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City and County of San Francisco
Municipal Transportation Agency
Citizens’ Advisory Council

Engineering, Maintenance and Safety Committee

Regular Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, May 26, 2010, at 4 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 4:00 p.m. 

EMSC Members present at Roll Call:  Steve Ferrario, Daniel Weaver, Ruth Wheeler and Jamison Wieser

EMSC Members absent:  Greg Riessen

2. Public Comment: 


3. Adopt Minutes of April 28, 2010: 

Jamison Wieser stated that his statement should be amended to read four LRVs rather than four trains. 

On motion to approve the minutes of April 28 as amended: Adopted
Ayes – Ferrario, Weaver, Wheeler and Wieser
(Absent – Riessen)

4. Report of the Chairman:  Dan Weaver

No report.

5. Golden Gate Park Traffic Congestion (Discussion/Action)

Jerry Robbins, manager, Transportation Engineering, introduced guest speakers John Steele, manager, Music Concourse Parking Garage, Patricia Lacson, facilities director, de Young Museum, and Don Skeoch, chief operating officer, Academy of Sciences.  Mr. Robbins stated that traffic queues along Martin Luther King Drive and Lincoln Way when the Music Concourse Garage is full.  The SFMTA had hoped to install an electronic sign on Fell Street at Divisadero to provide drivers with a real-time status report of parking availability and alternative solutions.  The proposed installation was cancelled due to opposition from the community.  Mr. Skeoch stated that the Recreation and Park Department established a process to direct traffic to the UCSF parking garage or to street parking.  A shuttle service, funded by the Park and Recreation Department, the de Young Museum and the Academy of Sciences, carries visitors from as far away as the Great Highway to locations throughout the park during weekends and holidays.  The shuttle fare is $2 and free to American Disability Act (ADA) passengers.  The annual ridership averages 10,000 passengers.  Mr. Steele stated that when the Music Concourse garage is full, the southern entrance of the garage is closed to allow traffic headed to the garage to disperse.  The Recreation and Park Department staff barricades the garage, informs drivers of alternative parking and encourages them to use the inner-park shuttle.  Mr. Skeoch stated that the website at was created so that people can check for parking availability using their portable telephone/computer devices.  Ms. Lacson stated that the de Young Museum controls crowding by limiting the number of tickets sold each hour. 

Ruth Wheeler asked about access for ADA visitors.  Mr. Steele stated that the Music Concourse garage has ADA parking spaces.  Also, the Music Concourse is available for motorists to drop off and pick up ADA visitors.  Ms. Lacson stated that ADA parking spaces are also available on John F. Kennedy Drive. 

Steve Ferrario asked about garage cash flow.  Mr. Steele stated that the Music Concourse Community Partnership uses proceeds from the garage to pay garage expenses and bonds.

6. Market Street Subway Capacity (Discussion/Action)

Frank Alejandro, senior operations manager, Rail Operations, Transit Operations, stated that John Haley, director, Transit Operations, was unable to attend.  Mr. Ferrario expressed disappointment and requested that the Market Street Subway Capacity topic should be rescheduled for a discussion with Mr. Haley. 

Jamison Wieser asked about a Market Street subway capacity study.  Chairman Weaver stated that the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP) promised an increase in subway service.  Mr. Alejandro stated that he had no information regarding a capacity study.  

Mr. Alejandro stated that during the Saint Francis Circle construction project, subway service to West Portal will be provided by K and L trains, and surface transportation for the K and M lines will be provided by buses. 

Chairman Weaver stated that bus substitutions for the K and L lines are more reliable.  Mr. Alejandro stated that LRVs carry two and a half times more passengers than buses, therefore extra coaches were provided to compensate for the capacity shortage. 

Mr. Wieser stated that the Saint Francis Circle closure presents an opportunity to experiment with extending the J Church line to Stonestown as outlined in the TEP. 

Chairman Weaver stated that people would appreciate a passenger pick-up and drop-off curb near the station. 

Mr. Wieser stated that additional dwell time should be factored into schedules.  Mr. Alejandro stated that certain lines and locations get bogged down due to fare transactions.  Ticket machines would alleviate the problem.   Chairman Weaver stated that that there are several ways in which fares potentially can be paid that would increase efficiency:  ticket machines, fare gates, plastic memory cards (Clipper Card) for loading fares or purchasing fast passes from home or from a ticket station.

7. Automatic Train Control System Update (Discussion/Action)

Patty DeVlieg, project manager, Capital Programs and Construction, stated that the SFMTA received federal funding to renovate and improve the Automatic Train Control System (ATCS).  The ATCS Systems Management Center (SMC) will use the updated computer operating system that will provide many new features to enhance the Central Control ATCS operations.  Among them are the SFMTA public address, platform display signs and improvements to NextMuni applications.

Other improvements are funded through the ATCS Final Cutover Project.  Remnants of the obsolete Conventional Signal System will be removed.  A key component of the Final Cutover project is a local SMC feature to be installed in subway equipment rooms that will provide local control of wayside interlockings.  These features will allow Central Control limited ability to control routes in the event of a failure of the ATCS Vehicle Control Center.

Chairman Weaver asked about the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP) goal to increase throughput in the subway.  Ms. DeVlieg stated that she had no information on TEP. Steve Ferrario stated that the passenger throughput of 1997 was a record high.  He questioned why Muni no longer coupled trains at the portals.  Ms. DeVlieg stated that the ATCS can accommodate coupling, but Operations chose not to do so due to problems with signals on trains that are longer than two-car trains.  Also, Operations is concerned about schedule complications and coupler maintenance of repeated coupling and uncoupling of cars.  Mr. Ferrario stated that the SFMTA pours money into fixing the ATCS, yet it is not as good as the previous system.  He feels that the SFMTA is vulnerable to another Muni melt down.  He stated that the NextMuni video display is inaccurate.  ATCS is accurate, but unattractive on old legacy platform display signs.  Ms. DeVlieg stated that the SFMTA, as part of the SMC project, will process a data stream from NextMuni that will send arrival times for trains arriving at portals and incorporate that information into predictions of trains at platforms.  Mr. Ferrario stated that the ATCS arrival information is accurate when compared to the NextMuni arrival display.  Ms. DeVlieg stated that SFMTA is looking into resolving that issue, but has not yet determined whether the appropriate resolution is for the ATCS to produce the flat screen display of the entire Metro system, or for the ATCS predictions to be provided directly to NextMuni for displays.

Mr. Wieser asked if ATCS was the cause of the slow train crossover at Castro.  Ms. DeVlieg stated that she did not have knowledge of the crossover, but the ATCS “go-slow” zone for that location was possibly directed by Operations.

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

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

Next regular meeting:  June 23, 2010, at 4 p.m.
1 South Van Ness Avenue, Conference Room 3075

10. Adjournment:  The meeting was adjourned at 6:22 p.m.

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

Accessible meeting policy – One South Van Ness Avenue

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