SF confident in traffic plan for Warriors’ planned arena despite concerns

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt – from April 30

A newly formed group is predicting a traffic nightmare around the proposed Warriors arena in Mission Bay, but city officials say they have it under control. For nearly a year, city officials and the basketball team have worked to finalize plans for the 18,000-seat arena and development of two towers and commercial space at Mission Bay, considered a biotech and medical hub. The project has enjoyed wide support, but this week a group calling itself Mission Bay Alliance has emerged to announce opposition, threatening lawsuits and a ballot measure, arguing the traffic will impair hospital and research operations. The group is not affiliated with UC San Francisco, which has a large Mission Bay medical campus. The criticism comes even before the project’s environmental impact report is due out next month.

Today, (April 30) the team and city officials will present a traffic management plan to the Mission Bay Community Advisory Committee.

In a Wednesday briefing, city project managers Adam Van de Water and Ken Rich outlined the steps being taken to mitigate the traffic impacts. The arena site has 950 parking spaces planned, with a majority reserved for office and retail buildings, but city officials say they will be freed up after-hours. And there would be another 132 leased from a nearby garage…

City officials said the project’s environmental analysis will show that even in the worst-case scenario — when a Giants baseball game is held at nearby AT&T Park and it’s a peak commute time — they are short about 300 spaces. To address the shortfall and traffic congestion overall, The City is working on securing parking on two Port of San Francisco properties. Those who park there would be brought to the arena via a shuttle. The sites under consideration include a 250-vehicle lot near the future Crane Cove Park and Pier 70 at 16th and Illinois streets. And an overflow lot for up to 1,000 spaces could be available at Pier 80, which city officials said would divert cars from entering Mission Bay…

The arena project would generate $14.1 million annually in revenue, which includes a $2.50 fee per ticket sold, according to The City. The City would expend $5 million in city services, most of which would go toward Muni service… (more)

Mayor Vows to Punish Supes Who Backed Wiener’s Transit Funding Measure

By Aaron Bialick : sfstreets – excerpt

Mayor Ed Lee, who has cut into transportation funding by nixing Sunday parking meters and abandoning a proposed vehicle license fee increase, now says that he will punish the six supervisors who voted to approve a ballot measure to increase transportation’s share of the general fund. Supervisor Scott Wiener proposed the charter amendment as a stop-gap measure to fund the city’s transportation needs, while SF waits two years for the mayor to support a vehicle license fee measure…

The SF Chronicle reported on Sunday that ”the mayor’s office seems to be hinting that it will target programs important to the six supervisors who voted to place Wiener’s proposal on the ballot — Wiener, David Chiu, Jane Kim, London Breed, Malia Cohen and David Campos.”…. (more)

Car Owners Strike Back

By : sfhog – excerpt

For the last couple of years, car owners have sat quietly watching their streets narrow to make way for bike lanes, transit lanes and parklets.  They’ve also seen parking lots dwindle, parking fines increase, and parking meters expand throughout the city.  Battle lines were recently drawn with the “Restoring Transportation Balance in San Francisco” ballot measure submitted to the Department Of Elections last week.  This new measure aims to curb parking fee increases, direct SFMTA funds into new parking garages, and achieve better representation for motorists in the SFMTA.  Pending approval, the ballot measure will be voted upon in the General Election this November… (more)


Ferry Building sues to block 8 Washington development

By: Joshua Sabatini : SF Examiner – excerpt

The waterfront luxury condo development known as 8 Washington St. won City Hall approval, but the project is threatened by a possible ballot measure and now a lawsuit from the Ferry Building.

Equity Office Properties, the Ferry Building’s management company, filed a suit Friday against the development’s environmental impact report, arguing that it fails to adequately address parking and traffic….

…EOP spokesman Chuck Finnie said the development would eliminate parking promised by the Port of San Francisco at the time of the Ferry Building’s 2003 overhaul. He said the building needs an alternative parking solution since the garage will take years to be completed, at best.

“EOP is not in the parking business,” Finnie said. “We are in the Ferry Building business.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Elections is counting the signatures submitted for the referendum, a process both sides have been observing. If certified, it would end up on November’s ballot or the 2013 ballot, and the project would be on hold in the meantime…

Jon Golinger, president of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers and leader of the referendum effort, said accusations of being misleading make no sense since signature gatherers showed signers a photo of the development.

As for business support, Golinger said the developer’s push for a height exemption created a diverse opposition coalition, which includes not only businesses but also tenant activists and neighborhood leaders.

“That’s how you run successful campaigns,” he said, “and that’s how you win an election.”…