UCSF Nurses Protest at New Warriors Arena Site Over Traffic Concerns

Nurses protested Monday over a proposed Warriors arena that they say will have "disastrous impacts," though basketball team representatives say there is no proven impact to emergency services and that other cities have similar situations with no problems.

A group of nurses held a news conference saying existing plans for traffic and parking aren’t good enough, but as NBC Bay Area found out, their objections were hard to pin down. One of the nurses protesting the plan said she was concerned the plan currently in place “is not sufficient,” but wouldn’t say anything specific.

A project hearing regarding the building of a 18,500-seat arena and entertainment center in Mission Bay, right across from UCSF medical centers, is planned for Tuesday.

Healthcare workers say the site will cause traffic and take up parking spaces for patients, and cause "disastrous impacts," according to a news release.

Nurses said in their statement that the new area will impact the ability of healthcare workers to "access Mission Bay hospitals and clinics in gridlock traffic and park their cars when surrounding lots and streets are saturated with event traffic."

City leaders and Warriors officials say that won't be an issue.

Warriors spokesman PJ Johnston said that the team is committed to being good neighbors, and have been hard at work with the city of San Francisco, UCSF and others in the neighborhood to effectively manage traffic and other issues.

He provided a 155-page report, conducted by the team, showing at least 17 other U.S. cities, which have arenas and hospitals located within one mile of each other. "There’s no reason San Francisco can’t manage this as well," he said.

Johnston pointed out that the arena will have fewer than half the seats as AT&T Park and that all events will take place at night or on weekends, with no day games. The average event at the arena will have about 20 percent of the attendance of AT&T Park, he said.

He added that San Francisco found that there will be no disruption of ambulances or other emergency services.

The proposed arena, Johnston said, has a lot of public transportation opportunities as well, with a a Muni light rail stop out front, and a connection to BART nearby.

"While there will obviously be some increased traffic, it can be managed," Johnston said.

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