Will SF Tear Down That Freeway? 280 Removal Study for HSR Moves Forward

The Caltrain tracks under I-280. Photo: ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/troyholden/3995605303/##Troy Holden##

The San Francisco Examiner, in typical tabloid fashion, picked up on a story this morning that we first reported nearly a year ago. The city is seriously studying demolishing the northernmost segment of Interstate 280 to accommodate four tracks for high-speed rail, and prevent the depressing of several city streets, including 16th Street, which Mission Bay residents and institutions fear would further divide and isolate their neighborhood.

The freeway would be replaced with a boulevard running along the path of the current freeway, and could include a park at the mouth of Mission Bay as well as a bike path on the eastern edge, according to our sources. It could also set the stage for a future freeway-to-boulevard conversion southward to Chavez, or even farther.

While the idea sounds exciting, the city is still far away from a fully developed design. However, it does seem likely the city will propose it as one of the track alignment alternatives to be considered in the High-Speed Rail Environmental Impact Report due out in 2012. City planners have been working with the California High-Speed Rail Authority and Caltrans on advancing the concept.

  • Don’t get your hopes up. High-speed rail will never be built in Calfornia, because no one has the money for it. It’s just a dumb, progressive idea to create union jobs, not a serious transportation project.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/californias-high-speed-train-project-is-going-off-the-rails/2011/05/18/AFdaUl6G_story.html 

  • Anonymous

    Oh HELL yes.  Freeways simply do not belong in cities.

  • Anonymous

    Please take your talking points and go back to Free Republic or whatever.

  • Geoff

    They should convert it all the way down to the 101.
     

  • mikesonn

     It might not happen, but 280 is coming down either way. No reason to dump all that traffic at 4th/King which will be an even more important station if the Transbay doesn’t get built and there is no HSR.

  • Shap

    Poor Rob.  So many things that get you angry: bikes, progressives, trains, unions, jobs (at least good paying ones). Maybe may 21st will be your lucky day and you’ll be swept up to a heaven with cars and Republicans.

  • Andy Chow

    One thing I don’t like about this study is that it is a by product from an inflated project. This comes because HSRA’s “requirement” of total 4 tracking to support a 5 minute HSR service, then comes grade separation, then comes the objections from UCSF and others that want 16th Street to remain the same grade, then comes the idea of tearing down a part of I-280 so the final product could meet HSRA’s “requirement” and please UCSF. Cost is of course not a consideration by either party, and of course it is not possible to tear down the freeway, build rail tunnels, and keep 16th Street open all at the same time. And finally where’s Caltrain in all of this. Caltrain needs to keep and improve its service regardless of both parties’ ability to plan and complete such vision. Would it be fair if such project would compete with Muni for funding?

    If all the parties can keep the planning simple, rather than getting bloated and snowballed into something else, perhaps we could accomplish more with the little funding that we have.

  • Andy Chow

    One thing I don’t like about this study is that it is a by product from an inflated project. This comes because HSRA’s “requirement” of total 4 tracking to support a 5 minute HSR service, then comes grade separation, then comes the objections from UCSF and others that want 16th Street to remain the same grade, then comes the idea of tearing down a part of I-280 so the final product could meet HSRA’s “requirement” and please UCSF. Cost is of course not a consideration by either party, and of course it is not possible to tear down the freeway, build rail tunnels, and keep 16th Street open all at the same time. And finally where’s Caltrain in all of this. Caltrain needs to keep and improve its service regardless of both parties’ ability to plan and complete such vision. Would it be fair if such project would compete with Muni for funding?

    If all the parties can keep the planning simple, rather than getting bloated and snowballed into something else, perhaps we could accomplish more with the little funding that we have.

  • guest

    Well, at least he linked to the Washbag and not his usual District 5 Diary rant board. 

  • “Poor Rob. So many things that get you angry: bikes, progressives, trains, unions, jobs (at least good paying ones). Maybe may 21st will be your lucky day and you’ll be swept up to a heaven with cars and Republicans.”

    Actually, I’m not angry at all, just bemused by how delusional progs are about the significance of bikes and high-speed rail. I’m a Democrat who doesn’t think government should be a jobs program, which may be a minority position in the party. I’m also a little surprised at how many progs who are supposedly serious about transportation issues haven’t done any homework on the California high-speed rail project. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, since so many of the supporters of the SF Bicycle Plan never read the Plan, any of the litigation documents, or the court-ordered EIR on the Plan.

    On high-speed rail in California, you can start your education by reading this document:
     http://cc-hsr.org/assets/pdf/CHSR-Financial_Risks-101210-D.pdf. show more

     show more 

  • Alextour225

    I have a better idea instead of terminating Interstate 280 at Cesar Chavez terminate it at US-101 and Bayshore Blvd

  • michaeldavidson

    Here’s a better idea if they’re going to tear it down and dig a big hole to put the tracks in why don’t they bury the freeway too? I live here and I see all the traffic up on the freeway I don’t want that down where my kid plays! Put it all underground.

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