Wednesday, July 27, 2011

And At The Other End of the Block: Lyon St Eyesore Still Set To Come Down

For years this structure has loomed over the sidewalk and claimed two parking spaces

It has nothing to do with scaffolding for painting; it's a "temporary" fire escape

Now that the corner of Lyon and Turk boasts new green, landscaped sidewalks, what about the opposite end of Lyon, down the hill at Golden Gate Avenue? Will neighbors on the 800 block of Lyon and passersby ever be relieved of that eyesore of a scaffolding posing as a fire escape? Apparently, yes, according to Pat Boscovich, a developer working for the property owner. As previously reported, Boscovich has been pushing to get this job completed for the owner, the neighbors, and to be done with the project altogether. He confirmed on Tuesday that the work is on track again.
I have received a copy of the contract between the property owner and the construction firm hired to install the new fire escapes. This should have been done two months ago, but evidently the first contractor hired went out of business.
Boscovich explained that the manufacture of the two new structures -- one for the Lyon street side of the corner apartment building and one for the Golden Gate side -- are being completed now, and he expects the first one, along Golden Gate, to be installed within two to three weeks.

At the top of the Lyon hill

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Green Turk & Lyon L(a)unch Saturday July 23, Huge Success

More than 40 people made San Francisco a greener city Saturday by turning grey to green at the corner of Turk and Lyon in NOPA. Friends, neighbors, and members of St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church came together for a long day in the dirt -- digging out sand and, unexpectedly, clay from below the newly exposed concrete sidewalk strips, adding 40 bags of new soil, settling in nearly 100 plants, and topping the new beds with fir bark. From start to finish a solid 8 hour day for those who remained to celebrate the tapping down of the last Berkeley sedge. A green lunch fueled volunteers mid-day along with live music.

St. Cyprian's Church and NOPA neighbors initiated the project last year during a Design Lab that developed proposals for how the church and community might work together more closely on neighborhood projects. One of the ideas was to green the sidewalks, making the corner where St. Cyprian's is situated more inviting and sustainable. In the months that followed students from the University of San Francisco undertook research of the city's permeable sidewalk permit process. This spring the Green Turk & Lyon Project was launched to take the project to completion.

Neighbors pitched in right away. James Munden, Senior Landscape Architect with Marta Fry Landscape Associates, developed drawings of how the Turk and Lyon might look a bit more green. Intrigued with the possibilities, more than 60 people contributed to a fundraiser at Chile Pies restaurant in May while others donated in the following weeks. St. Cyprian's completed the city's application process, paid the permit fee, and received permission to get the project underway in mid-July. Last Saturday volunteers pushed the project to completion.

Of the many who made the Green L(a)unch possible, special thanks to Marta Fry Landscape Associates, Duncan Ramsay for the terrific poster image, The Wigg Party, Yerba Buena Community Accupuncture, John Dennis, San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department, Department of Public Works Bureau of Urban Forestry, the California Jug Band Association, Erich Sylvester, Will Greene, and Kelsey Schleusener.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

B2B Efforts Help NOPNA Snag Meeting with the Mayor, New District 5 Alliance Forming

Mayor's Newsbox 2

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was so impressed with neighborhood organizers who helped deliver a less rowdy but festive Bay to Breakers footrace this year that his office invited the North Panhandle Neighborhood Association to host his first district-wide meeting on July 21. The mayor requested the meeting to discuss two measures due on the November ballot: pension reform and the $248 million streets repair bond.

Jarie Bolander, President of NOPNA, said the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services asked him to organize the meeting along with leaders of nine other neighbors and merchants associations. "It seemed like a natural follow-up," Bolander said, referring to the successful collaboration among the many groups who worked for months to improve the Bay to Breakers after widespread complaints followed the 2010 race.

Bolander also described the formation of a new District 5 organization, tentatively named the District 5 Merchants & Neighborhood Alliance. The new group will include representatives of ten existing neighbor and merchant groups and would serve as a link between them on district-wide issues. Bolander said they would likely seek non-profit status in the months ahead and function with shared leadership on a rotating basis.

For the July 21 meeting with the mayor, Bolander will offer a brief introduction and serve as moderator. The mayor will discuss the two ballot measures and solicit feedback from participants. Representatives from several city departments will also be present at the meeting.

Pension reform has, of course, become an issue nationally. In San Francisco, much of the "city family" of elected officials and business and community leaders have agreed on one strategy to go before the voters, but there remains the possibility that Public Defender Jeff Adachi will advance an alternative proposal. No one disagrees with the need for extensive reconstruction and repair of city streets, but the prospect of paying for the work through a bond measure continues to trouble some observers.

NOPNA/District 5 Meeting
Thursday, July 21
7pm - 9:00 pm
SF Day School
350 Masonic @ Golden Gate (enter on Golden Gate)
Secure bike parking available
SF Day School is on Muni line #43 Masonic and is one block from #31 Balboa and the #5 McAllister