BART officials held a ceremony this morning to mark the completion of an $18.7 million package of improvements to the Balboa Park station.
The roof of the station, previously open to the elements--and lots of pigeons--is now enclosed with glass and the crossbeams are covered in stainless steel cladding, so the station's mezzanine is bathed in direct and reflected sunlight. There's also a steel and glass head-house (seen below) to let in even more light while keeping out the area's notorious dampness and wind.
There are many other changes as well, including a new bridge over the BART tracks to provide easier pedestrian flow between BART and a new Muni platform for the K Ingleside and J Church lines.
"The main point is to improve connections with Muni and make a safe passageway to Ocean Avenue," explained Mike Wong, Project Manager for BART. "Before this, riders had to navigate on pavement that was inches from moving [Muni] trains."
There's also a wider pathway from the Ocean Ave. side to the Geneva side of the station. Previously, the only way to get between the streets (without entering the paid-fare area) was on a passageway on the westside of the station along the ramps of I-280. That pathway has stairs; it is inaccessible to people in wheelchairs.
BART also unveiled a memorial wall plaque honoring community advocate Anthony G. Sacco, as seen below:
The station improvements also include new folding gates that can be raised and lowered to secure the system when it closes for the night.
There's also better lighting, way-finding, real-time displays, and the addition of a mid-station entrance.
While all these improvements are, no doubt, welcomed by riders, access to inbound K and J trains is still wanting. Passengers still have an awkward pathway to navigate to the platforms located on the east side of the Muni yards, along San Jose Avenue.