Rally with Seniors for Safe Streets this Friday

Friday, July 28, 2017 – 10:30am – 11:30am Masonic Ave & Geary Blvd

It is time for the San Francisco to make its streets safe and accessible for ALL seniors and people with disabilities!

For too long seniors and people with disabilities have had to navigate poorly maintained sidewalks and potholed and poorly-patched streets, and use crosswalks designed primarily for the able-bodied pedestrians.

As a result, seniors make up only 15 percent of the city’s population, yet account for over 40 percent of all traffic deaths in 2016, resulting from traffic crashes involving people walking.

Every year hundreds of pedestrians are injured or killed in traffic crashes. Since seniors are five times more at risk of dying from their injuries as those under 65, the majority of those who are severely hurt or lose their lives are seniors and members of the disability community. This year people like 76-year old Jeannie Yee who lost her life in Cow Hollow, 93-year old Ka Ben Wong who was killed in Russian Hill, and 77-year old Meda Hacopian who died near Lake Merced when she was struck by a car, have all been victims of unsafe streets!

Speak up for Seniors and People with Disabilities this Friday

Join Walk SF, Seniors and Disability Action, and members of the San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets in urging city and state officials to experience what it’s like to try to get around local streets every day as a senior, or as a person with one or more disabilities.

Rally with members of the community as they challenge legislators to walk or roll in “our shoes.” These safe street advocates will invite legislators to use wheelchairs, walkers, canes and other mobility devices and aids, as they attempt to cross Geary Boulevard at Masonic Avenue safely (two of the city’s high-injury corridors, the 13 percent of streets that make up 75 percent of all serious and fatal crashes).

For more information, or if you need transportation to the rally, contact: Pi Ra of Senior and Disability Action at 415.225.2080 or srira@sdaction.org.

We could ask for longer lights for cross the streets and street repair to make the streets less difficult to cross. It don’t take millions of dollars to change the timing on the traffic lights, or do a little pothole repair. What does it take for the SFMTA and other city agencies to do the quick, cheap fixes that don’t take years of planning and millions of dollars?

Why plunging asphalt prices haven’t sparked an infrastructure boom

By Rayhanul Ibrahim : yahoo – excerpt

NY-pothole.jpg

A massive NYC pothole. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

If you haven’t repaved your driveway or parking lot yet, now might be the time to do so.

Over the past 18 months, asphalt prices have plummeted from about $600 to a ton to about $300 a ton. That’s because petroleum prices dropped during the same time period, and that’s the biggest cost factor for asphalt mix, which is needed for driveways, parking lots and roads.

At first blush, it may seem like falling asphalt prices would be a boon for public-road building contractors. You’d think governments would want to get as much road work done right now before the price of asphalt starts to rise again. In theory, this explosion of construction would boost contractor revenue in the short-term while helping improve our roads.

Seems like a win-win scenario, right?

It turns out falling asphalt prices haven’t been such a boon for contractors because governments have very limited annual funding for infrastructure improvement like new roads, according to T. Carter Ross, spokesperson for the National Asphalt Pavement Association. Governments can’t take advantage of low asphalt prices to give contractors much more work, because they’re already using all the funding they have for roads every year.

“The amount of work our road system needs far outstrips the available funding at every level,” T. Carter Ross said to Yahoo Finance.

To be sure, roads partly pay for themselves, via tolls and state and federal taxes added to the cost of gas for your car. However, gas taxes and motor vehicle license fees covered just 41.4% of funding for road construction in 2013, the last year for which data is available, according to the Tax Foundation. That tax-focused think tank further noted that this ratio is likely to fall over time “as state gas tax rates do not keep up with inflation.”

The state of roads may be particularly bad because for over a decade before 2015, the US went without a long-term federal bill for road funding. While Congress finally passed a five-year bill to fund roads and other infrastructure projects in 2015, it hasn’t been sufficient to compensate for years of underfunding.

Last year, the Business Roundtable — a pro-business association of CEOs — put out a paper noting “much of the nation’s infrastructure has fallen victim to neglect, underfunding, under-appreciation and the natural erosion that comes with age.”

To be clear, local governments may be able to use the low price of asphalt to repave a few more of these eroded roads than they would if asphalt were more expensive. They could also be getting some more bang for their buck because contractors might end up lowering their bids to compensate for the lower cost of the asphalt, according to Carter Ross.

Unfortunately, the number of newly paved roads will be limited since local governments can’t ramp their spending up too much — even though it doesn’t make economic sense to defer the spending to the future when asphalt will likely be priced higher…(more)

JUST THE FACTS
U.S. Economy Would Benefit from Rebuilding America’s Transportation Infrastructure
In Road to Growth: The Case for Investing in America’s Transportation Infrastructure,
Business Roundtable outlines the economic cost of neglecting the nation’s
transportation infrastructure and the positive effects of rebuilding it for the 21st century:
◗ America Is No. 16: The United States’ overall infrastructure quality ranks 16th, behind Germany, France and Japan.
◗ Highways and Bridges: Urban highway congestion cost the economy more than $120 billion in 2011, and nearly one in four bridges in the national highway system is structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
◗ Waterways and Ports: Lock delays, port congestion and lack of facilities for larger ships added $33 billion to the cost of U.S. products in 2010.
◗ Aviation: The United States is home to just four of the world’s top 50 airports, and aviation congestion and delays cost the economy $24 billion in 2012.
◗ Transit Rail: Only 25 percent of transit rail station infrastructure is rated “good” or “excellent.”
Increased investment in public infrastructure leads to significant economic benefits:
◗ Up to $320 billion in economic output would be generated in 2020 if U.S. infrastructure investment were boosted by 1 percent of GDP per year.
◗ 1.7 million jobs would be created over the first three years by an $83 billion infrastructure package.
◗ As much as $3 in economic activity is created by every $1 invested in infrastructure. The nation’s leaders can change course and rebuild this vital national asset. It’s time to strengthen our economic foundation by reinvesting in transportation
infrastructure. Learn more about how investment in America’s transportation infrastructure will pay off for all of us at brt.org/road-to-growth.
Business Roundtable CEO members lead companies with $7.2 trillion in annual revenues and nearly 16 million employees. Business Roundtable member companies comprise more than a quarter of the total market capitalization of U.S. stock markets and invest $190 billion annually in research and development — equal to 70 percent of U.S. private R&D spending. Our companies pay more than $230 billion in dividends to shareholders and generate more than $470 billion in sales for small and medium-sized businesses annually. Business Roundtable companies also make more than $3 billion a year in charitable contributions.  Please visit us at www.brt.org, check us out on Facebook and LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter… (more)

 

Home Story Bad roads, congested commutes cost state drivers $44 billion a year, report says

California drivers pay a staggering $44 billion a year in extra car costs because of traffic jams that seemingly grow worse by the day, spreading potholes and outdated roads and bridges, according to a national highway advocacy group.

 Some Bay Area drivers fork over as much as $2,200 a year, according to a report released Thursday by The Road Information Program, or TRIP.
The latest report isn’t telling regional transportation officials anything they haven’t heard before, but it remains sobering…

Driving on deficient roads costs each San Francisco-Oakland-area driver $2,206 per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs, according to the report. In the South Bay, it’s $1,723 a year per driver, and Los Angeles drivers have it the roughest, forking out $2,458 a year.

 The TRIP study found that 49 percent of major roads in the San Francisco-Oakland area are in poor condition and an additional 30 percent are mediocre, costing the average motorist an additional $795 each year in extra vehicle operating costs.
 That’s due to accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs and increased gas use and tire wear, said Carolyn Bonifas Kelly, a TRIP spokeswoman…
Traffic officials spread out across the state Thursday to spread the worrisome news and promote measures to raise funds for more pavement and public transit. Alameda County will seek a sales tax hike in the November election, and Santa Clara County is expected to do so in two years. A statewide measure to raise the vehicle license fee could also be on the 2016 ballot, and numerous cities, including San Francisco, are also considering an appeal to voters… Direct link to PDF of report:…  (more)
MTCfundingchart
According to this chart, the regional transit authority plans to demand more revenues from residents while proving less service. We are working on a list of ballot proposals that voters are facing in November.
So far in SF we have Props A and B that would expand the revenues of the SFMTA and the counter proposal, Prop L to change their priorities.
We favor No on A and B (No more money without accountability.) and Yes on L: Restore Transportation Balance.