Officials unveil ambitious America's Cup transit plan

SF's chances look good to host America's Cup
March 31, 2011 7:30:53 PM PDT
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, city supervisors, the head of Muni, the Director of the Bicycle Coalition and the Director of the America's Cup Organizing Committee unveiled an ambitious proposal to move thousands of spectators around town to watch the upcoming yacht races.

The draft of transportation proposals, called the People Plan, putting every form of transportation available to work, from taxis to bicycles. City officials expect at least 200,000 spectators each day to watch the races which begin with a series of tune-ups next year leading up to the America's Cup in 2013.

There is a proposal to ban northbound traffic on a stretch of the Embarcadero and another would restrict driving to residents only in some neighborhoods close to the race action like the Marina. Another proposal calls for a new street car line from Fisherman's Wharf to the Caltrain station. There are plans already on the books to widen Jefferson Street in Fisherman's Wharf may now get a push.

Lee says whatever infrastructure plans are developed should leave a legacy for San Franciscans to enjoy after the races are over.

The People Plan will now go before the people in a series of meetings and hearings. The mayor says it must be approved by the end of September. The city is on a fast track to get the details nailed down, including approval of the environmental review by November.

Thursday was also the deadline for teams to announce their entry into the race. Mark Buell, Chair of the America's Cup Organizing Committee says 14 had entered as of noon. He believes all are serious competitors.

San Francisco projects the races will infuse as much as $1.4 billion into the city's economy and create more than 8,000 jobs.

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