October 30, 2013

Site Cleared For Kaiser Permanente's Geary Campus Expansion

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The southwest corner of Geary and Divisadero has sat vacant since 1989 when the former gas station on the site was demolished and the adjacent 21 unit building at 1098 Divisadero Street has just been razed, clearing the way for Kaiser Permanente to construct a new 75,000 square foot outpatient clinic and medical office which has been on the boards since 1984.

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The new building will yield 23,000 square feet of clinic space, 10,500 square feet of medical office space, and 3,000 square feet of retail on the sloped lot, rising five-stories along O’Farrell and six-stories along Geary, creating "a visual cohesiveness for Kaiser’s Geary Campus."

While the expansion has been approved, the building permits have not been issued and in the interim the site will serve as a temporary nursery, for trees.

First Published: October 30, 2013 9:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Looks terrible. So boxy! Not enough windows. And those red corners will clash with the neighborhood character.

Posted by: James at October 30, 2013 9:24 AM

This is all third hand but I heard that the temporary part is expected to be a fairly long time. Kaiser isn't rushing to build. Part of taking the old building down and converting the space into something 'green' is to help its PR with the neighborhood.

Posted by: Rillion at October 30, 2013 9:28 AM

Too bad we can't doze that parking garage too and move the parking below ground where it belongs.

Posted by: anon at October 30, 2013 10:02 AM

Get rid of the parking! This is a transit rich area and the injured, patients and staff can ride the bus, or walk to this location. Besides, by 2020 we might have the Geary BRT up and running.

Posted by: TransitFirst! at October 30, 2013 10:15 AM

This is a city, with people who may need and choose to drive cars. And a place to park them when they go to the doctor.

This is not a little 17th century fishing village.

Posted by: Futurist at October 30, 2013 10:30 AM

This is soon to become a city of hospitals and clinics.

Posted by: Oceangoer at October 30, 2013 10:31 AM

"No parking . . . transit rich . . . blah, blah." This is a medical facility. That means not everyone using it will be normally abled or healthy enough to navigate Muni. If anyplace needs to accept that the automobile is the only real transportation option for some, it's a medical clinic or hospital.

That isn't to say the parking has to be in a separate parking structure above ground. But there does need to be plenty of it.

Posted by: BTinSF at October 30, 2013 10:37 AM

I don't have any issue with the amount of parking, but above ground garages should be banned and all immediately torn down. Parking belongs below ground.

Posted by: anon at October 30, 2013 10:47 AM

Guys, TransitFirst! is obviously a troll who is being sarcastic and trying to rile people up. Suggesting the injured walk, and mentioning we will have rapid transit by 2020, is subliminally being used to show how some "Transit Only" arguments are delusional.

Posted by: JWS at October 30, 2013 10:48 AM

The comments here are absolutely counter to everything we stand for in this People's Paradise. Cars are the true embodiment of evil. They ruin the environment. They use precious energy. No honorable comrade would want one. We have a Transit Rich, Transit First hymn for a good reason-- that is the way our dear leaders have discerned and instructed us is the way to perfection.

Just because people are old, sick, or injured is no reason to allow them or their friends or family to drive cars to the hospital. Everyone should arrive by ambulance. No private cars. Ambulances or Muni or bicycles only!

Posted by: conifer at October 30, 2013 10:53 AM

I found TransitFirst!'s comment funny, because it was clearly a sarcastic joke. It wasn't subtle enough to be a troll.

I think there would be general agreement that if there is to be parking anywhere, near a hospital is the least offensive place for it. When I was in the hospital for a few days, parking at CPMC Pacific campus was tight and it was a real issue for my parents who flew out on the first available flight to see me.

I was lucky. I came in an ambulance which is the best kind of transit first.

Posted by: adyslexicwalksintoabra at October 30, 2013 11:28 AM

Folks of course a medical facility should have parking. So should ice cream parlors, banks, law offices, army bases, and bovine actuarial firms. In short if someone will travel there and they might drive, provide some parking. The only real questions are "how many spaces?" and "how much to charge?".

The "think of the sick!" meme is a canard. Most visits to medical offices are by people who are fully ambulatory. Yes, a medical facility should have more parking than non-medical sites because there will be a greater number of people visiting who cannot walk well due to injury or illness.

Think of your last doctor visit. Were you able to walk? How about the other people in the waiting room?

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at October 30, 2013 11:46 AM

Even if you're not already sick or injured when you board a Muni bus, there's a pretty good chance you will be by the time you step off.

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at October 30, 2013 12:09 PM

I find it hilarious that the biggest car fanatic on this site couldn't see that TransitFirst! was mocking those who think parking should be limited in any way...

While I generally oppose the excessive parking that is required in residential developments, I totally support parking at a hospital.

Posted by: lyqwyd at October 30, 2013 1:40 PM

Milkshake: "The "think of the sick!" meme is a canard. Most visits to medical offices are by people who are fully ambulatory".

This isn't actually true.

Kaiser has departments spread out throughout the campus so that patients have to frequently go from the hospital to the MOB on the north side of Geary and the other smaller trailers and buildings for specialized departments.

They will send you out the hospital door with a new cast on your ankle and the pharmacy with the painkillers you are dreaming is over there, across Geary.

The problem is so real that an enclosed pedestrian bridge across Geary is part of the master plan, and they had to build a fence down the median to stop half-dead sick people from J-walking Geary.

How do I know? I was part of the design team for the MOB, the unbuilt pedestrian bridge, and a previous version of the building under discussion.

Posted by: redseca2 at October 30, 2013 2:43 PM

^I'm not seeing how what MoD said isn't true. Are you implying that most people visiting this Kaiser are like what you describe? Or just a large enough percentage to cause issue (a pedestrian bridge is probably warranted even if it's only used by .01% of total hospital users, because that's still a very large number).

Posted by: anon at October 30, 2013 2:54 PM

But lyqwyd, you oppose parking in residential developments because you buy into the idea that restricted parking makes people sell their cars. You don't want people to own cars. So why are you happy to see parking at a hospital? Is that for people from the suburbs who I assume are permitted to own cars? Or do you think that when non-car owning San Franciscans get sick they limp down to the nearest Zipcar lot so they can drive to the hospital?

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at October 30, 2013 3:48 PM

But lyqwyd, you oppose parking in residential developments because you buy into the idea that restricted parking makes people sell their cars.

I have many disagreements with lyqwyd's heavy-handed approach to where we're allowed to shop, but I've never seen him (or anyone else here for that matter) make the argument that restricting parking makes people sell cars.

It changes the mix of buyers and allows those who don't want a car to self-select, but that's VERY different from making people sell cars.

Posted by: anon at October 30, 2013 3:58 PM

When are we going to get some of those nifty "automatic parking" facilities that other cities have used to decrease the amount of space parking takes up? I'm guessing these can roughly halve the amount of space needed for parking a particular number of cars, while also allowing parking facilities to use small slivers of previously unused or unusable land.

If I'm sick I want to drive up to the entrance, get of my car, and have it whisked away, then returned when I leave. These auto-parks could even be the center cores of buildings or the volumes that are contiguous with other buildings so that human used space can face the street. Having a parking garage taking up valuable space that faces open street or a park is silly.

Posted by: djt at October 30, 2013 3:59 PM

As a Kaiser member whose has suffered the indignity of having to enter and use the various Kaiser SF buildings along Geary, each one of which is vying for the position of being the most disjointed and dysfunctional, I am disappointed that they would not clear the entire site south of Geary and build a coherently planned hospital and medical office facility along the lines of what they have in Santa Clara, and puzzled as to why, as an organization, Kaiser would want to have first rate facilities in Santa Clara but settle for second rate facilities in San Francisco.

Posted by: tj at October 30, 2013 4:52 PM

^ probably because Kaiser was able to purchase that Santa Clara parcel as one large lot. Santa Clara generally contains more large parcels compared to SF. Same goes for other suburban locations. Urban infill presents more challenges and requires more finesse.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at October 30, 2013 5:33 PM

"I have many disagreements with lyqwyd's heavy-handed approach"

true... I'll remind you I'm only mildly in favor, and fine with other approaches... but that's an argument for another thread!

"I've never seen him (or anyone else here for that matter) make the argument that restricting parking makes people sell cars."

true again.

@formidable

As I've said many times, I don't care if people choose to own a car. I own one myself and drive it frequently. But I don't pretend that it's some god given right or that I cannot live without one.

I definitely think that those in the many households in SF (more than 1/4) who have chosen not to own a car should have the option of living in places that do not force them to pay for parking.

Right now we subsidize private auto ownership. If anything should be subsidized it should be those who choose not to drive, and those that do not even have the option of driving. I say this even though I'm a beneficiary of the current subsidized driving regime. If you want to drive a private auto, you should be willing to pay the full price.

Posted by: lyqwyd at October 30, 2013 5:44 PM

"If anything should be subsidized it should be those who choose not to drive, and those that do not even have the option of driving..."

You realize that public transit agencies are also subsidized, right? Ironically, parking meter revenue - from cars - "subsidizes" Muni and some of the more sanctimonious among us.

Posted by: Mikey at October 31, 2013 10:57 AM

Mikey - all transportation modes are subsidized. The mode that receives the most subsidy dollars is driving a car.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at October 31, 2013 11:11 AM

MoD: Agreed that all modes are subsidized but am not going to get wrapped around an axle about "more" or less, particularly since there isn't likely to be any substantive change there anytime soon.

That said, there are hidden costs and subsidies as well as quantifiable and unquantifiable benefits and consequences to nearly every facet in our lives. As such, treating car drivers uniquely as welfare queens sucking at the teat of society is fundamentally dishonest and incorrect.

Posted by: Mikey at October 31, 2013 11:29 AM

^So nice of you to not get wrapped around an axle about who gets more or less, especially when we're talking about orders of magnitude in difference. Also, cool story about parking meters subsidizing transit - so it's ok for autos to be massively subsidized in the first place, but not ok to claw back less than 1% through meter charges? Why is the initial subsidization nothing to get wrapped around an axle about, but the clawing back is news, news, NEWS!?!

Posted by: anon at October 31, 2013 12:17 PM

^So nice of you to not get wrapped around an axle about who gets more or less, especially when we're talking about orders of magnitude in difference. Also, cool story about parking meters subsidizing transit - so it's ok for autos to be massively subsidized in the first place, but not ok to claw back less than 1% through meter charges? Why is the initial subsidization nothing to get wrapped around an axle about, but the clawing back is news, news, NEWS!?!

Posted by: anon at October 31, 2013 12:17 PM

Anon, be careful. One of these days you're gonna blow a gasket over your anti-car discussions.

Relax, they're not going away any time soon.

Posted by: Futurist at October 31, 2013 12:40 PM

Maybe you're reading someone else's posts Futurist. Nothing I said was remotely "anti-car". I own two and quite like them, thank you very much.

I eat food as well (and enjoy it), but will throw a gigantic fit if anyone tries to defend agricultural subsidies, which are the only less-defensible subsidies out there.

Posted by: anon at October 31, 2013 12:43 PM

"...will throw a gigantic fit if anyone tries to defend agricultural subsidies, which are the only less-defensible subsidies out there."

Excellent. I am looking forward to your fatwa against public school subsidies.

And really - "claw back?" SFMTA's parking meter revenue isn't a secret, or a "gotcha" or "NEWS!," but rather an example of a very common occurrence in our society where one area funds another.

I'm also not clear on what "massively" means in this regard since no one has quantified it. By the same measure, bicyclists are also "massively" subsidized as they pay nothing to maintain the roads they ride on. Is that a BS argument? Not any more than any other "subsidy" argument put forth here.

Posted by: Mikey at October 31, 2013 1:52 PM

bicyclists are also "massively" subsidized as they pay nothing to maintain the roads they ride on.

Do bicyclists get property tax refunds that I'm unaware of? Local roads are primarily paid for through property taxes. Gas taxes only fund highways (and not even all highway costs).

I'm not sure why you assume "claw back" needs to be a secret. That's not what the term means.

Posted by: anon at October 31, 2013 2:05 PM

Thank you Mikey.

And of course, we will get all kinds of heat for commenting about the bike people and how they pay nothing for the roads they use and for ALL the expenses that have incurred to implement the bike plan.

And for all the haters, I'm FINE with the bike plan, but why do cyclists NOT have to carry insurance, get a license, wear a helmet and wait, wait for it:

Obey the traffic laws?

Ok, I'm ready for the pitchforks now.

Posted by: Futurist at October 31, 2013 2:06 PM

Excellent. I am looking forward to your fatwa against public school subsidies.

Who said that I was against all subsidies?

But...since you bring it up, I'd be all for introducing more market mechanisms into public schooling. A LOT more.

Posted by: anon at October 31, 2013 2:08 PM

futurist is stating an urban legend as a fact. anon's right on this one.

Roads are paid by everyone who pays taxes (income, property, sales) which means everyone but maybe a few people underground in Colma.

Got a pulse? You pay for roads. And you pay for the downsides of roads too.

Another fact: SUVs (especially Trabbant SUVs) are wearing it much faster than the very low impact vehicles. 5000Lbs vs 200Lbs.

Also, we have to go to war for the gas that futurist needs for his gas guzzling Trabbie. We ramped up north of 2 Trillion in debt for the 2 most recent ones.

The kicker: this oil will grow back only in 50M years or so. Therefore futurist's lifestyle affects people today, but also the next 1,800,000 generations of our children. someone's personal freedom s affecting someone else's freedom down the line. But they are not born yet, then what's the problem?

Posted by: lol at October 31, 2013 2:23 PM

Well, thanks for no pitchfork, so far.

But you didn't respond to my other comments, not that you have to respond to anything.

Bike insurance? Bike license? Bike helmets? Traffic laws? Yea, yea I know cars go thru stop signs too. Are you ok with MORE enforcement of traffic laws against cyclists?

BTW. My car is not a Trabbant. Isn't that a VW brand? Mine is under 5000 lbs. Mine gets 29mpg. It uses stop/start technology.

Do I get a prize?

Posted by: Futurist at October 31, 2013 2:31 PM

If you want to switch the topic to safety laws, sure. Not sure what that has to do with subsidization of various modes. I'm certainly fine with more enforcement of traffic laws, though I doubt it's the best use of our police resources (could be wrong though).

Posted by: anon at October 31, 2013 2:45 PM

I am for more bike safety, bike registration, helmet laws and respect of traffic laws for cyclists. The same as with cars because bicycles ARE traffic.

I also want full use of a lane while we're at it! But I'll be nice and let you pass me so that you're first at the red light. I know how you're eager to check on your SS post responses.

I am actually pretty much in sync with you as far as scofflaws are concerned. They're endangering themselves, others, setting a bad example for kids, other drivers who can't take it anymore, and in general making driving and riding more unpredictable,

...and the funniest part of it: they usually do not go faster!

Just last week, a cycling neighbor of mine was next to me at a red light next to Dolores Park Cafe. He wanted to show off and started a slo-motion dance just when the light was about to change. The light went green and he had almost lost his balance. By the time he had straightened up, I was already 1/4 block away. And I caught the next light on green riiiight before the Google Bus started blocking the corner to unload its VIGs (Very Important Geeks).

Posted by: lol at October 31, 2013 2:50 PM

In any case, futurist, we now all know you're driving an Opel.

Posted by: lol at October 31, 2013 2:54 PM

These guys always have the same tactics.

"Parking and driving should be free!!"

why do you think others should pay for you?

"... uh... transit is subsidized!!"

Yeah, but a small fraction of driving, and really only because of massively subsidized private autos, there were many privately built and operated transit systems before the private auto became highly subsidized and popular.

"... uh... bikes are subsidized cuz they use the roads!!"

No, they pay all the taxes that go into road maintenance and construction, don't get to use highways, and do zero damage to the roads.

"... uh... uh... how about I point out that lots cyclists don't obey the law!!"

Well, nobody is suggesting the laws shouldn't apply to cyclists, of course lots of drivers break the law as well, to much more harm. How about equal enforcement of the law on all modes?

"... I only care about the law being enforced on cyclists!"

Well That's pretty hypocritical.

"... waaaah... I don't care, I want free driving and parking!!"

Posted by: lyqwyd at October 31, 2013 2:59 PM

Last time I checked it wasn't an Opel.

But I'll give you a hint. It's got 3 letters.

And I really am a good, respectful driver. But when I get on I-5 heading to Palm Springs, well, that's my autobahn. :)

BTW: I'm glad we can agree on a few things lol. There is hope.

Posted by: Futurist at October 31, 2013 2:59 PM

@Futurist: A Kia, eh? I wouldn't have pegged you for a Kia, but that's cool. Or maybe you mean a GMC truck? Dunno.

Posted by: anon at October 31, 2013 3:03 PM

Got it. These beauties sure had a lot of Humph. ery appropriate Palm Springs ride.

Posted by: lol at October 31, 2013 3:07 PM

Let me go check. hold on.

No, it's not a Kia, pretty sure of that. good try.

Posted by: Futurist at October 31, 2013 3:22 PM

I never knew Kia had stop/start technology. They had it on the M3 I rented in Frankfurt last time and man was it annoying. But at 90 Euros per tank... I can see why one would want to conserve fuel over there.

Posted by: Jimmy the House Flipper at October 31, 2013 3:31 PM

Yes to enforcing the law against cycling scofflaws (and drivers to of course, which is much more dangerous). Any cyclist that gets ticketed should also have to take a safety class, like drivers do for getting ticketet. But at the same times the laws should be modified to be sensible for cycling, for example the Idaho stop law should be implemented, which would eliminate like 95% of drivers complaints about cyclists breaking the law.

No to helmet laws, registration, insurance. At best they do nothing, at worst they only exist to discourage cycling.

Helmet laws discourage cycling, and the number one safety factor in cycling is safety in numbers. Also helmets do very little for actual safety of the cyclists. A cyclist needs a helmet just as much as a driver or pedestrian does.

Registering bikes has been tried and failed many times, it's completely pointless. It's only ever advocated by places / people that really just don't want any cyclists around. It's pure bureaucratic BS.

Insurance I'm more ambivalent on, as insurance is generally a good thing, but again, it's a disincentive to cycling, which hurts safety. I'd be OK with requiring it if the fine was minor, like $100 or less.

And of course, this whole tangent is a perfect example of the car fanatic approach. Can't defend your irrational obsession, so you try to distract with your dislike for cyclists.

So back to cars:

Road damage: As lol pointed out, cars are much heavier than bikes, but what is not pointed out is that road damage is polynomial to the weight per axle, so a 4000 pound car (2000 lb / axle) causes about 10,000 times more damage than a 200 lb bike (100 lb per axle).

And none of that takes into account environmental harm, public health issues, oil wars, etc.

Posted by: lyqwyd at October 31, 2013 3:35 PM

Ok, you can ride your little bike. Just be safe, obey the laws, wear a helmet, get insurance, get registration.

Pretty simple, huh?

Posted by: Futurist at October 31, 2013 3:40 PM

""... uh... transit is subsidized!!"

Yeah, but..."

Exactly.

Posted by: Mikey at October 31, 2013 3:46 PM

^Ooooh, you got us.

Posted by: anon at October 31, 2013 3:53 PM

you can ride your little bike

It's not little. I am a tall guy.

My speed comes from actual muscle. A driver's comes from something he purchased. Even my cleaning lady can go fast with her $3000 clunker.

But very few drivers (and cyclists) can touch me on a bike. Now that's real power.

Posted by: lol at October 31, 2013 4:14 PM

Is a post about a lot getting cleared that may one day host a new building all it takes to get people arguing about bikes versus cars? Is it just because its next door to a parking garage? Move on people...

Posted by: Rillion at October 31, 2013 4:21 PM

Mikey at October 31, 2013 1:52 PM started the bike vs car feud.

The pro-car will pound on any measure that could threaten the car monopoly. futurist is even bringing up parking in the discussion on in-law units.

Posted by: lol at October 31, 2013 4:44 PM

And guess why lol? Wanna take a stab at it?

Because housing, transit, cars, bikes and parking are ALL interconnected in making this city run and be a great place to live.

They are ALL important.

Posted by: Futurist at October 31, 2013 4:54 PM

Ok, you can drive your little car. Just be safe, obey the laws, wear a helmet, get insurance, get registration.

Pretty simple, huh?

See, I can do it to...

By the way, I don't ride a bike, I drive, as I've mentioned many times. But a driver that doesn't hate cyclists, in fact might appreciate them, doesn't fit in your world view...

Posted by: lyqwyd at October 31, 2013 5:05 PM

Just like density is being built on under-built parcels, alternative modes of transportation have to be done on under-utilized roads.

A car doing 25MPH in the city uses roughly 1000sf (80 feet of car + safety distance X 12 feet of lane width).

A Muni train can put 50 people into the same space.

10 bikes can easily fit in that space too. Cue the 4 fuming cars stuck behind 25 bikes on Market at 9AM. "Hey, get out of the way!" How ironical.

Car driving with an average of 1.2 driver per 1000sf is a gross under-utilization of a public resource.

Of course it's an hyperbole. We'll always need to accommodate cars.

But there's room for much more transit with what we currently have. Cars are the obvious place where there's waste to trim.

Posted by: lol at October 31, 2013 5:08 PM

Hate to interrupt your car debate with an update regarding the actual topic of the post, but they are building large oval walls, ~3 feet high, out of concrete beige 'stones' on the site, judging by the size there will likely be three areas planted on the site. Lot of landscaping work for a 'temporary' area.

Posted by: Rillion at November 1, 2013 10:12 AM

Posted by: SocketSite at December 2, 2013 11:09 AM

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