Important note: The following recommendation was approved by the Board of Supervisors on Sept. 6, 2016:
To: Honorable Board of Supervisors
From: Marlene Finley, Parks Director
Subject: Use of Measure A Mini-parks Funding to Support Parks’ Shuttle Bus Program
Measure A: Adopt a Resolution authorizing the use of $80,000 of Measure A funds, originally allocated to the Parks Department for mini-parks, to support the Parks’ Shuttle Bus Program to improve the experience for visitors for the period of August 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018.
Measure A is the ten-year half-cent general sales tax approved by San Mateo County voters in November 2012. The Board and county staff have conducted study sessions and community outreach efforts to inform priorities for Measure A spending.
On March 17, 2015, the Board adopted the Measure A allocation plan for the Adopted FY 2015-16 and Approved Recommended FY 2016-17 budgets, which included funding for mini-parks. The Parks Department’s allocation for these purposes was $500,000.
On February 23, 2016, the Board approved Resolution No. 074386 authorizing the Department to submit a grant application to the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (SMCTA) for two shuttle buses to operate in FY 2016-2017 and FY 2017- 2018 on weekends from East Palo Alto, eastern Menlo Park, North Fair Oaks and Redwood City to the Edgewood and Wunderlich County Parks.
On May 5, 2016, the SMCTA awarded the grant to the Parks Department. The grant was matched with a $27,500 donation from San Mateo County Parks Foundation, which the Board accepted at the August 9, 2016 meeting by Resolution No. 074733.
With few real estate opportunities for park development in the densely populated areas of North Fair Oaks, East Menlo Park and Redwood City, these two weekend shuttles will provide residents of these areas with access to existing County Parks. The 2016 San Mateo County Parks Visitor Study, completed by San Francisco State University, identifies public transportation to parks as a need, particularly in areas of the County where 19% of the residents in focus groups shared that they do not have access to private vehicles. In addition, the same study concluded that having park staff present and visible within the parks contributes to visitors’ feelings of comfort, safety and improves the quality of their experience.
The $80,000 will be used for Parks Department direct costs for communications and marketing of the shuttle buses, brochure printing, signs, graphic design, two pop-up tents and tables for the shuttle stops in the parks, minor promotional items, a bi-lingual intern to outreach to community groups to share parks and shuttle information and coordination, and two park aides to greet arriving visitors at the two parks and provide supplemental materials and programs information.
Looking beyond this immediate use of Measure A funds allocated for mini-parks, the intent remains for the funds to be used to create and sustain small parks in unincorporated areas of the County where there is demonstrated need and partners.
County Counsel has reviewed and approved the resolution as to form.
Approval of this Resolution will contribute to the Shared Vision 2025 outcome of an Environmentally Conscious Community, as individuals in three communities of need on the County bayside will have opportunities to visit County Parks without driving or exacerbating the shortage of available parking, while also reducing fuel emissions.
FY 2015-16 Actual
FY 2016-17 Projected
Percentage of survey respondents rating quality of bus services good or better
There are sufficient Measure A funds budgeted for mini-parks in the FY 2016-17 Approved Recommended Budget for this purpose. This action has no impact on Net County Cost.
Important note: This is a copy of the official report -- item 55 on the Board's agenda.