UCSF Worker: Warriors Arena To Inflame Parking Stress

Friday, October 7, 2016

As a clinical laboratory scientist working at a UCSF lab in Mission Bay, I’m proud that my work helps diagnose illnesses and select the right treatments for patients.

I love my job, it’s what I trained for and spent time at school for, but the traffic and parking situation here is increasing the stress level to breaking point.

Everyone is talking about it.

Especially when the Giants play down the street at AT&T Park. And if the Warriors were to build their new arena things would get much worse.

Now you ask, why don’t I take public transportation?

It would take me an extra 1.5 hours per day. And, like you, I would like to have a life outside of working and commuting.

What if someone has a stroke or an accident and needs to get to the hospital in minutes? Each minute an ambulance is stuck in traffic, the prognosis for recovery gets worse. And no emergency plan would be effective if the cars have nowhere else to go. Or maybe they expect people to get to the hospital using the almost non-existent public transit here.

When the Giants are in town, there is no reasonable parking for staff of the UCSF Mission Bay hospitals or the surrounding organizations.

I need to get to work on time. Imagine if I’m late to work and miss the 15-minute window when a patient could have been treated, but they instead die because I was tardy, looking for parking.

I use the cheapest lot I can find – $170 per month from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. But I can’t park there when the Giants have day games. My option then is to pay up to $80 for special event parking or relocate my car to an overflow parking lot and walk in. Now the Warriors stadium is planned to be built on top of that overflow lot.

A true scenario earlier this month: I arrived in the area one morning for a weekend shift. It was a Giants’ game day. My parking lot was blocked off. The overflow parking (the lot noted above) was gated. The two blocks of free parking nearby were already occupied at 7 a.m. And metered parking is only free on three holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day).

I drove around and around looking for a place to park, increasingly stressed as my start time at work approached. Desperate, I decided to park in a two-hour zone, and spent the day taking breaks every two hours to move my car to another spot.

Once the game started at noon, there was really nowhere to move my car, so every two hours I came out and moved it a half a foot to avoid getting a ticket.

Would a sports team owner rushing to make the start of a game tolerate such conditions? Of course not.

I have read is that the arena would have 18,000 seats but just 200 dedicated parking spaces. And the arena wouldn’t just be for basketball games but they plan to have some type of event there more than every other day, right across from the UCSF hospital and campus. I mean, that is ridiculous.

A lot of us were born and raised here, and are staying to give back to the community and be with family. Also, I love my job. But with the parking and traffic, the noise, and city policies that don’t seem to be based on real-world issues, I’m starting to worry about the impact on my health.

With this new arena proposal on top of everything else, it really feels as if I’m being evicted from my own hometown.