Hospital to cause traffic horror 

Massive medical facilities planned on more than a block of Cathedral Hill will consolidate citywide health services in earthquake-safe buildings, but the project could cause major traffic on two busy thoroughfares, according to a new report.

California Pacific Medical Center, a Sutter Health affiliate, plans to begin construction-related work early next year on a new building. The $2.5 billion citywide master plan covers the proposal to provide medical buildings that offer a level of protection during earthquakes, as required by state law. CPMC’s Pacific, California and St. Luke’s campuses will be shuttered or reduced in size under the eight-year construction plan, with services shifted to the new Cathedral Hill campus.

The anchor of the Cathedral Hill campus will be a 15-story hospital tower bounded by Post Street, Van Ness Avenue, Geary Boulevard and Franklin Street that’s currently occupied by an office building and the shuttered 10-story, 402-room Cathedral Hill Hotel.

The sleek new building will contain underground parking, 555 beds and a variety of hospital facilities. It’s planned to open in 2015.

Medical office buildings are planned on two surrounding blocks.

The project would consolidate doctor services, including specialties, in one location, making it easier for patients to access care, according to a draft environmental impact report published Wednesday by the San Francisco Planning Department. In addition, the new hospital will provide private, single-patient rooms and individual bathrooms, among other accommodations, according to the report.

But to make room for the hospital project, businesses — including hotels, bars and an adult-video store — are being closed or relocated.

Also, the project will affect traffic at 18 or more intersections, including Van Ness Avenue and Market Street and Polk Street and Geary Boulevard, according to the environmental report.

The project is, however, aiming to reduce traffic delays on Geary Boulevard and Post Street by planning to have cars and ambulances pull into large driveways in the main hospital campus, according to CPMC spokesman Kevin McCormack.

“The idea is to get traffic in and off the streets as easily and efficiently as possible so we don’t interfere with traffic on either Geary or Post,” McCormack said.

Bus service along Geary Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue, which carries approximately 80,000 daily passengers on the 38-Geary and 49-Van Ness routes, could be impacted too. Bus rapid transit that’s planned along the two corridors also could be affected, the report said.

Other concerns linger about the project, including the noise that could be generated during construction and during operation of the new hospital.

“The gargantuan concerns about this project match the size of the project itself,” said Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, whose district covers part of the Cathedral Hill site.

New building forces changes to old ones

Construction of a larger hospital for California Pacific Medical Center will result in changes to four properties.

Pacific Campus
Pacific Heights neighborhood
4.6 acres
15 buildings
Now: Main CPMC hospital, with specialist-care services
Future: Serve outpatients north of Market Street area

California Campus
Presidio Heights neighborhood
4.9 acres
Nine buildings
Now: Women’s and children’s services
Future: Closed and sold after Cathedral Hill campus opens in 2015

Davies Campus
Duboce Triangle neighborhood
7.2 acres
Four buildings
Now: Neuroscience, stroke care and physical therapy
Future: Expansions planned include a neuroscience institute and new hospital building

St. Luke’s Campus
Mission district
4.4 acres
Seven buildings and one trailer
Now: Acute-care community hospital
Future: Smaller hospital will be built to replace existing one


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