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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  April 23, 2019 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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lawsuit. now that board settles them. it would be good for them to know, and for the public to know, that information for what it is worth. colleagues we have spent an extraordinary amount of time on this. i want to thank all of my colleagues for their real engagement in this issue. and, obviously, we are going to direct staff here in a minute and not be taking a vote today. with that, let me open it up to public comment. are there any members of the public who would like to testify on this item number 10. >> yes, there are. >> chairman: line up to my left, your right. go ahead, sir. >> i can tell you how to take care of this problem with nes doors these doors. mr. safai, i would like you to take that kind of attitude that you just demonstrated to people who are homeless. as far as these electronic
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doors that are closing, i can tell you how to take care of that problem. you need an electromagnetic strip from the top of the door to become of the door. it's very simple. you have an electronic sensor sensor from the top of the door to the bottom of the door. when the doors close, if there is any obstruction, the doors automatically open up because you've got something between the doors. it is called a "control loop." it is very simple. it is hard for people in the administration to realize what kind of problem you've got and how simple it is to take care of because you're not mechanically inclined, don't have any mechanical experience or construction experience. so that's how you take care of that problem. you've got your sensors located in the wrong location. the point of contact that should be sensored is the doors, not off to the side, not over to the
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left. you've got them in the wrong location. and as far as these wheels having flats, that's a manufacturing problem. you've got a low-quality of cast iron steel, which is causing those tires to get flat without any miles and service being used on them. the same type of problem you had at trans bay 2. you used a low quality of steel, and you have to go back and get more high percentages of cast iron steel to take care of the pressure. those wheelt wheels should be pressure-tested, and the manufacturer should be able to tell you how many skids that it takes for that wheel to get a flat. they're doing that on purpose so you go back to them. and about these yellow lines, it is going to be hard to get people to stand on the other side of the yellow line during rush-hourush-hour traffic becaue you've got so many people using the train.
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>> hello, commissioners. my condolences on all of the safety issue problems. i wanted to say i spoke with a muni l.r.v. operator who is very experienced. he gave me some feedback. he said that the doors on brada all have sensors on them on all of the doors. on the seaman's train, they're only on the central doors, and not on the front and back doors, and they only have sensors on the frame of the car. he says this could have played a part in the accident that happened with the rear door. he would like to see sensors put back on all doors of the next cars. the second thing he told me about was the cameras. he said there are now cameras for the operators, instead of side-view mirrors, and they're often blinded by lighting inside and outside the subway, and sometimes cannot see alone sidsee-setting sideseealo. he is saying put the
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side-view mirrors back on the cars. they sas ther says there is are three brakes, the mushroom, and an automatic control, and the third one sa feathering break. he says it is only in the middle section of the cars, and not on the front and the rear. it only works five miles an hour or less. so that's the one that allows the train to be slowed down gradually. and he says in the brada cars, they're on the front, the middle, and the back. those cars can be gradually slowed. and what this is doing is putting the burden on the drivers to make a very quick decision on whether to use brake one or two. that is entering into why you're getting the wheel flattening. and he said the machine to fix the flattened wheels is broken? i would like to raise that question, is it broken or not? he says that driver feedback is not being listened to. he says there is not enough driver training. and he said he would like an independent hotline set
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up so anybody can give information and tips as needed. thank you. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker, please. >> my name is herbert weimer. i'm an 80-year-old muni stakeholder. oftentimes in my moments of frustration, i declare my slogan, "if you're not on the bus, you're under the wheels." unfortunately, this is not a joke anymore. this is painfully true. now, before these l.r.v.s were ever put in operation, there was no feedback from the public. and i think the public needs to have a say in this before these plans are formulated. what is done is we are presented with -- they say here, catch, this is a hot potato, and then we're expected to deal with it. this applies to all of the
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m.t.a. projects. look at travel street. it is an shambles! and the m.t.a. board is simply a coffee clutch that rubber stamps everything that comes forward. the m.t.a. does not listen to the public, and they better start doing it. there is one thing that is transparent about the m.t.a.: it is a failed agency. they're philosophy is, if you can't solve the problem, make it worse, or if you're not part of the solution, become part of the problem. this is simply a symptom of what went on. fortunately, that person who was trapped on the l.r.v. wasn't killed. there have been too many deaths that have occurred as a result of m.t.a. i have had doors slam on me, and there was no response from michael
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bernes, the former head of m.t.a., until i cornered him in a public meeting. and he said, let's hope it never happens again. he acted like a swimmering juvenile delinquent, as far as i'm concerned. so please do not approve this application or any future ones. >> thank you very much for holding this hearing on this issue. i have to second, strongly, my -- the previous comments that have been made, both by the two previous speakers and all of the commissioners, it seems. i'm shaken, truly shaken. i was going to talk about some other things, like the complete denial of the needs of seniors and people with disabilities. no one mentioned in any of
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the seating conversations, which pale, obviously -- are not even in any way compared to this situation right now. but there are -- count them -- two blue seats in the front of the car. two. and facing two additional blue seats on the other side of the car. and that makes four. all of the others have at least 12 to 15 blue seats. there is no pull cords. you have to reach over someone to press the button. no signage to indicate
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please surrender these seats to seniors or people with disabilities. one thing about the door specs, they're almost like a tape measure width. we don't need to make them any wider to accommodate the a.d.a. as with the blue seats, i learned that is the minimum requirement to comply with a.d.a. regulations, two seats and two seats. but the door widths, and commissioner fewer's comments about the plastic bags -- it may fit a wheelchair, but a wheelchair with plastic bags or anything else, forget it. so i call for an end to all of this. thank you. >> chairman: thank you, ma'am. the next speaker, please. >> good morning. my name is bob fii findbalm.
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i was here on april 8th, and i shared with you a letter we had written on march 26th, which identified many of the defects we talking about today. ed riskin or nobody else at m.t.a. responded to us. we filed a public records request. the response was thoroughly inadequate, and the tag line was: we have no further information. so not only you didn't receive information, but citizens who inquired were stiffed by the m.t.a. now, i think today you're considering $62.7 million for an accelerated purchase of vehicles. i think you should not defer this item; you should reject it.
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and, also, you should demand that the m.t.a. report to you on all the issues that you have so justifiably recognized. couplings -- let me just say a couple of words there -- that's not a pun. there are really two types of coupling, and we should somewhat distinguish them. one is the coupling that they can do at the yard, and that has failed. but there is another type of coupling that we call "in-line coupling," and that is -- those of you who know west portal know that three transit lines come together, the "m," the "l," and the "k." to make trains that will be -- [buzzer] >> chairman: go ahead and finish up. >> -- to make trains that
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will be affective in the subway, we need four-car trains. that means that those trains out at west portal and at church and debois, have to couple from one-and two-car trains to four-car trains that run in the muni metro. we urge you to consider that type of coupling. thank you. >> chairman: thank you. mr. mason. >> thank you, edward mason. i would refer to the presentation that was made at the last meeting where operations in maintenance enhancements -- there were 20 operation enhancements and 22 maintenance enhancements. of course i wrote in the column here: well, what are they? and i think that is a question that should be addressed, and just not lightly take the recommendations that were just for brevity, but
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really peel apart the layers of the union and really get down into knowing what we're spending money on and how it is going to be. so the question is: what are all of these enhancements? let's have a full accounting of it? >> chairman: i can see staff diligently writing that down. seeing no other members of the public, we will close public comment. ms. curshbalm, if i could just ask you if you could just answer the question that one member of the public brought up relative to a conversation she said she had with an operator relative to the flattened wheels not being fixed or fixed timely. >> the question that related to the wheel truing machine? >> chairman: yes. >> we had a period of 10 days where the wheel truing machine was broken and it has since been repaired.
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>> chairman: thank you for that answer. okay, colleagues, i would suggest that ms. chang and staff work with ms. curshbalm and staff of the m.t.a. to give us a thorough analysis. and when that is ready, we may or may not consider the $62.7 million. this is really your call as to whether or not at this point you would like to make a vote to continue this to the call of the chair. or, alternatively, to vote no and reschedule it if and when we get satisfactory answers. what is the will of this body? >> someone made a motion. it was to continue the item. i'd like to add to the chair. >> chairman: so there is a motion to continue this item to the call of the chair, made by commissioner yee, seconded
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by vice chair mandelman. same house, same call. that will be the order. thank you again for all of your questions and engagement. and thank you, ms. curshbalm for being forthcoming. mr. clerk, could you please read items 11 and 12. given the length of this meeting, we will be cancelling the treasure island committee meeting, and scheduling it for a dist day. and chair haney of that body has agreed to that. so with that, mr. clerk, 126789. >12.>> 11 item is an action progress. item. >> chair peskin, commissioners, jonathan
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rurers with. m.t.a. this is following up on a request that you made at last month's meeting regarding our construction mitigation program and the impacts to local businesses, as we impact major corridor projects throughout san francisco. i just want to quickly note we have an unprecedented amount of development going on in the city, both public and private. the infrastructure is important, and as we make these improvements to the city, it is something that benefits all of san franciscans, and people that come to the city on a day-to-day basis. this is no -- in discussing funds here at the transportation authority, there is a significant amount of infrastructure dollars that somewhere e here in sawe have here in sanfrancisco,o numerous grants that have passed and numerous bonds that the voters of san francisco have approved. it is more than $5 billion of work going on throughout san francisco.
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so we do understand and are very cognizant of all of the construction departments of the impact that this level of construction is having on san francisco and its local businesses. with that, we know that when a construction project does occur on the corridors, that there are absolutely impacts to local businesses. in the past, when we were talking about public outreach, had a lot to do with the local residences, or people who lived around the project, and not necessarily on businesses and merchants and the commercial corridors themselves. we went through a process, a best management process, to discover closures more than a month, on street and off street noise. when construction is occurring in front of somebody's businesses. all of us at the departments are cognizant that these are issues for
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merchants. so went through a process in 2007 at the direction of mayor lee, to develop a mitigation program, which was meant to take on these specific impacts as we implement these projects throughout san francisco. we're just over one year in implementing this program. and these were the core elements, kind of the elements we found based on the best management practice study, that could be implemented as part of any capital project. what we've done going forward is as part of the cost estimate, we budget for the cost of these things that you see here. to have a p.i. o., and a business liason available on all businesses. making sure we notify all businesses in advance. if we know that the disruption is going to be greater than 12 months in front of somebody's businesses, this is when we'll implement the tools that have been discussed in the past, a marketing campaign, adding additional ambassadors. one of the things we heard
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from merchants and a lot of your offices is it is hard to get through to a project manager or a resident engineer. they're managing a number of projects throughout the city, and when there is something specifically going on in front of somebody's merchant, somebody wants to talk to a human being. we decided to employ ambassadors, and have them out in the field during construction so they can respond to concerns of merchants as they arrive during construction. and educating businesses to the service that we do provide as a city. construction impact mitigation plan was something. when we have large significant projects, such as van ness or a central subway, lesson learned. we should do a full evaluation of the impact to business as we plan these projects up front. and when we do have those extreme impacts that we expect as part of any
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construction project, we will set up a community advisory committee, something we absolutely did on van ness, and we'll look at contractor incentives for keeping spaces clean, and we'll look at other mitigating factors that we could include, parking mitigation, transit packages,and direct business support managed by our economic and resource development. currently we see that happening. and that slide is wrong. it is the most extreme impact. but when we see we're going to be impacting somebody's corridor or business for more than 24 months. so since 2017, when we implemented this program, and to be absolutely transparent, this was due to concerns in chinatown and around the central subway project, we implemented an m.l.u. we have implemented all of the tools and hired up the staff i just discussed. we have standard specification language that that is now added to
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construction contracts. opening up parking spaces, and being responsive to concerns of merchants. we've updated our outreach strategies. the m.t.a. board went through a process to help with our public engagement requirements, with a real focus of doing outreach to businesses in advance of a project. and we have implemented a small business working group that we consult on a regular basis as we go through the process of planning new projects. i'm going to turn this over to deanna desantis, because i know there were some specific examples of what we've implemented. >> chairman: ms. desantis. >> i'm going to try to move a little quickly here because, respectfully, i have some of the small business owners that were part of the west portal project, our twin peaks project, and i'd like to
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make sure they have time to speak and let you know how they feel about the efforts we have put forth. i think the most important thing on this slide i would convey to all of you is,n, no project is the same. all of the work we've been over doing, and overseeing the implementation of our construction mitigation, we have three examples of three very different projects. so it is not a one-size-fits-all. i think the most important thing is we have to have a relationship, develop a relationship, and work directly with our mer merchants and our neighbors when we start to come into a project much earlier on in a project. early engagement was the most important part of this. we had a one-year relationship that we had with the twin peaks before we even broke ground and had construction. the first project is the central subway project, and it is a $1.6 billion project. if you look below these items, they all have a very common theme. all of them need the
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support of a business liason or a public information officer. they should have regular merchant meetings. you should be working with the community on a regular basis. well before any discussion of any construction. each program -- each project, rather, on its own needed something different. central subway, for a $1.6 billion project, it was a small, concentrated area for a very long period of time. and then when you look at the twin peaks project, which is a $50 million project, that was a very short project, two blocks only, and we were in and out in two months. then you look at van ness, which is a major corridor, and it is a different type of a project in the sense while all of those have impactful construction, this one is phased. i have my staff here, too, if there are questions. on van ness, probably in may, we're going to move into a different area. so the construction is
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always moving. whereas with central subway, that was not so much the case. and with twin peaks, that wasn't the case at all. we were only in a two block radius, we came in and then left. those are the three different projects, but some of them have the same themes. it is like any neighborhood you live in, what is important to us is probably entirely different to what's important to the mission. if you're looking at van ness, it is different than if you're looking at a quarter like geary. you need to work with the community early on and help them. and west portal did help us develop this whole plan that we put together. so i wanted to convey the differences between the projects. we'll these projects were all before the city implemented our new construction program, a lot of the elements were already implemented prior to that program.
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but this is helping us understand now that these elements should be part of the actual contract before it goes out to bid. so in the future, while we're still trying to fix some of the projects that have already come, that are already in process, we're looking at the future down the road, like sixth street, geary, 16th street -- we're working to develop these programs in advance. that's, i think, the most important part i wanted to convey. the second slide -- the next slide -- -- there we go. the next slide is to show you while we did a lot of planning for the construction implemented for van ness, we have now taken a step and come back, and we're revisiting van ness, and we're deadly some additional things that we wanted to do that we haven't done. for example, we now have a full-time field outreach staff person that really
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addresses the field issues, and they're really looking at some of the housekeeping needs that have come up. we have 24 hours a week of street-sweeping crews. there are a lot of different components above and beyond what we initially planned for the van ness project that we're also implementing for the van ness project again, not a one-size-fits-all. i'm going to have jorge revas step up for a second. >> chairman: thank you. i did convene a meeting between o.t. w.d. and m.t.a., as it relates to van ness. i want to thank you for that. and we did not implement those protocols in advance, and it has only taken 150 years to figure this out. i appreciate the work, and i mean that sincerely. one of the troubling things about van ness is very few people are
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availing themselves of the service o.e.w.d. can provide. and we're doing it now as we're half way through the project. before we finish, i do want to hear from mr. garboncho, relative to schedule. we were 540 years behind. i hear some of that has been compressed. and i want to hear from mr. ho, as for the subway completion being still on its delayed schedule, but for completion at the end of this calendar year -- if that is still the case. i don't want to lose site of that. it is 12:15rbgs an:15, and we ha board of supervisors' meeting coming up. jorge, the chair is yours. >> i'm with o.w.e.d. d. so we're available the partner with lead agencies
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who are leading these efforts. for open for business, which is our major marketing campaign, and our director of business support. for neighbourhood marketing, we have contracted with pacific edge consulting, which is a firm that leads engagement and marketing efforts. they have developed a suite of services that are available to these commercial districts that are being impacted. in partnership with either the merchant association or cbd, and it helps them department fidentify which servs they would like to deploy in their neighborhood. and we provide technical assistance through our small business development center. it is in partnership with the s.c.a. any business that is referred to our office, they refer to the s.p.c.,
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and it is followed up with an assessment. soon after that, then an action plan is developed. an action plan that has various action items that help meet the desires or goals of the small business who is looking for support. soon after that, they work very closely with an advisor consultant to implement those action items moving forward. after, there is a survey evaluation that happens to see how they're doing and what the impacts were. the good thing about having the s.p.c. in house, they can leverage the other resources are programs. one program that is highly utilized is our small business loan plan. it is available for businesseses thabusinesses thatt conventionally qualify.
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and there is our a.d.a. program, and so forth. the direct business support is something that is fairly new. it has only been implemented in central subway -- for the central subway project. this is a program that contains financial support. and central subway -- it actually was in the form of grants to small business owners that were impacted in these particular areas, whether it was directly impacted or indirectly impacted by the construction, as defined on your screen. and to date there has been 44 small business owners in chinatown who received support. there is 18 in the cue for approval. and there is eight businesses in the union square and fourth and king area. i'm going to pass it over to jonathan. >> chairman: commissioners haney and yee, if you have questions -- you want to
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wait? okay. >> so a lot of this has been brought up during the presentation, but after one year, some lessons learned we definitely have is to start earlier and be more proactive with businesses up from. and we've also heard this from merchants along corridors. we'll start much earlier, during project planning, to bring in merchants and have those conversations about planned impacts. typically somewher we have waitd for about 65% design because we have a greater idea where the contractor will be staging during construction. but we'll continue to work to try to do that earlier. chair peskin, you brought up educating businesses up front about those programs that are available through o.e.w.d., and do that in advance of the project starting, so they can take advantage of those resources. and the second thing, and we learned it on twin peaks, and having somebody
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available, is the public wants to talk to somebody, and they want to get an answer immediately. there is no difference for merchants who work on these commercial corridors. during construction, we want to have staff onsite. always trying for a public information officer, walking up and down the corridor, to have somebody that can talk to people during the course of construction, and they can reach something who can make a change or work with the contractor to get something done. one thing we did here that merchants try, they called the project manager, and the issue they need dealt with is something they need dealt with now. or they'll talk to the contractor themselves ch- is not a,which has not always bn as fruitful as we would like. one of the last issues from our last meeting was the $5 million that has been set aside for small
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business impact. there are a couple of criteria that we have, and having to take feedback on this, this is something we came up with between the departments, especially looking forward to projects we're going to have, what we don't want to do is consider rebudgeting these things. the things i've laid out, the elements within the program, are things we often feel are eligible for project funds. we can take a proponent and pay for these mitigation elements. when we think about a project that might be heavily burde burdensome, we have to determine if it might be a burden on delivering the public good we talked about. we plan to use the $5 million to make sure we're properly mitigating the needs. it might be staff time, it might be ambassadors, or other mitigation efforts. also in the case of van ness, when we have a project delay and we know
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the impact will be longer than we committed, enhancing on those things we've already done that we know have been successful, and essentially putting more out to the public. next, there are going to be situations where -- there are federal grants -- they're just not eligible for some of the things week talking about, but we should still do the right thing. which is why we appreciate having the $5 million for the flexibility to do that. and last, and again, in the most extreme situations, to use these funds for directed business support when appropriate, when it is the proper mitigation element, and have those funds, as we've done with central subway, be distributed through the office of economic and workforce development. we have all of the bureaucratic and administrative processes set aside to do it fairly rapidly, but, again, it is
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to determine when it is appropriate to do that. and we're all available for questions. >> chairman: commissioner -- before we do that, mr. ho, mr. garboncho, you want to talk to the schedule of these two massive projects that total $2 billion american dollars? >> good afternoon, commissioners. my name is peter deboncho. anthe last time i was up here, we were reporting -- it was 564 days of delay. i'm happy to say that we haven't lost anymore days in the last month. we're now working on trying to recover some of those delays. in addition to that, we're currently preparing to move into the next phase. the utility work will be making some changes on the length of the corridor. we're expecting the next phase to go more monthly.
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in the early faces, we've done a lot of advanced work to try to identify some problems and ge get out in front of some of the challenges we've had. >> chairman: scheduled final completion is now at when? >> substantial completion is in spring of 2021. >> june. >> june of 2021. which will put us in revenue service later that summer. >> chairman: okay. mr. ho. and then i know there are a bunch of merchants here who want to testify, so i want to give them the ability to do that. okay. you're not mr. ho. but i remember you, though, but i forget your name. >> phillip here with public affairs with the central subject. mr. ho could not be here today. we're still targeting december of this year for revenue service. there are some risks to that schedule, but the
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project team is working with that contractor to mit tbaimitigate those risks. >> chairman: i don't think you mean revenue service, but i think you mean project completion. mr. ho, the last time he made this representation, was that the project would be complete but not in revenue service. so you're actually speeding things up. i just want to hear that you're going to be out of the ground by the end of this year. >> yes, that's correct. >> chairman: all right. note to self: on april 23rd, they reiterated they would be done at the end of december. if, colleagues, you will indulge me, i wanted to give members of the public -- because i think there are some folks here from the merchant community who might want to testify. so why don't we open items 11 and 12 up to public comment.
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>> part of the over all arrangements was to build on our about a thousand apartment unit complexes in the area along with this development of the subway system. she explained that because of the developers are charging too much money, the apartment building complexes that are supposed to be built, along with the van ness project, are not being built. it throws and goes with my demonstrations that i've been making before you, how developers are over charging to build these apartment building complexes, and as a result, the most vulnerable people, in very low and low income brackets, are not getting housing. and the only people that
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has joined housing in san francisco are people in high income brackets. you have muni bus drivers that are working and can't even afford to live in the city and maintain their jobs as a bus driver. it is disgusting. you have people sleeping in their cars that are bus drivers, that are on the payroll of the city of san francisco, and can't even afford to live here. and this is another example of it. and my demonstration earlier, when i was talking about sensors, you need to put a sensor in the front of of these trains so they can detect a train that is in front of them so the driver won't have to make an emergency stop, which puts the flats on those wheels that are made out of low-grade cast-iron material. you need the same type of material pertained to the cast-iron that is made on those wheels that you're using at the terminal.
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[buzzer] -- so customers would have a
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meaningful reason to come to the corridors. so we did a wine walk during the construction. we did onc concierge walk and it helped with us the merchant association to add more capacity and really to get the merchants involved in a different level. so thank you for the opportuni opportunity. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i'm the president of the district merchants' association and the past president of the westportal merchants' association and a business owner on westportal and i grew up on westportal. i have multiple businesses and i cannot emphasize enough how different neighborhoods have different needs. when the project that was going on in my cole valley location, and the needs in the community were different than those in westportal. so a few things to say, i would
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like to commend them for initiating the merchant working group. it was a long process, a little bit slow for my opinion but i'm small business and so i learned to adapt to big systems but it's worked and created a dialogue. the word "outreach" no longer means putting something on a telephone pole and 30, 60 days showing up with equipment and everyone has a deer in the headlight look. and now it's knowing faces. i cannot emphasize enough how critical it was to have someone on-site during the west portal project and it was a devastating project economically to many of the businesses. keep in mind that most businesses vehicles around a 10%, or 15% profit margin. when sales are down 10% you're in the negative. and many people decide why should i continue and how long will it take me to recover, so
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please remember that retail businesses and small merchant corridors near a fragile state. they need your attention. i encourage you to keep up with these programs and quite honestly they need a lot more attention, funding and resources, thank you. >> thank you, sir. >> good afternoon, i'm a merchant at west portal and i own a small business and a restaurant. and restaurants are really tough to deal with a situation like that with a project. first the project was really well managed and they came in and they left in a matter of two months. i believe that it was one or two days ahead of schedule so kudos for that. it was very well managed. but the impact that we had as merchants was profound as a
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restaurant owner you cannot tell your employees to not go to work because you don't have that big. >> commissioner chow:. and because of the project that closed the street and the sidewalk pretty much and you don't have the foot traffic and also we are also a delivery service and we deliver. and if you can't get your drivers in or get your suppliers to bring the goods that you need it creates also another problem and so financially it was a big hit for us. but the project in general was very successful and i just want to say that the outreach from the -- from the project managers was pretty good. we worked with them for several months and that also helped us to pinpoint where the construction site was going to be and how late they were going to stay. how early they'd come and all of
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that. but as a merchant, i just want to emphasize that it did get a big hit on our finances. and, actually, as mayu put it, we had to dig into our savings to keep the business going. thank you very much. >> thank you for sharing that with us. next speaker, please. >> thank you for having me. carl aguilar, a resident of the west portal area and merchant on portal. and i'm in a unique position. i had been preparing for this whole situation for a long time and i cannot express how important that the outreach was because they had had various ideas for how to disrupt it as softly as possible and taking the merchants', their views, into consideration. and they were able to consolidate the project and make it happen in a way that was the
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least impactful. my situation was interesting in that my store burned down during that time. so i didn't have to experience it. i got to see it from the other side, from the residents' side. and i cannot tell you, like no matter what you do it's always going to be impactful and hard for residents and hard for businesses. but as long as there's a way for us to communicate and to improve on the situation, to check in and to stop and say, you know, this isn't working, can we try something else. or, you know, whatever it is. and this particular project went better than many of the other projects i have seen before. so i just wanted to say thanks for that. and i think that more outreach and more funding in the future would be much por more beneficil for the businesses and the residents in the neighborhood. >> thank you, sir. next speaker. >> my name is herbert wiener and i'm not a merchant but i do
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patronize the businesses along these corridors. now my feeling is the ambassadors to me appear like pacification teams. they don't really listen. they don't really -- they have a deaf ear and they simply go through the motion. the community meetings that they have on these projects are simply dog and pony shows and they do whatever they darned well please. and in closing i want to say that i'm grateful to this board. you are the watchdogs over an agency that is out of control. even the m.t.a. board is circling the wagons and protecting the executive director. so, please, continue your vigilance because it really affects the public. right now m.t.a. is taking an axe to public transportation. it is wrecking it. this could be the best public transportation system in the
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country and it is simply running it into the ground. thank you. >> thank you, next speakers and any members of the public on items 11 and 12, line up. >> i'm maureen dawes and a business owner and resident of west portal. i'll disagree with the gentleman, i never saw him at the meetings so i'm not sure how it's a dog and pony show. deanna sula, you came to our business as well before this all started. luckily because they fought that they were kind of -- not them -- the contractor trying to say, oh, this will be less disruptive for the merchants, because we kind of have pre-planning we are able to kind of change things a little bit and it kind of messed up on our side of the business with the barriers, but it made it that the contractors were able to just have a one side of
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the street closed and get things done safely and quicker. and basically we wanted them in and out. as everybody else said, as a business owner, our city fees are still there. i'm still paying my taxes and i'm still paying everything else but our business is down 40% to 50%. because people can't walk on our side of the sidewalk. deanna was there, i think that philip too, the first day of construction. if they weren't there and i didn't have their outreach, the barriers would have been put in the wrong place. they would not have left openings for us to get deliveries. there's only one spot that we can get a grocery delivery. so without them there that day to have to have a barrier removed every week, it would be crazy. so it made it much smoother and it was a pain in the ass, but they kind of helped us through it and tried to keep everybody rolling as usual.
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but our rents still do, and pg&e do, and fees due to the city. there's no waiver on that. so thank you. thank you. >> thank you for your testimony. if there's no other members of the public for these items for public comment, public comment is now closed. and i do appreciate the comments that -- with regard to west portal but there's a magnitude of difference as staff said between a project like west portal and projects that are over two years in duration like the central subway which is now past half a decade and van ness avenue that spans four districts that is slated for completion in june 2021. and i know that a bunch of my colleagues have very specific questions about that $5 million of eraf money that we set aside for -- merchant outreach is
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great, but talk is cheap and money is money. so even if that money isn't going to cover the actual losses that these businesses experienced, the case in chinatown where you heard jorge talk about the 44 grants that were disbursed were a pittance compared to the economic losses that those businesses have endured, or mostly endured. some of them did not live to see the end. but psychologically it really showed that the city gave a darn. so with that, commissioner haney. >> thank you, chair, and that's very much what i was going to ask about. you know, i have been now a couple months in my time as supervisor and i have heard from a number of businesses, particularly along the fourth street corridor in terms ever the impact -- of the impact there. and i was very excited to see us to put forward some real money
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that might be used to support them directly. i want to quickly read an email from a business that is on fourth and bryant, it's a filipino business in the filipino cultural district that is struggling and may not survive in the next several months. i'm disappointed with the work on fourth and bryant at our peak times. i'd like to inform you that this is a big impact on our business. dust and debris and bad smell made our avenue useless. it's difficult for us to deal. and i've not seen a longer term construction schedule as promised and i still am only given 24-48 hours' notice before the work is done, which gives us no time to pivot. we have been newly open for brunch on the weekends and the construction is scheduled to continue through sunday morning. i'm not given any option for resources of assistance from the city other than technical supports. and this is not sustainable. this email is from last week.
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so what are we doing in cases like that, to offer not just outreach but real assistance to a business who is in that kind of a situation? >> so thanks for the question, commissioner. i mean, to be honest, emails like that shouldn't be happening. so a lot of the cleanliness of the site and not getting a response, who do i talk to, that it has to get all the way to your office are the things that exactly we want to try to avoid. so the first commitment i can make is that philip -- >> and i'm sure that all of you are cced on these emails for months. >> well, we'll follow-up specifically on that particular issue and with your office. part of the point of the west borough presentation is when we can do it early and implement all of these tools we can see that the impacts to the businesses are low. specifically around the central subway and van ness we didn't have this toolkit in place. so we're playing catch-up. and so specifically we can send out oewd and talk about the
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different programs that are available to them, as has been brought up during the hearing. a lot of the san francisco businesses don't even know about the programs that the city offers and these particular situations. even in advance of a project. and the project itself can be supportive in a way for businesses to get education, the evaluations that we're talking about and even directed business support. i think that part of the challenge that we have faced in implementing this program is to know exactly when that trigger is. when is bad too bad. and we would love to have a discussion with all of you in your offices about when is bad too bad and how do we start implementing these different treatments, especially directed business support. i think that second earl, we shd have gone out and talked about doing an evaluation of the businesses along the corridor prior to starting construction. so one of the changes that we have learned is to actually go out, talk to those businesses and work with oewd to do an
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evaluation of businesses and their health on the corridor to understand the impacts and to come up with specific treatments and programs that we can work with businesses like that in advance of construction even starting. so we'll follow-up and we'll talk about these treatments and refer them to the programs that we have available to follow-up some of the things that we have talked about today. >> just to be clear, with this particular business it doesn't seem to me that the issue was them not knowing who to contact. they have been contacting people regularly or having outreach to them and it's that these problems have been ongoing and they've not received any substantive support to address mitigation or their lost revenue. so i recognize that we have an outreach issue. we have folks who don't know that there are programs available. but then we have businesses like this that have been outreached and are emailing repeatedly the right folks and do know about programs and are not receiving anything to direct them. >> the thing that concerns me most is the issue of cleanliness and follow-up. those are things -- i don't care
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if it's a commercial corridor or not, we should do that as part of any regular capital project. so that's something that we definitely need to follow-up to and work with the contractor to resolve. that's unacceptable on any project and any delivery and particularly that issue is the biggest source of complaint that we get. so the solution is really to hold the contractor accountable. so we'll follow-up and make sure that is resolved as quickly as possible. >> commissioner fewer. >> supervisor fewer:, yes, thank you, chair. so my question is about the use of the business impact fund $5 million. and i think that the conversation that we had here at this board was that this money was going to go directly as relief to small businesses. so i guess that the outreach is important. you know, the mitigation is important. but i also just, you know, when we heard the speaker saying, yeah, the mit mitigation is gret but i'm still 40%, 50% reduction and loss of revenue.
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so it was our understanding i believe on this board through the conversations that we had here about the mitigation fund that these refunds that would be directly available to the small businesses that had been impacted. and i am not seeing that here. so what i'm seeing here is a whole bunch of well, blah, blah, but i'm not hearing that actually the use of what we wanted this to go to is actually going to that use. so what i would need from you today, sir, is the list of businesses that actually you gave direct funds to to help to mitigate and offset their loss of revenue. and i would like the names of the businesses and their addresses and the amounts they were given and actually how the dl$5 million was disbursed. because, actually, that is what this board gave direction to with this $5 million. >> so what we can do to date is to give you all of that information with regard to the central subway project. in which the amount allocated
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for such a program was about $400,000. with regard to the $5 million, and i think that this is something that we would ask support from this board from is would it be allocated to all projects across the city? would it be a universal program in which the businesses can apply? one thing that we've discussed with the office of economic and workforce development was in 2012 in just coming out of the economic downturn, the board of supervisors created a revolving loan fund for small businesses with extremely low interest rates. it's one of the programs that isn't brought up all that often. the original appropriation i believe -- and jorge can help me -- is only $2 million. so this is an example where we could take the $5 million and enhance or even double that program and make it available to businesses very similar to the application process that we did with the central subway process. so that's an example of something that we could do. with regard to the current
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program we typically offer that level of support on a high magnitude project. so a van ness bus rapid transit project would be one where that would happen or the central subway project. so would that be the type of situation -- >> supervisor fewer: yes. well, actually, in that context that it is -- we are -- actually, we are like two years -- two years beyond what we have told initially what this would be. the onus is on us, quite frankly. they thought that they could hang on for two years, maybe a year and a half. but they had no idea that they'd hang on for five years. now for a small business and what we heard today, i think that you can hear that that impact is pretty severe. if you're losing 40% or 50% of your revenue on a short-term basis you might be able to do something with a short-term loan
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or something. but for four or five years you'll not be able to do that in small businesses in san francisco. i have seen these businesses and there are fences put up right in front of their stores and they don't even have access. when i look at the restaurants i don't know if they're open because it's blocked with cyclone fencing. this is our responsibility. so, yes, that's where i want the $5 million to go and i would like to see the businesses most impacted especially -- i get that we do construction all over san francisco and we do it in business corridors. and temporary amount of time, they are impacted, i get that. so when we see the van ness corridor and you see the central subway, this is our fault. this is an issue, this is an overrun. this is not on time. and this is not delivered on time. this is asking small businesses now to stretch it out for another two years, another year. and as supervisor peskin said, now we're at half a decade. so this $5 million that we voted on for this eraf fund is not for


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