BART riders will no longer be squeezed alongside Muni tracks to get into Balboa Park Station. A new walkway connecting travelers to Ocean Avenue on the north side was unveiled Friday as one project in a host of efforts aimed at improving access to the busiest BART and Muni transit hub outside of the city’s downtown area, though it may be just a baby step in the eyes of some advocates.
“For nearly four decades, we did not have a proper entrance to Ocean Avenue from the station for folks going to City College, or to the Ocean Avenue shopping district, or to Balboa Park,” said BART Director Tom Radulovich. “Now we have a fully-accessible, direct entrance, which is great. I’m happy it’s there.”
The walkway is a welcome improvement to commuters using the station to and from Ocean Avenue who previously had no choice but to squeeze through a narrow passage alongside trains or circumnavigate the station to get inside.
“When the trains are actually running and they go past you, it’s a little dangerous,” said Jocelyn, a BART rider who lives in the neighborhood. “Now it’s a lot easier and safer, I feel.”
Erika, Jocelyn’s friend, said she regularly uses the station to visit her from Berkeley. “I think it’s great if you come home late, because it’s all lit up,” said Erika. “I feel a little bit safer up here where people can see me.”