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tv   Ethics Commission  SFGTV  January 11, 2020 1:00am-6:01am PST

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sponsor. the second comment i'd like to make relates to the historic character of the coxhead house. there was a lot of discussion about light and air and views, and the comment that light and air are not protected. and i fully understand and agree that that's correct when you are talking about the usual circumstance. but we are not talking about the usual circumstance here. we're talking about a coxhead house, and one of the things coxhead did was to play with solid walls on parts of the building and windows on parts of the building to make use of that light. and so the historic character and example of that historic character clearly is going to depend on divisability of those windows, the early windows on
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this block. so this is not a normal air and light situation. this is one where the building was specifically designed with purpose and access. it talks to the design intent and design characteristics that makes coxhead such a significant architect. and i believe that requires more deference, and it disturbs me that i have not heard that addressed in the pmnd as a historic character issue. it's not just the views out, it is how the light comes into the house and plays with the interior design, which was a very purposeful part of the architecture. thank you. >> president melgar: thank you. next speaker, please. >> honorable commissioners, my father -- >> president melgar: i think you are -- you're part of mr. kaufman's team. >> yeah, so i can't speak.
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>> president melgar: yeah. you can speak during rebuttal. >> he's mr. kaufman's son, but he does not live at the property. therefore, he's a member of the public living at a separate address. >> president melgar: city attorney, what do you think? [inaudible] >> president melgar: okay. so it's within my discretion. you may provide public comment as long as it's not part of something that is an argument of the project requester -- the d.r. requester. >> okay. thank you. thank you, commissioners. honorable commissioners, my father's lived at 2421 green street for almost 30 years. during that time, many neighbors have remodelled their homes consistent with the cow hollow guidelines, and none of these projects ever drew an
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objection from any neighbor. 2417 green, directly downhill from 2421 green, was purchased by mr. durkin who ignored the entire neighborhood's serious concerns at the meeting. it egregiously fails to acknowledge the house's need for light and air, blocking 24 windows, and it produces massing radically out of scale with the neighborhood. this is not a modest plan. two years ago, the board of supervisors twice voted unanimously, 11-0 both times, for ceqa, recognizing that the developer's project could cause significant adverse impact and
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irreparable damage. since then, he has illegally ripped out two chimneys during the rainy season and left holes, causing mold and rodent infestation. please don't be fooled by his false assertions of innocence. the pmnd states the dangers of this project. the proposed project could directly or indirectly cause potential substantial adverse effects, including risk of loss, injury, or death. this morning, planning staff's
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recommendation, you can't fix it when it's too late. think about millennium tower. this is not a risk that you would want to take yourself. as our neighbors have pointed out, the developer's conduct makes it hard to trust he would proceed cautiously and follow the limitations of the permits. remember, commissioners, in november 2018, you voted 6-0 against the same mr. durkin in the case of francis ryan, there's a pattern of threatening, bullying, and illegal behavior. mr. ryan is here today. here's dave ryan. >> president melgar: thank you, mr. kaufman. next speaker, please. >> commissioners, my name is
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francis ryan, francis dave ryan. you probably know me as dave ryan. i am a homeowner adjacent to one of his other homes on ashbury street. my purpose here is to support the appeal and underscore the points made by mr. drury in his january 7 letter to you. you may recall the developer has come before the planning commission to argue that i should be required to conduct a ceqa review for my teeny roof deck on top of my garage, roughly 500 square feet. the developer has been remarkably inconsistent, proposing to litigate. surely, the developer should be required to conduct the same ceqa or, at your discretion,
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e.i.r. or analysis that he has ordered should be required by me. dr. lawrence karp comments, and he's suing recognition by the pmnd, that the construction could compromise the integrity of the foundation of the historic location located at 2421. to me, this is -- it's -- we must, particularly -- i urge you to consider particularly the fragility of the adjacent irreplaceable historic adjacent properties on green street.
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the developer's already demonstrated complete disregard for our concern in the ashbury heights neighborhood, and his actions on green demonstrate the same continuing trend with n.o.v.s, not just on green street, but on ashbury, too. i put it to you, the developer is not a credible individual. the developer has refused to this day to provide any monitoring data on the project adjacent. my opinion is that this is a very high-risk project which requires a full and very detailed study at your discretion, e.i.r., ceqa, whatever it takes. i ask you, the planning commission, to uphold him to the same standards that he's so eager to apply elsewhere. thank you. >> president melgar: thank you, sir. next speaker, please.
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so i'm sorry sir. are you part of the d.r. requester? >> i'm sorry. >> president melgar: are you a d.r. requester? >> am i what? >> president melgar: did you ask us to review the project? >> i filled out a speaker card this morning -- or this afternoon. >> president melgar: i understand that, but are you one of the property owners next to -- you're the engineer. you're the engineer for the d.r. requester? are you part of the team? mr. drury, at the part of your team? [inaudible] >> president melgar: okay. so he cannot speak right now. his opportunity was at the beginning, when you presented. you also get a rebuttal, during which he can speak if there's points that haven't been covered, but he cannot speak
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during public comment. >> clerk: two minutes for each d.r. requester. >> president melgar: okay. come on up, please. >> paul grimaldi, 35-year small business owner in san francisco. to be a successful small business owner in approximat c have to have problem solving skills, and you also have to have good judgment. and what i'm constantly doing is weighing risk versus reward. from what i know about this situation, it seems to me that the risk far outweighs the reward. you know, there's compromising the foundation possibility,
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liq liquefaction of soil, danger to life according to the report. i know you're all busy, but if you've been to the site to look at it, it's hard to tell from a photo, and it says 24%. but it is severe slope, and those building are right together. and as i tell my teenage son, whenever you get people involved, things can get screwed up. so what if there's some sort of mistake or problem or whatever, and the -- mr. kaufman's foundation begins to have a problem? well, the builder said, well, we'll stop -- we'll stop work. okay. as h.r.halderman famously said
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during the watergate era, you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. my question is, is the city willing to take that risk? i know there are rules, regulations, guidelines, laws, but also, what about the law of common decency? now here's mr. kaufman, living in this neighborhood for 30 years, going about his business, not bothering anybody, and someone comes along and dumps a whole bunch of worry and potential problem -- and problems in his lap. he didn't do anything. he's just living his life. don't you hate that? now he's got to spend, you know, all of his time and money just trying to get his normal life back. and blocking someone's light and view and air and everything, again, what about the law of common decency?
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and finally, aren't we tired yet of real estate builder bullies? >> president melgar: next speaker, please. >> good evening, commissioners. my name's howard epstein. i came here to speak today in favor of approval of the project at 2417 green. mr. durkin has been the subject of a vicious hit campaign. the transparency is not there. his neighbor at 2415 green, who had a statement read on their behalf that they do everything by the book and everything by permit just recently in fact, about eight months ago, had a notice of violation, 201541931 for replacement of their stairs without a permit. mr. ryan has been performing illegal work for 15 years, and
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his couple of planks is actually an illegal roof deck, an illegal walk away from his garage roof, nothing which seems to matter except when it comes to chris. i have seen the quality of the work that chris does. it is extraordinary. he puts most builders to shame. he is not a house flipper. he has spent years tackling projects to be beautiful, special, and functional to families. all of his work has been planning and building compliant, and he is not encroaching on anybody else's property as some people have said. this project has not evicted a tenant. this project is not by affordable house standards.
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it's an a.d.u., and it's in writing for everyone to see. i challenge anyone in this neighborhood to show me their plans for an a.d.u. to help housing in this city. this project will take a tired old house and make it family friendly with a rental use. chris has patiently waited 2.5 years to get here today. to be continued nine times at the request of one individual who can wield so much power and so much political clout, it's embarrassing. and i know that this commission isn't going to stand for this anymore. his neighbors are refusing to meet with him, talk to him, and they're just talking about the problems. i strongly request you approve this project as proposed. >> president melgar: thank you, sir. next speaker, please. >> my name is robert funston, and i'm a real estate broker and investor in san francisco for the past ten years.
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i live in the neighborhood, as well. people have characterized chris durkin, who i've known for almost ten years now, as not the greatest person, a bad, you know, evil developer. the law of common decency? chris is not a decent person. i just don't understand it. he owns the house. he has the right to build a house up to code. i mean, a derelict structure? he hasn't gotten a hearing in three years, three years. i wonder why the property's -- you know, it doesn't make any sense. why is the property going downhill? because he can't get his permits. that's all i have to say. >> president melgar: thank you, sir. next speaker, please. >> good evening, commission president and commissioners. my name is robert lozara.
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since 1981, i have managed the orpheum since 1986. it did not meet the fate of our sister theater two blocks away, the fox theater. this treasure was demolished in 1963. no one prevented its loss. tonight, i speak for two other treasures. film maker philip kaufman and his coxhead home on green street. many of his movies were born, nurtured and written in his green street home. what you can't see, is this edifice is built like a tree house, with soaring staircases
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and windows that flood the home with light. it is a breathtaking cathedral of creative inspiration for those lucky enough to live there. i think one of the single greatest scenes in all movie history was filmed just outside of san francisco city hall, in inkaufman's invasion of the body snatchers, there is a terrifying and incomparable image of a dog with a man's face, squealing and licking his chops. this scene is truly amazing. if this shrine to film making on green street goes away, who knows what other scenes will never see the light of a movie screen. i hope all parties will make the right decision. thank you. >> president melgar: thank you, sir. next speaker, please.
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>> my name's christine pelosi. i actually had the last law and motion case in this building when i was a deputy city attorney on the building mitigation team. my very first case as a deputy city attorney was the case that went down the hall on alta street where there was a home that was not done to code, and people said that's okay, we'll justificati just fix it as we go along. i began my career in this building talking with unstable housing, and here i am today as the mother of bella, and the daughter-in-law of philip, the owner of the house.
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when i see 2421 green street, i look at it as a place where my late mother-in-law, rose, was nurturing in the back yard, where phil and peter write their scripts, where okaytacta and bella have their own rooms. when you have 127--year-old house, you are supposed to follow ceqa. where you have experts on both sides who are in disagreement, as i think we would all stipulate you have today, they're supposed to invoke an independent review. and if any situation called out for an independent review, it would be this situation. so ceqa tells us what to do.
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the board of supervisors told us what to do twice. i think that everybody's tired of coming before bodies in city hall, asking for relief. what we need is independent review. finally, i would just note that when it comes to the soil samples taken from the garage and not the deep part of the soil that is at issue, i think it's important to look at all of the reports, again, with an independent eye and say how can you build within the envelope, how can you build a single-family home? that is what i'm asking you to do both as an attorney and as a family member. i think independent review and ceqa are what is needed here. thank you. >> president melgar: thank you. do we have any other public comment on this item? okay. then public comment is now closed. we will now have time for rebuttal. you get two minutes per d.r. requester. so i, you know, don't know if
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you want to share those minutes or if you have further rebuttal. >> yeah. could i just ask a procedural question before we start running the clock? >> president melgar: sure. >> i was not aware that my expert, mr. karp, and owner, mr. kaufman, were supposed to speak during the presentation. will there be rebuttal for the ceqa issue as well as the d.r.? >> clerk: there will be no rebuttal for the ceqa issue. this is solely for the d.r.s. >> i think it would be a travesty if mr. karp and mr. kaufman would not be able to speak. we're willing to cede our time so that they can be allowed to
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speak. >> president melgar: i will do this. i will give you 30 seconds to talk amongst yourselves to figure out who will speak, and you can share the six minutes of rebuttal or distribute it amongst yourselves, but you only get six minutes. >> yes. i would propose that three minutes be afforded to -- >> president melgar: right, but they have to agree. >> we've been chatting. >> president melgar: all right. >> so i propose that dr. karp speak for six minutes and mr. kaufman for three. >> clerk: six minutes altogether. >> president melgar: okay. great. thank you. mr. karp? >> dr. karp. >> president melgar: dr. karp. >> i am lawrence karp, and here to address issues on the 2417 green street project. i represent the coxhead house
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owners. i am an engineer working with shorington underpinning since the late 1950's. the issues have not been addressed in the mitigated negative declaration because there were no qualified individuals to do so. planning had elected internally not to seek a proper review inherent in an environmental impact report, which the supervisors had intended. there is no counterpart to the architect in planning. one years ago today, the -- one year ago today, the board of
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supervisors rejected the project to planning. [inaudible] >> -- until they were suspended by d.b.i. an e.i.r. was intended. the debate at the board centered on the failure of the project to follow the city's slope protection act provisions were not followed. although the project is clearly marked in a land slide area abutted by lion, greta, vanness, in cow hollow heights. this has been part of the city's building code since 1976, and the city's land slide plan and seismic areas are now part of maps and other updated are areas are in exhibit e.
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it's part of the city ordinance 121-18. so what happened when planning got the return? they snapped into action by asking the city what to do. it's simple. ask the spna for clarification. they're going to add a consultant who has experience with slope failure in san francisco. personal experience, no less. the consultant who has now cosigned the revised report, eliminating the slope protection act entirely has also written the review for shoring murphy's house at 125 crown terrace shortly before it crashed down the hill. that's exhibit f, the reports and the pictures. >> clerk: sir. i don't know if you want to cede three minutes to mr.
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kaufman, but if you do, i would stop talking. >> i'll stop talking. >> president melgar: thank you. >> thank you. philip kaufman. i'm going to put some exhibits down here of the books. but what a load of crap that was by mr. durkin. what baloney he's speaking out. we all met with him at the pre-app, our entire neighborhood. we asked him in every nice way, we said we want to be your neighbors. we have never objected to any neighbor developing, in the 30 years that i've been there, doing whatever they needed to do to the project. he brushed us off and said, i'm going to do whatever i want. the meeting broke up. there -- everybody was there, including attorney scott
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emblage. he brushed us off and said he'd do whatever he wanted. later, he had some plans he would not show to us, made us go to the zack's office. he would not give us the plans. there were three or four different plans. it cost a great deal of money to go there. he was not cooperative in any way, and our neighbors at the downhill slope, the lamphart-birds are furious with him, and his garage is nothing like the deal. it was right off street level, it was nothing like this. he claims in his -- the document which planning quotes, that the houses are in capital letters, in no way bonded. it's baloney.
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our houses have been bonded together in many places for over 100 years. he also -- you know, he talks like he's an innocent guy. we've heard about dave ryan and how he tried to use ceqa to overwhelm him with his high -- if you look back at your own decision, his high-priced lawyers against an individual trying to defend himself against mr. durkin. he's a very aggressive -- he plays like he's a sweetie pie, but he's a very difficult, aggressive guy, who has a whole history of this. he also has partners who he's not mentioning here who have knocked on our door. he has -- this is a group of people who he claims he's going to live there. it's -- i mean, it's something
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like i just -- i have a whole prepared speech, but i'm so angry to hear all these falsehoods that you're supposed to be taking as factual. >> president melgar: i'm sorry, mr. kaufman. you've used up the three minutes. >> clerk: that's your time. >> okay. i'm sorry. i wasn't sure that that's -- i thought in rebuttal, because he was able to speak for so long, that maybe -- and with so many false facts, that there would be some way of answering that and giving you -- >> president melgar: this was your chance, and we may have questions for you. >> that would be great. >> president melgar: we have not started our deliberations. >> that would be great. i'm happy to answer your questions. this was not rational, and when i heard that, springs came out of my head. >> president melgar: and the project sponsor also does get a
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rebuttal. >> hello, again, commissioners. i'm just going to comment on a few issues that have come up over and over. one, the slope of the property. i hired a surveyor to measure the slope of the property. i hired a surveyor to measure the slope of the property. it's 12%. additionally, the soil testing. d.p.h. has looked at this a number, a myriad of ways. the -- i hired a professional independent soil testing company to come out and test the soil in the exact locations in which we're doing excavation, so there's a specific reason why they took those samples there because it's the area of where the garage expansion is occurring, and it's the exact right spot. there's no disputing. also, i want to say i do care greatly about his house. it's quite emotional for me to
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listen to the testimony and feedback from other neighbors. like, i in no way -- it bothers me that they're upset. i wish we could sit down at a table and talk about this and say okay, what more can i do? like i told you, i spent $1 million in three years and paying the city planners and staff and city fees and all this. there's just no more level of review that could be done. but what i do want to close with is i greetlatly, greatly e you approve this project because it's still the right thing to do. i'm still very much interested in a meeting with these neighbors. i know it's hard to overcome the emotions, but after this, i'm still willing to discuss this with them. even if you approve it tonight, it does not mean i'm not going to discuss this with them and continue to try to alleviate
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their concerns. i go through this a lot, and we always address their concerns. thank you. >> president melgar: thank you. okay. that's it. commissioners? >> clerk: so again, commissioners, i'll just remind you to take up the appeal of the preliminary mitigated declaration first. if you decide to uphold that, then i would discuss the project. >> president melgar: okay. okay. so i will start with a question to miss gibson and also to our city attorney about the action that the board of supervisors took twice on the ceqa and the
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development. it has been said that action supersedes the action that the planning commission took. does it also mean that it would supersede any action that we would take? >> president melgar, lisa gibson, environmental review officer. the board of supervisors upheld the appeal of a categorical exemption for this project that we issued. in their findings, they indicated that their upholding of the appeal was based on their determination that there was evidence in the record that there could be a potential for a significant effect related to hazardous materials and historic resources, and they directed that the planning
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department go back and conduct further analysis. the board's findings which were authored by the city attorney staff based on the direction of the board did not specify that an environmental impact report was required, and we specifically consulted with the deputy city attorneys to ensure that, in fact, we understood the direction from the board, and we were -- we understood that we needed to conduct further analysis. so ultimately, we prepared an initial study and ultimately, we determined that the project could result in a significant environmental effect, but that the significant impacts of the project could be lessened to below a significant level. there's a lot of detail of actions in between, but i think those are the key facts. so it is incorrect, the
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assertions made, that the board required preparation of an environmental impact report. that is a misunderstanding of the direction of the board of supervisors, and i will then pass this onto the city attorney to add to that if necessary. >> president melgar: so can i just ask, you know, a further clarification question because this happened twice. so what happened between number one and number two, and what further direction did the board give after number two? >> again, lisa gibson, environmental review officer. so what occurred was that after the initial action by the board where the appeal of the cadx was upheld, we conducted a review of the findings by the board that directed us to go back to the drawing board.
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and we found that the facts that were cited were based basically on erroneous and misleading information that was presented at the hearing and that was not submitted prior to the hearing? and it was, you know, in the moment of the testimony, which was very emotional and other things. these facts were cited, and so we went back, and we looked at the facts and the evidence, and we found that it was erroneous that the assertions that the department of public health had found there to be a risk of hazards, that wasn't -- that was based on a stamp that was used by d.p.h. that was misleading at that point. after conducting further review, we did issue a categorical exemption, correcting the facts, and stating the basis for our finding that in fact the project still was appropriately
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exempt. we ultimately rescinded that because it did become clear that the board intended for us to do an initial study, and that is what ultimately we did. we did the initial study. so there was some process to get there, but that's what we've done. we've done our review. we've done a very thorough analysis, and we've had the experts with the credentials and the experiences to do the work. and i just want to make clear that these statements to the contrary about the lack of experience by our staff are really false. and i want to make it clear that we have an abundance of very qualified staff, and our work was supplemented by consultants who do have the credentials to support our findings. and just want to note that,
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again, i think there was some incomplete statements made that were pointed out by some that the negative -- the preliminary neg dec left out some stuff. i think it's important that we mitigate it to a significant level. >> okay. can i clarify, there was not two decisions by the board, there was one decision by the board. >> president melgar: okay. commissioner fung, did you have a question? >> commissioner fung: along the same lines. [inaudible] >> commissioner fung: certain issues that -- and the appellant in their presentation on this wasn't quite direct in terms of how they were
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attacking the -- the pmnd in the following sense. those items that were initially thought to be significant by them, but for some were reduced to not being significant because they were basically dismissed, such as the testing and the actions of the d.p.h. some were mitigated, which was as an example, the issue of the foundation work and the collapse potential has been mitigated because of the issuance of a geotechnical report. is that a different way of phrasing that? >> that is a different way of phrasing it, commissioner, and you're correct that we did find that for certain concerns that were identified by the board of
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supervisors, that, in fact, there was no substantial evidence of a fair argument that there is a significant impact. and one of those areas is the hazardous materials. the subsurface contamination was studied, and the department of public health found that based on testing, there is no subsurface contamination in the area where excavation is proposed. >> president melgar: commission commissioner moore? >> commissioner moore: i'd like to hear your argument of what you understood from the board of supervisors and the instructions. i'd also like for you to comment on what the department considers mitigated circumstances are. >> thank you. i'd like to start with, what did the board of supervisors really hold? according to ms. gibson, they said go back and study it
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further. no, they said, the project -- the board finds substantial evidence that the project may have significant adverse impacts on hazardous materials and structural integrity. that's their finding. they considered the evidence. now she may say, we don't think they considered it right, there was late evidence, whatever, but that's the finding. it's a final finding. if they didn't like the finding, mr. durkin should have taken a writ of mandate and challenged the finding, but he didn't. instead, he went back. now miss gibson said they went back to the board of superviso supervisors -- they went back, which the board of supervisors forbade. staff, for some reason, wants to hold this to an exemption. they keep saying well, it
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really want -- well, we really want it to be exempt, but we did a neg dec. the evidence is, if there is a fair argument that there are environmental impacts, and if there are, an environmental report is required. when there's a disagreement among experts, then e.i.r. is required. we have matthew hagerman, certified geologist, who's looked at the data and said there's still contamination at the site. remember, the mitigation measure here is if there is substantial earth movement, then the -- the developer is supposed to come up with a
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plan. that's not how ceqa works. you don't wait until humpty dumpty falls off the wall to put him together again. >> commissioner moore: my question pertains to the last part of what you're saying, and that is what the core of what the supervisors' concerns are, partially because we have real threats on historic resources of this kind and incidents where things happen which nobody anticipated. all of a sudden, the thing is gone. too bad, we didn't know. so the mitigating circumstances, while they may be correct as far as thinking goes, the reality of what happens when you're in the field, and all of a sudden, the soils slide, whoops, the thing is gone. and i see you nod and appreciate that you do, because there's a reality to wishful thinking about what you would do, and when it starts to
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slide, it's quicksand. you're done. it's kind of being on a ski slope and an avalanche happens. >> and i want to emphasize, the pmnd says that there is a significant risk to the structural integrity of the coxhead house, and the mitigation measure is if the soil moves, we'll figure out what to do at that time. that's -- that violates ceqa, and it's simply inadequate. >> president melgar: thank you, mr. drury. commissioner diamond? >> commissioner diamond: could the city attorney please respond to the legal arguments made by mr. drury? >> sure. in no particular order, the -- the -- the department was following the direction -- the department was authorized to step up the environmental review following the cadx.
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an initial study would have been the next step, and finding environmental impacts. the mitigated neg dec could have been an appropriate action if the commission decides that the mitigation measures are sufficient. it is true that the legal standard is whether or not there is substantial evidence to support a fair argument, but substantial evidence must be based on evidence in the record. and so it is up to this commission to determine whether the opinions and statements by the appellants are, in fact, based on evidence in the record. >> may i a . >> commissioner diamond: may i ask a follow up question? >> president melgar: yes, please.
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>> commissioner diamond: mr. drury claimed that the mitigation measure is if there is a problem, we'll address that. >> thank you, commissioner diamond because you're raising an important point that i do think needs to be made here. i understand why the commissioners and others who would be concerned when they hear the characterization of the mitigation measure that was presented by the appellant, which does seem to suggest that the mitigation is to do something if something bad happens. that is in fact not what the mitigation measure is, and i think it's really important -- i'd like to ask our staff to come to the -- if i can please just present this mitigation in full because it is much more proactive than described, and there's a lot of work that would be done before any construction would ensue. >> yes. can i have the screen? i'm putting the mitigation
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measure on the screen. it says that there does have to -- before the project is approved by d.b.i., the project sponsor has -- it will be -- for the ongoing monitoring coordination during the review of the structural plans by the building department with oversight by planning, just making sure that they do what they're supposed to do before they approve the structural plans. so -- and one of the things that it says is there has to be -- at the beginning of d.b.i.s review, they have to identify milestones for review. when a field report or memorandum is required to be submitted to the planning and the building department, this is before any construction actually begins, and then they will -- at the beginning of this process, they will also identify what other milestones are required during construction. and then, yeah, on the screen
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is the actual mitigation measure, so yes, there will be review before any earth is moved. that's -- the mitigation measure does take place before. >> president melgar: is that it, commissioner diamond? >> commissioner diamond: is that a standard condition or did you develop that precisely to deal with the particular problem that arose? >> well, there are standard requirement that d.b.i. requires. that's their purview, but because of the need for oversight, we decided to also have our input in this process, too, and to put it in as a mitigation measure, and the main difference is the planning department is requesting that we see these reports, as well, even though d.b.i. are the experts on how to do it, we are just going to make sure that they're doing what they're supposed to do, because that seemed to be the extra level of assurance that was needed for this project. >> president melgar: okay. thank you. did you want to say something else, miss gibson?
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okay. commissioner fung? >> commissioner fung: you know, just to expand on that a little bit, if i may, the question that is being raised is whether the environmental review statements, whether it's a mitigation or whether it's analysis leads to an actionable item in terms of construction, and that's not necessarily the case because the building department has the ultimate responsibility for not only analysis of the slope and what level of analysis they have to provide structurally with respect to the slope, but also fragile, if you will, unreinforced structures adjacent to them, and historical structures adjacent to them. so the fact is that this
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mitigation leads one to have subsequent actions by the building department, but it provides some level of review by the planning department to ensure that the mitigations are going forth in a reasonable manner. that means that the ultimate responsibility for what's happening are things that i think both the building department will be very careful about, but also, the -- the project sponsor needs to be extremely careful about. >> president melgar: commissioner moore?
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>> commissioner moore: this is a very difficult thing to say, but i think the notice of the disconnect between the appellant and the d.r. requester is very concerning to me where there were preagreements, particularly guiding structural issues that were arranged just in order to facilitate a commonly-based discussion on what -- what was achieved here, and that is missing. so we're getting into this very complicated situation with the -- with the mitigated negative declaration and its appeal without really having addressed that. in the end, it is really the action and integrity of those people that are doing it. the one concern i have, having seen the property about two months ago or something like that, that the adjoining building, the one which is in front of us for approval, has -- shows significant signs of intentional neglect, which
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is of great concern to me. and even if there is a remodel or a partial demolition, that particular action sends a signal to me that somebody is setting this property up for ultimately being in a demolition, and we ourselves have been in a number of very painful cases in the last year or two where we had exactly that type of a situation. and again, there is a difficulty of the definition what constitutes a demolition. however, when i say intentional neglect, the difference between d.b.i.s definition and the department's definition of demolition doesn't matter, because what i see is someone trying to degrade a property with purpose. and that is my concern when i'm trying to start to dig deeper on what are the mitigating circumstances and how they ultimately affect people should
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something happen. so that is where i am, and i am greatly disturbed because our responsibility to care and be mindful of how we create a slate for an approval of a remodel, that is one thing. that is our every-thursday responsibility. however, what we are ultimately fully responsible what happened to the adjoining building, that is where my concerns lie. >> president melgar: thank you. commissioner diamond? >> commissioner diamond: what i'm struggling with is what the actual foundation is going to look like, and the structural plans, and those aren't done until later in the process. and you're saying that you and the planning department will be reviewing those. will they be done before the site permit is issued, and is there an opportunity to appeal if people feel like it is improper, if people don't feel it is adequately addressing
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their concerns. >> in general, the typical building review is that the site permit has to be issued before they'll submit a structural plan because b basically, a site permit is this is what we want to do, this is how we want to do it. you know, again, this is -- the building department's not our office. >> commissioner fung: let me clarify, please. the site permit is issued, provides the overall entitlement. >> yet. >> commissioner fung: addenda, which represents the structural work and other work afterwards, is not appealable. >> commissioner diamond: so there's no opportunity for the appellant, once they see the structural plans -- will they get the opportunity to see the structural plans, and if they don't agree with them, is there a remedy?
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>> commissioner diamond: could we impose that condition through d.r.? we have the ability to do that? >> president melgar: so i would really like to hear that from the city attorney whether that's possible. having sat on the building inspection commission five years, i know that process, the only remedy if there is a violation to what the plans that are submitted would be to have an n.o.v. and then have a director's hearing. that would be the resource, but by that time, if there's something going on with a foundation of a neighboring house and, you know, it's a historic resource, that's too late. so that would be the worry. you know, that process is completely different, and we wouldn't have any jurisdiction over it. >> so is the question whether or not the commission can require the project sponsor to share the addenda with the neighbors as part of the
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discretionary review approval? >> president melgar: yes. >> i -- my -- your -- president melgar, your statement's correct, and that's my understanding, is that once a site permit's issued, there's no appeal. however, if there were conditions that were not being complied with, a notice of violation would be the appropriate mechanism. i'm not familiar enough with the building department's process, but it seems plausible that we could require additional coordination between the project sponsor and the d.r. requester as it relates to the foundation? >> president melgar: okay. i saw mr. tunney piping up. did you want to say something specific to the process, a d.b.i., if there is an addenda submitted? >> first of all, we would be
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amenable to a condition that we would provide plans for review to the d.r. requester. if we made them available to the planning department, they would be available to anybody in the public. and on that review, there is the opportunity to file a complaint with d.b.i. if there's any allegation of a violation of code, and then, that code violation is examined, and there's a public hearing with the building inspection commission. so all of that would be reviewed in public. and then, even those decisions can be litigated afterwards. so i think there's ample review. and we're willing to agree to conditions to add additional review. >> president melgar: okay. thank you, mr. tunney. commissioner diamond? commissioner fung, did you already speak?
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okay. commissioner johnson. >> commissioner johnson: so just a couple of things. one question that i feel like hasn't been answered yet is this question of when there's a disagreement between experts, what the protocol is? if you could speak to that, and then i'll have a statement after. >> so typically, when there's a disagreement between experts, the substantial evidence test does not weigh the expert's opinion. in this instance, the commission is charged with looking for whether or not there is a fair argument supported by substantial evidence of a potentially adverse impact. so we wouldn't be looking at statements by experts from the project sponsor versus the project -- or the d.r. requester or appellant, but i -- the standard is not -- it's a slightly nuanced
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standard because there's a requirement that there be the whole record. and courts have interpreted that to mean that an appellant cannot rely upon speculation or conclusory statements unsupported by the record. >> commissioner johnson: thank you. one of the concerns i have is we often have neighbors coming in, their neighbor's work, saying this will cause damage to my foundation, and this is why i want you not to approve this project. and often our response after reviewing the project, which we still haven't even gotten a chance to do, is to say, well, there is a process for the review and the mitigation of what might happen to those things. and so i just -- one concern that i have is we're talking about what might happen.
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granted, that this is a historic resource, and everybody cares about this house, and the family that's living in it and making sure, you know -- and this neighborhood, frankly, and yet we're speculating about what might happen to this property, and it feels difficult to make a decision based on speculation. >> president melgar: commissioner moore. >> commissioner moore: thank you for expressing it as well as you did, commissioner johnson, because i say it slightly different, although i say the same. and then, i feel resonance in our environmental review officer, miss gibson, in stating there is an impact, and the mitigation which has so little teeth to it, that we can't believe that it would work, and that is basically where we are. it's basically -- i don't know. i've never found myself in that
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kind of a situation. >> president melgar: director rahaim. >> director rahaim: so i think maybe a couple of things that need to be clarified to the board. the board's decision was that they found that there may be -- and the operative word here is there may be an environmental impact. the language that mr. drury put up on the screen is there may be an impact, and directed them to do an environmental analysis. and that impact was found that lisa mentioned, and the mitigation is for an extra level of review of the plans. it's not an extra level of review when there's dirt falling on the site, it's an extra level of review of the plans. which as commissioner johnson says is the normal process, and we are saying we're adding a level of review to the normal process of reviewing structural plans. so number one. we've done exactly what the board asked us to do, and i was
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in discussions with supervisor stefani, and that was clarified. and number two, those plans are the only real way of knowing what happens on the project. there isn't any other act of mitigation that we can give you today that says to something different with the structural plans. we are not the ones to do that. that is why when the plans go forward, they are reviewed by d.b.i. the other minor thing i want to clarify, the crown terrace project was mentioned as a problem. the problem with the crown terrace project is the project sponsor did not do exactly what d.b.i. wanted them to do and specifically did not build the structure underneath that house according to plans. they deliberately and knowingly did something contrary to what was approved. >> president melgar: thank you, director rahaim. anyone else? okay. so i think sometimes, you know,
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things get very complicated, and they're actually simpler than that, at least, you know, and this does. it seems to me that both the departments mitigated neg dec and the finding of the board was that there may be impact from this project on the neighboring property, and that there may be, you know, an environmental impact. so given that that's the case, you know, i -- i think that we should review the project. you know, i think that if this project were to come before us without the ceqa issues, without, you know, what happened at the board of supervisors, without the three years of whether or not we should do environmental -- e.i.r., you know, neg dec, we would treat it the same as other projects that come before
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us, you know, as d.r.s that have had multiple violations that have not been able to come to agreement with their neighbors, where there have been these kinds of issues, where you're seeking excavation to add larger garages. all of these things are things that we've seen at this commission, you know, pretty regularly. so i, you know, think that, you know, i would be comfortable with the staff recommendation on the negative declaration. i do think that that is consistent with the finding of the board of supervisors, and that being said, i have lots of issues with this project. if, you know, we -- if the commission wants to look at the project and all of the issues that we have, i'd be happy to do that. if it came to a vote as the
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project is proposed, i would vote against it because i think that the risk is it too high, and it's a risk that's both in the negative declaration and in the findings to the board of supervisors. so someone needs to act. commissioner johnson? >> commissioner johnson: i -- so i want to clarify a couple things. so i do support actually separating -- there's a number of things. so it's just, like, keeping it straight. i also support staff's recommendation around the neg dec. around the project itself, i want to clarify the vi -- like, this idea of -- of violations because i don't -- can you come up and say that? and then, i'll just say, on top
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of that, i actually think assist ae sit's sad that all of these neighbors are fighting with each other, and everybody is so emotional. and i also think that in this moment that we're all in, where everybody's fighting everybody, i hope, could there be an opportunity to review this project and work together to figure something out instead of just, you know, leaving everybody the way it is. the neighbors adjacent don't want this house, and i would imagine you probably don't want the house in this condition that it's in right now. you know, the project sponsor said that you -- the bricks -- i don't even want to figure this out. i would actually be supportive of all parties saying that they wanted to move forward of this,
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of giving them more time to work on the design, but i'd like to hear the -- yeah, about these, you know, violations. >> did you have a specific question? >> commissioner johnson: yeah. can you just clarify about -- because there's been so much back and forth. >> yeah. the first violation that planning was made aware of was exceeding the scope of the excavation permit. and that did take place, d.b.i. approved that over the counter without routing that to planning. i can't speak to why that was, but it wasn't until a neighbor filed a notice of violation and d.b.i. took a second look at that and did determine that in their opinion that it did warrant planning review, so we took a second look at that. we did look at cadx that had been issued before that, and the scope of work for the most part did align with what the
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cadx described, aside from one wall that was shown on the foundation plan as simply a retaining wall in the rear yard, but then, when with you looked at the building permit plans that we had that were still under review by the planning department for future neighborhood notification, that wall that was shown on the foundation plan as a landscaping wall coincided with a wall that was going to be supporting the vertical addition, and so we just felt uncomfortable with that wall, and so that's why we asked that wall to be removed. >> commissioner johnson: but i'm not hearing clarification. >> just sent to d.b.i. but not to planning. i think the chimney may have been one of them that was
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referenced. >> president melgar: commissioner fung. >> commissioner fung: i would be prepared to affirm the staff production of the pmnd as a first step. i don't know that we're going to be able to arrive at a decision on the second step of the d.r., but i'd like to move that forward because i find that it's been done appropriately. >> president melgar: is that a motion? >> commissioner johnson: second. >> clerk: if there's nothing further, commissioners, there's a motion that's been seconded to uphold the preliminary mitigated negative declaration. on that motion -- [roll call] >> clerk: so moved, commissioners. that motion passes, 5-1, with commissioner moore voting
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against. you can now deliberate on the discretionary, on the project itself. >> president melgar: commissioner fung, did you want to -- >> commissioner fung: just one point. i know everybody else will have an opinion on the d.r. case, but one has to be aware of who in the staff will review structural drawings and calculations, so it's basically a process that's highly technical and should be handled by people with that experience in the building department. i think the question the commissioner is raising -- and that may not be the only question here, is what type of oversight do you want over that process? >> president melgar:
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commissioner koppel? >> vice president koppel: yeah. i want to bring up an issue that commissioner moore brought u up. she mentioned intentional neglect, and i'm not going to go there on the chimneys. at the bare minimum, i'm not going to be supportive of excavating on this project. >> president melgar: okay. did you want to ask the question to the project sponsor about that? >> vice president koppel: no. >> president melgar: okay. commissioner moore? >> commissioner moore: are we discussing the project as a d.r.? i hear you start with that. since the project is so neglecting, really understanding where it is, i think that is where my biggest concern starts. this is a neighborhood of varying older vintage, with this building obviously being
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the crown jewel, which everybody kind of groups around buildings, at a time when there was a larger neighborhood cohesiveness within the neighborhood. this particular building, as far as i observed it, seems to be wiping out not just its own site and the previous citing of something that participated in that kind of arrangement, but it basically claims the presence and a kind of wonderful three dimensional quality of the cox house, and that is completely missing the point. because if you are a neighbor to that, it could be a frank lloyd wright building, or any building that is special in u.s. history, you would be doing everything to celebrate the privilege of living next to this building, and that is being ignored here.
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it is not just a building, it is not just a building from the outside as mr. werner talked about, it is not just from the outside, it is every garden and the adjoining garden and everything around it, which is basically being neglected by the proposal that's in front of us. and i do not see any possibility even for this commission to comment on modifying it. i think the thing has to go back to the drawing board. >> president melgar: commissioner diamond? >> commissioner diamond: so i am in favor of taking d.r., and there are some conditions that i would want to see. one is the one i mentioned previously in conjunction with our neg dec discussion which the sponsor agreed to, and if the d.r. requester or anyone else is unhappy, quite frankly,
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having an opportunity to, whatever the process is at the time, to raise concerns so that the issue is addressed prior to construction. i also am concerned because of the state of the next door house, that no meetings has taken place to see if some design issues couldn't be worked out between the three of them. while it is possible to come up with some rear yard extension, i was taken by someone in public comment, you're averaging that the coxhead house goes further back, so that averaging may not be correct, particularly when you're going to be blocking a large number of windows on a historic house. i'd like to see that issue addressed on a joint meeting to
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see if they can't come closer on a design that addresses some of those issues. >> president melgar: commissioner moore? >> commissioner moore: i believe there's so many points of disjointedness on this project that we take d.r. and disapprove. there will be an opportunity for this project to come back with a completely different attitude. i do not think we have the skills based on what's next to it that we negotiate what needs to be done. so i make a motion that we take d.r. and disapprove the project. >> president melgar: so i second the motion. at this point, i would disapprove the project. i hear you, commissioner johnson, and commissioner diamond, that you -- we could take d.r. and put parameters around the project that we, you know, could then guide staff to hopefully get the, you know, the two parties or four parties
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together and come up with they all could live with, but i haven't heard that. i would want to not have any excavation, not sinking the whole project by 2 feet. i think that's just too big a risk. i also -- quite frankly, i'm not sure that i trust that someone who has demolished the chimneys without a permit and left the structure out to be damaged by the elements will do the right thing if we allow for the expansion in the back and also the excavation, which is a big risk. and so i -- i would want to have, like, a lot more robust conditions for approval and
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something that will assure me that we're not risking the integrity of this important structure next door but also of this particular project in and of itself, you know, that what we are permitting is what's going to get built, and that it's not going to get shortcuted. and if that excavation starts, and something happens, that it will stop properly and people will do what they're supposed to do. so i haven't heard that, and if any commissioners can sway me, you're welcome to do so, but at this point, i'll take d.r. and not approve the project. did you want to say something? >> commissioner moore: yes. i believe that a stronger adherence to the guidelines is really essential, particularly on a steep slope, the stepping of buildings with each other,
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and i am not here to advocate view protection, i'm advocating that we say with the urban form that is so compelling particularly in that part of town. even if the buildings are all different, they all do that with each other, which creates the opportunity, indeed, for more collective form and views -- a form that speaks to a larger setting. >> president melgar: commissioner johnson. >> commissioner johnson: thank you. so i just want to caution, i think we -- i think it's really important to be objective. we don't know the story of the state of the house and what and why, and i don't think that should be part of our deliberations. i think that we have -- we do actually have some things that we -- in other cases, we have sent a project back to staff to come back to us with directions for us to vote on it, and there's several things that
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have been said here? i think one is the structural drawings to the neighbors, to, a redesign that is sensitive to the house that it is next to. ultimately, there is actually a process in place for the -- the -- there's oversight by d.b.i. and the planning department around the structural pieces, but i also think that the people who are really most at risk are the neighbors. and so giving the project sponsors and the neighbors to come to their own terms instead of us deciding terms for them is worth giving them time to do. so again, i would still argue to send them back with clear direction and have them come back over stopping the project here and having this project continue to fester as it is. >> president melgar: okay. could you provide more
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specificity about what clearer direction you would want to see, just so we can make some progress here? >> yeah. you've heard from many commissioners that the excavation in particular is particularly worrying, and so i think a project redesign would have to have less or no excavation. i think it has to respect the historic character of the house next door and try to mitigate impacts. i think there could be a potential redesign there. i think working out agreements with active things -- you mentioned things, proactive things you would do with the neighbors to help mitigate some of their concerns above and beyond the process that we already have in place for
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mitigating impacts should there be structural issues, and then providing the -- the plans to neighbors ahead of hitime. and maybe there's some clause in there if you don't like it, what you'll do to work with them. >> president melgar: okay. commissioner moore? >> commissioner moore: the think the only way we could send this off without having the department to become the design architect is to basically have the project stay within its envelope and within its footprint, and that is obviously not the intent of this particular thing. this is not a remodel, this is something which is as close to a demolition and a completely new building as anything could ever be. particularly, the floor plates are being lowered. this is excavation. this is basically, for all intents and purposes, a newhouse. and unless the applicants reconciles and wants to stay within the envelope and the footprint, we're putting a burden on the department which is impossible to manage.
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the department unfortunately often has applicants where they -- the department works very hard and still is not seeing eye to eye on the outcome. we all know that, and so why are we pushing the burden of what should be really pushed on the applicant to design a relevant building to what the situation requires here and basically say no? >> president melgar: okay. commissioner diamond? >> commissioner diamond: i think it's unfair at this stage to say they can't expand into their rear yard. i would like to see a process th that's more akin to what i understand is usually done with d.r. when there's disagreement, that the planning department brings parties together. so i wouldn't want to rule out some extension. i think i wouldn't be in favor of no extension, stay within the current envelope right now.
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>> clerk: so commissioners, there's a motion that has been seconded to take d.r. and disapprove the project with findings for exceptional and extraordinary circumstances articulated by commissioners moore and melgar. on that motion -- [roll call] >> clerk: that motion fails, 2-4, with commissioners diamond, fung, johnson, and koppel voting against. is there an alternate motion? and i will remind you -- well, go ahead. >> clerk: okay. there's no alternative motion. the project is approved because it is a principal project. >> president melgar: commissioner moore?
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>> commissioner moore: i'm trying to ask for a redesign which has a very specific set of encouraging criteria, but that redesign should occur, not negotiated, between the department and the applicant, but it should occur with the applicant really seriously going back and doing some substantial homework and also connecting in a more substantive way with the d.r. requesters and the neighborhood. >> president melgar: commissioner fung? >> commissioner fung: i prefer to go that way, but i think we need to provide some parameters there. you know, we haven't talked about some of the larger issues about the d.r. i'm not so concerned about the blockage of the light and air.
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that doesn't affect what i would call extraordinary circumstances for the d.r. similarly, the extent to which the extension goes back, it goes back, but it's short of the rear yard set back point. so that doesn't necessarily bother me. what is bothersome, and i think most of us probably share this is the fact that the excavation creates a large part of the issues with the adjacent building. we're not exactly sure, even if the excavation disappeared, whether they have to go through a seismic rehab of that building and put in new foundations, what's that going to do to the adjacent building? but i would say what would be
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as a starting point would be to redesign this building so that it would minimize the risk to the adjacent, including studying the elimination of that massive excavation. >> president melgar: commissioner moore? >> commissioner moore: i would add that since very, very defining characteristics are the coxhead house are its location and its windows, including how they were laid to each other in spatial configuration, we do have as in main -- we do have, as in many old buildings, property line windows, that would not block views from the windows from outside. because as this point, if i got the number correctly, there are
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28 windows which are being eliminated, and that for me destroys the house. >> commissioner fung: i think they said blocking air and light. i don't know to what extent they're talking about eliminating windows. >> president melgar: okay. through the chair, commissioners. so someone needs to make an alternate motion. commissioner johnson? >> commissioner johnson: okay. i'll try for this. please chime in, commissioners, if i don't cover your suggestions. i'm going to move to continue this project with direction to the project sponsor to redesign this project with sensitivity to the historic resource that is next to you, and with
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exploring removal of the excavation and mitigation of the potential foundational impacts to the house. direction also to have -- after that is done -- to have a meeting at the planning department with all concerned parties to try to work out additional mitigation measures. other things? >> president melgar: commissioner moore? >> commissioner moore: i would not insist that this building needs a d.r. in order to get approval if it's properly designed. that is not, for me, a condition, if spatial expansion and making the envelope that much larger takes an effect on the historic resource. i would say let's see what the design of the building in terms of sensitivity delivers and then make a decision as to
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whether an a.d.u. is necessary or not. i do not want to use the a.d.u. for a poorly designed building to twist our arm for approval that in the end does more harm than good. >> president melgar: i agree with that. commissioner diamond? >> commissioner diamond: i was going to make that point. >> president melgar: i will just chime in, mantha goes for the extra parking space, as well. commissioner moore, do i have something else? >> commissioner moore: i would just say, you took the words right out of my mouth. i want to really see a good building that indeed accommodates a family who is
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described to live there, but i do not want to have all of these extra excuses to have to bend to something where the respect for the other building is subordinated to what wis really our mission here. >> president melgar: okay. so i will second your motion. commissioner diamond? >> commissioner diamond: so are we taking d.r.? we're not taking d.r., we're continuing the request for d.r. >> president melgar: yes. >> clerk: and are we continuing to a date specific? >> president melgar: for a redesign like this, and meeting with the community, it's got to be at least three months, right? >> clerk: yeah. so that would put us into march 12. >> commissioner diamond: can i ask -- >> president melgar: yes, commissioner diamond? >> commissioner diamond: can i
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ask the project sponsor how much time he thinks he'll need. >> two months. >> president melgar: mr. drury, does that work? >> let me talk to >> may i talk to my client? >> president melgar: yes. >> he's going to be in france on a film through the end of march, did you say? >> yes. >> clerk: i'm sorry. march 12 was only two months away. >> president melgar: april then? >> clerk: april 16. >> april work, chris? >> clerk: april 16. very good, then, commissioners, excuse me. there's a motion -- >> president melgar:
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commissioner moore. >> commissioner moore: i would like to ask one condition, and that is that both parties spend more substantive time with each other to really understand what the conditions of the building, the historic resource is really all about. from the way of the interaction, i see very much alienation and trains in the night in order to have better results on april 16. we have been talking about this for quite a few hours now. i would encourage that there is a better common ground to approach this project. >> president melgar: commissioner diamond? >> commissioner diamond: and i would like the planning staff to be part of that, ensure that take place clerk clrk . >> clerk: if there's nothing further, commissioners, there's a motion to continue until april 16 to resign the project
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with sensitivity to the historic resource, eliminating the extra parking and a.d.u. if additional excavation can be avoided and then to meet with one another and talk with staff. on that motion -- >> president melgar: i'm sorry, commissioner moore? >> commissioner moore: we said a stronger adherence to the cohollow guidelines, including stepping the buildings with each other. >> clerk: very good. and adherence to the cow hollow guidelines. on that motion -- [roll call] >> clerk: so moved, commissioners. that motion passes unanimously, 6-0. commissioners, that'll place us on -- item 16 was withdrawn, placing us on item 17 at 743 vermont street.
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this is a discretionary review. >> good evening, president melgar, fellow commissioners. david winslow, staff architect. the item before you is a public initiated request for discretionary review of building permit application 20171027.2504 to construct an addition to an existing single-family house. this was heard as a discretionary review in october of last year and approved 6-0. the only material changes have been the removal of a side deck off the master bedroom. the issue of the potential unauthorized dwelling unit was raised in that hearing last year, and no change to it has being proposed. the project sponsor is seeking
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to legalize this unauthorized dwelling unit. the original cadx was rescinded and a new cadx was issued to legalize the unauthorized dwelling unit. therefore, another chance for this hearing. the building is a category c, no historic resource present. and the reason for the d.r. request is that ryan patterson, on behalf of meg mcknight of 753 vermont, a neighbor to the south, is concerned with three issues. first, the scale of the building at the midblock open space, the loss of light and privacy, and third, the unauthorized dwelling unit. in light of the d.c. requester's concerns, the department had reviewed the
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project with respect to the residential design guidelines, and to do so, we requested additional graphic information which is included in your packet. the revised drawings confirm that the scale and massing of the proposed addition is compatible with the other adjacent buildings, and that the following issues raised by the d.r. requester are not exceptional or extraordinary. the scale at the rear is appropriate due to the moderation of the extent and height of the addition and by the incorporation of site set backs. visual access to the midblock open space has been maintained. impacts to light and privacy are likewise limited to the stale and relationship of the proposed addition to the existing neighbor. the relevant facts have changed little since last year's decision, therefore, staff finds the project still meets residential design guidelines and the code and recommends the commission not take the d.r. as it does not present any
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exceptional or extraordinary conditions. this concludes my presentation. i'm happy to answer questions. thank you. >> vice president koppel: thank you, mr. winslow. can we hear from the d.r. requester? >> thank you, commissioners. ryan patterson representing the adjacent neighbors at 753 vermont street. commissioners, this project has been noncompliant from square feet. at the preapplication meeting, the plans do not even include elevations. when they submitted the plans, they lacked the kwierrequired dimensions, making it hard to interpret the project. the elevation in the current plans still are not
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dimensioned. the owner -- this is an owner, i'd note, that received a notice of violation from the building department for demolishing and rebuilding the front steps of this property a few years back without permits. and the scope of this project has changed back and forth throughout the process. one thing that has been clear all along, though, is that the project would remove an unauthorized dwelling unit, which is partially depicted on the project plans. if i can have the computer overhead. these are a few photos of the down stairs level of this property i believe taken by a building inspector. the project plans, as you'll note, show storage rooms on the ground floor, with a window and full bathroom, a full bathroom, with no permit history. the storage rooms -- and here, you can see the decorative
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details of some windows down there. it's storage, but clearly not the intended use of it. full bathroom. this is painted and detailed. this is not what we normally see when we think of a storage room. you have a sworn declaration in your packet about the woman who used to live in the unit down there, and d.b.i. issued a notice of violation for the unpermitted bathroom and storage rooms. while the staff report for today's hearing notes the project sponsor is seeking to legalize the unauthorized dwelling unit, the u.d.u., that's not included in these plans. the unit is being removed without section 317 authorization. moreover, the project does not comply with the residential design guidelines. in numerous respects, the project would add a large mass to the rear of the property that would box in the neighboring properties, and that's in large part why we're
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here. the rear yard guideline requires the applicant to articulate the building to minimize impacts on light and privacy to adjacent properties. the project does not even attempt to articulate the rear addition. rather, the project proposes a massive master bedroom suite. similarly, the building scale of the midblock open space guideline requires the height of the building to be compatible with the scale at the midblock open space. even if the project were permitted by the planning code, it is not appropriate because it proposes an addition that is uncharacteristically deep and tall with impacts on the neighbors that are unreasonable. the r.d.g. goes onto note that an out of scala addition can leave neighbors feeling cutoff, and that's whapg here. and for what? for what purpose? this massive box is for a
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household of two, and it's simply speculation on raw square footage. i'd like to introduce the owners of the next door property, owner-occupants, to speak to this further. >> yes, thank you. i will be brief, unlike the previous matter. my partner and i, meg mcknight, live at 753 vermont, which is the property immediately adjacent to this property. our concern is the impact to the property and specifically from our perspective, from our living space, we will see, if no adjustments are made, a t h rectangular wall that goes past the end of our property line and above the space of our building. and for us, for the -- for the
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north facing side of our property, that's where our windows are. that's our ak set to lig-- acc to light and air, and it creates a feeling of being boxed in. we've had difficulty in addressing our concerns with the sponsors. at the -- >> clerk: i'm sorry, sir, but that's your five minutes. you do have a two-minute rebuttal. >> i'm done? >> you're going to get a second chance to speak after we hear from the -- >> okay. i'll reserve my comments. thank you. >> clerk: so is there any to speak on behalf of the d.r. requester? >> vice president koppel: okay. so now, we'll hear from the project sponsor. >> good evening, commissioners.
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jeff tong on behalf of the project sponsors. can i have the overhead turned on? >> just wanted to point out that these same arguments were made about a year ago on valentines day when we were last year, and the commissioners found that there was no exceptional or extraordinary circumstances and that the project does and is consistent with the neighborhood character. this is a -- this is a photograph showing the project sponsor's house, which is the blue house, and what we're looking to do is the same expansion that the d.r. requester did with her house, which is the yellow house. with regard to the removal of this dwelling unit that's been alleged, we are only here
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because the d.r. requester called d.b.i., showed up at our house, claimed that there was somebody living in the garage when all that was there was a bathroom that was put in without a permit before my clients bought the property, and at the direction of d.b.i., we're just trying to legalize what's already there. and my clients are here, as are their architect, to answer any questions you may have. >> vice president koppel: you do have some more time. would you like to use it now? okay. is there any members of the public in support of the project sponsor? now is your time to speak. >> my name is kathleen villasenor. i'm in the house north to them, and i've been there since 1984.
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i'm fourth generation in this area. my daughter's fifth, and i have multiple relatives in the area that have done remodels. i'm here in support of them getting their remodel. i feel if they have the ability to do it and make their space bigger, that that's their option to do it, as well as it's been for the other neighbors that have had theirs. thank you. >> vice president koppel: thank you. any other members of the public in support of the project sponsor? okay. seeing none, d.r. requester, you have a two-minute rebuttal. >> yes. very briefly, the original plan that we were given showed an extension of 3 feet on a second floor and 12 feet back on the third floor. and when we raised our concern about the project, the response wasn't to address our concerns,
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the response was to expand the size of the horizontal space. so it went from 3 feet to 5 feet in a second set of plans -- >> past our house. >> -- and 12 feet to 14 feet. so here's our request of the sponsors. that the expansion on the second floor be as presented in the original plan, 3 feet, and the expansion on the third floor be limited to 9 feet back instead of 12 feet. this will significantly address and -- and reduce the blocked in impact of the size of the rectangular wall that's otherwise going to be built, and that's our request. thank you. >> vice president koppel: quick question for you, sir. >> yeah. >> vice president koppel: would that match the rear of your house? >> it would -- it would --
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essentially yes, within a foot. and on the second floor, it would set it back to some degree, but that would significantly reduce both the monolithic impact of the wall and also improve the light and air impact, so that's what we request, essentially back to their original plan, with one adjustment to the top. thank you very much. >> vice president koppel: you have 40 seconds -- all right. >> if we can please have the projector overhead, we might be able to clarify that. here's a highlighted and dimensioned copy of those plans with our proposal. to be clear, we're not opposed to an expansion of the property next door. we support that, but going out beyond cutting off light, boxing it in to the extent they're proposing with privacy impacts, we would greatly appreciate these minor
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mitigation measures. thank you very much. >> vice president koppel: thank you, project sponsor. you have a two-minute rebuttal. >> can i get the projector put up. so the d.r. requester, they are objecting to how far past our expansion is going. this photograph shows the d.r. requester's out in the yellow going ten, 12 feet past their southern neighbor. what this really is is they're trying to protect their view which they don't have a right to. >> our proposal doesn't have any -- >> clerk: excuse me, sir, order. >> hi. this is terry pickering, the homeowner at 753 -- 753
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vermont. after hearing the concerns, we d decided to alter the plans to there would be no impact on her impact. thank you. >> this is the current space between the two respective homes, and that space remains the same. >> if i may clarify, i'm the project architect, i'm mark brand. actually, it's 5 feet from the property line. it's a small increase, but to comply with the requirements for a 12-foot bumpout at the rear of the house. >> vice president koppel: okay. that's it for the d.r. requesters and project sponsor. commissioner moore? >> commissioner moore: i'd like to clarify for the commission
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and perhaps mr. pelson. mr. pelson was showing us a drawing of the previous architect, and that is not the current plans. mr. brand is the current architect which specified the dimensional adjustments to the projects, including the small roof deck, and you put drawings up that are long superseded. >> i can show all three sets. i'm happy to show all three sets if the commission would like. >> commissioner moore: i recognized the title block, and i saw it was the wrong set of drawings. so what is before the commission is the wrong set of drawings, and given the shaping and massaging of the project that the department has very sensitively done, i'm prepared to suggest that we just approve the project. >> commissioner johnson:
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second. >> clerk: was that a motion, commissioner moore? >> commissioner moore: that was a motion. >> clerk: and commissioner johnson, was that a second? >> commissioner johnson: yes. >> vice president koppel: commissioner fung? >> commissioner fung: yes. i would note that the space between the homes is approximately 10 feet. >> clerk: very good. on that motion, commissioners to not take d.r. and approve the motion as proposed, on that motion -- [roll call] >> clerk: so moved, commissioners, that motion passes unanimously, 5-0. >> vice president koppel: and we're adjourned. [gavel]. is --
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>> our united states constitution requires every ten years that america counts every human being in the united states, which is incredibly important for many reasons. it's important for preliminary representation because if -- political representation because if we under count california, we get less representatives in congress. it's important for san francisco because if we don't have all of the people in our city, if we don't have all of the folks in california, california and san francisco stand to lose billions of dollars in funding. >> it's really important to the city of san francisco that the federal government gets the count right, so we've created
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count sf to motivate all -- sf count to motivate all citizens to participate in the census. >> for the immigrant community, a lot of people aren't sure whether they should take part, whether this is something for u.s. citizens or whether it's something for anybody who's in the yunited states, and it is something for everybody. census counts the entire population. >> we've given out $2 million to over 30 community-based organizations to help people do the census in the communities where they live and work. we've also partnered with the public libraries here in the city and also the public
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schools to make sure there are informational materials to make sure the folks do the census at those sites, as well, and we've initiated a campaign to motivate the citizens and make sure they participate in census 2020. because of the language issues that many chinese community and families experience, there is a lot of mistrust in the federal government and whether their private information will be kept private and confidential. >> so it's really important that communities like bayview-hunters point participate because in the past, they've been under counted, so what that means is that funding that should have gone to these communities, it
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wasn't enough. >> we're going to help educate people in the tenderloin, the multicultural residents of the tenderloin. you know, any one of our given blocks, there's 35 different languages spoken, so we are the original u.n. of san francisco. so it's -- our job is to educate people and be able to familiarize themselves on doing this census. >> you go on-line and do the census. it's available in 13 languages, and you don't need anything. it's based on household. you put in your address and answer nine simple questions. how many people are in your household, do you rent, and your information. your name, your age, your race, your gender. >> everybody is $2,000 in funding for our child care, housing, food stamps, and medical care.
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>> all of the residents in the city and county of san francisco need to be counted in census 2020. if you're not counted, then your community is underrepresented and will be underserved. >> shop and dine in the 49 promotes local businesses, and challenges residents to do their shopping within the 49 square miles of san francisco. by supporting local services in our neighborhood, we help san francisco remain unique, successful, and vibrant. so where will you shop and dine in the 49? >> i am the owner of this restaurant.
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we have been here in north beach over 100 years. [speaking foreign language] [♪] [speaking foreign language] [♪] [speaking foreign language]
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[speaking foreign language] [♪] [♪]
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>> please call the role. borden present. eaken present. heinicke present. heminger present. rubke present. torres present. you have a quorum. please be advised that brinkman will not be present. please be advised that the ringing of electronic devices are prohibited at the meeting. any person responsible for one going off may be asked to leave the room. item 4, approval of the minutes from the december 3rd regular meeting. >> okay. board members. we have the minutes in front of us. i assume there is no public comment on this item. seeing none, comment is closed. i'll entertain a moment to approve the minutes? all those in favor say aye?
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any opposed? item 5. >> communications, i have none. item 6, introduction of new or unfinished business. >> board members, a new year, perhaps new business? dire >> director heminger: happy new year. we all received a copy of the review last month i believe. one thing i noticed, i think it does matter in the real world, the fta is hitting us on the question of how many buses we have spare. this is an issue that i'm sure many operators struggle with around the country. in this case, what they suggest is something like a 20% spare ratio. we have 40%. double. and obviously, it probably has something to do with the fact
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that we're not putting out the full service, but is it really that big of a gap, that that lack of full service entails? i thought it would be good get a report from staff. >> okay. hopefully that is an answer that can come back. without objection, we'll ask the new director to provide an answer to that in his next report. >> agreed. >> yesterday, i attended the new operator, new operators on board. the new director will talk about that as well, but also supervisor walton was there as well. it was a great day. a very excited and engaged class. >> wonderful. anything else. on that note -- yes, please, director torres. >> director torres: in reference to an e-mail that we received regarding the black alliance, i think we need to hear what the
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progress is on that at the agency. >> chair heinicke: initial reaction, that is something that should go to them to respond to. but i'm open to suggestions. secretary boomer, do you have suggestions on how to address? >> the e-mail that was provided was actually sent to the department of human resources, that's a city-wide issue. i know that our workshop of january 28, there will be some discussion about the efforts with regard to culture within the organization diversity and inclusion. >> this is part of our process during our search for our great new director. which we discussed in the search committee and i wanted to make sure we don't leave it aside and continue to pay attention to it. >> chair heinicke: if the
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discussion is unsatisfactory, we can take it up in a different form. okay. while we're on the topic of gathering, i had the pleasure of attending my last sftma holiday party. i will be termed out. i will give advice to my successor. if you need cheap applause, give a shoutout to the -- paint department. >> now, without a fancy auditorium and tv cameras, i'm really thrilled that jeff is still there. part of the worry was we wouldn't be there. but i knew from the enthusiasm
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he showed in the interview process and everything, he was going to dig in and has already started doing a wonderful job. with that, let me just for the record, say, welcome director, it's wonderful to have you here. >> i am so honored to be here. >> chair heinicke: item 7, so we can turn the floor over to director. >> good afternoon, directors. i am very happy to be here, my very first sfmta board meeting and to be serving this extraordinary board. so my director's report covers a couple of topics and i'll probably ad lib at the end. i want to talk about vision zero. i want to talk about a new letter that just went out today. a cease and desist letter for a rogue scooter operator that we're going to be responding to. we had some questions and concerns about our parking meters that i want to address. i want to say a few words about our muni art project.
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then i want to talk a little bit about foreshadowing of things coming to you in the coming months. let's start with vision zero. this was not a good year. we lost 29 people on the streets of san francisco. most of those deaths were a result of preventable traffic violence. this is a topic that the sfmta staff take very seriously. when we have an incident out on the streets, i and our rapid response team and my deputy directors are immediately notified by police or fire, whoever is the first responder to the incident. and my rapid response team typically goes out within a matter of hours to the scene to see what is it that we might learn from this. and how could we continually improve upon the safety of our streets?
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but we lost 29 people. this is a higher number than last year. if there is any good news in this number, it is that the increase in fatalities in san francisco was less than in our peer cities. if there is any good news in this number, it's that the safety performance of the streets that we have paid careful attention to on our high-injury network, the performance has improved, but this number is still way too high. so in 2020, we've got a lot of work to do. a lot of the work will involve expanding upon the quick build program that this board authorized staff the ability to be able to go out and quickly fix streets, particularly on the high-injury network, even when that means having to make tough choices around the convenience of motorists, the availability
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of parking compared to traffic safety. in 2019, in support of this goal, we added about seven miles of protected bikeway and have three miles under construction. we're not only well on our way to meeting the mayor's goal of 20 miles of protected bikeways by 2021, but also having conversations with significantly accelerating that process. this is hard staff work. and will involve tradeoff challenges that will come to this board in the coming year. we know from the report that we produced earlier in 2019, the results, the evaluation of our vision zero engineering projects, that these efforts work and that the response to a rise in traffic fatalities is doubling down on what we know to be successful. another thing i would like to
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highlight, the work we're doing as part of the tenderloin traffic safety workforce. the tenderloin is dear too me as a neighborhood that still welcomes newcomers. it's also a place where the most vulnerable populations are concentrated. and a place where we distribute traffic to and from the freeways. it is also the greatest concentration of severe injuries and fatalities in the city. as a result of that, we've been partnering with organizations within the neighborhood and within our own organization to do some rather significant changes to the streets, but also the hundred small changes that really make a difference in safety outcomes. and so you'll be seeing more of that coming in 2020 to this board. the second topic i mentioned is the go-x cease and desist
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letter. you should have been sent copies of that by roberta. in summary, we at the sfmta are firmly supportive of using emerging mobility and innovation in order to achieve the public good, move more people conveniently and provide better choices for the people with the fewest. and we want to reward the private providers who uphold the public good and follow our procedures. we have one player, go-x, who is not only ignoring the rules, but doing so in fraudulent ways. our intention is to use what powers we and the city attorneys office have in order to make sure that people who don't follow the rules are not allowed do business on the streets of san francisco. so we'll be seeing more of this
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in the coming months. you've heard media coverage as well as the internal work over the last year about broken parking meters. this is coming not as any surprise to us. the problems that we're having with broken parking meters are similar to the problems we're having with other equipment throughout the agency, including our train fleet. these are acute problems for the agency and will relate to my closing remarks where i talk about primary goals in helping the agency move forward. it is essential we fill our vacant positions, particularly in operation and maintenance. and to get ahead of the problem, using our capital money to buy equipment that lasts longer and
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has less intense repair needs. so this is an issue that we're on top of. we're, of course, investing in promoting the use of park mobile and credit cards which continue to work unlike the coin slots which our customers enjoy jamming. the next topic is the muni art project which is -- i find delightful. art is something that we use to elevate us and to see things more deeply. public transit connects us. i can't think of two better combinations than art and transit, particularly given the fact that muni is the best public realm. it's really the only place in san francisco where literally
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everyone comes together and where we see our common humanity. so the sfmta has been supporting local artists through the muni art program in conjunction with san francisco beautiful and poetry society of america. we're bringing in images of local artists that will be displayed in 100 buses for the enjoyment of 750,000 muni riders. the artwork is going to be unveiled in a rolling gallery thursday, 10:30 a.m. just outside of city hall. the theme is the hidden gems of san francisco. finally, i'd like to conclude with some simple goals that i have started to develop on what is this? day 14 on the job, that will hopefully become key themes for future director's reports. it's become clear to me that my function within the agency is two simple things.
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there is a group of tasks that i have to do internal to the organization and a group of things externally. my internal work starts with culture change. making the sfmta the most inclusive welcoming creative collaborative workforce among transportation agencies in the country. this is a pretty significant part of my work and it's one of the reasons why in the first week on the job i asked to meet with the black and african-american affinity group to talk about issues of racism and exclusion and diminishment within the organization. we need to start there to heal the organization and, frankly, to catch up with other departments and other cities whose race and equity work is far ahead of our own. so one of the things that you'll be seeing in our budget discussion starting later this
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month is the ask to help us create a race and equity and inclusion team that will focus both internally on the workforce and externally on inclusive community process. there is another key theme that is internal which is around hiring. almost every problem for the agency faces is either tied to or rooted in our vacant positions or our lack of succession planning, or our lack of a clear pipeline to bring the right candidates into public service. we have a new h.r. director, kim ackerman, who is doing a fantastic job, but just like our maintenance workers dealing with decades of deferred maintenance, our new h.r. director is dealing with a lot of years of disinvestment and strategic thinking around hiring. that's another thing you'll be
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seeing in the budget workshop and likely in performance metrics, how are we doing filling vacant positions and what are we going do do with the fact that when i walk on the shop floor, i'm the youngest person in the room? finally, our external work. and this is kind of my primary function is clearing a path for sfmta staff to do their best wo work. our staff know how to solve the problems, but they need help clearing a political path. that's partly my job. and frankly, it's part of your job as well. it's one of the reasons i signed up for this adventure, because now is the time to actually clear a political path to allow us to have clarity about our values and to make the tough calls that are necessary in
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order for the transportation system to cut its co2 emissions. in order for the system to eliminate fatalities. in order to deliver on the promise of economic expansion, but greater opportunity for those who have the least opportunity among us. and that is the end of my report. thank you. >> wonderful. welcome, director tomlin. thank you for an informative and ambitious report. it's one of the reasons you're sitting in the chair, your perspective. is there any public comment on the report? directors, we'll hear from the public and then if you have questions or comments for the director, take them up them. >> welcome, formally, mr. tomlin. i'd like to add about the internal culture of mta, there is a problem of bullying at the work site. top management have been guilty
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of it. and this affects service delivery. and this clearly has to be addressed. i don't wish to single out sfmta as the only agency in the city with the problem, but it would be nice if they were a path-breaker in resolving the issue. there is bullies and bystanders. secondly, in respect to the sidewalks. there are too many scooters on the sidewalks. there are too many cyclists. and it endangers pedestrians, especially the aged and disabled. and some controls have to be put over this. you say -- i congratulate you on telling people of alternative transportation that they have to
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play by the rules. and you'll be more than willing to accommodate them, but once they're on the sidewalk, it should not be treated like the streets. we don't see automobiles driving on the sidewalks. we don't see motorcycles driving on the sidewalks, but we sure as heck see arrogant bicyclers driving on the sidewalk. and i think this has to be addressed. other than that, i welcome you to the leadership of mta and wish you success. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> he's the last person to turn in a speaker card. >> there is one more card. >> good afternoon, director, first, happy new year to you all, and special thank you to jeffrey tomlin, welcome aboard. you started to enunciate some of the duties you're looking forward to doing in the first six months. i want to make it clear the need to work for transit first. great majority of the citizens
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of san francisco voted for transit first many years ago. and then they went off and they did their regular thing. you could have clearly and hope that we work on it. as an example, way back, and it shows the kind of thing that can happen, so on presidio drive, because we weren't concerned with transit first, we were concerned with moving cars, we spaced the stops every other block, which now has become the standard for stop-spacing close to 1500 feet. we didn't do it because we wanted to speed the bus up, we did it because if we had more buses making more stops it would have slowed traffic. it's clear that was the case. and every time -- it's one thing to compromise a little bit for an extra parking place around the corner, but we concede. we just worry about it 0 so much, let them get away with it. one of my compatriots mentioned bicycles on the sidewalk.
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what about cars parking and blocking the sidewalk? those things, we have to set standards so that people know that transit is first. and of course pedestrians are right after it. i hope -- i can't wish you luck. that's not enough. it's perseverance and battle that we wish you. thanks a lot. >> okay. i'm told there is one more speaker card. >> these are for topics that mr. tomlin addressed. >> yeah, it's in there. good afternoon. debbie quick. i live in north of the pan handle. i work at one market. i'm a bike commuter. i'm really looking forward to october 29. i took the train up here midday to speak. i was getting ready to cross at larkin, walking on grove. car went right through the red light. so i don't see any way we're going to achieve goals of safety
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without cooperation between mta and the police department. i'm hoping that on october 29, there is massive police presence on market because some of the biggest impediments to safety for both pedestrians and cyclists is the cross-traffic. car drivers are unbelievably aggressive. it's frustrating as a citizen, i love riding my bike, i would only ever ride it in the street, it's not appropriate to ride it on the sidewalks, it's also not appropriate for the scooters to be ridden on the sidewalks, but standing, chatting with a cop at the corner of market and spear, and scooters are just going by on the sidewalk. and the cop refuses to do anything about it. so i don't know what the mechanism is to coordinate between the two agencies, but it seems to me the police department needs to be fully on board and there needs to be consequences for running red lights, endangering pedestrians and bicyclists.
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making it impossible for transit to operate safely. and i think that guarantee is exactly the -- that arrogant is exactly the right word, but arrogant can mean death or life-altering injuries and that's not something we should be supporting in this community. >> thank you very much. public comment on item 7 is closed. directors, anyone with questions or comments? >> i wanted to say thank you so much for that presentation, particularly about culture. i think everything emanates from any business in culture and focusing on those issues most importantly because the agency that has a great overall culture usually does great overall work. thank you for tackling what i think many of us think is the most important issue for our agency and ensuring that we are best everyone be whole and serve the city.
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the parking meter issue. one of the things that concerns me, the cash area is jammed. the city did pass legislation last year requiring all businesses to accept cash payment. so i don't know how we treat meters that have -- that are not able to accept cash for those people who maybe park there and don't have a credit card or other means to pay. i really want to look at how we're addressing and dealing with that specific issue, because there are people who don't have a smart phone, or perhaps don't have a credit card and don't want to use it in the meter and i don't want our agency discriminating. i would like to know what we're doing around that and what our process is. if we come across a meter that doesn't take cash and someone is parked there, how we handle the situation. especially people with low-income, they're the ones typically paying with cash. go-x, the cease and desist
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letter, what is spectacular is the crazy permit that illegal. when we talk about the company violating the rules, they have a false permit with the city's seal on it. and the chamber of commerce signed by their c.e.o. that is next level of craziness. we're not even talking about. i mean there is lots of other things of them not paying fines or stopping payment on checks. it's not anti-scooter, this company specifically has chosen not to follow the rules. >> any other directors, comments or questions? >> director heminger: isn't that a crime? shouldn't this be a criminal matter as well? [laughter] >> deputy city attorney. yes, we're exploring all options with the go-x matter, but the
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cease and desist letter was the first step. >> director eaken: thank you for highlighting the challenge around hiring and open positions. and it would be wonderful as we move forward to break down the problem, parse it a little bit more. as i understand, these are things that are practices unique to the sfmta, sort of like guidelines and best practices. there are some things we could change in terms of time lines for interview questions being approved. there are other things that are broader city rules. and given the mayor has charged mta, helping us, and helping the mayor's office, they understand that the rules they have control over get in the way our ability to hire efficiently and meet our goals. i think breaking down what are all the different challenges and
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which ones we control and which others others control. it's helpful to share that information. the second point i wanted to make on vision zero. thank you for starting with that. and thank you for underscoring the challenge we still have to achieve. i will note, i believe your contract runs through december 31, 2024, which is the vision zero deadline. so i firmly expect you to deliver on hitting that goal of zero. and would love to help to bring us along with you in your journey of discovery as you are evaluating the incidents and sending the teams out there, what are you learning. you mentioned the continuous improvement. in addition to the devastating reporting, help us understand what you're learning every time and what the data, outlier to the data? whether that seems to be a data point that reinforces a trend? what are we learning about best
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practices? as i mentioned before prior to the onboarding, i think the rapid response team is of course what we should do and to the extent possible be shifting into a more preventive mindset. where if we observe again and again that a street with a certain width and speed and we keep seeing the pattern of the place seeing the incidents, why aren't we looking at every intersection where we can almost predict with science those are going to be the places where the next will occur? why wait until the next fatality occurs? i know you're thinking along these lines as well, but parsing the problem and breaking it down intersection by intersection and showing us how we're getting ahead of the curve in the next -- what is it -- four
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years. thank you. >> anything else. the over-under on how many meetings before we remind you when your contract expires was low at one and amanda hit it. so take that as the motivation it was meant to be. thank you for a wonderful first report. like i said, it's ambitious, but that's what we hired you to be. good luck and you have the board's support. >> item 8, citizens advisory council report, there will be no report today. item 9, general public comment. this is an opportunity for the members to address the matters within jurisdiction and not on the agenda. starting with michael cheney, followed by herbert winer and then howard stressner. >> my name is michael cheney. i'm retired from the city and
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county, i worked for muni. it was you who talked about the float and -- i believe we can answer that. i'd like to read this. it is an e-mail that i sent to the mayor. copy was sent also to the board, but i can only imagine how many e-mails you get a day. right? so. to the honorable mayor london breed, december 15, san francisco's public transportation vehicles muni without exception should have maximum braking capability at all times. the above statement should be without dispute but as the public found out from the front pages of "the chronicle" our city paper of record, that has not been true. muni's new multimillion dollar lrvs have been operating since the first day in service on the rail lines, carrying passengers was only one of its three trucks actually having braking capability. i repeat, only one of the three
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trucks having actual braking capability. how could this happen? someone decided we would purchase with public funds for the first time in muni history, a vehicle with reduced braking. a condition of acceptance. vehicle configuration and critical systems have been examined and approved by the muni fleet engineering prior to purchase. what could have been the basis fort approval of this? can i extend my comments to finish reading. >> you have 30 seconds left. now 22. >> okay. i have less. the thing is that you -- to make it whole, and there is copies of this for all of you. we need to put the trucks as we had gotten them as ordered from
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simmons. they can do the work on -- >> time. >> can i address his? >> i'm sorry. you can address it, but at a different juncture. everyone gets the same amount of time. thank you for your service to the city. mr. winer, you're next. >> herbert winer with critical statements. muni has been operating on two principles. one, if you're not part of the solution become part of the problem. two, if you can't solve the problem, keep making the same mistakes and make it worse. and we've seen the upshot of it last year. it resulted in the administrative suicide of the previous executive director. now, what i am proposing, there should be checks and balances. the executive director should be able to take managers and the board. the board should be a check and
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balance on management in the executive director. and any disagreements with manager should be made public so we can at least have a dialogue and at least come to constructive solution. i have seen so many programs rubber stamped and it's to the distress of the community. we've seen two wreckages. van ness avenue and tara bell street. the residents of taraville street are not happy. what i'm asking for is requesting more democracy within the planning and input of mta. we need to do this desperately, otherwise we'll have a real catastrophe down the road and it will be worse than last year. thank you. >> thank you. >> and then following him,
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christopher peterson. >> one problem not mentioned is the congestion, great due to tncs, über and lyft. i know we're working on that. one of the easy might have been a congestion fee where people droiv downtown, but we're be working on lots of red paint. that will probably help as you can't go on street. your rider has to walk an extra block. that's no problem. the other thing we should use more of is bus bulbs. the same way you're going to put them on 28th when we get to that problem to solve it. that would really stop traffic. if you're muni street and there is bus bulb, you prefer not to be on that street. now i want to go back to longstanding problems. it seems a long time that i came to this board and you approved moving the stop at parks -- at
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presidio drive and fulton. this is a stop with lights and you agreed to make it farside. it's over two years and it hasn't happened. i know there is a blue spot on the other side. it would be really important to fix that thing. it's something i use a few times a week with my wife and all that. but that bus has always had to wait for the light. you had 20 seconds for nothing when it could have slipped right through, especially if you use the preempts and priorities to do it. the other thing, please, let's see what the problem is there. and the other thing, 19th avenue, was supposed to get the street fixed and do all these wonderful things to help the buses move better and it's dragging on forever. i don't know what the problem is there either. that's another line that i live close to and use a lot o. and when you get that done, that's going to be an example of no
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cost except for a few bus bulbs. thank you very much. >> christopher peterson is the last to turn in a speaker card. >> is there anyone else who wishes to speak? seeing none, mr. peterson, you have the last work. >> good afternoon, members of the board and welcome mr. tomlin. i would like to follow up on mr. stressner's comment about the city's decades long failure to implement the transit first policy. just as a general matter, it sounds like you have every intent of doing that. it's going to involve tough battles. exhibit a in my own experience would be st. francis circle. the k and the m are held up for prolonged periods of time in order to give priority to cars coming from every direction under the sun. so i hope that is one of -- that
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is one example of the many different problems that affect not only them, but the entire muni system. i hope you do take a hard look at that intersection along with others that are persistent sources of problems to the system. thank you. >> thank you very much. that concludes public comment item number 9. item 10. >> your consent calendar. all matters are routine. mr. chair, i've not received a request that any matter should be severed. >> well, we're getting the new year off to a good start. directors, anyone want to change that? if not, is there public comment on item number 10? >> no one has turned in a speaker card. >> okay. seeing none. this is why they call it the consent calendar. all those in favor, say aye. anyone opposed?
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director tomlin. it doesn't always go that way. i don't want you to get false expectations in your new position. item 11. >> regular calendar presentation regarding the municipal transportation quality review of transit operations and performance for fiscal years 2017 and 2018. >> chair, vice chair, members of the board and director tomlin. you have heard the review presentation in the past. i think director heinicke has gone through it five or six times -- >> i've heard it more than that. five or six with you. more memorable ones with you. >> including a review of the data collection reporting
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methods that we use. analysis of the please data and recommendations on changes to practice and the metrics. for the cycle analysis, was conducted. it has two parts. we'll start with sam who has the findings and then recommendations and details on the performance since the audit period from the director of transit. >> very good. welcome. >> thank you. happy new year. welcome, director tomlin. >> sorry for what we did to your agency, but it's for the greater good. >> it's sad, but it's actually awesome, because we can't think of a better place. he's going to kill it here, so you guys are in good hands. >> excellent. >> so this is my second go round with the quality review. i guess you were here last time.
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travis just mentioned the quality reviews are mandated by the charter and so sfmta has over 30 performance metrics that are related to transit alone. and so this task is to review how the data are collected, how the data is reported and then we look at what thousands trends are. and we make recommendations on the data collection methodology and reporting, but not on how to change the trends that we see in the performance metrics. so are we using metrics that staff can use for actionable solutions? and can the public follow along with what we're up to? since we were last up here, there have been a few changes in
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data collection. first, performance metrics tracking customer opinions have changed. the sfmta is now using an annual survey. before it was a quarterly panel survey, which may sound better on paper, but in fact, was tracking people with clipper cards only and it was a lot of data, but it didn't fully and accurately depict the full ridership. so this survey is significant and will be able to answer a lot more questions for us. second, there has been expanded reporting. there should be better clarity on some of the performance metrics going forward which will be better both for the public and for planners who are going to be using the data. in the next couple of slides i'm highlighting some of the
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performance trends. metrics ending in number 1 are key performance indicators. so i am not going to be reading through all of these, but there is a lot of information in the final report. i'm just going to touch on a couple for each goal. so these are all based on the 2013-18 strategic plan. and each of these metrics falls under one of the goals. here, starting off, goal number one, create a safer transportation experience for everyone. just want to highlight that sfpd reported muni-related crimes per 100,000 miles is down and that is continuing to decrease. we're trending in the right direction there. there are fewer collisions per 100,000 miles. so just some things you'll see on the page here. customer ratings on a scale of 1
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to 5. and the m.a. refers to that method logical change that i just mentioned moving from the quarter survey to the annual. in the final report, you can see historical trends, but for the specific table there is no way to compare the two years. goal two. this is where we have most of our stuff for transit. the goal is to make transit walking, bicycling, taxi, ride-share, car sharing, the preferred means of travel. just to highlight here that bus bunching was roughly the same during this period, but there was an improvement in gaps in the rapid network. and that did correlate with a better -- or improved ontime performance in the rapid network. so just to note, that in the next cycle, the on-time
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performance and gaps in the rapid network will be the -- the data collection will be through the new orb cad system. so we're hoping for even further improvements in data collection reliability. more metrics under goal number 2. on-time performance is still very low, but it was steady during this period. so i guess we have that going on. and the mean distance between failure for buses, which is basically breakdowns and just in-service problems, was better per bus and no change for light rail. one thing that did fall with the amount of service delivered compared to the amount of scheduled service. both in terms of service hours and trips.
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and lastly, we want to point out that bus ridership overall is up. and muni metro in areas just where ridership is tracked was down. goal 3 was to improve the environment and quality of life in san francisco. here we can see that the overall daily ridership for the system was down. however, cost per revenue hour was also down. which is a good thing. however, i want to point out that a lot of times what that means, when that goes down, is that usually a decrease in service when ridership is low will gilaurentiu givelichiagive.
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last performance metric is to create -- sorry not metric, the goal -- is to create a workplace that delivers outstanding service. and employee satisfaction again is on a scale of 1 to 5. it is still better than the neutral 2.5, but did see a dip in fiscal year 2018. absences were also up slightly in fiscal year 18 among operators. okay. so we do verify that the accuracy of data collection and reporting was good. i said that wrong. muni continues to make improvement in the processes that will help improve operational efficiencies and help the public see what is going on behind the curtain.
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our recommendations are that mid cycle methodology changes should aim for clarity. we still want to be able to tell the story, even when things are -- or when systems are being upgraded. over the last 4 to 5 years, a lot of systems have been put in place that are really great, but it will look lake blips in the screen for presentations like that, but they're all for good reasons and should continue to give us meaningful information in the future. so we want to make sure as the upgrades happen, we can continue to paint the picture that we are doing this, not just for data sake, but for reasons that will help the agency. second, we want to formalize -- make sure that standard operating procedures as new technologies come online have data governance policies surrounding them. i think a lot of that is already taking place.
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we want to memorialize that is really good standard business operating procedure. and thirdly, to expand to more detailed reporting for several metrics. there is a lot of metrics that the sfmta already uses for planning purposes. and so much of this work is automated in the way it never was before. so now it is not a huge labor effort to go ahead and just publish the metrics that are already being used. and then lastly, we recommend adopting a new metric to track preventative maintenance. the percentage of on-time completion for p.m.s, we call them, is a pretty standard industry metric that could help the sfmta pinpoint where additional resources could be very useful. okay, so with that, i thank you
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for your time. it has been really great working with a team that cares so much about good data, useful data and are very committed to transparent governance. i'm going to turn it back over to the team to follow up with comments on recommendations and then we'll be available for questions. thank you. >> good afternoon. transit director. i want to acknowledge this covers through 2018, but most of these trends should not come as a surprise to the board because we've been talking about them on a monthly basis. some of the trends do capture where we have known challenges, particularly service delivery. i think is one.
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as well as the on-time performance, the nonrapid routes which is so closely linked to service delivery and our operator shortage. there is also some trends that at the macro level may show flat or a decline, but when we get into the nuance, i think there are positive trends. for example, what we talked about at the last performance update with the ridership, we know that where we've made concerted efforts to enhance the transit experience, whether that's through more rapid service or more protection from traffic, we're seeing double digit increases through ridership. we were at the beginning of the l.r.v. before rollout during this reporting period, but we know now we're seeing the l.r.v.4s at 10,000 miles between breakdowns. as they continue to improve and
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also make up a larger percentage of our fleet, i see that really trending in a positive direction. then i appreciate in the report, some of the positive trends. i do want to take an opportunity to celebrate those, because they really are the hard work of the staff that is supporting jeff and tom and i to deliver this work. in particular, the collision reductions, we have, in transit, been in a strong partnership with the safety division include the collision rate. and it's taking a really pragmatic approach, starting with things most in our control. like hitting fixed objects. collisions in the yard. and then moving to some of the harder things, like sideswipes.
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so i'm really optimistic. we are, on the transit side, living the vision zero mandate today. and we have not had a fatality and i hope to continue that positive trend. i also include that the report is showing increased response to customer complaints. it's another place where the policy advisory group has been tracking our response rate to complaints. because it's one of our important metrics and we're seeing improvements. then this report just shows the beginning of what i think is an amazing trend in terms of our bus reliability. i think at this point in 2018, we were at about 7,000 miles between breakdowns. now we're in excess of 10,000. and that's really through the leadership of this board as well as the partnership between bus maintenance and fleet
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engineering and our quality assurance group to really deliver a high-quality program. it shouldn't come as a surprise to you, but we are an agency that really uses data for decision-making and so it's very heartening to have the opportunity for an outside group to come in and really validate our processes and validate our procedures. for the most part, the recommendations did seem very reasonable to us. and we welcomed that feedback. we did, as she talked about, change to 1-5 scale for percent satisfied and very satisfied and we'll take that feedback that we want to be as transparent as possible when we make these changes. we're working closely with i.t. as we bring on new technology to ensure that all the new
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technology is included in our operating procedures and state-of-the-art. and then we do have some metrics like our preventative maintenance that we track internally that we would welcome sharing publicly. one of the things we absolutely track is the percent that are completed in a timely fashion. so with that said, thank you for listening to the report and for your ongoing focus on these trends because they do really add up to what is ultimately going to be excellent service and safe service and reliable service which is all of our shared goals. >> very good. so i'm told we have one member of the public who wishes to comment. let's have that. is there anyone other than mr. winer who wants to comment? okay, seeing none, mr. winer will have the final word from
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the public. the floor is yours. >> overall, i support the findings on it, but i would like to see something more open. like subjective responses. and those can be rated from negative to very favorable. for instance, one question i would like this see is having walking a longer distance to the bus stop determined your decision whether or not to take public transportation? do you drive as a result of not having -- having to walk a long distance? what is very negative about the 1-5 ratings in the question, it doesn't leave the flexibility of comments. and when you don't get that flexibility, you get a very skewed perception as a result of the survey. so it really should be more open to all responses. now, i'm not trying to point my finger at nelson nye guard, in
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particular, it's to all surveys that are being conducted. when i fill out the surveys, i feel that i don't have very much room to make my comments. i try to squeeze them in. but it's not exactly successful. so if you really want to have full input, really want to have a balanced perception and richer perception, you have to make the surveys more open to comments. thank you. >> okay. public comment on this item is now closed. directors, any questions or comments for staff? >> director borden: i want to say, we spend a lot of time looking at these numbers. one of the things i thought was missing on the chart, was showing what the goal was. you had 17 and 18 and then a check or minus, but it was really hard for people to know what the goal was.
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i would say in the future, when presenting the charts, if you could show the goal number. the goal is to be better, depending on what the number is. in many of the categories i know we have a fixed number that we're trying to achieve. so i think it would be more transparent information if the chart showed what the goal number was and what the numbers were so people could figure out how we're progressing. i felt if you didn't read the report, it was hard to figure out what some of the numbers meant in the various categories. >> anyone else? >> thank you, chairman. two quick comments. the first is a repeat. i added up the metrics here and it's 36. i continue to be concerned about having such a large number of priorities. you tend not to have any priorities when you have too many. you know, jeff began his presentation with pedestrian deaths and why we're focused on that. and that's an example, i think, of an overridingly important and
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relevant performance indicator. there are lots of ways to get to an objective and i'm not sure tracking a lot of them really enriches the dialogue. i think in some cases it can make it more difficult to connect the data to the decision-making if there is just so much data. having said that, one of the 36 really struck me. and that is the on-time performance for the nonrapid service which is on its way to 50%. which is another way of saying your bus is just as likely to be late as not. that's a horrible result. and you know, one conclusion that i would draw from it, we need more rapid service. because those lines are doing better. i wonder where we are in our plans on trying to introduce more rapid service, because the result we've got is this
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segregated system. [please stand by]
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>> rooted in the work that sfmta is on the rapid network and i want to talk about data.
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as a manager, i need more data to get into the roots of causality on how it's performing on the line-by-line basis and investments versus the stuff that we're just letting trend according to the status quo. as we look at the data, congestion has increased over the last five years and the buses that are stuck in congestion are performing worse and as a result of performing worse, they're also suffering declining ridership. where we've invested ridership is up 17%. which is extraordinary compared to any other city. just like in vision zero, the places where director and her team are making investments, they are having the opposite
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performance every place else and the answer is do more in what the agency has investing in. where we need improvements, while there's certain data we need to report from a regulatoy or prop e requirement standpoint we need to get better at the story telling. rather than just reporting 32 numbers and how to use those numbers in order to build trust with the public. to be transparent about the areas where we're failing and also to district u direct us whk succeeding. >> thank you for confirming our wise decision. >> all right. well the over-under on how long it would take for a commen for e
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that. you've set two records. let me address some of the specific on this. the point, which i understand a great deal, there's part of this dynamic or this report that i like because the various metrics are grouped under our mission statement goals and i think it was useful to do that and have the one main metric and group everything else. i'm not so concerned about the many things as long as we stay focused on the mission statement goals. on the performance, we're all struck by the same thing and the one sub metric that we're barely 50% on time on our non local routes is staggering and as director said, i want the train there when i get there or soon after. that's the case for most of our rapid service and maybe even for some of our local routes that have significant headway. i'm gathering from this, and
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this can be considered b answerr julie, that the reason that we're seeing a slide there is because when we have operator shortages, those, by factors of prioritization will effect the non rapid routes the most. is that what is going on here? is there another cause for that data point. >> i think there's three causes. the first is that it's an incredibly unforgiving metric. we measure whether or not we're running a minute early, up to four minutes late. a minute early every three quarters of a mile. so that is one issue. is that unforgiving it makes the metrics meaningless? >> >> yes. >> that's the single cycle of a
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traffic light. so hitting an unexpected green light means we fail our metric. if you need the dat need the. >> dan: , anthe data, why are wt help us? >> we use that metric because it's in the charter but as the director indicated, we're much more focused on terminal departures on our infrequent routes, because that's our biggest control point. and headway adherence or service gaps because it's how most of our customers experience the service. the second reason that the number is low is because of the operator shortage. you are absolutely correct. and the third reason on our downtown routes is congestion. some of the these hill top routes, with the exception of a few bottlenecks like what the 33 might experience on clayton, for example, they're not in a lot of
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congestion. getting individuals to operate so precisely to, not the four minutes but the one minute, is really tough. >> ok. so, i mean, a lot of this is perception, right. we don't want our riding public to think that we're failing and that they're experiencing if it's good is different. i just -- i mean, maybe we're stuck with a metric and the charter that is not a good metric and i feel like i've had this discussion before because i have. i wonder if it makes sense to have more communication around that and more communication of here is why we don't think this mat trick is all that valuable and here is the valuable metrics and conclude them, even if we're required to put in a metric that we don't think is all that great. to go ahead and actually front the discussion and not wait for what seems to happen a lot, which is wait a second, this metric doesn't mean anything.
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so, more of a comment for next year than for this year. and on the metro ridership piece, you said it was through june. so it was this effected at all by the tunnel shut down? >> it shouldn't have been significantly effected. >> that surprises me. and is that -- do we think it's more of a measurement issue because we're only doing it at fair gate or what is the explanation for why muni metro ridership is down. and a meaningful percent, actually. >> i think that we should come back at the next meeting and include the current fiscal years. that it did surprise me as well and i'm not prepared to give you the full explanation right now. we have added a lot of capacity on the system in the last 18 months. we do still have a lot of transit priority work to do on the surface rail system as well as the over all subway reliability. >> right. so just to be transparent, let
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me tell you why that's the metric in this report that concerned me the most. the entire thrust of what i've been doing for the last, how many years it's been, and with you and with all of these fine folks, is to build a better transit system so people will tuesday and get out of their cars. the issue we were facing in the metro was two-fold. one, there were not often but frequent enough to be annoying delays and service, significant delay and services and it was unreliable and had people thinking if i'm driving on that day i do better. the more significant obstacle was crowding. is that people are being passed up particularly at castro and church stations ochurch stationy home from work. if ridership is declining, that suggests to me that we're missing the mark. our goal is to create more capacity and get more people on those trains off of the streets.
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if ridership is declining it's a metric successor with problems all over the place. i just find it hard to believe, given what i see on a daily basis. i will look forward to seeing the updated figure. i will say, that's an extremely important figure to me because if we're losing ridership in the subway, that's a big problem. >> as a daily k.l.m. rider, i can't speak precisely to causality but we're not providing the level of service that our passengers deserve in the subway. particularly in the morning peak. three-car shuttles sound like a great idea. thank you for raising it. [laughter] >> we will be bringing that up. a whole package of improvements in this coming year to this board to address the operational problems that the subway faces. >> i know we have another agenda item on this. on that one specific metric, if you could please come back to us when you can. whether it's in your next
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presentation on the status of the metro or at the next meeting. and explain where we are currently on ridership numbers and if there's been a decline that a tributes causality to it, please. >> absolutely. >> thank you. >> i have two more clarifying questions. so if, as you said in the presentation, part of the point is to make this more accessible to the public and more easily understandable to the public and we've just agreed the on-time performance metric is not the metric that is so relevant anymore. i just would love to have someone sort of explain. i think you mentioned it's gaps or something. could you direct us to the metric that you think is more appropriate for us to be focused on that speaks to that experience of showing up and not having to wait so long. >> the one with bunching is part of that too, right? >> if you turn in the presentation to -- i jumped up
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too quick. it's 2.2.1. you will see that it's trending in the right direction. and the reason that we're focusing on gaps and not bunching is that while bunching is an operational problem and a red flag for me, from a customer perspective, it's not an impact. if two buses show up to pick you up, you are happy if one bus shows up to pick you up. >> you are waiting for an hour for that bus. >> the problem is somewhere else in the system, there's a gap.
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that's why we're focusing on gaps on that 2.2.1 on the rapid network you can see in 2017-2018 was 6-point 9% and we have been trending lower i think. our current 90 day goal is 10%. >> one feeds the other, right. when i see bunching i see a huge gap in service because all the buses showed up at the same time so now i have to wait 20 minutes. it is related. >> that's only a metric that describes the rapid network. there's an over all on-time performance across all the network. is there a headway adherence metric that describes the whole system? >> we typically have been doing gaps on our frequent service so we've been documenting it for our express, our metro service and the rapid bus. >> and i would advocate for different metrics and different types of service so if we want
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the metrics to point us towards solutions we need to have the metric differentiate and so the right metric for the high frequency rapid network should be different than the half-hourly hill top service. which really parents a different approach. i was wondering if you explain that a little bit more. >> so, some of that is a reflection of the journey forward program so we have rolled out 30 miles of transit priority streets so when the buses can operate more efficiently you need fewer service house to deliver the same amount of service so part of why you are seeing that improvement has to do with schedule efficiencies as well as some of those travel time
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benefits. >> so that's average bus occupancy across the entire network? that's what that number means? >> and divided by the total number of service hours. >> right. >> yep, it's a good number. >> ok. thank you. >> ok. please. >> i just had a comment and a question. i feel like i ask this question last time we went through this report. on the escalator and he will veil oelevator, does it includee stations we share with bart or how is that divided? >> it's a good question that only pertains to the escalator ands elevatorses that are maintained by the sfmta. we can reach out to bart if you think it's a valuable metric but this pertains to those maintained by our agency. >> great. my comment relates to that point and maybe some of the other
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districts which i think is it would be useful. i know the report, which was detailed and helpful and i think everyone involved with that, it would be useful to have a good appendix that explained each metric. i didn't know which elevators we were talking about and since we had so many questions about the different metrics and what they mean it would be helpful for transparency's sake. >> it's a valid point. we have it online and we will incorporate it in the report to help tell a better story. >> thank you. >> anything further on item number 11? very good. thank you all for the presentation. >> since there's no action on that we'll move on to item 12, approving parking time limits and bus stop consolidation and the extension of tow-away zones hours associated with the inner sunset curb management project. >> good afternoon, happy new year. my name is hank wilson and i lead the curb management team at
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the sfmta. in just a moment, i'll turn it over to my colleague, alex to talk about the specifics. i wanted to take this opportunity to talk about the curb management team and curb management planning and what a curb management plan is. for a quick moment. i think the curb management team was created two years ago. it reflects -- it was born out of the on-street parking policy team. we're still doing all of the great con-street policy work we were doing like demand responsive pricing, residential permit parking and working to on going reform efforts for that project permitting car share and moped share vehicles to give people an option other than driving their private vehicle to get around neighborhood parking planning. all those sorts of things. this reflects the growing realization that curb management, that the curb is more than just parking and the curb management is as important as traffic routing or bike planning or other things like
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that in terms of supporting all of our safety and transit first and climate action goals. and so the two additional tasks that the curb management team hat ihey which is a document tht will guide how we allocate curb space. you heard about that and you will be hearing a lot more about that in the coming weeks and months. also to do some more holistic proactive curb management planning and moving away from the space by space parcel by parcel by request system we've had and into a more proactive way of planning. and we've had a few of these that have come before this board. the most prom i am an nant is te center and for paratransit and mission bay taxis and all the folks that need to be there in addition to people who are dropped off going to constructor sets and games anconcertsand ga. this is the first from the beginning to the end and curb
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management project where we've done the data collection and the neighborhood outreach and the surveys on the street and come up with something that makes a lot of sense and will go a long way to making the trains and the buses run through and to the much more quickly and working directly with the transit team, this was also initiated by the former supervisors office as something they thought would be helpful following on the heels of the inter sunset street scape project that was led by public works. there's not that many things we're asking for this board to approve. to my mind, it's one of the selling points about curb management. it's pretty simple stuff. it's basic. it's changing curb color, extending color curb zones, adding daylighting and all those things that are not dramatic but can have a dramatic impact on the safety and efficiency of our streets. thank you for your time. >> thank you, very much. >> thank you. good afternoon director.
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i'm a planner with the sustainable parking and curb management team. if we can pull up the presentation here that would be great. so i'll talk today about this inner sunset curb management project. so this project started back in spring of 2019 or 2018 when we were approached by merchants in the inner sunset neighborhood asking us to take a look at parking and loading regulations around the ninth and irving area with the completion of construction on the street scape project. at the same time, we heard from transit operators that they were having issues getting through this area due to double parking and illegal loading so we went into this project with the goals of making sure that the curb regulations in this neighborhood align with our larger city goals of transit first, vision zero and promoting vi business vital. this was a community-driven and data-based project.
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we started off going out and doing data collection including inventory what was out there on the curb at the time. we brought on a consultant to do extensive data collection on parking occupancy and analyze video footage to determine when and where double parking was happening and what loading behaviors were occurring on the major commercial core streets around ninth and irving. we conducted a trio of surveys, one was a merchant survey where we went outdoor to door asking them about their loading needs. we got 200 responses to our residents survey and also conducted a pedestrian intercept survey to determine how they were getting around the enabled and what kind of issues they were experiencing. we held two community open houses at different stages of the project to make sure that community input was coming into the project not just after we had a fully flushed proposal but
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feeding into that propose a we met with inter subset park neighbors and other community organizations to help develop this project. so what we found out on the street when conducting this inventory, it was that the curb regulations and the inter sunset reflect how we've done things in the past where we usually have only created loading zones or short-term parking zones or other curb regulations when we've gone to specific request from a specific business or property owner. which means that we have kind of a patchwork of regulations where some blocks might have a lot of yellow zone and some might not have any and both have a lot of businesses with important loading needs. so through this process, we put together a detailed proposal that makes a lot of changes to the color curb zones throughout
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the area including yellow, green, white, blue and red and we looked at other changes as well including time limits and transit improvements on lincoln way. so these are the changes that we're asking you to approve today. trance exit new parking on lincoln. right now it stops along lincoln and our spaced every 600 feet which is below our agency's standard guidelines for stop spacing and we found the seventh and 11th avenue stops were low so we've been working with our transit engineering colleagues to consolidate those stops and bring stops spacing on the segment of lincoln up to our standards. it's tow away zone on the north side of lincoln between sixth avenue and 14th avenue from 4:00
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to 6:00 p.m. on wednesdays and it creates a travel sane that speeds up and it doesn't cover the evening peak hours so we're proposing to expand that from 3:00 to 7:00 so we have heard a decent amount of members of the community coming out and opposing that and due to the loss of parking for that extra hour and the evening when they come home. going out and doing data collection we found that not very many people are parking there and just hour after that tow away zone ends right now. the speed improvements we think outweigh the disadvantage to parking along that corridor. we have a two hour time limit that requires board approval. that's to increase parking turnover and availability as a relief involve for the businesses in the neighborhood as well as for golden gate park,
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which anybody knows that traffic can get crazy around there with people looking for a parking spot and we'll extend a few bus zones in the area to meet our minimum stop standard. most of the portions of this project were approved after engineering public hearing and they run the gamut of different parking and loading regulations we added commercial loading zones and relocated to where they can better serve the types of vehicles that are bringing deliveries to these businesses and we had green zones and reduced the time limit hat the green zones and extended the hours through the evening dinner hours to make sure they're serving the restaurants and other business that's depend on
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people picking up food or new career network services they've relied on. we have passenger zones and blue zones, red zones and weekend only tour bus zone. so with that, let me know if you have any questions. >> i do. so we didn't look at -- the 44 stops twice. at ninth and irving and it stops at ninth and lincoln but it stops on the same side. it doesn't go into the park side. did we look into that? >> yes. we did talk about that. both of those stops are serving different nodes in the area. each of those has a transfer point to a different line so it's important to that those. >> i'm just trying to figure out are people going out and i would
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have -- for me it seems like it makes more sense of that stop if you were going to keep it and most people get off the bus going across lincoln way to the park so it makes more sense to move into the park and then give people the sense of greater park access despite the fact it's obviously still the same did we look at that at all. >> we can talk to our colleagues about that. they are about to improve that intersection on their park side of the intersection there so talk to them about whether it would be possible or make sense from a service perspective. >> i don't know how it would due in terms of the speed issue but i would say that 44 stops a lot anyway and 2 comes incorrectly and it doesn't have the ridership because there's large times between the stops. the fact it stops twice on the
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same block and the majority people are crossing the street and people are driving to the park because there's not enough access to the park. having that spot close to the academy of sciences and all that stuff creates this -- it helps people think i can actually take the bus to get there even though it clearly goes right there and there's a psychological thing and people don't want their kids crossing lincoln. it seems weird it stops twice on the same block where you could do better with more loading zones because of all the businesses that are on those blocks as opposed to having two does stops. >> totally, yeah. also it's flat there. it's a very slight downward grade. they're trying to restrict cars
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on additional days being able to have the bus go into the park would make a it close tore amenities and it might make more sense. >> is there any public comment on this item? >> there is. herbert winier is the only person that turned in a card. >> we'll continue the board discussion. the floor is yours. >> one thing that's missing here is the residents in the businesses to discuss this report and i had the lousy experience of walking from nintd irving because the bus stop was discontinued. it's very inconvenient for people. you are doing this on the bases of speeding up transportation. what is needed are more street cars and this whole business about parking and the idea of turnovers, well, if you are in this bar, i believe it's on
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ninth and lincoln way, you only have two hours in the bar. sorry about that. i mean, you are limiting the drinking time, you are creating ab inconvenience and i would hope that what you would have is this is a pilot project so people can see how it's working out. otherwise, you are having another one of these projects where things get worse and it's cut in stone and i don't like it. i think it should be taken to a community meeting. i have the suspicion, many of the original plans have not changed at all. despite the input in the rest of it. basically, these community meetings are dog and pony shows where nothing is changed from the original propose a it's a fade out complete. you will have angry residents and believe me, it's going to
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accumulate to the point of an explosion. we're all members of this board and we'll be under fire i don't live in the sunset anymore and i'm the only one testifying. it's really a lousy situation. >> alex, if you could summarize for us in a few sentences the local outreach and to the business and community you had about this i would say rather modest proposal it would be helpful for the record. >> absolutely. we worked closely with the inner sunset merchant association and park neighbors group to disseminate these surveys and to talk to all their members about this project from the very early stages through today and we held two community open houses and
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got a lot of input and made a lot of changes based on the unput we received and some are in the staff report. we looked at adding meeters in the area and due to major opposition from neighbors we removed those from the proposal because we felt that the remainder of the proposal was more acceptable to the community and so at the end of the day, we did have a engineering public hearing on all of this a few weeks ago that did get people coming out and what we have before you today has the support of most of the neighborhood. at least of people who i've talked to and i know you have received a few e-mails about this. i think we did relatively thorough job with this on community input. directors, any further comment or questions on this if not i'll entertain a motion. >> i have a quick question.
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it seems like a modest proposal so i'm prepared to support and we did receive a few e-mails can you discuss the final recommendation to remove it in light of those concerns and particularly i think one e-mail. >> it is between stops and we estimate that removing these stops will make a time savings of 30 seconds a trip which com signed with the toe away soap and improvements on eighth street, starts to make a real
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difference in commutes. the other thing with the 11th avenue stop is we have lincoln way on our hand renetwork and 11th avenue is not a signalized intersection so people to cross to that do have to cross and we think it's better situation from several different angles to direct people to the stops and ninth and two short blocks away. >> i do want to say to the point that she brought up, this is something we've talked about before is making sure that we are looking what the is on the street. the senior facility is there and a lot of seniors obviously take our transit, you know, that's something that we should consider and does that mean we should snell eyes that and i don't know. but my only point is that we definitely those are the people that most need our transit system so i've talked about that
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with the 44 stopping twice on ninth does not meet our standards and we should have looked at that. >> all right. >> thank you. >> with that if there are no more questions i'll entertain a motion on this. is there a second. >> second. all those in favor say aye. >> aye. >> any opposed. alex, you did a nice job with this. next item. >> 13 regarding subway performance in a future train control upgrade. >> good afternoon.
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and i'm here to give you a brief overview of the presentation that i gave to the working group in october and director borden, thank you for the invitation to come back and present to you here. >> cherokee lays we can find in the control log it's a train broke down and than the acute
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delays but right now it's we don't have the tools available to solve that in terms of getting the actual data to quantify that. so that's something we're working on as we speak. that was color coded according to the different causes and you can see the pie chart is essentially showing the breakdown of all the those causes and it's the quantity so the number of events, the percentage of the number of events that were attributable to that cause and impact in the number of minutes.
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the top two categories are vehicle breakdowns and train control and vehicle breakdowns make a smaller number of incidents but they represent a larger number of minutes and that makes sense when you think about it because when a train is disabled it has to -- it takes longer for it to move out of the way. vehicle breakdowns is not something that i'm assessing in this presentation. i am going to be focused on the second highest cause of minutes of delay and that's train control. which is about of the over all number so it's frequent these things occur. if there's good news the train control, the recovery from a failure of a train control is a little bit less -- it's a little bit easier essentially. >> just want to give a quick primer of the train control system as we know it today. the automatic train control service was put in 1998 and it's based on design from the 1980s
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and the way it works is there's three portals, ferry portal and westportal and each time the train enters that portal, it has to conduct a handshake with the train control system. if it fails it's called a failed entry and that was one of the causes that the delay you will see in a moment. the system then automatically, if it passes the handshake it will route the train to its destination to the mmt, the turn back and it will go out one of the other portals. on the surface, they're controlled by the operator. there's no central supervision. it's a first come first serve. when a train approaches a junction or at fourth and king, or at westportal and ulloa, the order in which those trains a arrive is the order they leave. there's no prioritization. well this train is behind schedule. this train is in l. none of those factors are taken into account. it's important between surface operation. in the subway we have a control
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center. they see the lines and where they're supposed to go but when they get to the subway, they have a limited ability to control everything th or effect. most changes would have had on the surface in order to keep the train in the proper order and spacing. so, quick train control 101, there's two types of train control systems dating back to the 1860s when they first developed trains. that was the sixth block system and it's simple. sixth block system is a train. there's a block of space and if a train enters it, nothing else can enter it until that train has been confirmed to leave it in the 1860s they used lanterns and people with flags and they work by councilling the number to say this train is coming over this area and it enters this area and no one else
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can go in it and the other more advanced type of train control and moving block so essentially that's a train has -- it does haven't to enter a block it essentially creates a space in front of it that the envelope expands if the train is going faster and it contract. it's based on the safety distance and the breaking curve. and so, that allows us to run trains faster and higher speeds and also closer together which is most components lead to a higher spat more reliability train network so the question is, the million dollar question is what type of train control system do we have in muni and the answer is both and so see all of the above. the reason why this works is we have a moving block system that's super imposed on top of a fixed block system and the moving block system essentially what we use 90% of the time. it's what their schedule is
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based on. i'll talk about the number of trains per hour that the train control system is capability of delivering and we usually measure that to embarcadero i am bound and that's 42 trains an hour. that's what our schedule is set to. if we have a failure, they revert back from the moving block to the fixed block system. that first of all the fixed block system trains are running at half speed. they're running at 25 miles per hour an hour. the second thing is just like it shows on the diagram, it clears that space. whatever that space is, it clears all the other trains out of the way so it holds the trains behind it until that space is clear and that train proceeds block by block in the old banner that it did before. the block spacing, i can't say exactly how much because it actually varies when we look at forest hill and castro. those are very large blocks. when you look at something between civic center and powell
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they're smaller. the spacing and it's a negative result when we switch from the moving block to the fixed block. that having been said, if we didn't have the fixed block as a back up, then we would have no system at all if the moving block system failed so we would actually be in more trouble essentially because the trinh et system wouldn't function at all so it's a inconvenience but it's a way that we can continue to operate into the degraded mode following a train control system failure. so this is a simple overview but in the pick bonk up three computers and they're flowedded by floppy disks and just a highlight that for the record in the age of iphones and flash drives and the internet, and then the operation control center that has the tmc and it
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has the essentially the video screen that shows were the trains are moving and there are computers at the way side so they're in equipment rooms along the subway and they're responsible for the two way communications between the train and the central computers and they're responsible for the communication between the central computers and moving the switches and lighting up the signals and communicating between the loop and axel counter. that train essentially controls the propulsion, the breaks and it takes inputs from the tack only tetackomoter. the loop cable across the bottom is grown and sometimes it's yellow and the way it fixes the position is cross over point where the green and the yellow cross where it's able to determine it's able to say the train is there and from that point it ducks a dead
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wreckenning based on the tack ole ter and there's a positional area that gets worse and worse and that's the primary cause of time-outs is a difference between the tackomoter on board the vehicle and where the system thinks it is. the system says these things are disagreeing, i don't know what to do and i'm not letting you in and it reverts to the six block system. it's responsible for 30 to 40% of our failed entries. this is the control center. it has our trains functioning normally in the system. the key reasons for some poor train control system performance. having gone to a number of other systems around the world and understanding what are the systems. our sister city vancouver and lon dor are using the same talas
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as we are. bart doesn't have these problems. a lot of other subway system don't have these problems. a main reason is the design of our system. most metro systems are entering their train control system once per day at the yard and they leave once per day at the yard. they enter and they're in the system and communicating and they return to the yard and it's done. we have each train enters and leaves every time on its run. so it has to do that handshake multiple times so if you think that -- if you are the train control vendor and you have a 1% failure rate, that might be acceptable if you are doing this once a day but if it's 10, 11, 30 times a day then you can see where 1% might not be acceptable for a system of art design. the other issue is the system is old so i highlighted it was designed in the 80s and rolled out in the 90s and we're getting memorandums that say that the system are obsolete in different components so we're getting more failures as time
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goes on. we have ridged infrastructure. one of the key issues that came up in february was we had two complete computer failures for the central computer. when it happens, the computers, the time it takes to reboot the center computer it's about five to 15 minutes and it's not that terrific of a delay when you think about how big what we're talking about is but it took two and a half to three hours for us to recover all of the trains into the system because in order, when the system came up and said i'm ready you have to
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it took us two and a half to three hours to communication again and after that we had a six to seven hour residual delay as a result of that. i want to highlight the impact caused wasn't necessarily the computer needed to be booted back up it was a loss of communication that was the hardest thing to recover from. the last one congestion and i talked about that. these graphs going to the presentation you heard on metrics. this is what we're using to see whether the service and subway is doing well or poorly. so, variability what you are seeing across the bottom is the number of minutes of delay so the time and then across the y axis, you are seeing the percentage of trains that are experiencing that travel time. so you want to see a spike at like 20 minutes or 15 minutes and this is end-to-end travel time on the knl from westportal to embarcadero so you want to see a spike at 20 minutes or 18
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minutes and it's a high reliable system. it's indicating there's highly variable travel times and it's telling you when you show up for the k.l.m. you could experience a travel time from 19 to the gray is the scheduled so this is just a number of trains that we're scheduling to a arrive at embarcadero and i mentioned the speaks it's about 40 in the morning and it's 42 in the afternoon and and then on a typical day that blue-line is basically how many trains were able to deliver on a tip day and you can see it's short of that and it's around 35 to 34 so so
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the goal is to mirror each other those precisely so that's speaking to the fact that the number of trains that were scheduling to deliver those trains to embarcadero. this is detailed but it's worth it. it shows the impact of a non communicating trained this is tracking the trains through the system so at the top is embarcadero and bat the bottom and time marchs onto the right. most trains are proceed north a diagonal pattern and they flatten out to stop and they go to another pattern as they speed back up and head through the tunnel. if you see an area where there's
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a train is moving forward so that's what we want to avoid. so in this graph, we're showing the nct, the non communicating trains. a strain that failed or lost communication because of the positioning error that i mentioned, is it was held to increase that spacing and basically they were brought in anyway through the automatic mode and they were backed up wound up at van ness where you can see that area those the delay and also the cueing that resulted as a result of that single non communicating train and even though the non communicating train recovered at one of the reentry points at van ness. this happens about eight to 10 times a day. this aversion of this happens.
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sometimes it's better or worse and what time of day it is but essentially what i want to illustrate with this graph is the impact of a single non communicating train is devastating to the service and it takes. >> i want to high lie one of the things we're looking at or what we've done is moved the service management over to its given us more tools to focus on service management and we did a converted effort where we put p.c.o.s in the intersection to help reduce the cueing that occurs as trains are waiting to exit and that had positive
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effects but it's an cater that we can't have people out in the intersection forever so some sort of there would work well to move traffic and allocate priorities and we're getting better on classifying the causes as you can see to specific points of failure and then trying to attribute those in real time and communicating those with passengers so they know this is a long delay or a short delay because it's delayed due to a vehicle breakdown it's a long wait. a train control failure we have a rough idea this is where you hear that slow-moving traffic messages that is that's where
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you get the slow-moving message. >> how is that message delivered and to whom? >> the slow-moving message is delivered over the subway science and announcements to the stations. >> >> it says excuse us but we're experiencing slow-moving traffic in the inbound direction. >> the trains are cued up behind it. >> >> so,. >> the next few years, we are going to activate the westportal cross over and come along with a three-car shuttle between embarcadero and much of director hine a key. >>
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>> we're going to look -- i mentioned before my team isn't done with the analysis and we'll look at subway congest one which is a little bit more pernicious to bring out but if we can highlight the causes, we already know where we're looking. we're looking at van ness and embarcadero and we're looking at westportal and those are the places and we're going to try to attribute of what the causes are and what we can do with the schedule and in terms of spacing and in terms of lines to help alleviate that so we can allocate the trains. stay tuned for those recommendations. we're going to continue an extended maintenance program on the train control assets so that we're keeping them in the best state that we can. we're going to increase on the field supervision throughout the rail because when we targeted those efforts that it has had immediate benefits. we're recommending a 10 year
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upgrade expansion of the train control system and that essentially is a project that will both replace the existing subway and expand the train control area of authority to the entire muni metro system and the way it works is the trains would be in communication but they would still be driving the trains but we'll get improved visibility in the control center for trains that are out not on the third street corridor. the train control will also be able to communicate with traffic signals to better out date priority. it will also achieve that holy grail that the trains will enter at the yard and the green mme they'll maintain communication and there won't be some weird transition between the surface and the subway and they'll be in the same system the entire time. the trains will have expanded
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are the authority as they do to them. we expect that will reduce subway delays between 20 and 25%. the improved maintain ability is a big factor here. the loop cable and the axel counties are obsolete and we have wifi that we can use for communication. they're commercial off the shelf setechnology. they don't increase the burden on our maintenance staff. there are additional concerns. it's not as simple as i'm making it out but it's the standard for monitor cbtc in places like london and new york where they're using basically wireless access points along the right-of-way and the train is communicating with those instead of a loop or with some other means. ex it also means that we can attack some of the causes of delays and congestion.
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bunching in gaps earlier. a lot of the analysis that we've seen so far has indicated that if we were able to do a smaller intervention further out on the line in a better spacing, so by the time the trains get on the end, they get to the portal they're not stacked up five deep waiting to enter which there's not a lot the control center can do. if they were nipped in the bud back at sunset boulevard or at ninth and juda or something liar that wlikethat we could manage a more appropriate manner. so these are some of the technologies that come along. i mentioned wireless communication. also i mentioned tying in the isolated traffic signals and switches so those would be able to controlled centrally and managed centrally and prioritized centrally. it replaces our computers with the latest technology and allows us central control to have more tools to manage bunches and
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gaps. we've seen other cities is that the automatic trinket runs the train and tells the trains you need to dwell three seconds longer to maintain your spacing or go 22 miles per hour instead of 25 miles per hour to maintain your spacing and those things are either communicated to the driver on the surface or they're just done automatically by the train if it's on the subway. a quick slide showing the intended phasing of the project. we want to look hat doing the test phase on the surface so that would be along the embarcadero and towards mission bay. and including the entry to central subway. the reason for that is that we're -- we would be implementing the system on the surface allowing us to do tests without going into the subway and initiate a complex resignalling project with technology that we're not familiar with yet.
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we're going to install it on the surface, install the central components and all the components and test it on an area where -- [please stand by]
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it's crazy to try to rent single car trains. doing that could have a 20+
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minute delay in the subway. lo and behold, that's what we got. first it's good to try the handshake as early as you can in the system, but another weapon. inroute coupling. they said they couldn't do it in the early 80s, but i'm told by your maintenance people you can couple old cars to new cars. the advantage of inroute coupling, you get longer trains and period of time between the train. there is no one else in the world who runs 40 trains an hour on the same track. i mean, it doesn't work. and you also should note on weekends when you're only running 30 cars, the system doesn't have problems. it runs nice. if we can get down 32, 34, the
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whole system can work better. i even go before 78, i used to get on a streetcar in market street. you do that three times and you got home in a reasonable time. we can do that with automation and controls and everybody has a better ride with less bunching and delay. hopefully, that can happen. >> any other public comment on this item? seeing none, public comment is closed. directors, this is an information item. but it's also an item on which we can provide direction. so are there questions or comments for staff? >> i have a question. i know i've heard this report before. i know we do the double berthing of trains and i was wondering if
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it's because the train control system -- i thought the best advantage would be the train didn't stop twice in the same spot, stop once. does the control system not allow that to happen? we'd have to redirect passengers, the second or the first, but is our system limited? >> yeah. one of the things that we've been cautioned by some of our consultants is over customization of the product. double-stopping is a customization we have asked for and they have delivered. it's not typically used at other properties. the way they enforce it, the train must always stop at the lead berth. so regardless of whether it performs a stop at the second berth or not, it always has a stop. so what we determined, because of the queueing, it doesn't hurt anything because the trains are
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in queue anyway. frustrated passengers, it lets them get off at powell. it's a customer frustration safety valve. but in terms of operating efficiently, it doesn't play one way or another. >> i thought if you could keep the trains going and have a new one, there would be a relief? >> the reason it's double berthed is because there is another train in the lead berth. it's speeding up to get into another queue. when that came about, i'll give you the history, it was because the queueing was causing a line that either embarcadero -- excuse me, montgomery and powell. and you had angry customers so close to being able to get off the train, we figured if we did double berthing it would relieve that. it's not anywhere close to a panacea, but an escape valve for passenger satisfaction.
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were you done? >> yes. >> i clearly enjoyed your presentation. you're a man who loves your work. that's easy to see. the question is the length of the procurement. so you're starting this year and 10-year procurement is by year 10 you'll have the whole thing installed. >> it's a 25-year. >> so it's a long span of time. and during that time, presumably, there is going to be a lot of advance in the field of automated vehicles, whether it's trains or buses or cars or whatever. the default operating mode, right, is that when the trains are in the subway, they're automated. when they leave the subway they're not. and sometimes they're not automated in the subway either
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when you have trouble. is that accurate? >> correct. >> so i guess my question just to focus it is about when the trains leave the subway. what you represented today, they would continue to operate as they do in manual mode, but there would be advantage to the system of having them tracked and surveiled. but what about a system that would be able to operate in automated mode outside the subway and during that period of time, you know, what thought have you given to that? i'm sure you have. it probably keeps you up at night. because how do you build into a contract the ability to deal with an advance you want to take advantage of instead of being stuck with three generations' ago technology? >> that is an excellent question, director. one of the things that i took upon myself when i embarked on this journey was to be the last
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train control project manager. because in the contract, we need to stipulate that the vendor provide us with updates on a regular basis. that wasn't done with the previous system. and meanwhile i've been to their conferences and the vendor has updated their product and they have new and great things they'd love to sell us. we price that in and include that in maintenance support. 10 years down the line, there isn't another version of me giving another update on how we need to replace it. but we're maintaining it. they're on generation 5 i think and we're on generation 2. and they're rolling out g7.
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you know, as the new and exciting thing. we want to keep pace with the investments. whether itthem or another servi provider. the state of the art right now, the groundwork we're laying with the system, it will be capable of autonomous. we would have to do upgrades. things you've heard about with autonomous vehicles, light r., that is the main problem they have to solve for operating on the street. sensing all the pedestrians, bicycles, but it would be capable of that if the technology matures. we don't want to be the guinea pigs. we want service proven. so we want to be one step behind the leading edge so we're getting all of the benefits, but
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none of the pain hopefully. so that's the course that i'm intending to steer us down. >> well, nice segue, because the suggestion relates to that. and that is how you're going to proceed with the procurement. i do know that bart is well into one, if they haven't already signed a contract. do you have the ability to invite them to sit on our interview panel so that you can learn from each other, because they're going to go through mistakes? >> absolutely. and we absolutely will. we're also using their consultants, so it's the same consultants for bart and us. we're going to conduct a little different, but we're learning from what they did. specifically we think our process is a little more streamlined. theirs took two or three years just to get to ndp. i don't know if they're there yet. so we're going to streamline that. we want to streamline that
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because we're a smaller system, a little less complex, but at the same time we're going to learn from them. >> thank you. >> very good. >> i just want to comment on one thing before anyone gets too excited about automated trains in san francisco, i would like to point out that the sfmta has one of the strongest safety records in the united states because we have the most skilled operators who are using judgment every minute of every day in order to ensure a safe environment. and the extraordinarily complex and insane streets of san francisco. so while i am interested in technology and automation, i want to make sure we're not the beta test site and we can continue to rely upon our extraordinarily talented crew. >> yes, and it's not just safe for the people outside the train, the conductor or operator provides a huge safety benefit for people inside the train as someone monitoring and in charge of the train. i think it's very important to
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be clear, there are no plans to move to automated vehicles in the l.r.v. at a time when we're having difficulties hiring folks and want to provide people a rewarding and long-term career. i want people to understand if you come to muni now to become an operator, we have every intention of making it a career for you and not replacing you with a robot or computer. >> i was just wondering if other than -- i understand the timeline for the train control, but i'm wondering if other lessons we're learning from the current operations and some of the kind of challenges we're facing, if we're incorporating that into our operations for a central subway. because based on the phasing, we're not going to see this new control system in place. it's going to open with the old
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system, right? >> correct. >> i know it's a different tunnel so there are different issues there. >> yes, central subway has its own unique challenges, mostly related to how many trains the physical subway is capable of running. so a train-control system, the advanced state-of-the-art system won't depend on the capacity of the subway itself, due to the limitations. that's why we're targeting the embarcadero, 4th and king and the 3rd street corridor first. it will allow the control center to space out the trains on approach to central subway so they're not bunched at the portal. that's the main benefit we're going to see. we're not going to meet the central subway opening but try to follow what the first phase sort shortly thereafter to provide the benefits. >> i enjoyed this presentation
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and to the extent we can make some version of this available more to the public, beyond those watching or here in the room, that would be useful. because there is a lot of us train nerds out there. this is great. >> so thank you for an excellent presentation. really well done as you know. personally, this is sort of a passion of mine. it's always helpful when, not just the problems, but the causes of the problems are broken down. i thought the way you did it with the acute versus chronic is helpful and i want to focus on the chronic. we've been prxt -- let's start with west portal. could you give me the date that we'll activate shuttles? do we have that date yet? season, i'll take a season. >> fall, 2020.
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>> wonderful okay. and let me give a little history. i want to get to the next thing i'm going to grill you on. when we did the twin peaks tunnel reconstruction and i said i'll approve this if the crossover is put in, it's precisely the reasons you've been talking about today. street congestion, subway congestion and handshake. three of the major problems of chronic delay. that crossover in my view solves all three of those problems. number one, you don't have a train that has to have a handshake. number, two, you've taken out the street congestion. and number three, taken out subway congestion because you don't have trains blocked up. three problems solved with one crossover. julie knows what i'm going to say next. the jay church contributes to two problems. one, subway congestion.
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you have another subway car in the subway and it's particularly problematic from a subway congestion standpoint because it turns in the project. so, we're looking at fall 2020 for the west portal crossover. i'm not going as extreme as saying what if we had the l and m stop and not even come in, because i'm hopeful we can fix the handshake problems, but i am going to say if we can't fix it, having a shuttle service in the subway. i'm not there yet. but let's talk about jay church. is there any reason that we shouldn't proceed as soon as we can with the jay church not going into the subway for the very reasons that we're talking about. to eliminate subway congestion
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and eliminate handshake problems. >> i'm going to let my directors answer that one. >> we think it's really promising to look at surface j that is more reliable for the jay customers and has the subway benefits. it is linked to activating the crossover because we want to make sure if we're asking customers to make a transfer we have the capacity to absorb them. >> when you say activating the crossover, you mean the crossover at church street? >> no, the malcolm heinicke. >> explain the connection. >> by being able to run a three-car shut until the subway, i can say with confidence that somebody going down church street will be able to get on the train. >> so i have baked that into the question. but i agree with you, that once
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we've made the subway service more reliable, so someone that gets off at jay is not going to be one of those people i pass from forest hill to church. director tumlin. once we solve that problem, which is around fall 20. why wouldn't we start now? planning that change with the jay, it's not like in fall 2020, you can snap your fingers and it will happen. particulate of this is being -- part of this is being on each other. you have a market street closure and let's look at the next street. so we are improving subway service with the crossover, why not plan now? >> we are. so the last piece of it, now we're doing the nitty gritty planning of making sure that at the intersection of market and church we can manage both the
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accessibility concerns as well as the volume of full train worth of people getting off the train and getting safely to the subway. so that is sort of the last piece before we start sharing the proposals publicly and getting input and finding out is this really the right fix or the wrong fix? we're doing the site design analysis at church and market on the surface as our last unknown question. >> and would that effort allow for timing that if this proofs to be -- proves to be popular or the general conclusion is this is something that should be done, would your current time line allow implementation in say winter of 2020 for the jay church? >> yes. >> great. so then my final question is a technical one about the handshake. i've tried to understand this. i've walked the tunnel, looked at the wires, i think i've got
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it but want to make sure. let's take the van ness entry point. the handshake is done sort of as the train is coming down the incline there, correct? >> yes. >> it fails, it goes to manual and it's not until van ness that it can re-pick up again, is that correct? >> correct. >> so in that period where it's running in manual as you explained well, the rest of the system, the rest of the subway is effected? >> correct, it's held back. >> so why not have two recognition points at the debows portal. i'm thinking in my head, the 14-year-old boy i am, if the pilot misses the third wire, there is still the second and the first for he or she to catch and stay on. so why are we waiting until van ness to have a second recognition point. why not have two recognition
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points there in case the first one fail as soon as >> simple answer is space. the recognition point needs to be large enough to accommodate two, or three-car train and have to resolve that ambiguity. if we make them closer together, we might only allow one-car train. there is a space constraint in the portal, you don't want it hanging over the intersection and you don't want it obstructing the switch when it reaches the subway. >> do embarcadero entry points and west portal have the same space constraint? >> west portal definitely does because it's at the platform and you can't back that up. >> i'm actually thinking -- i'll stop because i realize this is mundane and people are falling asleep. art said yes and snored in my ear. i was thinking the other way.
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but we can have that conversation offline. i'm wondering if we could have the people looking at that to see in is a quicker way for that second recognition. >> we have looked into trying to get the train to have a second chance your not wrong. this is incredibly complex nut to crack. we found that the causes of failed entry maddeningly are not attributable to one single thing. there are three to seven things and there are three in equal parts. one is the position. there is something wrong with the accelerometer, the tack om ter on the train and it's not saying where the train says it is. the train says i'm here, the system says, no, you're not, you're here, so the train system gives up and says you can't
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enter. it's not a communication system, per se, the control commission says, you're crazy, i'm not going to talk to you. the second is i lost communication. 30%. and the other is the magic factor but it has to do with the slope of the entry. the speed at which the operator is driving the train in and the acceleration and deceleration of the train because all of those play a role in slipping and sliding. it's worse in wet weather. it's another instance where it creates the positional error and it gets rejected. so again, new systems they don't do this at all. that's why we're looking in that direction. what we have looked at, in two out of the three issues, the train is actually communicating, it's just that it disagrees with
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the system. so there is not anything wrong with the link, it's just that they're able to -- they just don't agree, so can you just let the train in with the higher factor of safety and then give it another chance on the other end? so far, they've said no. but we're working that issue and trying to give the train multiple chances to enter because it's such a problem for us. it's something we're still exploring. >> thank you. what you do excites you and it's technical, but this has a real-world implication. kids get to school on it time, people get to work earlier, there are fewer pollutants. everything you're doing contributes to that. keep it up and thank you for your passion and i look forward to hearing from you the next time. >> thank you. i experience it every day myself. >> i'm sorry. one more question.
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>> maybe more for -- so for the jay idea of moving it back, you referenced kind of looking long-term planning wise at accessibility of getting those from the jay down into the subway. i'm wondering, that's a place where we have nonredundant elevators, correct? >> i believe so. >> i would encourage when you're doing budgeting to look at -- i know elevators are hugely expensive, but if we're going to do that, i think we should start planning now for getting redo redone -- redundancy. >> the other option is, if and when we experience an elevator failure, we can make the decision to send the train into the subway. we're not through this -- through this effort, we're not prohibiting the movement, we're just not doing it on daily
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basis. >> very good. >> item 14, presentation and discussion regarding the legal responsibilities of the sfmta. >> good afternoon, directors, deputy city attorney. in consultation with the board secretary we decided to do the annual legal training which is required financial and legal training required under the charter, to do it today to save room on your workshop day to dive deeper into the budget. so i'm sure, director heinicke, will be extremely excited this is his last legal training after many. so i've divided this training this year into two parts. the first will be the role of the sfmta board and board members under the charter. and the secretary is update on
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sunshine and -- second is update on sunshine and public records issues. as you know, the sfmta board has exclusive authority under section 8a, which is unusual and broad. adopted by the voters under prop e and prop a. so you're pretty well aware of this broad list of issues that you have exclusive jurisdiction over. i won't go through them all. however, the exclusive jurisdiction is -- has some charter limitations. and two examples that come into play quite often are that the agency does need to comply with ordinances of general application passed by the board of supervisors. so this generally means that the board of supervisors cannot adopt legislation that dictates administrative matters that are specific to the sfmta and that
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would affect your core functions under the charter. but to the extent where board legislation requires general things of all city departments, then the mta generally must follow those ordinances, especially where it does not implicate your core function. where board legislation requires permits and approval from other city departments, the mta does not need to get the approval of the other city departments, but it does need to meet the specific standards of the ordinance. and very often, the director of transportation can determine the compliance with those standards. so for example, if some ordinances allow for waivers, and those waivers must be granted by a different department, but for the sfmta, the waiver could be granted by the director of transportation. a second area where the charter
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is limited came up in prop a. but was not actually effectuated until 2018. so the charter allowed kind of two areas in parking and traffic modifications where the board of supervisors would be able to adopt ordinances that would allow them to review certain of your decisions. the board did not adopt that until 2018. that legislation has been in effect since 2018. you'll see when reading agenda items there are certain issues that could be reviewed by the board of supervisors. interestingly, to date, none of your decisions have been reviewed by the board of supervisors. a member of the public who wants to request review would need to get concurrence by five members of the board of supervisors to get review. some things they can take review of are installing or removing
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stop signs, adopting limitations on parking time limits. and then creating or modifying private transportation programs. and private transportation programs include such things as the prior legislation permitting chariot to operate. the board does not have currently review of large infrastructure projects, implementation of bike lanes, or towing away and stopping any time issues. so that's something that is out there. again, it has not been used to date. but something we might see in the future. within the -- so within the charter, it's interesting, the charter doesn't differentiate between the mta board and the
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director. but the board does have the specific roles, provides policy direction, appoints, removes the director, improves settlements, recommended by our office. approved rates, fees charges. something i didn't put on this list is also probably one of your primary duties is legislating parking and traffic changes. which is a pretty unique power of any other board or commission in the city to have that legislative function. obviously, you approve contracts and collective bargaining agreements. and you can inquire, you have the power of inquiry. so one of the issues that the charter sets up is the relationship between the board and the director of transportation. so the mta board and individual members can seek information
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from the member from mta operations and with permission, can seek information from staff. but there is concept about administrative interference and designated as official misconduct. so over time, i think there has been a balancing between the board and the director and over time, that relationship has evolved. so obviously now you have a new director. so it's prudent to check with him about how he wants to manage this relationship and checking in directly with staff over time. we don't need to do that now. but i think each director has their own protocol. as to how that goes. so, the administrative interference prohibition does not affect your full power of
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hearing inquiry. so you can call any mta officer or employ before the board to answer questions regarding operations. so another charter authority again very unique within the city is the authority over the budget. i think you're all pretty well aware of the authority. you have the authority to adopt a two year budget. it can only be disapproved by the board. they cannot modify -- they don't have the power to approve it and they need a 7-11 vote to disapprove the budget. so it does not go through the normal department process, through the mayor's office and the majority vote at the board like other city departments. there are a few other points on the slide. your policy direction, you set policy for the agency consistent with city legislation and you
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give direction to staff again through the director of transportation. the board can require the director to obtain board approval of specific actions. at your last meeting you did that, you updated that through the delegation authority for contracting, but there are other places where you can set limits as well. an issue that comes up with other boards and commissions as well as here is that you must act as a body and make decisions as a body, as individuals you don't have any powers of the board. you can act only at a noticed meeting and attended by a quorum. so often it comes up if there is any special authority of the chair or the vice chair, and having recently chaired a board,
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my son asked me the same question. what do you get? i explained it. he said you get to decide if the super boring stuff comes before the really boring stuff? so essentially gets to set the agenda. >> i will not tell you what category we put you in. >> yeah, here i am, between you and the end of the day. i know. you know. charter mandates, what can i say? the super boring stuff at the end. anyway, the board has a chair and vice chair annually. the chair appoints any and all committees of the board. and vice chair presides when the chair is absent. then kind of not from a legal perspective but a functional perspective, the chair and vice chair are in contact with the secretary in terms of functioning between meetings. so i'm as you know, san
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francisco has an even more aggressive or more sunshine policy than the state law. so the right of the people to know what their government and those acing on their -- acting on their behalf is doing. and that's fundamental to the city. so that plays out in a number of different ways. and you know, i mean roberta can testify to this, but we get a huge number of public records requests every year. and it's a big time thing for our office and staff. public records include any writing relating to the public's business, prepared, used or retained by any state or local agency. i think we've talked about this in the past, but there is a number of exemptions, including
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attorney general-client communication, trade secrets. it's probably more of a caution for staff, but also for you, sending something to our office or copying our office does not necessarily exempt it from the public records act. it needs to be legal advice. so sending something and just asking for cover does not protect it. the sunshine laws and public record laws are gradually catching up with technology. the laws have been expanded to include e-mail attachments, text messages, tweets. we just telling the director, we got a public records request today for twitter accounts of the agency, but also all
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department heads in the city. so those types of accounts can also contain public records. >> can't they find it on the twitter. why do we have to give that to them? >> so, yes, the tweets themselves of both the agency and the department heads would be in the public realm, but finding out if you've blocked anyone or if you have private -- i don't know what they're called on twitter -- private -- direct messages, that wouldn't be obviously seen from anyone may also be -- yes. depending, again -- so this kind of goes to the next thing with the city of san jose case which did say, if you're using a personal account to communicate with the conduct of the public business, the writing can be subject to disclosure under the
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public record act. there is a couple of different points with this. and they can't avoid disclosure just by using a personal electronic device, but it is point number two, only communications that relate to the conduct of the public's business or records. so if someone private messages you about what time you're going to meet with them for something fun, that obviously is not subject to disclosure, but if you're being private messaged in response to a post about a breakdown in the subway, yes, that could potentially be -- and you respond, that could potentially be subject to disclosure. and you would be required to search your public -- your personal devices in response. the existing exemptions from disclosure apply to your personal devices.
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and existing record retention policies apply to communications made using personal electronic devices. so whatever you would be required to keep under the retention policy, you're to keep on your personal device or transfer it to a government device. >> i have a question related to that. like i don't -- i get a new phone. my former text messages disappear. it's not like i deleted them. is that unreasonable? i can't provide text message was my old phone. i mean -- >> so it's probably the board secretary might want to update the board at some point on records retention. messages about setting up meetings and things like that are probably not required to be retained to the extent that you're having a substantive exchange and that had a two-year record retention policy, then
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there might be obligation to retain it. >> the concern is, i never thought about it, and i don't think that really applies, people don't typically keep their text messages for years. >> the main point is text messages aren't any different from a writing than an e-mail, piece of paper or any other document. the form of text message is short and you know often not substantive, so it may be less likely to need to be retained, but if it is substantive and would need be to retained under the board record policies, which is two years, then would you need to retaken it for two years. there is a lot of practical problems with that. how do you do that? >> there is no way to really do that. >> i mean one of the -- i have a few -- actually i think the next
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slide -- >> two years, are you referring to the city of san francisco? >> retention policy for any records that is defined as a record is two years. >> for us, it's 30 days. >> so each agency has a record retention policy and it has different record retention policies for different types of documents. so for the board's correspondence, it's two years. is that correct? okay. so i think kind of good e-mail and document etiquette. one of the best ways to kind of comply or be succinct and clear and keep one e-mail account that has all of your professional city-related correspondence. and then you don't have to worry
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about whether something is on a text or a tweet or this or that. you know where it is. you can always forward something you think might be important to that account so it's documented. copy and paste it. so you don't have anything on either your personal account or other work account so that if we have litigation or sunshine requests, you know, we've had some issues with that this year. it's just been easier, less burdensome way. >> i guess the question there, though, in the instance of sometimes people contact you at your work e-mail and it's not the e-mail you gave them. so like practically, how do you -- how does that work? >> i think good practice to have one account that you designate as your city account that can be a gmail account or any other -- >> i do. >> but when you get an e-mail, you reply and copy from your
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work or personal e-mail, you copy that account and then it's in there and you can delete it from your personal account. i mean, that's one practical way to do it. so there is a couple of don'ts. don't mix work and personal-related e-mails and texts. probably more common with staff, but putting personal thoughts or frustrations into e-mails often get us in trouble or can be embarrassing. and specific to the director not replying with other directors. and this is little avoid this. this has been one of the overload of paper and documents that our office and mta staff have to review in ponce to litigation and sunshine requests has been really overwhelming.
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and part of that is inevitable in the course of business, but whatever people can do to reduce that. in conclusion, remember the sunshine act. pause before sending long or contentious e-mails or texts and replying all, be careful about that. and definitely don't reply all with other directors. good e-mail and document management etiquette as we discussed, possibly having one particular e-mail account you use only for city business. and then obviously anytime you have questions or concerns, reach out to us. so thank you for taking the time. as always, every year for this very exciting presentation. >> i will miss it. >> i am sure you will. >> just for the record, no member of the public has indicated they would like to address you on this topic.
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>> very good. okay. >> and the good news, we have no -- >> that takes us to the end of the day, is that correct? >> that concludes the business for before you today. >> and mr. tumlin is still in his chair which is a success. welcome. we are adjourned.
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>> welcome to the board of supervisors. madam clerk, will you please call the role. (role call)


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