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South Beach/Rincon/Mission Bay Neighborhood Association Discusses High-Speed Rail on Monday

The agenda for the Monday, November 9, 2009 6pm – 7pm meeting of the South Beach/Rincon/Mission Bay Neighborhood Association (at South Beach Harbor Services building, between Pier 40 and AT&T Park) includes the following:

1) California High-Speed Rail Authority presentation
2) Sunday Streets update (Susan King, co-founder of Sunday Streets)
3) Trash Cans and DPW (South Beach neighbor Michael Anthony – remember to thank him for his efforts that resulted in two new public trash cans in Rincon Hill!)
4) Seawall 330 update (South Beach neighbor Marty Coressel)
5) 333 Harrison Street Park Planning – Corinne Woods (just added)

For people who live in buildings nearby Beale Street between Mission and Bryant (especially my neighboring tenants and owners at BayCrest Towers), you need to get engaged with the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s current evaluation of different terminus sites in downtown San Francisco.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is doing an “Alternatives Analysis” to identify feasible alternatives and/or variations and design options for the terminus of high-speed rail in downtown San Francisco on the San Francisco to San Jose segment. One alternative, known as Map #0d, the Beale Street Option, is to run the rail down The Embarcadero and turn it up Beale Street so that the high-speed rail train station runs underground along Beale Street from about Mission Street down to Harrison Street (instead of up 2nd Street and over to the new Transbay Transit Center as everybody else except the California High-Speed Rail Authority thought was the idea from the get go).

We all need to let the California High-Speed Rail Authority know that the so-called Beale Street Option is NOT feasible at all for the following reasons:

1) San Franciso has a great deal of water infrastructure under The Embarcadero, and it would be problematic to begin tunneling near that infrastructure for our water pumps and other systems.

2) Only a crazy person would suggest tunneling under the anchors for the western span of the Bay Bridge.

3) Besides the Bay Bridge being a concern, isn’t that mostly former coastline/waterfront and landfill along The Embarcadero from Townsend up to Bryant? Wouldn’t flooding in the tunnel be an issue if the water table is very high outside of the bedrock of Rincon Hill?

4) 288-residential units at BayCrest Towers with about 400 or so residents would have to be bought out and the homes demolished. Not to mention the potential residential units at 430 Main and at 429 Beale, this should stop this foolishness right from the start since BayCrest Towers is only 18 years old as a building and contains a lot of residents who will fight like hell (I’m one of them, for sure) any attempt to eminent domain our homes.

5) The United States Postal service land on the block between Beale, Harrison, Main, and Folsom would need to be purchased – and that would be very expensive, especially since Tishman-Speyer has an option already to buy the northern half of the block from the Postal Service.

6) The voters of California who approved the $10 billion high-speed rail bond measure in November 2008 approved very specific language in the proposition that stated the San Francisco terminus IS the Transbay Transit Center.

Please bring these topics up a couple of times on Monday’s South Beach/Rincon/Mission Bay Neighborhood Association meeting. The quicker that the California High-Speed Rail Authority stops their foolishness in evaluating the Beale Street Option, the more “shovel ready” the Transbay Transit Center project to build a train box appears and the higher the probability of winning a $400 million grant from the U.S. government under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) program sooner than later that will put hundreds (thousands maybe even?) of Californians to work building the train box structure for the Transbay Transit Center.

To submit comments, write and mail your comments to:

ATTN: California High-Speed Rail Authority
San Francisco to San Jose Section c/o
HNTB Corporation
Public Outreach Team
1330 Broadway, Suite 1630
Oakland, California 94612

For more information, call the project information line at 510-587-8640

2 Responses to South Beach/Rincon/Mission Bay Neighborhood Association Discusses High-Speed Rail on Monday

  1. […] California Highspeed Rail Authority may require the removal of buildings, at least according to the Rincon Hill Neighborhood Association. Chris Daly will be holding a meeting on the Beale Street alternative December 16 at 5:30 in the […]

  2. […] Rápidosde California podrían solicitar la demolición de edificios, al menos de acuerdo con la Asociación del Barrio Rincon Hill. Chris Daly tendrá una reunión sobre la alternativa de la calle Beale el 16 de diciembre a las 5:30 […]