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Proposed Design for Transbay Transit Center Park

I attended a portion of the Transbay JPA’s Citizens Advisory Committee meeting earlier this evening. The most interesting aspects of the park design from my point of view were a couple of play areas, one for toddlers and one for primary school age children. The other item that caught my eye was an amphitheatre with space for about 1,500 attendees at the western end of the park (behind the buildings facing 2nd Street). I told the Committee that I appreciate any elements that help attract folks to the Rincon Hill neighborhood on the weekends and help encourage businesses that currently close on the weekends when the office worker crowd isn’t around to open their doors on Saturdays and Sundays. I quipped that we can’t all afford to eat at Boulevard on a regular basis.

The Pedestrian Circulation Analysis sounds like it still needs some work to analyze the flow of cars. They’d like private cars to drop off and pick up passengers along Minna Street, with Minna Street’s direction being flipped around to move cars from west to east. They’d like taxi cabs to pick up and drop off on Natoma. Buses would drop folks off at the grand entrance on Mission near Fremont before they looped around to enter the Transit Center.

My concern about the pedestrian circulation is that a lot of folks will be crossing 1st Street to get to the Transit Center. As anybody who has observed 1st Street around 5pm through the week knows, it is a huge bottleneck because so many cars are trying to get on the 1st Street Bay Bridge ramp during the same period of time. I suggested that they’d (Transbay JPA) better get with the SF MTA and figure out how to make sure the streets are as safe as possible for pedestrians. Someone mentioned that Mission Street might become a public transit only street for the block between 1st and Fremont. I don’t know if that’s workable, but I do know that our streets are already very congested during the evening rush hour, and there needs to be some serious discussions about how we’re going to mitigate car congestion and to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety from 2nd Street on over to the waterfront in Rincon Hill and nearby.

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