By Matier and Ross : sfchronicle – excerpt
Forces are massing on both sides of Mayor Ed Lee’s study into tearing down the stub end of Interstate 280 and rerouting Caltrain through Mission Bay, with a coalition of civic and transportation activists gearing up to fight the effort.
The mayor’s office is looking into several underground routes through which high-speed trains would eventually travel downtown, including some that would mean tearing down I-280 at Mariposa Street and replacing it with a street-level boulevard.
One route calls for underground tracks and a rail station between the Warriors’ planned Mission Bay arena and AT&T Park.
But the newly formed Coalition to Complete the Downtown Caltrain Extension says any alternative to the current plan for a rail tunnel from Fourth and King streets to the new downtown Transbay Transit Center would be “ill-conceived.”
“This is the most important regional transit project in the Bay Area that has been environmentally cleared and locally, regionally and federally approved,” said coalition spokesman Bob Feinbaum. The group’s members include Save Muni, the Sierra Club, San Francisco Tomorrow and the Mission Bay Alliance, the group opposing the Warriors’ planned arena.
“This project is ready to go, and we are calling for no more delays,” Feinbaum said.
Changing the planned route would probably cost billions of dollars, but Lee figures the payoff of a new neighborhood on land now taken up by the freeway and the rail yard near Fourth and King would be just as big.
The bell rings on round one Tuesday at 6 p.m., when city representatives are scheduled to update the public on their plans at the Potrero Hill Recreation Center… (more)
Rail Capacity Strategy.
Long-term rail proposals will require more complex funding plans. These investments would not be cheap. They’re projected to total $17 billion over 30 years. (The near-term investments are being considered for funding as part of the next five-year Capital Improvement Program for fiscal 2017 through fiscal 2021.)
This idea that 95% of the city needs to be connected by rail is absurd and would be prohibitively expensive. Where does this come from?