America's Cup Could Bring Traffic Nightmare

By Matt Baume
|  Monday, Feb 28, 2011  |  Updated 4:45 PM PDT
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America's Cup Could Bring Traffic Nightmare

Ezra Shaw

Big sailboats will come to the San Francisco Bay in 2013 if the City gets to host America's Cup.

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The America's Cup is coming, like it or not, and San Franciscans are starting to worry that the city may not be ready.

Neighbors packed a meeting about the America's Cup, according to the Ex, stating concerns that range from parking to water quality. The Planning Department has been soliciting public input on the issue in advance of an environmental study.

We'll have a better idea of how the city plans to deal with traffic and environmental problems later this summer.

But preparations for the race won't wait. Boats are already arriving in San Francisco, starting with a giant yacht that's coming in pieces. Meanwhile, organizers are scrambling to obtain office space, according to the Bay Citizen. They're also trying to figure out how to relocate tenants on Pier 71.

Transportation continues to be a major challenge. Without reliable public transit, San Francisco may be choked by more cars than can fit on the streets.

By the time the race takes place, San Francisco should have a bikeshare program up and running, which will be stress-tested by the enormous crowds.

Bikes, pedestrians, and what buses remain at that point will have an easier time of traversing Market Street with improved turning rules finally being made permanent this week. Private cars have been advised to turn off of Market at Sixth Street and Tenth for the last year, and the MTA should vote on cementing the diversion tomorrow.

But with limited resources to enforce the turn lanes, many drivers continue to illegally drive down market anyway.

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