tv [untitled] January 6, 2011 6:00am-6:30am PDT
and so on, and you go through that definition of scope, which this board will have to approve, and then move into the actual environmental analysis, and that is the opportunity to include economic impacts or environmental impact and how this relates to other plans and how it relates to an interesting policy and project list and so on, and then you get to a selection of the alternative, the process that you are really familiar with, and at that point, you can have further debate and further input from the public in general about what the alternative would look like, how it performed, what other concerns might be raised, and only after that do you get to essentially a position where you have a locally preferred design for what the congestion pricing might be. i'm talking about three years from now. and you have the opportunity through the design which includes an expenditure plan, a
sense of how the projects will be picked, what the hours will be, who will be charged what, what the exemptions will be, etc. you now have a regional consensus with the other counties that would be affected by this. they understand what project would be funded, what services would be funded affecting their counties so that people would have their choices. with all that together, you have what was referred to as a more regional consensus that would allow you to go jointly to sacramento to look for enabling legislation, which is a must in noted to even put together a pilot, so then you have a pilot. you spend a year debating the legislation in sacramento. i think that getting to the point of a jointly develop expenditure plan is really the key because then people would understand. the question that has been posed to me so many times is how can i assure people that the money would only be used for
transportation and would not be used to plug some hole in the general fund? it is very simple. the same legislation that would allow us to do the pilot program could include the requirement that all the money be used for transportation. there are simple ways to actually insure that this is about transportation only. commissioner campos: thank you for that. i just wanted to get clarity on the process. it looks like we are talking about a number of years before there is an actual decision made, and i imagine the issues that have been raised here -- one question that i have is -- is this a regressive tax? all of that we will have an opportunity to consider those factors. by voting for this, we could still decide that this is not the way to go. >> absolutely. that is the point of an environmental process. you get to the bottom of it, and you have some real information
to be able to make those sorts of big policy decisions. commissioner campos: thank you. commissioner mirkarimi: right before we bring a public comment, i have been listening very closely to what my colleagues have said, and i'm curious. i'm sure staff is also registering strong comments about the potential if in fact we do proceed with further study, what that shape and scope the of the study will look like. if i'm not mistaken, the southern gate way alternative was an alternative that had been proffered by the chamber. is that not the case? >> well, it is -- let me put it this way -- is an alternative that we designed to address issues that were raised. it is difficult to separate the situation today from the decision years from now about doing the condition program.
we never would dream in a million years to suggest that in the middle of a recession, you put together a congestion pricing program to implement today. but with the intent of accommodating the concerns the chamber had just focusing on downtown, there is another way you could look at it -- the other two gateways already exists. it is the southern border. but it was not and is not a choice that we are making for advocacy in any way. it is just another potential alternative. we are not wedded to it. we understand that it is an alternative that generates some concern, and the origin of it is precisely to try to make everybody happy, which is always difficult to do. commissioner mirkarimi: also, gleaning from the comments of commissioners chiu, dufty, and
alioto-pier who are concerned about how the information may lead to something else or may be incomplete, with the question of parking pricing component, could that also be attached to the furtherance of more study? >> certainly. we believe that that has to be part of the study. we have not focused on that because most of the debate has been on roadway pricing, but we believe there is a whole fleet of pricing mechanisms that need to be looked at in concert. very much so. there needs to be a pricing component to the study. commissioner mirkarimi: very good. we are going to go public comment. i would like to thank everybody for your patience. i would like to first welcome and asked to join us assembly member jerry hill. thank you for your patience. and for participating in today's hearing. >> thank you very much, mr.
chair. i appreciate being here. it is a great privilege to be here and speak to you regarding the mobility access and pricing study that you are contemplating today. i think we all support sustainable growth. we all support reducing greenhouse gas emissions. i also think we all support looking at the feasibility of congestion pricing options that are in existence and potential for the bay area. examples might include a downtown san francisco pricing strategy or a regional pricing system with the goal of reducing congestion and providing greater funding for public transportation, just as we have seen through the metropolitan transportation commission and their efforts in highway 680, crossing alameda county with the hot lines, and turning an hov lane into a congested pricing method and ability and a way of
reducing congestion in that area, but it was done at the metropolitan transportation commission. listening to the comments related to our reach, related to what were the plans for the future, and at no time in his initial comments did he mention out reach to the neighbors to the southeast or to the north. he did mention that we were having a conversation. we were having a conversation that has not been a conversation with san mateo county. has been a monologue, and that has not produced anything of any significance we could move forward with. unfortunately, one of the components in the final draft of the study is the southern gateway design, which would create an arbitrary told for residents in the district that i represent in san mateo county. those who drive to and from san francisco county. i'm here today to urge you to reject the southern gateway design and any congestion
pricing option that charges motorists at the border -- commissioner mirkarimi: just a little trick of our process -- would you please tell me more about your thoughts of the southern gateway design? >> thoughts of the gateway design? certainly. a couple of items. it creates a problem related to neighboring communities. it also could create the border wars that we may see and hear from jurisdictions in the south who have already claimed that they are going to establish their own tolls and fees at the border. this is the last thing that we need right now, especially in this time of economic climate when we are adding $5,000 potentially to the cost of commuting and driving from our residents, so that is another issue. this is not the time, especially during this unemployment. if the southern gateway design option we hear today is approved and moves forward, i will be introducing legislation to prohibit local governments from
charging tolls at the border between cities. this is a regional issue and deserves regional consideration where everyone has a seat at the table. i feel strongly that local government throughout the state should not implement punitive policies like this as a way to raise revenue. we should look at it regionally, as i mentioned. san francisco and san mateo county's share a great history, that we heard early this morning, and depend on each other for many services, so i look forward to continuing that tradition of partnership, and i appreciate the opportunity to be here today and speak with you. commissioner mirkarimi: thank you. appreciate you sharing those concerns with us. i'm going to call up a few names. we are obviously under some tight constraints because we have a board meeting soon. [reading names] please, one after the other,
come on up as i call your name. >> thank you, mr. chairman, members of the commission. in with the bay area air quality management district. we wanted to talk to you today about the study that is before you and encourage you to accept that study and go on to the next phase of the congested pricing study that san francisco or that the authority is looking into right now. in our 2010 clean air plan, we have transportation control measures that encourage the region to take on congestion pricing and other pricing strategies in a regional context, but also at the local level. we think what you're doing here by authorizing staff to move forward with the second part of the study is moving the ball forward in the bay area to really look at the feasibility of congestion pricing on a
regional scale. transportation remissions, mobile sources are our number one sources of air pollution in the bay area. they have regional impacts and localize impacts, and congestion pricing strategies along with other demand managers throughout the area, can really address the localized impact and the regional impact. our air quality standards keep getting more stringent every year. we have new standards that we are going to have to develop an implementation plan to attain those standards, and i think congested pricing, and we think new transportation demand management measures in the bay area are going to be critical for us to obtain these air quality standards and protect the health of the citizens in the bay area. thank you. commissioner mirkarimi: thank you. next speaker please. if i have called your name in the cards,, 1 up after the other. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i'm the president of the rincon
hill neighborhood association. the question is -- do we have a problem and do we want to start thinking about the problem now, or do we want to kick the can down the road and let the future generations deal with it, as we have done with many other problems? i think we should start dealing with this problem right now. who enjoys sitting in traffic for an hour from the financial district to the bay bridge? i do not think anybody does. that is what this does. it makes it take an hour to sit in a car polluting our air. i think the option be the outbound weekday evening only option is a good option for everybody. when i go to the movies, i go on saturday or sunday morning before noon, and i only have to
pay $6 because the demand is not very high. other folks choose to go in the evenings. they pay $11. it may be a full movie theater, and they will not be able to get in. we have seen similar things at the bay bridge. they have been implementing digestion charges. it makes for less congestion. i want to talk about emergency response. if you go to youtube, do a search for soma traffic congestion. i have a video of what a fire engine had to go through to get to a building in my neighborhood. emergency response is important to those that live there, of course. once they get to the building, they have another 400 or 500 feet to go up the building to get to someone having a heart attack or other problem. please keep this going. thank you. commissioner mirkarimi: thank you. i'm going to read some more
names. [reading names] >> i'm representing environmental defense fund's. it is a national environmental organization with california headquarters in san francisco. both research and experience in other countries have shown that the type of congestion pricing and allies in this study has the great potential to lead to improving traffic, reducing emissions, and supporting improvements to other mass- transit options. we encourage the board to accept this pricing steady and direct sfcta to go on to the next step in the process and go on to environmental review. thank you.
>> i work on world-class transportation and walk ability community issues. you have a chance to move forward a policy that does something that these types of bodies do not often get to do, which is start thinking outside of the box. done right, it creates multiple wins, raising important necessary transportation money, including environmental impact reductions. it can create strong multi modal options, create ongoing operational money for transit, which is a constant and growing concern, provides strong social justice outcomes when applied correctly, and create a vibrant and livable downtown for san francisco. today, your choice is pretty clear -- you can continue to move forward or do nothing with the fear that there may be some negative outcomes, contrary to the evidence in other cities, and therefore stopped the study, or we can start moving forward with a proactive policy that will be implemented after much
public discourse and communication. we can keep hoping that doing things the same way, things will get better, and we can keep acting outside the box. one of the last untried things we will try to start providing transit money we will need that people traveling in the area will need. commissioner mirkarimi: thank you. next speaker please. if i called your name, please come on up. >> good afternoon. thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. i'm an epidemiologist with the san francisco department of public health and the program of health,by am here because i wano share with you information about a study led by the department of public health to understand congestion pricing. benefits from reduction in driving during peak periods and planned investments for transit and infrastructure for people
walking and biking, building on the experience from 2003. funded by the robert wood johnson foundation program. we will assess transportation impacts as well as future conditions. and pedestrian safety conditions and our analysis includes the assessment of the economic impact of death and injury related to air pollution and policy impact related to factors like geographic location. the health impact assessment of pricing like this can help to make benefits more transparent, allowing them to be inclusive in
the health identifying adverse impacts and we anticipate releasing these findings in the spring of 2011. understanding this pricing is an issue of interest not only to us but to international stakeholders in public health and sustainable transportation that recognize fundamentally transportation policy is health policy. determining whether these are environments that support or hurt. demonstrating the traffic related air pollution is related to early death. [tone] ok, thanks. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i urge you to please put the notion of congestion pricing at rest. it is bad for san francisco. bottom line is that it is a tax.
a few years ago proposition e was on the ballot providing a tax on cars. the people of san francisco do not want more taxes on cars. the measure lost 68%. san francisco was not london or stockholm or a city with 10 million people or a huge infrastructure. it does not have a congestion problem. this is solving a problem that does not really exist. the notion of regional coordination is important. that is the reason that new york's congestion pricing failed. they did not talk to the bronx. this measure has to go to the assembly to get past, ultimately. i agree that more transit is needed, but this is the wrong place to look and the wrong economic climate.
go to some of the meetings. i was at the local meetings. people were upset about it. they did not want it. listen to what was already said when people were asked if they wanted their parking taxes to go up. people resoundingly said no. 68%. thank you. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. [reads names] >> good afternoon. i am with at the san francisco bicycle coalition. we have been paying close attention to this study and have been participating. i would like to thank the staff for their excellent work so far. this is a sophisticated idea and i suppose it is not surprising that misapprehensions would arise. but it is simple, this is smart
business. there is a very significant private individual value and significant public cost to driving a vehicle in the most congested streets of our city. the city must assign a fair value to the driving, recover the cost, and invest the revenue in measures that will be balance the streets for all users to support our many policy goals. congestion pricing is an essential tool in how we manage density, an essential element in climate protection, essential to growing a healthy city that is sustainable, prosperous, a city that keeps moving. there will be plenty of time and opportunities for citizens to deliberate on whether or not this tool is employed. for now let's get this question right. carried forward with it does
good work for a possible congestion pricing system to keep the city moving. thank you. supervisor mirkarimi: next speaker, please. >> my name is michael and i am a progressive. i am a resident of district four. i have lived my life between the two cities. -- excuse me? >> my fault. [tone] [tone] >> i imagine the $1,500 per year means very little to you, but for the thousands that clout -- crossed the line in the dirt, it means the difference of paying their rent, food for their families, and health care for their children. make no misunderstanding, this
is a tax. this proposed tax has little to do with the environmental green and more to do with cash money green. you have squandered our money before. this time you wanted from the working class of your neighbors. this is a burden placed upon the working class while the more affluent residents are given a pass. this is the lead is an addict most transparent. take it into account, this is also unconstitutional. this city is not an island. it is the heart of the bay area with a responsibility that exceeds its borders. we have a symbiotic relationship. this proposed tax policy is a bad neighbor policy. it will further alienate working-class allies and destroy the clock -- the credibility that this government has left. for the janitors, security
guards, elderly parents, and my sister that i will have to take back and forth twice to go visit my newborn nephew, whose only crime is that they left -- they lack the money to live in the most expensive city in the country, san francisco. reconsider this proposal. shove it. supervisor mirkarimi: i would like to remind everyone that this is about a study, not a proposal. the next speaker. >> for the record, my name is linda magellan. i am the executive director of the union square business district, here to represent our members who are property owners in attendance of the 27 block area around union square. i have also participated for the past several years in the mobility access pricing study business advisory committee. i have had the benefit of
several presentations by the staff that are members. she has been very patient with us. i am here on behalf of members to ask two things of view. one is to ask and receive the file for the feasibility report. the other is not to proceed with studies until more is known about the impact of the proposition. san francisco is not london, not stockholm, as the previous speaker said. we do not suffer the same congestion levels of those cities that inspired them to implement congestion pricing. the streets are not overcrowded or congested, not burdened beyond capacity. the congestion we experience is largely one that comes to us from the bay bridge and leaves us at the bay bridge. san francisco as a world-class
favorite destination. we should be creating incentives for people to come here. not establishing barriers to entry. as one person from the peninsula said, let's not establish a moat around the city. that sentiment expresses our greatest fear. what you will gain in fees, we will lose in revenue. we urge you to treat this as [a regional as [tone -- regional problem. [tone] supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. >> the san francisco republican party has not taken a position on this, frankly because we did not see it coming. i would like to salute the supervisor of her service and for her coach and suggestions on
prop 26. as a supporter of prop 13 i do not believe that 26 would be challenged successfully. closings a major loopholes. when is a fee not a tax? the truth of the matter is that once you put this on, which will eventually have to do, it will be defeated like the gentleman from the parking authority stated. it will be defeated two-one. basically it is a regressive tax. $1,500. say someone who has a salary of $1,400, they are talking about
$3,000 at the federal level and what would happen is the middle class tax reduction would be eliminated. we are talking about half of that. $1,500. additionally, what happens to the people in the district within that special district? let's say that she wanted to go to safeway and over to fill more. would you be charged an extra $3 every time? who gets charged? is that the city residents? anyone that enters san francisco or that some? people from other states? i think that federal law might have something to say about that. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. i will read the remainder of cards that i have. [reads names] those are all of them.
if anyone else wants to participate in the middle aisle, please. >> we direct the staff to move to the next age of environmental review. congestion pricing in london and stockholm has reduced crashes in injuries and lower greenhouse gas emissions, improving public transit service and speed. some of this would support street improvements for pedestrians and cyclists. these are highly desirable outcomes and highly desirable for anyone that walks the streets of san francisco. namely the people of san