Transit Center District Plan

transit-distrcit-1-331

As per the class workshop, write your overall assessment of The Transit Center District Plan. Use the questions presented in class for guidance but feel free to expand on them or use a different outline. Make sure to add the name of your group members in the blog text. Your submission shouldn’t exceed 5 pages and not less than 4. Feel free to use other sources to support your argument.

4 thoughts on “Transit Center District Plan

  1. Gabriel Pineda
    Tyler Hodges
    Carolyn Hernandez
    Global Environmental Crisis
    March 27, 2018

    The Transit Center District Plan project is an inspiring development occurring in the Financial District, that will transform the Northern transportation system into a multi model neighborhood. This neighborhood will consist of an efficient transportation system connecting local, regional and statewide transits, along with featuring a new small neighborhood. The Transit Center Station will appear as a five-level model, but also as a public space with a rooftop park and retail stores. Adopting this efficient system will allow a shift in community productivity, expand employment, and offer complete access to all necessary forms of transportation. While the idea is substantial it has not been implemented yet, due to vast construction and planning. Nevertheless, what we currently have are BART, Caltrain, Muni, SamTrans and highway/freeways that are used daily by the people.
    Building the Transit Center District has been a difficult journey for the city as it will displace residents and remove highways. The Transit Center will work in the most busy area, downtown San Francisco, and is expected to enhance productivity. For this to happen, highways will be removed such as the Embarcadero Freeway to extend the road of the system. Removing Embarcadero Freeway also removes access to South San Francisco, which will cause congestion for people attempting to get to that location. Moreover, it’s causing displacement of people, because they would rather move into an area that has less congestion and housing prices will be increased. However, the city argues that the new development will offer 4,500 new homes. With their strong desire for this efficient transit system they plan to replace with better offers than what we currently have. Yes, freeways and other structures will be dislodged that may impact local residents, but they will remedy it by making 1,300 of the new homes low and moderate income households. The neighborhood will transform from vacant lots to new affordable properties, which will increase human activity and needs for jobs, introduce more diversity and offer more commercial space. Although this has changed the landscape of downtown San Francisco the city constantly reminds us that it is a work in progress and its future development will be in close proximity to a sustainable city. A sustainable city means a wonderful and efficient place that accommodates people, invites new and old residents to be productive and gives out importance to the name of San Francisco.
    The city of San Francisco aims to implement this project within the next 10 to 20 years because they would like to have land intensification and see an exponential increase in human productivity despite it being the busiest area in San Francisco. Downtown is the center of transit area and with this addition the public will have built on establishments of land patterns, public space, efficient human movement an preparing for a better environment in the future. However, there are some loopholes in this planned project such as not taking into account the need of the people.
    The Transit Center District Plan project did not sufficiently take into account local residents’ needs. The plan for the project was not designed around the communities and population living around the area. While the plan did include many potential benefits for local residents such as improved walkways, enhanced open spaces, and retail or leisure areas, it did not address how the busyness and construction would affect them. The area in which the project is taking place is already naturally crowded. Situated next to Market Street, the Embarcadero, and the Financial District, the area is already a congested hub for commuters, pedestrians, and all types of transportation vehicles.The completed transit center would also not be located too far from sports stadiums such as AT&T Park and the Chase Center. Other nearby places such as the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay will also be affected. Trying to develop something in such as busy area is only going to make things worse. The construction of the project is also subject to controversy due to it potentially affecting the sinking Millennium Tower situated right next to it. The construction has also led to the temporary closure of sidewalks, roads, and walkways leading to multiple negative effects such decreased profits for local businesses. Upon completion, seven parks in the city will also be affected by this development. Local residents will be negatively impacted by the Transit Center District Plan.
    The most successful part of the design of the project is the potential interconnectivity between all the transportation services and agencies in the Bay Area. Should the project succeed, this new hub of transit will lead into a hopefully seamless connection between all these transportation services. The center will help commuters transfer between modes of transportation much more easily. For example, connecting BART and AC Transit in the same area makes it much easier for commuters needing to transfer or switch between agencies. Supplying commuters and pedestrians with a space for leisure and enjoyment is also another potential benefit. However, these small success are still very dependent on many of the plan’s developmental factors. These success also do not overshadow the risks and shortcomings the planned project brings with it.
    There are many shortcomings that accompany the project. The plan both fails to address important issues that surround it and causes further problems for the communities and areas around it. Economically, the plan has already gone way over budget. Originally, the projects was planned to only cost less than $2 billion to develop. Now, the construction and development of the project has already exceeded that amount. Once it is completed, the budget consumed will probably exceed $4 billion in total sum. Changes of plans and the introduction of new mini-projects such as a pedestrian tunnel connecting the Embarcadero BART Center to the terminal has significantly added to the costs. Aside from that, the Transit Center District Plan also failed to address how it would negatively impact local residents. As mentioned earlier, the project did not sufficiently take into account how it negatively affects locals. The construction and congestion of the general location of the center has already hurt the local community in many ways. The project also heavily relies on potential benefits rather than guaranteed ones. A lot of the promises and projections made in its plan heavily relies on the cooperation of all these various transportation services. It also heavily relies on commuter usage and other factors such as the development of other projects like the Salesforce Tower. It is still unsure how economically successful their retail spaces will be and whether or not the “affordable” housing they promised is actually affordable. A lot of the shortcomings of this project could have been easily avoided.
    If the project were to be re-done, there are multiple things that could be improved. If budgeting was not an issue, then scheduling and planning construction zones to minimize impacting the local residents would be ideal. Also, developing the center as much as possible without affecting its neighboring structures would also be great. The Millenium Tower situation is unfortunate and if it was indeed caused by the construction of the center, it would be ideal if there was a budget to solve it. With more time and effort, working together with the locals to help plan out the project would also be a huge improvement. Locking down the participating transportation services and guaranteeing a more structured flow of operations would have also helped. The Transit Center District Plan project could have been much more successful than it currently is. It is not a horrible idea, but it would probably be more beneficial for the city of San Francisco if these resources were focused on other related projects such as directly increasing public transportation options, funding community organization projects for local residents, or improving bridge entrance and exit conditions.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Krista Seitz
    Anna Cissoko
    Abdou Daiw
    Krystal Okeke
    The Transit Center District Plan project builds on the City’s Downtown Plan revolving around the Transbay Terminal as the heart of the new downtown.Designed by San Franciscan architect, Timothy Pflueger, in 1939, the terminal is long outdated. It currently does not meet current seismic safety standards, nor does it serve the needs of future transit growth. The massive structure creates an uninviting aesthetic, needing modernization to revitalize the neighborhood. In 1985, the city adopted the landmark Downtown Plan, which sought to shape the downtown by shifting growth to desired locations. It also sought to expand the job core and included measures to ensure that the necessary support structure paralleled new development. There is now a need for the Transbay Terminal to be renovated in order to increase its potential for transit capacity.
    Currently the transit system of San Francisco is located on First and Mission Street. From there, Civilians only have access to the Greyhound buses and Alameda- Contra Costa Transit. The Transbay Center District strategizes to transform the current Transbay Terminal on First and Mission Street of San Francisco into the heart of California transportation. The plan was constructed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (PCPA), an architectural company located in San Francisco and known for various renowned buildings in the United States. This project plans to connect the 11 transit systems of California, which are as follows: Alameda Contra-Costa Transit, BART, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit, Greyhound, Muni, SamTrans, WestCAT Lynx, Amtrak, Paratransit and the High Speed Rail; that will connect San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim and is set to be complete by 2029.
    Times change and it is inevitable that our infrastructure will change with it. The Transbay terminal was working, but there was more than enough room for improvement. Presently, it takes up to 10 hours to travel from southern California to the Bay Area. We are now in a time that values efficiency more than ever. The Transit Center District Plan imagines a more developed San Francisco, which will bring the hub of transit for California. San Francisco is already a bustling tourist city. The plan will bring more people to the city generating income and convenient transportation for all that reside here or are simply passing through. The project seeks to elongate the Caltrain and California High-Speed Rail underground from Cal-train’s current terminus at 4th and King Streets into the new downtown Transit Center. It also to bring more to the nightlife. The vision is to have an entirely new neighborhood complete with homes, offices, parks and shops encircling the new Transit Center.
    This plan is only beneficial if the needs of the residents are at the center of the proposal. San Francisco currently deals with the calamity of gentrification and the transit center seems to be a luxury, rather than a necessity. It plans to implement new neighborhoods, shops, or parks but there is not a thorough explanation of who will have accessibility to these assets.
    One of the most successful part of the project is its attempt to build affordable housing near the business district. It is necessary to mention that there is a special emphasis on service workers, who tend to belong to the low and middle class. As of now, most of the service workers in San Francisco come from three areas and there are issues attached to them. First is downtown San Francisco, and San francisco in general. According to a study conducted by Freddie Mac, two-third of these service workers are renters, in a city where the median rent price is twice as much as the national average. Most of the areas that they come from also have high rate crimes and the transbay center district will provide security to the areas around because of the business around, and parks etc. Therefore, having affordable housing near the business district can be a good thing. The second location where service workers come from is near-East Bay (Oakland, Hayward, Berkeley etc.). These workers can use BART, which is a good mean of transportation, but some of the areas that they coming from are marked by low employment rate, poverty etc. By moving close to the business district, there is less stress on the transportation. Finally, the last group of service workers come from the far East bay and need to long-commute to arrive to work. Most of them use the BART system, but some of them also drive long miles which contribute to more greenhouse gases emission.
    Another successful aspect of this project is its aim to achieve a compact, human-scaled, walkable, and dynamic urban center with a dramatic skyline set against the natural backdrop of the city’s hills. It will do this by making the area pedestrian-friendly through widened sidewalks of no less than 21 feet in width and an array of street furniture such as: street lights, benches, and bus shelters. Additionally, the proposed “City Park” will encompass a 5.4-acre sustainable urban park on the rooftop which will be a self-sustaining ecosystem, allowing for recreational activities, educational experiences, special events, and a habitat for local wildlife. This space is an integral component for encouraging social interaction between transit users and local alike and will be a green, open space equatable to New York’s Central Park. Another remarkable aspect of the project is the encouragement of the use of green, or “living” walls as part of a building design that will reduce solar heat gain as well as add interest and lushness to the pedestrian realm. This is an excellent opportunity to add landscaping to a neighborhood where vertical space is more abundant than horizontal space. Green walls also have an insulating effect, helping to reduce energy consumption. They also reduce air pollution by acting as bio-filters.
    Although this plan is extremely detailed in addressing most issues as well as, innovative in both its design and function, it is not participatory. Therefore, there is a high chance of this project not meeting the necessities or demands, of the current San Francisco population. Additionally, simplifying this project to a bus terminal illuminates the highly expensive cost of $4.2 billion the Transit Center is expected to be. This amount of money can alleviate some of San Francisco’s most pressing issues such as gentrification, growing homelessness, and skyrocketing housing prices. All in all, the Transit Center Plan is a good idea, but it will only be truly beneficial if all, even those who come from low-income households, can enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Transit Center District Plan
    IR/ENVS 331
    Krista Seitz
    Anna Cissoko
    Abdou Daiw
    Krystal Okeke
    The Transit Center District Plan project builds on the City’s Downtown Plan revolving around the Transbay Terminal as the heart of the new downtown.Designed by San Franciscan architect, Timothy Pflueger, in 1939, the terminal is long outdated. It currently does not meet current seismic safety standards, nor does it serve the needs of future transit growth. The massive structure creates an uninviting aesthetic, needing modernization to revitalize the neighborhood. In 1985, the city adopted the landmark Downtown Plan, which sought to shape the downtown by shifting growth to desired locations. It also sought to expand the job core and included measures to ensure that the necessary support structure paralleled new development. There is now a need for the Transbay Terminal to be renovated in order to increase its potential for transit capacity.
    Currently the transit system of San Francisco is located on First and Mission Street. From there, Civilians only have access to the Greyhound buses and Alameda- Contra Costa Transit. The Transbay Center District strategizes to transform the current Transbay Terminal on First and Mission Street of San Francisco into the heart of California transportation. The plan was constructed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (PCPA), an architectural company located in San Francisco and known for various renowned buildings in the United States. This project plans to connect the 11 transit systems of California, which are as follows: Alameda Contra-Costa Transit, BART, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit, Greyhound, Muni, SamTrans, WestCAT Lynx, Amtrak, Paratransit and the High Speed Rail; that will connect San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim and is set to be complete by 2029.
    Times change and it is inevitable that our infrastructure will change with it. The Transbay terminal was working, but there was more than enough room for improvement. Presently, it takes up to 10 hours to travel from southern California to the Bay Area. We are now in a time that values efficiency more than ever. The Transit Center District Plan imagines a more developed San Francisco, which will bring the hub of transit for California. San Francisco is already a bustling tourist city. The plan will bring more people to the city generating income and convenient transportation for all that reside here or are simply passing through. The project seeks to elongate the Caltrain and California High-Speed Rail underground from Cal-train’s current terminus at 4th and King Streets into the new downtown Transit Center. It also to bring more to the nightlife. The vision is to have an entirely new neighborhood complete with homes, offices, parks and shops encircling the new Transit Center.
    This plan is only beneficial if the needs of the residents are at the center of the proposal. San Francisco currently deals with the calamity of gentrification and the transit center seems to be a luxury, rather than a necessity. It plans to implement new neighborhoods, shops, or parks but there is not a thorough explanation of who will have accessibility to these assets.
    One of the most successful part of the project is its attempt to build affordable housing near the business district. It is necessary to mention that there is a special emphasis on service workers, who tend to belong to the low and middle class. As of now, most of the service workers in San Francisco come from three areas and there are issues attached to them. First is downtown San Francisco, and San francisco in general. According to a study conducted by Freddie Mac, two-third of these service workers are renters, in a city where the median rent price is twice as much as the national average. Most of the areas that they come from also have high rate crimes and the transbay center district will provide security to the areas around because of the business around, and parks etc. Therefore, having affordable housing near the business district can be a good thing. The second location where service workers come from is near-East Bay (Oakland, Hayward, Berkeley etc.). These workers can use BART, which is a good mean of transportation, but some of the areas that they coming from are marked by low employment rate, poverty etc. By moving close to the business district, there is less stress on the transportation. Finally, the last group of service workers come from the far East bay and need to long-commute to arrive to work. Most of them use the BART system, but some of them also drive long miles which contribute to more greenhouse gases emission.
    Another successful aspect of this project is its aim to achieve a compact, human-scaled, walkable, and dynamic urban center with a dramatic skyline set against the natural backdrop of the city’s hills. It will do this by making the area pedestrian-friendly through widened sidewalks of no less than 21 feet in width and an array of street furniture such as: street lights, benches, and bus shelters. Additionally, the proposed “City Park” will encompass a 5.4-acre sustainable urban park on the rooftop which will be a self-sustaining ecosystem, allowing for recreational activities, educational experiences, special events, and a habitat for local wildlife. This space is an integral component for encouraging social interaction between transit users and local alike and will be a green, open space equatable to New York’s Central Park. Another remarkable aspect of the project is the encouragement of the use of green, or “living” walls as part of a building design that will reduce solar heat gain as well as add interest and lushness to the pedestrian realm. This is an excellent opportunity to add landscaping to a neighborhood where vertical space is more abundant than horizontal space. Green walls also have an insulating effect, helping to reduce energy consumption. They also reduce air pollution by acting as bio-filters.
    Although this plan is extremely detailed in addressing most issues as well as, innovative in both its design and function, it is not participatory. Therefore, there is a high chance of this project not meeting the necessities or demands, of the current San Francisco population. Additionally, simplifying this project to a bus terminal illuminates the highly expensive cost of $4.2 billion the Transit Center is expected to be. This amount of money can alleviate some of San Francisco’s most pressing issues such as gentrification, growing homelessness, and skyrocketing housing prices. All in all, the Transit Center Plan is a good idea, but it will only be truly beneficial if all, even those who come from low-income households, can enjoy it.

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  4. Members:
    Rory Lapham
    Yolanda Angel-Moreno
    Justin Nicholas

    The Mission District of San Francisco has been around since the late 1800’s, it was established for the Spanish Catholic Missions which eventually lead to being a location with a population of predominantly hispanics. Today, it is a culturally diverse location with lower income residents compared to the rest of the city, and a popular entertainment and art community. Many individuals come to enjoy the food, music, parks, services, and nightlife. With the Mission being a popular destination with having two major BART stations, it is vital to have a acceptable street layout for pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles. Important factors to consider in the layout are safety, efficiency, aesthetics, and a connecting community.
    The history of the mission road layout had begun with only few major roads to connect the presidio to the missions and farms. As the Mission became urbanized, the demand for more roads to connect to the new markets and populated residential areas had risen. The rural lifestyle had begun to deplete, and the government pushed for a grid system but new property owners began to design the roads themselves to satisfy their needs. Not to mention San Francisco’s geography of hills and water fronts also purposed conflicts to planning. A reset of the layout was initiated by the great fire the took place in the early 20th century, which aloud for reconstruction of the district. Paved roads and sidewalks became in demand for the new construction by the citizens, this would eventually prove to be very useful as the automobile would soon be popularized. With electricity being more efficiently produced, street lighting became apart of the mission district. This made it much safer for citizens traveling at night. With all the amenities being installed in the Mission, along with new furniture and parks, it was able to host great social and artistic gatherings, and parades, which attracted more residents to the location.
    As of today, the Mission District is densely populated, with much higher demand for public and pedestrian space. Automobiles have predominantly taken over the Mission making it more unsafe for others to navigate. Residents also wish to witness more foliage in their district for air quality, as well as aesthetic appearances.
    With all these requests, a group had developed a draft in 2010 called “The Mission District Streetscape Plan,” which attempts to address and improve by creating a network of green streets that connects open spaces and improves the walkability, aesthetics and ecological sustainability of the neighborhood.
    The different policies developed in this ambitious project are summarized into five big groups responding to the people’s demands: multimodal, green, community-focused, safe and enjoyable, well-maintained and memorable. The fact that these policies are named this way represents the very objective of the whole project, this is, to serve a specific community’s demands. This community is the one formed by the most culturally-diverse in the city and even maybe in the state. The project is aimed at fostering the creation of another life-style which reflects the values and customs of mainly Latin-American people in the city.
    Now, all of these policies are tied to more concrete projects that actually specify the different elements in the landscape that will be affected. The resulting matches would be:
    1. Multimodal — Plazas and Gateways
    2. Green — Alleys and Small Streets
    3. Community-focused — Traffic Calming
    4. Safe and enjoyable — Throughways
    5. Well-maintained — Mixed-Use Streets
    6. Memorable — Public Life
    The 1st Plazas and gateways proposal focuses on widening underused space in the streets and accommodating it for pedestrian joy. It includes changes in 24th Bart Plaza, San Jose-Guerrero Intersection, Dolores San Jose Intersection, Treat Plaza, Mission-Valencia Intersection, Mission Capp Intersection. The 24th street plaza project is actually in place and we could say it is successful. That spot in the city is very crowded at any point in the day in comparison with the surrounding, and it does provide safety at the entrance of the transportation hub. However, probably the Dolores Street Gateway created at the intersection of Dolores and San Jose Street is not as successful, considering the fact that it is reasonable to doubt pedestrians would walk as foreseen in those sidewalks, or occupy that little park created between the roads as much. It is still a really good sign advertising the entrance to the district, the vibes, as well as it improves considerably the beauty of the landscape. The 16th street project could provide the street with life and beauty, but maybe the location and the space available could be problems for gathering as much people. The San Jose’s in this respect is nonetheless a really good option, since it is a project for a residential area, so it is feasible that green spaces, walkable zones and commerces around would help gather the community.
    Commenting on the 2nd, the focus on art and pedestrian admiration of culture while walking is really original, memorable and healthy. The list of projects includes Hoff Street, Cunningham Place at Valencia Street, Osage Street at 24th street, and others. The most successful in our opinion is the Cunningham Place.
    The 3rd Policy about Traffic calming is a key one in the project given the objective. Nevertheless, it is clearly not a successful one, since there is not much attention given to it.
    The 4th policy, throughways, is destined at giving more importance to people than cars in residential streets, since historically it has been the opposite, and that makes the traffic of pedestrians uncomfortable and dangerous. The list of changes applies to Folsom Street Road Diet, Bryant Street Road Diet, Crossing Improvements to Potrero Avenue, Crossing Improvements and Greening to Dolores, Guerrero, San Jose, and South Van Ness streets. The improvements at Dolores are visibly efficient, as loved the place is by everybody. Changes in Bryant Street are also very significant.
    About the 5th strategy, we do not believe is very relevant for the overall effects of the project over the people’s quality of life, while the 6th could be one of the most important ones. What makes more attractive the main streets in the Mission are actually all the bars, littles cafes and stores that attract people and meetings all the time. Huge improvements are visible in all of the areas affected: Valencia Street between 15th and Cesar Chavez Street; 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd Streets Between Valencia and Capp Street
    The ideas proposed are only good on paper but fail to incorporate all perspectives in the district. The neighborly immigrants that dominate the population are the type to enjoy their surroundings and actively interact with the area itself, but there are also people that come from around the country that live there for the price range but spend most of their time outside of the neighborhood, not enjoying the public displays set for them. There are too many factors left out that come to creating the “perfect and safe” area for families and all others to come together, thriving in health, enjoying the amenities that are built for them.
    For example, 24th and mission currently has a public area that is spacious and allows for the community to come together and interact. The only part that counts in this plan is the physical aspect, and although the plan has its idea for a more lively space for families, there are other factors of the area being in San Francisco. The plans for parks and plazas fail to invite the idea of homeless and people of poor circumstances. These are the type of people that hang out and live in the area throughout the day primarily and do not fit the description of their “ideal” neighborhood. This becomes a social issue because now the design is made to isolate a certain type of people and is now going to invite more of the negative safety aspects of having a community with more public spaces. It is nice that the city plans to spruce the area with green and benches but they are not really creating a safe environment for real families in this particular situation. There is no telling what kind of issues any certain plan can bring but if it is not including the current social environment, it will come to fall flat. There needs to be more specification for certain blocks and how they are designed because of the diversity that is “The Mission”.
    Looking at the current nature of the infrastructure in the mission we can see that the extension of the sidewalks are creating a safer and more integrated space for people to congregate and interact. In that sense it is a great idea but the extension of the sidewalk integrates all areas of transportation into a smaller space, slowing the flow to meet less efficient needs. Some would say that because the Mission district thrives on art and independent retail, the slowing of traffic is what is needed because more or less people will be walking along the street to get to their short distant destinations. The other hand would say, they want the quickest route to get to their destination depending how they travel because some will be entering the mission by means of transportation, some will be going through by means of transportation and some already live in the city and are trying to leave. The other factor is the means of transportation themselves, you will have cyclists, commercial driver’s, public transportation and average drivers, making it highly congested and causing stress. I would implement these projects as soon as possible but it needs revision in who it is providing, what is the perspective between road and sidewalk. Otherwise I find it completely feasible.

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