Project aims to connect Parkmerced, transit

A realigned M-Ocean View Muni line, improved pedestrian pathways, a new bike-sharing network and a low-emissions shuttle bus to the Daly City BART station are some of the transportation upgrades planned for the proposed redevelopment of Parkmerced.

The privately run Parkmerced housing complex — roughly the size of Nob Hill — in The City’s southwestern area is poorly connected to San Francisco’s transit network, forcing many residents to rely on personal vehicles for their day-to-day
activities.

“Because it’s extremely car-dependent, Parkmerced is almost like a gated community,” said Craig Hartman of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, a design firm that’s working with various city agencies on development plans at the site. “But we have a chance to achieve things there that are unparalleled in other parts of The City.”

With new development plans calling for 5,679 homes, 230,000 square feet of retail space and 68 acres of parks, how the neighborhood connects with the rest of The City is being reimagined.

Instead of having passengers board the M-Ocean View in the middle of 19th Avenue — a fast-moving corridor with heavy traffic — the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, has plans to run the light-rail line directly into Parkmerced, a unique feature since the route will travel through private property.

The new development will feature a network of dedicated bicycle lanes, with residents able to use a bike-sharing system where they could freely drop off and pick up their two-wheelers. And walking will become much easier in Parkmerced, with the new development featuring dedicated pedestrian pathways.

A proposed low-emissions shuttle will take residents to the Daly City BART station within six minutes, and will travel to the Stonestown and Westlake shopping centers.

“I love the transit plans for Parkmerced,” resident Julie Brook said. “They will personally make my life much easier.”

The Parkmerced development plans, which were presented at the SFMTA’s board of directors meeting Thursday, are up for approval before the Planning Commission this fall. If the commission approves the plans, the SFMTA will review the transit portions of the project. Once approved, the redevelopment of Parkmerced is expected to take about 20 years to complete.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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