City No Longer Thinks Helipads Are From the Devil

UCSF gets clearance to welcome helicopters

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    The light sculpture at UCSF may not be the most talked about part of the Mission Bay campus for long.

    Helicopters: Medical necessity, or Satan's air-weasels? Local hospitals have wanted helipads for a long, long time -- one estimate is that they'd probably use helicopters once or twice a day for life-saving emergencies -- and for just as long, some folks have opposed them.

    But that's apparently changed now: the Board of Supes' Land Use Committee gave an unqualified thumbs-up to helicopters at the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay.

    So, what's changed? WE HAVE NO IDEA. Four years ago, residents were gravely concerned about noise and accidents.

    A couple of months ago, neighbors were still concerned. But now, residents are praising the idea. What is going on, San Francisco! You are a crazy cuckoo clock!

    As far as we can tell, it was outreach that made the difference. UCSF has been planning for this for years; they started outreach to residents early and listened to concerns, and even offered to subsidize soundproofing in nearby homes. Looks like this might be a case where being a good neighbor pays dividends.

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