Vallejo Street Closure For Poets Plaza Now On Hold

hoodline – excerpt

The proposed temporary closure of Vallejo Street between Columbus and Grant avenues has been delayed for a second time, after neighbors showed up at a Sept. 24th hearing for the SFMTA’s Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation for Temporary Street Closures (ISCOTT) to express their concerns…

Kristen Foley, who’s lived in the neighborhood for six years, said she heard “quite a few” neighbors spoke out once again at the Sept. 24th meeting of ISCOTT, which approves or denies road closures. Someone put flyers on cars the previous weekend, she said, which got the word out and might’ve spurred attendance. Foley had previously told us that people who don’t live in the immediate neighborhood aren’t aware of the difficulties the closure will pose for drivers.

“If they did it with thought and weren’t being bullies about it to get someone’s pet project complete, it would make more sense to me,” Foley said. “I feel it would be a community decision, rather than just someone telling us this is going to happen. If they’re claiming this Poets Plaza is going to bring the community together, then why aren’t they involving the community it’s going to affect?”…

“I think there’s some growing concern about what emergency vehicles will have to do,” said Grant Miller, who lives in the neighborhood. He doesn’t have strong feelings about the plaza, but “I’ve heard it may delay response times up to several minutes, and that could be a legitimate concern.” On the other hand, “some people are very much in support of it. It could turn out to be beautiful. It depends on how they do it.” … (more)

Community Meeting on Alternatives to Planned Central Subway Tunnel Boring Machine Extraction in North Beach

Please Come to a Community Meeting on Alternatives to Planned Central Subway Tunnel Boring Machine Extraction in North Beach
Monday, Nov. 19th at 7:30 pm at Tel-Hi Gym
North Beach Community Meeting with MTA on possible alternatives to planned extraction of Central Subway tunnel boring machines on Columbus Ave.
Monday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Tel-Hi Neighborhood Center Gymnasium, 555 Chestnut St., or enter at 660 Lombard (Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center)
We have received a notice that the SF Municipal Transportation Agency & Supervisor David Chiu will be hosting a discussion on Monday, November 19th about possible alternatives to bringing the Central Subway boring machines out of the ground on Columbus at Washington Square Park.
View the MTA notice here: Central Subway Community Meeting Notice

THD and many others have been seeking alternatives to having the current Central Subway construction disruption to the heart of North Beach on Columbus Avenue continue for the next two years in order to extract the tunnelling equipment there, especially in light of the fact that the nearest subway station would be nearly a 1/2 mile away at Washington & Stockton.
Last week, THD and North Beach Neighbors sent a joint letter to the SFMTA asking why they have failed to thoroughly study alternatives to the highly disruptive Central Subway construction in North Beach as was promised.  View that letter here:  THD & NBN Joint Letter on Central Subway Construction. Download pdf flyer.

Please come to the community meeting on Monday evening to listen, ask questions, and help keep the pressure on the SFMTA & Supervisor Chiu to fulfill their promise of finding a less disruptive method of completing the Central Subway Project.
Mike Sonn, Chair, Transportation Committee – Mike.Sonn@thd.org
Telegraph Hill Dwellers , www.THD.org

Related rail story:
Obama’s New Cabinet Can Make Trains Run on Time
Plans were announced the day of the meeting on sf.streetsblog.org

North Beach Central Subway Lawsuit Hopes To Derail Multi-Million Dollar Construction Project

By Aaron Sankin : Huffingtonpost.com – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO — A coalition of North Beach residents and neighborhood merchants filed a lawsuit last week attempting to block construction of the Central Subway they fear will disrupt the neighborhood for years to come.

Starting later this month, crews will begin digging a very large hole in the commercial heart of the bustling, historically Italian-American neighborhood. Even though the nearest station for the long-planned extension of the T-Third line is half a mile away in Chinatown, transportation officials will close multiple lanes on a stretch of Columbus Avenue between Powell and Union streets in order to create a pathway for the boring machines employed in the project…

Interestingly, some doubt SFMTA’s motives in extracting the machines in North Beach, positing that the plan all along will be to extend the subway all the way up to Washington Square. SF Weekly reports: Critics of the Central Subway accuse Muni of attempting to have its tunnel and bore it, too. If Muni is really committed to spending upward of $70 million to recover whatever fraction of the machines’ $24 million sticker price it can recoup, then it’s guilty of bad math, charges transit expert and former Muni engineer Jerry Cauthen. And if Muni is attempting to bore a tunnel and create a large cement footprint that will serve as the future site of the as-yet unfunded proposal to extend the Central Subway to North Beach, it’s doing so ahead of conducting necessary environmental procedures. “To me,” says Cauthen, “this is an extension they are trying to cover by saying it’s an extraction location.”

(more)