PRO & CONS – PROPOSITION L – NOVEMBER 4, 2014

PROPOSITION L – RESTORE TRANSPORTATION BALANCE

Declaration of Policy

Placed on the ballot by Restore Transportation Balance 2014 Committee

Requires a simple majority vote for passage

 

 

THE QUESTION:

Should San Francisco develop a more motorist-friendly transportation policy?

BACKGROUND:

The Board of Supervisors created a “Transit First” policy in 1973 that aimed to facilitate alternative modes of transportation including MUNI, bicycles, and walking. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority, created in 1999, has developed and implemented policies to promote public transit and bicycling while reducing the availability of parking and converting vehicle traffic lanes into bicycle lanes. As a result, motorists face increased travel times and decreasing parking availability. Due to increased metering and ticket fines for parking, motorists are a larger share of SFMTA funding but do not benefit directly from this funding.

 

THE PROPOSAL:

  • Parking meters should not operate outside the hours of 9am to 6pm. Starting January 1, 2015, fees for parking garages, meters, parking tickets, and parking permits should be frozen for 5 years, and thereafter only be adjusted for consumer price index increases.
  • Introduction of parking meters to areas where they do not currently exist should require a petition by the majority of affected households and merchants.
  • A portion of any motorists’ fees and new bond funds raised for the SFMTA should go towards construction of parking garages.
  • Any proposed re-engineering of traffic flows should achieve safer, smoother-flowing streets
  • Traffic laws should be enforced equally for anyone using San Francisco’s streets and sidewalks.
  • The SFMTA board should include motorists and other stakeholders in addition to the 4 regular MUNI riders. The SFMTA should create a Motorist Citizens Advisory Committee in addition to its other committees.
  • The Board of Supervisors should make every reasonable effort to implement components of this policy.

 

A “YES” Vote Means: you want voters to reduce the volume and pricing of parking meters, increase parking garage space, and reduce traffic congestion for motorists.

A “NO” Vote Means: you do not authorize the City to amend its Parks Code to allow it to proceed with renovations to children’s playgrounds, walking trails and athletic fields if the renovations double usage of area in a calendar year and if an EIR has been certified.

 

 

A “YES” Vote Means: You support policies to increase the availability of affordable housing in San Francisco.

 

A “NO” Vote Means: you support the existing Transit First policy which prioritizes public transit, bicycling, walking, and other alternative modes of transportation.

 

ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR PROP L:

  •  Almost 80% of San Francisco households own motor vehicles, but SFMTA’s policies penalize them by eliminating traffic lanes and parking spaces, increasing cost and hours of parking meters, increasing fines, and imposing demand responsive pricing for parking where it didn’t exist before.
  • This has increased traffic congestion, cost, stress, pollution, and travel times. It especially harms families with small children, blue-collar workers, merchants, tradespeople, disabled people, seniors, and faith communities, and threatens San Francisco’s diversity.
  • This proposition will open a meaningful dialogue with the MTA and city officials about a transportation policy that truly respects all people affected.
  • Most people use multiple modes of transportation – motor vehicles, public transit, cycling, and walking. Just as most people aim for balance, appropriateness and reasonableness, so does Restore Transportation Balance.

 

ARGUMENTS AGAINST PROP L:

  •  Proposition L is a radical effort to turn transportation policies backwards and reverse decades of environmental progress.
  • It will make traffic, parking, and pollution worse for all residents, whether they drive, walk, take transit, or bike. It will encourage more people to drive by diverting transportation dollars to parking and will make streets more dangerous by prioritizing traffic flow over safety.
  • It will push the City to purchase land to build parking garages instead of affordable housing or improving MUNI. San Francisco does not have the space or funding to build homes for cars instead of homes for people.
  • Proposition L does not reflect 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.

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