Design For Balboa Park Station Plaza Revealed

Rendering of the Balboa Park Upper Yard housing development and plaza. Courtesy image

INGLESIDE, San Francisco — Plans for the southern section of Balboa Park station into a multi-use tiered plaza in the coming years are on display this week.

Transit officials and housing developers said the new plaza at the station, right next to the Balboa Park Upper Yard housing development site, will provide more open space for the possibility of community activities and will make it easier for pedestrians and persons with disabilities to access the station from the plaza.

Balboa Park Station plaza rendering of plantings
The Balboa Park Station Upper Yard plaza plans include many trees. Courtesy image

Plans for the revamped plaza include an ADA accessible path along Geneva Avenue, which will also offer seating.

Nicole Franklin, principal property planner with BART, said passengers being dropped off at the station will also have a direct path to the station. The new looped drop off location will only be accessible on San Jose Avenue.

Because of the reduction of space provided for the reconfigured kiss-and-ride, Tim Chan, the transit agency’s group manager for station area planning, said BART is working with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to find an additional drop off location near the station

Chan said they have so far identified three locations, including two locations on San Jose Avenue just south of Niagara Avenue and another location north of Geneva Avenue. A third location transit officials are eyeing is on Ocean Avenue by the station.

More open space is headed to the station’s plaza that the community had requested in prior outreach meetings, according to Franklin.

Balboa Park Station Plaza
Plans for the Balboa Park Station plaza include a large open space next to the Upper Yard housing development. Courtesy image

“There’s open space near the BART station that will be available through a permit for community activities, such as farmers market and health fairs and other events just to activate the space,” Franklin said.

The open space was increased near the Upper Yard development project that could be used by future commercial tenants and more seating areas were incorporated throughout the plaza, according to Franklin.

Other amenities planned for the plaza include new trees, lighting and security cameras across walking paths in the surrounding area of the station. 

“The Balboa Park Station is such an important transportation asset to the Bay Area and to San Francisco, and certainly to District 11,” BART Director Beavan Dufty said. “It’s really wonderful to come and focus today on an area that I think has tremendous potential to provide a number of different benefits to the community.”

The plans for the plaza are set to head to the BART Board of Directors of approval in early 2021. Franklin said the start of the plaza project will commence 18 months after the Upper Yard development project starts and construction will take around six to eight months. Officials plan to open the plaza and housing at the same time.

More public meetings will take place on Dec. 5 to discuss the plaza designs. Click here to register for the Dec. 5 meeting. The public can visit Balboa Park Upper Yard to learn more about the Upper Yard housing development project.