Map of proposed Central Subway route [Photo: SFMTA]
North Beach folks are not happy that the proposed Central Subway expansion will not provide a station at Washington Square. While Chinatown gets a new station at Clay and Stockton, the Washington Square end of the new tunnel will exist only for the tunnel boring machines to exit. According to the Chronicle, a coalition of businesspeople and local residents talked about filing suit against the city to stop the construction effort, which could begin this month.
SFMTA maintains that the ultimate goal is to eventually extend the system to North Beach, and even Fisherman's Wharf, though there's not enough money now. So far the new line will stop at the Caltrain station at Fourth & King, under the Moscone Center, Union Square, and Chinatown. However construction will be centered on Columbus Ave, with digging between Union and Filbert Streets. Traffic along Columbus will be reduced from four lanes to two. MTA head Ed Reiskin told North Beach merchants on Thursday that he will hold up the construction plan to allow more time for discussions.