Posts Tagged ‘Planning Department’

An Old, Dilapidated Church for Black People in the Western Addition Has Become a Refurbished Single-Family House for White People in NoPA

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Well, the outside of 601 Broderick is finished.

Here are the deets, and here’s Hoodline’s effort from May.

And don’t miss James Hill, Architect:

Click to expand

Do You Like Chipotle? Well Then Join the “Grass Roots Effort” to get Permiso de Uso Condicional for Church and Market

Friday, February 8th, 2013

(Boy I’ll tell you, if I were blogger Eve Batey and I was on the receiving end of a press release from an area business, what I would do is criticize other bloggers for giving free publicity for said business. Then I’d say that it would be better to contact said business, you know, to hit them up for an advertising deal. Then word would get out about that. Then I’d get criticized by members of the local professional media – they’d label such behavior “unethical” or something. Then I’d call out said members of the local professional media for being “haters.” Then, I’d have more my popular friends also call said members of the local professional media “haters.” If I were blogger Eve Batey.)

And best of all, the new Chipotle’s “Mexican” Grill at 2100 Market will have a MURAL DE ART PUBLICO.

See?

Click to expand

(What’s next, a Chipotle at 20th and Mission? On top of the Mission Dolores Cemetery? At the northeast corner of Dolores Park?)

I’ll tell you, the proper way to get a conditional use permit is to write a check for $15,000 made out to Alex Tourk, you know, to get the ball rolling. Then he’ll tell you what the add-ons will cost you. (You’re going to get a few add-ons, you know, like for pizza night at City Hall.) And then, before you know it, in a matter of days, weeks , months, or years, you’ll get your CUP and then open for bidness.

Hooray!

(Or you can go cheap route by trying to tap your fan base on the Facebook, either way.)

Impresionante!

Here’s your grass roots petition from Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSECMG, in case you want to invest some of your hard-earned pesos – ask your broker!).

“Castro/Upper Market Chipotle

Dear San Francisco Planning Commission,

I support bringing a new Chipotle Mexican Grill to 2100 Market Street, the former location of Home Restaurant. This property has been vacant for over a year and has become an eyesore in our community.

Chipotle plans to do a complete façade remodel including the addition of an outdoor patio. The design, which includes a public art component, would be unique to our neighborhood and created with input from the community.

I also support Chipotle’s commitment to finding the very best ingredients, partnering with suppliers that raise their livestock humanely and farmers that respect the environment. These practices are consistent with San Francisco’s values.

Please vote in favor of revitalizing this corner with a new Chipotle Mexican Grill.

View Signatures without signing

TTFN. But first  check the Facebook of this international S&P 500 corporation:

Hello SF friends! We request your assistance with a petition - http://Chipotle.epetitions.net/ - to help us build a restaurant at 2100 Market Street in the Castro.

Or you can write us at CastroRestaurant@chipotle.com

The petition results and emails will be sent to planning commissioners in support of our effort to secure a conditional use permit to build our restaurant. Thank you for your time and effort! – Joe

  • Vincent Tamariz: There are three small business mexican restaurants (and good ones!) all within blocks of this spot. Not a fan of sub-urbanization and losing our character. It offers no “new or needed” service.

Gethsemane Baptist Church is Turning Into a Single Family Residence? “THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD”

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

This is the scene in the Western Addition at 601 Broderick and Grove, the site of Gethsemane Baptist Church

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The graffiti is new, you see it? It’s all, “THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

Let’s take a closer look:

“The proposal is to convert the existing church into a single family residence.”

Well, that’s direct, huh, right there in black and white.

[RACIAL SUBTEXT MODE = ON] Uh, so the Western Addition is losing yet another African-American church so yet another  millionaire white family can move in, except realtors* call it the North of Panhandle Area now because it doesn’t have the baggage associated with the Western A? That’s my guess, but tell if I’m way off on this one, Gentle Reader. [RACIAL SUBTEXT MODE = OFF]

Oh, architect James Hill is all over this one at his excellent-looking Talking Buildings blog.

All the deets right here.

Via Redfin.com: “601 Broderick is a charming old church … in the heart of NOPA.  Not for the faint of heart or faithless, this property needs a revival. … make them believers. Heaven only knows what the possibilities could be!”  Receiving multiple offers on first showing, the sale closed before the For Sale sign was hammered in the ground.  Highland Ferndale Partners,  a luxury home developer purchased the church for restoration and resale.  David Papale, partner and realtor,  prefers not to disclose the sale price, but  redfin.com notes the price clearly at $1,401,000, 40% over asking, a sizable investment in the future of the community. One might speculate, since this is real estate, that the sale price is more than adequate to cover the losses the bank faced in foreclosure on their faulty loan, a profit unrealized by the church.   Mr. Papale claims, while the possibilities for the property include six  units, it will be restored as a single family  home and to its original Victorian appearance without “that horrible addition.”  

And there’s a little bit more here in the comments section of this Socketsite post, Control-F for 601.

So that’s the sitch and the graffiti artist is doing all s/he can to draw attention.

Mission accomplished.

On It Goes…

*Always in lower case

OMG, It’s On! An Appeal Has Been Filed Against the Oak and Fell Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Improvements Project

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Via the District 5 Diary of Rob Anderson.

It’s an alphabet soup, 94117-style – NIMBY ADA CEQA EIR, for starters.

Enjoy:

“Mark Brennan
San Francisco CA 94117

Howard Chabner
San Francisco, CA 94117

Ted Loewenberg
San Francisco, CA 94117

TO:

Angela Calvillo, Clerk
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Room 244, City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102

Bill Wycko, Environmental Review Officer
San Francisco Planning Department
1650 Mission St., 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102

DATE: November 2, 2012

NOTICE OF APPEAL TO THE SAN FRANCISCO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, REQUEST FOR STAY and REVERSAL OF IMPLEMENTATION, and REQUEST FOR REVIEW

This is a Notice of Appeal of the October 16, 2012 actions of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (“MTA”) Board of Directors approving the Oak and Fell Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Improvements project (the “Oak-Fell Project” or “the Project”). The approval of the Project was an abuse of discretion and a failure to proceed as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) (Pub. Res. Code §§21000 et seq.). This is also an appeal of the San Francisco Planning Department’s October 4, 2012 Categorical Exemption of the Oak-Fell Project.

The Project is also a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 USC Section 12101 et seq (“ADA”) and California disability rights laws, including California Civil Code Sections 54 et seq. (The ADA and California disability rights laws are sometimes referred to collectively herein as the “Disability Rights Laws.”)

This is also a Request for Review of the October 16, 2012 MTA Board actions pursuant to the San Francisco Charter §8A.102 (b)(7)(i).

Appellants request an immediate STAY of implementation of the Project and every part of it, pending final determination on this Appeal and Request for Review, and pending full compliance with CEQA and other applicable laws. Also, because MTA has already begun implementing the Project before the time to appeal the actions described in this Appeal and Request for Review has ended, appellants also demand REVERSAL of all implementation of the Project and restoration of pre-Project conditions on all affected streets and sidewalks.

Copies of the MTA Board’s October 16, 2012 Resolution #12-129 and the Planning Department’s October 4, 2012 Categorical Exemption (Exemption from Environmental Review for the SFMTA Fell & Oak Streets Bikeways Project–Case No.E011.0836E) are attached.

Grounds for this Appeal lie within, but are not limited to, CEQA, the Disability Rights Laws, and other applicable statutes, regulations, and ordinances that may apply, including the following.

1.The categorical exemptions invoked under 14 Cal. Code Regs. (the “Guidelines”) Sections 15301(c) and 15304(h) do not apply to the Project, since the Project: (1) has the potential to degrade the quality of the environment; (2) has possible effects that are cumulatively considerable; and (3) will cause substantial adverse effects on human beings, either directly or indirectly. (Pub.Res.Code Section 21083(b).) Therefore the Project cannot be classified as “categorically exempt.” There is evidence supporting a fair argument that the Project could cause direct, secondary, and cumulative impacts on parking, traffic, transit, loading, air quality, public safety, and emergency services. Among other things, the Project will cause substantial adverse effects on people who need to park near where they live or work.

2. The claimed mitigations do not effectively mitigate the Project’s impacts, and, in any event, cannot be used to claim a categorical exemption.

3. The Oak-Fell Project is part of a larger project, the San Francisco Bicycle Plan (the “Bicycle Plan”). If it applies at all, a categorical exemption must apply to the whole Bicycle Plan project, not just the Oak-Fell segment. The Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) on the Bicycle Plan did not specifically analyze the Oak-Fell Project.

4. The Oak-Fell Project has not received specific environmental review as part of the larger Bicycle Plan or at any other time.

5. The Project does not qualify for an exemption under Guidelines Section15301(c), which consists of the “operation, repair, maintenance, permitting, leasing, licensing, or minor alterationof existing public or private structures, facilities, mechanical equipment, or topographical features, involving negligible or no expansion of use beyond that existing at the time of the lead agency’s determination,” (emphasis added) and (c) “Existing highways and streets, sidewalks, gutters, bicycle and pedestrian trails and similar facilities…”

The existing conditions are parking lanes, not Class I or Class II bicycle lanes. A parking lane, as defined in the California Streets & Highways Code Section 5871(c), is “a paved area adjacent to the curb which is used exclusively for on-street parking. It does not include any portion of the street used for through traffic or as a bicycle lane.” (Emphasis added) The “facility” does not meet this basic definition, since it would completely remove the parking lane and change its use to a separated bicycle lane for exclusive use of bicyclists. (S&H Code Section 890.4(a).) These definitions are mutually exclusive and involve a complete change of use. The Project, therefore, does not fall within the existing facilities exemption under Guidelines Section 15301.

The Project does not consist of mere maintenance or minor alteration, but makes major changes by, among other things: (a) entirely removing the existing parking lanes on City streets; (b) removing around 100 existing parking spaces on Oak and Fell; (c) constructing concrete and other solid structures in the streets next to moving traffic (raised, landscaped traffic islands); (d) impeding visibility and access to driveways; (e) eliminating, reducing or making dangerous and more difficult streetside, emergency, and loading access to residences and businesses on Oak and Fell; (f) constructing numerous concrete bulbouts that impede traffic by making right turns difficult; (g) adjusting traffic signals to reduce traffic speed on a major East-West traffic corridor in San Francisco; (h) eliminating one traffic lane on Oak Street during morning commute hours; and (i) constructing bicycle lanes where they do not now exist.

6. For the same reasons, the Project does not qualify for an exemption under Guidelines Section 15304(h), which consists of “minor public or private alterations in the condition of land, water, and/or vegetation which do not involve removal of healthy, mature, scenic trees, except for forestry and agricultural purposes,” and “creation of bicycle lanes on existing rights-of-way.” (Emphasis added.) There is no existing right-of-way in the parking lanes on Oak Street and Fell Street for bicycle lanes, since the right-of-way in parking lanes is exclusively for vehicles. (See S&H Code Section 5871(c).) Nor is the Project a “minor” alteration in the condition of land, water, and/or vegetation. Rather it is a major alteration and change of use from a parking lane for exclusive use of parking vehicles to a bicycle lane for exclusive use of riding bicycles.

7. The Project is an exception to any categorical exemption, because substantial evidence supports a fair argument that the Project will have significant impacts on parking, traffic, transit, loading, noise, air quality, public safety, emergency services, and human impacts on two major East-West traffic routes carrying a combined more than 60,000 vehicles per day. (And since many vehicles carry more than one person, the number of drivers and passengers affected will be more than 60,000 per day.) (Guidelines Section 15300.2; and see Pub. Res. Code Section 21083(b).)

8. Impacts on humans require a mandatory finding of significance, including impeding access to streetside parking, affecting disabled people, seniors, children, families, workers, and emergency, maintenance, construction and delivery services. Loading impacts also affect commercial and passenger loading. The Project will also affect public safety by impairing visibility from driveways.Bulbouts also impair visibility and delay traffic by making right turns more difficult. Asserted mitigations do not mitigate the Project’s impacts and cause more impacts that require analysis.

9. Cumulative impacts on parking, traffic, air quality, noise, public safety, and emergency services also exclude the Project from any categorical exemption.

10. The Disability Rights Laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in, among other things, programs of local government, use of streets and sidewalks, and transportation. California Civil Code Section 54(a) provides that “Individuals with disabilities or medical conditions have the same right as the general public to the full and free use of the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways…public facilities, and other public places.” Title II of the ADA requires local governments to provide people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from all of their programs, services and activities. Sidewalks, streets and parking are programs provided by ADA Title II entities, and therefore are subject to ADA requirements.

Although the loss of parking would be a hardship for the large numbers of people who live, visit and work in the neighborhood, it would disproportionately impact people with major mobility disabilities, such as wheelchair users and slow walkers. Many people with mobility disabilities rely heavily on private vehicles. Disabled people park in regular street parking spaces far more often than in designated accessible street parking spaces (blue zones). Many people who use wheelchairs or scooters rely on accessible minivans and vans that have ramps or lifts on the passenger side. In effect, all street parking spaces (except perpendicular and angled spaces, those on the driver’s side of a one-way street, and, sometimes, those with sidewalk obstructions such as garbage cans or trees in the exact location of the ramp or lift) are accessible spaces.

The Project would remove all street parking on the South side of Oak, which means that all of the disabled accessible parking spaces would be eliminated for those three blocks. The parking spaces on the North side of Oak would remain, but it would be extremely dangerous for disabled people to use them because the ramp or lift would be deployed into the moving lane. The project includes mitigating the parking loss on Oak and Fell by converting parking spaces on some of the side streets, which are currently parallel parking, into perpendicular or angled parking spaces. This also would eliminate spaces that are currently usable by disabled people, thereby adding to the parking loss on Oak instead of mitigating it. Not only wheelchair and scooter users, but people who walk slowly and with difficulty would also be harmed by the loss of parking spaces on Oak and by the elimination of parallel parking on the side streets.

The Project would also make it more difficult, dangerous and stressful for disabled people, including wheelchair/scooter users and people who have difficulty walking, to be picked up and dropped off in this area, whether by private vehicle, taxi, paratransit or shuttle service.

These effects violate the Disability Rights Laws.

REQUEST FOR STAY and REVERSAL OF IMPLEMENTATION

This is also a Request for an immediate stay of implementation of the Project and any part of it pending final determination on this Appeal and Request for Review, and pending full compliance with CEQA and other applicable laws. Also, because MTA has already begun implementing the Project before the time to appeal the actions described in this Appeal and Request for Review has ended, appellants also demand REVERSAL of all implementation of the Project and restoration of pre-Project conditions on all affected streets and sidewalks.

REQUEST FOR REVIEW PURSUANT TO SAN FRANCISCO CHARTER SECTION 8A.102(b)(7)(i).

This is also a REQUEST FOR REVIEW pursuant to the San Francisco Charter Section 8A.102(b)(7)(i) of the MTA Board’s Resolution #12-129 of October 16, 2012, approving the Oak-Fell Project. This Request for Review incorporates all of the grounds stated in the foregoing Appeal, and additionally requests Review by the Board of Supervisors of the City’s substantive violations of CEQA, the Disability Rights Laws, and other statutes, regulations, and ordinances.

The Board’s action was an abuse of discretion and a failure to proceed under CEQA, since it will cause significant impacts on the environment, including impacts on parking, loading, traffic, transit, and emergency services. The Project also affects accessibility and safety of people with disabilities, and is therefore contrary to the Disability Rights Laws.

The Project also creates public safety hazards by impairing the safety and visibility of drivers accessing driveways. The bulbouts also adversely affect visibility and safety by impairing visibility of oncoming traffic, bicyclists and pedestrians. Bulbouts also worsen congestion and delays.

REMEDIES REQUESTED

1. Set aside all approvals of the Oak-Fell Project, and the October 4, 2012 Categorical Exemption.

2. Declare that any future proposal to implement the same project must be preceded by an environmental impact report fully analyzing all impacts and proposing effective mitigations for each of the Project’s possible impacts on parking, traffic, transit, noise, air quality, emergency services, public safety, and human impacts. Cumulative impacts must be analyzed taking into account all past, present, and reasonably foreseeable projects that will also affect traffic, transit, parking, noise, air quality, and public safety on Oak and Fell Streets and the entire area. Spillover and secondary impacts from removal of streetside parking must also be analyzed, along with any impacts caused by mitigations, including traffic congestion caused by signal timing. The analysis must include real-time on-ground traffic counts during AM and PM peak periods taken at a variety of representative days of the week and times of the year.

3. The EIR must propose effective mitigations that eliminate each of the Project’s impacts, including consideration of avoiding each impact altogether by not implementing the Project.

4. The City must implement effective mitigation before Project implementation.

5. The City must propose a plan to effectively comply with the Disability Rights Laws, provide an opportunity for meaningful input and comment on such plan, and incorporate such plan in a revised Project.

6. Further consideration of the Project must be stayed until City has complied with CEQA, the Disability Rights Laws and other applicable statutes and regulations.

7. Such other remedies as may be appropriate.

Appellants will submit more detailed comment and/or briefing in support of this Appeal, Request for Stay and Reversal of Implementation, and Request for Review at or before a hearing by the Board of Supervisors.

With this appeal, appellants do not waive the right to present any and all issues and other public comment in further proceedings on the Project.

Please notify the undersigned of the date of the hearing, all actions on this Appeal, Request for Stay and Reversal of Implementation, and Request for Review, and all actions regarding the Project. Please schedule the hearing not earlier than 30 days from the date of this document.

DATE: November 2, 2012

Mark Brennan
Howard Chabner
Ted Loewenberg

FROM:

Mark Brennan

San Francisco CA 94117

Howard Chabner

San Francisco, CA 94117

Ted Loewenberg

San Francisco, CA 94117

What the Heck is Going On Up On the Roof of the Masonic Trader Joe’s? Discarded News Racks – Dead Cars

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

I’ll tell you, the TJ’s underneath this rooftop parking lot is a beehive of activity.

So much so, that there are attendants to direct people on how and where to park in the tiny parking lot down below. And there’s almost always a line of cars blocking Masonic Street. So much so, the City and County decided to take out the parking / rush hour lane on southbound Masonic. But even so, a ton of shoppers park on northbound Masonic to make a dangerous journey across five lanes.

So that’s down below. But up on top there’s nothing going on. There’s a gate for people with passes. I think that City Car Share or ZipCar or somebody stores cars up there. But there also junked wrecks.

Like this. Camera left shows an old blue pickup what’s not in operating condition and in front of it is a Fred Sanford truck without its engine and in the background is a Miata* that someone’s been working on

Click to expand

Oh, and then randomly, there’s an SFBG news rack up there blocking the lanes, not that it matters because nobody seems to be using this lot all that much.

I think if TJ’s shoppers knew they could park up here, they’d do so. This rooftop would experience a, in the words of our time, Dramatic Transformation and become a Vibrant Crossroads and maybe TJ’s shoppers would kill themselves less.

But no, it’s just a ghost town up there now, arrested decay and whatnot.

Does San Francisco have too much democracy? What explains this situation?

And after you think about that, think about What Can Be Done Now to fix the results of poor planning from San Francisco’s (Poor) Planning Department.

*Is it missing some lights, like the parking / driving / turn signal lights?  I’ll tell you, if you drove that rig on Geary Boulevard a few times, the SFPD of the Richmond District would catch you for sure.

Audi Avenue: Powell Street Promenade is a Big Fat Joke – A Series of Eight Parklets to Market Audi’s Cars

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

[During all of this Powell Street Promenade stuff, please remember:

“…the benches draw their inspiration from the aluminum chassis of the all-new A7, the Audi ASF® frame.”

There will be a test later.]

[Chronicle Urban Design Critic John King just weighed in. Uh, John, the original plan was supposed to relieve “pedestrian congestion,” as this recent design concept from Audi shows, but the current design won’t do that. And “parklet” is a pejorative in this case. And those “abstract oars” you see are “inspired by” a 2012 Audi. Thusly:

The hockey stick behind the rear wheel – see it? That’s where your oars came from.]

Get up to speed on the new Audi Avenue / Powell Street Promenade Project right here.

Let me tell you, the Powell Street Promenade in Union Square will look nothing like this:

Click to expand.

Instead, it will look like this, with aluminum grating and paddles and twisted things. See?

Are these tables? I think they’re tables:

We were promised no advertising, but you make the call:

“…like much of the promenade, the benches draw their inspiration from the aluminum chassis of the all-new A7, the Audi ASF® frame. While the twisting and sculpting of the metal is intended to reflect the dynamic styling of the luxury sedan…”

Is this why Audi owners make such bad drivers, generally, the boldness? (I’d call it hubris, frankly.) Anyway, let’s let Audi make the case:

“We believe that a boldly designed car, like the new Audi A7, deserves a boldly designed world. So today we’re breaking ground on an urban design initiative to re-imagine Powell Street in San Francisco.”

I’ll tell you, the last thing Audi drivers need is anything to do with boldness.

Oh, and Foursquare too: Audi Powell Street Promenade

This is the primary surface. Number one will pass right through, number two not so much:

Now, the original idea was to have a widened sidewalk but that would have caused issues with area hotels (like them suing the City and County for starters). So we’re going to get cutouts on both sides of both blocks. Thusly:

Here’s parklet eight of eight, near the Cable Car turnaround:

Now let’s thank Gaia that the aluminum hasn’t been arranged in interlocking rings to further advertise Audi and its million-dollar Audi Avenue. But there will be Audi’s name onsite and that’s too much, IMO. Oh well.

And I can’t think of any other carmaker that’s as closely associated with aluminum as Audi, so there’s that.

Was this marketing deal put out to bid, like maybe some other car companies might want to market their vehicles using the streets of San Francisco as well, right? Anyway, I don’t know.

Feel free to share your thoughts with SFGov – oh, whoops, comments be closed, just like the way they have it at BeyondChron, which is also financed with your taxpayer dollars.

All right, which particular Audi did the Powell Street Promenade draw its inspiration from? All together now, the A7! Get one today – starting price is merely $60K.

Hurray!

Lively SocketSite has some deets along with reaction from the commonweal.

SF Streetsblog

Progress on Powell 

[Earworm of the day: We’re going rock down to-oo/ Audi Avenue.]

[UPDATE: And a commenter from FineInternets.com frets over the metal theft issue. I wonder how much this aluminum would be worth melted down. See comments.]

Introducing Audi Avenue! (Nee Powell Street) Or, Should We Call It Powell Street, by Audi USA?

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Will Reisman has the deets about how Audi USA is spending seven figures to buy Powell Street, or something.

So now, Audi, adding to its reputation of selling its wares to the most extreme jackass drivers on the planet*, will also be known for having its own street in the 415.

Wouldn’t it be cool if they took down all the Powell street signs and replaced them with just the four rings of Audi’s logo? There’d be no text at all but everybody, tourists and citizens alike, would know exactly how to say the name of the street. Hurray!

It’ll look a little like this unfinished model – seems as if they forgot to add in the bodies of dead German tourists shot down on the street, but anyway:

Click to expand

Now of course “Audi of America”** is claiming credit for the entire idea, but actually, we had this thing going 1.5 years ago.

Check it:

It wasn’t a success.

Anyway, here’s Audi’s spiel. Apparently, this whole thing was their thang all along, even before they knew about it, somehow:

“The Audi Design Project: Progress on Powell Street was launched with the purpose of improving the pedestrian experience on Powell Street in a way that transforms it into a vibrant destination and alleviates the congestion. So, working with the city of San Francisco, we’re doing something that might normally be considered unfathomable for an automaker — removing cars from the road. That’s right, we’re eliminating the parking lanes on both sides of the street and, in their place, creating a new public space that sits on top of the pavement.”

Read along after the jump to see how extra wide sidewalks on two blocks of Union Square Are Going To Change Everything.

*Yes, even worse than BMW drivers. The problem is that Audi drivers think that they’re extra special, that’s the problem…

**Is that your new name, Audi? Guess you have bad memories of the old one, Audi USA? Remember that whole unintended acceleration (sudden acceleration) thing back in the 1980′s and 1990′s? On behalf of America’s idiot drivers, I’d like to apologize for that whole deal. You were right, we were putting our feet on the wrong pedals. Our bad :(

(more…)

Whither Slim’s Nightclub? OMG, It’s the Entertainment Commission’s “San Francisco Neighborhood Summit” on April 6

Monday, April 4th, 2011

I know where you’ll be this coming Wednesday after work – you’ll be at the San Francisco Neighborhood Summit near Sixth and Folsom, natch.

And you know who else will be there? Numerous members of the San Francisco Entertainment Commish, plus that dude what’s from the SFPD Alcohol Liaison Unit, plus a Sound Technician, plus NAYYYYYYbor “Advocates.”

So let’s see here, we’re going to have The City, the SFPD, a sound guy, and officially-designated NIMBYs all meeting South of Market just a few weeks after the Slim’s Nightclub / Jeanmarie Guenot / Other NIMBYs* L’affaire Du 2011. Gee, I’m thinking that the topic of the ABC’s recent action against Slim’s just might come up.

All the deets, below.

Click to expand

The deets:

San Francisco Neighborhood Summit

When: April 6, 2011 – Wednesday 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Where: Gene Friend Community Center Auditorium, 270 Sixth Street, San Francisco

What: San Francisco Entertainment Commission in partnership with the San Francisco Police Department and the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services invite you to the San Francisco Neighborhood Summit. Organized to nurture relationships between the SF Entertainment Commission, City Departments, community leaders and neighbor advocates.  Meet, exchange ideas and explore opportunities for collaboration to foster  healthy, safe and vibrant neighborhoods in San Francisco

Speaker’s Panel Inspector Dave Falzon - Alcohol Liaison Unit, San Francisco Police Department Vajra Granelli – Sound Technician, SF Entertainment Commission Audrey Joseph – Commissioner, SF Entertainment Commission Jocelyn Kane (moderator) Executive Director, Entertainment Commission Kirsten Macaulay, Neighborhood Liaison, Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Service Cmdr. Greg McEachern, Entertainment Liaison, SF Police Department Jim Meko, Commissioner, SF Entertainment Commission Edgar Oropeza, SF Planning Department Al Perez, Commissioner, SF Entertainment Commission

Price: Free – open to the public

RSVP sfec.info@gmail.com “

See you there!

*Leave us not forget the other NIMBYs of SoMA, of course.

“NIMBY People are easily startled but they’ll soon be back, and in greater numbers…”

Uh, Sorry City Officials, That Thing You Did on Powell Last Year Was Not a “Success.” But, Thanks Audi!

Monday, December 20th, 2010

[Sarcasm Mode = OFF. You know, Audis are kind of expensive for what they are, right?]

Remember that thing The Powers That Be did to Powell in Union Square last year?

It was all like this:

IMG_6403

Click to expand

Well, turns out that “city officials” consider that fail whale a smash success:

“City officials admitted that pilot, which was conducted on a rainy weekend using only barricades, was not really a good example of re-purposing the street but it turned out to be a success nonetheless.”

Uh, no it wasn’t.

Strike One.

And is this new deal with Audi an really an example of Pavement to Parks reclaiming:

“…unused public right of ways* and quickly and inexpensively turn them into new public plazas and parks?

Uh, no it’s not. Pray tell, which part of Powell Street is an “unused” public right of way? And isn’t PtoP 100% run by the govmint? What, if anything does San Francisco government do “quickly and inexpensively?” Absolutely nothing, that’s what.

Strike Two.

And to top it off, Audi* USA gets to use this project for their advertising / marketing?

Strike Three.

Doing this to Powell is not necessarily a win-win, right? Srlsy, even if Audi ends up footing for a small part of the bill. What you’re involved with is scarcity and choice in resource allocation. What you’re involved with is something that might not work out. That would be something to acknowledge before printing up those signs telling people how appreciative they should be to you.

And Audi.

And will this improve business for the what’s-good-for-General-Motors-is-good-for-America Union Square Business Improvement District? Maybe it will and maybe it won’t. Only Time Will Tell.

See a report from last year below, and a fresh news release after the jump.

*Or rights of way, just saying, bro.

**Audi drivers, you have good reflexes and loads of “active safety” at your disposal, and yet, as a general rule, collectively, you’re worser-than-average drivers in the 415. Discuss.***

***It’s cause you all are in too much of a hurry, that’s why. You, Audi Driver, are not the Lord of Driving. Try to remember that.

“I don’t know, are the sidewalks of Powell so shopper-clogged that pedestrains appreciated the option of walking in the street for part of two blocks this past weekend?

Not that I could tell. The trouble with the execution of this New Idea is that peds needed to enter and exit the pedestrian “passing lane” twice each block. Oh well. At least this program provided room for the cops to cite drunken Santas loitering about the Gold Dust during SantaCon ’09 on Saturday, so I guess that’s something.

Here’s the concept, from a time when all men wore suits and hats and women wore dresses and skirts every day, and everybody was white, of course. Check out the babe magnet loiterers “walking” or pitching woo or whatever in the road.

Powell Street Is For Lovers and cable cars and police fencing, in this fantasy world:

powell

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The reality:

IMG_6398

See the potted palms? Did it improve your “pedestrian experience” or whatnot? If so, thank Walgreens.

And don’t forget to call up 311 to tell them how grateful you are:

IMG_6403

Anyway, we can tell that at least some peds made use of the extra space by clicking here.

And check out this premature, self-congratulatory video.

Here are the deets. The term “world class” is only used once, non-ironically. (Feel free to substitute “northbound and southbound” for “east and westbound.”)

UPDATE: Or, in the words of local designer Shawn Allen:

Half-assed temporary projects like this make me embarrassed to live in San Francisco. Seriously, why even bother?

Testify, brother.

UPDATE: The StreetsBlog SF is all over this. Let’s hear from Donna Ficarrotta, Managing Director of the Union Square Association:

Ficarrotta indicated that she had been to the site on Sunday during the rain and that she hadn’t seen many people using the space. ‘I think people didn’t know quite what to make of it. Between the weather and people being in a hurry, I don’t think people really understood what it was for.’”

“A longer-term trial could happen in the spring, said Ficarrotta, up to four weeks, but the details of that depended on feedback from the city and her membership. She was hopeful a longer trial would also attract more use.”

I think if people understood it, obviously they would use it.”

(Perhaps we should wait for a winter / Christmas / holiday / Sol Invictus shopping season when it doesn’t rain and the people aren’t in a hurry and maybe then we can try this again?)

But see how you can tell this woman doesn’t work for any of the numerous City agencies that spent time on this program?  She gave journalist Matthew Roth an Acknowledgement of Reality. How refreshing!

Are peds really so stoopid? Or maybe they’d prefer to walk on the actual sidewalk instead of stepping down into the street?

Anyway, the deets:

MAYOR NEWSOM ANNOUNCES CITY PILOT PROJECT TO IMPROVE PEDESTRIAN EXPERIENCE DURING PEAK SHOPPING SEASON
Parking lane closures to provide extra walking space

San Francisco, CA—Mayor Gavin Newsom today announced that San Francisco is expanding the walkway for pedestrians in the Union Square area as part of a pilot project under the Better Market Street Program. The Powell Street Pedestrian Improvement Project is allowing more walking space and access along two blocks of Powell Street, Geary to Ellis Streets, to improve and enhance the public’s experience during one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

“This pilot project will create a festive and unique experience for holiday shoppers and tourists visiting the Union Square area,” said Mayor Newsom. “We hope this pilot makes our city more welcoming for shoppers and drives more business to our union square merchants.”

Beginning Friday, December 11 at 2 pm, the east and westboundparking lanes on Powell between Geary and Ellis Streets will close to vehicles. The Powell Street Cable Car line will not be affected by this closure.

Emergency vehicles will have full access and vehicles may continue to use designated white zones. Signs will be posted to direct traffic and pedestrian access. Planters will be temporarily installed and holiday decorations donated by Walgreens will be placed along the walkway to enhance the pedestrian experience. Parking lanes will reopen to vehicles on Monday, December 14 at 9am.

The City will monitor and evaluate this closure over the course of the weekend and provide results of this pilot and future projects in the coming months. Feedback from local partners and merchants will also be collected during this process.

“Union Square is widely known as a world-class destination for its mix of shopping, dining, entertainment and hospitality accommodations. Our hope is that this project will further enhance the visitor experience by providing greater access to pedestrians on what is widely considered one of San Francisco’s most heavily traveled pedestrian corridors,” said Linda Mjellem, Executive Director of the Union Square Association.

This test project is part of the Better Market Street Program; which aims to revitalize Market Street and connect streets by undertaking a series of pilot projects. The results of this pilot and future projects and input from the community and stakeholders will be used to inform the final improvements and long-term design of Market Street.

“Over the next few months, these pilot projects will provide us with the knowledge and the opportunity to collect feedback from people that share this roadway. These coordinated initiatives will help us deliver tangible improvements that are aligned with our vision for a better, a safer, a smarter, and a more modern Market Street,” said Ed Reiskin, Director of the Department of Public Works.

The Better Market Street Program is a collaborative initiative between the City and community partners, businesses, and non-profits including the Department of Public Works (DPW), Planning Department, Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and the Transportation Authority.

For more information and to learn how to get involved, visit the http://marketstreet.sfplanning.org or call 3-1-1.

No, we’re still not done.

(more…)

Look Forward to Bocce or Volleyball on Masonic Avenue, But There are Signs of Rebellion Against City Plans

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Uh oh, for the first time at one of these Masonic Avenue meetings in the Western Addition, I met people who are pissed at the whole process. And these are people who are nearby residents.

(Whenever the City gets around to doing outreach with the stakeholders who currently use Masonic, well, there could be some more opposition still.)

Get some of the deets of last night’s meeting over at The Square website (but keep in mind the dollar amounts mentioned there are off by three orders of magnitude).

A good 140 people or so at a local prep school (it’s like Hogwarts but more expensive and less magical) last night:

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Boulevard or Gateway or Something Else?

Medians no matter what:

Boulevard up top and Gateway below:

Gateway starting at Fell:

Amenities:

Plaza and Public Arts Space. You’re supposed to play bocce or volleyball on the lane that currently takes traffic from eastbound Geary to southbound Masonic.

But “improvements” are coming irregardless

Here are the next steps. On It Goes: