Plan to raise $100 billion in taxes to fix Bay Area traffic taking shape

abc7news – excerpt (includes video)

A plan to raise $100 billion to fix Bay Area traffic could be put to a vote in 2020.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — When it comes to traffic the Bay Area has some of the worst jams around.

With the population still growing, it’s estimated it could reach 10 million by 2040. Local officials are looking to keep up by generating $100 billion through a tax measure…

While the dollar figure is massive, the measure would seek to generate the funds over several decades with a penny sales tax…(more)

This story follows the one about the huge deficit the SFMTA has run up on the Central Subway project and their lack of ability to handle these jobs. Until these issue over management of major projects is dealt with, we question the wisdom of raising taxes for more big projects that claim they will “fix” the traffic problems. Nothing has “fixed” traffic after billions of dollars pouring into “fixing” it. We are billions into digging holes and the traffic is worse than ever. Let’s see how much the traffic improves with the next gas tax before suggesting any more taxes.

RELATED: New California gas tax kicking in on July 1 (more)

Central Subway contractor dispute threatens to bust budget

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

Muni’s $1.6 billion Central Subway project is nearly out of money.

An independent federal monitor warns in a new report that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency may soon spend its last federal dollar for the project and exhaust the “contingency” budget meant to cover cost overruns

“In the opinion of the (independent monitor), the rapid increase in claims by (Tutor Perini) calls into question the adequacy of the program contingency” budget, the independent monitor wrote in a May report obtained by the San Francisco Examiner. “Unless the claims are settled for less than the claimed amount, there is a risk that the program budget could be exceeded,” the monitor wrote…

“This is ridiculous. Federal oversight is specifically calling out a dysfunctional relationship between SFMTA and Tutor Perini, which is increasing the likelihood that the project might end up costing more than even the contingency fund,” said Cat Carter, a spokesperson with the San Francisco Transit Riders. “This is hurting communities and merchants from Chinatown to Union Square to SOMA.”…(more)

How much more proof do we need? SFMTA is a failed system that excels in two things, lying and making excuses. We don’t need to pay another dime for lies and excuses. We need to see a Charter Amendment written and promoted by City Hall that will realign the department to make it subservient to the public and the elected officials. Nothing short of that will do. Stop approving new projects until the big two, Central Subway and Van Ness mess, are complete and paid for.