May 14, 2010

Noe Valley Plaza: No News Is No News

We just received the latest update from Andres Power. Short version:
  • Nothing has been decided vis-a-vis a plaza on Noe Street.
  • The SF Planning Department doesn't know how to please the "broadest possible cross section of the Noe Valley community" so the next community meeting has been pushed back to sometime in June.
  • "...temporary trial closure of Noe Street" appears five times.
  • Likely upshot: no new public spaces--plaza or parklet--will be installed before the rains return.
Full text:
Dear Noe Valley Neighbors:

As you recall, we held a community workshop on April 8th to discuss with the Noe Valley neighborhood for the first time possible improvements to the neighborhood’s public realm, including the idea of a temporary trial closure of Noe Street at 24th Street. Those who attended expressed heartfelt concerns both for and against the idea of a temporary trial closure of Noe Street. Participants also suggested a number of other ideas for thinking anew about improving the public realm along 24th Street. We respect the views of all who have expressed them, and appreciate the participation of all.

Many at the community workshop expressed very enthusiastic support for a temporary trial closure of Noe Street. But just as many others expressed strong concern and even opposition to the idea. We committed at the workshop to consider all views, to conduct a few studies, to bring us all back together to discuss what we heard, to explore new ideas and suggestions that came from the workshop, and to talk about some possible options for moving forward that would be acceptable to the broadest possible cross section of the Noe Valley community.

Even exploring the idea of a temporary trial closure of Noe Street has been very disturbing to some in the community, when its purpose was to test an idea that would bring the community together. Especially in the face of this sensitivity, we want to reiterate our commitment to taking a reasoned and tempered approach to seeing if there can be consensus behind the idea of a temporary trial closure of Noe Street or some other street in the neighborhood. Based on the comments we heard at the workshop, we also believe t it would be prudent to explore the idea of installing test “parklets” – the temporary repurposing of a few on-street parking spaces – in one or more locations along 24th Street.

We’d like to discuss and explore these ideas at our next community workshop, which we now propose be held in early to mid June. We’ll let you know when the date for that community workshop has been set.

Again, we respect and appreciate the views of all, and look forward to earnest discussions about ways of improving Noe Valley for everyone. We thank you for your patience as we explore community interests and concerns about the best way to move forward.


Andres Power
SF Planning Department


Anonymous said...

Oh boy....."community workshops" ???? The next one looks more to be a "community skirmish" based on all the comments that, I am sure, will follow. Good luck, Noe Valley, on this one.

Anonymous said...

>>doesn't know how to please the "broadest possible cross section of the Noe Valley community"

Doesn't know how to please the broadest cross section, or doesn't know how to determine which cross section is broadest, or just doesn't want to find out which side is broadest?

To the rational mind, pleasing the broadest cross section simply involves doing what they want done.

This is starting to stink of avoidance by the higher ups...

Carrie said...

I agree with Anon, this statement is Bevan unwilling to take a stance on this issue and sending Andres out in front of him to take the fall.

Is it that tough for our elected representative to say "I've heard from both sides and looked at the Planning Department's information, and I (support/oppose) a temporary closure of Noe Street"?

What a disappointment. If Bevan had voiced an opinion, ANY opinion, I would have had greater respect for him for the way he handled this than I do today.

cr said...

Shout out to Scott Wiener, candidate for District 8 supervisor, who has said exactly that: He's listened to both sides, looked at the facts, and he supports a plaza trial as the consensus solution.

As opposed to Rafael Mandelman, who showed up to the community meeting and joked about hiding behind a pillar to avoid having to make a tough call.

And Rebecca Prozan, who showed up late to the community meeting and left early, with no public comment.

rocky's dad said...

The planning department is taking the right approach. Community workshops are part of the logical process for projects like this one that can and will affect a large majority of local residents.

By the way: to the plaza supporters. What's your hurry? What's your rush to get this slammed down our throats without due process?

Perhaps before we have adequate time to work thru all the issues? To those newbies here to Noe Valley. Things take time here in SF. Get used to it.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it, the planning department has no approach, or is being overruled by those unwilling to allow that approach to run its course.

Due process had been established. Now there isn't any process at all.

If you call that a success, just wait until you're on the other side of a vanishing process next time around.

Sadly, I am getting used to it. Not that my desire for transparency fades with each transgression.