Courtesy RenderingSan Francisco planners released an 800-page report and an additional 1

SF releases draft environmental impact report for Warriors arena

San Francisco planners on Friday released the much-awaited draft environmental impact report for a proposed Golden State Warriors arena in Mission Bay.

The 800-page report and additional 1,500 pages of appendices spell out the potential impacts of building an 18,064-seat arena and an office, retail, open space and parking area on 11 acres of waterfront land at Third and 16th streets, across from UC San Francisco's new hospitals and research centers.

Housing, public services and energy resources are not expected to be significantly impacted by the project, according to the EIR.

While transportation and traffic congestion have been among the greatest concerns related to the arena, as well as impacts on the adjacent hospitals that opened in February, The City is planning nearly $40 million in transit improvements in the area in the coming years that are expected to alleviate congestion, planners said.

Adam Van de Water, project manager for San Francisco's office of economic and workforce development, emphasized that there will be no significant impacts to emergency vehicles at UCSF children's, women's or cancer hospitals.

“There are a few transportation-related solutions that we're still working on,” Van de Water said. “That includes a hospital access plan, detailed negotiations and discussions with UCSF.”

The City is working to separate arena traffic from hospital traffic to minimize impacts on patients, staff and doctors, as well as residents of Mission Bay, planners say. Focus is particularly on the peak arrival and departure patterns.

“What we're focused most on is that overlap with the evening P.M. peak and the arrival to the arena,” Van de Water said.

But Sam Singer, a spokesman for the Mission Bay Alliance that opposes the project, said attorneys will analyze the environmental impact report to determine whether it complies with the California Environmental Quality Act that ensures all aspects of the environmental impact are studied and properly managed.

Also on Friday, members of the Mission Bay Alliance argued that building a sports arena in the neighborhood would create a permanent negative stain, along with a transportation nightmare. The group includes former top UCSF officials, though it is not affiliated with the university.

“The streets can't handle that level of traffic,” Singer said Friday following the report's release.

The public has 45 days to comment on the draft report, and a final version is expected in early fall.

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