A heads up to all ye with friends and relations on the western side of the Bernal Cut: The Highland Avenue Bridge across San Jose Avenue will be closed for the next six months while workers repair its crumbling concrete guardrails. Our (now even more) lost neighbors from College Hill News have all the details:
At long last, work is about to begin on the Highland Bridge to replace its crumbling guard rails. This weekend, we received the below update from a public information officer at Public Works:
MH Construction Management Co. is under contract with San Francisco Public Works for the TRAFFIC RAILING REPLACEMENT PROJECT AT THE HIGHLAND AVENUE BRIDGE. San Francisco Public Works will manage the construction.
• Construction is scheduled to begin approximately April 20 2015 and be completed by October 2015.
• Highland Ave Bridge will be closed April 27 2015 for maximum duration of 6 months.
• Monday through Friday: 7:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
• Exception: While the scaffolding is being erected over the bridge, construction can occur from 1:00 A.M. to 4:00 A.M. for a few days only.
The Highland Avenue Bridge at Arlington Street (off Mission Street).
SCOPE OF WORK
• Install fencing along Arlington Street.
• Place 72-Hour No Parking Notices along Arlington Street between Charles St. and Highland Ave.
• Demolish existing guard rail at Arlington Street.
• Prepare Highland Avenue Bridge Closure.
• Erect Scaffolding (some night work).
• Demolish existing guard rail (both sides).
• Form & place new concrete guard railing.
• The Highland Avenue Bridge will be closed to all traffic for the entire 6 months of construction. Traffic will be temporarily detoured via Richland Avenue Bridge as result of bridge closure that is necessary to perform the work.
• Streets will be posted 72 hours advance with NO PARKING / TOW AWAY SIGNS, with the project work-listed, to alert the public of the construction and parking restrictions.
• Please observe parking and traffic signage and allow extra travel time in case of traffic delays during construction work.
Sometimes, when you put on your sparkly red shoes and click your heels together three times, your wishes are granted. For a lost girl named Dorothy, that meant returning home to Kansas. Yet for many residents of Precitaville, one such wish would be to remove the heavy steel roll-up door that covers the former Park Bench Cafe on Folsom; the one that makes the streetscape seem so dismal.
Neighbor Nina lives just up the street from the former Park Bench space, and she has spent a lot of time wearing her sparkly red shows and clicking her heels together. Yesterday she finally got her wish: The heavy steel door was removed from the storefront. Hurrah!
But wait … Does the removal of the steel door mean that something exciting and new is coming to the former Park Bench Cafe space, which has been dormant and empty for several fallow years?!?
Why, yes it does. It means exactly that.
But then the question becomes: What’s gonna happen there?!?
Bernalwood doesn’t have many details right now, but lets just say that if you were to put on your sparkly red shoes and click your heels together three times and wish for a delicious gourmet pizza place founded by another longtime Precitaville neighbor… well, we have reason to believe your wish might soon come true.
PHOTO: Neighbor Nina
Do you remember that City meeting a few weeks back to review the proposed pedestrian-safety changes to the intersection of Bernal Heights Boulevard and Bernal Heights Boulevard at the southeastern side of the hill, near the glamorous Vista Pointe Minipark? Well, Neighbor Tom attended the meeting, and took great notes, and made some spiffy diagrams of new crosswalks and new stop signs, and he thinks the current proposal needs revision. Neighbor Tom says:
First, the facts:
Three Bernal residents spoke, of which I was one. No diagrams were presented or handed out, but two of us were able to look at a diagram (by request) before the meeting started.
Of the three that spoke, all approved of making some improvements. Two of us approved of the stop signs, one felt it unnecessary, but the crosswalk is good. As far as I could tell, there was no resolution on this, just the hearing of opinions.
I created a sketch of the plans from memory. (I don’t like recreating drawings from memory, because it’s inaccurate, but if they’re not going to give handouts, then…)
The yellow parts are roughly what their plans showed. Here’s a version of the diagram with other colors added by me to illustrate my personal opinion.
My opinion is:
1. Locating the crossing at C will encourage people to walk the red path, with leads to a tricky crossing of Bradford (where a stop cannot be added, due to the #67 bus).
2. Locating the crossing at B instead would encourage the green route, which benefits from the pre-existing ‘stop’ on Bradford, and could be further improved by a cross walk.
The MTA say that the crossing must be located at C, since that’s where Parks and Rec have decided to put stairs.
Yes, stairs! I’m opposed to the stairs, since they will lead users to further steep loose ground, which they then have to ascend (or turn back). They therefore violate the principle of “don’t trick people into thinking they’re safe.” I’m informed that the stairs will help reduce erosion. I suspect they’ll do the opposite – they’ll encourage more people to take the route.
ILLUSTRATIONS: Neighbor Tom
Tomorrow morning, March 6, at 10 am, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will solicit input on proposed changes to the intersection of Bernal Heights Boulevard and Bernal Heights Boulevard at the eastern side of the park.
Wait, what? No, that’s not a typo:
This is the spot.
The hearing happens at 10 am on Friday in Room 416 at City Hall. Here’s the announcement in situ:
Three years ago, your Eastern Bureau correspondent attended a Rec and Parks meeting about trail restoration on Bernal Hill, where neighbors discussed the safety of the ‘undefined’ eastern entrances to the park. At the time, someone from the City mentioned that there was “lots you can do with paint.”
Now, the moment is at hand to perhaps do something with some paint. And a few stop signs.
PHOTOS: Joe Thomas
The Examiner recently brought news that the land next to the College Hill reservoir near Holly Park will soon become the pilot site for a new urban agriculture initiative. Reporter Mike Koozmin writes:
San Francisco residents four years ago called for more urban agriculture space in The City, prompting a pilot program that is now beginning to bear fruit.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission announced Tuesday that a new garden site is expected to open this summer in Bernal Heights and another site in Crocker-Amazon could be built out late next year. A planned community garden in Bayview-Hunters Point at the Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant was scrapped and instead gardening supplies were offered there and other locations.
Urban agriculture supporters in San Francisco have long looked to the SFPUC to show more leadership on the issue given its vast open-space portfolio.
Interest in the cultivation of land by residents is evident by at least one measurement. Last year, there were 750 people on a waiting list to use community gardens in the Recreation and Park Department’s portfolio. The department oversees 38 community gardens, which average about a quarter of an acre in size. It also has 33 garden plots and serves 53 gardeners. The SFPUC set timelines for when the Bernal Heights and Crocker-Amazon space will become active agriculture sites. The sites were selected in 2012 for an urban agriculture pilot program, which relates to broader issues of food security and climate change.
The College Hill Learning Garden in Bernal Heights is out for competitive bidding and is expected to become operational in the summer. In partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District, the 6,000-square-foot site will provide lessons for kindergarteners through fifth-graders. The site will include a bioinfiltration basin, rain gardens, green roofs and a composting toilet.
IMAGE: Google Earth
Sorry, pre-literate Bernal kids. The big sign in front of the Precita Park Playground says the playground will be closed beginning today, February 17, until March 6.
That’s a long time! So what’s the fuss all about?
Neighbor Demece, the hgh priestess of the dashingly effective Prectia Valley Neighbors group, says it’ll be worth the wait:
The Childrens’ Playground is finally getting repainted and repaired! For the next three weeks from 2/17 – 3/6, the Recreation and Parks Department has listened to our requests and has closed the Children’s Playground so they can do their much appreciated painting and repair magic.
Please visit Garfield Playground in the meantime or the many other fantastic parks we are so lucky to enjoy!
PHOTO: Precita Park Playground, Feb 16, 2015 by Telstar Logistics. Hat tip: Neighbor Linda
While doing some digital archaeology on an old hard drive recently, I re-discovered an image I took during a very rainy day at the corner of Cesar Chavez Boulevard and Shotwell on February 25, 2004 — almost exactly 11 years ago. Since it’s raining today, this seems like a good time to look back.
Of course, the 2004 image was captured a decade before the installation of all the sexy infrastructure upgrades that gave us a brand new sewer main beneath Cesar Chavez, as well as a tropical-themed median strip. But on that wet February morning in 2004, the old Army Street sewer pipes were overwhelmed, filling the street with so much riverine water that the old concrete medians were completely submerged.
I crossed Cesar Chavez in four-wheel-drive on that day — nervously but successfully.
Later that morning, when I showed my photo to a graphic designer I worked with at the time, she decided to have some fun with the image. Let the Cesar Chavez Surf Competition Begin!
PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics