Mayor Edwin M. Lee and all 11 members of the Board of Supervisors today introduced a proposed $500 million general obligation bond for the November 2014 ballot for infrastructure projects that would significantly improve San Francisco’s transportation network without raising property tax rates. The bond would increase Muni reliability and travel speed, upgrade transit stops and stations, improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, and prepare for growth on the City’s busiest travel corridors.
“San Francisco deserves a safe, reliable and affordable transportation system, and today we are making an historic investment in our City’s vital transportation infrastructure as we plan for a growing and successful City,” said Mayor Lee. “This investment will make it easier for San Franciscans to get around the City as they go to work, school, home and everywhere in between. If passed this November, the $500 million general obligation bond will improve MUNI, improve pedestrian safety and improve our bike network – all without raising property tax rates.”
“The City is dense and crowded – and growing. Getting around can be a headache at times,” said Board President David Chiu. “This bond will be a turning point for improving transportation in San Francisco. It’s a meaningful, sound investment that’s integral to San Francisco’s long-term economic vitality.”
“We talk with our neighbors and the communities we serve each day and we hear about what they want and need: a dependable transportation network to get around the City,” said Supervisor Katy Tang who is the lead sponsor of the proposed bond measure. “The transportation bond proposal is a sound investment, with dozens of projects to better serve our residents across San Francisco.”
“With the general obligation bond on the ballot, San Franciscans will finally have the chance to put the resources forward to advance our transportation system that has languished over several decades,” said Supervisor John Avalos who is also County Transportation Authority (CTA) Chair.
Key investments planned for the $500 million general obligation bond include:
• Muni Forward Rapid Network Capital Projects and other transit improvement projects: $230 million
• Transit stop accessibility improvements: $30 million
• Muni maintenance facility upgrades: $70 million
• Pedestrian safety enhancements: $68 million
• Traffic signal replacement: $22 million
• “Complete Streets” projects, including new or enhanced bikeways: $52 million
The transportation bond will not raise property tax rates, and would include citizen oversight and regular audits to assure accountability and transparency.
The $500 million general obligation bond is one of several recommendations of the SF 2030 Transportation Task Force, which Mayor Lee convened last year to examine San Francisco’s transportation infrastructure needs and prepare for the City’s future. The Task Force found that to meet current need and future demand the city requires a $10 billion investment in transportation infrastructure through 2030. The City has identified $3.7 billion in funding, leaving a $6.3 billion funding gap over the next 15 years. For the final recommendations of the Mayor’s SF 2030 Transportation Task Force, go to: www.sf-planning.org/index.aspx?page=3427.
The $500 million general obligation bond measure will begin to address the transportation funding gap and allow the City to invest in much-needed local infrastructure. The bond proposal is part of the City’s 10-year Capital Plan, which prioritizes critical capital projects that impact public safety and improve our neighborhoods. Other general obligation bonds have funded San Francisco’s roads, parks, libraries, and fire stations and bonds are timed in order to leave property tax rates flat. For the first time, transportation is being considered as part of the City’s plan for strategic capital investments.
“The City has made it a priority to take a long-term, strategic approach to managing public assets that need to be addressed to improve safety and life quality in our neighborhoods” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin. “Transportation will now be part of the City’s Capital Plan, allowing us to make crucial investments in transit reliability and street safety that will make a noticeable difference today and into the foreseeable future.”
“San Francisco needs and deserve a world-class transportation infrastructure that is safe and reliable for everyone, whether you ride a bus, walk, bike or drive,” said Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. “This thoughtful plan sets us on the right course and makes sense for a 21st Century San Francisco.”
If approved by the Board of Supervisors by July 22nd, the bond measure will be on the November 4, 2014 ballot. To pass in November, the general obligation bond requires a 2/3 majority vote by San Francisco voters.
San Franciscans are encouraged to attend an upcoming community meeting on the recommendations of the SF 2030 Transportation Task Force. For information, go to: www.sftransportation2030.com.