Skip to Content
Streetsblog California home
Streetsblog California home
Log In

The San Francisco Planning Commission approved a development yesterday afternoon for Parcel F of the Transbay Transit Center Area, between Howard and Natoma. The 800-foot tower will include hotel rooms, housing, office space, and bike parking.

Bringing more high-density development to the area around the Salesforce Transbay Terminal, home to AC Transit and other bus services and the future home of Caltrain and High-speed Rail is great--density should be maximized around a huge transit hub. But Livable City's Tom Radulovich is leading the charge to correct a major defect: the new building will also include lots of car parking. And providing access to that parking, at least according to current plans, means destroying one of the few car-free spaces in the city.

From an email Radulovich sent to Streetsblog:

The block of Natoma between First and Second is currently car-free for most of its length. The development ... proposes extending a roadway through the car-free space to serve a large new parking garage. The project also proposes slicing a truck loading entry through the Howard Street bicycle lane.

It would be a shame to lose an entire car-free block to another auto-oriented development. The transit center is planned to be region's most important transit hub, and we should follow in the footsteps of progressive cities by preserving and expanding car-free, people-oriented public spaces around our central transit station. The Transbay streets are dominated by traffic, garage entrances, and loading docks, and this one block of Natoma is our last best chance to preserve a significant car-free space.

The plan still has to go before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Radulovich is asking people to contact the office of Supervisor Matt Haney, who is normally a champion of protected bike lanes and car-free space.

"Supervisor Haney is the legislative sponsor; his staff seemed genuinely surprised that the project proposes eliminating one of the longest stretches of car-free street in SoMa," added Radulovich. He had this to say to Haney: "It would be a sad and bitter irony if the longest car-free street in District 6 was destroyed by legislation you sponsor."

These bollards give emergency vehicles (and food trucks) access to this otherwise car-free space
These bollards give emergency vehicles (and food trucks) access to this otherwise car-free space. Parcel F is on the right of this photo.
false

For more on this, see Radulovich's post on the Livable City page. To contact Haney's staff, email them matt.haney@sfgov.org or call 415 554-7970.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog California

Friday’s Headlines

Rep. Waters hates the people mover; SacRT's new transportation hub; Lessons learned from a long bike ride; More

July 19, 2024

The Active Transportation Program Has to Strategize About its Severely Reduced Funding

Funding for Cycle 7 of the Active Transportation Program is less than $200 million, and already there have been requests for fifteen times the amount of available funding

July 18, 2024

This Heat Wave Is a Car Dependency Problem

Our quickly warming planet has a unique impact on people who don't or can't drive — and we need policy action to protect their health.

July 18, 2024

We Need to Stop Killing People On Our Roads; A New ‘Bikes Belong’ Campaign Could Help

A ground-breaking campaign in the 90s helped deliver the federal money America needed to fund active transportation infrastructure. Is it time to re-launch it?

July 18, 2024

Eyes on the Street: Hollywood Boulevard Bike Lanes are Open

The Hollywood bike lanes project, already very much in use, is also already being criticized by commenters at Nextdoor and other social media

July 18, 2024
See all posts