TRANSPORTATION EFFICIENCY: Facilitated by our NA Transportation Rep, Director Bruce Agid, the NA Board distilled a list of neighborhood-generated recommendations to improve the Draft Transportation Effectiveness Plan (TEP) under current SFMTA consideration, as well as near-term, limited scope fixes to help ease existing auto congestion (primarily around bridge entry ramps). Along with detailed transit maps developed by member Jack Fahnestock, the recommendations were delivered in private and public meetings with our District 6 Supervisor, the SF County Transportation Authority SFCTA), the SF Metropolitan Transportation Authority (SFMTA), and the staff building the Waterfront Transportation Assessment (WTA). [2013-14]
E-LINE ADVOCACY: Recruited NA ‘Ambassadors’ to serve the special runs of the vintage railway E-line during the America’s Cup, with the goal of promoting an extended full-service E-line, as well as our neighborhood.
CALTRAIN OPERATIONS: Resurgent noise and air quality problems from trains idling at the CalTrain yard were tackled through the efforts of NA member Toby Levine and NA Director Bruce Agid. Bruce assembled a working group including staff from the Dept. of Public Health, CalTrain/SamTrans/SFCTA, Supervisors Kim and Cohen’s offices, the SF Planning Dept., as well as interested local residents to identify the source of the problems, and implement an impact reduction and monitoring program. The working group convened in 2013 and is on-going.
KING STREET: Board Secretary Gary Pegueros spearheaded a joint-agency effort to extend crossing times at signaled cross walks and post reduced speed limit signs as the 280 freeway becomes a residential street. Agencies coordinated included the California Highway Patrol, SF Metropolitan Transportation Agency (SFMTA), and Department of Public Works (DPW). [May 2010—July 2012]
BERRY STREET: Director Matt Springer worked together with Jerry Robbins from the SFMTA to reduce traffic speed by having speed limit signs installed.
PEDI-CAB ROUTE MANAGEMENT: After receiving neighbors’ complaints about pedi-cabs on the Embarcadero Promenade, NA President Katy Liddell initiated action to clarify the rules governing where the pedi-cabs may legally operate and then enlisted company owners in voluntary self-policing. Working with Susan Reynolds of the Port’s Department Of Real Estate, rules restricting pedi-cabs to the bike lane on the Embarcadero—NOT the Promenade—were confirmed, circulated throughout the Port, SFPD and SFMTA, and reiterated during a meeting with all pedi-cab owners.
In parallel, Katy engaged with Oskar Mosco and Geoff Abraham, owners of Golden Gate Pedi-Cab and Cabrio Pedi-Cab, respectively, who immediately issued company-wide directives reminding those who drive their cabs of the restrictions, as well as the obligation to honor pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
In less than a month, the confusion among agencies on regulations was clarified, lines of enforcement established, and willing cooperation with the pedi-cab sector secured. [July—August 2014]
Traffic flow and map accuracy
BERRY STREET AND MISSION BAY DRIVE: In 2013, Director Matt Springer worked with Jerry Robbins from the SFMTA to install a sign at the right turn from Mission Bay Drive onto Berry St, advising drivers that right turns were allowed at the red light. The non-standard arrangement of the intersection was causing many drivers to wait until the green light to turn, holding up traffic. Efforts to add a dedicated right turn lane at that intersection have so far been unsuccessful, but the desire on the part of many residents has been communicated to the SFMTA.
ACCURACY OF STREET GRIDS IN MAP APPLICATIONS: After previously working with Google Maps in 2009 before joining the Board to fix erroneous Berry Street addresses and to add the new street grid of Mission Bay South, and unsuccessfully trying individually to fix numerous regional errors in Apple Maps during 2012-2013, Director Matt Springer enlisted the aid of the subscribers to the SBRMBNA Yahoo group to attempt to solve the Apple Maps problems. Addresses were incorrect, important streets were missing, and the entire South Beach district was shown in the wrong location. That effort alerted NA member and Mission Bay CAC president Corinne Woods to approach an acquaintance at Apple who was able to see that most of the problems were fixed in 2014. (One address problem remains at this time.)
BRYANT STREET ON-RAMP “CATACOMBS” / HARRISON STREET OFF-RAMP: As an adjunct to a neighborhood-led dog park project, NA President Katy Liddell and member Marty Coressel headed a joint-agency effort to disband the encampment adjacent to the bridge on-ramp and connect campers with support services. Participating agencies included: CalTrans DOT, SFPD, CHP, SF DPW, and SF DPH. The initial effort in August of 2010 also included partnership with Bayside Village management. It resulted in cleanup, fence repair, lock replacement, and addition of signage.
The group met again in January of 2012 to address issues since the dog park had been almost completed. Although the majority of homeless had departed, there were still two persistent campers. Patrol Special Police, SFPD, and CHP agreed to monitor. Monitoring and enforcement on-going into 2014.
I-280 RAMP/KING STREET: NA member Bettina Cohen took the lead, supported by Director Matt Springer, and members Charles Rathbone and Judy Langley plus other Mission Bay neighbors, in assembling a security, support and clean-up team to disband an extended encampment and connect the displaced with services. The assembled Task Force included staff from SF Homeless Outreach Team (HOT); SF Housing Opportunities, Partnerships and Engagement (HOPE); Caltrans; MJM Management-Mission Bay Parks; SFPD; Dept. of Public Works; Supervisor Jane Kim’s Office; and the California Highway Patrol. The effort to convince the homeless at that encampment to accept supportive housing was successful due to the city’s offer to keep that entire group together in the process, and the SFPD and HOPE agencies are viewing this as a promising model to apply to chronic homeless encampments in other parts of San Francisco. [2013-2014]
Event Impacts Mitigations
STREET AND SIDEWALK CLEAN-UP: After on-going complaints about litter and sidewalk obstructions on baseball game days, Board President Katy Liddell and VP Alice Rogers, along with Secretary Gary Pegueros, organized a walk-about with the department head and key staff from DPW, plus representatives from MJM Management in Mission Bay, to review the state of the streets and sidewalks following a game. The department identified key trouble areas and developed a neighborhood-specific work plan targeting post-game sweeps. Periodic monitoring has shown the plan to be effective through the 2013 season and the plan remains in place going forward. This focused work plan is also feeding into mitigation planning for the proposed entertainment complex under review for Piers 30/32.
POLICE COVERAGE: With pre- and post-game fan behaviors resulting in rowdiness, building defacement and other illegal activities, Board President Katy Liddell served as primary liaison with the Captain of Southern Station to effect staffing and command changes for increased police capacity and responsiveness during game days. As with the game-related DPW protocol, the SFPD game-day planning is also informing mitigation planning for the proposed entertainment complex under review for Piers 30/32.
4TH AND BERRY TRAFFIC CIRCULATION: In reaction to an SFMTA plan funneling post-game traffic onto Berry Street in 2011, Director Matt Springer and NA Member (and Mission Bay CAC President) Corinne Woods, along with many neighbors, worked with SFMTA/DPT to develop a traffic management plan that stops using Berry St (4th through 7th) as a through-way and limits northbound traffic on 4th Street between Berry and King after games until pedestrians have cleared to relieve gridlock.
BERRY ST PARKING LOT: Also in 2011, Director Matt Springer took the lead in mobilizing Mission Bay neighbors to request remedial action at a Giants’ parking lot at the end of Berry Street; the close proximity was causing numerous issues for Berry St residents. The lot operator, Impark, recognized the difficulty of managing the problems and the parking lot was closed.
AERIAL ADVERTISING BANNER-TOWING: After assorted efforts by South Park residents, as well as by staff in the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, in trying to stop or manage the noisy banner-towing flights during game days, Board Director Matt Springer made direct contact in 2013 with one of the flight vendors and began a dialogue to find a workable solution in which the planes could do their business, but residents would get some relieve from the hours of noise. Matt produced a flight altitude restrictions map based on current federal flight regulations in which the limited flight pattern options became clear. D6 Supervisor Jane Kim took up the cause and is researching legislation on controls, and in the meantime has convened an industry vendor/neighborhood work group, including Matt and NA VP, Alice Rogers. The initiative is a work-in-progress.
STREET LITTER: In 2009, NA Director Mike Anthony surveyed members across our neighborhoods to identify key blocks needing trash cans, and then worked with DPW staff to have City receptacles added where needed, or relocated.
AMPLIFIED OUTDOOR DANCE PARTY: In 2012, NA member Peggy Fahnestock advised the Board about plans for an all-day amplified loud dance party that was being planned for a parking lot very close to new residential buildings. This event had been previously held near City Hall and was reportedly not welcomed to return because of the extreme noise and disruption that it caused. President Katy Liddell along with Peggy Fahnestock advocated to Supervisor Jane Kim’s office in opposition to the event being hosted so close to residences. The plan to hold the event in that parking lot was changed.
Neighborhood Development and Design
LUCAS CULTURAL ARTS MUSEUM: SBRMBNA hosted representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development and Port of San Francisco at our regular SBRMBNA monthly meeting on June 9, 2014 to hear what Mr. Lucas may want to build at Seawall Lot (SWL) 330 in South Beach for the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum. Neighbors at the meeting put forward and approved a motion to send a supportive letter to George Lucas to encourage building his museum in South Beach at SWL 330. Here is a copy of the letter sent to Mr. Lucas’s assistant via e-mail by the SBRMBNA Board on June 11, 2014. There was also mention of a letter signed by most of the Mayors of San Francisco from the past 20 years and the letter sent by SBRMBNA in a Chronicle article written by Marisa Lagos on June 13, 2014.
PIERS 30/32, SEAWALL LOT 330 PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT: When the proposed Golden State Warriors’ development was announced to the press with no prior outreach meetings with the neighbors, the NA Board, galvanized by President Katy Liddell, immediately contacted our district supervisor to insist that the neighborhood be at the table as the proposal was developed. A Community Advisory Committee (CAC) was formed with organizations from across the City represented; Katy Liddell was named Chair and NA Treasurer Jamie Whitaker and VP Alice Rogers were appointed by the Port, along with NA members Corinne Woods and Marty Coressel (who was succeeded by NA members Miles Amen and then Mahesh Khatwani). CAC established 2012; disbanded April 2014 when the Warriors relocated their proposed project to Mission Bay on private, non-Port, property.
As an immediate follow-up action, the NA Board drafted a simple survey to gauge neighbors’ support for, or opposition to, the proposed development. With 700+ respondents gleaned through the NA Yahoo Group and HOA postings throughout the neighborhood, the results showed an almost equal split in opinion. With this outcome, the Board resolved to be an active information conduit, but leave active support or opposition to other consensus-driven groups.
AMERICA’S CUP 34 TEMPORARY-TO-PERMANENT MARINA PROPOSAL: In August 2011, in response to the Draft EIR for the America’s Cup 34 events, the Board wrote Chief Environmental Review Officer, Bill Wycko, to protest the mooring of mega-yachts in the Rincon Point Open Water Basin. The Board response pointed out that the Draft EIR conceded that long-term marinas were at odds with established plans for the waterfront and bay. To press the point, several Board members spoke at a Port Commission meeting against this proposal, which was eventually dropped. The mega-yachts at America’s Cup events docked at Pier 27 where many of the events were staged.
SECOND STREET REDESIGN: In 2009, the SFMTA arranged an outreach meeting with the NA and, in essence, announced that Second Street was being redesigned to add bike lanes and lose auto lanes (including all left-turn options), as part of a larger effort to increase bike lanes throughout the City. Many at the meeting were outraged that the NA was not brought into the process earlier so that all neighborhood needs and impacts could be evaluated. After a series of follow-up meetings with SFMTA involving NA members Jeffrey Leibovitz, Dan Kasabian and Board President Katy Liddell were unproductive, Katy filed an appeal that removed Second Street from the broader bike lane plan.
In 2011, Second Street was folded into a larger redesign effort headed by the Department of Public Works (DPW), and a community-driven design development process ensued, which is still in progress.
RINCON HILL DOG PARK: In 2007, NA member and then-Rincon Point – South Beach CAC member Marty Coressel spearheaded a neighborhood effort to ‘adopt’ the CalTrans lot at the corner of Bryant and Beale and began a five-year initiative that culminated in the February 2012 opening of the Rincon Hill (or sometimes called Bryant Street) Dog Park, a neighborhood-friendly alternative to the parking lot that had been slated for the property. Working together with CalTrans and DPW, Marty—along with Josh Wolf—rallied neighbors and NA members to weed and clean the lot over the years the park was in design development, raise $5K for a 10-year lease, and then set-up an on-going park management coalition of local dog-walkers and friends. NA Treasurer Jamie Whitaker signed on as treasurer for the group, as well as web site maven (http://www.rinconhilldogpark.org), and is part of the group of neighbors who open and close the park daily.
EMERGENY SERVICES ACCESS: NA Board members Katy Liddell, Alice Rogers, Gary Pegueros, and Matt Springer met with SFFD Chief Joanne Hayes-White and four Deputy Chiefs to discuss the proposed 2nd Street Redesign project as well as emergency vehicle access during heavy traffic periods. With 2nd Street being an access point to/from the Bay Bridge and Hwy 280, intersections are often blocked during weeknight commute hours. And King Street/The Embarcadero is regularly backed up on weekends (cars heading to Fisherman’s Wharf) and weekdays and weeknights during commute hours. Regardless of what type of development may be built on Piers 30-32 and the adjacent Seawall Lot 330, current traffic congestion continues to be an issue. Our Board members offered to be a liaison between the SFFD and the SFMTA / DPW in an effort to keep open the lines of communication between all agencies.
NEIGHBORHOOD RETAIL AND SERVICES: In 2011 Director Mike Anthony launched a survey to gather residents’ interests on what types of businesses should be encouraged to move into our neighborhoods, and began meeting with property managers and brokers. In 2013, a work group including staff from the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, our D6 Supervisor’s office, Mission Housing, plus Mike and Alice Rogers, assembled to explore City incentives and case histories in other neighborhoods. A follow-up panel discussion with an urban planner, staff from the Giants’ development team, and brokers and leasing agents working in our area convened for an NA presentation of current trends and influences in neighborhood-serving retail. A new, broader survey will be taken in early 2014, with smaller working groups formed in each of our neighborhoods to inventory available leasing opportunities and develop strategies for recruiting desired service providers. Director Matt Springer blazed a trail by bringing a popular restaurateur into serious discussions for a Mission Bay space, but a timing issue has put the transaction on hold.
COMMUNITY-BUILDING: In addition to serving as an unbiased conduit for information on community-related issues and interests, the NA is focused on building community ties through social events. The NA Social Committee includes Vivian and Mike Anthony, Robert Mansfield, and Jamie Whitaker. Events to date have included special NA-member opportunities for Opera-in-the-Park and Giants’ games, as well neighborhood socials at Victory Hall and the Bluxome Street Winery, plus annual holiday parties.
NEIGHBORHOOD OUTREACH PROGRAM: Beginning 2014, Secretary Gary Pegueros will head up a program to reach out to new and existing residential buildings, meet residents and HOA staff, and provide short informational presentations by representatives of the NA, NERT, Patrol Special Police, plus other neighborhood service providers in an effort to strengthen and unite our growing community.
In 2014, Director Matt Springer approached the management of the Strata Apartments, which was damaged by the fire that burned down the construction project across 4th St, to offer SBRMBNA support such as using our Yahoo group as an information conduit for those displaced by the fire. He also was able to use the Yahoo group to deliver real-time updates to neighborhood residents as the fire grew, by virtue of fortuitously being at the site shortly after the fire started and needing to walk around it to get home.
EXTERNAL PERCEPTIONS OF OUR NEIGHBORHOODS: In 2013, acting on behalf of the Board, Director Matt Springer contacted the management of the popular tourist attraction, the Ride The Ducks tour, which includes our neighborhoods in their tour route. The tour guides’ scripts when driving through Mission Bay included a statement that only super-rich people could live here. Because 30% of Mission Bay residences are reserved for low-income housing, Matt requested that this comment be deleted. The tour company agreed to the change.
2010 SUPERVISORIAL CAMPAIGN: The NA produced a well-attended District 6 Supervisorial Debate among leading candidates at Genentech Hall on the UCSF Mission Bay Campus, with the venue-use generously donated by UCSF; Scott Shafer of KQED Radio moderated (on a pro bono basis). The Debate Task Force included President Katy Liddell, then-VP Katherine Webster, and current VP Alice Rogers. Board members Gary Pegueros, Matt Springer and Jamie Whitaker provided night-of support with seating, and informational help.
2010 MAYORAL CAMPAIGN: Jamie Whitaker, NA Treasurer, along with President Katy Liddell spearheaded a Mayoral Meet-and-Greet at Red’s Java House to encourage all mayoral hopefuls to meet the residents in our area and hear first-hand about neighborhood concerns. Almost all of the serious mayoral candidates attended this event and addressed the crowd individually.
TASK FORCE PARTICIPATION: NA Board members, and NA members-at-large are involved in a range of on-going working groups and committees to ensure the neighborhood interests are presented. These include:
SPUR Transportation Committee
• Director Bruce Agid
• Member Patrick Valentino
D6 Pedestrian Safety Working Group
• President Katy Liddell
• VP Alice Rogers
• Treasurer Jamie Whitaker
• Member Bettina Cohen
D6 Open Space Task Force
• Treasurer Jamie Whitaker
• VP Alice Rogers
• Member Corinne Woods
Southern Police Station Community Advisory Board
• President Katy Liddell
NERT Advisory Board
• Secretary Gary Pegueros
Central Subway CAG
• Director Bruce Agid
• Member Robert Mansfield
Mission Bay CAC
Port Central Waterfront Advisory Group
• Members Corinne Woods and Toby Levine
Piers 30/32 CAC (now disbanded)
• President Katy Liddell
• VP Alice Rogers
• Treasurer Jamie Whitaker
• Members Mahesh Khatwani and Corinne Woods
Better Market Street CAC
• Director Bruce Agid
• Member Mahesh Khatwani
Market Street Railway
• NA Director Bruce Agid, Director
• President Katy Liddell, Advisory Board Member
SF Port: Pier 38 Project Review Committee
• Member Shelley Carroll
EASTERN NEIGHBORHOODS ALLIANCES: Still in an early phase, the NA Board has reached out to representatives of other neighborhood groups along the Eastern/Southern waterfront to compare ideas/practices on operating principles and membership-building, as well as seek out possible common issues in which a coalition might be a more effective change agent than the assorted efforts of more localized NAs. Mirroring the E-line route, groups contacted include:
• Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association
• Mission Creek Harbor Association
• North Beach Neighbors
• Potrero Boosters
• SoTel Neighbors
• Dogpatch Neighborhood Association
• India Basin Neighborhood Association
• Telegraph Hill Dwellers