Saturday, September 26, 2009

Divisadero Week Two: from 64 to 16 Weeks

Instead of a year and a quarter of construction on Divisadero, how about just 16 weeks? The city allotted sixteen months for the Divisadero makeover, but the crew working for Synergy Project Management expect to complete the heavy construction in fourteen weeks. Add another two weeks for the landscaping of the median and planting of new street trees. Less dust, noise, and disruption; NOPA and Alamo Square neighbors are all for that. (The quicker pace construction doesn't indicate poor planning on the part of the Department of Public Works, DPW; they must allow for contingencies for a project this size).

To ease the strain on Divisadero merchants, DPW and its contractor are not only switching the work from one side of the street to the other as noted here last week. The workers also tear up and complete only two contiguous blocks at a time. "It's one of DPW's regulations," explained Neal Patel, Community Planner for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. Patel is currently trying to ensure that similar work on Valencia street from 15th to 19th retains safe and adequate passage for cyclists during the construction.

This week's work opened up the west side of Divisadero from Oak to Page, getting it ready for median widening and resurfacing. Also, a new and better NW corner at Grove was smoothed over Friday morning, making passersby sigh a bit that the sidewalks themselves would not be replaced.

Pedestrian and livability advocates resort to more than a sigh, as noted in Friday's Streetsblog post by Michael Rhodes. Tom Radulovich, Executive Director of Livable City, and Manish Champsee, President of Walk San Francisco, express regret that the renewed Divisadero will see no end to its "90 year legacy of skinny sidewalks."

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