Plans to tear down the northern spur of I-280 have been floating around for years, but they got a lot more serious last week. Mayor Ed Lee quietly put forward a proposal to replace the highway's final miles with an underground rail tunnel through the area. One major feature of the plan is a new combined Caltrain/Muni station just a couple of blocks from the site of the proposed Warriors arena. The new station would address some of the traffic and parking concerns that have arisen about the stadium over the past couple of weeks. The plans would also send Caltrain, and eventually high-speed rail, to the new Transbay Terminal via a slightly different route than planned, closer to the waterfront.
Mayor Lee unveiled his plan to representatives of Caltrans, Caltrain, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and other transportation agencies last week, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. It could cost billions of dollars but would also open up room for an entire new neighborhood to be developed on land that is now used for the freeway and the Fourth and King railyard.
Early reactions to the plan were mixed, with a Caltrain spokesman telling the Chronicle that plans are moving forward without a full evaluation of the impact on Caltrain's operations and riders. Supervisor Scott Wiener, who has headed up transportation issues on the Board of Supervisors, told the Chronicle that the plan was "worth studying." City officials are already talking about a ballot measure for the new plan somewhere down the line.
· Could a New Neighborhood Grow in the Shadow of I-280? [Curbed SF]
· Warriors Arena Opponents Bring Out the Big Guns Over Parking [Curbed SF]
· I-280 Near Mission Bay Would Be Razed in Caltrain Tunnel Plan [SF Chronicle]