The San Francisco Planning Department announced July 24 that its Railyard Alternatives and I-280 Boulevard Feasibility Study (RAB), a multi-agency program studying transportation and land use alternatives around the existing 4th & King Caltrain Railyard, received grants totaling $1,190,000 from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) to continue the second phase of the Study, projected to begin in 2015. The RAB study areas also include the interface of Mission Bay, South of Market, and Showplace Square/Lower Potrero Hill.
“With the multitude of projects currently underway in San Francisco, it is imperative that we create a coordinated vision for the future of this area; one that links state of the art transit systems with future growth,” said San Francisco Planning Director John Rahaim. “These grants allow us to continue our efforts on behalf of the future of transportation and land use. We are grateful to the MTC and SGC for these grants, and in recognizing the importance of this work to the future of the city and the Bay Area.”
MTC has awarded $700,000 from the Priority Development Area (PDA) Planning Program which provides funding and planning support needed to develop Complete Communities with residential development, employment centers and neighborhood amenities in and around transit stations and along transit corridors in PDAs throughout the Bay Area. The program and related grant funding has resulted in zoning for over 44,000 housing units, 60,000 new jobs and 24 million sq. ft. of commercial development in Priority Development Areas throughout the region.
SGC has awarded $490,000 through their Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program, which funds climate action plans, infill development plans, sustainable community strategies, and other planning efforts, all specifically aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with state climate goals. Also awarded through this program were Urban Greening Grants, which establish or enhance community green areas such as urban forests, open spaces, wetlands, and community gardens.
The RAB builds on the past work of Caltrans, California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA), Caltrain, and the Planning Department, including the Transbay Transit Center project (under construction and scheduled to open in late 2017), the 4th & King Street Railyards Study, and the Caltrain North Terminal Feasibility Assessment.
The RAB will include an analysis of the potential to:
- Replace the elevated portion of I-280 north of Mariposa or 16th Street with a surface boulevard, similar to the Embarcadero or Octavia Boulevard, including improved circulation and connections throughout the area
- Verify and/or potentially modify the proposed Downtown Rail Extension (DTX) (e.g. alignment, construction methods)
- Create a Loop Track out of east side of Transbay Transit Center (TTC)
- Reconfigure and/or relocate portions of the 4th/King Railyard storage and maintenance functions (service to the 4th/King Railyard area will remain)
- Create opportunities for new public spaces, housing and jobs at the Railyard and along the freeway/rail alignment between Townsend and Mariposa, including the potential to raise additional revenue to realize the transportation infrastructure.
Phase I (Technical Feasibility Assessment) began in June 2014 and is anticipated to be completed by March 2015. Phase II (Alternatives Development) will follow immediately and is anticipated to be completed by June 2016.