Thursday, May 28, 2009

San Francisco Department of Public Works Director Ed Reiskin Talks with BOMA Members

Ken Cleaveland, BOMA San Francisco's Director of Government and Public Affairs; Ed Reiskin, Director, SFDPW.

Ed Reiskin, Director of the San Francisco Department of Public Works, spoke with the members of BOMA San Francisco's PAC today about the Road Repair and Safety Improvements Bond that will be before the San Francisco electorate in November. A fact sheet for the bond proposal can be found here. Specifically, the bond proposal, if passed, will include:

  • Street Repair and Rehabilitation ($209 million) to repair, reconstruct and perform preventative maintenance on approximately 1,692 street segments. These funds will be used to increase the average Pavement Condition Index (PCI)--70 is the minimum passing grade--which is currently at 64, to 67 in 5 years and 69 in 10 years. Note: $40 million is the amount spent annually by the city for street repairs from the general fund;
  • Streetscape Improvements ($93 million) to implement approximately 65 streetscape improvement projects citywide. Streetscape projects will be chosen using a defined prioritization criteria. Projects that stem from current area plans or other community plans will be prioritized;
  • Street Structures Repair and Replacement ($24.9 million) to repair and improve aging street infrastructure including bridges, guardrails, tunnels, viaducts, retaining walls and stairways;
  • ADA Curb Ramp Installation and Construction ($30.6 million) to construct and install approximately 4,426 curb ramps citywide;
  • Sidewalk Repair (~$10.1 million) to repair and improve 1.1 million square feet of city owned damaged sidewalk;
  • Bond Oversight ($ 0.3 million) for bond oversight and accountability.
  • Possible Addition: Undergrounding of Utilities ($20 million) is not formally part of the bond. Supervisor Bevan Dufty has proposed that the undergrounding of utilities be added, which will increase the bond amount to $388 million.

The proposed bond measure will have a 20 year maturity--which is also the length of road service life--for 5 years of street improvements. The bond is necessary, according to Mr. Reiskin, as funds allocated from the City's General Fund for street improvements will be exhausted by the end of the fiscal year. There are no future funding prospects, and competition from other city departments for general fund dollars in future will be fierce.

Other issues include:
  • An auxiliary benefit of the bond will be job stimulus. Indeed, street resurfacing will play a big role in increasing the number of people put to work if the bond passes.
  • The bond complies with the policy of the Ten-Year Capital Plan. The Capital Plan recommends general obligation bonds as old bonds retire. Thus, the Road Repair and Safety Improvements Bond will be replacing retired debt.
  • The majority of the work will be done by private contractors.
As always, your BOMA Advocacy Team will be monitoring the Road Repair and Safety Improvements Bond and will post any new developments on the blog.

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