BART breaks ground on federal stimulus-funded project


BART breaks ground on federal stimulus-funded project

New entrance to improve access to Balboa Park Station

The 13,000 BART riders who use Balboa Park Station will soon be able to enjoy a new and spacious entrance equipped with state-of-the-art security cameras and lighting. Today BART, federal and local officials held an event to announce the first stimulus-funded BART project to break ground. The $5.1 million modernization project is expected to be complete within a year.

"Balboa Park station serves as a significant transit hub to thousands of BART and Muni commuters daily," BART Board President Thomas Blalock said. "Each day nearly 5,000 customers exit the BART station and head west to destinations such as City College of San Francisco, Lick-Wilmerding High School or the Balboa Park residential and retail area. The current path of travel in that direction is through an adjacent Muni train yard, a journey requiring the use of a walkway that is narrow and uninviting. The new west side entrance and walkway project will provide a safe access to and from BART and Muni."

BART will construct a new 1,500 square foot mezzanine on the northwest side of the existing mezzanine creating a new entrance and fare gate area equipped with BART ticket vending and change machines. The plan includes a new 10-foot wide, ADA accessible concrete ramp from the new entrance plaza to Ocean Avenue. While the northern portion of this existing west side pathway will be demolished and reconstructed, the southern half, towards Geneva Avenue, will remain as is. All pathway lighting will be upgraded and new security cameras will be installed. Finishes for the new mezzanine will match the existing structures as best as possible to ensure a continuous and well integrated design.

Officials and representatives from the "District 11 Council," a local community group, memorialized local community advocate Anthony (Tony) G. Sacco (1926-2008) at today's event by announcing the dedication of the new Balboa Park west side entrance & walkway in his honor. Sacco was a tireless advocate for the Balboa Park community. He had a special interest in improving the west side walkway to be a safe and direct route that connected BART to the neighborhoods adjacent to Balboa Park.