The minds of Caltrain, the SFCTA, and the SF Planning Commission are considering adding another San Francisco Caltrain station in Bayview, and Planning says an Oakdale Avenue location should have the inside track.
Old-timers like me remember that there used to be a Paul Avenue Caltrain station in between the 22nd Street and Bayshore stations. But we sure didn’t get on or off there much, and it was the saddest station on the line. The Examiner described it in 1999 as “tucked in a trash-strewn ravine and marked only with one small sign,” but then-Mayor Willie Brown fought to keep it open, claiming people would use it to go to some bizarre 49ers stadium/shopping mall thing that he insisted was definitely coming to Candlestick Park.
One $400,000 Eddie DeBartolo bribe of a Louisiana governor later, that stadium-mall was scrapped, the Paul Avenue Caltrain station was closed in 2005, and what little infrastructure it had was demolished in 2009.
But now Caltrain is talking about opening a replacement station in Bayview (which they’ve actually been talking about for 20 years.) And since it’s Caltrain, it involves many different city and regional bureaucracies. But the SF Planning Commission just had their say on all this, and the Examiner reports that they recommended Oakdale Avenue as the new SF Caltrain stop.
The other two possible locations are Evans Avenue and Williams Avenue.
“The Oakdale location received the most community support because it is closer to the residential parts of Bayview, Third Street businesses and transit connections,” the Examiner explains. “The Oakdale location is also the cheapest station option. However, some community members favored the Evans location, which is closer to the growing India Basin neighborhood and the new Southeast Community Center.”
You can argue this station is redundant to one they already demolished because no one wanted it. Fair enough, but times have changed. There’s some pretty exciting development happening in Bayview, and the Caltrain extension to the Salesforce Transit Center (which is definitely approved and happening, but will still take years) is likely to completely remake San Francisco’s relationship with Caltrain. People will likely be taking the Caltrain just for within-city trips, and it won’t just be a Peninsula-South Bay thing.
So there is reason to be optimistic about adding another SF Caltrain station in Bayview. But here’s where your high hopes might get railed; according to the Examiner, the proposed station is “roughly projected to cost about $80 million and open around 2028.”
Image: Pi.1415926535 via Wikimedia Commons