Remember when Obama was running for office and all that anyone wanted to talk about was change? Now the conversation has shifted to recovery. Seems like everyone's got a plan for recovering things these days. Just here in San Francisco, we have RecoverySF, a brand new site that submits city governance questions to the wisdom of the crowd (unfortunately, the site's crowd is still kind of small, so we're not quite ready to call it "wisdom" yet). And in the larger Bay Area, we have the Bay Area Council Economic Institute's Economic Recovery Workplan.
The Economic Recovery Workplan is one of those incredibly boring things that is so dry and dull that nobody can bear to look at it; but someone probably should because it's going to be shaping all of our lives for the next couple of decades. They've identified 85 high-priority projects that'll be vying for about $50 million in state and federal stimulus funds. Among the projects: a stem cell research facility in Marin, ecological retrofits in major metropolitan areas, workforce training, and various transit upgrades and transit-oriented development projects. Sadly, many of the recommendations are love letters to the highway industry, and when we combed through the report, we could only find three transit upgrades for San Francisco (one for traffic calming in the Sunset, one for pedestrian signals, and a few others for the Transbay Terminal).
We were chatting with someone at Muni just the other day and he mentioned that they were scrambling to apply for recovery funds, which leaves us wondering why the SFMTA is so under-represented in this report. For example, why no mention of Bus Rapid Transit on Geary and Van Ness?
· Bay Area names top stimulus priorities [SF Business Times]
· Bay Area Economic Recovery Workplan [Bay Area Council Economic Institute]