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Smart Voter
San Francisco County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Proposition L
Policy Regarding Transportation Priorities
City of San Francisco

Policy Resolution - Majority Approval Required

Fail: 79,417 / 37.06% Yes votes ...... 134,878 / 62.94% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Information shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Yes/No Meaning | Arguments |

Shall it be City policy to change parking and transportation priorities?

The Way It Is Now: The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) operates Muni, the City's public transit system.The SFMTA also manages most of the City's parking meters and City-owned parking lots and garages. It also has the authority to install additional parking meters and build more park- ing facilities.

The SFMTA sets the hours, days, and rates for parking meters and parking garages under its jurisdiction.

It also determines the fines for violations of parking restrictions. Most on-street parking meters operate only Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and do not operate on Sundays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and NewYear's Day.

The SFMTA has introduced demand-responsive pricing for some parking meters in several neighborhoods in an effort to increase turnover of parking spaces. Demand-responsive pricing adjusts the price for park- ing according to demand in specific areas.

The SFMTA administers the Residential Parking Permit program, which allows residents in some neighborhoods to purchase a permit to park in their neighborhood for longer than the posted time restrictions.The SFMTA sets the price for these permits in accordance with state law.

The City Charter requires the SFMTA to spend revenues generated from its parking garages and parking meters to support SFMTA operations, including public transit.The Charter also requires that a certain amount of the City's General Fund be allocated to the SFMTA. The City may allocate to the SFMTA additional revenues from other sources.

The SFMTA is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors appointed by the Mayor; four must be regular Muni riders and the other three must ride Muni at least once a week.

The City's Charter includes aTransit-First Policy that emphasizes the safe and efficient movement of people and goods.Top transportation priorities are public transit, bicycling, and walking.

The Proposal: Proposition L would establish the following as City policy:

  • Parking meters should never operate on Sundays, holidays observed by the City, or outside the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Starting on July 1, 2015, the SFMTA should freeze fees for City-owned parking garages, meters, parking tickets, and neighborhood parking permits for five years, after which the City is allowed to annually adjust prices based on the Consumer Price Index;
  • The SFMTA should not install any parking meters or parking meters with demand-responsive pricing in any neighborhood where they currently do not exist, unless a majority of households and businesses in that neighborhood have signed a petition supporting the changes;
  • The SFMTA should use a portion of funds generated by new parking, vehicle fees, or the sale of new bonds for SFMTA purposes, to construct and operate neighborhood parking garages;
  • The goal of any proposed re-engineering of traffic flows by the City should be to achieve safer, smoother-flowing traffic on City streets;
  • The City should enforce traffic laws equally for all users of San Francisco's streets and sidewalks;
  • The SFMTA's Board of Directors should include a representation of all transportation stakeholders, including motorists, and
  • The SFMTA should create a Motorists' Citizens Advisory Committee.

Fiscal Impact:
City Controller Ben Rosenfield has issued the following statement on the fiscal impact of Proposition L:

Should the proposed declaration of policy be approved by the voters, in my opinion, it would not affect the cost of government.

A declaration of policy cannot bind future Mayors and Boards of Supervisors to provide or reduce funding. Budget amounts for transportation or any other purpose or program depend on decisions made through the City's budget and fiscal processes as specified in the Charter.

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
If you vote "yes," you want the Board of Supervisors to adopt these changes in park- ing and transportation policies.

A NO vote on this measure means:
If you vote "no," you do not want the Board of Supervisors to adopt these policy changes.

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Arguments For Proposition L Arguments Against Proposition L
Almost 80% of San Francisco households own motor vehicles, yet the SFMTA's policies penalize them by eliminating traffic lanes and parking spaces, increasing the cost and hours of parking meters, increasing penalties and fines, and imposing meters and "demand responsive pricing" in neighborhoods where they hadn't previously existed.

This has increased congestion, costs, stress, aggressiveness, pollution, carbon emissions and travel times. It especially harms families with small children, blue- collar workers, merchants, tradespeople, disabled people, seniors, and faith communities, threatening the diversity that makes San Francisco so special. It jeopardizes public safety by making it harder for first responders to maneuver their fire trucks and ambulances around ever-shrinking streets and ever-growing obstacles.

RestoreTransportation Balance is a policy declaration that will open a meaningful dialogue with the MTA and City officials about a transportation policy that truly respects all people affected, instead of the MTA's top-down, heavy-handed, "we know what's best for you" campaign against cars and those who rely on them. Most people use more than one transportation mode + they aren't motorists all the time or transit riders all the time or cyclists all the time. Not everyone can take Muni to work. Just as most people aim for balance, appropriateness and reasonableness, so does Restore Transportation Balance. P

Proposition L is a radical effort to turn our transportation policies backwards and reverse decades of environmental progress. In doing so, it will make every- one's daily commute worse and our streets less safe. Despite its promises, Proposition L will only make our streets more congested by encouraging people to join the traffic jam.

In fact, whether you drive, walk, take transit, or bike, Proposition L will make traffic, parking, and pollution worse.This is why Proposition L is opposed by environmental, safety, and neighborhood groups, as well as elected leaders. Simply put, Proposition L will encourage people to drive more by diverting our transportation dollars to parking and will make streets more dangerous by prioritizing traffic flow over safety. If it passes, everyone loses. For drivers, encouraging more people to drive means more gridlock. For Muni riders, it means slower transit and reduced funding. And for everyone, Proposition L will mean more traffic collisions on our streets.

Additionally, Proposition L would push the City to use it's limited resources to purchase land to build parking garages instead of affordable housing or improving Muni. San Francisco doesn't have the space or fund- ing to build homes for cars instead homes for people.

Finally, Proposition L does not reflect our San Francisco values. We care about creating less pollution and fighting climate change, not making our environment worse. We care about making transit better for everyone, not making it slower. We care about making our streets safer, not more dangerous.

Join us in voting "No on Gridlock, No on L."

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Created: July 23, 2015 14:58 PDT
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