Supes Vote Next Week on Wiener’s Backup Transportation Funding Measure

by : sfstreetsblog – excerpt

Supervisors are expected to vote next week on Supervisor Scott Wiener’s backup plan for transportation funding — a charter amendment that, with voter approval, would increase the share of the city’s general fund that gets allocated to Muni, pedestrian safety, and bike infrastructure. That share would be tied to the city’s growing population.

Wiener introduced the measure as a safeguard that would increase transportation funding even if Mayor Ed Lee dropped his plan to put a vehicle license fee increase on the ballot. Lee subsequently did drop his support in June, at least until the 2016 election, so Wiener proposed his stop-gap measure. The legislation includes a provision that would allow the mayor to remove the charter amendment if the vehicle license fee increase is passed in 2016, according to Wiener… (more)

SF supervisors may defy mayor on transit funding measure

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco’s vehicle license fee would go from 0.65 percent of a vehicle’s value to 2 percent under a proposal designed to raise funds for Muni and other transportation programs.

San Francisco likes to bill itself as a transit-first city, and it could have the chance to invest $1 billion over the next 15 years in road resurfacing, public-transit capital needs and bicycle safety-focused street projects.

To do that, The City would need to go to the November ballot with a vehicle license fee increase. However, that prospect could be doomed.

With today’s deadline to introduce the measure for the fall election, members of the Board of Supervisors remained in discussions Monday about whether to move ahead with the proposal even though Mayor Ed Lee has already come out against such action… (more)

How about we let the voters weigh in on what they want by putting the Restore Transportation Balance initiative on the ballot. Details are here: http://restorebalance14.org/

Transportation funding faces key test after Mayor Lee flips on VLF increase

By   : sfbg – excerpt

Facing a deadline of tomorrow’s [Tues/10] San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting to introduce measures for the November ballot, advocates for addressing the city’s massive long-term transportation funding gap still hope to introduce an increase in the local vehicle license fee, even though the once-supportive Mayor Ed Lee has gotten cold feet.

While Lee and all 11 of the supervisors support a $500 million general obligation bond that would mostly go toward capital improvements for Muni — a measure almost certain to be approved by its July 22 deadline — the local VLF was originally presented by Lee as a companion measure to fund Muni, street resurfacing, and bike and pedestrian safety improvements.

But when Lee got spooked by a poll in December showing 44 percent voter approval for increasing the VLF and the need to actually do some campaigning for the measure, he withdrew his support and left cycling, streets, and safety all severely underfunded. A report last year by the Mayor’s Transportation Task Force pegged the city’s transportation infrastructure needs at $10.1 billion over 15 years, recommending just $3 billion in new funding to meet that need, including the embattled VLF measure… (more)

SF Leaders Begin $1.5 Billion Push for Transit Funding

by Michael Cabanatuan : McClatchy News Servicegovtech – excerpt

The push is in response to a report issued last fall which called for a series of ballot measures to raise $3 billion to invest in the city’s transportation infrastructure.

It’s no secret that San Francisco leaders plan to ask voters in November to make a big investment in improving the city’s transportation system. On Tuesday, they’ll announce the specifics: a general obligation bond measure and an increase in the vehicle license fee designed to produce $1.5 billion over the next 15 years…

Deadlines loom

The bond measure, which requires eight votes from the Board of Supervisors to make the ballot, needs a two-thirds majority to pass. The vehicle license fee also needs eight supervisorial votes to make the ballot but requires only a majority to pass in November. The advisory measure, which is not binding, needs only six votes to qualify and a majority to pass.

To qualify for the November ballot, the $500 million general obligation bond must be introduced by the Board of Supervisors by next Tuesday, with the vehicle license fee increase and the advisory measure following in the weeks to come. All of the measures face a July 22 deadline to make the ballot.

Proceeds from the ballot measures – if they pass – will be split between projects to improve Muni ($635 million), repave and maintain city streets ($625 million), and make pedestrian and bike improvements to increase safety on city thoroughfares ($296 million).

Muni plans to invest its share of the proceeds in implementing its Transit Effectiveness Project, a plan to overhaul the transit system, including improvements to make service more reliable on the 8X-Bayshore Express, 38/38L-Geary and 14/14L-Mission lines. The agency would also expand its fleet to try to increase service and reduce crowding. Money would also be spent on more transit-only lanes, better stops and updated Muni maintenance centers.

Street paving and curb ramps would be big beneficiaries of the transit tax proceeds. A 2011 bond measure that expires this year provided funds to repave thousands of city blocks. A total of 854 blocks were redone in 2013, and more than 900 are scheduled this year and next. Proceeds from the ballot measures would cover the cost of resurfacing 500 blocks a year.

“This would allow us to maintain the progress we’ve made with streets,” Reiskin said.

Street improvements intended to increase pedestrian safety as well as provide up to 65 miles of safer bike lanes would also be funded. The bike and pedestrian improvements, which include more pedestrian signals, better lighting, wider crosswalks and efforts to slow traffic, would also be funded as part of the city’s commitment to the Vision Zero project that seeks to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2024.

Counting on passage

While the proposals aren’t on the ballot yet, city officials are banking on passage. The MTA budget, recently approved by the agency’s Board of Directors, tentatively includes funds from ballot measures. Mohammed Nuru, public works director, and Reiskin said the city has projects from street modifications and paving jobs to new bus purchases and transit improvements lined up and ready to build if voters give the go-ahead.

“As soon as the dollars are available,” Reiskin said, “we can start putting the projects on the ground.”… (more)

Everybody is asking where the bond money will go. Here is the answer of the day. The Muni will spend $635 million rearranging bus routes, eliminating bus stops and traffic lanes by creating BRTs on some of the major arterial streets. There is no mention of buying more buses or training more bus drivers.

$625 million to maintain and pave city streets. We know what happened the last time we voted for that one.

$296 million for bike and pedestrian safety. We know what that means.

If this is not your cup of tea, you might want to support the Restore Transportation Balance initiative instead.

Billions needed to fix transit in S.F.

By Michael Cabanatuan and John Coté : sfgate – excerpt

San Francisco’s transportation system – famous for its slow Muni buses, pothole-pocked streets and inadequate bike and pedestrian amenities – needs a lot of help: $10.1 billion worth, a task force appointed by the mayor has concluded.
And, the panel adds, city leaders should ask voters to approve nearly $3 billion in taxes, bonds and fees to help pay the bill…
After months of study and discussion, the group concluded that the city has $10.1 billion in transportation infrastructure needs through 2030 and that the bulk of those needs are in maintaining and improving the core of the existing system, which has been neglected for decades. That means replacing and expanding the city’s bus and streetcar fleet, systematically and regularly repairing streets, and dealing with Muni’s overcrowding, unreliability and slowness, which riders have complained about for years…

$3.8 billion short: The task force will recommend that the Board of Supervisors put before the voters three ballot measures that would each raise roughly $1 billion…

  • Two $500 million general obligation bonds – one in November 2014 and another in November 2024.
  • A measure to raise the vehicle license fee from 0.65 percent to 2 percent – in November 2014. State law allows San Francisco voters to restore the fee, which was cut by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • A proposition that would increase the sales tax by half a cent – in November 2016. That would raise the city sales tax from 8.75 percent to 9.25 percent.

(more)

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Vehicle license fee would generate $70M-plus for San Francisco

By: Will Reisman : sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco lawmakers and agencies are working to put a vehicle license fee increase before voters in hopes of generating more than $70 million for city coffers.
California Senate Bill 1492 allows local municipalities to put on the ballot a fee of up to 2 percent of a vehicle’s value — the rate before former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reduced it in 2004.
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors will have to decide whether to put the fee increase before voters. It would then need a simple majority to pass, and would probably go on the November 2014 ballot.
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors will have to decide whether to put the fee increase before voters. It would then need a simple majority to pass, and would probably go on the November 2014 ballot.
The board has the option of setting the percentage fee for the initiative — anywhere from its current rate of 0.65 percent to the maximum of 2 percent. Increasing the rate to 2 percent would generate $72 million annually for The City’s general fund, said bill author state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco. A motorist with a vehicle valued at $15,000 would see his or her annual fee increase from $97.50 to $300 if the 2 percent rate is restored… (more)

Let Leno know drivers want more if they increase the fees. Amend California Senate Bill 1492 to include the RPP for all residents of the city in which they reside. Add your ideas and send them to the California state representatives.

See sfenuf.org for more info.