General Project FAQ
Why is the Presidio Parkway design the best design for the corridor?
The Presidio Parkway has the unique features of a parkway design, including a wide landscaped median, a traffic calming transition to city streets, and reduced lane and shoulder widths, with enhanced pedestrian connections within the Presidio to the Main Post, Crissy Marsh, the National Cemetery and Historic Batteries. It provides new direct access to the Presidio and enhanced views from within the Presidio. It will be a spectacular regional gateway that complements the unique environment of San Francisco and the Presidio, a national park. View the overview booklet for more information about the parkway's design and features.
Why is replacing Doyle Drive so important to the region?
Replacing Doyle Drive with a modern, earthquake-safe facility is a high-priority safety project. Doyle Drive is the primary highway and transit linkage through San Francisco between counties to the north and south, yet requires extensive seismic, structural and traffic safety upgrades. Should an earthquake or structural failure force the closure of Doyle Drive for any significant length of time, freeways in the North and East Bay areas would experience staggering congestion from rerouted trips, and the regional transit and ferry systems would be greatly overburdened. Severe economic hardship and job relocation would likely result for the North Bay counties as well as San Francisco. In the short term, regular maintenance, seismic retrofits and rehabilitation activities are keeping the structure safe. However, in the long term, permanent improvements are needed to bring Doyle Drive up to current design and safety standards.
How does the project design improve connectivity in the Presidio?
Doyle Drive is located within a National Historic Landmark District and a national park and, as such, the design team went to great lengths to reduce the footprint of the new roadway, connect the Presidio to the surrounding area, and respect the project setting. The parkway concept replaces the old Doyle Drive with a new roadway designed as an integrated part of the national park, rather than just a highway running through it. The addition of tunnels to the design also helps increase green space within the park and improve connections between points north and south of the roadway. These concepts are described in more detail in the Connecting People and the Park fact sheet.
How does the new roadway serve bicyclists and pedestrians?
The new roadway design will allow pedestrians and bicyclists to cross over or under Doyle Drive at numerous locations in accordance with the Presidio Trails and Bikeways Master Plan, including at Lincoln Boulevard, McDowell Avenue, Halleck Street, Girard Road, Richardson Avenue and adjacent to Tennessee Hollow. In addition, the design will provide enhanced opportunities for crossing Doyle Drive and new connections to Battery Blaney, Main Post and Crissy Field in the areas over both sets of tunnels.
How will the project be funded?
A balanced funding strategy has been developed for Doyle Drive, relying on a combination of federal, state, regional and local funds to meet the project's approximately $1.045 billion price tag. Visit the Costs & Funding page for more information.
Will the Presidio Parkway increase traffic by accommodating more vehicles?
The Presidio Parkway design will serve the same traffic capacity as Doyle Drive does now. In response to public comments, the project's traffic study was expanded beyond its original parameters. The results of the expanded analysis are presented in the FEIS/R. No adverse impacts from this project onto the surrounding neighborhoods were indicated. The study found that roadway intersections and highway segments will have the same general level of congestion as forecasts show for the roadway if no changes were made.
How many lanes of traffic will Doyle Drive carry in the final condition?
In the final condition, northbound and southbound traffic will travel on separated roadways. Northbound traffic will have 3 lanes. Southbound traffic will have 3 lanes, with the addition of an auxiliary lane (an outside lane to facilitate merging) to carry traffic from northbound Highway 1 to southbound Highway 101 and to the new Marina/Presidio exit. See the Corridor Overview image for a simulation of the final condition: http://presidioparkway.org/pdfs/Dec2010_CorridorOverview.pdf
Average lane width will increase to 11', with an outside lane of width 12' to accommodate buses. In addition, both northbound and southbound roadways will have 10’ outside safety shoulders for emergency and disabled vehicles.
Will Doyle Drive have a new name after construction is complete?
There is currently no effort to rename the roadway. Upon completion, the new roadway will maintain its historic name, Doyle Drive, named for Frank Doyle, the North Bay banker who advocated for the construction and financing of the Golden Gate Bridge 75 years ago.
Will the Presidio Parkway design affect the YMCA pool?
The Presidio Parkway does not change Building 1151 (YMCA pool) and so the building will remain intact.
What will be the footprint of the project?
The total roadway width will be 105.3 feet and the overall facility width, including the landscaped median, will vary from 121.7 feet to 146.3 feet. The new facility will overlap a large portion of the existing facility's footprint east of the Park Presidio Interchange.
How does the Presidio Parkway design affect the traffic between Richardson Avenue, the Marina, and Girard Road?
The design achieves a traffic flow between Marina Boulevard and Richardson Avenue that is very similar to existing conditions. Also, some traffic in the area will be alleviated by the introduction of Girard Road access into the Presidio, which will attract local traffic to and from currently unavailable destinations within the Presidio and points south.
Traffic models of the new configuration for this interchange show no increase in traffic delays for those traveling from the Marina to Doyle Drive, or along Doyle Drive to Richardson Avenue or Girard Road.
View a video of the new configuration.
What is the construction schedule?
Preconstruction activities began in summer 2009 and included native plant and seed gathering, tree removal and utility relocation. Major construction began in December 2009 and is expected to be complete in 2015. Landscaping will commence upon completion of major construction.
View the construction schedule.
What are the hours of construction?
- 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. (Mon.-Fri.)
- 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (Sat.)
- Occasional Sunday work
- Night work as needed
- Potential extended hours to expedite construction, as needed
Why are no soundwalls planned along the project corridor during construction?
The project team studied noise barriers near residences along Storey Avenue, Armistead Road, Officer Family Housing and Lyon Street, and published its findings in the FEIS/R. The study concluded that a noise barrier at all but one location was infeasible according to Caltrans protocol. A soundwall would be feasible at Armistead Road, but it was determined such a soundwall would be inconsistent with the natural and cultural landscape and its benefits would not outweigh its negative effects.
What will happen to the Pet Cemetery during construction?
The Pet Cemetery was designated an environmentally sensitive area and will be fenced off and protected during construction. The Swords to Plowshares organization has initiated a volunteer program to maintain the cemetery in partnership with the Presidio Trust.
Why is tree removal necessary?
The area surrounding the construction site had to be carefully cleared of trees to create space for construction equipment and materials. Although there is a visual impact as a result of the tree removal, an extensive landscaping effort is a critical part of the project design. The project’s Tree Removal and Protection Plan was carefully developed in collaboration with experts and the Presidio Trust to remove only the trees necessary and protect the surrounding area. Furthermore, the eventual replacement of existing trees with young, healthy and more diverse trees will help improve this man-made forest in the long term.
View the tree removal and protection plan fact sheet.
What is the plan for replanting and landscaping after construction is complete?
Native plants and seeds were collected prior to tree removal and construction. Those plants and seeds are being grown in the Presidio Nursery and will be reused in the post-construction landscaping plan and wetlands mitigation.
View photos of the native plant and seed collection.
What are the major traffic phases during construction?
PHASE I : Late 2009-Spring 2012
Weekend Closure of Doyle Drive #1: April 27-30, 2012
- Traffic on existing roadway
- Construction adjacent to existing roadway
Purpose: To transfer traffic onto the temporary detour
PHASE II : Spring 2012-2015
Weekend Closure of Doyle Drive #2: 2015
- Traffic on new roadway and temporary detour
- Construction of new roadway and demolition of existing Doyle Drive
MAJOR CONSTRUCTION COMPLETE : 2015
- Purpose: To transfer traffic onto the final roadway
View a video of the major traffic phases during construction.
- Traffic on final roadway
- Construction complete
How will traffic flow during construction?
During Phase I (late 2009 through Spring 2012), traffic remained on the existing roadway and construction occured adjacent to the facility. There was a weekend closure of Doyle Drive from April 27-30, 2012 to transfer traffic onto a temporary detour. During Phase II (April 30, 2012 into 2015), vehicles will travel on the temporary detour until construction is complete and traffic can be transferred to the final roadway. A second weekend closure will be required during this phase to transfer traffic from the temporary detour onto the final roadway. During the weekend closures, the connection from the Golden Gate Bridge to Highway 1/Park Presidio will remain open.
Will there be any impacts to Marin commuters?
Traffic to and from the Golden Gate Bridge and 19th Ave/Hwy 1 will remain flowing throughout construction. This corridor is a construction zone with continually changing conditions, so delays may occur. However, the connections between 19th Ave and the Golden Gate Bridge will remain open.
Temporary ramp and lane closures will be required due to construction. These closures are generally scheduled to occur overnight, and advance notice will be provided.
What are the primary ramp closures during construction?
The following ramps will be closed during the described time frames during construction:
- Northbound Park Presidio Blvd to Southbound Doyle Drive (February 17, 2010-2015)
- Northbound Doyle Drive to Southbound Park Presidio Blvd (January 10, 2010-2015)
These ramps primarily serve vehicle trips within San Francisco and their closure is not expected to impact traffic coming from or going to the Golden Gate Bridge. Trips between Marin County and San Francisco and through to San Mateo County will continue to move unimpeded by the closure of these two ramps.
Although the ramp closures will divert traffic onto other streets, there are a variety of alternate routes. It is not anticipated that traffic volume on any one local street will be as high as it was on the ramps. Studies show that these alternate streets are capable of accommodating small increases in traffic. The signed detour will direct drivers to use Geary Boulevard/Van Ness Avenue/Lombard Street. Drivers who miss the traffic signage and end up at a closed ramp will be directed to use the "last chance detour": the Merchant Road off-ramp to Lincoln Boulevard and then back onto Doyle Drive via the Merchant Road on-ramp.
Which local roads will be closed during construction?
View a map of the long-term local road closures.
- Lincoln Boulevard between McDowell Avenue and Montgomery Street (June 2, 2010-April 10, 2012)
- Halleck Street (April 21, 2012-2015)
- Marshall Street (Permanently beginning April 21, 2012)
- Slip Ramp (Permanently beginning April 27, 2012)
Will there be any closures of Doyle Drive during construction?
There are two planned weekend closures, one in 2012 and one in 2015. The first weekend closure occured April 27-30, 2012 to switch traffic onto the temporary detour. The second weekend closure in 2015 will be to transfer traffic onto the final roadway.
View the interactive construction map.