Fort Baker Ferry Service

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The City of Sausalito and the National Park Service have reached an agreement to work together to mitigate any adverse impacts created by planned ferry service between Pier 31½ in San Francisco and Fort Baker in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The agreement, in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding, was signed by both parties on August 22, 2018. Fort Baker is located a mile south of Sausalito, adjacent to the Golden Gate Bridge.
 
The agreement came after a decision by the San Francisco Port Commission on June 25, 2018, to limit prospective ferry service from Pier 31½ to Fort Baker to two round trips per day on weekends only. 

In signing the Memorandum of Understanding with Sausalito, the National Park Service agreed that it would do the following:

  • Meet and confer with Sausalito on the proposed rehabilitation and management of the Fort Baker pier in sufficient time for due consideration of Sausalito's interests
  • Share information about proposed service start dates, vessels, operating schedules, ticketing procedures, passenger requirements, and other related materials with Sausalito in sufficient time for due consideration of Sausalito's interests
  • Meet and confer with Sausalito to consider the desirability and feasibility of ensuring that passengers, including passengers with bicycles, may purchase one-way tickets authorizing transport from Fort Baker to Pier 31½
  • Meet and confer if Sausalito notifies the National Park Service that it is experiencing adverse impacts resulting from the Fort Baker ferry service
  • Provide Sausalito written notice as soon as reasonably practicable if the National Park Service proposes to expand Fort Baker ferry service beyond two round trips on Saturdays and Sundays, carrying approximately 40,000 passengers per year
  • Consider using the northbound Alexander Avenue/Highway 101 onramp if the National Park Service proposes to offer transportation services at Fort Baker to Muir Woods or other destinations
  • Participate, along with Sausalito, in regional transportation planning efforts to address issues of mutual concern, including growth of ridesharing and recreational bicycling

Background

On December 6, 2017, the San Francisco Planning Agency issued a Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration (PMND) for the Alcatraz Ferry Embarkation Project. In addition to improvement to Piers 31 and 33 in San Francisco to provide ferry service to Alcatraz Island, the project also included ferry service between Pier 31½ and the existing Fort Baker pier as well as interpretive cruises around the bay. The PMND failed to adequately analyze and mitigate impacts of the ferry service to Fort Baker in Sausalito. The PMND included flawed assumptions and lacked any analysis of the project's potential to substantially increase pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular traffic along Alexander Avenue and exacerbate the already over-crowded conditions in Sausalito's historic downtown and waterfront. Therefore, on December 27, 2017, the City of Sausalito submitted an appeal of the San Francisco Planning Department's proposed Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Alcatraz Ferry Embarkation Project. On February 20, 2018, Sausalito submitted an additional letter regarding the appeal.

On February 22, 2018, the San Francisco Planning Commission considered Sausalito's appeal of the project. The San Francisco Planning Commission denied Sausalito's appeal on a 5:1 vote. Watch the recording from the meetingView the agenda and materials for the February 22 meeting. View Sausalito's letters regarding the appeal (December 27, 2017 and February 20, 2018) and the letter to the San Francisco Planning Commission from Mayor Joan Cox. On March 21, 2018, the City of Sausalito filed an appeal of the Planning Commission's decision to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. View the appeal letter and exhibits. On March 27, 2018, Assistant City Manager Lilly Whalen gave an informational staff report on the issues to the Council (view the staff report and watch the recording from the meeting). On May 8June 4 and June 11 Mayor Cox and National Park Service Superintendent Joss corresponded with each other.

Resources

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Pier at Ft. Baker