Treasure Island Transportation Plan unveiled
Public Transportation infrastructure emphasized
By Aldrich M. Tan
May 25, 2006
Developers of the Treasure Island Redevelopment Plan presented
the proposed transportation plan at a Land Use and Economic Development
committee on Thursday.
The plan is progressive and promotes extensive public transit
while providing multiple disincentives for private auto use, said
Jack Sylvan, Treasure Island manager for the Mayor's Office.
"We're looking at mitigating auto use," Sylvan said,
"not taking cars completely away."
Paul Menaker, senior vice president of Lennar Corporation, said
100 percent of the residents will be within five to ten minutes
walking distance from a transportation center.
One of the first goals of the transportation plan is to develop
a transit hub centered on commercial activities, Menaker said.
Various transit outlets in development will include ferry and
bus systems and on-island shuttles.
Transportation from the island to the city via the ferry will
take 15 minutes, Menaker said. The agency estimates there will
be 1,900 passengers during the day and 2,400 passengers in the
The development team will also work with MUNI and AC Transit
to improve bus connections between the island and the greater
Bay Area. MUNI currently does run to Treasure Island, but AC Transit
does not. The developers plan to contact AC Transit to develop
a bus system between Treasure Island and Oakland.
Four shuttles will transport individuals around the island, Menaker
said. The shuttles will be clean-air vehicles running every five
to ten minutes and will be disability accessible. The shuttle
services will be privately run, Menaker said.
"MUNI would have to increase its circulation times or split
service routes, which would increase wait time and headways,"
The transportation plan aims to discourage private car use by
placing several costly incentives, Menaker said. The development
will charge residential autos traveling on and off the island
during peak periods. The plan installs ramp metering; a traffic
signal will allow cars to get on the bridge based on demand of
cars and the volume of the bridge itself.
Parking will also be pricy on the island, Menaker said. The development
will ultimately limit residential parking to one parking space
per housing unit. Metered parking can go up to $1.50 per hour.
"Basically, there will be no free parking," Menaker
The estimated cost of the transportation project will be $84.9
million in capital costs and an annual operating cost of $29.3
million. However, the estimated annual revenue will be $30.5 million.
Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval expressed concern that the transportation
plan may someday call on the General Fund. The profit from parking
and the other car-free incentives will help maintain the Treasure
Island transit systems, Menaker said.
"Our revenues will be higher than our expenses," Menaker
Eve Bach from Arc Ecology isn't sure about Menaker's statement.
"What if the revenues don't pan out and what if the revenue
is less than the costs?" Bach asked. "Where's the back-up
Pricy parking may discourage customers from coming to the island,
"The businesses that will be on the island aren't going
to be happy campers if you keep raising the fees," Bach said.
"We need to go beyond the pretty pictures and visualize a
backup for the plan."
The fees aim for a self-sustaining transportation system, Sylvan
said. The Treasure Island Development Authority is looking at
integrating a comprehensive transit pass that residents will pay
for through their housing so that the transit funding is a guaranteed
stream of income.
However, it is not feasible to eradicate autos or auto use from
the island, Sylvan said.
"It's a great place to raise a family," Sylvan said,
"and families will need to have cars."
Sandoval said other groups may also be interested in driving.
"We want to make sure the spaces are available for customers,
homeowners and the occasional visitor and not the business owner
who can easily take the ferry," Sandoval said.
Sandoval said oversight is needed to make sure that the transit
plan maintains its sustainability.
"Democracy will naturally come into action to change the
structure once the island is inhabited," Sandoval said.
To oversee the plan, the agency will develop a transportation
agency that will set various parking and congestion pricing rates,
collect the revenues and disburse the revenue to the support the
transit, Menaker said.
The Treasure Island Development Authority is still developing
the structure of this agency, Sylvan said.
"It will be similar to the Transportation Authority,"
Sandoval also expressed concern about delivery vehicles and double
parking on the island. Menaker said that various commercial activities
will take place in different locations from the transportation
Concerned citizen Ruth Gravinis said the shuttles in the transportation
plan expands to the recreational areas, but it still doesn't go
to the historical admiral houses, which would be an important
Gravinis said this plan is an improvement from the plan that
the Treasure Island Development Authority presented in January.
"Incremental steps have been made and we need to continue
pushing this plan in the right direction," Gravinis said.
Sandoval said he wants to hear transit expert approval of this
plan. Sylvan said the Treasure Island Development Authority is
working with Jose Luis Moscovich, Executive Director of the San
Francisco County Transportation Authority, and consultants at
Nelson/Nygaard, an agency that specializes in transportation.
Sandoval requested for the various transportation authorities
to send opinion letters expressing their opinion about the transportation
"I want them to put their name and reputation behind this
plan," Sandoval said. "I don't think people are willing
to do that unless the assumptions are reasonable."
The proposed Treasure Island Redevelopment Plan includes 5,500
homes, approximately 235,000 square feet of retail, 420 hotel
rooms, historical hangars, a new marina, and a series of major
public open spaces on Treasure Island, Sylvan said.
The Treasure Island Development Authority should have a completed
version of the plan to present in the summer, Sylvan said.