Treasure Island Redevelopment Plan

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority has been named the Mobility Management Agency for Treasure Island and will be responsible for managing the transportation plan for the island’s approved redevelopment which includes up to 8,000 housing units, 300 acres of open space, 500 hotel rooms and 450,000 square feet of retail and historic reuse.

At the center of the transportation plan for Treasure Island, a congestion pricing program for those in cars, the first such program in the country, and better public transportation, too:

Drivers coming to or from the island during peak periods will pay a toll, and all parking on the island will be priced. Revenues from the program will be used to fund bus and ferry service, as well as shuttles and pedestrian and bicycle amenities within Treasure Island.

In addition to the fee for motorists traveling to or from the island during peak hours, the travel demand management strategy calls for parking spaces to be sold separately from residential units in the new developments, requires pricing of all visitor parking on the island, and requires that residents and hotel guests purchase transit vouchers.

Ferry service will operate from a new Terminal and Transit Hub to be located on the western shore of Treasure Island, serving buses and a fleet of four alternative-fuel island shuttles for residents, employees, and visitors as well.

The pricing program policy analysis to determine who, when, how much and in what direction tolls will be paid is underway with recommendations due by the end of the year. Design and installation is slated to get rolling in 2015.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Why?

    The document shows how much effort it will take to get people on and off the island. I’m still not convinced Treasure Island should be turned into high density housing, nor am I convinced this location will be popular.
    Many of the armchair transit planning “experts” on this site discount how important walking is to San Franciscans. Being trapped on an island I cannot walk easily out of or ride a bike from (bike lane only on East Span) and having to wait for a ferry or bus is not my idea of urban living.
    What exactly is the advantage to living isolated on the island vs. the city? And I still see from the newest plans they have made no effort to deal with the constant strong winds off the bay. This is going to be a cold boring place at night.
    [Editor’s Note: Keep in mind that 90% of the island’s population will be within a 15 minute walk to the new transit hub and town center and buses to/from the island will run every 7 minutes during peak hours, every 15 minutes for the ferry.]

  2. Posted by sethgreen

    to add to the insightful comments above folks need to be aware of the soil toxicity issues upfront.

  3. Posted by anon

    @Why? – who in the world has said that there’s an “advantage” to living on Treasure Island compared to the city. The primary advantage will be lower property prices, that’s all. Crappier places to live are cheaper, but they’re necessary, because not everyone can afford to live in the best places.

  4. Posted by lark

    Useful background on soil toxicity:
    “Halfway across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, an abrupt exit leads to Treasure Island, a seven-sided plain with spectacular views that inspire grandiose dreams. The Army Corps of Engineers created the island for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, encircling 400 acres of bay shoals with rock walls, draining them, filling the void with sand and soil, and naming it after the famous adventure novel. Today, the city of San Francisco has set its sights on erecting a second downtown there.
    But Treasure Island’s fate in the intervening decades—and a long-secret legacy of radioactive waste left behind—has complicated those plans.”
    Treasure Island cleanup exposes Navy’s mishandling of its nuclear past

  5. Posted by Stucco_Sux

    Wow that sure looks and sounds like the most dismal dystopia imaginable. And the loons finally get their congestion pricing — for a while there it was looking like they would have to do it only at the parking lot under city hall.

  6. Posted by Sierrajeff

    I can see it working – if there’s a nice mix of shops and restaurants, then not only will the “town center” be able to satisfy some of that need for walkability and such, you might even draw people over from the main city. There are a lot of tourists and locals along the Embarcadero; if it’s a regular short ferry ride away, it could be fun trip. (A heck of a lot easier than taking the less-regular ferry to Sausalito, which a lot of people already do.)
    OTOH, I can see the entire thing being swamped by rising sea levels in 30 to 80 years… and in the meantime this becoming some kind of off-shore affordable housing ghetto where no one wants to be, and which is an eyesore for all the tourists and locals along the Embarcadero.

  7. Posted by david m

    neat. it’ll be a sort of model suburban development for the bay area, one hopes that it’d spur on similar schemes in the city proper.

  8. Posted by anon

    “…requires that residents and hotel guests purchase transit vouchers”
    I have no idea how they could possibly enforce this.

  9. Posted by cfb

    Now lets find some extra money, and extend the market street subway to Treasure island. The tunnel can end at the new ferry terminal in order to cut costs, with above ground tracks extending north and east to the end of the main thoroughfares.

  10. Posted by Why?

    They may try to run busses off the island every 7 to 15 minutes during peak hours, but those busses will still be stuck in the same terrible bridge traffic including the jammed access routes. And for the record, Treasure Island will not be the next Sausalito.
    Will they promise the region to not run hundreds of construction trucks and service vehicles over the bridge daily to build this project? And if they are planning on using barges, I would like to see this in writing. The number of concrete trucks alone coming daily to the island will impact traffic. Add future deliveries, service vehicles, emergency services vehicles (better hope to not have a heart attack in your unit during rush hour!!) and you could have the makings of a perfect traffic nightmare.
    I don’t believe this housing will be less expensive than in “the city”, and I am definitely not convinced that anyone under the age of 50 would want to isolate themselves on the island. I predict this will be a very grey haired population living out there, and they certainly will not be living on Treasure Island for the weather. I am usually not so negative about new construction but this is a terrible waste of urban resources and planning that could be far better used creating transit and housing density in the city itself.

  11. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    The ferry ride to SF is 13 minutes. Seems like fairly convenient to me.

  12. Posted by d-b

    The SFCTA just LOVES congestion pricing. Why not outlaw the use of cars on the island.

  13. Posted by anon

    I don’t believe this housing will be less expensive than in “the city”
    I don’t understand your thinking – you think that it will be less desirable than the city, but not cost less? Perhaps an economics class is in order.
    Housing prices are set by the market, not construction costs…if construction costs are higher than these units will sell for, they simply won’t be built.

  14. Posted by David

    If they build parking at the very center then it’s at most a 0.5 mi walk to any part of the island. Really no need for anything other than a road up to the parking structure (maybe service roads for emergency vehicles).

  15. Posted by shza

    Housing prices are set by the market, not construction costs…if construction costs are higher than these units will sell for, they simply won’t be built.
    Unless the city gives them big subsidies — which is in effect lowering the construction costs, I guess.
    This highlights the first issue I think of every time I hear about this plan. Won’t construction costs be considerably higher than in SF proper given that the entire island is a sand landfill and major quake risk? I am not an engineer, but it seems like they’re going to need to bolt everything to rock that was previously underwater and is now way below ground to be seismically compliant.
    Combine that with what I agree will be a significantly lower desirability in terms of anyone purchasing there and it’s hard to see how the construction incentives make sense absent big subsidies that come from SF taxes.

  16. Posted by Futurist

    NO they’re not.
    Housing prices are NOT set by the market but by a combination of factors:
    construction costs/labor/materials
    interest rates
    developers ROI
    THEN they establish market prices. And if there is more demand the price will go UP.
    I personally don’t think anything should get built on TI. aren’t they thinking about sea level rise? ability to enter and exit there easily?
    I think it should become a nice giant public park.

  17. Posted by EH

    My Dad used to love to tell a story about when BART first started up. There were no bars or anything to hold onto if you were standing up because the trains were going to run so often (every 3min as he told it), nobody was ever going to need to stand.

  18. Posted by anon

    NO they’re not.
    Um, what? Of course the price will go up if there’s more demand. That’s the market. And if there’s less demand? They won’t be able to sell, will cancel future development projects, and potentially sell the existing units at a loss for less than anticipated (or sit on them until the market changes).
    What in the world makes you think that this isn’t how it works?

  19. Posted by anon

    And Futurist, you do realize that your factors are all components of the market, right?

  20. Posted by Stucco_Sux

    I’ve sat in SFMTA meetings with the loons from that very same SFMTA & their affiliates — the same people who drone on and on here with their strange, clipped, techie-trike talk — about how dumb we all are for being working class and needing a car. Its gross and people are turned off by it massively. Watch the elections. Watch the polls. Congestion pricing will exact its price — for sure.

  21. Posted by Alex Hancock

    How about this:
    Dredge the nuclear waste out of Treasure Island until it’s completely reclaimed by the bay. Now, we have more room to sail. And ship stuff.

  22. Posted by cfb

    “How about this: Dredge the nuclear waste out of Treasure Island until it’s completely reclaimed by the bay. Now, we have more room to sail. And ship stuff.” -Alex Hancock
    Yeah, losing 800 housing units and the chance to build thousand more is exactly what SF needs!

  23. Posted by anonandon

    I did a simple Google and read some of the articles about the nuclear waste issue on the island and it is not something to be ignored.
    Are some of the “build this now” crowd going to present a solution to the waste issue? Who is going to pay for the clean up costs? Who is going to want to live on land declared a serious contamination threat in February 2014 by the Department of Homeland Security?

  24. Posted by inclinejj

    I want to see the evacuation plan if everyone has to suddenly leave the island at once.
    I also want to see what this does to traffic on the bridge.
    Good luck.

  25. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “I want to see the evacuation plan if everyone has to suddenly leave the island at once.”
    If you’re worried about TI then consider the evac plan for mainland SF. Though SF has more ways in and out, it have even more people. And if the event triggering the evacuation is an earthquake then don’t count on BART, either bridge, or 101 being passable. 280 will probably also be busted if the EQ was centered on the San Andreas fault.
    The most sane strategy is to plan on staying put for several days.

  26. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Oh yeah, the radioactive waste issue on TI is mostly confined to the northern edge of the island where no housing is planned to be built. I’d be a lot more concerned about the radioactivity in the bay mud in the Hunters Point India Basin area where housing is currently being built.

  27. Posted by RobBob

    cfb, you’re not thinking big enough. Imagine extending downtown out to treasure island, with buildings built on raised piers into the bay. Like a Venice of the west.

  28. Posted by lol

    Treasure Island will be popular. This is by far the best view you can get of the city. Much better than Sausalito, Tiburon, Marin Headlands. Plus technically this is still SF and you do have less of a B&T stigma. Some people will prefer living a 40-minute bus ride away (still in SF) than a 20-minute BART ride to the EB. Psychology is everything.

  29. Posted by fred

    Why would people over the age of 50 want to isolate themselves on the island?

  30. Posted by shza

    Plus technically this is still SF and you do have less of a B&T stigma.
    This is absurd. Like how people living on 191st street in Manhattan have “less of a B&T stigma” than people living in Williamsburg?

  31. Posted by Sierrajeff

    @shza, I think the more accurate comparison would be to how people on Roosevelt Island have less of a non-Manhattan stigma than people living in Brooklyn or Queens.
    In fact from that analogy, one could posit that the TI development could be quite successful…

  32. Posted by Mike

    Plans appear to include a ‘Bicycle Library’ at a cost of 110k. Anyone know why they’re not just expanding the bike share system?

  33. Posted by shza

    @shza, I think the more accurate comparison would be to how people on Roosevelt Island have less of a non-Manhattan stigma than people living in Brooklyn or Queens.
    Either you’re joking or I missed out on major changes in Roosevelt Island since moving away from NYC in 2001. At least at that time, Roosevelt Island was an extremely weird place that most New Yorkers had never set foot in, and was far less desirable than than plenty of places in Brooklyn and Queens (Williamsburg, Bkln Hts, Park Slope, Astoria just to name a few — and all of those places are way more desirable now than they were then). And it definitely felt way more Queens than anything, even if technically Manhattan.
    Roosevelt Island has also had a subway stop since 1989, so the analogy doesn’t quite work there in terms of the isolation aspect. (Though again, I lived in NY from ’96-’01 and Roosevelt Island was still very much No Mans Land then, so the connectivity wasn’t any kind of immediate boon.)

  34. Posted by lol

    SF has its own variety of B&T. My comment was about this, not NY or whatever.

  35. Posted by shza

    That’s fine but I don’t think it’s correct. The wealthy in Tiburon or Piedmont or wherever are there by choice already and aren’t feeling “B&T” shame. And Oakland has already become hipster central for the kids. So I’m not sure who it is that you’re thinking is going to feel more secure about him/herself as a result of being able to say “technically” I live in SF, despite being more isolated and out of the way than if I lived in (name your BART-connected East Bay neighborhood).
    In my experience, the biggest Bay Area B&T-type “stigma” applies to the area north of Burlingame and south of SF — despite the lack of “B” or “T.”

  36. Posted by zig

    “Plus technically this is still SF and you do have less of a B&T stigma.”
    I attach a stigma personally to anyone who says B&T in San Francisco as we never ever heard this term uttered in the Bay Area until a few years ago with the massive influx of transplants apparently many of whom lived for a time in NYC
    News flash we don’t live on an island and we have a long history here

  37. Posted by zig

    In my experience, the biggest Bay Area B&T-type “stigma” applies to the area north of Burlingame and south of SF — despite the lack of “B” or “T.”
    There was never any stigma in this area for the type of natives who moved to these areas. Working class native San Franciscans from the Mission south moved to the north Peninsula and usually had extended family in both areas.
    For those who would ever care about these sorts of things I can’t imagine there is any similarity in the housing stock in these areas and what they need.
    In other words there is so few modern high density areas in SF and the Bay Area it is all really apples and oranges when we are talking about this TI development and who would end up living there. I am sure it will mostly be childless and more transient people who can’t afford Rincon Hill etc. which is great if it works out.

  38. Posted by anon94123

    “News flash we don’t live on an island and we have a long history here” BRAVO Zig!!!
    And if I could add my own two cents, only recent transplants would think there is some shame living in unique places such as Berkeley, Oakland, Piedmont, Sausalito, Mill Valley, Ross, etc. etc. Can you imagine the shame of living in a Bernard Maybeck or Julia Morgan house in the Berkeley/Claremont Hills and having only local dining choices like Chez Panisse, Oliveto, or Commis and having to shop for food at Berkeley Bowl or Rockridge Market Hall.
    Kind to think about it, I am almost jealous of the lifestyle many can enjoy on the other side of the bridge. One unique thing about Treasure Island is they can get to the East Bay easily as they do not fight the traffic on feeder streets getting on the east bound bridge in the afternoon.
    The whole planning seems to be based on their travelling to San Francisco, but what if they want to go east and do not have a car?

  39. Posted by Rillion

    I commonly heard the B&T term used to refer to other bay area residents that were visiting SF when I first moved here over twenty years ago.

  40. Posted by anon

    socketsite comments have always tended to be small-minded about SF, as if everyone in the bay area who did not live in SF “settled” for less. Crazy talk. Most people in the BA live outside of SF because they prefer to live outside of SF, to escape the grime, homeless, small homes, bad schools etc. I prefer SF and thus choose to live here. But to assume that everyone thinks the same reflects simple ignorance.

  41. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    I totally agree anon and would add that for those people who’s first choice is “not SF” the decision is driven not by being repulsed by SF but rather being attracted to merits of other Bay Area cities. Just poll a few Palo Altans, Los Gatos, Tiboronis, or Berkelites to find whether they settled for “second best”.

  42. Posted by anon

    Yes, absolutely right. Lots of communities in the bay area and elsewhere are wonderful places. I think SF is great. Lots of people don’t. And many that do think SF is great think that other places are even better. I love living in SF (and lucky enough to live in my favorite neighborhood in SF), but I’m also open enough to recognize that it ain’t the be-all-and-end-all.

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