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Mayor Lee Announces New City Program to Prioritize Citywide Transportation Improvements

New Program to Fund $1.4 Billion in Transportation Projects Over 20 Years

5/15/12–Today Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Supervisors Scott Wiener and Christina Olague launched the Transportation Sustainability Program (TSP), a groundbreaking program that re-examines current practices with new development and its impact to the City’s overall transportation network.

“San Francisco is pioneering a new way to look at transportation through the Transportation Sustainability Program,” said Mayor Lee. “Supporting our City’s Transit First policy, this new innovative program ensures transportation improvements are felt system-wide and Citywide to improve transportation use by all residents.”

The Transportation Sustainability Program recommends changing the methodology used to analyze transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Instead of using automobile Level of Service as a metric, the program suggests replacing it with metrics that take into account all modes of transportation. Mitigations would then support the entire transportation system including transit, bikes, and pedestrians.

“This is a significant change that will help us better understand development impacts so that we can plan for growth effectively,” said Supervisor Wiener.

“It is a rational approach to the environmental review process that considers the broader impacts to our City’s network,” said Supervisor Olague.

Another key component of the program is the Transportation Sustainability Fee (TSF), projected to generate up to $630 million over the next twenty years. The revenue would be used to leverage an additional $820 million in other local, state, and federal transportation revenues to fund a $1.4 billion transportation improvement program for the city. In addition, the fee would eliminate the need for lengthy and costly cumulative transportation studies for many private and public projects, potentially saving time and money, spurring construction jobs and improving the economy.

This fee would eventually replace or be a credit against the city’s current development fee, the Transit Impact Development Fee (TIDF). Fee rates under the TIDF have not been updated since 2004 even though the cost to offset development impacts on the transit system has increased.

Developed over the last few years by the City’s Planning Department, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, and the Office of Economic & Workforce Development, the program is planned for adoption in late 2013, after completion of an environmental review, which is already underway.

The environmental review will analyze twenty years of projected development and its combined impact on transportation system performance. Once complete, individual development projects will no longer be required to conduct cumulative transportation studies as part their environmental review.

“This holistic view is a superior approach to measuring how new development impacts our City’s multi-modal transportation system,” said SPUR Executive Director Gabriel Metcalf. “I applaud the City for taking on this reform to make San Francisco more sustainable.”

For more information on the program, visit tsp.sfplanning.org 
Last updated: 5/15/2012 5:13:46 PM