About a week and a half ago, the Planning Department presented the latest iteration of their Northeast Embarcadero Study, an effort that we noted back in November called for a number of reconfigurations to better define the waterside promenade and make it friendlier to pedestrians. At the time, some of the major recommendations included extending some east-west streets so that they punch through to the Embarcadero: Clay, Jackson, Pacific, Vallejo, and Union, specifically. The guidelines also called for lowering some height limits to preserve views from Coit Tower, and boldly recommended that the "preferences of the local community" (cough: Telegraph Hill Dwellers) not be allowed to monopolize the conversation. John King references as much in writing about the latest version, saying the guidelines are "detailed and dutiful — but it's hard to see how they'll sway opinions in a fractious district where obstruction has been refined to an art."
That pretty much captures it: the Planning Department's report is nothing particularly mind-blowing, and includes things like increased "seating opportunities" and basic building infill so pedestrians don't feel "disconnected from the city" by parking lot moats, but King notes that business as usual on Telegraph Hill necessitated a 16-page letter telling the city that Coit Tower views "should be protected PERIOD." (Even though the department had said as much already in recommendations to cut heights in some places.) Anyway, the final version of the study should be ready by April. In the meantime, the supe who started this whole study says: "I had hoped that by taking a step back and getting the community involved, we'd be at a place where everyone wouldn't be pulling out guns. We're moving toward there, but we have a long way to go."
· Embarcadero proposal faces sea of contention [SFGate]
· Northeast Embarcadero Study [Planning Dept]
· A Guide to Success: The Embarcadero's Self-Help PowerPoint [Curbed SF]