Title. Sections 400 through 424 of this Chapter shall be known as the Healthy Air And Clean Transportation Ordinance.
Purpose. The Healthy Air And Clean Transportation Ordinance is intended to assist the City in achieving its air pollution and greenhouse gas reduction goals by: promoting the use of vehicles that have zero or super ultra-low emissions, achieve high energy efficiency and use alternative fuels with a low carbon impact; implementing policies to minimize the use of single occupancy vehicles and reduce the total number of passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks in the municipal fleet; maximizing the use of outside sources to fund such programs; encouraging the creation, expansion, and maintenance of alternative fueling infrastructure in the City and at City facilities; encouraging trip reduction, carpooling, and public transit, and to increase bicycle commuting by providing cyclists with the opportunity to securely park their bicycles in or close to their workplaces.
Air pollution endangers public health. According to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the levels and concentrations of smog forming, lung-clogging pollutants in the Bay Area, such as ozone and particulate matter (soot particles), not only exceed California’s existing health-based standards, but also are often times measured at levels that are two to three times the standards. According to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), emissions from motor vehicles are the leading cause of air pollution in the Bay Area. Furthermore, during the summer of 2006, the San Francisco Bay Area endured more days where emissions of ozone-forming pollutants exceeded Federal and State health-based air quality standards than it has experienced in nearly ten years.
According to the American Lung Association of California, high levels of air pollution cause premature death, and aggravate lung illnesses such as acute respiratory infections, asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and lung cancer. Coughing, wheezing, chest pain, eye irritation, and headaches are common reactions to air pollution. Sensitive groups, like children, the elderly, athletes, and people with compromised immune systems, are even more susceptible to the detrimental health effects caused by air pollution. In these sensitive groups, poor air quality causes more significant health impacts such as breathing difficulties and weakening of the body’s ability to resist disease.
According to the California Air Resources Board, the annual health impacts of exceeding state health-based standards for ozone and particulate matter include: 8,800 premature deaths; 8,200 hospital admissions for respiratory disease; 340,000 asthma attacks; 3,000 asthma-related emergency room visits; 3,000 hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease; 4.7 million school absences due to respiratory conditions, including asthma; 2.8 million lost workdays; and, reduced lung function growth rates in children.
Emissions from motor vehicles are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Statewide, the California Air Resources Board has found that 41 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, a major greenhouse gas, stem from the transportation sector. In San Francisco, the inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in the City’s Climate Action Plan shows that vehicles belonging to San Francisco residents or otherwise traveling in and out of San Francisco contributed 51 percent of all greenhouse gases generated in the City in 1990. In 2002, the Board of Supervisors adopted Resolution 158-02, “Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” to support efforts to curb global warming and set greenhouse gas emission reduction goals for the City and County of San Francisco. The City’s Climate Action Plan establishes the goal of reducing carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and other sources in the City to 20 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2012.
Near-total reliance on petroleum for transportation fuel jeopardizes San Francisco’s economic security. The San Francisco region and the State of California rely on petroleum for 96 percent of all transportation fuel. Diversifying the supply of transportation fuels available in the San Francisco region, and particularly increasing supplies of alternative fuels that have low carbon impact and are sustainable, will help provide a more stable and secure base for the region’s economy by making it less vulnerable to interruptions in petroleum supplies while also improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Urban Environmental Accords commit San Francisco to take actions to achieve clean transportation. In 2005, San Francisco became a signatory participant in the Urban Environmental Accords, established on the occasion of the United Nations Environmental Program’s World Environment Day in San Francisco. The Accords call on participating cities around the world to reduce smog-forming and other polluting emissions from public fleets by 50 percent in seven years, to expand the availability of affordable public transportation, and to reduce single-occupancy commute trips by 10 percent in seven years.
In 1997, the Board of Supervisors approved the Sustainability Plan for the City and County of San Francisco. The Sustainability Plan states, “[a]chieving and maintaining good air quality is crucial to the public health and economic vitality of San Francisco.”
The City and County of San Francisco’s fleet includes more than eight hundred (800) clean passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks. These include compressed natural gas, hybrid electric and battery electric vehicles.
Creating a safe, secure place for cyclists to store their bicycles while at work will help to promote alternative modes of transportation and contribute to the City’s effort to cut emissions, improve air quality, maximize public transportation and ease congestion, thus reaping tremendous environmental, public health, and quality of life benefits for the City and its residents. Allowing bicycles in office buildings is an effective way to encourage cycling.
(Added by Ord. 278-10, File No. 101009, App. 11/18/2010; amended by Ord. 46-12 , File No. 111029, App. 3/16/2012, Eff. 4/15/2012)