Geary BRT Lawsuit: What the City’s administrative record database revealed

Surprise, surprise….

Re: Geary BRT Lawsuit: What the City’s administrative record database revealed<>

Dear Neighbors, I was asked by longtime Richmond District Resident, Bob Starzel and another neighbor to post this message for community review. For those of you who are following the GearyBRT Lawsuit, you may find this documentation of interest. Best, Antonio --------------------------- Dear Fellow Richmond District Residents, The Opening Brief filed with the Court last week exposes the City’s errors in approving the Geary BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) project and can be read on<>. To get there our volunteer team had to pick through over 300,000 electronic pages the City presented as the administrative record. We found outright cheating, manipulating data, a failure to consider the growing impact of ride-hailing services (now a preeminent feature of traffic), a rush to the vote before new supervisor Sandra Fewer could be seated, and collusion to fix the vote before the public session. Remember the planners asserted goals of improving ride times and attracting more users to buses. They separated the project into two phases: Phase I from Gough to Stanyan/Palm required red lanes for buses-only at all times, while Phase II went on to 28th Avenue removing the present median and its 156 trees to replace it with two bus-only lanes with stops for loading and unloading. The stops would be farther apart cutting transit time but increasing travel time because riders have to walk farther to bus stops. There would also be far fewer left turn lanes and somewhat reduced parking. The first segment would cost $68 million but had more of the ridership. Phase II would cost $250 million with fewer riders. Other traffic would suffer because Geary would be narrowed to two vehicular lanes – fewer when considering the constant double-parking. Sensible Transit advocated trying a sequence of, well, sensible, known transit improvements such as better traffic light controls, and everything else available other than construction and red lanes. But, here’s what the City’s administrative record database revealed: · When the numbers for the BRT were not showing enough improvement to justify the huge expense, planners simply manipulated them to improve the prospects. · Even though the documents showed that the City’s transit agencies (Municipal Transportation Agency and County Transportation Agency) knew well and even used Uber, they failed to include this dramatic traffic impact in their final 1000-page EIR. · Because of their rush to have the project approved before the end of the supervisorial term, they could not complete the EIR/EIS in the manner required by the Federal Transportation Agency and thereby could not apply for $100 million from that agency - one-third of the project cost. · Their funding list in the EIR showed not only the FTA funds unavailable to them, but $30 million they anticipated from the November 2016 proposition for sales tax increase that had already failed. So, in fact, they were $130 million short of funding which they did not admit to the public and their board (Supervisors). · The documents show in seriatim contacts with and among Supervisors in advance of the January 5, 2017 special hearing and that board members reached a unanimous decision to approve before the public meeting in violation of the Brown Act. At the meeting, the only question asked was why the projected ridership time for 2035 was the same as it is today. Receiving a lame answer, Supervisor Yee retreated and sat down recognizing his concerns were futile. The vote commenced without another single question for the $300 million project. But, there’s far more. Go to<> and see the Brief for yourself. Please. While you are there, please become a member of SF Sensible Transit for just $25 if you are not one already. You are sensible, right? We need you and your voice for reasonable governance here. Any additional contribution you can make will support the legal costs for righting this imperative wrong in San Francisco. If we don’t stop these rogue agencies here, they will continue their bad practices into their next projects. Sincerely, Bob Starzel


Michael F Denny
(415) 608-0269

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