Hold your breath … freeway exit identified as prime residential site


Jeremy Schaub from Gabriel Ng + Architects, Inc. has filed an application to build 12 two bedroom units of housing in this lovely alcove abutting the Ninth Street exit of highway 101. Air quality and the potential for flooding are two of the immediate drawbacks that come to mind. 

The Planning Department highlights those concerns, as well as noise and lack of exposure to the outdoor environment, in a Preliminary Project Assessment published recently that nonetheless gives the building a hearty thumbs up for this Urban Mixed Use (UMU) plot adjacent to the Bed Bath & Beyond cluster of mid-box retail stores at 9th and Brannan Streets in the Showplace Square area.

“Public health research consistently demonstrates that children and other sensitive receptors (daycare, schools, senior care facilities, hospitals, and dwelling units) within 100 to 200 meters of freeways or busy roadways have poor lung function and more respiratory disease; both chronic and acute health effects may result from exposure to roadway-related TACs [toxic air contaminants],” the report states.

Surprisingly, there was no specific reference to the Healthy Development Measurement Tool, an internationally recognized approach to evaluating land use planning and urban development centered on furthering human health needs, originally developed by Dr. Rajiv Bahtia and the San Francisco Department of Public Health for the Eastern Neighborhoods planning process.

Dr. Bahtia fought for increased awareness about the impacts of land use, transportation and community design on population health and well-being, to some extent with the Eastern Neighborhoods and later in much greater detail with the Western SoMa Plan.

Dr. Bahtia was forced out of his position with the Department of Public Health late last year for unspecified political considerations.



Filed under planning, quality of life

3 responses to “Hold your breath … freeway exit identified as prime residential site

  1. John Dunlap

    I think San Francsico should turn these irregularly shaped alcoves that are often associated with onramps or offramps into redwood clusters. Honestly, with a little TLS thes small parcels could be really inviting access points into and out of the city. This would be so cool. Thoughts anyone?

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