Community Efforts to Extend Mission Bay Loop Rejected

By Keith Burbank : potreroview – excerpt

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has rejected community calls to extend the Mission Bay Loop (MBL) further south. The issue didn’t even appear on SFMTA’s December meeting agenda, though one Dogpatch resident encouraged the agency’s board to seriously consider the southern option during the public comment period. 

According to SFMTA, the loop will increase service levels to a growing Southside population and “is key to efficient integration of the T-Third Street line with service on the Central Subway.” While community advocates want the loop built, they prefer a different route than the one planned for 18th, 19th and Illinois streets.

The transit agency has contracted Mitchell Engineering to build the loop. Construction could begin as soon as this month. Under its agreement, the company has 240 days to complete the project.

Dogpatch resident Bill Schwartz wants SFMTA to build the loop at the Muni Metro East Facility (MME), located at Illinois and 25th streets. He and other advocates insist that current plans ignore residents of east and south Potrero Hill and Dogpatch, as well as merchants along the 22nd and Third Street business corridors. According to SFMTA, the costs of siting the loop at the MME would be three to four times the current project budget of $6.26 million, principally because such an extension would necessitate the purchase of three two-car trains, at a cost of roughly $20 million…

Potrero Boosters president J.R. Eppler believes that the transit agency is catering to Mission Bay business interests, rather than taking a comprehensive approach that serves Mission Bay as well as more southern neighborhoods. 

The Committee for Re-evaluation of the T-Line Loop, which is composed principally of Dogpatch residents, has filed suit in San Francisco Superior Court alleging that SFMTA failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act when it signed the construction contract with Mitchell Engineering. The Committee argues that the project’s environmental review failed to account for the planned and expected changes to the area from a multitude of proposed developments, including the Warrior’s Arena. 

According to SFMTA’s Julie Kirschbaum, “the lawsuit does not immediately affect the construction.”…

According to advocates, light rail vehicles on a 25th Street loop would cause less traffic congestion after San Francisco Giant’s and Golden State Warriors’ games than the current loop design. Automobile drivers use Third and Illinois streets after Giant’s games to travel south to freeway entrances, they claim. They expect Warrior’s fans to do the same. “So traffic is a big deal for the whole neighborhood,” said Joel Bean, a Committee for Re-evaluation of the T-Line Loop member.

The SFMTA doesn’t plan to hold another community meeting on the project... (more)

The MTA Brain: Is there some kind of trigger that goes off in the MTA Brain that automatically responds “No” to any request from a member of the public for a change in Muni plans? Or is it only a good idea if it was their idea?

People in the Mission want less MTA attention and people in the Bay View want more. Why don’t they just do what the public wants instead of always doing the opposite?

People asked for more lights on the intersections to make pedestrians easier to see at night and we are told they don’t have the money for that. We will need another bond measure to get lights. What they have money for is taking out traffic lanes and parking to increase congestion. No money for the Bay View or street lights.

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