Last month the ENTRIPS Community Task Force held another meeting with the city’s mutli-agency team and technical consultant, facilitated by Urban Ecology. This Task Force is comprised of an array of community leaders who are volunteering their time to review and guide the City’s latest transportation planning effort, the Eastern Neighborhoods Transportation Implementation Planning Study, ENTRIPS. There were 18 people in attendance, including City staff from various departments. This particular gathering of the Task Force was to clarify the overall purpose and scope of ENTRIPS, explain the transportation planning and implementation process, and to look at the detailed scope of the existing conditions and “opportunities” document the city’s technical team is in the process of producing as the first phase of ENTRIPS.

ENTRIPS is an implementation study, scoped to perform a full transportation analysis of the Eastern Neighborhoods plan area. It will include new transportation counts and modeling of all transportation modes, with influence from concurrent and past studies that overlap with the ENTRIPS study area. The study is essentially a process of sifting through the various projects identified in the Eastern Neighborhood plans and other transportation plans for the area, and focusing down on a sub-set . of improvements projects for detailed technical analysis, design and environmental clearance, and prepare a funding strategy for their implementation. The ENTRIPS study area is a big geography, with dozens of potential transportation improvement projects, both big and small. This is a complex implementation planning process which will benefit from lots of community eyes on it to make sure it is done well and informed by real-world community needs.

Comments from the Meeting

The ENTRIPS existing conditions scope has been fine tuned with the help of the Community Task Force over many months, yet there were still questions and concerns raised:

Would the issue of skateboarding on sidewalks be included?
Many of the existing traffic counts are out of date and need to be redone.
How does ENTRIPS relate to the High Speed Rail and Transbay Terminal plans?
Strong concern about the ENTRIPS project performing long range planning while all the current services are getting gutted during this financial crisis.

The Task Force then reviewed some initial data and evaluation materials the City had prepared. This included a laundry list of potential transportation projects already identified in various plans and studies relevant to the East Neighorhoods, and an evaluation matrix that uses a variety of criteria (or policy lenses) to help prioritize those projects. There was constructive discussion around how to rank the criteria within the matrix and also suggestions to add in stronger environmental language including vehicle miles traveled and carbon footprint reductions.

Tim Papandreou, the Assistant Deputy Director of SF MTA, then described the transportation agencies food chain which we will detail out in a future blog post.

Next Steps
In early May, the City is expected to release its draft “Issues & Opportunities” report that will includs a multi-modal existing conditions analysis of transportation flow in the Eastern Neighborhoods area. At the end of this highly technical document will be the City’s preliminary conclusions of the main themes for the opportunities that will guide decisions on transportation improvement projects to study in further detail. Urban Ecology is in the process of scheduling the next meeting of the Community Task Force to vet these themes and the analysis they are based upon with the city staff and consultant.