Posts Tagged ‘meeting’

The SFMTA Renames Lower Haight as “The Wiggle Community” – Calls for SFPD Crackdown on Bikes, Return of Hated Traffic Circles

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

[UPDATE: Now let’s hear from famous Jim Ross:

“I lived on Scott Street, between Oak & Fell during the last traffic circle experiment. Was nearly hit four or five times walking to Haight Street for coffee. That is a very residential neighborhood, one reason it is good to bike through. But also, a bunch of pedestrians should not have risk life and limb to cross the street…”

Indeed, Jimbo! Pedestrians wanting to cross Page would hear a car coming from a half-block away. What should they do? Would the drivers slow down? The peds wouldn’t know. Very bad!  All this so that Page could eventually become a “Bicycle Boulevard?” All this so that cyclists wouldn’t have to worry about getting tickets for California stopping? Ridiculoso!]

Here it is, from our incompetent SFMTA:

Wiggle Community Open House

You know what, SFMTA, do you know what you should be “passionate” about? Do you know what your primary function is? It’s to operate the fucking transit system.

So how well do you think you are you doing, SFMTA? Do you think you all are doing a spectacular job? Really?

So why not this, why not say, “We’re the SFMTA, we’re MUNI and we don’t do a very good job these days but we have a pot of money to spend on the Lower Haight and we think this kind of project would be a good use of taxpayer money.” You know, as an introduction, to build credibility with your audience.

Anyway, let’s get to a few of the more glaring issues with the so-called “Wiggle Community,” fka the Lower Haight.

Oh, here we go:

Click to expand

Let’s read the boxes here:

“With intersecting bike routes and heavy vehicle volumes, this intersection  is confusing for everyone”

OMFG, SFMTA, WTF? The intersection of Page and Scott doesn’t have “heavy” vehicle volumes. NOT AT ALL. Also, it’s a simple four way stop. It’s not “confusing for everyone.” WTF are you smoking, you SFMTA hippies?

“Heavy vehicle congestion from drivers using Scott as a cut-through to Fell and Oak.”

OK, as stated, Scott Street just doesn’t have heavy vehicle congestion. Hey, SFMTA! Do you know about the ongoing, daily disaster you all created called Octavia “Boulevard?’ Well guess what. It has “heavy” vehicle congestion. As does Oak, which routinely backs up going all the way up to freaking Alamo Heights. As do other streets intersecting with Octavia due to how the lights are timed. What color is the sky in your world, SFMTA? And what’s a “cut-through?” Is it street? I think it is? How about this, SFMTA, you all name me a street and then I’ll make a up a name for the surrounding area and I’ll call it a “community.” How about the “Ashbury Southern Heights (ASH) Community?” Then, I’ll critercise all those mofos who use the southern part of Ashbury Street to “cut-through” my made-up “community.” And then I’ll blame ALL “congestion” on people who don’t live in the “community.” That’s what you’re trying to do here, SFMTA. Every street in SF is a “cut-through,” using the phrase the way you all use it.

“Haight Street has buses and commercial activity, and is less comfortable for biking.”

Biking isn’t necessarily “comfortable,” SFMTA. And it never will be. I know you all are addicted to spending money, but this rationale is exceptionally weak. It’s right up there with using “transit justice” to justify the wasteful nine-figure Central Subway subway to nowhere project in Chinatown.

“Bicyclists don’t yield to pedestrians, particularly in the downhill direction”

Well, yeah, that’s right. Like Haight and Pierce, for example. I’ll tell you, I’m surprised the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition branch of the SFMTA would allow a publication to come out what talks about enforcement actions and what has a photo of an SFPD officer. I guess this is the SFMTA throwing a bone to the peds?

Anyway, read through the whole seven pages for more SFMTA boners.

Speaking of which, the SFMTA is back with the traffic circles.

All right,about a decade ago, the very same SFMTA was dead-set on putting traffic circles in the Haights, specifically on Page and Waller. The SFMTA said it had numerous studies praising traffic circles. The SFMTA said that “the community” wanted traffic circles. The SFMTA was wrong. The SFMTA had a vote by the neighbors and it lost by about a three to one margin – all 11 proposed traffic circles got voted down. Anyway, the plan was to have them become gardens or whatnot. So, for the SFMTA to list unsightliness as the first reason for the SFMTA’s failure, well, that’s a little disingenuous, IMO. So the reason the SFMTA can now claim it has “installed traffic circles with success and community support” in the Richmond District recently is that the SFMTA didn’t allow a vote. If the SFMTA allowed a vote on any particular traffic circle, the SFMTA would lose. So, no more voting, bingo bango.

This is horse doody:

“Traffic Circles Then & Now
In 2003, the SFMTA experimented with removing stop signs and installing traffic circles at several locations along Page Street. Many residents complained that the circles were unsightly and deprioritized pedestrians, and they were removed. However, in recent years the SFMTA has installed traffic circles with success and  community support, using improved outreach, design, and signage.

Are there places in the Wiggle where you’d like to see traffic circles today?”

Is the SFMTA saying that it has “improved” the design of traffic circles the past ten years? Perhaps they’ve done research on the number pi? Perhaps they’re thinking traffic ovals? Traffic ovoids? IDK.

Anyway, just because you lie about stuff, that doesn’t mean people will necessarily believe you, SFMTA.

Ah, mem’ries:

“Subject: Page St. Traffic Circle Hearing TOMORROW
From: joshua@sfbike.org
Date: March 17, 2004 1:30:06 PM PST

“Dear SF bicyclist,

The 9-month long Page and Waller Traffic Circle Pilot program is coming to a
close, and the Department of Parking and Traffic is holding a public hearing
TOMORROW, THURSDAY MARCH 18TH to hear from residents and users of the
street. This is your chance to voice ideas, concerns, and opinions about
this traffic calming experiment. Each of the 11 proposed circles will be
voted on by residents living within a block, and voting will conclude March
25th. The circle receiving the highest percentage of votes (over 50%) will
be installed on a permanent basis, with consideration for others that also
receive 50% or more of the vote.

The meeting will be held:

6:30pm-8pm this Thursday, March 18th
Park Branch Library
1833 Page St. at Cole

The SFBC supports the concept of the traffic calming circles, but shares the
concerns of many other residents and neighborhood groups, including Walk SF
and the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council, that:

1) there was not sufficient neighborhood outreach or involvement prior to
circle installation

2) more education and public outreach is needed to users of the street to
convey safe and legal behavior at the circles

3) pedestrian right-of-way is being compromised with the current circle
design

Although we don’t think the current design is perfect, we are encouraging
our members and other residents living along the Page and Waller corridor to
VOTE YES to give the circles a chance to be improved upon.

BICYCLE BOULEVARDS

Given the right education, signage, and enforcement, we believe the circles
will benefit the neighborhood and cyclists by being the first step toward a
true bicycle boulevard on Page St.

A bike boulevard is an innovative bicycle facility that is often applied to
residential streets that parallel major arterials. It consists of three
design elements:

1. stop signs placed only on side streets to give priority to the boulevard

2. traffic circles installed in at least some of the intersections to slow
cars down to 10-15mph while allowing bikes to maintain momentum

3. diverters, barriers or forced turns that prohibit automobile through
access on the bike boulevard while continuing to allow cyclists,
pedestrians, and emergency vehicles through.

A bicycle boulevard treatment applied to Page St. could dramatically reduce
the volume and speed of traffic, and reduce or eliminate stop signs, making
bicycling along Page much easier, safer, more efficient and pleasant. It
would not “close” the street to cars- drivers would still be able to access
every point along Page, but using this neighborhood street as an auto cut
through would be a thing of the past.

Although the DPT is not considering a full bicycle boulevard currently,
Thursday’s meeting will be a good chance to voice your support for this
concept, and build support among local residents.

You can find out more about bicycle boulevards at:
http://www.odot.state.or.us/techserv/bikewalk/planimag/ii1e.htm

DPT’s web page on the circles is at
http://www.sfgov.org/site/dpt_index.asp?id=13573

Because of vocal opposition to the circles, it is particularly important for
people to come and speak at the hearing about the benefits of traffic
calming and a bicycle boulevard along Page St. For more information,
contact me (using the information at the bottom of this e-mail).

TALKING POINTS FOR THURSDAY’S MEETING

- There are problems with the implementation of the circles, but the concept
is good. We need better signage (yield to peds pop-up signs, and stops
where appropriate)

- A full bicycle boulevard (including side street stop signs, circles, and
diverters) will dramatically reduce car traffic on this residential street,
prioritizing the street for cyclists and pedestrians.

- Vote yes on the circles!

Thank you for supporting YOUR Bicycle Coalition and an improved bike
network!”

Achtung Baby! SFPD Sting Op Comes Down Hard on an iPhone Thief – A Nice Video Featuring Retractable Baton

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

IDK, I think this dude’s court-appointed mouthpiece would be happier if dude hadn’t turned off Find My iPhone before negotiating the $180 finder’s fee.

“Uploaded on Jul 10, 2013

A friend of mine dropped her phone. This guy found it, and demanded $180 to get it back after disabling ‘Find My iPhone’. The police agreed to set up the sting. The guy you see from the back in the hat is the undercover cop. He goes to pay the guy and the three others move in. Especially notice the one flick out his baton. At this point, I am asked to stop filming, but allowed to continue after informing the officer of my rights. He only asked I moved a little down the block, which I complied with.

OMG, the Grand Opening of the Clement Street Farmers Market is This Sunday, June 23rd, 2013 in the Inner Richmond

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Sunday Sunday Sunday:

Clement St. Grand Opening!
Agricultural Institute of Marin is partnering with the Clement Street Merchants Association to bring the Inner Richmond San Francisco’s newest farmers market! Beginning June 23rd, join us every Sunday from 9am to 2pm, on Clement Street between 2nd and 4th Avenues, year-round, for what promises to be a great Sunday morning destination for foodies and families alike.

Read the news and turn the pages:

Uh, the “Clement Street Farmers Market” is “Nearing Approval” – Really? – Between 2nd and 4th Aves. on Sundays

UPDATE: The Purported “Clement Street Farmers Market” Isn’t Going to Start on June 9th, 2013 After All

Looks Like the “Clement Street Farmers Market” Might Start on June 23rd – Per the Office of District One Supe Eric Mar

Uh Oh: Businesses on 3rd Avenue Still Unaware of the Weekly Clement Street Farmers Market – Starts June 23rd

These days, Clement isn’t all hustle-bustle on the weekends:

“Lord knows that Sundays at that part of Clement can be a bit depressing, what with infrequent bus service, a number of empty parking spaces, and  lots and lots of closed storefronts abutting a handful of thriving businesses.”

For lease, for rent, “retirement sale,” going out of business sale, and on and on:

Click to expand

Tell me how it goes.

Uh Oh: Businesses on 3rd Avenue Still Unaware of the Weekly Clement Street Farmers Market – Starts June 23rd

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Here’s what you need to know about the forthcoming Clement Street Farmers Market.

Oh look, from District One Supe Eric Mar:

“Thank you to Peter Lauterborn from my office, the Clement Street Merchants Assn, Argonne Community Garden, Peabody elementary school PTA, Argonne elementary school PTO and many others for working with the great folks from Marin Agricultural Institute to organize our community farmer’s market! We are working hard to make it family friendly, and thanks to Foggy Notion, Seed Store, ParkLife, Green Apple, Cumaica Coffee House and Giorgio’s Pizzeria and other businesses too for helping to make this successful! [Signed] Eric Mar, District 1 SupervisorIf you have any suggestions or questions – contact Peter at 415-554-7411 or email him at peter.lauterborn@sfgov.org

And “youthful” (I mean, his relatively short Wiki entry uses the term 14 times, right?) aide Peter Lauterborn speaks his piece here.

The thing is is that some businesses on 3rd Avenue, where a couple block will get shut down weekly, don’t seem to be aware of the CSFM.

The Sloat Garden Center for one:

Click to expand

I myself have no particular beef with the new farmer’s market* but I cry foul at the SFMTA-type, everybody’s-a-winner, everybody-supports-this-new-thing, just-wait-until-you-see-the-transformation-of-the-Inner-Richmond  style of  campaign behind it.

Anyway, Lord knows that Sundays at that part of Clement can be a bit depressing, what with infrequent bus service, a number of empty parking spaces, and  lots and lots of closed storefronts abutting a handful of thriving businesses.

(One assumes that most customers of the 3rd Avenue Burger King and Sloat Gardens will figure another way of getting to and fro asides from approaching from the north.)

END OF LINE…

*Indeed, I just might visit.  Actually, I was out yesterday taking King and Messiah for a walk to a bakery on 3rd very near Clement.

 

Looks Like the “Clement Street Farmers Market” Might Start on June 23rd – Per the Office of District One Supe Eric Mar

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Here’s the background on the soon-to-come CSFM.

And this is from Eric Mar’s office last week:

“This is the “youthful” Peter Lauterborn form Supervisor Mar’s office. Glad to see the market being covered.

The date has been pushed back, but only because of scheduling needs. The MTA has been very supportive of the project and it is currently projected to start June 23rd after the ISCOTT hearing on 6/13.

The reroute is just 7 blocks total, the existing merchants are very supportive of the project, and we have had well over 100 letters of support come into our office. We feel very good about this project. (The only issue has been with the bouncy house, which was really just an example from other markets and that’s been scrapped already.)

But if people have specific concerns they should feel free to email or call my direct line. Of course we want to mitigate any inconveniences to people.

Thank you!”

And here’s the new flyer – this one’s more complete and  less mysterious than the optimistic original

And this is the vary latest, from the Eric Mar newsletter:

“After years of hard work, a farmers’ market is close to serving the Richmond. My office has spearheaded the effort,  bringing together leaders from the Clement Street Merchants Association and the Argonne Community Garden to develop with a proposal that will not only provide high-quality products to Richmond District residents, but will also provide a significant “community-growing” experience for neighbors.The market’s expected start state is Sunday, June 23rd on Clement St. between 2nd and 4th Avenues from 9am to 2pm.

 The Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) is managing the proposed market. AIM is primarily an educational non-profit which uses its six large, diverse markets to help fulfill their mission. The food options would include both organic and conventional seasonal produce, bakers, meat and dairy, and even local artisans. Their markets have a wide range of price points and accept EBT cards (aka food stamps).

This street closure will be voted on at an upcoming meeting of the Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportatio(ISCOTT).

ISCOTT Hearing: Thursday June 13 at 9AM, 1 South Van Ness

If you can’t attend in person and want to send a letter of support, or you have any other questions or comments, please contact Peter Lauterborn in my office atPeter.Lauterborn@sfgov.org or 415.554.7411

UPDATE: The Purported “Clement Street Farmers Market” Isn’t Going to Start on June 9th, 2013 After All

Friday, May 31st, 2013

So let’s see, two or three weeks ago I came across this flyer (see below) and I thought, “How is it even remotely possible that we could have a large farmers market on Clement (complete with an inflatable Bounce House) without me hearing about it at least more than a month ahead of time?”

(You know, certain people came to town  a while back and thought it would be a piece of cake to get TASERS approved for the SFPD, even though they were warned about which particular town they just unpacked their carpet bags in. This farmers market is the same kind of deal.)

Anyway, we’re ten days out from the purported Opening Day and I can now tell you that there’s no way that that this plan can go off on time. If only for the simple reason that the SFMTAMUNIDPTSFBCISCOTT hasn’t signed off on the idea. (Was it on the agenda of the most recent meeting? Nope! Is it in the minutes? Nope! Oh well.)

Speaking of which, it hadn’t occurred to me that the #2 Clement would just skip the start of Clement altogether. So yes, MUNI won’t be delayed by the Clement Street Farmer’s Market, only the people who ride MUNI will be delayed. Fair ‘nough.

Any land use proposal has its pros and cons, right? If certain people understood that, certain people wouldn’t be so disappointed with Reality.

Ah, memories:

“From Rishi Mukhopadhyay of NextDoor.com comes word of the:

Clement Street Farmers Market.

See?

Click to expand

So, they’re going to shut down Clement between 2nd and 4th Avenues in the Inner Richmond every Sunday until 2:00 PM starting four weeks from now on June 9th, 2013?

What? This is news to me! The opening date strikes me as highly, highly improbable, but what do I know?

The next steps for this concept:

- Monday, May 20, 2013: Community Meeting at 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM, Richmond District Police Station, 461 6th Ave between Anza and Geary.

- Thursday, May 23, 2013: Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation (ISCOTT) Hearing, One South Van Ness, Seventh Floor, Room #7080.

OK, we’ll see how this one goes.

IMO, the SFMTA isn’t going to laugh off having the #2 Clement make a quarter-mile detour to get to a parallel street only to have to drive another quarter-mile to get back to Clement.

And I’ll point out that Clement Street itself is kind of a farmers market already on Sundays.

And I’ll point out that 2:00 PM is kind of a busy time on Clement in the Inner Richmond on Sundays.

And I’ll ask how does this proposal square with our Prime Directive of “Transit First?”

Now let’s hear from youthful Peter Lauterborn, Legislative Aide to District One Supervisor Eric Mar:

“Dear All,

I am writing you because of your past interest in opening a farmer’s market in the Richmond. And while I have been quiet on the subject for a little while, it is not for a lack of work. We are at the point of nearing approval for a significant market entering the neighborhood!

The Plan: The Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) has teamed up with the Clement Merchants Association. AIM is known for a small number of high-quality, large scale markets around California.

The older plans for smaller markets all fell through, so we’re going big! This plan calls for a Sunday morning street closure of Clement from 2nd to 4th Aves on Sunday mornings. AIM plans very robust, well-rounded markets that are a major draw.

Major highlights of the AIM Market:

- Wide range of local products, including eggs, milk, cheeses, meats, etc.

- Include enrichment such as children activities, live music, and even kids jumpers.

- Provide matching dollars for “food stamp” users.

- Based on usage, the parking loss should be a non issue and the 2 Clement bus rerouting isn’t a problem. We are also planning outreach to all of the existing produce merchants along Clement. Also, the SF Bike Coalition is going to help make this a friendly event for those who don’t drive.

The Asks: As people who have advocated for a market, this is the time where we need your leadership the most! Our plan is going before the MTA for the street closure, and we need support!

1. Write a letter of support explaining why the Richmond needs a farmer’s market and how, given the low usage of Clement on Sunday mornings, this is the right use of public space. (send to Peter.Lauterborn@sfgov.org). The letter should explicitly support the street closure.

2. Encourage friends and community members to ask write!

3. Attend a community meeting on Monday May 20, 5:30-6:30pm at the Richmond Police Station. And bring out allies!

4. Bonus! Come to the MTA hearing on Thursday May 23rd at 1 South Van Ness to support the motion.

We wouldn’t have gotten this far without all of you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at any time.

Let’s do this!

Best,

Peter Lauterborn
Legislative Aide
Supervisor Eric Mar, District 1″

Uh, the “Clement Street Farmers Market” is “Nearing Approval” – Really? – Between 2nd and 4th Aves. on Sundays

Monday, May 13th, 2013

From Rishi Mukhopadhyay of NextDoor.com comes word of the:

Clement Street Farmers Market.

See?

Click to expand

So, they’re going to shut down Clement between 2nd and 4th Avenues in the Inner Richmond every Sunday until 2:00 PM starting four weeks from now on June 9th, 2013?

What? This is news to me! The opening date strikes me as highly, highly improbable, but what do I know?

The next steps for this concept:

- Monday, May 20, 2013: Community Meeting at 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM, Richmond District Police Station, 461 6th Ave between Anza and Geary.

- Thursday, May 23, 2013: Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation (ISCOTT) Hearing, One South Van Ness, Seventh Floor, Room #7080.

OK, we’ll see how this one goes.

IMO, the SFMTA isn’t going to laugh off having the #2 Clement make a quarter-mile detour to get to a parallel street only to have to drive another quarter-mile to get back to Clement.

And I’ll point out that Clement Street itself is kind of a farmers market already on Sundays.

And I’ll point out that 2:00 PM is kind of a busy time on Clement in the Inner Richmond on Sundays.

And I’ll ask how does this proposal square with our Prime Directive of “Transit First?”

Now let’s hear from youthful Peter Lauterborn, Legislative Aide to District One Supervisor Eric Mar:

“Dear All,

I am writing you because of your past interest in opening a farmer’s market in the Richmond. And while I have been quiet on the subject for a little while, it is not for a lack of work. We are at the point of nearing approval for a significant market entering the neighborhood!

The Plan: The Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) has teamed up with the Clement Merchants Association. AIM is known for a small number of high-quality, large scale markets around California.

The older plans for smaller markets all fell through, so we’re going big! This plan calls for a Sunday morning street closure of Clement from 2nd to 4th Aves on Sunday mornings. AIM plans very robust, well-rounded markets that are a major draw.

Major highlights of the AIM Market:

- Wide range of local products, including eggs, milk, cheeses, meats, etc.

- Include enrichment such as children activities, live music, and even kids jumpers.

- Provide matching dollars for “food stamp” users.

- Based on usage, the parking loss should be a non issue and the 2 Clement bus rerouting isn’t a problem. We are also planning outreach to all of the existing produce merchants along Clement. Also, the SF Bike Coalition is going to help make this a friendly event for those who don’t drive.

The Asks: As people who have advocated for a market, this is the time where we need your leadership the most! Our plan is going before the MTA for the street closure, and we need support!

1. Write a letter of support explaining why the Richmond needs a farmer’s market and how, given the low usage of Clement on Sunday mornings, this is the right use of public space. (send to Peter.Lauterborn@sfgov.org). The letter should explicitly support the street closure.

2. Encourage friends and community members to ask write!

3. Attend a community meeting on Monday May 20, 5:30-6:30pm at the Richmond Police Station. And bring out allies!

4. Bonus! Come to the MTA hearing on Thursday May 23rd at 1 South Van Ness to support the motion.

We wouldn’t have gotten this far without all of you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at any time.

Let’s do this!

Best,

Peter Lauterborn
Legislative Aide
Supervisor Eric Mar, District 1″

“City Target” Store Opening October 13th at “City Center 3.0″ – Geary & Masonic – Mervyn’s Heights is Now Target Tor

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Brand-new giant signs like this one never lie:

Click to expand

I’ll tell you, area NIMBYs got steamrolled on this one. It’s not that certain millionaire, property-owning ladies residing west of the Western Addition and south of North of NoPA are happy about this situation, but they didn’t get any traction due to massive community support, particularly from younger, non-millionaire mom-types, right?

And, I mean if you purchase your Great Estate next to a shuttered Mervyns with hundreds and hundreds of empty parking spaces, well, you gotta figure something’s going to replace it sooner or later.

So that’s it - Mervyn’s Heights is now Target Tor.

And NoPA (which actually isn’t north of the Golden Gate Park Panhandle, take a look at a map sometime) should now be called SoTA, South of Target.

All hail the second coming of City Target to the 415.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District Drives to the Meeting About Eliminating Parking Spaces on Polk Street – Ironic?

Monday, April 29th, 2013

I’m not finished yet.

Look at this official Bay Area Air Quality Management District staff car. What powers it? Gasoline. Evil, evil gasoline.

Now let’s leave aside the half-assed parking job directly in front of the latest Polk Great Streets Complete Streets “Improvement” Meeting. Oh wait, let’s not. Parallel parking involves being parallel, right? Work on that, BAAQMD. And should you have left your ass hanging over the official SFMTA red zone? Have you no respect for The Law, BAAQMD?

Hey BAAQMD, where’d you come from to get to the corner of Bush and Polk? Tell me and I’ll then tell you which crappy SFMTA bus line you all could have used to get to the meeting. I myself came up Sutter from the office ’cause it’s relatively flat. See? I’m loaded with info!

Conveniently using one of the many parking spaces it wants to eliminate in the Polk Corridor. Let’s call this shot The High Cost of Free Parking:

Click to expand

Hey BAAQMD! Do you pay the meters when you park you gasoline-powered cars about town on the weekends? I think we had a big deal about this issue just last year, right? Oh no, you just leave the meter flashing EXPIRED EXPIRED while you tend to your bidness for hours? OK fine.

Oh well.

The BAAQMD isn’t an Air Quality Management program, it’s a jobs program.

It’s a jobs program for the people who work for … the BAAQMD.

Just saying.

That’s It! The City Target Store at Geary and Masonic is a Done Deal – Work Has Begun – It Won’t Be Long Now!

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

See?

Aslan is on the move at Mervyn’s Heights:

Click to expand

And if that’s not enough for you, somebody hung a sign what says City Target (although it’s all bunched up so I couldn’t see it clearly.

So that’s it.

Did you know that Target likes opening new stores in October (in addition to, for some reason, April and July, I think)? It’s true.

All right, let’s travel down memory lane all the way to 2010, below.

CONGRATULATIONS. TARGET. WELCOME!

Enjoy:

[Oh, and BTW, those NOPNA NIMBIES were all crestfallen when they saw the reaction to Target's community meeting three years ago. Consider this Target a crushing defeat for the millionaire homeowners of the Western Addition NOPA.]

“Boy oh boy, at least a couple certified San Francisco NIMBYs had steam coming out of their ears after seeing the warm reception the Target Team got last night. Oh well.

SFist has the reaction, and Alan Wang of KGO-TV / ABC7 has the story, and, oh, here are bits from SF.StreetsBlog‘s hardworking Matt Baumethe Face Book, Dain Fitzgerald, Beth “target! target! target!” SpotswoodBike NOPA, Zach Perkins, and Katie Worth. (Interestingly, SFGate, San Francisco’s Internet Newspaper, has nothing about Our Empty Mervyn’s today, just a bit on Target’s new Harlem joint in New Yawk.)

The upshot on yesterday’s event from the Twitter:

Not a single NIMBY hysteric. Just very understandable concerns and questions. Wow SF, sometimes your reasonability surprises me!”

Well, the NIMBYs will just have to bide their time. They’ll have to put their thinking caps on to combat the likes of lovely Target-fanatic Charlize Theron and her loyal pet, Bullseye. Too bad C.T. wasn’t in town, maybe she could have dropped by and warmed up the nabe (51 F. and windy windy) yesterday evening. Or Heidi Klum, whomever.

And oh, here’s a bit from a rich yuppie* who lives in the the Western Addition (but doesn’t know it). Apparently, he was too busy taking photos with his expensive camera with its expensive image stabilized lens (to later process on his expensive Apple computer) to address the crowd. Oh well.

Now, on with the show:

Step right in for the Community Meeting:

Click to expand

Roam the halls, if you want:

Big, in’nt? About 100,000 square feet big:

But what’s this, “I Heart Target?” What kind of NIMBY meeting is this?

It’s not a NIMBY meeting at all, it’s a YIMBY affair, it’s like when can you move in, Target?

Mercy! Moving on…

Regional Development Manager John Dewes introduced himself to the crowd to kick things off. He said he was here in town “to talk and listen.”

Of course the 130 assembled San Franciscans (mas o menos, that was my nose count) had notes for Target’s straight-outta-Minneapolis Away Team, don’t you know. We had some ideas to express while noshing on straight-outta-the-SoMA-Costco biscotti and Brownie Bites.

But before all that, let’s look at some renderporn du Tar-GHEY:

That was the Geary frontage, here’s the Masonic si-iiiide:

What an improvement:

And what’s this, wind turbines on top? Yes:

The whole shebang will be in the Heart of the City, near the Masonic Trader Joes:

Here’s the close-up:

And just look at all the bus stops:

And here’s the pitch, from straight-out-of-Central-Casting architect Thom Lasley.

Target could open by early 2012, if all things go well. Generally, they open stores during the months of April, July and September, so there you go. This store would have less than 100,000 square feet of selling space, so it will be considerably smaller than a typical suburban Target, which offers you about 135,000 sq.ft. to peruse. Still, a Target is a Target so the product mix wouldn’t be too far off from what you’d expect.

Now comes Question and Answer Time.

1. Howard Epstein, Chair of San Francisco Republican(!) Party, asked about the number of employees at the store. The Masonic outlet would have about 250 employees, as would the proposed Target store down at Metreon in SoMA. Nobody could hazard a guess as to how much these stores would add to the tax base.

2. The Target Team will look into trip generation, the amount of increased activity in the area. They are well aware that they won’t be getting “traditional suburban guests.” Their customers will be younger and be more likely to bike or walk to and fro.

3. District 2 resident and political candidate and mom Kat Anderson asked about the hiring of seniors and students, the availability of a delivery service and whether T would participate in a bike share program. This garnered the replies you’d expect from fashionable Target Communications Manager Sarah Bakken. (Currently, Target does not deliver from stores anywhere in America.)

4. A University Terrace resident said her neighbors supported the proposal. Her daughter inquired about the availability of mac and cheese.

5. A resident from just across the street “loves” T but worries over parking.

6. Another local pushed for the use of renewable energy and local contractors when building time begins.

7. A pushy woman voiced concern over gender and age discrimination when hiring-time starts. Still, she thinks T would be “wonderful for the neighborhood.”

8. A Ewing Terrace resident worried about delivery times and hoped that they wouldn’t come at night. John Dewes said that there would be three to four truck deliveries per week. Then he responded to a question about a development timeline. We’re still way at the beginning now, a conditional use permit and approval from the Planning Department are a ways down the road. However, since the proposal would be just an “interior remodel,”  no CEQA-style environmental impact report should be required. Anyway, project approval could come by the end of 2010.

9. A woman fretted about the line of cars on Masonic due to the nearby Trader Joes and wondered if Target would consider the use of parking attendants to direct drivers. John Dewes “doesn’t see that kind of congestion” on the horizon for Target.

10 A Duboce Park resident polled the neighbors in his building – these are people he knows shop at Target owing to all the shopping bags he sees getting recycled. He said 19 out of 20 people he surveyed supported the Target store on Masonic. He feels sales tax revenue should go to San Francisco instead of Colma. He was surprised to see the crowd’s support of the project given that “all you hear in the media” is that San Francisco is “anti-chain.”

11. A woman reminded us all that San Francisco is a “transit first city,” so she asked whether toilet paper come in something less than a 36 pack. The answer is that 12-packs would be available in light of special circumstances of San Francisco shoppers.

12. A younger fellow asked T to post hearing dates on a website so that pro-Target residents could “pack the hearings.” (Two known area NIMBYs reacted in disgust, kind of smirking at each other.)

13.  Another person worried about the increase in traffic exiting on O’Farrell and also about the closeness of Trader Joes. Thom Lasley assured all that the food sold at the two stores would complement each other. TJ’s would continue to have higher end stuff while T would focus on “staples.”

You get the idea. It went on and on.

Now, let’s hear from the pols. Hardworking Richmond District Supervisor Eric Mar et filia Jade took a bunch of notes but then had to leave for another appointment:

District 5 Supe Ross Mirkarimi came to express his concerns over traffic on Masonic, local hiring, and the Geary B.R.T.

He’s seen here with property-owning KLA Geary L.L.C. representative Adam Miller, Target Communcations Manager Sarah Bakken, and Tar-chitect Thom Lasley:

Speaking of pols, aforementioned District 2 candidate Kat Anderson was a fireball of energy, typing up a mess of notes on her MacBook and graciously forwarding them to me:

Here’s just part of her shorthand:

“Target started in 1962 but grew out of Dayton Hudson (1946 policy instituted to give 5% back to the communities of our stores, which is $3 million per week).  Within the Bay Area last year, community giving was almost $ 1 mill in SF and $3 mill in the Bay Area.   (ie, last week:  Arts and Wonder.  Nonprofits going back to 1991 inc. SF Aids Foundation, Asian Art, de Young, Take Charge of Education, support to 85 schools in SF; even tho’ we don’t have a store in SF, we know that many of our guests live in SF.”

Kat typified the crowd, supporting the proposal but also expressing concern about specific issues.

Now, who else was there - how about Bill Barnes, aide to District 2 Supervisor Michela Alioto Pier, and Alex Tourk, Founder of Ground Floor Public Affairs?

The whole thing went on and on until after 8:00 PM.

(People, obviously Target’s going to do traffic studies, right? So why not give them a chance to do that, right? Obviously, there will be some sort of local-hiring program imposed by the City, the same way that was done with our Costco in the SoMA. I mean, that’s baked into the cake already, right? And people, Target won’t need to have Trader Joe’s-style parking attendants because Target will have ample parking, capiche? And if you Fix Masonic people want to take out a bunch of parking spaces on Masonic to put in proper bike lanes, well, be my guest and go for it. But it’s not Target’s job to take an expensive ride on your hobby horse, right? In the meantime, just pilot your bikes onto the needlessly-wide sidewalks of the hilly parts of Masonic, as I do, depending on conditions.)

So let’s see here, as Santa Barbara goes, so goes San Francisco? Probably not.

We’ll get our Targets, finally, eventually.

Expect More, Pay Less(TM), baby. Leave Us Begin living in the red.

Bon courage, Target. Excelsior.

*Ah, a response from a The Square person, who draws attention to this “news story” link. Fair enough. Be sure to let them know if you think their bit is biased - they’re looking for feedback. And they want to know from me if I think they’re “disconnected” from the community. I don’t know, based on their editorial (linked to above), sure, they’re disconnected from the people that showed up to the meeting, anyway.

All right let’s see here, I tell you I don’t know what “parts of the Western Addition” means, actually, the whole shebang betwixt Larkin in the Tenderloin and Divisidero out west is the Western Addition, right? Check your real estate papers filed with the City and County – they’ll say “WESTERN ADDITION,” srsly.

All right, what else, apparently, I’m going to need to “research thoroughly” any comments I make online about The Square. All right, I’ll have to show my work then, uh, Canon 7D “premium” camera ownership + Canon 24-105mm IS + Apple PC + elitist attitude + strong NIMBY tendencies + poorly argued editorial + lives in the Western Addition but doesn’t know it + strongly attached to real estate industry microneighborhood marketing names = rich yuppie, somewhat disconnected from the regular people of the Western A. Is that a personal attack? I don’t know. A lot of people the world over would love to trade places, I’m sure.