SF waterfront welcomes new open space

San Francisco’s northeastern waterfront has new public space just in time for summer.

With the James R. Herman Cruise Terminal project nearly complete at Piers 27 and 29, much of the 12-acre space opened to the public last month and the remaining sliver is slated to open in August, said Dan Hodapp, senior waterfront planner for the Port of San Francisco. Additionally, public restrooms at the terminal are expected to open in September.

The project to revitalize Piers 27 and 29 began in 2011, leading to a new cruise terminal that opened last fall to replace the aging Pier 35 as San Francisco’s main dock for cruise ship traffic.

The open space at the site has since increased incrementally, with the final section where passengers board cruise ships expected to open to the public in August. Much of the open space is only available to the public on noncruise days.

The views from the piers are like none other in The City, port officials noted. Piers 27 and 29 extend out further from The Embarcadero than all piers in the busy northeast pocket, offering the public a glimpse of both the cityscape and San Francisco Bay.

“As you step out of the terminal, you look straight back at Coit Tower,” Hodapp described. “When you turn the other way, you’re looking out at the Bay Bridge.”

Meanwhile, the Port is stepping up efforts to improve transportation at the cruise terminal, which has caused traffic congestion for several blocks of northbound Embarcadero during peak cruise activity times.

The Port has made improvements to the piers’ driveway, installed better signage, and stationed extra officers to manage the entrance and curb when vehicle traffic is servicing a cruise ship, port officials said.

“We are continuing to resolve Embarcadero transportation issues to fine tune operations,” Hodapp said. “It’s balancing vehicles on The Embarcadero, pedestrians and bicycles — the needs of all — ensuring that we have a safe environment.”

About 85 ships will dock at Piers 27 and 29 this year, with the heaviest months for cruise activity in May and September.

ldudnick@sfexaminer.com

Laura Dudnick

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