Agency Visits San Francisco Transportation Infrastructure Projects

We recently visited some of the major transit, bike, and pedestrian transportation infrastructure improvement projects completed or underway in the city and county of San Francisco.

There are a lot of interesting projects going on in San Francisco, and we thought we’d report on some of the things we saw.

Our first stop was the Transbay Transit Center construction site, managed by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority. When finished, the center will host Caltrain, California High Speed Rail, and over half a dozen bus transit services, providing a vital hub of multimodal connectivity for San Francisco and the bay area.

SFTour_Tressle
Here is “the train box” of the central zone of the construction site, from above on the trestle. The central zone is between First and Fremont Streets. Each of those big steel temporary reinforcement beams is holding back the city and its buildings on every side. The trains will come in the bottom level, over 60 feet below street level, and the center will rise up 5 stories, the top 3 above ground. In this photo we’re looking west.
Then we went down into the box, at the western end. This photo is taken from where one of the train tracks will enter the transit center on the western edge of the box. Caltrain and California High Speed Rail trains will pass where we’re standing to terminate in the center.
Then we went down into the box, at the western end. This photo is taken from where one of the train tracks will enter the transit center on the western edge of the box. Caltrain and California High Speed Rail trains will pass where we’re standing to terminate in the center.
Looking back toward where the train tracks will enter the box.
Looking back toward where the train tracks will enter the box.
Looking up at the temporary reinforcement beams that hold the walls of the box back during construction. The transit center will rise 5 stories above from where this picture is taken.
Looking up at the temporary reinforcement beams that hold the walls of the box back during construction. The transit center will rise 5 stories above from where this picture is taken.
Visiting the site was a nice opportunity for the Agency to speak with and learn from members of the construction and engineering teams building the center.
Visiting the site was a nice opportunity for the Agency to speak with and learn from members of the construction and engineering teams building the center.

After visiting the transit center, we got a briefing on the construction of the Central Subway Tunnel for the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA). This tunnel has been a long time project by SFMTA to better north south transit across the city. It goes underground at 4th and Bryant Streets, and ends at Columbus Avenue.

The project map showed where the tunnel would now allow the T Line to reach, and that we were virtually on top of the planned Union Square underground station for the subway.
The project map showed where the tunnel would now allow the T Line to reach, and that we were virtually on top of the planned Union Square underground station for the subway.
A crane between buildings was helping move materials for the work to construct the station.
A crane between buildings was helping move materials for the work to construct the station.
This massive drill helped screw concrete pilling walls into place, instead of the much noisier way piles are often loudly hammered into the ground. These piling walls will be central to the integrity of the new
This massive drill helped screw concrete pilling walls into place, instead of the much noisier way piles are often loudly hammered into the ground. These piling walls will be central to the integrity of the new underground station at Union Square.

The rest of our visit was spent looking at bike and pedestrian improvements, mostly on Market and Polk streets.

These “sharrows” on the vehicle lane on Market remind drivers that the lane was multimodal.
These “sharrows” on the vehicle lane on Market remind drivers that the lane was multimodal.
We explored a station of bikes-for-hire from the Bay Area Bike Share. With hundreds of bikes around the bay area, bike sharing allows for the mobility of a bike, without some of the difficulties of owning one. Simply walk up, pay, and peddle.
We explored a station of bikes-for-hire from the Bay Area Bike Share. With hundreds of bikes around the bay area, bike sharing allows for the mobility of a bike, without some of the difficulties of owning one. Simply walk up, pay, and peddle.
We also came across two bike safety innovations. A separated bike lane...
We also came across two bike safety innovations. A separated bike lane…
... and a bike box at an intersection, both on Market Street. These give a sense of security to cyclists and increase the awareness of drivers about their fellow road users.
… and a bike box at an intersection, both on Market Street. These give a sense of security to cyclists and increase the awareness of drivers about their fellow road users.
We also saw an innovative, fully separated contraflow bike lane on a crucial north south bike corridor along Polk Street. This differed from the one on Market because it had full concrete curbs separating cyclists from traffic, as well as providing a means to go against the flow of one way traffic.
We also saw an innovative, fully separated contraflow bike lane on a crucial north south bike corridor along Polk Street. This differed from the one on Market because it had full concrete curbs separating cyclists from traffic, as well as providing a means to go against the flow of one way traffic.
Busy Van Ness Avenue is poised to undergo major changes in the near future. The San Francisco County Transportation Agency is planning a state-of-the-art 2 mile Bust Rabid Transit (BRT) Corridor.
Busy Van Ness Avenue is poised to undergo major changes in the near future. The San Francisco County Transportation Authority is planning a state-of-the-art 2 mile Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridor.
Octavia Boulevard has taken shape with the demolition of a highway overpass, on what was formally Caltrans right of way. Here the group learns about the process in the beautiful Patricia’s Green, a park in the heart of the Hayes Valley neighborhood, made possible by the demolition of the highway overpass.
Octavia Boulevard has taken shape with the demolition of a highway overpass, on what was formally Caltrans right of way. Here the group learns about the process in the beautiful Patricia’s Green, a park in the heart of the Hayes Valley neighborhood, made possible by the demolition of the highway overpass.

These projects help provide context to the work we do at the agency and with our departments to create and maintain a diverse and innovative transportation system in California. We are all working together to create genuine modal choice for the people of California, aiming to improve the mobility, safety, and sustainability of our existing and future transportation infrastructure.

Advertisements