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View Poll Results: Which transbay tower design scheme do you like best?
#1 Richard Rogers 39 7.89%
#2 Cesar Pelli 98 19.84%
#3 SOM 357 72.27%
Voters: 494. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1981  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2009, 11:03 PM
BTinSF BTinSF is offline
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I expected a little panic, a little wailing and gnashing of teeth. But nada--no comments at all. You guys are stolid as oxen. And now, apparently, you can forget it all anyway:

Quote:
High-Speed's On Again for Transbay, Was Never Off?

That Examiner story about high-speed rail ending at 4th and King— maybe everyone should just forget it ever happened. Seems the man who caused all the hair-tearing, chairman of the High Speed Rail Authority Judge Quentin Kopp, has more or less forgotten about it anyway. In response to Gavin's "no train, no station" press release yesterday, Kopp apparently told a reporter that the statement was not only "puzzling," but also "gratuitous"— at least according to comments Kopp himself made at a high-speed rail scoping meeting last night. If that's not enough, the most current documents put out by the Authority all list the Transbay Transit Center as the preferred terminus for the city. Station-wise, the only major question remaining then is whether Redwood City or Palo Alto will get stops; Transbay, SFO, and San Jose Diridon are all slated for high-speed. At ease, dudes.
Source: http://sf.curbed.com
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  #1982  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2009, 11:41 PM
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I knew it was just Newsom being a jackass and wasn't really worried about it affecting anything.
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  #1983  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 4:57 AM
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Originally Posted by BTinSF View Post


You guys are stolid as oxen...
Maybe the Chinese New Year - Year of The Ox is really having an effect on us.
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  #1984  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 9:15 AM
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Stolid as oxen

You always did turn a good phrase, BT
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  #1985  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2009, 6:57 PM
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So I heard something about this high speed rail line being done sometime around 2015. Is that still the case? Do you guys think it will be completed in phases or all at once? As much as I love hearing about projects, I always must have dates! A project is meaningless to me without a date.
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  #1986  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2009, 7:10 PM
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The full line (SF-Anaheim) won't be completed until about 2020. This website has a completion timeline for all of the different parts of the Transbay Terminal:

http://sfgov.org/site/frame.asp?u=ht...sbaycenter.org

And this one has the timeline for the full system:

http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/
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  #1987  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2009, 7:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Urban_logic View Post
So I heard something about this high speed rail line being done sometime around 2015. Is that still the case? Do you guys think it will be completed in phases or all at once? As much as I love hearing about projects, I always must have dates! A project is meaningless to me without a date.
Read all about it here: http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/

There will be phases but the first phase is SF to LA (which upsets some folks in Sacramento).

I'm not sure when it's supposed to be in operation but the timetable is bound to slip. I doubt it will be open by 2015. Maybe 2020.
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  #1988  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2009, 8:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTinSF View Post
I expected a little panic, a little wailing and gnashing of teeth. But nada--no comments at all. You guys are stolid as oxen.
I might have wailed and even gnashed a tooth or two. But I've been unable to check-in much lately. Damn job getting in the way of all my fun!

In the end, it was a bunch of posturing between politicians. Who would have thunk it?
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  #1989  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2009, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peanut gallery View Post
I might have wailed and even gnashed a tooth or two. But I've been unable to check-in much lately. Damn job getting in the way of all my fun!

In the end, it was a bunch of posturing between politicians. Who would have thunk it?
I hear thee. I'm in the same situation, but with school. That news most certainly didn't sit well with me, but that went away quick.
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  #1990  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2009, 5:59 AM
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[QUOTE=peanut gallery;4058431]I might have wailed and even gnashed a tooth or two. But I've been unable to check-in much lately. Damn job getting in the way of all my fun!

Be glad that you have a job in today's pseudo-depression; besides, you won't have much to look at soon anyway.
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  #1991  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2009, 6:27 AM
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Be glad that you have a job in today's pseudo-depression; besides, you won't have much to look at soon anyway.
No doubt.
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  #1992  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2009, 6:51 PM
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Flashback to the Past, Looking to the Future

I really appreciated the great pics posted in both the 301 and 555 Mission threads of the Mission Street corridor development. Those pics, taken down the blocks from both the west and east, spoke volumes about how exciting this street was becoming as a partner to Market Street.

My view, of course, is only from the west and is markedly different than at street level, but it has fascinated me to watch it none the less. When I bought this place twelve years ago this month, I could see everyone's favorite 100 First Plaza/Delta Dental Building on Mission Street. After 101 Second went up two years later, the view was much improved with only the top of the 65 foot spire on Delta Dental sticking over it. As we all know, it took forever for the St. Regis Museum Tower to finally be completed in 2005, which completely changed the view again. [Remember how Starwood intentionally delayed it due to the bad economy after 9/11 and the dotcom implosion? It's unfair that tough times seem to be outnumbering good times, but I digress.]

The agony of watching the old style heavy construction of concrete buildings progress is practically unbearable. After waiting for the Paramount and St. Regis, it was time to do the same for the Millennium Tower. When would it ever pop into my view? I kept looking and waiting, watching your great pics in the threads. One night I noticed a glow above the St. Regis--the construction light was approaching! The crane eventually popped its head up with the double bonus of 555 Mission's crane too--joy had returned to this section of viewguy's view! It was exciting to look through binoculars or a telescope and watch a crane operator I now know do his thing atop that skyscraper (he's at One Hawthorne now).

I'm being very patient waiting for the Transbay Terminal Tower, but it's going to be amazing when it happens!

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  #1993  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2009, 12:04 AM
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Great story. I wish I could have seen the moment where Millennium first appeared in your field of view, but with all the pictures that were provided at that time, it was the next best thing. Transbay will be something to keep an eye out for sure, and all the other that I hope will go up also for that matter.
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  #1994  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2009, 2:47 AM
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It's hard to imagine that same shot with something sticking-up another 400' above 50 Fremont. They will have done a ton of work when it pops over St. Regis and still only be about half way there.
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  #1995  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2009, 2:26 AM
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Work continues on the temporary terminal. To the left is a large hole and they continue to do what looks like utilities work around the periphery.

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  #1996  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2009, 6:02 PM
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This article was in the Chronicle last week. I'm surprised that I haven't seen any mention of it here. This could potentially mean some further delays with getting the TBT built. Would not another option be to forgo the train box and to build a light rail shuttle between the TBT and 4th and King (similar to the shuttles between the terminals at an airport)?


Unbuilt Transbay station could soon be obsolete

Rachel Gordon,Michael Cabanatuan, Chronicle Staff Writers

Monday, March 2, 2009

San Francisco's planned high-speed rail station in the new Transbay Terminal would be obsolete within two decades, state transportation officials warn, forcing them to rethink the design.

The proposed station would not be large enough to accommodate half the passengers expected to be using the system by 2030. In addition, the current scheme poses engineering challenges for a Caltrain extension to the Transbay Terminal downtown, officials said.

"Three sets of engineers met and they concurred that the design for the station was inadequate and useless for high-speed rail," said Quentin Kopp, chairman of the High Speed Rail Authority.

The problems have transportation officials scrambling to find fixes to assure that the rail projects don't miss out on federal stimulus funds.

The emergency funding bill contains an unprecedented $8 billion for high-speed and intercity rail projects. President Obama indicated in his proposed budget last week that he would like to pump a further $1 billion annually over the next five years into such projects. The windfall provides opportunities that even the most optimistic rail supporters didn't envision.

Interested parties will have to make a case for their projects and compete for the money.

"I think we are well positioned to get these funds - unless we get in our own way," said Steve Heminger, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, a regional planning and funding agency.

California is the only state with a high-speed rail plan and funding.

Heminger has been tapped to mediate the dispute that involves the potentially competing interests of Caltrain, the California High Speed Rail Authority and the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, the agency overseeing construction of the new Transbay Terminal at First and Mission streets.

The building - described by project sponsors as the Grand Central station of the West Coast, with bus and train service - is envisioned to be the San Francisco home of high-speed rail and the new Caltrain station, extending its service closer to the downtown job center than does the current terminus at Fourth and King streets 1.3 miles away.

As it stands, the first phase of the project would be built without a "train box," the skeleton of the underground train station. The idea is to build it later, when funding becomes available. But building the train box in the first phase could shave an estimated $100 million off the $490 million cost.

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority board must decide by summer whether to move up building the train box in order to keep on schedule, said Adam Alberti, spokesman for the Transbay Authority. Construction on the new terminal is expected to start in early 2010.

But even if Transbay officials put the train box on the fast track, there's still debate over whether the current design - one platform and two tracks for Caltrain and two platforms and four tracks for high-speed rail - would be sufficient.

Mehdi Morshed, executive director of the California High Speed Rail Authority, testified before the Metropolitan Transportation Commission governing board last week that it would not withstand the test of time.

"We have found out that the current design that was environmentally cleared gives us less than one-half of the capacity we'll need by 2030 to carry all the passengers," Morshed said.

The High Speed Rail Authority now believes that the station would have to be able to handle 12 trains an hour, or one every five minutes. Under that scenario, eight to 10 tracks would be required, Alberti said. He said the Transbay team only learned of that three weeks ago.

One idea being studied is whether a two-story underground train station would be feasible from engineering and funding standpoints.

Separately, Caltrain officials have raised concerns about the design pertaining to, in part, track alignment and slope.

The problems aren't insurmountable, said Michael Scanlon, executive director of the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, which operates Caltrain. But, he said, they require additional engineering work.

"The current alignment and design is fatally flawed," Scanlon told the Metropolitan Transportation Commission governing board last week.

Kopp said engineers from his agency and Parsons Brinckerhoff - the main consultant on the high-speed rail project - concur with Caltrain officials.

Alberti said the Transbay Authority has been working closely with Caltrain officials on preliminary design and engineering work. Until recently, he said, "at no time has Caltrain indicated that the rail design does not work for them."

Scanlon said in an interview that the worst thing to do would to be to construct a train box that wouldn't work. "I think we ought to slow down and get it right," he said.

Increasing the size or design of the train box could double the cost, but officials have yet to attach a final price tag.

Heminger said it's essential that a deal be brokered among the Transbay, Caltrain and high-speed agencies, which would require clearing funding and engineering hurdles. The goal, he said, is to apply for federal stimulus money with a unified voice. "It's critical," he said. "Even though we have a leg up, these funds are going to be competitive."

The U.S. Department of Transportation is expected to release the rules for the funding competition in about four months, which gives Bay Area and high-speed rail officials some breathing room. Heminger plans to convene another meeting with the Transbay, Caltrain and high-speed rail representatives this week.

E-mail the writers at rgordon@sfchronicle.com and mcabanatuan@sfchronicle.com.
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  #1997  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2009, 7:57 PM
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Here's a long (really pretty) video with some good background and lots of amazing animations of the entire project.

More here:
http://vimeo.com/3589710
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  #1998  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2009, 7:58 PM
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Dp
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  #1999  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2009, 2:28 PM
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Did anyone else notice in that video, that there is only one of the one rincon hill twin towers constructed. Did the shorter one get completely canceled? Did I miss something
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  #2000  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2009, 9:02 PM
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The video is asking me for a password.
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