Public Transit and Public Infrastructure
District 10 has the highest low-income and working-class population in the city, yet we lack both the robust public transit system and basic bike-riding infrastructure present in wealthier districts. It is a reality that the ability to get from point A to point B throughout the day can determine our ability to earn a decent living, get an education, and get our kids to school, so access to reliable public transportation is critical to supporting our families. District 10 residents should be able to move around the city in a reasonable amount of time.
The SFMTA tries to do robust community outreach to neighborhoods with proposed transit changes, but they often ignore the southeastern neighborhoods. Monolingual communities are also not involved in the decision-making process because the SFMTA lacks staffing that can conduct outreach in the communities’ respective language. The result is that our eastern neighborhoods have experienced the highest growth, but our public infrastructure, including public transportation, has not kept up with the population expansion. I believe it is critical that San Francisco’s roads, transit system, and other vital infrastructure expand as housing units are added. It does the City little good to grow our population without simultaneously making changes to accommodate those residents comfortably, and I believe this can be achieved while also addressing any concerns of existing residents. I plan to serve on transportation boards and work closely with our leaders in transportation throughout my tenure as Supervisor. I will connect the SFMTA with community organizations in District 10 so that our voices will be heard and prioritized, as well as fund in-department positions that provide culturally competent and language accessible services.
I will also continue to work directly with the leadership of SFMTA to bring reliable and accessible transportation to District 10 residents by implementing rapid bus lines, creating efficient connections from east to west neighborhoods, expanding/improving the T-Line, and eliminating the practice of switchbacks. I am very interested in exploring the potential of putting the T-Line underground, which would open up additional space along the 3rd Street corridor for bike lanes and alternative transit options. I recognize that some of these ideas involve long-term investments, however, I believe that San Francisco will simply not succeed in becoming a Transit First City until more attention and resources are put into providing public and alternative transit options for the residents of District 10.
To fund all these projects, I will first ensure that the funds approved by voters in 2014 and 2016 are used to maintain core infrastructure, enhance existing networks, and expand to accommodate growth in the southeast. This funding should be supplemented by revising the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan so it covers all District 10 neighborhoods and requires developers to pay a Transportation Sustainability Fee as a condition of building here (see my proposals for the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan here). If we couple this funding with adequate planning, such as including inflation and increased construction costs in bid projections to avoid cost overruns and inaccurate estimates, we can avoid missing deadlines and inaccurate cost estimates in future projects.
Improving Biking Infrastructure
Given the lack of reliable public transportation options within District 10, I strongly support the expansion of bike-sharing into the area. However, District 10 currently lacks the bike-riding infrastructure present in wealthier parts of the City. That is why there needs to be concerted effort to improve the condition of streets throughout the district to ensure that these services do not negatively impact progress towards San Francisco’s Vision Zero goal.
Any expansion of bike share companies into District 10 must be accompanied by improving our pavement conditions and overall bike safety, as well as jobs programs and opportunities for residents to benefit from the presence of bike share companies. I have collaborated with the SF Bike Coalition to bring safer bike routes to District 10 in the past, and, as Supervisor, I would be interested in expanding this partnership to address this issue. The expansion of responsible bike share companies into our District is a welcome step towards increasing the mobility of District 10 residents, but we must take steps to ensure the additional bikers and pedestrians it creates will reach their destinations rather than end up in emergency rooms.
Collaborated with the SF Bicycle Coalition to provide community bike repair services for residents in District 10 so bikes can remain functional and ready for the road.
Collaborated with the Bike Coalition to give away bikes to young people in the district, promote alternative transportation options, and provide opportunitie for low-income youth to have their very own bicycles.
Worked with City leaders to ensure that the “Safe Routes to School (SRTS)” program maintained adequate levels of funding and fought against proposed reductions to the SFTS programming.