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City and County of San Francisco
Municipal Transportation Agency
Citizens’ Advisory Council (SFMTA CAC)

Engineering, Maintenance and Safety Committee (EMSC)

Regular Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 4:00 p.m.
1 South Van Ness Avenue, Conference Room 3075
San Francisco, California

1. Call to Order / Roll Call  
Chairman Daniel Weaver called the meeting to order at 4:04 p.m. 

EMSC Members present at Roll Call:  Steve Ferrario, Greg Riessen, Daniel Weaver and Ruth Wheeler

EMSC Members absent:  Jamison Wieser

SFMTA CAC Members, not on this committee, but also present:  Norman Rolfe

2. Public Comment concerning any issue within the jurisdiction of the Council and not noted on the agenda:  None

3. Adopt minutes of May 20, 2009

On motion to adopt the minutes of May 20, 2009: Adopted
Ayes – Ferrario, Riessen, Weaver and Wheeler
(Absent – Wieser)

4. Report of the Chairman:  Dan Weaver

No report.

5. Format of the Capital Projects Quarterly Report (Discussion/Action) Fariba Mahmoudi

Fariba Mahmoudi, civil engineer, Project Management and Controls Section, Transportation Planning and Development, stated that the report summarizes the status of Transportation Planning and Development projects.  She gave an overview on how to read the report.  Chairman Weaver stated that each project should have a description with a summary about funding sources.  Steve Ferrario stated that project delays and resulting implications to other city departments should be explained.  Ms. Mahmoudi stated that the Planning Division would be purchasing software to improve project reporting. 

6. Central Subway Update (Discussion/Action) Lewis Ames

Lewis Ames, project manager, Central Subway Project, Transportation Planning and Development, presented the financial plan that included the current cost, SFMTA initiatives and approved measures in the 2010 budget.  The budget was revised upwards to $1.5783 billion, which includes a contingency fund of $172 million.  After the Federal Transit Administration risk assessment, completed in March 2009, the federal contribution was increased from $762 million to $942 million.  Utilities relocation is scheduled to start in January/February 2010.  The project is expected to be completed and ready for revenue service by December 2018.  While it is not expected that the state would renege on its obligation to the project over the next five years, plans could go forward despite stresses from funding sources being delayed. 

7. Mitigation of LRV Screeching Noises on Curved Tracks (Discussion/Action)

Tom Kennedy, director, Maintenance of Way, Muni Operations, stated that the track system was designed with tight curves (45 to 60 degrees) that worked well for smaller and lighter-weight vehicles.  However, Bredas are large heavy cars with solid axles.  A crew greases curved tracks once a week.  Effective grease products were discontinued because of environmental concerns.  Staff is looking for funding to purchase solar-powered automatic radius greasers that would be installed on poles and connected underground to curved track areas. 

8. Baby Stroller Policy (Discussion/Action)

Chairman Weaver stated that the stroller policy should point out differences in strollers and include guidelines about bringing strollers on transit during rush hours.  Ruth Wheeler stated that the policy should be abolished.  It should be up to parents to determine whether to leave children in or take them out of strollers.  Steve Ferrario stated that should the Automatic Train Control System go into an emergency stop, the injury that could result to a baby in arms might be fatal.  Also a runaway stroller could injure both the child and other passengers. 

Ms. Wheeler agreed to write a recommendation for consideration at the next EMSC meeting.

9. St. Francis Track Replacement (Discussion/Action)

Steve Ferrario stated that moving the platform up West Portal would be a cost effective, yet easy solution for trains blocking the intersection.  K-Ingleside and M-Ocean View trains could then be coupled at the St. Francis Circle, thereby increasing passenger throughput in the tunnel.  The project should be designed for adaptability.  Fariba Mahmoudi, civil engineer, Project Management and Controls Section, Transportation Planning and Development, stated that staff would consider moving the platform 40 feet.  Chairman Weaver stated that an engineer told him that moving the platform towards 15th Avenue was against the Rail Design Policy.  Ha Nguyen, project manager, Capital Construction, Transportation Planning and Development, explained that a platform boarding area or a crossover should not be placed on a hill, but rather on a flat surface.  West Portal Avenue is on a curve and is steeper than normal.  Ms. Mahmoudi stated that leveling the area would be costly.  Drainage problems would need to be addressed. 

Chairman Weaver stated that there was an interim design of the southwest corner of the St. Francis Circle intersection that would increase safety for bicyclists, pedestrians and streetcars by eliminating the uncontrolled right turning vehicles from eastbound Sloat to southbound Junipero Serra.  Also, if the boarding platforms at the St. Francis Circle were to be moved back 40 feet, then sidewalks that lead from the intersection crosswalk to the boarding area should be left in place.  Landscaping should be included in the design.  Greg Riessen suggested that the crossover be moved northeast towards 15th Avenue.  Mr. Ferrario stated that an additional traffic signal on the M-Ocean View line, inbound before the intersection, is needed for safety. 

Ms. Mahmoudi agreed to review comments from the EMSC with staff. 

10. Committee Members’ Questions/Information Requests (Discussion) 

11. Schedule Upcoming Meetings and Agenda Items (Discussion/Action)

Next regular meeting:  July 15, 2009, at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, Conference Room 3075, at 4:00 p.m.

• Recommendation regarding strollers

• St. Francis Circle

• Capital projects review

12. Adjournment:  The meeting was adjourned at 6:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:
Debra J. Reed
SFMTA CAC - Secretary

Accessible meeting policy – One South Van Ness Avenue

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