I-280 Interchange Modifications at Balboa Park Project

I-280 and ramp at Balboa Park Station

Background

The Balboa Park BART/Muni Station is one of the busiest intermodal transit facilities in the region. As the major  hub for the southern part of San Francisco, the station serves more than 24,000 passengers daily with its four BART lines, multiple major local bus routes, and three light rail transit (LRT) lines. But access to the station, particularly for non-auto modes, is complicated by tightly squeezed station functions and its location adjacent to the I-280 Geneva-Ocean Avenue interchange system, whose multiple on- and off-ramps deliver heavy auto traffic to the station and its surrounding neighborhoods, causing multimodal conflicts with transit and pedestrians.

The Balboa Park Circulation Study (BPCS), adopted in June 2014, resulted in a recommended alternative that would reduce conflicts among differ­ent types of users at several locations in the study area, improve pe­destrian and bicycle conditions while balancing vehicle operational needs, and be of a cost and scope that would allow implementation within the next 10 years. The recommended alternative would create a partial split inter­change in which northbound I-280 traffic would exit onto Geneva Ave­nue but enter the freeway from Ocean Avenue; southbound traffic would still be able to exit both Geneva and Ocean Avenues while only entering from Geneva Avenue. The recommended modifications included three project elements:

  • Element 1: Close the northbound I-280/Geneva Avenue on-ramp
  • Element 2: Realign the southbound I-280/Ocean Avenue off-ramp into a “T” intersection with a new signal on Ocean Avenue
  • Element 3: Construct a new northbound frontage road between Geneva Avenue and Ocean Avenue, immediately east of I-280, to accommodate a new kiss-and-ride drop off area with direct connection to the BART Westside Walkway

Balboa Park study area map

CURRENT PHASE OVERVIEW

The I-280 Interchange Modifications at Balboa Park Project is the next phase of work to improve circulation in the Balboa Park interchange and station area. This phase, led by the Transportation Authority, will include further project development work on two of the recommended elements from the BPCS: Element 1 (the northbound I-280 Geneva Avenue on-ramp closure) and Element 2 (the southbound I-280 Ocean Avenue off-ramp realignment). The purpose of this effort is to conduct the detailed analysis and documentation needed before implementation decisions can be made on either element.

Specifically, this phase includes (1) detailed traffic analysis for both proposed changes to the ramp configuration, (2) preparation of required Caltrans Project Study Report/Project Report (PSR/PR) and environmental clearance for Element 2, (3) preparation of required Federal Highway Administration Ramp Closure Analysis for Element 1, and (4) development of project funding and implementation strategy. The project team will conduct outreach to community groups and stakeholders to provide updates and gather input as the project proceeds and before any decisions are made to implement the proposed modifications.

PROJECT FUNDING AND SCHEDULE

The current phase of work is funded by $750,000 in Prop K Sales Tax dollars. The BPCS estimated rough order of magnitude cost ranges for implementation of the recommended interchange modifications. Element 1 was estimated to cost between $3.2 and $5.2 million and Element 2 between $4.5 and $7.3 million. More refined cost estimates and funding plans for these elements will be developed as part of the current project phase.

The Ramp Closure Analysis for Element 1 is planned for completion in February 2016, while Caltrans documentation and environmental clearance for Element to is scheduled for completion in September 2016. After completion of these analyses and depending on the results of public outreach and implementation decisions, next steps could include detailed design work for one or both elements and/or a potential pilot closure of the northbound I-280 Geneva Avenue on-ramp.

BALBOA PARK CIRCULATION STUDY

(See the Balboa Park Circulation Study page for more detail.)

The Balboa Park Station Area Circulation Study Final Report was adopted by the Transportation Authority Board on June 24, 2014. The Report documents the study's findings and recommendations. Download PDFs of the project fact sheet, the final report, and its appendices:

Balboa Park Station Area Circulation Study Fact Sheet
Balboa Park Station Area Circulation Study Final Report (5.5MB)
Appendix A: Transportation Analysis (2.1MB)
Appendix B: Detailed Alternative Analysis Results (1.8MB)
Appendix C: Engineering Feasibility and Cost Estimates (12.8MB)
Appendix D: Round 1 Outreach Summary Report (1.8MB)
Appendix E: Round 2 Outreach Summary Report (12.5MB)

OTHER PROJECTS AND STUDIES

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) leads coordination between ongoing efforts by multiple agencies to improve conditions in the Balboa Park Station Area. SFMTA also provides the primary staff support to the Balboa Park Station Community Advisory Committee. See the Balboa Park Station Area Improvements website  for more information.