Effort ramps up to save historic Van Ness Avenue street lamps from Muni

By : sfexaminer -examiner

Former Mayor Willie Brown has joined in the fray over the controversial removal of historic street lamps along Van Ness Avenue to make way for a bus rapid transit project.

Those 224 street lamps were first constructed in 1915 for the Panama Pacific International Exposition. Now they may be cleared out sometime this fall for the construction of the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit project, which aims to speed up Muni service in that corridor.

“As the mayor who took charge of much of the restoration of our glorious, iconic City Hall, where San Francisco’s history and character are honored and remembered daily by those who work and visit here, I cannot imagine Van Ness Avenue without its historic street lamps,” Brown said in a statement.

That issue may come to a head today at a community meeting hosted by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on the Van Ness BRT project, as well as Polk Street improvements.

No decisions will be made, but those opposing the lamps’ removal —including Supervisor Aaron Peskin — promised to make their voices heard.

“I think we can improve our city transportation system without sacrificing our historical resources. These things are not mutually exclusive,” said Peskin…(more)