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1.   Call to Order

     Chairman Flynn called the meeting to order at 4:08 p.m.

2.   Roll Call


  • Shirley Breyer Black
  • Mike Casey
  • Wil Din
  • H. Welton Flynn
  • Michael Kasolas
  • James McCray, Jr.
  • Cleopatra Vaughns

3.   Announcement of prohibition of sound producing devices during the meeting.

Chairman Flynn announced that the ringing of and use of cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices are prohibited at the meeting.   He advised that any person responsible for the ringing or use of a cell phone, pager, or other similar sound-producing electronic devices may be removed from the meeting.

4.   Approval of Minutes

On motion to approve the minutes of the November 18, 2003 Regular Meeting: unanimously approved (Casey, Kasolas, McCray-absent).

5.  Communications

The board secretary announced that staff had requested that Item 11, establishing an Apprenticeship Program for the Third Street Project be continued.

6.  Introduction of New or Old Business by Board Members


7. Director's Report (For discussion only)

  -Special Recognition Award 

  -Muni First Quarter Service Standards

  -DPT First Quarter Service Standards

  -Ongoing Activities

Michael T. Burns, Director of Transportation is pleased to give the December Special Recognition Award to Elena Chiong with Muni's Finance Division.  Elena has been working for Muni for 4 years and for the city for 19 years and is currently responsible for accounts payable.

Elena personifies customer service, is always helpful, and keeps Muni in compliance with the city's rules for purchasing. Chairman Flynn expressed his appreciation on behalf of the board.  Ms. Chiong is pleased and honored to receive the award.  She tries to help others get what they need to do their jobs. 

Director Burns announced that Muni's HR department received 935 applications for provisional Station Agent positions in one day.  The department is currently checking those applications and setting up the interview process.  Muni is currently working with 14 fewer agents, with 7 of the 14 on leave. It will take up to 90 days to complete the process.  In the meantime, overtime is being used judiciously.

Staff will provide a status report on the FY05 budget at the January 6 meeting.  The board will discuss the FY05 budget at a high level on Jan. 20 and will examine the budget in depth in February.  The MTA is required to have budget to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors by March 1. 

DPT and Muni service plans for New Year's Eve are set.  In addition to the usual fireworks at the Embarcadero, San Francisco will host the Diamond Walnut Football Game at Pac Bell Park. 

Service will be free from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.  Several barriers will be erected for safety. 

An FTA grant is allowing all Muni employees and DPT Parking Control Officers to attend a two-hour Security Awareness Training.  Approximately 2,700 employees have already been trained.  The MTA is one of the first agencies in the country to undertake this training.  It provides valuable information that will strengthen our security program.

A few weeks ago, long-time Market St. Railway volunteer, Dave Pharr, passed away.  A memorial service was held for Dave at the Market & Duboce yard to pay tribute to Dave's years of tireless work on behalf of Muni's historic streetcar services.  Market Street Railway is establishing the Dave Pharr Memorial Fund to complete the restoration of streetcars #162 and #798.  The MTA offers condolences to his family on their loss.

Director Black was recently honored by the School District in recognition for her unique contribution to the school district.  A special plaque was placed in the broadcast room and May 13 will be known as "Shirley Breyer Black" day.

Fred Stephens, Muni General Manager, reviewed System Performance and Service Standards.  On-time performance is 67.3% system-wide.  Muni is taking steps to address this problem including increased monitoring by street inspectors.  He expects to fill the position of Deputy General Manager for Transportation this month, which will increase the focus on this priority.

Director McCray asked staff to include information about revenue projections when the budget is discussed.

Gerry Norman, Deputy Director, Department of Parking & Traffic presented their service standards. Some of the goals and measures were previously in place while others are new. 

Director Kasolas asked staff to coordinate with the police department to share data on abandoned cars and report back to the board on the progress.

Scott Ruble, Deputy Director, Parking Authority presented a proposal to expand the Performing Arts Center Garage to increase parking in the Civic Center area.  A coalition of arts organizations has asked the Authority to explore this potential as the area parking lots are at capacity.  Jim Reuben, Reuben & Alter, has been working directly with the arts organizations. Staff will return to the board early next month to ask for money to do the required studies.  These funds will be matched by the arts organizations. Director Casey asked staff to include a discussion of how this proposal is consistent with the Transit First policy when the matter is returned to the Board.

8. Citizen's Advisory Council Report

No report was given.

9.  Public Comment

Michael Samson, Coalition to Save Ocean Beach and Friends of Sutro Park, has worked with DPT regarding traffic conditions and speeding cars on Fulton.  Due to the hazardous conditions that exist at 47th and Fulton, they request a stop sign.  They have previously sent correspondence to DPT but haven't received any response.  A petition was presented to the MTA.  (Chairman Flynn asked staff to let the board know what happened to his request, as it seems to have fallen through the cracks.) 

Barry Taranto congratulated Director Black for the honor.  There needs to be better education of pedestrians and better signage on 19th Ave. The Sign Dept. isn't cooperating with the Taxi Commission.  Muni's Paratransit broker is fantastic. 

Supervisor Tony Hall spoke about the tragic and serious pedestrian accident in District 7.  Traffic congestion has reached a crisis in the western side of the city.  He appealed to the board for help to get the funds to do proper studies at specific intersections and help identify how problems can be solved.  He can't look the other way and not take action while someone else loses his or her life.  

Bob Planthold spoke about the e-mail communication system and his frustration in trying to communicate a problem in the subway to Muni.  He noted that people are bringing gas and electric scooters into the subway. 

Greg Clinton, President, Westwood Park Homeowners Association, spoke about death of a child at Plymouth and Monterey a few weeks ago.  They have been working with DPT on speeding and cut through traffic but nothing has been done because of the budget.  Because there is no money for an area-wide study and implementing traffic calming measures on one street will only make the problem worse on other streets, the neighborhood is in an appalling situation.  There are things that could be done such as better signage, flashing lights and increased crosswalk visibility.  

Danny Burkes is a Westwood Park neighbor who has consistently voiced his concerns to DPT.  His interactions have been futile and nonproductive and the neighborhood needs help to break the deadlock of inaction.  While the accident was tragic, he would like the MTA to make changes to protect the children.

Charlotte Currie stated that driver inattention can't be the cause of all incidents in that neighborhood but is more likely DPT's inattention or negligence.  They need leadership.

Ed Shiels addressed the tragedy at Plymouth and Monterey.  Their neighborhood has become a thoroughfare with speeding cars on streets designed for less traffic and smaller cars.  They need assistance to resolve the situation.

John Sommerfield, the father who lost his child at Monterey and Plymouth, stated that the intersection is dangerous and deserves to be studied.  He paid for it with the life of his child and he's heard nothing from DPT or the District Attorney.  He wants to make the city safer for kids and pedestrians. (Chairman Flynn expressed sympathy for his loss on behalf of the board.)

Fred Raker understands that funding is at a premium but the area needs to be studied.  They will help find funds if necessary because this is a serious issue.

Chris Lasala spoke in support of the neighbors.  He lives 100 yards south of Monterey and Plymouth and has witnessed quite a few corner honking incidents and fights.  People are unwilling to yield to other traffic at that intersection 

Anita Theoharis has been asking staff for help for years.  She understands that there is no money but the area needs attention.

John Schoening noted that the traffic is overwhelming on Plymouth.  His car has been hit five times in the past ten years  Pedestrians can hardly cross the street.  It's not designed to be a major thoroughfare and there are too many cars going way too fast.  They need help to solve the problem.

Laurie Haroian added her voice to the other Westwood park residents who are speaking for hundreds of neighbors who have written, spoken and pleaded for help.  She would like a recommendation for an area-wide study to be put on the next agenda.

Kim Fineman, Westwood Park resident, is a concerned parent.  She is one of the many people who have been told by DPT that they can't do anything about it.  She is afraid to let her child play in the front yard because of the dangerous situation. 

Glenda Lavigne appreciates what Director Burns and General Manager Stephens said about service standards.  She noted that two car trains are supposed to go out but only one car does so the on-time performance number isn't correct.  Supervisors are giving direction to operators to come in early to serve public demand.  

Rodney Talmadge knows there are a lot of problems in San Francisco but taxpayers are taking the brunt for people who aren't paying at the fare box.  People need to pay their fair share. 

Dave Bisho is a member of the homeowners association that is on the upside of Monterey.  They are also concerned about the increase in traffic congestion in the area.  They support a traffic study.  He suggested that the Planning Department has a misguided housing element that worsens traffic citywide. 

Director Kasolas asked staff to present a review of this matter including a plan to address the safety hazards to the board at the next meeting. Director Burns added that he would meet with the neighborhood association on this issue.



10.   All matters listed hereunder constitute a Consent Calendar, are considered to be routine by the Municipal Transportation Agency Board, and will be acted upon by a single vote of the Board.   There will be no separate discussion of these items unless a member of the Board or the public so requests, in which event the matter shall be removed from the Consent Calendar and considered as a separate item.

(10.1) Requesting the Controller to allot funds and to draw warrants against such funds as are or will be available in payment of the following claims against the MTA:

A.   Debbie Shaw, Superior Ct. #409672, filed on 6/28/02 for $5,000

B.   Andreas Branch & Electric, Unlitigated Claim #0400231, filed on 7/23/03 for $8,027.90

C.   Angela Linares, Superior Ct. #03422315, filed on 1/29/03 for $25,000

D.   GE Capital Modular Space, Superior Ct. #417973, filed on 3/5/03 for $27,809.56

E.   Glenn Scales, Superior Ct. 411632, filed on 8/19/03 for $60,000

Director Vaughns asked if there were proper procedures in place so that the issue with GE Capital wouldn't happen again.  Director Burns assured the board that the Finance division has implemented procedures to insure that this situation doesn't reoccur.


(10.2) Approving the following traffic modifications:

A.   TOW-AWAY, NO STOPPING ANYTIME - RESCIND Cesar Chavez Street, north side, between Illinois and Michigan Streets.

B.   PERPENDICULAR (90-DEGREE ANGLE) PARKING - ESTABLISH Donner Avenue, both sides, from Phelps Street to easterly terminus (legislates existing parking conditions).

C.   UNMETERED MOTORCYCLE PARKING  - ESTABLISH Hayes Street, north side, within the nine-foot curb space between 1448 and 1450 Hayes Street, west of Broderick Street.

D. TWO-WAY STREET - ESTABLISH Laguna Street, between Fell and Oak Streets

E.   RIGHT TURN ONLY - REVOKE Laguna Street, southbound at Fell Street and Laguna Street, northbound at Oak Street.


  Prohibiting left-hand turns against red or "Stop" signal, at all times, on Fell Street,

  westbound, at Laguna Street.

G. TRAFFIC CODE SECTION 34.4 INTERSECTION OF OAK AND LAGUNA - REVOKE Prohibiting left-hand turns against red or "Stop" signals, all times at intersection of Oak and

  Laguna Street, northeast corner. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, and

  resolution.) (DPT)


(10.3) Rejecting all proposals received for Contract No. 0780J: SFgo (ITMS) Initial Phase Construction Contract (Portions A and B) and authorizing the release of a new bid package.  (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and financial plan.) (DPT)


(10.4) Authorizes the Director to issue an RFP for Workers' Compensation Third Party Claims Administration. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and RFP.) (MUNI)


(10.5) Authorizing the issuance of an RFP for the rehabilitation of up to 10 PCCs being acquired from New Jersey Transit, with an option for rehabilitation of up to 5 additional PCCs.

(Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and financial plan.) (MUNI)


(10.6) Approving Contract Amendment #1 to the Contract with City College of San Francisco for training services to extend the term of the contract from December 31, 2003 through June 30, 2005. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, and resolution.) (MUNI)


(10.7) Urging the Board of Supervisors to authorize the Director to execute an agreement with BART to accept payment in the amount of $2,399,733 for FY04 feeder bus service to BART stations. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and agreement.) (MUNI)


(10.8) Authorizing the Director to execute the "Special Transit Fare Agreement between the City and County of San Francisco and the Bay Area Rapid Transit District," which extends the use of the Muni Fast Pass(r) on BART in San Francisco through December 31, 2004, and increases the reimbursement from Muni to BART to $0.87 per ride. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and agreement.) (MUNI)

Item 10.8 was removed from the Consent Calendar and continued to the next meeting.


Bob Planthold complained about the lack of responsiveness by BART and Muni to the needs of the disabled. Anyone with an adult fast pass can ride BART in San Francisco but people that hold a discount fare card can't.  BART has fare gates that the disabled can go through and BART is hungry for customers.  Muni should be tough and make BART pay attention. 

Edward Mason expressed a similar point of view as the previous speaker as he is going to be a senior citizen soon.  Muni should negotiate for less since BART's trains are empty.  This item should be reconsidered.

Chairman Flynn noted that staff has attempted many times to negotiate this issue with BART.  The whole reason for this agreement is because Muni can't handle the extra traffic on the 14-Mission line.

Director Burns respectfully disagreed with Mr. Planthold's comments.  Mr. Burns has been working on this issue since he arrived at Muni. BART doesn't want this agreement and the only thing that keeps them at the table is political pressure from the San Francisco BART board members. BART has no arrangement like this with other counties and they feel that they are losing money.  BART fare gates are at capacity and can't accommodate another fare media.  Muni has talked to BART about using the swing gates but BART has refused due to concerns about fraud and lack of accountability.  Muni has been clear about it's position with the community but people don't like the answer they are hearing.  Muni has concluded that when Translink is fully implemented, there will be an opportunity to relook at this issue and hopefully overcome BART's technology hurdle.

Chairman Flynn concurred with Director Burns' statements.  BART knows Muni can't handle the traffic and they are tough to negotiate with.

Director Casey asked that the item be deferred until Mr. Burns could meet with Mr. Planthold. 

Director Burns is happy to meet with Mr. Planthold although the issues will remain the same and he doesn't expect any change within the next 30 days.

The item was continued to the next meeting.

(10.9) Authorizing the Director to execute an agreement with BART and other transit operators in the region to continue the BART Plus Ticket Program through December 31, 2005, and to provide for the sharing of revenues from BART Plus ticket sales among the program participants. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and agreement.) (MUNI)


Edward Mason is a BART plus user.  He wondered if BART plus will be incorporated into the Translink plan in the future.  He added that the fare was increasing yet he hadn't seen any documentation about the need for the increase.

Director Burns replied that the BART plus program is expected to disappear when Translink is fully implemented. 


On motion to approve Item 10.9:

ADOPTED:  AYES - Black, Casey, Din, Flynn, Kasolas, McCray and Vaughns

 (10.10) Approving the establishment of a Capital Program and Emergency Fund Reserve. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, and resolution.) (MUNI)


No public comment.

On motion to approve the consent calendar (Items 10.8 and 10.9 severed):

ADOPTED:  AYES - Black, Casey, Din, Flynn, Kasolas, McCray and Vaughns



11. Authorizing the Director to execute Amendment No.1 to CS-132, Quality Assurance and Construction Management Services, to change the legal name of the consultant from Sverdrup Civil, Inc., to Jacob Civil, Inc., and implementing an Apprenticeship Program for the Third Street Light Rail Transit Project for an amount not to exceed $1,756,000 for a total contract amount not to exceed $17,756,000, pending approval by the Board of Supervisors and the Transportation Authority. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and amendment.)

(This item was continued at the request of staff.)

12. Authorizing the award of Contract No. MR-1204, H. Welton Flynn Motor Coach Facility Modifications for Neoplan Buses, to Angotti and Reilly as the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, for a total contract amount of $1,770,000. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and financial plan.)

No public comment.


On motion to approve:

ADOPTED:  AYES - Black, Casey, Din, Flynn, Kasolas, McCray and Vaughns

13. Approving Contract Modification No. 11 to Contract No. 309 with ANSALDOBREDA to incorporate design changes for components, spare parts and manuals for light rail vehicles; defer completion of the video surveillance retrofit; extend the delivery schedule; clarify the definition of fleet defect; and settle outstanding claims and delay impact costs.  (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and amendment.)

No public comment.


On motion to approve:

ADOPTED:  AYES - Black, Casey, Din, Flynn, Kasolas, McCray and Vaughns

14. Authorizing the Director to accept the findings of the Land Use Study - Kirkland Yard Property and to proceed with the preparation of an RFQ/RFP for a condominium housing project; authorizing the Director to form a Kirkland Site Development Advisory Committee to support Muni in this project; authorizing the Director to seek the financial assistance from the San Francisco Municipal Railway Improvement Corporation to help produce an RFQ/RFP for the development process.  (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and study.)

Director Burns wants to include the board earlier in the process than usual.  Doug Wright has been engaged by SFMRIC to analyze potential uses of the property.  That report has been completed but it's conceptual in nature only.   The next steps will be to meet with various communities to solicit their comments about the potential re-uses of the sight.  The only issue is the $25 million obligation that Muni has to the Transportation Authority that is linked to the property.  That money will repay the TA for Third Street funds.  Following the public process, an RFP/RFQ will be developed and the board will be asked for authorization to issue the RFP/RFQ. Further down the road, the board would be asked to approve the selection of a developer as well as approve an Environmental Impact Review/Study.  This project is many years away but is part of a series of initiatives for Muni to better utilize assets.  There have been no decisions made other than that the best use for the sight is housing because of the meets critical need for housing throughout the city and that Muni must meet their monetary obligation to the Authority.

Director Burns stated that the board doesn't need to take action on the item, as this is an informational item only.  The report is a framework for discussion only and will allow for a more productive discussion.

Doug Wright provided an overview of the study.  Its purpose was to provide a technical evaluation of potential re-uses and includes a review of the surrounding neighborhood.  The Planning Department is interested in a mixed-use development with a clear orientation for housing.  The greatest value of the sight is housing for sale rather than rental housing because it will realize funds immediately.

Director Casey is curious to know what the expectation of revenue would be if the affordable housing component increases to 24%, 36%, or 48%.  Director Burns noted that while the study anticipates 12%, the board could change that percent.  Director Casey would like to see the revenue numbers for increased affordable housing before the RFP is released.

Director Din would like to see the community process enacted prior to the release of the RFP so the board can be ensured that everyone has been involved.


Norman Rolfe noted that there was a glaring omission in the report in that there was no consideration given to the increased operating costs.  Staff should make sure operating costs are covered and any potential income is evaluated against these increased costs.  He's not saying the project shouldn't be done but it needs to include these costs.  The CAC should be kept involved in this. 

Monica Mejia, Chinatown Community Development Center, asked for maximum community insight.  The study shouldn't be accepted until the community has contributed to it.  Muni needs a more thorough process. 

David Owen entered a letter on behalf of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers.  Supervisor Peskin is interested in this development and wants maximum neighborhood input.  He added that there is some misunderstanding about the release of the RFP.  (Director Burns clarified that the RFP was not going to be issued at this time.)

The board took no action on this item.


15. Authorizing the Director to enter into negotiations for a new contract for towing, storage and disposal services for abandoned and illegally parked vehicles with Auto Return, the top ranked proposer, and to enter into with negotiations with San Francisco Towing, the next highest ranked proposer should negotiations fail.  (Explanatory documents include a staff report, and resolution.)

Director Burns responded to items that had previously been raised by the board regarding retention of staff, prevailing wages and card check neutrality. Staff followed the selection guidelines that were laid out in the RFP.  Requiring a card check neutrality program wasn't included in the RFP as approved by the board and couldn't be considered during the selection process.


Scott Emblidge, Attorney for Auto Return, thanked staff and the selection panel for their hard work.  Mr. Wicker has a background in bringing people together to form a successful team.  Mr. Wicker has no experience with towing but the team includes experts who have been towing cars for the Automobile Association. This contractor will coordinate an effort among many subcontractors to produce the result. 

Director Casey asked if Mr. Emblidge's team would agree to a card check neutrality program as the other team had already agreed to.  Mr. Emblidge noted that Auto Return is willing to talk about it with the unions but hadn't yet been approached with a proposal.  Director Casey asked the city attorney for clarification about the issue.  Julia Friedlander, Deputy City Attorney stated that the city couldn't require a card check neutrality program because it wasn't in the RFP as originally approved and it's not required by law.  Chairman Flynn noted that the board doesn't have the authority to impose anything that was not in the RFP at the time that it was approved.

Director Casey would like to amend the resolution to include language that would recommend that Auto Return agree to a card check neutrality program.  DCA Friedlander stated that the program could not be required without jeopardizing the entire selection process.  Director Casey stated that the Board would be seeking a program but that including this program would not be a condition or requirement.


Mark Gleason, Teamsters, Local 665, stated that workers have been subjected to an atrocious situation that has gotten worse from a consumer service standpoint.  Workers were directed by their supervisors to remove tools from cars.  He has been trying to get the workers organized.  They do have a letter of intent from SF Towing and have engaged in a preliminary dialogue with Auto Return. 

Director Casey moved that the resolution be amended to include language stating that during negotiations with Auto Return, that staff seeks to include an agreement from Auto Return that they will sign a card check neutrality agreement with the Union. The motion failed with Directors Black and Casey voting for the amendment and Directors Din, Flynn, Kasolas, McCray and Vaughns opposed. 

Director Casey stated that in the event that Auto Return refused to enter into a card check neutrality program, he would have a hard time voting to approve any contract that doesn't include a card check neutrality program. 

Director Kasolas asked staff to verify Wren's towing figures.  Steve Bell, Contract Administrator, stated that they have verified the figures. 

Director Casey asked that the resolution be amended to authorize the Director of Transportation to enter into negotiations for a new contract and to seek that Auto Return enter into a card check neutrality agreement with the union.


On motion to approve as amended:

ADOPTED:  AYES - Black, Casey, Din, Flynn, Kasolas, McCray and Vaughns

16. Approving the award of the Management Agreement for the St. Mary's Square Garage and the 16th & Hoff Garage to Pacific Park Management.  (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and agreement.)

No public comment.


On motion to approve:

ADOPTED:  AYES - Black, Casey, Din, Flynn, Kasolas, and Vaughns

  ABSENT - McCray

17.  Authorizing the Director to execute the Amended Management Agreement with Parking Concepts/DAJA for the management of the St. Mary's Square Garage and the 16th & Hoff Garage; terminating December 31, 2004, to retroactively cover services performed from October 1, 2002 to June 30, 2003 and to reimburse all operating costs on a straight pass-through basis, plus a $1 management fee, which will result in increased costs to the City of $35,000 per month for a total of $210,000 for the term of the Modified Management Agreement.  (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and agreement.)

The board secretary clarified that the term is set to end on December 31, 2003 rather than 2004 as originally stated in the resolution.


On motion to approve:

ADOPTED:  AYES - Black, Casey, Din, Flynn, Kasolas, and Vaughns

  ABSENT - McCray

18. Approving rate changes at the Portsmouth Square and the St. Mary's Square garages to implement a merchant evening validation program between 5:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, and resolution.)


Helen Kwan, Chinatown TRIP, noted that the current merchant validation program works well now.  If DPT wants to do something for the Chinatown area, then include all four garages in the neighborhood and set the same rate at each garage.

Nancy Lim-Yee, Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation thinks that a merchant validation program offers more opportunity and that a 7-day validation service provides extra spaces, especially for visitors. 

Frank Han who serves on the Film Commission, understands that staff was to conduct a complete study of this situation.  Since the study hasn't been completed he wondered why the item was before the board at this time and why it only includes two of the four garages.  He thinks staff has oversimplified the issue.  The plan is pure fantasy, as it won't increase use at any garage.  He called the proposal ill conceived and self-serving.

Samuel Kwong is a small business owner in Chinatown, and a board member of the Portsmouth Square Parking Corporation.  There are four major parking programs including valet, monthly, merchant validated, and special events. The current merchant validated program gives merchants a 50% discount on the posted rate and customers get two hours of free parking.  Garage usage is up and merchants are signing up.  In addition, a special events program is in place that is day and time specific.  Portsmouth Square garage has outperformed many garages and the current program is comprehensive and sensitive to the needs of the community.  He urged the MTA to reject the proposed changes. 

Catherine Yee, Portsmouth Square Board of Directors, stated that directors have spent a lot of time to implement professional, well thought out programs that benefit the neighbors.  It's a difficult balancing act.  Year after year, they generate more revenue for the city than any other comparable garage.  Please don't put in place a program that will be a detriment to residents and users and that will adversely affect garage revenues.  Don't try to force a hasty discount idea onto the garage. 

Peter Ho, Chinatown TRIP, met with DPT a few months ago on this matter but there has been no subsequent follow up.  The board should reject this item, as it has no additional benefits to visitors.  The loss of revenue to the garage and the community is coming at the wrong time.  The garage is well utilized on Friday and Saturday.

Richard Ow, Chinatown resident, supports the lower rate.  Many shop keepers and restaurant owners are good friends and their business has been hurt.  He asked that the board approve the lower rate to increase business. 

Pius Lee, on behalf of the Chinatown Neighborhood Association, supports the proposal to change the Portsmouth Square and St. Mary's Square garage rate, as it will help small business to increase business in Chinatown.  If you approve the proposal there will be plenty of parking and it will bring more business and revenue to the city.  Garages are half empty after 5:00 p.m. 

Kin Ho supports the .50-cent reduction in parking garage rates.  It wouldn't cause a loss in revenue to the city but would generate more revenue. It would provide merchants with more freedom to make it available to patrons while keeping their prices competitive.

Ron Lee, speaking on behalf of Golden Dragon Restaurant, stated that patronage has gotten worse since the 1989 earthquake.  He supports the reduced parking rate to help merchants. After 6:00 p.m., the neighborhood isn't what it used to be like.  Reduced rates will bring business back to Chinatown.

Grace Lee works in Chinatown and knows that business is bad.  She supports this program, as it will help small business to improve at night.

Jenny Yip supports the proposal.  She would also like the board to improve daytime parking regulation.  The current program is for two hours only and she can't give customers a one-hour validation.  Giving a validation for $2 for 2 hours is too much.  She also wondered why there was an expiration date.  Customers shouldn't be forced to buy $400 worth of stamps at a time.

Winnie Ng supports the program.  People come to Chinatown for the food and they will come more often with a reduced rate.  The current stamp costs $1 per hour with a 2-hour minimum.  Kent Poon represents 17 tenants in the Far East Trade Center who support the proposed program.  It's difficult to do business in Chinatown and this will help business improve.

Arnold Chin is concerned with the lack of a community process in this decision.  The current program is working so this matter should be returned to staff for further study.  Only two garages are included in the proposal when the other two neighborhood garages should also be involved. Every city garage is fairly empty after 6:00 p.m. and cutting the rates will hurt the non-profit organization that is running those garages. 

James Yang thinks that most of the restaurants are hurting.  He believes that the program gives you an incentive to park in the garage.  Please give consideration to the proposal. 

Director Din noted that at the community meeting in September there was an agreement to perform a study and to come back with program that was acceptable to everyone.  Ron Szeto, Acting Director, Parking Authority, stated that the plan is almost completed. 

Chairman Flynn asked how the item wound up on the calendar if the program is still being worked on.  Ron Szeto stated that the item was put on at the request of the community.

Director Din stated that it is clear that there is a more comprehensive program. This program appears to be limited and should be brought back when there is a more comprehensive plan.

Director Vaughns concurred, adding that there doesn't appear to be any community input or outreach for the proposal currently before the board.

The board tabled the item.

ADJOURN - The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.


A tape of the meeting is on file in the office of the Secretary to the Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors.

Roberta Boomer

Board Secretary

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