Streetcars Help Sell Prop. A

Yes on A card 2014San Francisco voters approved Proposition A on the November 4 ballot. It required two-thirds to pass and garnered better than 71%, a strong showing. This means $500 million in new general obligation bonds for capital improvements to San Francisco’s transportation system, including Muni, bicycle infrastructure, streets, and pedestrian safety.

Critics of the measure complained the measure was too vague, with no specific projects listed for funding. But we couldn’t help noticing that virtually every “Yes on A” mailer we received at our house, including the one above, had a historic streetcar front and center.   (Technically, this one had too, if you count the piece of the Milan tram in the left hand photo.)

Seems reasonable enough to us to assume that a number of voters at least inferred that some of the money would go for historic streetcar improvements. And while purchase or renovation of vehicles are not eligible for funding from this bond issue, there are several historic streetcar projects, including the Fort Mason extension (west from Fisherman’s Wharf) and Mission/Bay Dogpatch station modification (to extend the E-line south) that would be. We’ll be advocating for the historic streetcars to get their fair share of Proposition A, since they clearly helped sell it!

It’s also important to note that voters also approved Proposition B, which will automatically give SFMTA, Muni’s parent, more funding as the city’s population grows. And voters resoundingly defeated Proposition L, which included a package of automobile-centric measures that might have impeded transit operations and bicycle infrastructure.

All in all, a triple win for public transit, bicyclists, and pedestrians in San Francisco.