Muni pilot programs floated to improve transit along the waterfront 

click to enlarge The proposed Golden State Warriors arena on the San Francisco waterfront is one many developments that could add passengers to Muni. - COURTESY RENDERING
  • Courtesy rendering
  • The proposed Golden State Warriors arena on the San Francisco waterfront is one many developments that could add passengers to Muni.

The Warriors’ arena, the Giants’ Mission Rock redevelopment and Pier 70 mixed-use development are far from concrete proposals, but The City is not waiting to get transportation accommodations along the waterfront on the ground.

And with the public’s nod, several pilot programs aimed at transit solutions for the area from Crissy Field to Hunters Point Shipyard could launch as early as this spring.

The potential pilots arise from discussions around a Waterfront Transportation Assessment that began in October 2012 and wrapped up last December. Phase two of the assessment, which analyzes transportation conditions along the waterfront over the next quarter century, involves several community meetings through June. At a 6:30 p.m. meeting Wednesday at Pier 1, the Piers 30-32 Citizens Advisory Subcommittee could give the stamp of approval to some pilots.

The programs can help the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency determine which transit systems could be effective for the developments in advance of environmental review, according to SFMTA urban planning initiative manager Peter Albert.

“We want to hand them this road map before they get too deep into designing their project,” Albert said.

One pilot possibility would involve extending the Muni 22-Fillmore line to Mission Bay using motor coaches.

Another possibility would involve partnering police officers with patrol officers in the South of Market to better control traffic flow and issue tickets when necessary near the Bay Bridge onramp.

Waterfront transit options have already been explored on a smaller scale. For transit planners, last summer’s America’s Cup “was more than a race, it was a laboratory,” Albert said of efforts to accommodate the popular contest.

Additional transportation options provided in October 2012 when the America’s Cup events coincided with Fleet Week, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, as well as Giants and 49ers home games proved effective, he said.

“We know that good planning can make a world of a difference,” Albert said. “But we also learned how much more infrastructure we need if we want to pull that off on a regular basis rather than four weeks out of the year.”

The conversation on the inventory of projects in the waterfront assessment is expected to continue for a couple of years. The goal, Albert said, is to have transit solutions before major developments get into their environmental phases. “They’re all important developments but they all depend on better transportation,” he said.

Even if the developments don’t materialize, he said, some residents argue the neighborhood is already congested and could use transit improvements.

About The Author

Jessica Kwong

Jessica Kwong

Jessica Kwong covers transportation, housing, and ethnic communities, among other topics, for the San Francisco Examiner. She covered City Hall as a fellow for the San Francisco Chronicle, night cops and courts for the San Antonio Express-News, general news for Spanish-language newspapers La Opinión and El Mensajero,... more
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