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Pavement to Parks – Noe vs the No

April 8, 2010

Tonight at 6:30! Come to 665 Elizabeth St to show your support for the trial plaza at 24th and Noe! Better get there early because it sounds like there will be a crowd.

Whether you can make it or not:

Email Andres Power to show your support.

Email Bevan Dufty to show your support.

In addition to a nice pedestrian plaza, I think it could actually *help* traffic on 24th. Given the congestion, I *already* take Jersey instead –which is exactly what the No Forces claim will happen if the plaza goes in place!

Just try it! You might like it!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2010 10:13 am

    I can’t make it make it tonight. Thanks for the email links.

    Good morning Supervisor Dufty and Mr. Power,

    I’m writing to encourage you to support the trial Noe plaza. I understand you’ve gotten a fair amount of backlash from some immediate neighbors, especially on Jersey and Elizabeth streets.

    Please remember the neighborhood resistance to the Castro plaza. As you know, the feared negative effects did not materialize. It’s now widely recognized to be a great success.

    This is exactly why we need to implement Noe plaza as a trial. We need to observe what effect the plaza has on the neighborhood, and if it’s no good, then we can throw it away. It’s also possible some well-designed changes to Jersey and Elizabeth streets could accommodate the concerns of residents there.

    Mr Dufty, please keep in mind that Noe plaza has quickly turned into a high-profile issue across the San Francisco liveable streets community. There may be 30 or so residents on Jersey and Elizabeth afraid of the trial, but beyond them, the vast majority of residents following the issue want to see the trial move forward. If you were able to broker a solution that accommodated the concerns of those on Jersey and Elizabeth streets without compromising the plaza, it would be seen as a great success city-wide.

    Thanks for your time,

    Michael Fogel

    Cheers all, good luck.

  2. April 9, 2010 1:49 pm

    @carbonxt – Thanks for sending the mail. Sadly our target demographic has a pretty large contigent with busy lives, and the no side has a pretty large contingent with nothing better to do.

    I want to get the 15 year old who spoke last night who says she’s a babysitter to organize babysitting services for the next meeting.

  3. rocky'sdad permalink
    April 9, 2010 3:47 pm

    honestly, John: Can you ever make a comment without getting personal and throwing in a dig about the group who does not agree with you. Seriously, it’s irritating and obscures the real dialogue:

    …”the other side has nothing better to do..” Is that really called for?

    There were lots of opinions on both sides of the issue the other nite at the meeting. I learned a few things, and I listened. Some people made it personal, thankfully most didn’t.

    I’m still opposed to the plaza at Noe and 24th. This is a public street that should remain open to traffic as it has been for many many year. I have offered several visionary ideas about creating a permanent plaza at the two “suburban style” parking lots on 24th St. It’s a long stretch, but who knows? Let’s think OPENLY. I have reiterated those thoughts again to Bevan Dufty and Andres Power. I urged them to keep the dialogue open to other locations for a plaza.

    I urge you to also keep an open mind, keep the dialogue adult and professional and not make it personal.

  4. April 9, 2010 4:31 pm

    here’s what I wrote:

    In support of the plaza at Noe & 24th

    Bevan, Andres,

    Since I will not be able to attend any of the public meetings about the proposed Pavement to Parks plaza at Noe&24, allow me to briefly express my support via email.

    There is a great deal of congestion currently at that intersection. Closing off Noe St on the southern edge of the intersection should improve both pedestrian, bike, and car traffic. By reducing the number of possible car pathways through that intersection from 12 to 6, the resulting traffic flow should be both smoother, more predictable, and significantly safer for both cars, bikes, and pedestrians. (And dogs too!)

    I love the Pavement to Park projects to date. I think the success of plazas like the one at San Jose, 2th, & Guerrero — and especially the one at Castro and 17th — should lend a great deal of credibility to this project. It is certainly worth a try.

    People fear change. But this change could be hugely beneficial to everyone that frequents this location. If it doesn’t work out, how hard will it be to revert to the status quo? And if it does work, 24th street will be a more vibrant community — even more of a destination than it is now.

    Thanks for listening.

    KC Jones
    Bernal Heights resident and frequent Noe Valley visitor

  5. April 9, 2010 7:28 pm

    Rocky’s Dad,

    You are aware that one of the two parking lots on 24th, is privately owned by the church, right? It consists of four commercially zoned lots that front 24th Street and are together valued upwards of $4 million. I’m not saying the city shouldn’t look into purchasing that space, but it’s not public land, and it’s a far cry from the $38,000 trial option on the table.

    The other lot, owned by the city, could be converted into a park, but it would mean the loss of 12 parking spaces (which would be opposed by the merchants and at least as many residents as now oppose the plaza). And it would be an inferior public space, tucked away behind buildings instead of a sweeping open plaza at the heart of the neighborhood.

    It may blow your mind, but most of us in the neighborhood actually do want to sit in the middle of the windy freeway that is Noe St.

    Thanks for coming to the meeting. I didn’t hear any personal attacks coming from the pro-trial side. But there was a fair amount of huffing, puffing, jeering, and occasional slurs from the anti- crowd. Not our neighborhood’s finest hour. I thought people were very disrespectful during John’s presentation.

    We should get together more often in a public forum so that we can be neighbors again. I’ve got an idea! How about a plaza?

    I feel like so many of my neighbors are cars. I’d like my neighbors to be people.

  6. Missionite permalink
    April 10, 2010 10:30 am


    It’s not that the “no” side doesn’t have anything better to do, it’s that they are retired and more able to make it to a meeting without worrying about finding a babysitter or being caught up at a late meeting at work. There was an obvious age divide on this issue.

    I think it is great that you are approaching this with an open mind. How about this: you agree to a trial plaza with the following stipulations to measure success:

    1. Traffic does not increase on Jersey or Elizabeth as a result of the Noe closure.
    2. Litter, noise and homeless encampments do not increase during the 90 day period.
    3. Merchants’ sales do not decrease.

    That would mean that it would only become permanent if there were no negative impacts as judged by the criteria above, which were the complaints at the meeting. Then would you be open-minded enough to try it out for 90 days?

  7. Curmudgeon permalink
    April 12, 2010 10:28 am

    I learned the following.

    Nobody on the Yes side works for the city and stands to gain financially from the plaza implementation.

    An old man had a heart attack in his car at Elizabeth and Noe in the early 1990’s, and at least one person died in the intersection as his car barrelled down into the intersection. Because of this, we need to cancel this trial, no word on if action should be taken to revoke the driver’s licenses of people with heart problems.

    Children are going to die because of this plaza, and there will be blood on Bevan Dufty’s hands.

    Those opposed to the plaza are going to be ONE ISSUE VOTERS because of this plaza. Until the next issue, of course.

    There is an epidemic of double parking at the Starbucks, and has been for some time. This means we should not do a trial. No word on if we can galvanize the same 100 people who showed up to oppose the plaza to show up at an MTA meeting and insist that Nat Ford send DPT agents to crack down on the double parking.

    Drunks from the Bliss Bar pee on people’s stoops and make noise in the parking lot behind Joel Panzer’s house. Apparently a plaza – from which the furniture would be removed at 9 PM, would exacerbate this problem. However, a park next to Radio Shack would not! And it also means that bar patrons going to their cars would not wake up Joel Panzer anymore! Win-win!

  8. smrod15 permalink
    May 4, 2010 6:45 pm

    Not a Noe resident but I live right in FRONT of the Guerrero Plaza, my front door opens onto the plaza itself. I think this gives me a certain insight on what the Noe residents can expect from this proposed “trial” plaza. 1st off, we were told that our plaza was going to be on a trial basis unfortunately not so. The 1st meeting that was actually made public to us so that we could discuss the pros and cons of the plaza ended up being about what we thought of the greenery. No one wanted to talk about any of the issues we were having. Andres and Gillian (the ones spear heading this) say they invited the whole community to other meetings but unfortunately they just posted them on telephone poles and a lot of us don’t really go around reading poles.

    Well it’s been 6 mos. (that’s how long the supposed trial was supposed to be) since this all started and now they’re trying to make it a “park” complete with a play structure. I have 3 girls and trust me they love being able to go to the park but this is NOT a park, it’s a plaza in between two active roads with almost constant traffic.

    Will the Noe residents have the same problems and be lied to as we did? I don’t know all I can say is speak up and make sure it’s something you want and not something that others are trying to force down your throat.

    Good luck.

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