Public Comments From Community Workshop #4
December 4, 2001
central freeway + octavia blvd
questions + comments
More than 30 people attended our December 4th workshop. Below are links to the comments we've gotten to date.
1. It seems that you consider the Mirant power plant expansion an accomplished fact. If so, putting housing next door (the preferred concept plan and maximum housing plan) is a ridiculous idea. All adjoining existing neighborhoods are fighting Mirant to prevent extra smokestacks spewing more nefarious toxics over us. We hope to defeat Mirant; if we succeed go ahead with the plan.
2. Thank you for the excellent workshop. I am very concerned about a height limit along 3rd Street of 65ft, 15 feet higher than the neighborhood to the west and even higher than most of the current buildings in Dogpatch. The proposal is basically to allow a concrete wall between the Dogpatch and the bay.
3. Good presentation. Economic piece weaker: How does this area compare with others in terms of salaries (living longer). These are low value users! How can SF get more residential to the water?
4. Increased heights are problematic. Does 65 feet include mechanical or can I build another 10-foot or 15-foot for mechanical on top of that. This is an issue especially in the Dogpatch Historic District. Live works must either be defined as housing or commercial but they cannot be both. Make up your mind! E- W transit lines don't match your housing areas. What is density? For these areas need number of units/acre.
5. Dense housing north and south of Islais Creek, west of 3rd Street, with at least 50 feet of open space along creek. Move Muni bus yard to join rail yard north of Pier 80. Bay Trail should run along Shoreline from Pier 80. Bay trail should run along SHORELINE from Pier 70 to Islais Creek. Pier 70 CAC has endorsed this. BCDC will probably require shoreline access for Mirant. Much preferable to Illinois. Minnesota is an interesting, but tough, north-south alternative. Digesters on Islais Creek make no economic sense, and won't happen. Commercial on northern cross streets is the right idea; 3rd street with industrial on east side (and maybe west side) won't support huge investment in Light Rail. Great concept for 24th Street to warm water cove. Replicate on Islans Creek.
6. At some points I couldn't believe what I was hearing-bicycles are being considered in the planning process-yippie! I really appreciate the workshops, dialogue and all the work you have done. I don't have any concerns as of now just that I'm all for transportation other than cars, and anything to keep pedestrians safe.
7. Keep the heights and density down. Potrero Hill is only 40' height. Take into account how many autos there will be. Where will they park? Muni service for Potrero Hill is terrible.
8. Show sewer digestors (on maps). Economics: no mention that live/work drove PDR away. Housing densities too high for "fair share". Kricken/SPUR: live work is not true housing it just blows districts all to hell. What are the buffer areas? Plans/Proposals should also show a range to much height. "PDR other: 42%" - what are these uses\businesses? Breakdown biotech - what would this look like? Define it as a building type. What is target ($) market of housing?
9. Think the promotion of 3rd Street is a great idea! In order to do such, the PDR spaces must be organized in a well mannered fashion. Because of the potential possibility ie location, this could very well be the newest development in San Francisco w/the greatest potential! As for low-income industry and residence, it would be best not located at strong locations at the site!. The very fact that children hanging around the area with a power plant and PDR industries seem to conflict at every position. Either good housing, good industry or a well balanced between the two the proposed plan seems to lack a defined way to build a sense of community within the area itself. Advantages of Site: *Good transportation possibilities *Space in S.F. *Good Location(views & space) *Good financial development possibilities. Constraints: Power plant that has specified location. Don't try to force something that doesn't belong in that community into it, just because it might seem to have potential minor benefits. If it's a power plant area, then treat it as such! Don't place housing in area developed as PDR &
10. Need high-density housing through the area, and particularly along 3rd St. corridor. Need bike lanes or path on Illinois. Need bike lanes or path on Indiana. Need to continue/facilitate Bay Trail separate from car traffic. Great idea to add bikeway and wider pedestrian space on 20th st. bridges. Raise height limit along 3rd Street corridor to maximize housing opportunities. Sidewalks on 3rd Street must be wider then 10!
11. In order to maximize the City's investment in 3rd Street Rail and to provide new transit-oriented housing it is critical that the full length of 3rd Street be zoned for housing, preferably high density with a strong affordability component perhaps NC3 or higher. This really is a win-win. Industrial uses can easily be off 3rd Street. Buffer zones are not always necessary. Ground level retail should have housing over it. If this area is becoming like other San Francisco neighborhoods, there should not be bans or limits on housing on 3rd.
Questions Part 1 (Notes during Workshop)
1. Counting CW as Housing or PDR?
2.Area "E" - South of P70 - Is it possible to land swap out of tideland trust to make available for housing.
3. Area "D"-Muni Woods is not really available, is it?
4. Put acreage, density on maps - CWF (will get) more than fair share of housing.
5. 3rd Street Rail -NC3 along 3rd Street. Wlfre transit corridor-mixed use retail/commercial.
6. No res along Islais-CW value industrial uses should consider it, show act2/show res. Then could support more NC3.
7. Dogpatch Historic left out re- in housing.
8. Broaden Definition of PDR- Cot of these bldgs out of Date for New Indous. Uses-biotech. Some Buildings out of date. Need more parking. Islais Cr. For new industry-not housing. Building opportunity to create jobs.
9. In PDR controls from Sophie Maxwell * Biotech labs ER.
10. Why not embrace other uses-no incentive to upgrade buildings w/PDR tenants.
11. Cosing trace of 3rd street, line to bayview. Open space at ISLAIS CR, along WI.
Question Section 2
1. Clarifying limit access-what is impact of increased trucking?
2.Recording balance of Res. & Industrial - Res. 2 spaces/unit what is current state/law regarding access to parking permit?
3. Should there be a residency requirement?
4. Bridge at Illinois clarification
5. Recommendation regarding parking permits - ok (1) permit/household.
6. Concern over Illinois Street as bike lane.
7. Appreciation of bike trail on Minnesota-Recommendation of no through-auto traffic on Minn. In future.
8. Comment that reason for bay trail on Illinois-not case anymore.
9. Illinois is becoming tougher for both.
Question Section 3
1. No 105' height limt; perhaps No 65; either
2.Encouraged by T.O.D @ Cal train-why not on all of 3rd Street?
3. Retail on E-W Streets interesting
4. What are details of Muni proposal.
5. Concern about Illinois-Can you keep traffic off Illinois when mission bay appreciation of E-W retail.
6. Third is still a weak corridor-make it a beautiful corridor.
9. How are (sm-size) commercial going to succeed?
10 Did we change our direction on commercial on 3rd.
11. Please encourage all the way dom SPUR.
12. Confused by housing to water-What about health risks associated with housing adj. To power plant.
13. We are showing housing @PDR uses in north dogpatch. Why aren't they torn down?
a. Wish list to take out of trade-there are lands that could be swapped.
b. Respect of 24th Street Corridor-CW be more to work. Be aggressive likes retail plan.
c. Likes retail plan.
d. Likes 24th Street.
The infill of the central freeway and other development will eliminate at least one thousand spaces. But limiting parking to minimize new traffic, does not create places for people who come to the area out of the region for events museums and sightseeing. I don't believe the plan as it is now presented, will take care of peak demand, deliveries, etc. Portland, Oregon is a mess. It looks like a model, but I've lived there recently and experienced the "ring" around the city- a parking lot.
Has the idea been studied to build remote parking garages for residential use in this area to offset the reduction of parking requirement for the new development?
- The garages could be city developed, privately managed
- Spaces would be regulated by a parking permit system
- Multi-level mid-block garages with housing wrapping their street fronts
- People are used to walking to parking
- Those who need them can still have a car in San Francisco
I am extremely, extremely in favor of getting rid of parking minimums in residential areas and establishing parking maximums. I think this is what we need to do to get the neighborhood character that we want. This will help us avoid becoming an ultra-rich enclave like Orange County.
Pedestrian Safety and Traffic:
Oak and Fell Streets are very frightening for pedestrians to cross. I am pleased to see that you are considering bulb-outs at the Oak/ Fell intersection, but encourage you to also propose bulb-outs at Oak/Fell where parking now exists. Specifically the north side of Fell and the south side of Oak, could have sidewalk extension (bulb-outs) along is length to shorten the number of lanes for pedestrians to cross. Also, please be aware that the south lane of Fell between Scott and Baker, may soon have the tow-away (evening) restriction, such that both sides of the street maybe bulbed-out. This would effectively reduce the number of lanes for pedestrians to cross; to three from the current five... a dramatic pedestrian improvement.
I fully support everything I heard tonight, especially related to improving transit efficiency and discouraging additional parking. Don't let the politicians or the media or knee-jerk public reaction force you to water down your vision.
In addition to the people moving portions of Octavia Blvd., I am very concerned about the very dangerous intersection of Laguna/ Guerrero/ Market, as well as Duboce/ Market. Also, as a bicyclist and intentionally car-free, I am excited about the proposed traffic calming, less curb cuts, bike lanes (which I think J.B. isolated from the cars and pedestrians altogether). I wish Better Neighborhoods 2002, was more involved with the SF Bike Coalition and SFBAC.
In terms of urban landscaping, I am happy about Hayes Green, but would like to see a 'nature trail' weaving thru the liberated parcels. Also, no more eucalyptus trees and more California natives (Redwood, Willow, Scrub Oak).
In terms of new housing, I like the diverse stock intended, but I would like to see more home ownership for renters.
I am very active with the SF Bicycle Coalition and the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association and have been to every Better Neighborhoods 2002 workshop for Octavia Blvd. I am glad that this project is quite visionary and transit first oriented.
I also like the proposed idea of South Van Ness closure, except for buses.
Please, also, no more Plane trees, they always look sick. Palms are ok. Liquid cumbers are a good choice too.
To help move transit through this area, please consider 'flashing reds', traffic signals that act like stop signs (the best 'signalization' for pedestrians), until a transit vehicle approaches, changing the light to green for transit and red for opposing traffic. The technique is already use at California and Powell- it functions as atop sign, but does not force transit vehicles to stop when they are present.
Here is where I think the flashing reds make sense:
- Market at 12th (near Franklin) the F-line must sit still while all the cars turn left on Franklin. The flashing reds would allow the F to move to its' island at Van Ness
- Various stop signs along the 7-haight line (where there are not stops).
- Church and Duboce- the N and J lines crawl through this intersection when they could (should) glide. They need a special signal that stops cars.
- Duboce and Sanchez/ Steiner- the N line is forced to stop and start even though there is no opportunity to board, slowing the whole train down.
The idea would be that surface transit would only stop when people are boarding, but not at intersection where they can't, without sacrificing the pedestrian friendly pattern of stop signs when no transit vehicles are present.
General comments: This is a very bold, thoughtful plan and I am really enthused to see emphasis being focused on pedestrian and alternative transportation. Would like to see the (or a) bike plan intergraded with larger plans such as city wide or regional plans. Some concerns about the traffic being funneled through Fell/ Oak without addition safety measures. Even at lights, crossing Fell/ Oak, at the bottom of hills is a major challenge. Any ideas as to how the improvements will impact the homeless situation?
The meeting was well-run and well-attended. I urge you to move forward on your plans to put in a bus-only lane on Van Ness and build the transit mall and one-way oval on S. Van Ness. This is an ugly no-man's land that serves no one. It's such a hub for the City, yet it gets the least amount of attention.
I believed it is a great idea for a push for mass transit on Van Ness. I also suggest that on Mission Street from 6am to 9am and 3pm to 7pm no cars be permitted to drive through. You know how long a 14 bus (Daly City to ferry building)?, takes 2 hours +. Also close 24th Street to auto parking from 6am - 10 am so trucks can unload, otherwise the 48 bus line gets stuck. Thank you.
Although I wholeheatedly support the removal of the Central Freeway, I have mixed feelings on having the freeway on- and off-ramps on Market Street. My sense is that cars will continue to work their ways throughout the Hayes Valley to get to and from the freeway. Although through-traffic is important to support the Hayes St. commercial district, at the same time a high volume of cars would continue to have a detrimental impact on the quality of life in the neighborhood. If the Bryant St. exit is still a viable alternative, then I would prefer that over the Market St. scheme.
Thanks for working with the Hayes Valley community.
I would not like to see the central freeway torn down and make Octavia one-way. When we get to Fulton Street there will be too much of a traffic jam.
- Diverting traffic on to Tenderloin Streets is absolutely unacceptable. Tenderloin streets (especially Eddy and Ellis) should be candidates for calming strategies.
- New Franklin Street is a good concept. Idea may need some refinement
- Considering re-establishing Mission from South Van Ness to 13th as a two-way street. Then use Otis and McCoppin in some combination for traffic circulation into Gough/ Franklin/ Van Ness.
I saw no recognition or allowance made for taxis. Are cabs envisioned to be able to use "transit only lanes"?
I also like the proposed idea of South Van Ness for buses and not heavy auto traffic.
I was at the neighborhood meeting last night 12/4/01 for the Market and Octavia Workshop #4. I support many of the features of the area plan-redeveloping the Safeway site, Octavia street improvements, Van Ness improvements with bus lanes. It all makes a lot of sense. I was less convinced by the bus turn around/public plaza as a terminus to Van Ness. I have sat in traffic many times heading south on Van Ness to 101. It is hard to believe that the grid can handle distributing that amount of south bound traffic before the traffic reaches Market Street where the driver must weave around SoMa in order to reach 101. I think a better solution would be to connect Van Ness, via a blvd extension along 12th Street, to a new Brannan Street on-ramp to 101. It would be easy access, a natural extension of the Van Ness Blvd and an elegant terminus to Van Ness. As you said in the presentation last night, the SoMa grid would disperse traffic quicker to all parts of the city if the freeway access were located well south of Market. Good Luck.
I liked the idea of New Franklin taking out South Van Ness. I like the bus lanes and would prefer a study of whether a subway line would be more effective in moving people, but the bus lanes would be preferable to the current situation.
South Van Ness- public open space- great! Lots of talk about squeezing in as many mid-rise apartment complexes as possible, not enough about public squares, parks, sunny areas (these tall building will cut off out precious sun), pedestrian malls. High-density cities (successful ones) like some have the relief of squares with fountains. We need areas in which the streets are completely closed off to traffic- including buses. These areas exist in every successful high density european city. "Streets are for people," that means public open spaces. I don't see enough emphasis on this. Public transit only lanes on Van Ness- Yes!! Car-share sounds very interesting. Yes, public right of way! Trees! Corner plazas! Open space! Open space with sun! Dare I even suggest fountains and status? Pedestrian only shopping on Hayes or anywhere else! Every major european city has one and they are successful.
Great work! As I mentioned to John Billovits, make sure that public spaces, like mini parks etc., have a retail presence, otherwise homeless people will take them over. The covered transit hubs, even bulb-outs! -same thing. But don't let that stop you, just plan for a mixed presence, not a dead space.
In terms of urban landscaping, I am happy about Hayes Green, but would like to see a 'nature trail' weaving thru the liberated parcels. Also, no more eucalyptus trees and more California natives (Redwood, Willow, Scrub Oak).
I just haven't heard very much about open space. Largest emphasis seems to be housing density, more housing, more density. So where are the local NEW open space parks for recreations for all NEW people living in this new density of housing? I ask for open park spaces (plural) for all ages. Small playground areas, teen spots for skateboards, fun boxes (many teens are in schools in the Oak/ Octavia) Van Ness area) and quiet area for elders and general public.
Please, also, no more Plane trees, they always look sick. Palms are ok. Liquidambar (sweet gum) trees are a good choice too.
The presentation last night was very well presented.
Professor Jacobs was right on when he said that the first Europeans saw a treeless landscape when arriving in what-is-now San Francisco. The suggestion to plant native tree species is ludicrous. Looking at what grows well in the district is a good approach. However, I urge the project team to stay away from planting Lombardy poplars (Populus nigra), which are weedy, appear sickly, and create a lot of leaf litter in the neighborhood.
Please keep as much of the freeway parcels for affordable housing as possible. Like idea of having no minimum on number of parking spots since this is an area where bus transportation is available. Keep working on high density, low income, affordable housing, as well as keeping areas beautiful, interesting and safe for people and bicycles. Thank you for keeping this process open.
Looks like all the proposals for housing sites are within existing zoning limits. It was my understanding that a large feedback was presented to lobby for relaxed height limits.
We need more housing opportunities and we need to be bold.
We need to go taller (a bit) and help stem the exodus of residents who want to buy in this area.
Central Freeway/Octavia Boulevard:
Wonderful presentation. Please include taking the freeway down to Bryant in this plan! It works better for everyone
I really like the idea of taking the Central Freeway back further to Bryant because this makes the most sense for diverting traffic, "fan-like", into the City. Instead of a touchdown at Market Street which could be problematic. I sure hope we at least try to make the long-term goal possible, instead of spending millions at a stop-gap measure at Market/Octavia. We should be pushing the lan that makes the most sense long-term! Keep the Bryant Street idea alive! Don't let a few drivers tell you to stop improvements along Van Ness. Theya are only looking at their short-term "inconvenience". We need to stick by our "transit first" priority- it benefits everyone.
It seems the best solution is to end the freeway at Brannon Street and continue Van Ness as an extensive boulevard from 101 to the north, then it matters less what type of street Octavia is and celebrates Van Ness.
1. Since Van Ness Avenue functions as Hwy. 101 and is therefore under the jurisdiction of Caltrans, what has been their input on the proposal to eliminate S. Van Ness and therefore disconnect the now-continuous street/ highway corridor to the elevated Hwy. 101 corridor? Perhaps they will accept the section of Market Street between the end of Van Ness and the new Octavia Blvd. to function as an alternative to S. Van Ness.
2. Overall, I think the proposals have great merit and deserve further study- especially additional traffic modeling and analysis.
3. I support moving the central freeway back to Bryant Street.
Because the freeway ending at Market and Octavia Boulevard was created through the initiative process, what are current options available for making the Bryant Street option work?
I am impressed by your transportation guy. He takes a wholistic view of transportation within the context of the city and sounds like he has some creative ideas.
I don't like the idea of dumping all the freeway traffic onto Market. If Market Street is to be transit and pedestrian friendly, then a huge outpouring of traffic there, will only make it worse.
Is there some possibility that some of the money dedicated to this project could be used to expand car share resources within the city?
To increase perceived safety at the performing arts garages, could the edge of the garage at street level be developed into retail with a broad range of hours? San Luis Obispo has a parking structure with retail at the base that blends fairly well into the neighborhood. (i.e. it doesn't look like a parking garage- located on March Street).
If planting lots of trees on the street, don't forget to include lighting at the pedestrian level. Normal street lamps are shading by the trees, such that little light gets through to the sidewalk.
Would be nice to have havens and planted medians around crazy Van Ness and Market Street intersections. But I have heard a lot about how the extensive construction on Market in the past of Muni lines, etc. forced many good businesses to close and poor quality ones to move it. I worry that by trying to make things better, they may get worse in some areas.
What would be the feasibility of putting a new BART stop at Otis and McCoppin?
Great presentation. Please continue with your studies to move the central freeway back to Bryant. The benefits are well worth the effort and I fully support the idea. Has anyone considered the idea of tearing down Fox Plaza? It is unspeakably hideous and it ruins many blocks of middle Market, not only by being so damn ugly, but by creating hurricane winds. Removing the structure and rebuilding replacement housing on the site would very dramatically improve Market Street.
Pulling freeway back to Bryant is a good idea. Include rail transit in median of new boulevard to Bryant (to connect Duboce and N line with SOMA)
Look at redesigning street similar to Duboce Triangle, which may actually increase street parking and improve pedestrian environment.
I'm very pleased with the plans for Octavia Boulevard. Housing facing the boulevard is a good idea. Please don't put parallel parking there.
As a person who lives in the neighborhood I think 99.9% of everything your doing is wonderful. I like all of the proposals- especially housing on the Safeway site- this is a real annoying intersection.
Thank you so much for this presentation. I am so excited about these ideas and will work to help out in getting them implemented.
Need public microphones for public questions. Would increase feeling of engagement and dialogue. Without a microphone, experience of public questions is silence. Images and text of slide presentation need to be larger. They are not readable from the back of the room.
Speak more slowly and calmly. Urgency gets communicate/transferred to others and sets the 'tone' for a group. What 'tone' do you want to create? In general, GREAT job.
I certainly appreciate the thorough and extensive research that you demonstrated at this meeting. By having these meetings and sampling the public acceptance of your conclusions, you should be well on your way to making my neighborhood a greater place to live. I applaud your efforts and encourage you to take a vote and begin the reality demolition and re-construction. Lets not get lost in the paperwork and otherwise talk this thing to death...Let's do it!
Goodwill Industries is headquartered at 1500 Mission Street. Our processing plant, classrooms, administrative offices, retail store and subterranean garage are at this location. It is our hope that the process is well thought out and any negative impacts are minimized by involving us.
Yes to big trees!
Yes to dedicated public transportation corridor on Van Ness!
Yes to parks.
Yes to connected bike lanes.
I am concerned about 'market-rate' parking permits- it seems the richest people will have the most opportunities to park.
I appreciate attention to Herman/ Duboce intersection; it seems to be a good solution, definitely a place in need of help.
I will be happy to see our city improved.
Improvement of public transportation is important.
I love the attempt to find new public open spaces within the fabric of the city. Love the north side of the street for hangout space.
Don't like the proposed way of distributing the parking permits (richest people win)
Like the overall parking proposals (except for the permits above)
Like the planting of trees all over the place, please pick the nicest trees, not necessarily 'native' trees- Palms are fine with me (please no trees that drop sappy stuff all over cars and footpaths).
Like the idea of pushing the freeway touchdown back to Bryant (or was it Brannan?).
More transit lines on Van Ness. Minimize parking requirements- yes! (for new buildings). Widening sidewalks at intersections- yes! Traffic circles- yes! Why put (open space) plazas where the freeway touches down (freeway exit?) Noisy, black dust, only desperate homeless will inhabit it. Consider in your proposal the protection that will be used for the planting of new trees. New trees die at a rapid rate in my neighborhood, mostly due to their makeshift use as urinals.
Generally the presentations were interesting and informative, however, the gentleman who presented the parking section made a very stereotypical comment about "Yuppies and SUV's" which was ignorant and offensive.
Secondly, it is obvious that the parking proposal is an under-handed agenda to do more social engineering, which will be a disaster. It will not fix the affordable housing problem. We have vacant space now that could be used to solve this deficit. Building more housing for everyone, in particular the middle class (who are those most in need of a car to commute) is the only solution. Otherwise we will end up a city of the poor and the very wealthy only.
We are interested in hearing what you will do with Octavia. Will it be a one-way street?
Questions and Comments:
Wind issues at Market and Van Ness need to be addressed.
Where are the design guidelines?
Thoughts about optimum density.
Have other than buildings been considered for blvd. 15 foot lots, such as sculptures?
Has traffic spillover been addressed?
How do proposals for "new" Franklin affect "old" Franklin?
What has carried forward from earlier workshops?
How will parking issues be addressed?
Intend to engage businesses affected by plans?
Have you contacted businesses?
Get broader outreach.
What about taking freeway back to Bryant?
Traffic at Van Ness and Market, how go to SOMA?
Issues of understanding highway system if Van Ness not a state highway.
Question social equity of selling parking permits all for outsiders and visitors.
How does this fit with city's bike plans and network?
Consider safety of separating bikes and autos.
Car-share spaces on the street?
Bulb-outs on Oak and Fell where there is no tow-away.
Considered native tree plantings on Market, in place of Palms.
Why not 'pedestianize' the commercial stretch of Hayes?