City Seeks Public Input On Future Sales Tax-Funded Transportation Projects

The Balboa Park BART station has benefited from the half-cent sales tax. Courtesy photo

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As San Francisco prepares to ask voters either in June or November of next year to extend the existing transportation half-cent sales tax and approve its spending plan, transit officials are asking the public for feedback on how the city should spend those transportation tax dollars over the next 30 years.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority, which plans and funds many of the city’s transportation projects and studies in the city with funding from the half-cent sales tax, will host two virtual meetings in November seeking public feedback. A survey is already available online

Voters initially approved the half-cent sales in 1989 and voted to extend it in 2003. Before the pandemic, the half-cent sales generated $110 million a year. The SFCTA has allocated over $1.9 billion in funding from the half-cent sales, according to its website. 

In recent years, the half-cent sales tax has helped fund major capital projects, including the Central Subway, the Van Ness Improvement Project and the recently completed Geary Rapid Project. Funds have also been allocated to pay for new Muni buses and light rail vehicles.

A number of projects, such as pedestrian and bike safety improvements as well as studies in improving mobility, have also been funded by SFCTA from the half-cent sales tax, including projects near the Ingleside neighborhood. 

The MyStreetSF map from the SFCTA shows some of the funding for the 2014 Balboa Park Station Area Circulation Study from the half-cent sales tax. The study made recommendations to improve mobility for all users near the Balboa Park BART station as well as recommendations to improve conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Funding has also been used to make improvements to the BART station, which shares the station with Muni.

In June, the SFCTA Board of Directors — made up of the city’s 11 supervisors — approved allocating funding from the half-cent sales tax for the design phase for the southbound Interstate 280 Ocean Avenue off ramp. The project is designed to keep pedestrians safe from traffic exiting from I-280 onto Ocean Avenue.

The public can learn more about how they can participate by visiting the SFCTA’s website. The two public virtual meetings will be held on Nov. 6 at 11 a.m and Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. Additionally, community groups request a presentation from the project team.