Noe Valley Voice July-August 2000

Migden Okays Funds for Study of 30th & Mission BART Station

By Sally Smith

In the year 2005, residents in the vicinity of 30th and Mission streets could have a much faster way to get to work -- they could hop aboard a train at their very own BART station.

Last month, Assemblywoman Carole Migden (D ­ San Francisco), chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, earmarked $400,000 in state budget funds to study a BART station at 30th and Mission streets. Pending passage of the state budget and a dodge from the governor's veto pen, BART will be on its way to studying the idea.

"I'm pleased I could kick-start this study. San Francisco has not seen a new BART station since 1975, and it is abundantly clear that with our city's growth and increasing transportation needs, a project like this makes sense," Migden said.

BART Board Director Tom Radulovich, who brought the project to Migden's attention, was elated. "This station would close the largest gap between San Francisco BART stations. It would also provide access for certain areas in the Mission, Bernal Heights, and Upper Noe Valley that haven't had direct BART access."

A BART staff proposal shows that a new stop at 30th and Mission could be created by tunneling down to existing BART track tubes, opening them up, and building a two-level underground station. The top level would be a mezzanine where passengers would buy tickets, and below would be a station platform for train boarding. Passengers would access the station from escalators at street level.

A new station would be 37 feet beneath the street and 700 feet long. If the project is approved, Mission Street would be excavated and then covered by steel decking to keep traffic moving while construction goes on below. Surrounding buildings would be minimally affected, say BART engineers.

In the eyes of Radulovich, the project would also offer a chance to reshape the 30th and Mission corridor, now dominated by a gas station, a Walgreen's, and a Safeway. "The station presents an opportunity to develop a neighborhood plan, incorporate housing, neighborhood economic development, and make other traffic, transit, and pedestrian improvements," he said, noting that several bus lines intersect the area, including the 14-Mission, 26-Valencia, and 24-Divisadero.

Radulovich added that the project has won support from a broad range of neighborhood groups and individuals. Supervisors Tom Ammiano and Mark Leno endorsed the idea, as did the Upper Noe Neighbors, Bernal Heights Democratic Club, Noe Valley Democratic Club, and the Mission Merchants Association.

Dave Monks, president of the Noe Valley Democratic Club and a leader in the push for the station, was happy to see the wheels start turning. "This funding is a welcome surprise. Carole Migden really came through. We're on the transportation radar now, and it will be up to surrounding community groups to come together, follow the project, and make sure we turn out at meetings where the big decisions get made. It's great to see creative thinking and community support win the day."

Still, BART has a long way to go before it can stop for passengers at 30th and Mission. "A realistic timeline would be five years," said Radulovich.