March 21, 2010

Pocket Park Protests: Don't Block Noe

Not everyone is happy about the new parklet/plaza proposed for Noe @ 24th. This anonymous note arrived in our email this week:
Currently, the planning commission is in the works to create a pocket park that would barricade Noe & 24th Street. All the residents of that block are staunchly against it, yet there is no voting. This is something that came through the Mayor's office. A barricade on the corner of 24th and Noe is something that would effect the whole retail area. It would cause a huge bottle neck at 24th & Sanchez and make traveling through the shopping district more of a nightmare than usual on weekends and mornings. The proposed budget is $50,000.00. Surely Bevan Dufty and the Mayor's office can do something more efficient with our tax dollars than build a pocket park, in a part of town that is already beautified with plenty of outdoor space. The park isn't even what the 24th and Noe residents are opposed to, it's the fact that Noe and 24th will become a dead-end street. It's the fact that a planner came to tell us all about the park. We all opposed unanimously, yet they still have plans to go ahead and continue the process of planning. This is sure to be a traffic nightmare for the neighborhood. Fine, give us a park, but why not do it at the old Rite Aid parking lot?
In case you're wondering about that last point, the parking lot between Le Zinc and Radio Shack is actually a gift from the late Harry Aleo, Noe Valley's most outspoken Republican. From the Noe Valley Voice obituary of Aleo:
One of Aleo's biggest contributions to the neighborhood was the municipal parking lot on 24th Street. When the old Alta Mira movie theater came up for sale in the early 1960s, Aleo encouraged the Merchants Association to buy the building and turn the property into a badly needed parking lot... The association did not have the money, so Aleo bought it with his own funds in the association's name. He then sold the property to the city under the condition that the city turn the land into a municipal lot.
Want more info? Send an email to info@noevalleyassociation.org. The plan is to have a decision soon enough to open the space (or not) by June 21.

[NVSF: New Street-side Plaza for Noe]
[NVV: Neighborhood Won't Be the Same Without Harry Aleo]
[
NVSF: Community Meeting Minutes: Let the Free Market Work]
[Image: Castro @ Clipper]

49 comments:

John C said...

This is the same thing that happens everywhere. The neighbors are completely against the new park, but after it's build, the community will love it and it will become a focal spot for the neighborhood.

Check out 17th & Sanchez for to see the same pattern a year later. Would you really want to roll that back to the way it used to be? Do you think 24th & Noe is any different?

murphstahoe said...

I'm amazed that the residents of that block would be against it. One of the biggest additions to valuation of real estate is a lack of through traffic (cars) past one's abode. A quieter house is a happier house. I would have suspected that the residents of Castro and Sanchez would be the opponents, not the people on Noe, because they would see increased car traffic in theory.

24th and Noe is hardly a place people zip through at any time of day due to the pedestrians at the intersection. It's quite a dance to watch the various cars wait out a pedestrian on one side of 24th, have a car going down 24th take their turn, and the car is now blocked by a pedestrian on the opposite side of 24th (frequently cars will gridlock the intersection).

One could argue that if the traffic is diverted to Castro which is controlled by a traffic signal, that overall traffic flow in the neighborhood would be *better*, not worse.

Removal of through traffic at that intersection will make the pedestrian experience on 24th St *substantially* better, which is good for business, which is good for the neighborhood.

While it may seem to the casual observer that 17th was not a key arterial, the primary objection to it was traffic, and the objectors now love it. 17th isn't even the largest scale example - they closed off BROADWAY (in Times Square!) in New York and it's been a huge hit.

And if everyone hates it - it's just a trial.

Given that the note was anonymous, I'm bettting on this being a couple of cranks, not some massive uprising.

laney said...

It's really a bad idea. The pocket park-- fine. Blocking the intersection of 24th & Noe-- horrible idea. This will cause traffic issues on Jersey as well as Sanchez. This area is congested enough. Closing off a major thoroughfare is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Cars leaving the Whole Foods parking lot are required to turn right onto 24th Street towards Noe. All of us who live south or southeast of WF will have to drive up to Castro and wait for the light to turn left to get home, instead of turning left at Noe as we do now. I can imagine traffic backing up there at times when only 1 or 2 cars can get through the light due to oncoming traffic. I think closing off Noe at 24th is a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

.... or let us turn left onto 24th Street from the WF parking lot. Why can't cars turn left out of the parking lot?

Matt said...

I live on the block of Noe where this is proposed. As I understand it, the proposed park would extend 60 feet south of 24th Street - the portion of the street that is part of the Noe Valley Association Community Benefit District. A 20 foot wide portion will be left open for emergency vehicles to pass through. The park will consist of planters and other temporary street furniture that cut off the street and provide 'park.'

(The original urban ecology plan was to provide a set of bulb-outs at the intersection - infilling parking spaces adjacent to the corners. However, this required moving the sewers and other difficulties which made it prohibitively expensive. Meanwhile the CBD installed large planters and newspaper stands.)

If you don't live right here you might not notice that Starbucks & Toast have a whole slew of garbage and recycling bins. These are collected nearly every day at least a half hour apart. At like 6 and 6:30am. Their deliveries start at 7am and earlier and go past 10pm … when a refrigerated 18-wheeler shows up with Starbucks deliveries and double parks for an hour. (They have just recently agreed to shut of the refrigeration unit while they are parked.) 10-15 delivery trucks stop along here every day.

We work things out with the merchants as we can. We like where we live - we chose to live here and with the noise that comes with that.

We live with the constant cars the drop by for a cup of coffee at starbucks that double park or block our driveways. We get our share of the boisterous patrons leaving the bars around the corner.

But this plan pushes these activities further down in front of our houses. It amplifies the issues we've been trying to mitigate. And it attracts new ones. It's a city of small houses - and you might surprised at how many of the front windows here are bedroom windows.

Part of the idea is that traffic would be calmed - indeed its amazing that cars and pedestrians do as well as they do at avoiding each other. But that's many intersections along 24th - this will probably increase the amount of traffic at the Sanchez intersection as well as up and down Elizabeth and Jersey Streets.

The other Pavement to Parks sites so far have addressed what we already difficult and dangerous intersection. Noe may be busy - but it's not triangular or complicated.

The CBD has done a lot for 24th Street - and I appreciate that. But I think that the large planters out there ought to be rethought first. The sidewalks along Noe are wide - nearly 20 feet. And the planters seem to maximize dirt while providing little in the way of green or even pleasant space. These spaces have in fact always acted as 'neighborhood hubs,' but not as much as they did before the planters and the newsstands.

Of course "it's not a done deal" to quote the CBD's faq - but it's also supposed to be designed with community involvement and is targeted to open in 3 months. Debra Niemann (CBD) and Andres Power (planning) have had one meeting with the immediate neighbors - but this was presented as being informal - and not the actual beginning of the P2P process. That's a lot to do in a short time.

The face that there a bunch of thumbs-down Don't Block Noe signs on Noe now reflect our concern at the alacrity with which this is proceeding. We don't want our concerns to be passed over without being considered carefully.

Anonymous said...

I'd think that the delivery trucks and customers would be forced onto 24th Street, not onto the section of Noe that remains open. If even half of them started to do their business on 24th instead of Noe, wouldn't that be a vast *improvement* for you? If the garbage cans HAD to be put out on 24th, wouldn't that be good for you? Try to create a system that would be better for you and still allow the park for the rest of us. Maybe the Noe residents should try and see the good that is possible here.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it has to do necessarily with just the residents of Noe & 24th. That's silly. It will effect 24th Street as a whole, causing traffic jams all throughout.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing all of the comments about vehicular traffic. People, get out of your cars and WALK! or take PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION! I know it's not as comfortable as riding in your Land Rover for two blocks but...

Tyler said...

Man, Harry Aleo would spin in his grave if they turned that parking lot into a park!

I have to side with one of the other posters here who said "get out and walk". Everyone knows it's just foolish to try to drive to 24th, with the possible exception of WF. Smart drivers (if they must drive to Noe) park 3-6 blocks away and walk to 24th. Even smarter drivers don't drive!

Anonymous said...

And, of course as you know, the residents of 24th and Noe don't drive to 24th Street. That's not the issue. And I don't think that anyone is complaining about that. Of course we can't control who does decide to drive to 24th Street though. And, for the residents of that block, its about trying to navigate our way out of the neighborhood and through the neighborhood while so many other people. It's about annoying people parking in our driveways to run into Starbucks. Yes, it happens all day every day. It's horribly annoying. It's about loud drunk people getting out of the bars sitting around our front stoop each night. Not one person who lives on that block is for it. And it's our block. Why not claim your own block for a pocket park if you all think it's such a wonderful idea. And why not turn Aleo's parking lot into a park? What's the big deal? We turned a parking lot into a Farmer's Market. We wouldn't be blocking traffic. We wouldn't be intruding on people's lives. That's strictly commercial. And what's with the "save our parking lot?" if you all are so excited about people not driving, then who the hell cares if it's a parking lot or a park. I thought that people in California always protested Parks being turned into Parking lots, not the opposite. And Aleo did donate it to the city. It is city property. I doubt that he would roll over in his grave if he found out that turning a parking lot into a lovely park for the community of the neighborhood.

Tamagosan said...

...or BIKE!

Traffic will adjust by finding new, more effective routes.

Remember, it's TRANSIT-FIRST, not TRAFFIC-FIRST.

I grew up walking to 24th Street, and will continue to do so. I usually beat people who drive there because it's "faster", due to the parking search.

CharleyZ said...

I appreciate Matt's well-thought and and well-communicated posting...this is a tricky situation, and as Noe Valley residents, I think we should all consider ALL pros and cons, and much of this information (for instance, idling 18 wheelers on Noe) is news to me. In the time since Whole Foods has opened, the traffic patterns in our neighborhood have drastically changed. I, for example, now drive Jersey instead of 24th to get from Church to Castro, and guess what? I sometimes drive a little faster than I should. I have small children, and so I try to be considerate and safe, but a professional traffic planner should be considering changes like this in a greater context of change (maybe making Jersey one-way, or having speed bumps or traffic circles?) rather than in a bubble with no impact.

murphstahoe said...

"or let us turn left onto 24th Street from the WF parking lot. Why can't cars turn left out of the parking lot?"

Some of time the left would be ok. But a frequent scenario is that a car is stopped on 24th St Westbound waiting for someone to leave the Whole Foods to they can pull into the lot. If you are exiting the lot, you see a stopped car to your left, and it's clear to your right. So you turn left. Meanwhile, the 48 bus headed West starts going around the stopped car and pulls into the Eastbound lane because the roadway is clear. Worst case we have an accident, best case we have gridlock.

The right turn only allows the parking lot to empty out quicker so that the cars standing on 24th trying to get into the lot can get into the lot and un-gridlock the street, and is a preventative safety measure. Not only does this apply to crashes with cars on the street, but cars that get stuck trying to turn left from the parking lot into gridlock block the sidewalk for an extended period of time, a danger to pedestrians. Of course that only matters if pedestrian safety is important to you, as opposed to say, having your drive home from Whole Foods shortened from 6 blocks to 5 blocks.

I'm not speaking from authority, but as a frequent observer of that spot, it's my educated guess.

cr said...

Thanks to Matt & the other neighbors for sharing their concerns. It sounds like there are two issues: (1) You don't want the noise from people congregating outside your window; (2) You're wary of traffic impacts from closing Noe.

As far as #1 goes, you have to recognize that this is a core neighborhood in a dense, urban city, and public open space is an undeniable social good -- good for pedestrians, good for the business district, good for residents. Reclaimed streets are even better than reclaimed parking lots. Homeowners everywhere complain about "development," whether it's a new building or a new park. But homeowners everywhere also see their property values go up when a street closes and a park goes in outside their window. That means people like living next to parks. I have some sympathy for you; I've been in your position in similar situations; but I always try to look in the mirror and think about the value to the community as a whole. There's a little NIMBY inside all of us, but it's up to us to shut that NIMBY up and enjoy the fun.

As far as #2, I trust that the city planners know what they're doing. As mentioned above, closing Noe St. may benefit 24th St. traffic by routing traffic onto fewer streets. The main traffic problem right now is cars taking turns at three 4-way stops with heavy pedestrian presence. Whole Foods southbound traffic turning left at Noe is part of the problem. Maybe routing this traffic to Castro (or take three rights turn from WF to Sanchez via Elizabeth) is the right way to go. Maybe the planners are considering a traffic light at 24th & Church or Sanchez. Maybe traffic in front of Whole Foods will flow more smoothly with former Noe St. drivers coming up Sanchez and then turning right instead of left into the parking lot. Who knows? The city planners are professionals. I hope that they hear your concerns, and I trust they will work toward better human flow along 24th St., including pedestrians, bikes, buses, and cars.

Many of the new Pavement to Parks initiatives faced neighbor opposition. All of them have been a resounding success. Give this one a chance.

rocky's dad said...

Don't be so generous with your support toward the city planners. they don't always know what they are doing. just look at the extremely complicated and bureaucratic mess to get a building permit.

cr said...

Rocky's dad,

Duly noted. But I bet they have a better idea of what the traffic impact of closing Noe St. will be than I do (or Mr. Anonymous).

If this parks conversion ends up being a "complicated and bureacratic mess" I would bet it's because of the neighbors, not because of the planning department.

rocky's dad said...

I hope that part of Noe st. does NOT get closed off. Big mistake. Noe is a major street from Noe Valley clear over to Market St.

I feel bad for the residents of Jersey st. if the traffic is re-routed.

We don't need to remove a street to create a parklet. How about using up some of the insanely wide ALL CONCRETE sidewalks running north south at 24th to create for sidewalk landscaping, benches and planting.

Noe Valley has some of the widest sidewalks, lacking trees, in all of the city. Just walk down Noe or Sanchez to 30th. Enjoy the paving.

cr said...

Closing Noe is part of the point. It's a feature not a bug. Traffic is a mess on 24th -- causing an unreliable Bus 48, among other things -- and the best way to fix that is to reduce north-south crossings at stop signs and divert traffic to a signal. Drivers from, say, 30th & Noe should be traveling on Dolores or Guerrero to turn east on Market for downtown or the northeast neighborhoods; or they should be traveling on Castro to head west on 17th St. or continue north on Divisadero. There's no reason for Noe St. to be a thoroughfare to Market Street.

Drivers won't all end up on Jersey, either. Jersey will share the load with 25th and Clipper.

But you don't need to take my word for it, and I don't need to take yours. That's why we have city planners with graduate degrees who make a science out of this stuff. They're not geniuses. But they are experts. And they think this will improve traffic on 24th, not make it worse.

Let's give them a shot at it and not kill the project with NIMNVism.

And yes, the north-south sidewalks in Noe Valley are awesome.

rocky's dad said...

As an architect who deals extensively with the Planning and Building Dept. I can tell you they are not all experts and geniuses..They are largely bureaucrats with guaranteed, cushy jobs who make construction and growth and urban planning in this city very difficult.

I will oppose this project.

Either you are being sarcastic or missed my point about the concrete sidewalk runways along Noe and Sanchez streets, lacking trees and shrubs. Only the Sunset district is worse.

John C said...

It's a common misconception that traffic flows like water; if you close off one route, traffic will get worse elsewhere.

Study after study has shown that this isn't the case. Removing the Embarcadero freeway didn't make traffic worse downtown, just like blocking off 24th & Noe won't make traffic worse in Noe Valley.

http://www.livablestreets.com/streetswiki/induced-demand

Anonymous said...

I agree with a little bit of everyone's comments. I don't think closing off Noe will adversely affect traffic patterns, but at the same time I won't be convinced it's a success until I see a very high number of users from morning until into the evening. If it's like the one on San Jose Ave. then I wouldn't support keeping it permanently. Has anyone ever seen a soul using that "park" at San Jose & Guerrero?

Agree that they could probably create two plazas on both side of the street and still allow traffic to pass through. Perhaps by using speed bumps it would make driving through there less convenient and then the number of cars would by reduced in the end, if that's the goal.

Anonymous said...

I wish people would realize that not everyone CAN "get out and walk."
Try a little empathy and compassion people. You might not always be able to just "get out and walk."

Anonymous said...

I've re-read all of this but call me slow, I still don't understand exactly where said proposed park and street cut would be located.
On 24th in front of what store? or is it on Noe?

Anonymous said...

They are proposing to block Noe St., from the south side of 24th St. to about 60 feet south down Noe.

Texas2SF said...

Any Driver who uses 24th Street as a "Fast Street" in a frustrated driver. I vote for Noe/24th becoming a People Plaza. 24th Street is a driver's nightmare already, so I see this as an improvement! Cars Don't Rule everything in Life, let's take the streets back like at 17th/Castro!
Bravo, Bravo, Bravo.
I'm a nearby resident, and I love this idea!

murphstahoe said...

Long Live Democracy!

At the next D8 Candidate Forum, someone please ask Prozan/Weiner/Mandelman/Hemenger if they support the plaza, publish the reports, and people can vote accordingly. I have a strong suspicion the vote will break 3-1 and you will have found your candidate. If it breaks 4-0, and you still don't like the plaza, you have until August to file your own candidacy.

Anonymous said...

Murphastahoe, there is no vote. If there was, it wouldn't happen. All of the residents. ALL of the residents on 24th Street between Noe & Jersey voted No on this already. If you walk down that block, you will see posters in everyone's windows.
Texas2SF. This is only going to increase traffic on 24th street, not decrease it. 24th will still be open, you just can't cross 24th unless you go down to Sanchez or up to Castro, so it will be more congested than normal.
And, as far as planners being people to trust, that's just untrue. They are products of red tap and beaurocracy and even if they see something that looks amiss, they don't have the veto power. They are simply peons to the city.

rocky's dad said...

thank anon @ 4:03 pm:

that's exactly what I said. we cant trust or rely on the planners. Despite some people here thinking the planners are the "experts" and willing to bow down to them, they do not represent the voice of the people, or the neighborhood.

We should continue to voice our protest to this ridiculous plan and call and email our supervisors to stop this now.

Anonymous said...

This has got to be the most BIZARRE idea i have heard from the city in a long time., ..
Parking is bad enough, and now they are going to create a MAZE to look for parking because a street is blocked off..???????
When the merchants business drops off ill be the first to laugh at them out loud for approving this boondoggle ..
the BLIND lead the BLIND both fall into the pit.
I say NO to the “mini madness park...”
OH maybe we can call it the new “Doggy Dew Depot”[ it certainly would give those little critters a NEW place to make one of their " "deposits" as they have shown at all the other open spaces in Noe Valley as they are tied up and continue to increase the noise level with their yapping as their owners struggle in line for a latte at starbucks, whileother people are driving around the block looking for parking screaming at each other [ in politically correct tones of course] looking to park their vehicles, and hopefully gain a place perhaps in the new “ mini park” to relax for a moment of peace. That is of course till the breezes blow them outta their seats, and they sit there freezing in the afternoon chill, or the morning fog.. ..
Also it will be a WONDERFUL place when the bars will close at 2 AM and all the drunks fall outta the local establishments and sit there and finally have a place to yell at the top of their lungs about their mundane lives, rather than stand in other peoples doorways like they do almost every night. I suppose it would be easier to “ relieve” themselves on a kiosk rather than someone else's doorway for a change

Anonymous said...

As usual there are a bunch of self-righteous posts from people insisting that everyone else should walk, or bike or take public transit because it is better that "driving your range rover 2 blocks" (like anyone does that!). The tedious snobbery of this is really grating -- why can't people realize that those aren't always options for everyone all the time? Why can't you accept that other people have other priorities? Why do try to impose your lifestyle choices on others? I use a wide variety of different transportation options and believe that all should be acomodated. Why can't people at least acknowledge that other people's views have some validity?

Anonymous said...

The idea that somehow "traffic will adjust" and that blocking routes does not cause congestion is just silly and not supported by facts. Sure if you obstruct traffic enough you will get rid of it, but that just means people are no longer going where they want to.
As for the lame slogan "transit first"; it should be noted that it does not say "transit only" -- so please don't use it to ignore your neighbors who may have real concerns. Also, this park would do nothing for transit.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's true. Very few people want this park. Most people I've talked to are opposed to it. It's a pretty dumb idea to turn 24th & Noe into a dead end street. A really dumb idea.

Anonymous said...

I would go much further: CLOSE 24th St for traffic and open the first European-style PEDESTRIAN ZONE!!!
Delivery trucks and the 48 bus would still be allowed, but that's it. This concept works in every single city in Europe.

Anonymous said...

@ANON 12:57 am
I agree! Close the whole street to cars and we will have the most sought after neighborhood in the city! No more complaints about double-wdie strollers, kids riding bikes safely, people getting exercise, etc, etc. My guess is that this park is about all we will get though. I cannot believe people are against the idea of a new public space for kids to play, seniors to sit and watch the 24th Street bustle, and neighbors to catch up with one another. Traffic will adapt- we are all very adaptable creatures believe it or not.

murphstahoe said...

Time will tell. Remember, this is only a trial - they aren't tearing up the pavement and pile driving bollards into the ground. If this causes the traffic, brimstone, hellfire, and socialism that is predicted here, I'll gladly sign the petition to remove it. As for my "vote" commentary, I am certain Bevan Dufty is on board with this - if you don't want "crazy projects" like this in Noe Valley, choose your D8 vote carefully.

To each their own. Given a choice of improving my experience once I get somewhere vs. being able to get there faster, I choose the former. And since like anyone else I don't want to take forever getting somewhere, I live near places I want to go.

My assertion is that business will improve, not tail off, because 24th St will now be a more pleasant place to be. I lived in Boulder Colorado when they shut down the entirety of Pearl Street to cars, which would be exactly the equivalent of shutting down 24th St. There was a big hullaballoo because this was going to be bad for traffic and why on earth would we build a "outdoor street mall" in a place that snows and gets cold, and only 12 blocks away from the big Crossroads Mall (old school interior mall).

Suffice to say Pearl Street is the most expensive retail space in Boulder, and Crossroads Mall no longer exists. This is a town with marginal public transit.

I'm guessing the NV businesses agree. Certainly Orphan Andy's and Mojo aren't complaining nor having a downturn in business.

Anonymous said...

What an amenity and what an opportunity for Noe Valley! I support a car-free plaza space!

Power Princess of Noe Valley said...

What a great idea, I could park my gas guzzling SUV somewhere on church street only ]2 blocks from my house and 2 blocks from 24th street] , then catch the j church avoiding all the angry drivers looking for parking to 24th street ,because of the blocked off street then wander around the mediocre shops, and overpriced restaurants with lousy service for the most part, and of course Shop at whole foods to spend the money that I dont have yet looking like every other stylish yuppie with a disgruntled look on my rubenesque jowls with snotty spoiled kids [ but precious] in tow.
Positively devine my dear!!! how very clever, it will be the WASP envy of every neighborhood in San Francisco I just cant wait to push my “double wide” stroller past all those poor people sitting there in the middle of the street, thinking this is like Europe.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe *everyone* on the block of Noe near 24th opposes a park. I wouldn't love to have a park outside my door (and so would my dogs). Also, if there was a park there, wouldn't that *prevent* cars & trucks from double parking on Noe to grab coffee or make deliveries. AT any rate, people don't "own" the section of street abutting their house, and planners should consider the overall good of the neighborhood, not just one block.

Musical Genius. said...

Dear anon [march24 4:17 pm]
Your right, How can anyone make claim to their block.?
Im a rock musician, and that would be a perfect place on the corner to have a small band shell constructed
, Me and my other musicians can set up a rock group to drown out the unruly noise of barking dogs muni bus’s , skateboarders and the loud mouths of those opposed to culture being brought in ..
It wouldn’t be heavy metal, just a few electric guitars and a good drum set amplified with great subwoffer section that could play randomly all day and everyday.
Maybe we could get the merchants to let us use their electric outlets to amplify the music to . Its what Noe Valley needs “noize from da boyzz”
Down with the selfish yuppies. Its Power for the musical people !!!!
YEAHHHHHHHHHHH

dog lover said...

What a great idea for me to sit and relax with my 3 dogs as I have 2 very aggressive pit bulls and one German Shepard all very people friendly tho and I like to get them out amongst people.
Also It would be cool to see if they could convert those strange garden thingies that look like gravesites on Noe to maybe a “release point” so my dogs can have a place to take a wizz or whatever after our neighborhood walk.
IT would be a great place to tie em up outta the way for a few hours.
Also I talked to my other neighbor who has 4 small dogs, it would be totally cool to stroll out there and park our mutts while we both sit there and just have a cigarette and a little libation outta our own “flasks” and watch the locals go by after our morning walk ..

Anonymous said...

I am glad for an opportunity to comment. I am opposed to this roadblock for the reasons already stated and am very disturbed at how the decision is being made. I am a 12 year resident of Noe and LOVE it here. I go out of my way to shop locally and encourage my friends to frequent the shops here. I do walk, however, when I go to WF I drive because I am up near Duncan. I take the left onto Noe to avoid going another block on 24th with double parked cars, delivery trucks and the difficulty and delay making a left at the Castro light. Noe is also the only convenient street to take when the bus is going up/down Castro in a single file fashion. This will increase traffic congestion and, frankly, I may go out of my way to avoid shopping in my own neighborhood! There must be better areas to build a plaza/park. What about Sanchez or Vicksburg? That said, it is also disturbing for more parking spaces to be lost when this is a key issue.

Anonymous said...

block the street to make a park but restrict ALL commercial traffic to set hours
All commercial traffic means All delivery trucks and vans work trucks and garbage trucks.
Why not go one step further and make the stretch from Castro to Church a pedestrian zone closed to traffic from say 7 am until 8 pm then watch the the cafes and shops and the restaurants and the bars BOOM.
Make it like a European city street.

Anonymous said...

I live on the block of Noe St. between 24th and Elizabeth Sts.

Most of my neighbors and I sure seem to want a park instead of a highway.

See you at the meeting!

Anonymous said...

There is a true park on 24th and Douglass. All those anti-car, get out of your car and walk people should start walking over there. It is green and grassy...a great place for people to gather and kids to play.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised at the recent car count done by the City on Noe St and Elizabeth St. 1900+ cars a day use 24/Noe. About 1200 a day on Elizabeth. This is during a slow economy. I would prefer my block of Elizabeth (400) not become an alternate route due to a parklet blocking Noe St. We already get some of the Google busses. I have lived on this block for 20= years and remember the traffic and parking nightmares of the dot com boom. Blocking Noe is not a good idea.

Anonymous said...

We already get some of the Google busses. I have lived on this block for years and remember the traffic and parking nightmares of the dot com boom.

Don't the Google buses remove those dreaded cars? Or do they run empty?

Anonymous said...

Google buses do not run on the 400 block of Elizabeth Street. They just don't.

The possibility of "dot com" traffic resulting from a public plaza on Noe Street is based on faulty logic and smacks of fear mongering.

murphstahoe said...

I'm not a "dot commer" but I might as well be for this discussion. 99.5% of the time I take Caltrain, but sometimes my wife meets me down there for dinner and drives me home, or I get a ride from someone who wants to use the carpool lane to get to the city.

Standard routing is 101 to Cesar Chavez to Noe to whatever. If Noe is blocked, there is no incentive to go to Noe just to get turned onto Jersey - I'd take Church, but the 100's of South Bay commuters taking Noe to the Castro would take Dolores or Guerrero, removing traffic completely from Noe Valley. Closing this block is likely to produce a large drop in overall traffic in the CBD.

The days of the majority of Glen Park/Noe/Eureka/Diamond Heights residents commuting to downtown are long past - if the complaints about the "dot commers" and "googlers" are to be believed. Deciding how traffic is going to flow based on commute patterns from 1960 while complaining about the people who moved into the neighborhood in 2000 is contradictory.

But logic isn't really a part of this debate, is it? Somehow if the magic traffic engineer fairy dropped an EIR on us that said the plaza would reduce overall traffic on Noe, Jersey, and Elizabeth by 75%, I believe the opponents would still fight it.