City Attorney Herrera praises deputies’ efforts in successfully litigating transportation plans that will benefit thousands of San Francisco residents
SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 20, 2016)—The San Francisco Superior Court has ruled in favor of the T-line loop case argued by Deputy City Attorneys Audrey Williams Pearson and Andrea Ruiz-Esquide, a significant step forward in a long-awaited component of the T-line that will provide faster Muni service to Mission Bay. The court also ruled in favor of the City’s Bicycle Plan, which Pearson has litigated for a decade over its environmental review.
The T-line loop was designed in 1998 as part of the Third Street Light Rail Project, which extended Muni light rail service to the Bayview area. After construction of the loop was halted for many years due to budget constraints, in August 2013 the Federal Transportation Agency awarded a $10 million grant to the SFMTA to complete the loop and other projects associated with the redevelopment of Mission Bay. The loop will serve a crucial link to the Central Subway and allow for an increase in service during peak hours and special events, like Warriors and Giants games.
Opponents of the project argued that the initial environment impact report prepared by the City did not adequately account for the loop, but the Court’s decision on Dec. 24 affirmed City’s argument that the loop was thoroughly analyzed and that a new report was not required for completion.
After ten years of litigation over environmental reviews regarding the San Francisco Bicycle Plan, the Court discharged a previously imposed writ of mandate and found the City compliant with the California Environmental Quality Act, bringing the case closer to conclusion.
“I am extremely proud of our deputies on the Land Use Team for their efforts to move forward plans that benefit our City’s transportation system,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera. “Audrey Williams Pearson and Andrea Ruiz-Esquide, in particular, have been tireless and effective advocates on these cases. While other issues remain in dispute in these cases, both decisions are important steps in the right direction. I hope our courts will continue to recognize the extensive review that these important projects underwent, which often went beyond what the law requires.”
The cases are: The Committee for Re-Evaluation of the T-Line Loop et al., v. City and County of San Francisco et al., San Francisco Superior Court Case No. 513887 and Coalition for Adequate Review, v. City and County of San Francisco, San Francisco Superior Court Case No. 505509.