Mission Freeway, 30th St BART
One of my favorite new map blogs, The Map Scroll, recently covered the thankfully failed effort to criss-cross San Francisco (and other cities) with freeways and the “freeway revolt” against this in the 1950s and 60s. Many excellent sites discuss this one already, especially Shaping SF.
Anyway, the Map Scroll got me a-googling for better resolution map of that birdseye view of the planned highways, especially the Mission Freeway that was in the works (basically more of the 280 San Jose exit, pretty much up Capp St (between Mission and Van Ness) to 14th). Wikipedia to the rescue. (Click below for a giant map of the whole city burdened by albatross-like freeways.)
My house would have been so under the Mission Freeway that even Tom Petty wouldn’t have been able to sing songs about it.
Summarizing Shaping SF: protests by the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council led to the Chronicle printing this map in 1956, resulting all hell breaking loose — even though the map had been around since 1948. (For you younguns, newspapers (those wet, soggy things you saw in bags on the sidewalk this past week) actually used to break stories before most people knew about it! Shocking, I know.)
But fear not, there was a mean streak in the Chronicle even back then:
On November 2, 1956 the San Francisco Chronicle graciously published a map of the proposed and actual freeway routes through San Francisco even though its accompanying editorial was already chastising protestors: “The remarkable aspect of these protests and claims of injury is their tardiness. They concern projects that have for years been set forth in master plans, surveys and expensive traffic studies. They have been ignored or overlooked by citizens and public official alike – until the time was at hand for concrete pouring and when revision had become either impossible or extremely costly. The evidence indicates that the citizenry never did know or had forgotten what freeways the planners had in mind for them.”
Other exciting SF never-built freeway features included a highway through Glen Canyon and a second Bay Bridge at the foot of Army. Kind of amazing BART got built under these circumstances.
I still want my infill BART station at 30th though — La Lengua‘s easily worth half a billion of stimulus funds! PDFs on BART’s planning website (part B has all the construction porn). Bored tunnel, not cut-and-cover (like the rest of Mission was done), estimated 3.5 years of construction time, with just 11 months of traffic distruption, and a huge hole in the Safeway parking lot and Valencia/29th to get the dirt out and cement in. All for beautiful entrances at 29th and 30th, and a nice new building for El Patio! It could be our Carlo’s, where commuters are welcome…
And here’s the preferred dual tunnel that would allow express trains:
Now for that second Transbay Tube and offline tunnels for more stations. Simply shouldn’t take 30+ minutes to get to the airport…