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Advocates, lawmakers urge SFMTA not to split into two agencies

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Not everyone is happy with SFMTA—and this time, it’s not because of Muni

Day Two Of San Francisco Transit Workers' 'Sickout' Causes Commuting Delays Throughout City Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A group of local transit advocates and lawmakers have joined forces to oppose a proposition to split the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) into two agencies.

Two city supervisors, Ahsha Safai and Aaron Peskin, will introduce a proposal to divide the agency into parts: Muni, which would handle vehicular needs, and a Livable Streets Department, which would tend to streets, parking, and traffic

According to San Francisco Examiner, SPUR, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco Transit Riders, and Walk SF penned a joint letter opposing the upcoming charter amendment proposal.

In part, the letter reads:

We write as advocates for progressive and effective transportation policy to voice our strong opposition to the City Charter amendment being introduced by Supervisors Peskin and Safaí. This amendment purports to improve the performance and responsiveness of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) by breaking it into two separate agencies: one responsible for Muni operations and another overseeing parking and traffic.

It would also enact governance changes to the two new agencies by modifying appointments to its board and by giving the Board of Supervisors additional legislative responsibility for changes to parking, traffic and policy approved by the new agencies' board.

The coalition cites increased bureaucracy, unnecessary red tape, contradictions to the Transit First policy as the main reasons why the proposed agency division wouldn’t work.

Sen. Scott Wiener added his voice to the mix, saying:

The amendment was supposed to be introduced today, but will most likely be pushed back in light of the death of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who passed away Tuesday.