Republican Sean Walker is financing a ballot proposition this fall and the SFBC is not amused:
Despite an official “Transit-First” policy in San Francisco, biking, walking and taking transit in our city have been historically underfunded…
Uh, riding a bike isn’t actually “transit,” which IRL is “a system of buses, trains, etc. that people use to travel around in a particular city or area.”
This lack of funding and priority, means Muni is too often overcrowded and unreliable…
Or perhaps MUNI is poorly managed? Oh you don’t care because you get hundreds and thousands from the SFMTA each year? Why don’t you disclose that fact before crowing the SFMTA’s party line? Oh, you used to post your tax returns but now you don’t because you’re worried people might actually look at them? OK fine.
…dozens of people are killed just trying to walk across the streets each year.
Not dozens. Too many to be sure but not “dozens.”
Our streets currently aren’t “liveable?” What does that mean? How Orwellian is your fund-raising “framing” going to get?
…there is a group of San Franciscans who think that there’s actually too much space given to sustainable ways to get around…
Well now, if you give the voters of the 415 / 628 the chance to freeze for five years the amount of money the SFMTA MUNI makes from parking tickets, they just might say “Aye,” right?
Your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition will be working with partners to make sure our transportation system is moving forward
MUNI is a disaster, right? MUNI is not “moving forward.” How much does the SFMTA give the SFBC every year to say stuff like this?
Our Board of Directors voted last week to oppose this “Transit-Last” measure, while supporting two important transportation funding measures on this November’s ballot, which will advance and truly better balance our city’s transportation needs. The first is the Transportation & Road Safety Bond, a $500 million general obligation bond dedicated to transportation capital improvements, including modernizing our transit system and investing in bicycle and pedestrian improvements.
Will this allow landlords to up rents in SF? Howard Wong, who is not on the SFMTA payroll, says it will “raise property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.”
(It’s important to note that this measure will not raise local property taxes, as it only infills expiring debt.)
What does this mean? Is Howard Wong incorrect?
And the second is a charter amendment linking population growth to transportation spending, specifically long-ignored transit & safe streets needs.
So the corrupt SFMTA gives you money to say that the corrupt SFMTA needs more money?
Here’s the rest of what Howard Wong has to say, FYI:
Arguments against MUNI infrastructure improvement bond
What does the ballot measure do:
Raises property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.
Funds “may be allocated” for transit and roads—carte blanche authority for unspecific projects.
If the Bond is rejected by voters, property taxes and rents would be reduced for everyone—not just for rich companies and the wealthy.
To read the Ordinance’s legal language is to oppose the Bond Measure.
The Ordinance’s legal language makes no definitive commitment to any specific work: “Projects to be funded under the proposed Bondmay include but are not limited to the following:”
Then, for eight project types, all eight begin with: “A portion of the Bond may be allocated to…”
In financial decisions, never sign a contract when the terms and deliverables are ambiguous.
Throwing billions of dollars at bad Muni projects hasn’t worked.
Since 2006, Muni has cut service in every neighborhood, decreased annual vehicle revenue miles/ hours, eliminated 6 bus lines, shortened 22 routes, deferred maintenance, increased missed runs/ switchbacks/ late buses, increased fares/ fees/ fines/ meters (1,549,518 parking citations annually)…. Large project cost overruns have cut funds for infrastructure and maintenance. The Central Subway alone has taken $595 million in state and local funds. Huge subway cost overruns loom ahead, unveiled by the Central Subway’s cost engineer, whose whistle-blower’s complaint alleges a cooking of the books.
Bond Does Not Restore Muni Service Cuts
Muni has cut neighborhood transit, cross-town routes, night service and route frequency, hurting the low-income, families, disabled, youth and seniors. … Eliminated bus lines will not be restored—Lines 4, 7, 15, 20, 26, 34, 89… Shortened bus routes will not be restored: Lines 1, 2, 10, 12, 16X, 18, 21, 29, 36, 38, 42, 48, 53, 67, 88, 91, 108… Muni has been an integrated citywide transit system, interconnecting outlying neighborhoods. By cutting neighborhood transit, driving is encouraged—then penalized by more fees/ fines/ parking elimination.
Learning From the Past: SFMTA’s Poor Spending Habits
· In 1999, Prop E created the SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) with more powers, more General Fund dollars and a 85% on-time performance mandate. Instead, Muni falsified on-time performance data and paid bonuses to its Director.
· In 2003, Prop K extended the transportation sales tax and provided a list of projects. The Central Subway’s listed cost of $647 million escalated to $1.578 billion. The citywide Transit-Preferential Streets Program and Bus Rapid Network were never implemented.
· In 2007, Prop A gave SFMTA more funding authority, revenue-bond-authority and even more General Fund dollars. Instead, work orders sent the new funds to other city departments.
· In 2011, voters approved a Road Repaving Bond of $248 million, with $181 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $429 million. Debt isn’t efficient for maintenance.
· SFMTA’s budget grew by hundreds of millions of dollars to $978 million. Number of employees grew by thousands to 4,921. Salaries have soared. And riders get service cuts.
Mayor’s Transportation Task Force (TTF) and Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP)
This proposed Bond, a second Bond, future fees and taxes will not meet objectives. Only 49% of the TTF”s recommended funding goes to Muni. TTF’s proposed $2.955 billion does not remotely solve Muni’s $25 billion in 20-Year Capital Plan Need. The proposed TEP continues transit cuts to neighborhoods, shifting service to rapid corridors. Better planning is needed for a citywide integrated Muni system. Oppose this Bond Measure.
Howard Wong, AIA, a founding member of SaveMuni