Updated at 11:38 p.m. with further response from the Recreation and Parks Department below.
The Marina Boulevard bicycle and pedestrian path was supposed to be car-free by now. The years-old plan to remove the 57 car parking spaces on the stretch between Scott and Baker Streets is scheduled to be implemented by this spring.
But the SF Recreation and Parks Department may hold off yet again — potentially for years — because the department is seriously considering a last-minute proposal from boat owners to carve curbside “parking bays” from the path to preserve some spots.
The Association of Bay Area Governments’ Bay Trail Project and the SF Bicycle Coalition sent a letter [PDF] Tuesday urging Rec and Parks General Manager Phil Ginsburg “in the strongest of terms to move forward with the current plan to remove the parking and driving lane… immediately.”
We believe that a proposal to provide a drop-off, loading/unloading zone with limited parking may have merit and should be pursued. However, the thousands of walkers, joggers, cyclists, families, roller-bladers and wheelchair riders who make up 98% of the users of the Marina Green Bay Trail cannot continue to wait for safety in this area.
[Update] Rec and Parks spokesperson Connie Chan wrote in an email that the department “is seeking funding for” the project to include “the construction of 3 new parking bays.”
“Each bay will provide 3 to 5 parking spaces: 2 white loading-only spaces, 1 blue ADA-only space, and 2 unregulated public parking spaces (optional),” she wrote. “One parking bay will be situated near each dock gate, with exact location determined by traffic code and/or other site constraints.”
When asked if the parking removal will no longer happen this spring as planned, she repeated, “At this time, the Department is seeking funding for the project.”
In addition to reducing space for people, lumping parking bays into the project could further delay it for years. Digging into the pavement would require securing funding, design work, and construction for a project that originally only involved removing parking bumpers and replacing signs and pavement striping. It would add an estimated $450,000 to a $60,000 project.