectory this project is on is to take more and more and more funding from the necessary and essential improvements to Muni.”

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If Aaron Bialick is voicing concern about the Muni money than we all should be worried. Where is the Central Subway money coming from and is it adding to the public debt?

“Though the SFMTA insists that the Central Subway won’t take funds away from other projects, Radulovich said the agency has already been digging into discretionary funds” We would like to hear more about these discretionary funds. Where are they coming from and who determines how they get used?

Opponents of Central Subway Have New Delay Tactic: Union Square Station Deemed Illegal

By Jay Barmann : sfist.com – excerpt

Another day, another challenge to the Central Subway project, which is literally minutes from getting back underway along the Stockton corridor and up by Union Square. Earlier this week we heard about North Beach merchants and their upcoming lawsuit over the MTA’s plans to close half of Columbus Avenue and generally muck up the Washington Square Park environs for the next couple of years — all while the subway is going to terminate several blocks shy of North Beach, in Chinatown. Today we get news that a new group is making noise about the proposed Union Square Station, saying that the entrance at corner of the park will violate the City Charter and is therefore illegal…

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Shouldn’t we take into account the historical value of Washington Square and North Beach?  What will the tourists do while North Beach is under construction? Take work-in-progress tours on the Duck?

SFPark — What is it really?

By JVH : parkingtoday.com – excerpt

Did you know that SF Park, San Francisco’s much ballyhooed new high tech parking program is a test? It is a multimillion dollar 18 month long program that will end in December and then…Who knows?

IN the first paragraph of the home page on SFPark’s extremely well done web site, we read:

SFMTA established SFpark to use new technologies and policies to improve parking in San Francisco. Reducing traffic by helping drivers find parking benefits everyone. More parking availability makes streets less congested and safer. Meters that accept credit and debit cards reduce frustration and parking citations. With SFpark, we can all circle less and live more.

I have had difficulty getting any of the managers at SFPark on the record, but that’s understandable, since they know I’m not a fan of the city’s parking program in general, so who in their right mind would discuss their project with the enemy…

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Related articlies:
http://www.parkingtoday.com/blog/2012/07/then-why-spend-20000000-in-san-francisco/

This article brings up another subject. Where is the money coming from since the SFMTA claims they are broke? We can only thing of two places, and both of involve increasing the public debt. They are either financing their debt with loans, at high rates, on assumes, or they are selling bonds, or…???