August 24, 2006
(For Board: September 8, 2006)

 

REPORT OF THE BUILDING AND OPERATING COMMITTEE/
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

 

Honorable Board of Directors
Golden Gate Bridge, Highway
  and Transportation District

Honorable Members:

A meeting of the Building and Operating Committee was held in the Board Room, Administration Building, Toll Plaza, San Francisco, California, on Thursday, August 24, 2006, at 10:00 a.m., Chair Eddie presiding.

Committee Members Present (8): Chair Eddie; Vice Chair Reilly; Directors Boro, Hernández, Martini, Moylan and Stroeh; President Middlebrook (Ex Officio)
Committee Members Absent (1): Director Ammiano
Other Directors Present (4): Directors Grosboll, Murray, Newhouse Segal and Pahre

Committee of the Whole Members Present (12): Directors Eddie, Grosboll, Hernández, Martini, Murray, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Reilly and Stroeh; Second Vice President Boro; First Vice President Moylan; President Middlebrook
Committee of the Whole Members Absent (7): Directors Ammiano, Brown, Cochran, Dufty, Kerns, McGoldrick and Sandoval

Staff Present: General Manager Celia G. Kupersmith; District Engineer Denis J. Mulligan; Auditor-Controller Joseph M. Wire; Secretary of the District Janet S. Tarantino; Attorney David J. Miller; Deputy General Manager/Bridge Division Kary H. Witt; Deputy General Manager/Bus Division Susan C. Chiaroni; Public Affairs Director Mary C. Currie; Planning Director Alan R. Zahradnik; Property Development and Management Specialist Norma Jellison; Assistant Clerk of the Board Patsy Whala

Visitors Present: Rodney Pimentel, Deputy Director, San Francisco County Transportation Authority; Gary Kennerley, Consultant Project Manager, Parsons Brinckerhoff; Molly Graham, Public Involvement Director, Doyle Drive Environmental and Design Study Project; Ron Gerber, Redevelopment Manager, City of Novato; Janette Barroca and Patricia Boyd, Marina residents

 

     
1.
Presentation and Update by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority on the Doyle Drive Environmental and Design Study Project
     
 

Chair Eddie introduced Rodney Pimentel of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) and Gary Kennerley, Consultant Project Manager, Parsons Brinckerhoff, who gave a PowerPoint presentation on the status of the Doyle Drive Environmental and Design Study Project (Doyle Drive Project). Director of Planning Alan Zahradnik stated that the Doyle Drive Project is reaching a significant milestone with the completion of the environmental process and the selection of the preferred alternative. A copy of the PowerPoint presentation is available in the Office of the District Secretary, as well as on the District’s web site.

Mr. Pimental expressed his gratitude to the Board for the opportunity to update the District on the Doyle Drive Project. He stated that SFCTA is very close to finishing the Environmental Impact Statement/Report (EIR) and will be bringing forward, for approval, Alternative 5, the Presidio Parkway in the EIR. Mr. Pimental stated that Alternative 5 has been accepted by many of the stakeholders as the preferred alternative amongst the three alternatives that were presented in the EIR. He noted that Alternative 5 will be presented to the SFCTA Board of Commissioners for approval on September 19, 2006.

Mr. Kennerley stated that the project purpose of the Doyle Drive Project is to improve the seismic, structural and traffic safety of the roadway within the setting and context of the Presidio of San Francisco and its purpose as a National Park. He noted that the project purpose has guided the Doyle Drive Project during the development phase of the EIR over the past five years. Mr. Kennerley also stated that multiple governmental agencies, as well as Citizen Advisory Committees, have been involved in the Doyle Drive Project.

Mr. Kennerley summarized the project alternatives: Alternative 1 – No-Build; Alternative 2 – Replace and Widen; and, Alternative 5 – Presidio Parkway. He noted that, following analysis in 2004, Alternatives 3 and 4 were deleted from consideration. Mr. Kennerley continued with the presentation, describing the existing condition of Doyle Drive, and pointed out that both Alternatives 2 and 5 would provide wider lanes, a median, shoulders and new ramps, and can accommodate the transfer vehicle for a moveable median barrier.

Mr. Kennerley described Alternative 5 – Presidio Parkway in detail, and stated that the intent was to create a parkway that was compatible with the setting of the Presidio as a National Park. He emphasized the features, such as wide landscape medians to appear as if there are two separate facilities for northbound and southbound directions, continuous shoulders, and additional curvature to enhance traffic calming.

Mr. Kennerley described the different design options for Alternative 5, including the Presidio Access – Diamond option; the Park Presidio Interchange – Modified Hook Ramp option; and, the Merchant Road Slip Ramp option. He provided additional details regarding the Merchant Road Slip Ramp option. This option would improve the congested weaving condition that occurs as traffic from Doyle Drive exits onto Merchant Road, conflicting with traffic merging from the Park Presidio interchange.

Mr. Kennerley described the process used to identify the recommendation for the preferred alternative, which included meetings with the Doyle Drive Citizens’ Advisory Subcommittee, as well as the Agency Advisory Committee. He stated that through this process, the project was divided into discrete steps and an alternative was selected based on how well it met the project purpose and objectives. He noted that the final design does not include the Merchant Road Slip Ramp option. Mr. Kennerley stated that if Alternative 5 is approved by the SFCTA Board, which is the lead CEQA agency, it will be formally identified as the preferred alternative.

He provided the project timeline, which included: the design phase taking place between 2006 and 2008; the construction phase beginning in 2009; and, the final project scheduled for completion in 2012.

Discussion ensued, including the following salient points:

     
 
  • Director Stroeh confirmed that the Doyle Drive Project was designed with four southbound lanes and three northbound lanes and inquired as to whether any consideration was given to changing the lane configuration on Lombard Street to relieve the traffic congestion. In response, Mr. Kennerley stated that the limits of the Doyle Drive Project end at Lyon and Broderick streets, and that the SFCTA has not looked at changing operations on Lombard Street as part of the Project.
     
 
  • Director Newhouse Segal made the following comments and inquiries:
    • She requested that Mr. Kennerly display the traffic pattern when traveling northbound on Doyle Drive to Merchant Road. In response, Mr. Kennerly indicated where traffic exited Doyle Drive onto Merchant Road and stated that, with the preferred alternative, the access will essentially stay the same. To further clarify the response, Mr. Mulligan stated that the project contemplates spending money to improve Doyle Drive; however, the proposed project with the preferred alternative does not include the design option for the Merchant Road Access. Although the District supports moving forward with the project, the District has gone on record with the SFCTA, urging them to include the Merchant Road Slip Ramp option in the final design for Alternative 5 for the Doyle Drive Project.
    • She commented that the destination of traffic exiting Doyle Drive onto Merchant Road, included not only the Golden Gate Bridge, but also the Presidio. She then inquired as to whether the project included a plan for traffic calming. In response, Mr. Kennerley acknowledged that traffic accesses both the Golden Gate Bridge and the Presidio from this exit, and that there is typically heavy congestion on weekday afternoons and on weekends. He noted that one improvement for traffic flow with Alternative 5 includes the installation of a stop sign to make the Merchant Road approach an all-way stop. He stated that the SFCTA is committed to working through this issue to improve the exit as much as possible without using the Merchant Road Slip Ramp option. Mr. Kennerley added that, working with Caltrans, the design will include a standard configuration to meet the required sight distances to allow a smooth merge, as well as look at ways to balance the appropriate sight distances in the area to accommodate both the traffic speed and a smooth weave. He also noted that these details will be worked out as the project is developed.
    • She inquired as to what is the added cost of the Merchant Road Slip Ramp option to the Doyle Drive Project. In response, Mr. Kennerley stated the slip ramp would add $8.6 million in direct construction costs, which amounts to 1% of the total project cost of $700 million.
     
 
  • Director Eddie inquired as to lane configuration for the merge with State Route 1 and Doyle Drive and commented that drivers will continue to have difficulty changing lanes to exit onto Merchant Road. In response, Mr. Kennerley stated that, when U.S. Highway 101 and Doyle Drive merge, the lane configuration includes three lanes for Doyle Drive and two lanes for State Route 1. He noted that the landscape median ends at that location, so that the lane configuration can match the existing toll plaza operations and lane changes. Mr. Kennerley added that the improved sight distance will create a smoother merge, although it will still be necessary for motorists to cross over two lanes.
     
 
  • Director Boro made the following comments and inquiries:
    • He inquired as to the accident history in the location between Doyle Drive and the Merchant Road Access. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated although the accident rate is relatively low, the District is concerned because it is a difficult maneuver for motorists. He noted that the Doyle Drive Project will be altering traffic patterns which may change the future accident rate.
    • He requested clarification regarding the moveable median barrier and the transfer vehicle. In response, Mr. Kennerley stated that, although the Doyle Drive Project does not include a moveable median barrier, the project does have sufficient space in the median to accommodate a barrier transfer vehicle. Mr. Mulligan added that the SFCTA has worked closely with District staff to address the need for an area to park the barrier transfer vehicle, and that the project incorporates such an area for a moveable median barrier.
    • He inquired as to whether the Doyle Drive Project includes the authorization of a moveable median barrier and whether the District would be required to request such authorization at a later date. He commented that, in his opinion, in order to avoid future lengthy discussions on the matter, the organization responsible for Doyle Drive should agree at this time that a moveable median barrier would be provided as part of the project. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that the SFCTA and partner agencies did not agree in writing to allow a moveable median barrier, but that they agreed to provide an area to park the barrier transfer vehicle if the District proceeds with the project. He noted that District staff will seek such approval in writing from the SFCTA and the partner agencies during the design phase.
    • He inquired as what would happen if the District moved forward with the moveable median barrier project before the Doyle Drive Project was implemented. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that the District would get Caltrans approval for an encroachment permit to obtain the area to park the barrier transfer v ehicle.
    • He commented that the District may want to express the need to include the Merchant Road Slip Ramp option for public safety concerns. In response, Ms. Kupersmith suggested that the Committee recommend to the Board a resolution in support of including the Merchant Road Slip Ramp option in Alternative 5, Presidio Parkway, identified in the Final Environmental Impact Report for the Doyle Drive Replacement Project, in order to address existing and future safety concerns associated with the current Doyle Drive configuration; and, direct staff to transmit the resolution to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority immediately.
     
 
After discussion, a motion was made and seconded by Directors BORO/STROEH to present the following recommendation to the Board of Directors for consideration at its meeting of Friday, September 8, 2006:
     
 
RECOMMENDATION
     
 

The Committee recommends that the Board of Directors urge inclusion of the Merchant Road Slip Ramp option in Alternative 5, Presidio Parkway, identified in the Final Environmental Impact Report for the Doyle Drive Replacement Project, in order to address existing and future safety concerns associated with the current Doyle Drive configuration; and, direct staff to transmit the attached resolution to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority immediately.

Action by the Board – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

     
 
AYES (12):     Directors Eddie, Grosboll, Hernández, Martini, Murray, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Reilly and Stroeh; Second Vice President Boro; First Vice President Moylan; President Middlebrook
NOES (0):      None
ABSENT (7): Directors Ammiano, Brown, Cochran, Dufty, Kerns, McGoldrick and Sandoval
     
2.
Authorize Execution of a Memorandum of Agreement with the City of Novato Redevelopment Agency Relative to the Novato Bus Facility
     
 

In a memorandum to Committee, Property Development & Management Specialist Norma Jellison, Planning Director Alan Zahradnik and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on staff’s recommendation to approve the District’s entry into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the City of Novato Redevelopment Agency to develop a feasibility plan for the redevelopment of the bus operations at the Novato Bus Yard and explore the possible relocation or replacement of the bus operations to a new site at no cost to the District. The report stated that, in regards to the development and use of District real estate assets, the Building and Operating Committee, at its meeting of October 21, 2004, approved the continued discussions with the City of Novato (City) on potential relocation and redevelopment of the bus operations at the Novato Bus Yard. Over the ensuing period, staff has met with the City of Novato Redevelopment Manager to discuss the relocation of the bus operations. Staff identified that the District would require a turnkey relocation: therefore, the relocation must be at no cost to the District; the relocation must provide for District ownership of the land; and, the replacement buildings must provide for the District’s current and future operational requirements.

The report also stated that the proposed MOA allows the City to proceed with analysis of the existing bus lot (title, appraisal, environmental conditions, development potential, etc.), and exploration of the District’s requirements for its current and future Novato bus operations, including potential sites for relocation. The District’s neighbor immediately to the north, the North Marin Water District (NMWD), entered into a similar MOA in February. The City is interested in relocating and redeveloping both the NMWD and the District’s property, in combination or separately. The proposed MOA would be executed between the District and the City of Novato Council sitting as the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) and does not commit the District to any action that may result from the City’s studies. The proposed MOA, which has been reviewed and approved by the District’s legal counsel, incorporates staff comments regarding cooperation being contingent upon no costs being incurred by the District. The RDA approved the MOA for execution at their meeting of July 25, 2006. A copy of the staff report is available in the Office of the District Secretary, as well as on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Ms. Kupersmith stated that, with the approval of the MOA, any discussions regarding the potential relocation and redevelopment of the Novato bus operations will clearly be on the record. She stated that the MOA allows the City of Novato Redevelopment Agency to have access to the property but does not bind the District to the findings. Ms. Kupersmith noted that all costs associated with studies and preparation of reports will be borne by the City of Novato Redevelopment Agency.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

     
 
  • Director Stroeh stated that, in his opinion, that the relocation of the Novato Bus Yard does seem sensible in regards to the City of Novato using those locations for better use. He added that the key component is that the District would not incur any cost from the process.
     
 
  • Director Murray stated that this recommendation is worthy of study and that there is no downside for the District in proceeding with this MOA. She also stated that the redevelopment project would improve business for downtown Novato and possibly increase ridership on the Golden Gate Transit.
     
 
Staff recommended and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors STROEH/MOYLAN to forward the following recommendation to the Board of Directors for its consideration:
     
 
RECOMMENDATION
     
 

The Building and Operating Committee recommends that the Board of Directors authorize execution of a Memorandum of Agreement with the City of Novato Redevelopment Agency (Redevelopment Agency) for the purpose of allowing the Redevelopment Agency staff to develop a feasibility plan for the potential relocation and redevelopment of the District’s Novato Bus Facility, with the understanding that all costs associated with any study and/or preparation of reports will be borne by the Redevelopment Agency.

Action by the Board – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

     
 
AYES (12):    Directors Eddie, Grosboll, Hernández, Martini, Murray, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Reilly and Stroeh; Second Vice President Boro; First Vice President Moylan; President Middlebrook
NOES (0):     None
ABSENT (7): Directors Ammiano, Brown, Cochran, Dufty, Kerns, McGoldrick and Sandoval
     
 
[Note: This matter will be presented to the Board of Directors at its August 25, 2006, meeting for appropriate action.]
     
3.

Authorize Execution of a License Agreement with American Tower, L.P., for Use of the Mt. Tamalpais Communications Site

     
 

In a memorandum to Committee, Property Development & Management Specialist Norma Jellison, Deputy General Manager/Bridge Division Kary H. Witt and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on staff’s recommendation to authorize a License Agreement with American Tower, L.P., to continue operating the District’s radio communications equipment at the Mt. Tamalpais site. The District has operated at the Mt. Tamalpais site since July 1979; therefore, the License Agreement is essentially a renewal of a long-standing occupancy at this site.

The report stated that the District uses a number of tower sites around the Bay Area in order to assure maximum coverage for the District’s radio communications system. The Mt. Tamalpais site, which is owned by the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) contains a large array of towers (approximately 30), hundreds of antennas, and buildings that house associated radio communications equipment belonging to both public agencies and private-sector firms. Since 1979, the site has been managed for MMWD under a long-term lease with private parties. The Board of Directors, by Resolution No. 95-40 at its meeting of March 10, 1995, authorized execution of a five-year License Agreement with Diablo Communications, Inc., with one (1) five-year renewal, effective July 1995, who was the site manager at the time. Since the expiration of the License Agreement with Diablo Communications, Inc., the District has remained at the site on a month-to-month basis. American Tower, L.P., is the current firm managing the communications sites on Mt. Tamalpais for MMWD.

The report also stated that the proposed five-year License Agreement has three (3) five-year renewal terms that renew automatically unless terminated by either party. The License fee is $3,000 per month and is comparable to the License fees paid by other public agencies. The License fee increases annually by 4% throughout the first term and the renewal of the License Agreement and is comparable to the annual increase paid by other public agencies and private firms co-located at the site. Staff recommends authorization for the entire 20-year term of this License Agreement. The fee for the five-year term is $194,987.61; and, for the total 20-year term is $1,072,010.83. The first year License fee of $36,000 was included in the Bridge Division’s FY 06/07 budget. A copy of the staff report is available in the Office of the District Secretary, as well as on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Ms. Kupersmith stated that the District’s communications site on Mt. Tamalpais is essential to the working of the District’s radio system. She noted that this License Agreement has been in place for many years and staff recommends extending the License Agreement for 20 years.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

     
 
  • Director Grosboll inquired as to whether staff has documentation to show that other public agencies are paying a comparable rate. In response, Mr. Witt stated that staff did extensive research into the amounts other agencies were paying for this specific site and found that the District’s costs were comparable to those of other agencies.
     
 
Staff recommended and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors STROEH/MOYLAN to forward the following recommendation to the Board of Directors for its consideration:
     
 
RECOMMENDATION
     
 

The Building and Operating Committee recommends that the Board of Directors authorize execution of a License Agreement with American Tower, L.P., for the use of operating the District’s radio communications equipment at the Mt. Tamalpais site, for five years, in the amount of $36,000 for the first year, with three (3) five-year options, to include 4% annual increases for the initial five-year term and all options, automatically renewed unless terminated by either party, with the understanding that requisite funds for the first year of the License Agreement are available in the Bridge Division Operating Budget for FY 06/07 and that funds for the remaining fiscal years of the License Agreement will be included in the Bridge Division Operating Budget.

Action by the Board – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

     
 
AYES (12):    Directors Eddie, Grosboll, Hernández, Martini, Murray, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Reilly and Stroeh; Second Vice President Boro; First Vice President Moylan; President Middlebrook
NOES (0):      None
ABSENT (7): Directors Ammiano, Brown, Cochran, Dufty, Kerns, McGoldrick and Sandoval
     
 
[Note:  This matter will be presented to the Board of Directors at its August 25, 2006, meeting for appropriate action.]
     
4. Status Report from District Appointees on Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) Board
     
 

There was no meeting of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) scheduled in August 2006; therefore no SMART meeting materials will be provided this month.

At the meeting, Director Boro, President of the SMART Board, stated that two meetings were held to launch the SMART Train Campaign for placing the measure on the November 2006 ballot.  He stated that former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta addressed the meeting held in San Rafael on Tuesday, August 22, 2006, and Supervisor Tim Smith addressed the meeting held in Santa Rosa on Wednesday, August 23, 2006.  Director Boro noted that the community expressed strong public support for the project.

Action by the Board – None Required

     
5.

Status Report on Engineering Projects

     
 

In a memorandum to Committee, Deputy District Engineer Ewa Z. Bauer, District Engineer Denis Mulligan and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on current engineering projects.  A copy of the report is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

In response to an inquiry from Director Martini, Mr. Mulligan provided the Board with an update on the case regarding the City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California vs. Pacific Cement Company.

Action by the Board – None Required

     
6. Public Comment
     
  There was no public comment.
     
7. Adjournment
     
  All business having been concluded, the meeting was declared adjourned at 10:55 a.m.
     

 

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ James C. Eddie, Chair
Building and Operating Committee


Attachment:   Draft Resolution No. 2006-073, A Resolution Urging Inclusion of Merchant Road Slip Ramp Option, in Preferred Alternative 5, Presidio Parkway, for the Doyle Drive Replacement Project