As the car-dependent San Francisco Bay Area continues to gradually make itself more transit-friendly, the idea of building less car-dependent housing, even in less central areas, continues to attract at least some adherents. Here are three plans in varying stages of realism.
The most likely to take place is the Dumbarton Rail Corridor, funded with a ballot proposition in 1994 to run trains from Union City across the currently unusable rail bridge parallel to the Dumbarton Bridge. Six trains per day should run across the Bay, stopping at new stations in Fremont, Newark, and eastern Menlo Park to join the main Caltrain line, with three heading north to San Francisco and three south to San Jose. This would provide another link in the sparse transit network, allowing East Bay commuters and those from farther east to reach the Peninsula.
Somewhat speculative, but still apparently fairly serious, is a local group in Hayward with a plan to develop a quarry owned by Caltrans and once in the path of a proposed freeway that was never built. Quarry Village would be a development centered around a village square with a dedicated bus to the BART station and to nearby Cal State Hayward. Their site proclaims, “if you come, we can build it,” as they seek out residents interested in living in such a community.
And , is SF Cityscape’s detailed plan to develop Candlestick Point, the former site of the 49ers stadium, which will be vacated when the team moves to Santa Clara. Cityscape asks, what if we built a neighborhood with a regular street grid, at about the density of the Haight, and extended the new T Muni line to pass through? The result might look like this (click on “proposed”). It’s so sensible it’s probably beyond imagining, but a great opportunity to add a little more of what draws so many people to live in San Francisco, and ensure affordable housing at the same time.