February 10, 2017


Vision Zero, Transit First: Shaping Transportation in San Francisco


1:40 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.


1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village


For four decades, San Francisco has committed itself to sustainable transportation policy. This talk will review three key milestones in the city’s policy evolution: the 1973 Transit First charter amendment, the 1999 creation of a multimodal Municipal Transportation Agency, and the 2014 commitment to Vision Zero. In each case, San Francisco was a national leader in setting overarching goals meant to move the city’s transportation system toward sustainability.

However, once policy direction is set, the long challenge of implementation remains. Changing a city’s traffic and transit systems requires innovative design and planning, sustained attention to public finances, and frequent tradeoffs among stakeholders who are not always on board with the larger policy vision. For these reasons, the path to achieving the vision set out over the last forty years has not been linear. Moreover, San Francisco sits within a fast-growing, congested Bay Area, and must find ways to cooperate with regional partners whose interests often diverge from the city’s. Finally, the city’s vision of sustainable transportation has evolved to encompass livability, urban design, and safety. Can it continue to evolve to meet current demands for greater equity, and the pressures of disruptive technological change in transportation?

Biographical Sketch

Tom Maguire is Director of the Sustainable Streets Division at SFMTA, where he directs the agency’s ambitious efforts to achieve Vision Zero and to create world class streets for all San Franciscans. The 1,035 employees of Sustainable Streets operate, engineer, design, and plan the city’s traffic, parking, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure and provide transit security and parking enforcement. He joined SFMTA in October 2014 after serving as Assistant Commissioner at the New York City Department of Transportation, where he managed Bus Rapid Transit, Freight Mobility, Peak Rate Parking, congestion pricing, and sustainability, and resiliency programs. He has also worked for the engineering and design firm Arup.

Tom is a transportation professional who is passionate about using his experience in planning, engineering, policymaking, and management to build great cities… Unlocking the potential of streets, transit systems, and public space to create places that are safe, sustainable, and equitable… Moving toward Vision Zero… Finding creative ways to use technology and data to help travelers make smart choices… Remembering that as professionals, we work for ALL users of the street – pedestrians, transit riders, drivers, and cyclists.

He holds a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley and a B.A. from Rutgers.

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