UTA Meeting Details CSI Construction and Traffic Update

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As construction for the Center for Science and Innovation Building (CSI) is entering its second phase, the next order of business for USF is traffic collision surrounding pedestrian traffic and speeding collisions.

Alice Carnes, a member of the University Terrace Association (UTA), spoke about both projects at a UTA meeting on Monday, Feb. 28. She said the key to making the construction a success is communication.

CSI Construction Update

Cahill Construction has detailed plans that will unfold in the coming months, which has reassured the USF community and UTA residents that every aspect of the project is under control.

Ten parking spots will be reserved for trucks outside of Harney Plaza to avoid traffic congestion on Golden Gate Avenue and neighboring streets. One truck will be allowed at a time to the site.

An estimated 1,000 trucks will visit the site in the span of three months, said Cahill Construction representative John Levine.

According to Cahill representative Jeff Robertson, the CSI building will be completed in two years. During spring break, Cahill will take over the lower parking lot next to the Harney Center and University buildings.

For the remainder of the spring semester, fences will be placed around the construction site and working with underground detection tanks.

Cahill ensures their workers will not infiltrate the USF Campus or terrace neighborhoods. Workers will have their own food service truck, entry way, and designated smoking site within the construction site. A shuttle to and from the old Mervyn’s parking lot on Geary Boulevard & Masonic Avenue is still under negotiation.

At the start of summer break, Cahill will immediately begin major demolition and excavation removing 20,000 yards of material from the campus. The building’s exterior will be completed by the end of 2012. Mechanical systems and landscaping will be finished by its expected completion in May 2013.

The construction site hours will be from 8am to 4:30pm with deliveries made between 7am and 8am.

Traffic Calming

A survey distributed to the university shows the two top concerns in area are parking and pedestrian safety, both issues that go hand-in-hand according to Evan Ross, a representative from Fehr & Peers (F&P), a transportation consultant company working on traffic calming for the university.

Survey results show that in a day the highest reported driving speed at Golden Gate Avenue is 65mph. In addition, 11,000 cars run down Turk Boulevard and 4,200 cars at Golden Gate Avenue daily.

With 100 spaces available around and 14 homes on each University Terrace block, it is evident that parking is the number one concern for the university community.

Fehr & Peers (F&P), a transportation consultant company, along with Urban Design Plus, presented four different drafts on how to reconstruct streets surrounding University Terrace. F&P proposals included defining parking lines, reducing parking times, widening sidewalks, and implementing limited access to the terraces to only pedestrians and bike riders.

Master Plan Manager Elizabeth Miles said, “The goal is to come to consensus this spring. Members of the University community, of the UTA and the City & County of San Francisco are part of the decision making process.”

The university has a $1.2 million mitigation fund for this project, however, the estimates range from $83,000 to $2.75 million. Miles said, “The University’s commitment to this process is $1.2million and effectively serves as a budget cap until other sources of funds are identified.”

Mira Ringler, UTA board member, said tremendous progress has been made as phase two goes underway and by addressing all aspects of the projects, it is important that everyone work together.

University Terrace is “the jelly between the bread slices” of USF, said Ringler, and by talking to more people about these issues there will be a compromise.

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