SF confident in traffic plan for Warriors’ planned arena despite concerns 

A newly formed group is predicting a traffic nightmare around the proposed Warriors arena in Mission Bay, but city officials say they have it under control.

For nearly a year, city officials and the basketball team have worked to finalize plans for the 18,000-seat arena and development of two towers and commercial space at Mission Bay, considered a biotech and medical hub.

The project has enjoyed wide support, but this week a group calling itself Mission Bay Alliance has emerged to announce opposition, threatening lawsuits and a ballot measure, arguing the traffic will impair hospital and research operations. The group is not affiliated with UC San Francisco, which has a large Mission Bay medical campus.

The criticism comes even before the project’s environmental impact report is due out next month.

Today, the team and city officials will present a traffic management plan to the Mission Bay Community Advisory Committee.

In a Wednesday briefing, city project managers Adam Van de Water and Ken Rich outlined the steps being taken to mitigate the traffic impacts. The arena site has 950 parking spaces planned, with a majority reserved for office and retail buildings, but city officials say they will be freed up after-hours. And there would be another 132 leased from a nearby garage.

City officials said the project’s environmental analysis will show that even in the worst-case scenario — when a Giants baseball game is held at nearby AT&T Park and it’s a peak commute time — they are short about 300 spaces. To address the shortfall and traffic congestion overall, The City is working on securing parking on two Port of San Francisco properties. Those who park there would be brought to the arena via a shuttle. The sites under consideration include a 250-vehicle lot near the future Crane Cove Park and Pier 70 at 16th and Illinois streets. And an overflow lot for up to 1,000 spaces could be available at Pier 80, which city officials said would divert cars from entering Mission Bay.

The plan sets a maximum of 53 percent of arena attendees traveling by car during weekday events and 59 percent for weekend events. The estimated number of vehicles was not available during Wednesday’s briefing.

During events, there would be 21 parking control officers in the area. Four light-rail vehicles would be added to Muni’s T-Third Street line. The platform at the South Street stop would be extended from 160 feet to 320 feet to allow two two-car trains to stop simultaneously. The City is also exploring a ferry terminal at the end of 16th Street.

The arena project would generate $14.1 million annually in revenue, which includes a $2.50 fee per ticket sold, according to The City. The City would expend $5 million in city services, most of which would go toward Muni service.

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