8 Washington waterfront project loses again, this time in court

A planned luxury high-rise condominium project on San Francisco’s waterfront, already rebuffed by city voters, has taken another hit from a judge, who said city officials hadn’t properly studied the project’s likely impact on local traffic.

When city planners approved the 8 Washington development in 2012, it was designed to include 134 condo units, along with retail stores, and rise 12 stories at the foot of the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building. Those plans were shelved in November 2013 when San Francisco voters, by a nearly two-thirds majority, approved a measure limiting all waterfront construction to eight stories unless developers won an exemption at the ballot box.

The condo developer, Pacific Waterfront Partners, said it would submit a new eight-story plan but would continue to rely on the San Francisco Port Commission’s approval of the original project. But in a ruling made public Friday, Superior Court Judge James Robertson overturned the project approval decision and said it had relied on an environmental study that used outdated and incomplete traffic data.

In reviewing the project’s effect on traffic, Robertson said the city relied on conditions observed during rush hour on a single Wednesday afternoon in 2007. The study failed to consider other weekdays, when traffic and parking demand picked up during farmers’ markets, and also did not look at traffic increases during the next five years as businesses grew and parking sites dwindled.

The city also failed to study updated traffic information for nearby intersections off the Embarcadero, which include a quiet neighborhood with small streets, limited parking and a park at Sydney G. Walton Square, all of which would face more congestion from the condominium complex, Robertson said… (more)

Incomplete and outdated data were given as reasons for overthrowing the state’s lawsuit on 8 Washington project. This project has lost at the ballot box and in court. Will the developers finally allow it to die?

Port Commission Meeting on Embarcadero Project

July 9 Port Commission Meeting – (video)

Item 12B: Embarcadero enhancement Project



Separated bikeway along the Embarcadero

Can you envision a separated bikeway along the Embarcadero?

A bike lane laces most of the roadway of the Embarcadero in either direction, but it’s not complete, and sections like the Third Street Bridge are less than ideal, to put it mildly.

Casual riders and family-style tourists often don’t feel safe on the bike lane, so they ride along the promenade itself. This is perfectly legal, btw: The promenade along San Francisco’s waterfront is a shared-use path, which means both pedestrians and bicycles are allowed to use it, from Third Street to the south going north to Powell and Jefferson streets. (There is some signage that declares this, but not enough.)

Cyclists and peds usually co-exist on this popular stretch without a second thought: the path is expansive and there’s plenty of room.  But in some parts it can get congested, with cyclists traveling in both directions trying to weave around pedestrians.

This situation can be improved —  and you can attend an open house meeting Thursday, July 24 at 6 PM, to find out what might be in store for the Embarcadero:

The Embarcadero Enhancement Project Open House

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014
  • 6:00 PM
  • Pier 1 – The Embarcadero (map)
  • The Embarcadero & Washington
  • San Francisco, CA 94111

You might recall that for a short time during the America’s Cup races, a section of the Embarcadero was temporarily cordoned off into a separated two-way path from The Ferry Building to the Cup’s main public pier.

Below are a couple rendered images from SPUR that give an idea of what a separated bicycle pathway might look like. More ideas can be found in their document building the emBIKEadero waterfront bike path (PDF)… (more)

Let ‘s make driving on the Embarcadero more difficult than it is now, eliminate more parking spaces, and spend more money while asking the citizens to take on another half a billion dollars in debt to wreak more havoc on our streets.

That is the plan, but voters who are fed up with it can vote to Restore Transportation Balance in November instead.
Now is the time to let the contestants for Supervisor in District 6, and Supervisor Chiu of District 3, know how you feel about the plan. District 3 and 6 Supervisors should have a say about what happens in their districts. The Eastern Neighborhoods stopped the parking meters when our Supervisors said NO.

Coping with the throngs on S.F.’s beloved Embarcadero
July 9 Port Commission Meeting – (video) Item 12B Embarcardero Bike Lane Project – The presenter claims this project will require an EIR and additional design reviews. The public can participate and should let the Supervisors know how they feel.

Giants express worry about arena traffic

By Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross, Chronicle Columnists – SFGate.com – excerpt

Tensions are increasing behind the scenes between the San Francisco Giants and the Golden State Warriors over the NBA team’s proposed waterfront arena…
With as many as 200 Warriors games, concerts and other events a year possible at the arena, there could be a lot of instances in which tens of thousands of people are trying to get to the two venues.
The Giants think the Warriors are trying to steamroll their project through City Hall without adequate vetting to meet their self-imposed deadline of having an arena open for business by 2017.
“You need for traffic to work for 41,000 people at our games,” Giants President Larry Baer told KCBS radio… (more)

At last, the voice of reason from an executive who sees a limit to the number of people any pubic transit system can move within the confines of San Francisco’s Embarcadero area. Why not spread the big venues out over a wider area? What is not to like about the Oakland Coliseum? It has a huge parking lot, its own BART stop, is 5 minutes away from the airport, and has a proven track record of drawing, and accommodating, huge crowds of people.

Who benefits from moving the Warriors to San Francisco?

REALATED: Plans to develope the South Bay: Shorenstein, one of the country’s oldest and most respected real estate organizations in the US and ZUM, a 3D rendering company with offices in San Francisco and New York, recently completed the first phase of 3D Architectural Renderings for Oyster Point Business Park. The project, which would be built on a site in South San Francisco, would be more than 2.5 million square feet total, making it the largest office space in the Bay Area… (more)

Historic SOMA Streetcar Line Restoring Service On Trial Run This Weekend…

LiveSoMa.com – excerpt

Finally something that (hopefully) nobody can complain about coming out of South Beach…
The Historic E Line Streetcar is restoring service this weekend – for a trial run – to help facilitate the transport of America’s Cup World Series spectators along the Embarcadero…

So, the SFMTA can’t afford to provide residents in Mission Bay with useful public transit on regular basis, but they can provide the America’s Cup audience with a special week-end car directly linked to CalTrans.