Regional Boards > Pacific Southwest

The Embarcadero Freeway

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Riverside Frwy:
Hmmm....judging from the map, Caltrans should've did what the Aussies did and made the entire thing underground, though it would've been expensive as hell though. :-/

Especially in Earthquake Central.


--- Quote from: Bickendan on December 24, 2009, 03:25:20 AM ---Especially in Earthquake Central.

--- End quote ---

Of course, the Transbay Tube did much better than the Bay Bridge (and the Cypress Freeway) during Loma Prieta...

Honestly, considering SF traffic patterns, I don't know if the Embarcadero was the most important cancelled corridor (though certainly the surface streets there get plenty busy with tourist traffic now) - the lack of a north-south connection from the Presidio/Golden Gate Bridge to the north-south 101 and 280 freeways is much more pressing, though probably unlikely to be addressed in our lifetimes.

(Makes it more amazing how hard IIRC Caltrans fought for the I-80 western extension through the Panhandle, the most controversial of the proposed routes, but which really wasn't anywhere as essential.)

I think the Embarcadero was a bit more important than it appears to be, though, given the long term plans to link it to the Golden Gate Bridge -- making it the round about north-south connection.


--- Quote from: Bickendan on December 25, 2009, 01:05:48 AM ---I think the Embarcadero was a bit more important than it appears to be, though, given the long term plans to link it to the Golden Gate Bridge -- making it the round about north-south connection.

--- End quote ---

Considering that Chinatown was the one neighborhood that objected to the removal of 480, I've always been under the impression that its main purpose - even had it been completed - would be to enable easier access to the Marina District, Financial District and Fisherman's Wharf commercial/shopping/tourist areas from the bridges/freeways.  Plus there's no room to widen the James Lick Skyway portion of I-80 from US 101 to the bridge, it's already significantly overloaded as is with just the traffic to and from Oakland.  (On a commuter level, the only benefit I see would be for those in Southern Marin County to travel across to the East Bay, and vice versa.)

The only freeway in the SF city limits that is slightly over capacity (and only at times) is I-280 east of US 101 to Pac Bell Park, as all three of its proposed connections (the unbuilt Southern Crossing at Army Street, the long north extension of Route 87 from San Jose to Army Street, and the connection to I-80) never came to being.  Considering the through north-south corridors (1/pre-1968 280, 101) that remain on city streets to this day, the Southern Freeway segment of 280 really seems almost out of place, a vestige of 101's routing down El Camino Real and two longer, unbuilt projects mentioned in the previous sentence.

280 was originally intended to be a complete bypass of most Peninsula communities and of downtown San Francisco - but interestingly, NOT a bypass of Downtown San Jose.  In any case, like today's I-140 in Wilmington, NC, 280 was to serve as a bypass for a US route (101) and not that of its parent (80, which was slated to end AT 280 in Golden Gate Park, had the Western Freeway been constructed).  (Now, had the 1947 submission of US 101 north of the Presidio to today's Route 37, and Route 37 east to Vallejo to the Interstate system been accepted...280 and 680 would have formed a complete beltway of the region!)  Makes me wonder how much Marin-Silicon Valley traffic has been forced into the overcrowded 580/880 (former Route 17) corridor in the decades since the cancellation of the original 280 routing...

I remember asking a teacher from my high school days about the unbuilt 280 through the Sunset and Richmond and he mentioned how local schools opposed the project on the grounds that their facilities would be demolished if the northern segment of the Junipero Serra came into existence.  I'm not sure if the Central Freeway had anywhere as much opposition as that, the Western, or the Embarcadero, though by the 1990s its truncation from Turk/Golden Gate to the current Market Street terminus was a contentious issue for some time, before the current single-decker ramps to Octavia were completed. 

Considering that 101 from Los Angeles all the way to Route 37 was submitted (but rejected) in the earliest interstate plans of 1947, I can only speculate as to whether that could have fasttracked closing the freeway gap from Turk/Golden Gate northwest to Richardson/Lombard, a moot point now.


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