Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Opening of Fourth Street at UCSF Mission Bay Campus

A long-awaited opening of the end of Fourth Street to run through the UCSF - University of California San Francisco - Mission Bay campus is to take place on Friday.

The street runs from Market Street, at the centre of the city, to 16th Street at Mission Bay.

What was once an abandoned industrial and railyard area, is being transformed into 303 acres of a $4 billion-plus thriving residential community with a state-of-the-art hospital, research labs, commercial offices and parks.

The end of Fourth Street has been blocked off while part of the ambitious redevelopment has been underway, although it reopened to pedestrians last year  - pic shows the blocked part of 4th Street from top end.

Electricians from the Traffic Signals Department of the SFMTA -  San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency - were busy today. They were fixing traffic lights to ensure a coordinated flow of traffic along the street.

Half-way down the blocked off section, Ben was working at a control box. 'We are coordinating the 'stop' and 'go' signals,' he said, pointing out two sets of traffic lights, 'as they are so close together.' While the amber lights are being set to react in sequence, seconds apart, a term known in traffic planning as 'cascading.'

The site where Ben was working marks the heart of two one-way intersections that cut into Fourth Street from the main Third Street, that runs near the bay and down which the Muni trains travel - pic looking back up 4th Street. Department of Parking and Traffic engineer, Al Hershey, is Project Manager for the Mission Bay development and is overseeing all of the traffic planning.

pics show intersections where traffic will flow in a one-way loop from Third Street to Fourth, and vice versa; and far end of  Fourth which has been open for some time with a carpark and the UCSF shuttle stop.

The UCSF campus covers 57 acres for which ground was broken in 1999. Plans include a 289-bed hospital for children, women and cancer patients. The first phase of the UCSF Medical Center is due for completion in 2014.

Included in the 878,000-gross-square-foot hospital complex will be:

  * A 183-bed children’s hospital with urgent, emergency and pediatric primary care and specialty outpatient facilities;
    * A 70-bed adult hospital for cancer patients;
    * A women’s hospital for cancer care, specialty surgery and select outpatient services, and a 36-bed birth center; and
    * An energy center, helipad, parking and support services.

Also included in the plans are research buildings, a community center, housing complex, child care center, plaza with public art and eateries, parking garages and a campus green.

Other aspects of Mission Bay are also springing up. By last September, 3,126 housing units including 674 affordable units had been built, with another 319 units underway. More than 1.5 million square feet of commercial office and biotechnology lab space had been built, with another 187,000 square feet under construction.

Discussions are also taking place within The San Francisco Unified School District Board over the possibility of a school on 2.2 acres. With a $30 million bond, the Board need to decide on what type of school to build and to consider that there is a large number of very young children in the area with no school.

In a blog summing up the educational issues, Board Member and journalist, Rachel Norton, wrote, 'So the possibilities are very intriguing – we have a prime plot of land in the middle of a world-class research facility and a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood with a lot of young families; and a plot that is not far from some of the least-served (education-wise)neighborhoods in San Francisco - ie Bay View - .'

The Board have until 2027 to make a decision, after which the land reverts to the developer.

According to the City and County Redevelopment Agency, the huge Mission Bay redevelopment project is expected to take another 20 to 30 years to complete. It is hoped that it will create over 30,000 permanent jobs as well as hundreds of ongoing construction jobs.

Further info:


UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay:

City and County of San Francisco, Redevelopment Agency website:

UCSF Campus Planning:

Blog Post by Rachel Norton, SFUSD School Board Member: 


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