While the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency's politically intimidated leaders have allowed public transit funds to be used as Mayor Gavin Newsom's personal piggy bank, the city's other major transportation agency has been quietly advancing plans to improve traffic flow and make drivers pay their full costs (thus encouraging alternative forms of transportation such as bikes and Muni).
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority -- which administers transportation projects for the city and is governed essentially by the Board of Supervisors, albeit with Sup. Jake McGoldrick as chair and Sup. Bevan Dufty as vice chair -- held a quarterly press breakfast this morning. McGoldrick, Executive Director Jose Luis Moscovich, and SFTA staffers detailed the agency's progress on Bus Rapid Transit plans for Geary Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue (which would decrease transit travel times by 30 percent), $20 million worth of signal upgrades and pedestrian improvements along dangerous 19th Avenue, and congestion pricing initiatives that will be coming forward this summer.
"We are at a very important moment in terms of national transportation policy," Moscovich warned, describing ongoing efforts in Washington D.C. to set new standards for how federal transportation funds get allocated over the next 30 years. Are you listening, Mr. Mayor? It's time to stop playing games and start working with other city leaders and our congressional delegation to build a 21st century transportation system for San Francisco.