Archive for the ‘neighborhood improvements’ Category

Sunset Boulevard Greenway Project

Sewer Improvement Project

Thanks SFPUC for the photo!

 

Happy Earth Day! A trend is forming in San Francisco.

Originating in the Outer Mission and approved in The Castro, The Sunset District has secured resident’s support of San Francisco Public Utilities Company’s storm water improvement project. Both SFPUC and local property values will benefit from the funding allotted to the improvement of sidewalk landscapes.

To conquer “Greening” the environment, the beautification and storm control of The Sunset neighborhood began in early April. Initiative leader Supervisor Katy Tang of District 4 has mobilized over 40 volunteers, Front Yard Ambassadors, to accomplish the goals of the Sunset Boulevard Greenway project.

Community residents are helping to not only “Green” their yards but are also supporting the environment. Partners Friends of the Urban Forest and the Surfrider Foundation are advising the project. Steering the selection of drought resistant and native plants, the project aims to reduce rain flow into the delicate and aging sewer system, while also beautifying the neighborhood. By replacing concrete slabs with gardens, lovely succulents and low maintenance vegetation drain excess water away from the sewer system. These natural and silent champions are the key to supervisors Katy Tang and SFPUC’s mission.

“Helping San Francisco Residents manage storm water on-site is just one of the many approaches that the SFPUC System is taking on as part of its Sewer System Improvement Program.” Rachel Kraai SFPUC

The Sunset District’s natural environment lends itself very well to the success of this program. Full-scale design and construction are set for completion in Summer 2015. Best of luck with your efforts and thanks for making the city and planet more eco-friendly!

Rita Roti is a broker associate / assistant manager at Zephyr Real Estate and can be reached at Rita@ritaroti.com.

 

Front Yard Ambassadors

Help our Front Yard Ambassadors!

Thank you SFPUC Sewer System Communications Team for the photos!

Screen shot 2014-04-22 at 2.20.11 PM

 Watch the first planting design video, HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the video Front Yard Ambassadors Program and San Francisco Public Utilities Company for the great information resources!

Sunset Front Yard Ambassadors Program Video

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Sunday Streets has sprung!

Sunday Streets!

Sunday Streets 2014!

The days are getting longer and the fabulous San Francisco tradition of Sunday Streets is back in action. Since 2008, Sunday Streets has encouraged residents to enjoy the beautiful city outdoors! Originated in Bogotá, Colombia as “Ciclovía,” a day of free, healthy activities, Sunday Streets intends to promote community in public streets.

New Friends!

New Friends!

Yoga on Embarcadero!

Yoga on Embarcadero!

The event website has this statement to share. “Sunday Streets are events that encourage recreation, community activities and fun in San Francisco. Sunday Streets closes stretches of city streets to automobile traffic, and opens them to people for several hours on a various Sundays throughout the year, so participants can enjoy a large, temporary, public space where they can bike, walk, run, dance, do yoga, or do any other physical activity. Non-profit and health organizations offer free activities and share information about their services during the event.”

Gather by Ocean Beach!

Gather by Ocean Beach!

Explore a new neighborhood, meet potential clients, neighbors and friends as an event volunteer. It’s great for the whole family with parents permission, anyone can participate after a short training course. Are you a community leader? Sponsor a booth or an activity. For more information, please contact Beth@livablecity.org.

Do you love Sunday Streets? Contribute to their great work! To read more news on Sunday Streets, check here.

I look forward to seeing you there! Happy Sunday Fun Day!

Bike 2 & 4 fun!

Bike 2 fun!

All ages together!

Skills!

Folks fill the street!

Folks fill the street!

Thank you SundaystreetsSF.com for the beautiful images! Enjoy!!

     2014 Sunday Street Schedule

4/13 Tenderloin

5/4  Bayview/Dogpatch

6/8  Great Highway

7/13 Richmond

8/24 Mission

9/14 Western Addition

9/28  Excelsior

10/26 Mission

 

Rita Roti is a broker associate / assistant manager at Zephyr Real Estate and can be reached at Rita@ritaroti.com.

Who wants to Conga?

Who wants to Conga?

Music near Golden Gate Park!

Music near Alamo Square Park!

A lovely ride for a lovely lady in red!

A lovely ride for a lovely lady in red!

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San Francisco Secret Spaces

Rooftop Reverie

Rooftop Reverie

San Francisco is a very special place. Right now, some think  it’s the epicenter of the universe. The Titans of Tech, the heart of artistic culture and Karl the fog (our weather is now a mascot!) reside here, working and playing hard. But we all need a break…

The folks at SPUR have shared their local real estate expertise in a cell phone application titled, SPUR Secret Spaces & Hidden Oases to showcase destinations for revitalization. The best part, all are open to the public!

I have narrowed to my top 5. Enjoy!

1. Rooftop Reprieves at The Crocker Galleria on 50 Post St. @ Montgomery St. This breath of fresh air location boasts 2 Rooftop Sun Terraces. Complete with lovely benches, flowering trellis’ and a working foundation, this quiet open space has lived up to its name since its construction in 1982. With easy access to restaurants & restrooms, Rooftop Reprieves receives a stamp of excellence!

2. Standing Among Giants at TransAmerica Redwood Park on 600 Montgomery St. @ Clay St. This iconic oasis lives up to it’s fame.

TransAmerica Redwood Park

TransAmerica Redwood Park

Resting beneath the shadow of this towering skyscraper, an Urban Park accessorized with massive Redwood trees, grass, wooden benches and a stage, takes my first prize for best of the best. Nearby restaurants have cooked lunch for the voyeur of these gentle Redwood giants since 1973.

Moroccan Bliss!

Moroccan Bliss!

3. A Moroccan Plaza at Citicorp Center Building on 1 Samsome St. @ Sutter St. This remarkable architectural accomplishment has provided San Francisco with a glass enclosed roof, supported by 2-story arches of white marble since 1912. A visitor is sure to have a few moments of holiday bliss as palm trees accent this quaint cafe scene. Drift amongst the true show stoppers, an art deco bronze sculpture and marble fountain centerpiece. Sit back, relax and enjoy the tables and chairs free for visitors use since 1983.

4. Up in The Clouds on 343 Sansome St. @ Sacramento St. This split location shares 2 open spaces with the public. Savor the sun and the view from the 15th floor terrace.

15th Floor Terrace

15th Floor Terrace

Travel to the adjacent mall for easy food service. Bring lunch back over and appreciate the olive trees and flower bed planters. This special space has been gifting benches, moveable chairs and tables since 1990.

5. Power Lunch Greenhouse on 101 2nd St. In 2000, contemporary minimalism invited an expansive, glass-enclosed designer cafe to SOMA.

Modern Greenhouse eatery

Power Lunch Greenhouse

Bath in sunlight and pull up a chair or a bench to watch daily noon-time entertainment. Delight in the contrasting white marble and black granite decor that frame an over-sized painting and sculpture. What are your favorite San Francisco spaces?

Rita Roti is a broker associate / assistant manager at Zephyr Real Estate and can be reached at Rita@ritaroti.com.

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Liveable SF: Big Plans for Potrero Avenue

Potrero Ave Streetscape Improvement Plan

Potrero Ave Improvement Plan, Photo Credit: SFDPW

 

What makes a neighborhood become more of a community? What does making a neighborhood more livable mean to you?

To one of my neighbors, Gillian Gillet, it means long term projects with an end game that adds up to a more livable city for us all.

From Gillian Gillet, Director of Transportation Policy:
“As some of you may know, I’ve been active in trying to make our neighborhood more safe, livable and walkable since about 2002 when I began a traffic calming petition for San Jose/Guerrero. Since then, we have bike lanes, a planted median, Guerrero Park, upcoming streetscape improvements that CPMC will build when it rebuilds St. Luke’s, and the sewer upgrade and streetscaping project on Cesar Chavez Street (including permeable, planted bulb-outs). The third leg of the package of projects we need in order to begin to heal the injury brought to our neighborhood during the Freeway era (Burrito Justice and Bernalwood have excellent posts on this), is to restore Potrero to livability. The Department of Public Works is leading an effort to widen sidewalks, formalize the bike lanes and make pedestrian safety improvements to Potrero. Wider sidewalks and bulbouts make walking more pleasant and crossing the street safer, especially for seniors and people with disabilities.”

So here we are, with great success on San Jose/Guerrero with the greening project, the amazing reconfiguring of Cesar Chavez Street with the new sewer line installation, greening and traffic re-organization, both examples of community cooperation that led to safer and more enjoyable streets!

Next on the schedule, I hope, is the safety improvement project on high-traffic Potrero Avenue in the Mission district. Plagued by a fatal bicycling accident in October 2013, the city with local encouragement, will hopefully perform a dramatic facelift.

Focused on blocks 21st-25th Street, city plans are calling for a $3.2million renovation to be completed in 2015. The proposed upgrades compliment the San Francisco General Hospital rebuild. The investment constructs wider sidewalks, new lighting and structured methods to slow traffic and secure pedestrians and cyclists.

Some local merchants and neighbors are supporting the preservation of existing parking spaces, while  other neighbors and some San Francisco General Hospital employees express their concerns and needs for increased pedestrian safety. Sasha Cuttler, a nurse at SF General, shared her perspective with SF.Streetblog reporter Aaron Bialick. “I know people that work here (SF General) that have been injured just coming to work, and I’m concerned that we need to do more to protect people”. Cuttler has rallied workers to voice the urgency for buffered bike lanes, longer transit lanes or better yet, exclusive transit lanes to secure their safe daily transit.

Ideal plan for cyclists

Ideal plan for cyclists, Photo Credit Aaron Bialick

The  plan also proposes the expansion of street corners, bus stops and the addition of T lights at every corner. “The improvements to Potrero Avenue is a large project with lots of considerations to account for. As San Francisco Supervisor ensuring our citizens safety is the top concern. So of course pedestrian and bicyclist safety is absolutely a priority,” says Malia Cohen, District 10 Supervisor.

Nonetheless, the big debate was in not just the aesthetics but the functionality of the project. At some public meetings, the conversation targeted the addition of a landscaped median, and the removal of many existing parking spaces. Neighborhood residents and businesses strongly rejected this design, contending not only the effect a reduction of parking  spaces will have on them, but also the possible effect of increased speed from commuters.

However, there now seems to be compromise, with option 1  being the preferred choice after 5 community meetings, there might be a ribbon cutting in the future, like that at the Cesar Chavez Streetscape project.

The SFMTA Traffic Engineering Public Hearing on the ‘Potrero Streetscape Improvement Project’  is scheduled:
Friday
February 14
10:00AM
Room 416 (Hearing Room 4)
4th Floor, City Hall

Public Comment needed on the proposed parking, traffic, and transit changes toPotrero Avenue between Alameda and 25th streets. (This is the proposal that will remove 58 parking spaces along Potrero Ave.)

Following the public hearing the project will go to the SFMTA Board for final approval.
The hearing date at the SFMTA Board has not yet been scheduled .

More information on the project can be found at
http://sfdpw.org/index.aspx?page=1673.

Streetscape Improvement Plan, Photo Credit Aaron Bialick

Streetscape Improvement Plan, Photo Credit Aaron Bialick

 

Rita Roti is a broker associate / assistant manager at Zephyr Real Estate and can be reached at Rita@ritaroti.com.

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Cesar Chavez Street Improvement Project Honored

Before & After CC Ave Project Improvement

Before & After Cesar Chavez St. Project Improvement, Photo Credit: Kimberly Chua

 

Neighbors are celebrating the completion of the 3 year transformation of Cesar Chavez Street! It’s happening Wednesday, January 29th @ 11AM with  ribbon cutting celebration for the safety and street scape improvement project.

Re-named Cesar Chavez Street in 1995 to reflect the passion and cultural shift in the area, the avenue’s original name Army Street,was first designed as a car-centric thoroughfare to connect Twin Peaks and western San Franciscans to a second Trans Bay Bridge development. Years ago, the city and environmentalists shot down the original second bridge design.

2nd Bridge map

2nd Bridge map, Photo Credit: Todd Lappin

Nevertheless, Cesar Chavez Street cuts through the Mission and Bernal Heights neighborhoods and the three lanes of traffic going each way was an unattractive river of concrete to cross if you were on foot.  Despite differences between local special interest groups who wanted easy commuter access, car parking restrictions, traffic calming, school children and cyclist travel safety, and creek daylighting, compromise was reached.

Now, the neighborhood will enjoy:

  • A Road Diet: Three lanes of traffic reduced to two in each direction
  • Left-turn pockets for vehicles
  • A bike lane added in each direction
  • A fourteen foot planted median in the middle
  • Every corner has pedestrian treatments, including bulb-outs, better crosswalks and storm-water catchment planters
  • The end of Capp Street at Mission Street is now a plaza and with crossing distances reduced
  • Upgraded Street Lighting with LED bulbs
  • Sewage & Storm water drainage management

Spearheading civilian interests, Fran Taylor of CC Puede, a local grassroots group, shared her patient success with SF.Streetblog.com reporter Aaron Bialick.

“For me, the most important improvement has been the elimination of the double left-turn that used to feed traffic from southbound Bryant onto eastbound Cesar Chavez and the freeway ramp, making the pedestrian crossing on the east side of Chavez a death-defying experience,” she said. “The median, especially now that it’s landscaped, makes the street feel smaller and cozier.”

Public Service Plan

Public Service Plan, Photo Credit: Rigoberto Hernandez

Bialick has been tracking Taylor’s and others efforts to challenge the status-quo of an outdated plan for Cesar Chavez Street and to serve its local neighbors.

Taylor’s efforts are a success. The intention for Cesar Chavez Street has been re-envisioned to enhance quality of life for the neighborhood, promoting ecological functionality in balance with high-volume traffic patterns. Enhanced greenery, trees and landscaping thanks to our Friends of the Urban Forest, evolved an auto artery into a low impact zone, transforming the livability of the neighborhood. Taylor continues the conversation with SF.Streetblog.com reporter Matthew Roth. “It could be good that it’s taken three years because people have had time to get use to the project.”

Coming together to make the best of a long term public project that impacted residents with noise, dirt and traffic, it seems to me that everyone came out a winner.  We’ve vastly improved the sewer system, created a better traffic flow with bike lanes, and there’s trees and plants where once there was only concrete.  Now on pleasant and safe walks from Precita Park to 24th Street, it is a vast difference for all to enjoy.  Safety, quality of life and neighborhood property value increases are immediate benefits of this project’s completion.

Community Action Planning

Community Action Planning, Photo Credit: Todd Lappin

Join in the celebration Wednesday, January 29th @11AM at the Si Se Puede Plaza in front of the popular eatery The Palace Steak House. To read more on the development of the plan, visit http://www.sfhomeblog.com/2010/05/cesar-chavez-sewer-streetscape-improvement-project-update.html.

References:

http://sf.streetsblog.org/2009/02/04/unclogging-the-caesar-chavez-traffic-sewer/

http://bernalwood.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/a-brief-history-of-how-cesar-chavezarmy-street-became-so-awful-in-the-first-place-3/

http://bernalwood.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/wednesday-cesar-chavez-ribbon-cutting-ceremony-to-celebrate-our-new-infrastructure/#comments

 

Rita Roti is a broker associate / assistant manager at Zephyr Real Estate and can be reached at Rita@ritaroti.com.

 

 

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