Overview
Image of where Geneva and Ocean Avenues intersect with the I-280

Introduction

The Balboa Park BART/Muni Station is one of the busiest transit hubs in San Francisco. Access to the station is complicated by the convergence of BART, Muni lines, people walking and biking, and six freeway ramps tying into the local street network directly adjacent to the station.

The Transportation Authority released the Balboa Park Circulation Study (PDF) in April 2014, with recommendations to reduce conflicts among differ­ent types of users at several locations in the station 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 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

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 study Elements 1 and 2. The purpose of this effort is to conduct the detailed analysis and documentation needed before implementation decisions can be made on either element.

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A map of the project area

Goals 

  • Reduce multimodal conflicts (vehicles, transit, pedestrians) at the I-280 freeway ramps while not substantially degrading vehicle operations in the area, including the I-280 freeway mainline. 
  • Provide safe, accessible, and convenient connections for pedestrians, bicycle, and intermodal travelers. 
  • Develop cost-effective solutions that support the community values and goals, without substantial construction-related impacts, that can be implemented in 2–10 years.

Timeline and Status 

The Ramp Closure Analysis for Element 1 is planned for completion in late 2019. The project team is working closely with Caltrans on the PSR/PR and anticipates Caltrans documentation approval and environmental clearance in late 2019.  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.

Project/Study Partners

Caltrans

BART

The 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

Cost and Funding 

The current phase of work is funded by $750,000 in Prop K transportation sales tax dollars. The Balboa Park Station Area Circulation Study estimated rough cost ranges for implementation of the recommended interchange modifications. Element 1 was estimated to cost between $3.2 and $5.2 million. Element 2 will cost between $15 and $18 million for construction. More refined cost estimates and funding plans for these elements will be developed as part of the design project phase.

Resources

Final Report: Balboa Park Station Area Circulation Study, 2014 (PDF)

Contact 

Mike Tan, Administrative Engineer

Key features

Recommended Alternative 

The Balboa Park Circulation Study (PDF), released in April 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

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. The Transportation Authority is also coordinating this project with other local projects in the surrounding Balboa Park Station area.  

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