Strong Support For Central Subway Plan
Mar. 20 - KGO (KGO) -- San Francisco's Chinatown is mobilizing to make sure it gets a new subway. The Central Subway run will beginning at the end of the Third Street rail line. It goes underground at Interstate 80 taking commuters under the financial district and would continue on to Stockton and Washington, connecting China Basin to Chinatown. Some residents feel the subway is key to local development.
Chinatown residents and merchants came to City Hall today in support of the Central Subway project. Eighteen-thousand petition signatures are on the way to Washington in hopes of securing critical federal funding.
Rev. Norman Fong, Subway Supporter: "It's not too often that Chinatown comes out this strongly over a project because they know, they finally understand."
Chinese community advocate Reverand Norman Fong says they understand how the subway would relieve congestion and connect their community to others.
The Central Subway would start where the new Third Street rail line now ends at Fourth and King, and continue to Stockton and Washington in Chinatown.
Current cost is estimated at $1.2 billion dollars with more than half of that coming from the Federal Transportation Agency. That is, if the project meets approval three years from now.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi supports the project and city support is unanimous.
Jake McGoldrick, S.F. Supervisor: "It's a pleasure to say that the support is unanimous, unanimous with the city family."
The connection of the Third Street line with the Central Subway would mean connecting the city's southeast corner with its northeast corner.
Gordon Chin, Subway Supporter: "The central subway is an extremely important project to this entire city. It affects so many different neighborhoods on the entire eastern seaboard of the city from Bayview Hunters Point to Visitacion Valley to the Mission south of Market, Union Square, Chinatown and North Beach."
Mayor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco: "That we don't have a system that provides the kind of ease of access to every district in every community is something we've got to resolve. This initiative, this effort that for 25 years has been advanced by members of the community is finally taking shape."
There is little if any organized opposition, but it's still early in the process. Construction isn't scheduled to begin for another three years, with completion in 2015 or 2016.
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