Posts Tagged ‘Planning Department’

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

Click to expand

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:

Click to expand

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:

Yalie NIMBY Outed by Uptown Almanac after SFPD Shuts Down 4 Loko Party in Dolores Park

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Uptown Almanac‘s Kevin Montgomery is all steamed this AM about an Eli who had the popo shut down* our recent Four Loko party in Dolores Park.

Learn about Crackdown Deja Vu all over again at Dolores Park Works and consider attending the public meeting, if you’d care to.

Is this man Local McNimbydouche? Via KevMo:

Anyway, it seems that elements of SafeCleanGreen Mission Dolores might be at the meeting as well. Play nice. people:

Dolores Park Works is organizing a community meeting to discuss safety, law enforcement and 19th & Dolores has been set. The big day is September 1st, from 6:00-8:00, at Mission High School cafeteria, which is located across from the tennis courts in Dolores Park (entrance to cafeteria off of Dolores & 18th).

We will be covering:

  • 19th & Dolores pedestrian safety & proposed changes
  • Park patron safety and law enforcement

We will be hearing from:

  • Captain Corrales, from the Mission Street Police Station
  • Eric Anderson, RPD Neighborhood Service Area Manager (replacing Bob Palacio)
  • Manito Velasco, Engineer, SFMTA
  • Ilaria Salvadori, SF Planning Department (Streetscape project)
  • Adrian Field, RPD Park Section Supervisor for the Mission Complex
  • Marcus Santiago, RPD Park Ranger

This is your chance to hear how and why the signs were installed, how laws will be enforced, and plans for 19th & Dolores traffic calming. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. Please help us spread the word.”

*Wow. Circulation-cutting, tight-as-possible jeans are in again? Did not know that.

Pedestrians Mostly Ignore Powell Street’s Temporarily-Widened Sidewalks in Union Square

Monday, December 14th, 2009

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

Click to expand

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.

Attention Richmond District – Town Hall Meeting Tonight, Tonight, Tonight!

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Tonight’s Richmond District Town Hall meeting with District One Supervisor Eric Mar will be just like this, but with an emphasis on sidewalk landscaping, community challenge grants, community gardens and Pavement to Parks. Tonight’s special guest star will be Adam Varat from the Planning Department.

Get the deets below, courtesy of SF FYI Net.

If the Richmond District were a town, then here’s your Mayor, Police Chief, etc…

img_6143-copy2

Supervisor Eric Mar – Town Hall Meeting
When: July 8, 2009 – Wednesday
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Where: Richmond District Neighborhood Center, 741 30th Avenue, San Francisco
What: Topics include how you can do sidewalk landscaping in front of your house, community challenge grants for street improvements, community gardens and Pavement to Parks. Adam Varat will provide details on the application process for these types of improvements.
Source and Information: richmondsfblog.com

San Francisco’s Richmond District Town Hall Meeting from Supervisor Eric Mar

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

As expected, yesterday’s Richmond District Town Hall Meeting went off without a hitch at the Rec Center on 18th Avenue. Take a gander to see if you want to attend the next one. And take a look at this very detailed account from StreetsBlog, just posted.

Your Government At Work. District One Supervisor Eric Mar, SFPD Richmond Station Captain Richard Corriea the San Francisco Planning Department, the Metropolitan Transportation Agency, the Department of Public Works and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition – all ready to lend an ear. Click to expand:

img_6143-copy2

Do you people prefer PowerPoint presentations pertaining to planning? Perfect. (Personally, I’m getting a little tired of euphamistic adjectives dreamed up by department heads – you know if Vladimir Lenin’s New Economic Policy (1921) came out these days, it would probably be called Better Economy with Great New Improvements! Or something like that. Wasn’t horrible Octavia Boulevard supposed to be a “livable street?”) Anywho, MTA “Traffic Calming” Project Manager Adam Gubser was on hand and available at the Town Hall.

img_6118-copy

As were Capt. Corriea and Lt. Mark Osuna, both of whom brought pens and notepads along with their sticker-free semi-autos. Keep updated at the Richmond District Police Community Relations Forum, aka “Richmond Forum.”

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And There You Have It.

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Attention Richmond District – Town Hall Meeting Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Tomorrow!

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Yes, it’s time for a District One Town Hall Meeting featuring your Supervisor Eric Mar, your SFPD Richmond Station Captain Richard Corriea (easy to say, tough to spell) and your reps from the San Francisco Planning Department and the Metropolitan Transportation Agency.

It’ll be tomorrow, Saturday, May 30th from 10:00AM to Noon 

Click to avoid a headache reading this thing:

Please join Supervisor Eric Mar, Captain Corriea, and representatives from the Planning Department and the Municipal Transportation Agency as we discuss traffic calming proposals and pedestrian safety. We invite all community members to share your suggestions for better streets, transportation and neighborhood improvements.

For more information please contact the Office of Supervisor Eric Mar at (415) 554-7410 or email at marstaff@sfgov.org