Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Long-awaited 7th Street Caltrain Crossing Opens at Mission Bay

It's only a few short yards, but it's a giant's leap for residents of Mission Bay in their travels around the foot of Potrero Hill and the new UCSF Mission Bay campus.

Tomorrow, the long-awaited crossing of 7th Street over Caltrain's tracks is opening.

'I am excited to announce that the 7th Street railroad crossing at the end of Berry Street is scheduled to open early tomorrow morning - barring any unforeseen technical issues that would create safety hazards,' said Catherine Reilly, Acting Project Manager for the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, in a press release sent to residents this afternoon.

Workmen putting the finishing touches to the crossing late this afternoon said everything should be ready for a 4 am opening. The crossing is next to the end of Mission Creek and alongside the pillars of the Expressway.

Rumours were flying among the workmen that Mayor Gavin Newsom would be on the tracks at 4 am for an official opening. They weren't sure if they were having their leg pulled.

'There's going to be a lot of activity here at 1 am,' said one of the guys. 'Maybe they're just trying to chivvy us along!'

I rang Catherine Reilly who said she hadn't heard anything about it and thought it was a

joke. Earlier in the day she'd been in a meeting, she said, and someone had joked about the Mayor, who is settling into life with a new baby daughter, being there! However, she checked with a couple of people, just to be sure.

And the answer: 'We think someone's had their leg pulled! But it would have made for a bit of excitement!' she said.

One of the many local residents looking forward to the opening of the crossing said, 'It opens up access to Potrero Hill and the developing Mission Bay community.'

The new crossing is wider than most because it runs across three tracks instead of two. Safety tips on its use are included in the press release, among them a note that Caltrain operates in a “push-pull” mode.

This means that southbound trains are pulled by the engine, but northbound on their way back into the city, the engine pushes the train from the rear. 'Despite their size, trains can be difficult to hear, especially in the “push” mode,' says Catherine Reilly.

Residents are also advised that the crossing will be noisy. Train horns will sound ¼ mile before the crossing, and crossing gate bells will ring.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Something to consider, since the passageway has opened, there has been a SIGNIFICANT increase in the number of homeless traffic through the area, which resulted in a burglary today in the usually quiet and safe area. Much more police control is needed.