By Keith Burbank : potrero view – excerpt
Despite new designs that maintain more parking spaces than previous proposals, residents of Potrero Avenue and nearby streets are still angry about the loss of parking that would result from the Potrero Avenue Streetscape project. And though the City has made changes in response to citizen requests, some residents insist that local government isn’t listening to them.
“They [the City] come back with what they think we need,” said Mari Sorenson, a Hampshire Street resident. “It’s not about neighbors.” According to Sorenson, the project has been resisted by the community, but City Hall isn’t listening. She’s also upset that a question and answer session hasn’t been included in the past two meetings; a complaint echoed by others. Instead, residents were given the opportunity to talk with City staff at an open house held last month, record their ideas on comments cards and vote for one of three options…
More than eighty people attended last month’s gathering, held at San Francisco General Hospital, at which an additional Streetscape option was added to the two proposals that had been presented previously. Under the options for 22nd to 24th streets, Options One and Two would result in the loss of 29 parking spaces. Option Three calls for the loss of only three spaces along that street. Option One widens the sidewalk on the east side of the avenue to 14 feet, while Option Two widens it to 15 feet. Rather than widening the sidewalk, Option Three creates a bulb for a bus on the northeast corner of 24th Street and Potrero Avenue. In addition, Option One creates a six to 10 foot continuous planted median, while Options Two and Three build six foot refuges and place landscaping at the intersections…
The City added a fourth community meeting to discuss the project in response to citizen requests, according to Nate Albee, a legislative aide to Supervisor Campos, who encouraged DPW to schedule the additional gathering. And Albee said that four community meetings are more than average for the City to host to discuss a project.
The City has made changes requested by Flores, with no parking eliminated along the block that she lives on. Flores has a nephew who has cerebral palsy and a mother who is frail and has asthma. Flores seemed pleased she’ll have parking in front of her home, but still wants the City to avoid removing any parking from the project area. To save all the parking on Potrero Avenue, Flores and others have started a petition, which has more than 330 signatures.
Besides parking, concerns were expressed about street lighting. According to residents, half the street lights along Potrero Avenue are encased in foliage, and the City wants to plant more trees. In response, Chris Pangilinan, associate engineer, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), said the City is proposing “pedestrian scale” lighting on both sides of Potrero Avenue, which would rise to only 10 to 12 feet. Residents also wondered whether the project’s proposed medians would prevent emergency vehicles from traveling along Potrero Avenue during rush hour. According to Pangilinan, emergency vehicles going south would have a 15-foot wide transit-only lane to use. SFMTA met with the San Francisco Fire Department last month to be sure the department was satisfied with the access it will have once the project is built… (more)