Friday, February 12, 2010

Open Thread

Wow so I have been so busy I didn't even realize that I haven't posted in a long time. Consider this an open thread. I have a lot of posts I want to write but just haven't had time to write them. NJH asks in the previous post about the Central Subway starting construction. It's kind of beating a dead horse. How would you kill such a project? And why can't we close Stockton to ped traffic only? Does anyone think its going to actually get to Fisherman's Wharf at some point?


Alon Levy said...

Sometimes there are unexpected lawsuits or withdrawals of support. For example, New Jersey's stimulus-supported ARC is now being delayed a few months because Port Authority is afraid some of the (entirely unnecessary) eminent domain it wants to exercise will get tossed out in court.

MB94128 said...

That publicity stunt of a groundbreaking (see the streetsblog link near the bottom - #3) was just for some utilities being relocated in the area of the southern portal.

The S.F. Central Subway project is vulnerable on two fronts :
1) How solid is the EIR ? If the EIR makes no mention of a Stockton St. transit mall either as an interim measure or as an alternative to the tunnel then the EIR has a gaping hole. Plus, if Stockton St. were turned into a transit mall during the construction of the so-called "Union Square Stn." then traffic hassles would be reduced.
2) The FTA has requested hard numbers on whether or not SFMuni can afford to operate the Central Subway. No hard numbers, no dipping into Uncle Sam's deep pockets.

My objections to the Central Subway are based on their poor marketing of the project. The stop spacing stinks - three major nodes (Sutter + Stockton, Union Square, and Market + Stockton) are being served by one station. That station, called "Union Square", is actually the O'Farrell-Geary Annex Stn. (the Powell St. Stn. is roughly two blocks away). Yes, I know SFMuni has a history of overly close stops. What the planners may have left out of their plans are the people who live on top of the Stockton St. Tunnel just north of Sutter St.

What happens if the T-Third were on the surface up Fourth St. (separated ROW) to Market then up Stockton St. (transit mall) to the old tunnel ? Then the current stop pattern (Sutter, Geary / Union Square, Market) could be maintained. Or the Sutter and Geary stops could be combined into a Post St. stop in between the two streets. Naturally the drivers of private autos and delivery trucks would have a proverbial cow. And transit planners would wince over the contra-flow taxi lane from Sutter to Post on the east side of Stockton (there's a medium-sized hotel there).

Also, the time to completion is ridiculous. They give on their website (see below) a begin service year of 2018. The actual tunneling starts in late 2011 / early 2012. What kind of crazy phasing are they using on their PERT chart to take so long ? Are they ignoring other central subways (e.g. Malmo, Sweden) that did parts of their construction (e.g. a station box) in parallel ?

Plus, the cheeseparing may have already been done - some details are in the SPUR report (link #4 below). My initial scan was very painful. I may need a stiff drink to hand while reading it thoroughly.

1)S.F. Central Subway Overview
2)Malmo, SE - City Tunnel

Food-For-Thought Dept.
A) The present T-Third is not complete at its southern end (Sunnydale + Bayshore). There is a plan on the shelf to extend the line east to link up with Caltrain's Bayshore / Tunnel Ave. station. Part of why it's on hold is due to the developus-interuptus of the old railyard.
B) One has to do some digging to find that there is a "Phase 3" to the T-Third line. The links below may reduce your spadework.

3)T-Third Phase 3 mentioned
4)SPUR Report