Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NOPA Notes Not to Miss

The not-so-lovely rear view of a SFgo sign in SOMA.

Traffic engineering that works for no one.

Five trees down on Fell Street at Broderick.

It's easy enough to speed along and lose track of previously reported, but unresolved, issues.
Here's an update:

Pedestrian Fatality
  • Two months have passed since Melissa Dennison was struck and killed by a motorist while crossing Fell Street at Broderick. The District Attorney has yet to determine disposition of the case, i.e. whether the motorist will be charged.
SFgo Signs on Fell and Oak
  • They're still standing although MTA has agreed to remove the Oak Street sign and seems generally inclined to at least move, if not remove altogether, the one at Fell just west of Divisadero. Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi's staff has researched options for placement and design and are now ready to present their findings in a meeting scheduled for next Monday, Nov. 23rd. Two representatives from each of several neighborhood associations, including NOPNA and Alamo Square, have been invited. To date there is no public hearing scheduled.
Speeding on Fell and Oak Streets
  • Chief Traffic Engineer Jack Fleck assured NOPNA neighbors on Sept. 17th that his office would conduct further studies for traffic slowing on the Fell and Oak couplet. MTA Director of Parking and Traffic Bond Yee made a similar committment to the neighborhood on October 20th that the agency "will evaluate travel speeds and potentially reduce traffic signal cycle length during evening hours" to address concerns about speeding. So far, no further word from the MTA.
Sunday Streets through NOPA
  • See this previous post and map for the proposed route of Sunday Streets through the NOPA and Alamo Square neighborhoods. Find out the latest developments from Cheryl Brinkman, President of Livable City, at the next NOPNA meeting this Thursday, Nov. 19, 7:30-9:00 pm, at Poleng Lounge, 1751 Fulton at Masonic. (Visit with your neighbors prior to the meeting, 7-7:30 pm).
Traffic Tangle on Fell near ARCO Station
  • Several possible solutions have come forward since this earlier post: partial parking lane removal, vehicles limited to waiting in the traffic lane only, and a longer-view consideration of dedicated bike lanes to serve both Fell and Oak. Join the discussion at the next NOPNA meeting (see above) when James Shahamiri of the MTA presents one of the proposals.
Street Trees
  • The Dying Trees of Turk Street. Condition not much better; these trees give all the appearance of now being dead. No water management plan and now a much-reduced Urban Forestry staff to get the work done. Last Friday a third of the city's tree maintenance crew were laid off, as noted in SFGate here. (Good News from a very limited perspective: the Mayor's goal of planting more than 25,000 trees has been reached).
  • Removal of Trees from Fell Street. They're gone, the five Ficus on the north side of Fell at Broderick, to make way for needed sewer work below. No replacements yet.
  • The Battered Trees of Divisadero Corridor. The city intends to remove 34 battered and misshapen trees along Divisadero between Haight and Geary and replace them with Flowering Pear and American Plane trees. NOPA neighbor David Tornheim desired more public review of the process and obtained a public hearing scheduled for Nov. 23 rd, 5:30 pm, City Hall, Room 416. (for more info, contact ). My own walk-by and examination of at least a dozen of the trees slotted for removal suggested the city was responding to those trees too damaged to retain. A better question for DPW is what tree maintenance plan will be in place once the corridor is completed and the trees need care and watering?


  1. Divisadero Tree Replacement.

    I just completed a walking survey on both sides of Divisadero from Haight to Geary this afternoon, and found that I concur completely with the DPW Bureau of Urban forestry that ALL of these trees need to be removed and replaced. Most of the trees to be replaced are Ginkgo biloba, which quite frankly have not done well. Either from pedestrian or vehicular abuse or because of the pollution that a main arterial route like Divisadero can generate. These trees are dwarfed and deformed and should be replaced by the New Bradford pear and the Yarwood sycamore.

    I share your concerns, Michael, that if the DPW BUF couldn't water the Turk St. trees when they had a full crew, how can they water the Divisadero trees with fewer people in the coming year. Regular watering in the first year after planting is crucial to the tree's survival.

  2. Thanks, Doug, for your diligence...for the sake of the new trees and the neighborhood. DPW will be responsible for tree care on Divisadero, but hopefully residents and property owners will help with the watering, as needed. Let's keep an eye on them once they're planted.