December 6, 2007

 

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/Committee of the Whole was held in the Board Room, Administration Building, Toll Plaza, San Francisco, California, on Thursday, December 6, 2007, at 10:00 a.m., Chair Eddie presiding.

Committee Members Present (8): Chair Eddie; Vice Chair Reilly; Directors Boro, Grosboll, Hernández, Middlebrook and Stroeh; President Moylan (Ex Officio). Chair Eddie appointed Director Grosboll Committee Member Pro Tem for this meeting only.
Committee Members Absent (1): Director Ammiano
Other Directors Present (3): Directors Cochran, Kerns and Newhouse Segal

Committee of the Whole Members Present (11): Directors Cochran, Eddie, Grosboll, Hernández, Kerns, Middlebrook, Newhouse Segal, Reilly and Stroeh; First Vice President Boro; President Moylan
Committee of the Whole Members Absent (8): Directors Brown, Dufty, McGlashan, McGoldrick, Pahre, Sanders and Sandoval; Second Vice President Ammiano

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 Madeline Chun; Deputy General Manager/Bridge Division Kary H. Witt; Deputy General Manager/Bus Division Susan C. Chiaroni; Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Teri W. Mantony; Public Affairs Director Mary C. Currie; Director of Planning Alan Zahradnik; Executive Assistant to the General Manager Amorette Ko; Assistant Clerk of the Board Karen B. Engbretson

Visitors Present: None

       
1.

Authorize Award of Contract No. 2008-B-1, Window Washing Services, to Delta Window Cleaning Company, Inc.

In a memorandum to Committee, Deputy General Manager/Bridge Division Kary Witt and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on staff’s recommendation to award Contract No. 2008-B-1, Window Washing Services, to Delta Window Cleaning Company, Inc.

The report stated that on October 23, 2007, three proposals were received by the Secretary of the District, and that these proposals were evaluated by the Evaluation Committee, composed of District staff, based on contract price (60%), firm experience and qualifications (20%) and references (20%) for each firm. The Evaluation Committee determined that Delta Window Cleaning Company, Inc., received the highest rating due to the company’s excellent references, and due to the high quality service the company has been providing to the District as the incumbent window washing company.

The report further stated that staff and the Attorney for the District have reviewed the proposal from Delta Window Cleaning Company, Inc., and determined that the proposer has properly submitted all required documents, and that the proposal is technically responsive to the specifications. The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program Office has determined that Delta Window Cleaning Company, Inc., is a certified DBE company; therefore, 100% DBE participation is anticipated during the performance of this contract. It is recommended that Contract No. 2008-B-1 be awarded to Delta Window Cleaning Company, Inc., in the amount of $71,832, for a two-year term, effective January 1, 2008, with a successive one-year option, exercisable by the General Manager or her designee, to provide window washing services at the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza. A copy of the report is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Kary Witt summarized the staff report, noting that the successful proposer is a certified DBE.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

  • Director Middlebrook inquired as to why Delta Window Cleaning Company, Inc., the proposer with the most expensive proposal, was selected for contract award. In response, Mr. Witt stated that Delta Window Cleaning Company, Inc.’s references and experience were outstanding and far superior to the other, less expensive proposers.
  • Director Hernández expressed her support for award of Contract No. 2008-B-1, Window Washing Services, to Delta Window Cleaning Company, Inc., noting that value of the service to be provided by prospective proposers need to be a key issue during the evaluation process. She complimented staff on the thorough job undertaken by the Evaluation Committee.

Staff recommended and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors MIDDLEBROOK/STROEH 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 award of Window Washing Services, to Delta Window Cleaning Company, Inc., Santa Clara, CA, in the amount of $71,832, for a two-year term, effective January 1, 2008, with a successive one-year option at a cost increase of up to five percent, subject to District approval and satisfactory documentation of the Contractor’s increased cost, exercisable by the General Manager or her designee, with the understanding that requisite funds are available in the FY 07/08 Bridge Division Operating Budget, and with the further understanding that requisite funds will be included in the appropriate future fiscal years’ Operating Budgets.

Action by the Board at its meeting of December 14, 2007 – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (11): Directors Cochran, Eddie, Grosboll, Hernández, Kerns, Middlebrook, Newhouse Segal, Reilly and Stroeh; First Vice President Boro; President Moylan
NOES (0): None

       
2.

Discussion Regarding Current and Future Larkspur Ferry Terminal Parking Needs

In a report to Committee, Director of Planning Alan Zahradnik, District Engineer Denis Mulligan and General Manager Celia Kupersmith presented an informational report regarding parking at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal (LFT). The report provided the history and background of the LFT, and described how the public parking needs have grown over the years. The report noted that when the LFT was constructed in 1976, there were less than 1,000 parking spaces, and that approximately 25% of all ferry passengers during the morning peak period used an extensive ferry feeder shuttle system provided by the District. Over time, use of the ferry feeder shuttle buses declined to less than 10% as the District reduced shuttle service due to funding constraints. As the demand for parking spaces increased, the LFT parking lot was expanded several times between 1976 and 2000.

The report further described measures that were used to address the severe overcrowding in the LFT parking lot in 2001, following the launch of the District’s second high-speed passenger ferry. The report also stated that due to extremely low ridership and high operating costs, the District discontinued all ferry feeder shuttle service to the LFT in 2003.

The report stated that currently, with the growing popularity of the Larkspur ferry service, nearly 2,000 vehicles are parked at and around the LFT on most weekdays, although the LFT parking lot only has a capacity of 1,599 parking spaces. As the Larkspur ferry ridership continues to expand, staff has begun to study options for addressing this parking shortage, including the following:

  • An upcoming project to modify the existing at-grade LFT site to increase the number of parking spaces;
  • Preliminary concepts for a multi-story parking structure at either the main lot at the LFT or the District’s property across the street that is currently leased to the Marin Airporter, while maintaining the continued use by the Marin Airporter;
  • The potential receipt of $12.8 million of Urban Partnership Program (UPP) funds which provides an opportunity to further refine the parking structure concepts;
  • The possibility of restoring ferry feeder shuttle bus service was examined, but it was determined that such a large service expansion would not be viable at this time due to lack of operating funds; and,
  • Bicycle and pedestrian access improvements to be included in the surface parking lot expansion, expanding the non-vehicular access to the LFT.

A copy of the report is available from the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Celia Kupersmith briefly introduced the staff report, stating that Alan Zahradnik, Jim Swindler and Denis Mulligan would each be making presentations to the Committee regarding parking at the LFT.

Alan Zahradnik began the PowerPoint presentation, displaying an historic aerial photograph of the LFT site, taken shortly after Larkspur ferry service began in 1976. Mr. Zahradnik then displayed a recent satellite photo of the LFT site depicting the current overcrowded parking conditions, with text overlays showing the number of vehicles parked in the main lot, as well as in each of the overflow areas in and around the LFT. Mr. Zahradnik stated that District staff first began studying parking expansion options for the LFT beginning in the mid-1990s, and established a temporary overflow parking area on the vacant railroad right-of-way above the Marin Airporter Facility. Ms. Kupersmith explained the history of the Marin Airporter site, noting that the District purchased the underlying land in the 1970s, at the time that the LFT was originally developed, in order to have land available for overflow parking in the future. Since the land was not needed at the time, it was leased to the Marin Airporter, a very successful bus service that is now part of the local transportation network. She noted that the Marin Airporter currently rents the land from the District at a cost of $145,000 per year, a significant source of revenue for the District.

Jim Swindler explained the current parking conditions at the LFT, noting that on a typical weekday, the LFT parking lot will fill up by 10:00 a.m., with vehicles overflowing onto the bike path on the periphery of the lot, onto street parking on East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and across the street on the railroad right-of-way. He stated that in order to handle this parking overflow, the District hired an additional Terminal Attendant, whose duties include directing drivers to available unmarked parking spaces at the LFT, and to off-site parking areas once the LFT lot is full.

Denis Mulligan provided a PowerPoint presentation to the Committee, which included the following:

  • Photographs of existing parking conditions, including the number of parking spaces available at the LFT and other nearby locations;
  • Renditions of what a proposed parking structure could look like, at both the Marin Airporter site and the LFT site;
  • Increased parking spaces for a proposed parking structure at each of the sites; and,
  • Schematic drawings and preliminary plans for a proposed parking structure.

During his presentation, Mr. Mulligan highlighted the following points:

  • By intercepting vehicles heading to San Francisco at the LFT parking lot, the District contributes to reducing the number of vehicles on U.S. Highway 101, as well as the streets of San Francisco.
  • The parking structure concept for the Marin Airporter site would have a total of 429 parking spaces, covering a footprint that would occupy approximately 171 existing spaces, resulting in a net increase of approximately 258 new parking spaces.
  • The parking structure concept for the LFT site would have a total of 969 parking spaces, covering a footprint that would occupy approximately 400 existing spaces, resulting in a net increase of approximately 569 new parking spaces.
  • The LFT parking structure would be located adjacent to Wood Island, in order to minimize impacts to the view shed. The proposed four-story height would be similar to the height of other buildings in the Larkspur Landing area.
  • If the District implements the variable pricing toll associated with the UPP grant, it is anticipated that some commuters may choose to ride the ferry from the LFT, rather than drive single occupancy vehicles over the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco, increasing the demand for parking at the LFT.
  • The DOT has concurred with the District’s plans for a two-phased expansion of parking at the LFT, noting that Phase I, to be undertaken later this fiscal year as Contract No. 2008-FT-8, will address the immediate parking needs related to the variable pricing toll.
  • In addition to providing 200 additional legal parking spaces at the LFT, Contract No. 2008-FT-8 will also make improvements to existing accessible parking for disabled persons, which parking spaces are located on land that has settled over time. Contract No. 2008-FT-8 will also provide for the reconstruction of the bike path from East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to the terminal buildings.
  • The long-term needs for parking improvements at the LFT will be addressed by the Phase II parking structure project, which must be environmentally cleared and ready for construction by September 2009, according to the UPP grant requirements.
  • The Phase II parking structure project will undergo a comprehensive California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review process, as well as a thorough public outreach process. In addition, staff will continue to meet with the City of Larkspur staff to hear their concerns.

Following the conclusion of the PowerPoint presentation, Ms. Kupersmith stated that District staff had recently met with Larkspur City Manager Jean Bonander, Planning Director Nancy Kaufman and City Engineering staff at a meeting on November 16, 2007, to get their preliminary feedback and to listen to their concerns about the proposed project. She further stated that she had met separately with City Manager Bonander to discuss the project, noting the following:

  • The City of Larkspur is proud to have the Marin Airporter’s headquarters located in their city, and would like Marin Airporter’s operations to remain in the vicinity of the LFT.
  • The City of Larkspur is open to the idea of a parking structure being built at either the Marin Airporter site or the LFT site.
  • The City of Larkspur is interested in how the plans for a parking structure, particularly one at the Marin Airporter site, would dovetail with Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit’s (SMART) plan for train service to the LFT.

Ms. Kupersmith noted that staff has been studying parking expansion options for the LFT for many years, and that the conceptual renderings included in the presentation were developed by Engineering Department staff from drawings prepared by consultants in the past. She stated that from a financial perspective, the District has $6 million set aside in its Ten-Year Capital Plan for the development of additional parking in the LFT area. She also stated that in addition to those funds, the District was recently awarded UPP grant funds in the amount of $12.8 million for a project that would enhance the District’s ferry service. Since grant funds for parking is relatively difficult to obtain, staff decided that using the UPP grant funds for a parking structure at the LFT would be an appropriate use of the monies. She stated that the District will use part of the UPP grant funds to support the parking expansion project, Phase I, and that staff would come back to the Committee at a later date to further discuss the proposed parking structure project prior to the commencement of the environmental review process.

Ms. Kupersmith noted that as part of the financing plan for a parking structure, staff would also consider cost sharing arrangements with any potential co-users of the parking structure. She also noted that staff would also consider charging for parking in the future, considering the fact that covered parking would be a significant added benefit for ferry riders who choose to drive to the LFT.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

  • Director Boro made the following comments and inquiries:
    • He inquired as to the longevity of the temporary overflow parking area on the railroad right-of-way above the Marin Airporter site. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that the Cal Park Hill Tunnel Rehabilitation and Multi-Use Pathway project construction is anticipated to begin in fall 2008, requiring this temporary overflow parking area to be vacated soon thereafter.
    • He inquired as to whether or not staff has met with Marin Airporter staff to discuss the proposed parking structure. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that staff has met with Marin Airporter staff in the past regarding joint occupancy parking in the vicinity of the LFT, and that staff is planning to meet with Marin Airporter soon to discuss the current proposal.
    • He expressed his concerns about the relatively small number of new parking spaces to be gained by building a four-story parking structure at either site, since the total amount of available parking spaces would be lower when the overflow parking area on the railroad right-of-way is no longer available.
    • He suggested that the Planning Department devise projections of the maximum amount of parking that may be needed in the future at the LFT, based on the growing popularity of the ferry service. In response, Ms. Kupersmith confirmed that if the District were to expand its ferry service beyond the current limit of 42 trips per day, ferry patronage and parking demand would expand accordingly.
    • He urged staff to consider collaborating with the SMART District to build joint occupancy parking, in order to provide the maximum amount of parking that is feasible.
    • He also urged staff to continue to work cooperatively with the City of Larkspur regarding parking expansion at the LFT.
    • He suggested that staff consider selling bonds and collecting user fees as a way to finance the construction and maintenance of a parking structure. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that staff would investigate the possibility of the District selling bonds for transit-related projects.
  • Director Grosboll made the following comments and inquiries:
    • He inquired regarding the cost estimate of $20 million to build a parking structure at either site. In response, Mr. Mulligan explained that according to very preliminary cost estimates, a structure at the Marin Airporter site would cost about $10 million, and a structure at the LFT site would cost less than $20 million.
    • He inquired as to whether the parking structure was being limited to only four levels due to local height restrictions. Mr. Mulligan replied in the affirmative, stating that the four-story height would be consistent with local zoning laws and consistent with neighboring building heights.
    • He inquired as to whether using the Marin Airporter site would simply break even with the number of parking spaces gained, since the number of spaces gained with a parking structure at that site would be close to the number of spaces lost when the overflow parking area on the railroad right-of-way will have to be vacated. In response, Mr. Mulligan answered in the affirmative.
    • He suggested that staff look at the big picture of how many parking spaces would be needed over the next 25-30 years, and consider the possibility of building two parking structures, one at the LFT site and one at the Marin Airporter site. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that staff would consider all of the opportunities available for parking expansion.
  • Director Middlebrook made the following comments and inquiries:
    • She inquired as to whether the Marin Airporter would contribute financially if the parking structure is constructed at their location. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that such a possibility could be negotiated.
    • She inquired as to whether there were any conditions attached to the $12.8 million of UPP grant funds. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that the UPP grant money would only be available to the entire region if the San Francisco County Transportation Authority is able to meet the deadlines and conditions contained in the UPP agreement.
  • Director Reilly inquired as to whether the permitting and approval process would be more difficult for either of the proposed locations of the parking structure. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that one site would not necessarily be more difficult than the other. He also stated that both sites would require CEQA and federal National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) environmental review. He noted that the LFT site, since it is within the Bay Conservation and Development Commission’s (BCDC) jurisdiction, would require an amendment to the District’s existing permit with the BCDC as part of the permitting and approval process. He further stated that potential visual impacts and traffic impacts from the parking structure would be thoroughly evaluated during the environmental review process.
  • Director Kerns made the following comments and inquiries:
    • He inquired as to why it would be necessary to undergo the federal NEPA environmental process. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that if the District were to accept the $12.8 million of Urban Partnership Program grant monies, the NEPA process would be required.
    • He concurred with Director Boro that staff should consider building a structure with the maximum allowable number of parking spaces.
    • He urged staff to communicate directly with the Larkspur City Council, in addition to City of Larkspur staff. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that after today’s presentation to the Committee, staff plans to meet formally with Larkspur City Council to brief them on the conceptual plans for a parking structure at the LFT.
  • Director Newhouse Segal made the following comments and inquiries:
    • She concurred with Director Boro that the maximum number of parking spaces should be built, noting that the LFT will be a multi-modal transit hub in the future. She stated that staff should take the opportunity to envision a multi-use parking structure with housing, retail or other uses.
    • She inquired as to whether the $12.8 million of UPP grant funds could be used for a temporary parking solution at the LFT. In response, Ms. Kupersmith explained that according to the grant conditions, the UPP grant funding can only be used for a permanent capital project, not for a temporary leased structure. She noted that some of the UPP grant funds could be used for the detailed environmental studies and the preliminary engineering associated with the parking structure.
  • Director Stroeh made the following comments and inquiries:
    • He inquired as to the feasibility of a multi-use parking structure with either a restaurant or housing on top. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that staff would explore that possibility, particularly if potential co-users of the parking structure are involved in the project.
  • Chair Eddie commented that the District should do a better job at moving people instead of moving automobiles, and expressed his hopes that the SMART train, if it is successfully implemented, will reduce traffic on U.S. Highway 101.

Action by the Board – None Required

       
3.

Status Report from District Appointees on Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) Board

The Committee was provided with a copy of the agenda for the November 28, 2007, meeting and the minutes of the July 18, 2007, meeting of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) Executive Committee meeting. Copies of these items are available in the Office of the District Secretary, as well as on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Director Boro, one of the members of the SMART Board of Directors (SMART Board), reported on items discussed at the November 28, 2007, meeting of the SMART Board Executive Committee, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with SMART, Marin County Transit District and the Transportation Authority of Marin to jointly occupy 9,000 square feet of space in downtown San Rafael. He also stated that the leases have been signed, and all three transit agencies will be moving in to the building at Second and Hetherton Streets after January 1, 2008.

Action by the Board – None Required

       
4.

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.

Action by the Board – None Required

       
5.

Public Comment

There was no public comment.

       
6.

Adjournment

All business having been concluded, the meeting was declared adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

       
       

Respectfully submitted,

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