Balboa Reservoir Project CCSF City College of San Francisco parking SF Planning Dept SFMTA Uncategorized

CCSF Guardsman: ‘Parking crisis raises Balboa Reservoir Project concerns’

Reprinted with permission from City College’s newspaper, The Guardsman: http://theguardsman.com/parking-crisis/

Parking crisis raises Balboa Reservoir Project concerns

Balboa Reservoir parking at 12:30 as classes get out. Taken Aug 28 2017 by Otto Pippenger.
Balboa Reservoir parking at 12:30 as classes get out. Taken Aug 28 2017 by Otto Pippenger.

September 13, 2017  The Guardsman
By Bethaney Lee

The Guardsman photographed the usage of the parking lot in contention with the Balboa Reservoir Project (BRP) every hour on Aug. 28, and concluded it was used consistently throughout the day. It was highly impacted at peak class hours and the surrounding neighborhoods and streets cannot support the amount of vehicles displaced by the removal of the lower parking lot.

Tensions first arose after the BRP reported its goal was to repurpose the lot into mixed-income level housing.

In October 2016, Nelson Nygaard released the Balboa Area Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plan which was used to identify transportation needs for the Balboa Park area. The report identified limited roadway space, transit infrastructure and financial resources as three primary problems.    

“Yet despite the obvious fact that the elimination of student parking and the addition of new Reservoir residents will increase demand placed on limited transportation resources, the Balboa Reservoir Project Team proposes no amelioration for adverse impacts other than TDM,” Professor William McGuire said in an email sent in early January 2017.

Lower parking lot (Balboa Reservoir) at 11:30. Taken Aug 28 2017 by Otto Pippenger.
Lower parking lot (Balboa Reservoir) at 11:30. Taken Aug 28 2017 by Otto Pippenger.

The Guardsman’s observation took place over the course of several weeks, and the research provided legitimacy to Professor Rick Baum’s fears that the project could “interfere with efforts to increase student enrollment.”

In an email, sent in late August to the Board of Trustees’ President Thea Selby, Baum asked Selby to explain “how the housing project, that might be built on the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) section of the reservoir, could possibly serve the needs of CCSF’s students?” Additionally, because many students must commute by car and use the controversial section of the reservoir for parking, Baum asked if Selby could “please explain how…any student [would] even be able to afford to live in the housing being contemplated?”

A sign looms over cars in the lower parking lot requiring permits to be purchased. Photo taken Aug 28 2017 by Otto Pippenger.
A sign looms over cars in the lower parking lot requiring permits to be purchased. Photo taken Aug 28 2017 by Otto Pippenger.

With inquiries stretching as far as potentially using the land for the voter approved Performing Educational Arts Center, Baum gave voice to what many people from Ocean Campus have already been talking about.

In response, Selby issued an email to the community on Aug. 24, 2017, which said, “City College is a vital partner to this project as it moves forward over the next several years.”

For more information, visit the Balboa Reservoir Community Advisory Committee website.

View of far end of Balboa Reservoir parking area at 9:30- out of frame portion is full. Taken Aug 28 2017 by Otto Pippenger.
View of far end of Balboa Reservoir parking area at 9:30- out of frame portion is full. Taken Aug 28 2017 by Otto Pippenger.
View of far end of Balboa Reservoir parking area at 9:30- out of frame portion is full. Taken Aug 28 2017 by Otto Pippenger.
View of far end of Balboa Reservoir parking area at 9:30- out of frame portion is full. Taken Aug 28 2017 by Otto Pippenger.

Reprinted with permission from City College’s newspaper, The Guardsman: http://theguardsman.com/parking-crisis/

2 comments on “CCSF Guardsman: ‘Parking crisis raises Balboa Reservoir Project concerns’

  1. jon winston

    By the way, parking was free the first two weeks of classes, 8/21 to 9/1, so parking would be lot heavier than during the rest of the semester. Go and take a look at the lower lot now. Its nearly empty, even with the low, low fee of $3 per day.

  2. jon winston

    The Transportation Demand Management Plan offers more than just identifying problems in the area. If the author of this article had read the plan he would know that it contains a whole chapter devoted to measures CCSF can take to reach an auto mode share of no more than 20% among its students and employees and a monitoring program that would insure that goals are met and maintained. Measures include a free transit pass for students, bike parking and bike share stations, shuttles to BART that stop at child care centers, and of course affordable housing for students in the reservoir and on campus.

    The draft TDM is ninety one pages long! There is too much to reprise here and obviously too much for the Guardian writer to bother to read! Read it for yourself (PDF) here:

    https://goo.gl/tR63AL

    Many other community colleges have managed to grow their enrollment and achieve their educational goals without large, wasteful parking lagoons and instead devote more resources to classrooms and student services. They have chosen to rebuild their commute from the ground up in a way that is more efficient, cost effective and sustainable.

    Here’s an NYT article to balance the Guardsman’s:

    https://goo.gl/xjr9ZD

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