SF Planning Department Transbay Terminal EIR Notice of Preparation

Here's the horrific 7mb (ugh!) PDF (ugh!) scan (ugh!) of the San Francisco Planning Department Notice of Preparation that an EIR is required for the Francisco Transbay Terminal / Caltrain Downtown Extension Project.

From this was created the below, a roughly-HTMLised version of the document, created by scanning an Nth-generation photocopy, using some cheap OCR program, and half-heartedly correcting some of the many mistakes while hand-inserting HTML formatting.

Isn't it great that computers are our servants here in the future?

Figures scanned from an Nth-generation photocopy of a document which was originally produced electronically. Bagbiters all.

March 16, 2001

San Francisco Transbay Terminal / Caltrain Downtown Extension Project

Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR)

The Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (JPB), the City and County of San Francisco (City), the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (Agency), and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), as joint lead agencies, will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) for:

PROJECT TITLE: San Francisco Transbay Terminal / Caltrain Downtown Extension Project
(City Project No. 2000.048E)

The JPB, the City, and the Agency need to know the views of your agency as to the scope and content of the environmental information that is germane to your agency's jurisdictional or regulatory responsibilities in connection with the proposed project. If your agency is a responsible agency or trustee agency as defined by State California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines (Sections 15381 and 15386), your agency will need to use the EIS/EIR prepared for this project when considering your permit or other approval for the project. If your agency is not a responsible or trustee agency as defined by CEQA guidelines, or if you are an interested individ1:lal or organization, we would still appreciate your views on the scope of the environmental document for this project.

The project description, location maps, and probable environmental effects are described herein, along with dates, times and locations of project scoping meetings. The project has the potential to have a significant effect on the environment, and an EIS/EIR has been determined to be required. Pursuant to State CEQA Guidelines 15060( d) and Section 31.23 of the San Francisco Administrative Code, no initial study has been prepared.

Due to the time limits mandated by state law, your response must be sent at the earliest possible date, but no later than 30 days after the receipt of this notice. Please send your responses before April 18, 2001 to Joan Kugler, AICP, EIR Project Manager, San Francisco Planning Department, 1660 Mission Street, Suite 500, San Francisco, CA 94103-2414. Please include the name of an appropriate contact person in your agency for continued EIS/EIR coordination.

Background / Project Description

The EIS/EIR will review the environmental impacts of and options to:

  1. Provide a new, reconstructed Transbay Terminal, to serve as a multi-modal transit / transportation facility that incorporates the principles of sustainability and environmental responsibility at the site of the current Transbay Terminal at First and Mission Streets in downtown San Francisco,
  2. Extend Caltrain commuter rail service from its current San Francisco terminus at 4th and Townsend to a new underground terminus underneath or near the proposed rebuilt Transbay Terminal.

The EIS/EIR will also review establishment of a redevelopment plan and related development projects, including transit-oriented development, on publicly-owned land in the vicinity of the new multi-modal facility. The plan and related development are intended to assist in financing of the transportation improvements.

Maps showing the project location are provided in Figure 1.

Previous studies relevant to this action include the recently completed Transbay Terminal Study (Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 2001) with associated technical reports regarding such subjects as Transbay Terminal design options, joint development options, terminal transit and train operations, and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIS/DEIR) for the Caltrain San Francisco Downtown Extension Project (FTA - U.S. DOT / Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, 1997, State Clearinghouse #95063004). The JPB, City and Agency will prepare one environmental document that satisfies both the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and CEQA requirements.

Purpose of and Need for the Project

The primary objectives of the San Francisco Transbay Terminal / Caltrain Downtown Extension Project include the following:

The Project and Project Alternatives

Alternatives to be reviewed in the EIS/EIR include a No-Project Alternative, a Build Alternative, and any additional reasonable alternatives that emerge from the scoping process. Variations and design options of the Build Alternative will be evaluated.

The No-Project Alternative assumes a 2020 baseline condition of programmed land use, low-capital-cost transportation improvements, and seismic retrofit of the existing Transbay Terminal.

The Project Alternative includes a new Transbay Terminal and an underground extension of Caltrain service into or near the basement of the new Terminal, in addition to establishment of a Redevelopment Plan and Area, and development of publicly-owned properties in the vicinity to help finance the transportation improvements. Other components of the project include a temporary bus terminal facility during construction, an off-site bus storage/layover facility, reconstructed bus ramps leading to the west end of the new Transbay Terminal, a redesigned Caltrain storage yard, a possible underground pedestrian connection between the new Transbay Terminal and the Embarcadero or Montgomery MUNI/BART station, and possible expansion of parking facilities at existing Caltrain stations, depending upon anticipated demand for additional parking facilities.

Probable Environmental Effects of the Project

The Build Alternative is expected to increase bus and rail transit ridership and improve the overall character of the Transbay Terminal area. Environmental impacts are anticipated in the following areas: visual and aesthetic (including shade and shadow effects), air emissions (related to development), traffic, transit operations, pedestrian and bicycle operations, noise/vibration, impacts to historic or cultural resources, property acquisitions, impacts of pre-existing hazardous wastes, and temporary, construction-phase impacts. Mitigation measures will be explored for reducing and/or avoiding adverse effects.

Initiation of Studies / Scoping Meetings

To assure public involvement at the initiation of studies on this project, meetings are scheduled at the following times and dates at locations in San Francisco County and San Mateo County.

Wednesday, April 4, 2001
6:00 - 7:00 pm: Open House
7:00 - 8:00 pm: Presentation & Public Comment
San Francisco City Hall, Room 400
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett, Jr. Place
San Francisco, California 94102

Wednesday, April 11, 2001
6:00 - 7:00 pm: Open House
7:00 - 8:00 pm: Presentation & Public Comment
Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board
2nd Floor Auditorium,
1250 San Carlos Avenue,
San Carlos, California 94070

The formal scoping meetings will be preceded by an open house (6:00 - 7:00 pm) allowing for agency representatives and the public to discuss the proposed work scope and project options with project staff. A brief presentation will be given at the beginning of the formal scoping meeting focused on the project purposes and alternatives. Graphic presentations will be provided to assist the public in understanding the proposed project and design options. Project staff will be available to take agency and public input regarding the scope of the environmental studies, key issues, and other suggestions. Opportunities will be offered for comments to be provided either orally or in writing. Agency representatives, interested organizations, and the general public are invited to attend.

Written comments regarding the definition of the project or the scope of the EIS/EIR should be forwarded to:
Joan Kugler, AICP
EIR Project Manager
San Francisco Planning Department
1660 Mission Street, Suite 500, San Francisco, CA 94103-2414

If you have any questions regarding the project or wish to receive any further environmental review documents, please call or write Joan Kugler, at (415) 558-5983. or e-mail her at Joan_Kugler@ci.sf.ca.us

Richard Mlynarik
Last modified: Thu Mar 29 10:24:24 Pacific Standard Time 2001