Federal and state laws require formal review of projects that may affect the environment. The federal law, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), requires the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the state law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), requires the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). A combined EIS/R was prepared to identify short-term impacts related to project construction and long-term issues of the completed project.
The Draft EIS/R was released in December 2005. After the public and agency comment period ended, extensive agency and stakeholder outreach took place to recommend a Preferred Alternative. On September 26, 2006, the Authority Board of Commissioners formally identified the Presidio Parkway as the Preferred Alternative.
A Final EIS/R, prepared to address comments received on the DEIS/R, was circulated in October 2008. The FEIS/R was then certified by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, December 16 marking the end of the project’s environmental phase and the beginning of final design.
Certification of the FEIS/R entails the approval of the project’s Findings of Fact; approval of the Statement of Overriding Consideration; adoption of the Mitigation Monitoring Plan; and approval of the Refined Presidio Parkway as the preferred alternative.
View the presentation given by project manager Lee Saage, to the Plans and Programs Committee on December 9, 2008.
Key Design Refinements to the Preferred Alternative
Working with stakeholders and resource agencies, the project team refined the Preferred Alternative to minimize or eliminate potential impacts to the natural environment, cultural and community resources, and the Presidio.
Key design refinements include:
- Raising the original profile of the southbound lanes to preserve the cultural landscape and retain the cultural relationship between the upper and lower portions of the Presidio.
- Revising the landscaping of the Main Post tunnels to recreate the bluff north of the tunnels.
- Realigning the low causeway to create greater separation between the roadways over the future marsh expansion area, increasing light penetration and improving the wildlife corridor. The roadway curvature introduced by this refinement also calms traffic by reducing traffic speeds before reaching city streets.
- Reconfiguring the Girard Road interchange to preserve the Gorgas Avenue streetscape adjacent to the historic warehouses and improve views of the Palace of Fine Arts.
- Modifying the Gorgas Avenue/Richardson Avenue intersection to improve pedestrian connections, provide consolidated transit access and deter cut-through traffic.
- Restoring the top portion of Building 201 to its original location after construction to preserve the historic Halleck streetscape and historic bluff.
- Treating roadway pollutant runoff with passive, low impact measures to the maximum extent practicable to improve water quality in the area.