By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt
Mission Bay is San Francisco’s neighborhood of the future.
That’s Mayor Ed Lee’s publicly stated vision. And in public documents, his office said a key to that future may be razing Interstate Highway 280 — now the source of much public ire.
Mission Bay has become home to gleaming new UC San Francisco hospitals, and is the potential new home to what some call the mayor’s “legacy project” — the Golden State Warriors’ Chase Center. The Mission Rock and Pier 70 housing developments could also soon considerably boost the neighborhood’s population.
And one day in the far-flung future, perhaps decades from now, Mission Bay may become the conduit for a second transbay tube that would connect BART and — for the first time — newly electrified Caltrain service to the East Bay.
But the future comes at a cost…
Gil Kelley, director of citywide planning at the Planning Department, presented the plan Tuesday night to nearly 150 neighbors, who packed an auditorium at the Potrero Hill Recreation Center. The project is still in early phases — preliminary designs may not arrive for at least a year.
Still, opposition is already brewing over the possibility of tearing down a portion of I-280…
Future Transit Connections
Boos and hisses rang through the rec center as Kelley discussed the proposal to raze I-280.
Details were sparse about the proposal, however. Kelley said the concepts were “mix and match,” and did not depend on each other to come to fruition.
Though many defended I-280 as vital for drivers, it was recently listed as one of the Bay Area’s most congested freeways by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission…
The railyard alternatives plan also explores tunneling from the Transbay Transit Center to Mission Bay, which later could serve as the beginning of a new transbay tube under the bay to Alameda.
Additionally, it looks potential alternatives to possibly run Caltrain along 3rd Street for a combined Caltrain/Muni station, as part of the downtown extension of the Transbay Transit Center.
Teardown Opposition Grows
Removing a portion of I-280 was the most controversial part of this plan prior to the meeting, and that sentiment intensified Tuesday night.
Surrounded by angry neighbors at the rec center, former Mayor Art Agnos — no stranger to fighting development, as evidenced by the recent “No Wall on the Waterfront” campaign — told the San Francisco Examiner he will personally combat any effort to tear down I-280.
In 2014, Agnos and now-Supervisor Aaron Peskin blocked a luxury housing development along the Embarcadero, and passed a ballot measure calling for voter approval of all height-limit increases along the waterfront.
Agnos promised a similar fight against tearing down I-280.
“I’m going to make the [No Wall on the Waterfront] fight look like a minor league skirmish,” he said…(more)
There have no money. They are $440 million dollars short the money they need to finish electrifying the train. (phase one.) They need private funds. Public money will not be sufficient to build the high speed rail. They are trying to convince people to give up their cars to create demand for public transit so they can convince investors that there are profits to be made by investing in public transit systems such as high speed rail. That is why they are trying to increase the population. They will need a lot more people to pay for the transit systems they want to build.