Doyle Drive -- Comment Period Open

The comment period for Doyle Drive is now open, and closes March 1st. More details here. SFLCV supports the parkway option with some caveats.

For a quick background, Doyle Drive is the stretch of road that connects the Marina to the Golden Gate Bridge. The current structure is 70 years old, and is considered seismically unsound, as well as no longer meeting highway standards. This project is now ending phase 2. Phase 3, design is slated to last through 2008, with construction starting 2009 and ending 2012(?). Costs for the various proposed designs and variations (details on their website) range from ~500-750 million dollars (with roughly a third apportioned to each city, state and federal authorities).

I attended the public comments in the Presidio. A good percentage of the speakers were opposed to the Parkway option on account of the buildings it would cause to be removed. Most requested additional time for the comment period, and the desire to see a parkway option that was less damaging to the historic nature of the Presidio.

Some of the local neighbors disbelieved the traffic studies for the parkway option. I was puzzled that some felt the non-parkway option was the more beautiful option, until I realized their viewpoint was that of a car driver rather than someone in the park. Other neighbors were adamantly opposed to a parkway design option that would remove the YMCA pool building.

Various enviros spoke in favor of the parkway option, as did SPUR, all with (naturally) a few caveats for further study.

One member of the community, a victim of head on collision on Doyle Dr, spoke eloquently about just needing to get on with it, that enough people have died.

You can submit your own comments here.

Clean and Green City Summit

The Clean and Green City Summit was an interesting event. Looking back on it, I'm not quite sure what it accomplished -- other than the obvious networking potential. It started off a little odd, with a clown group trying to poke fun at the whole effort, with only occassional success. The Mayor gave a decent speech, supervisors gave awards to worthies in the community. I attended workshops on Community Benefit Districts, and one on how to keep plazas attractive. The former was more practical, with two community leaders sharing there own experiences of starting a CBD (and the many challenges that lie therein). The most inspirational thing from the whole day, was the presenter representing Mayor Daly's office and showing off what the city of Chicago has done and is planning to do. As one member of our city government exclaimed, "we have a lot of work to do!"

Celebrate Our Urban Environment - Save the Date (3/20/2006)

We'll be holding a fundraiser on March 20th, at 111 Minna in San Francisco. This is out FIRST "I Love San Francisco: Celebrating Our Urban Environment" Fundraiser. CONTEST

Enter our "San Francisco The Beautiful" Contest and you could win an iPod! Just enter an artistic creation (any medium: short story, poem, photograph, video, etc) that represents what you love about San Francisco's urban environment and you could win an iPod Nano - more details to follow!


Please consider sponsoring our fundraiser:

  • Street Steward ($100)
  • Neighborhood Protector ($250)
  • City Champion ($500 and up)

Sponsors will thanked publicly in invitations and at the event.

Again, details to follow. Questions? Please email deep -at -

Checks may be mailed to SFLCV, 937 Valencia St., SF CA 94110-2320

San Francisco Clean and Green City Summit , Wed Feb 15, 2006

This summit features experts on cleaning and greening, interactive workshops, inspirational speakers and a vendor gallery. The Summit is presented by the Mayor's office, DPT, SF Clean City Coalition and the Recreation and Park Department.  The summit will be held on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 at the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30p.m. The summit is free of charge, however, advanced registration is required. Space is limited.

More information here:

There is also an evening event "A Green Valentine with the Mayor" Feb 14th, 5-7pm at the South Light Court of San Francisco City Hall.

Gordon Price of Vancouver and Astrid Haryati will be speaking on "Building a beautiful, safe & sustainable public realm in Vancouver and Chicago."

High Speed Rail and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the U.S.

The Center for Clean Air Policy in LA, and Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago. has produced a report (January 2006) to better understand the some of the potential impact and value of high speed rail in the U.S., in particular the impact on Greenhouse Gas emissions. There models show there could be a signigicant savings depending of course on how many people switched to this mode of travel. They look at proposed high-speed rail corridors throughout the country. They also identify another area of research to better understand the potential benefits of a network as opposed to separate corridors. One of those corridors is, of course, between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

You can read the report here:

"Forgotten Mid-Market"

Tonight, Jan 25th saw the opening of this new exhibit of Mid-Market street photographs, "Forgotten Mid-Market". The photos document some of the history of this section of Market street from the 30s through the 60s, showing bustling streets, huge signs, blinking lights, tons of transit. It's a sad thing to see how far it is fallen. In many pictures, it is hard to see that it IS the same street. Perhaps the one thing this exhibit was missing was modern day comparison photos from the same or similar vantage points. The only concrete similarity is the lampposts have remained the same, almost everything else -- it seems -- has changed.

The question is what are the lessons we can or should draw from this? How much was the construction of BART to blame, versus the 1967 "beautification" law, versus the decline in movie ticket sales, and the failure of theaters on "the Big White Way"?

Most painful of all is to see that Market used to have 4 lanes of transit! One could say of course that much of that moved underground, but how much quicker would the above ground MUNI buses be if that were still the case. Car traffic seems similar to the present, the only other change is that the sidewalks seem larger now. But if there are few people to walk there, what's the point of that!

There is now pressure to turn over Mid-Market to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.

The exhibit is sponsored by the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, photos pulled from private collections, and is showing through February 17, 2006.

Red Ink Studios is at 1035 Market Street (Wed-Sat 12-4, Thu 2-8).

Endangered Species Day (Feb 26 in San Mateo)

Sunday February 26Time: 10 a.m. till 1 p.m.

Light refreshments will be served.

Come join with scientists and conservation organizations to learn about endangered species in San Mateo County.

Where: At Woodside Town Hall near the corner or Woodside Road and Whisky Hill Road.

What: Endangered Species Lecture and Field Trip. Sequoia Audubon, Friends of Edgewood Natural Preserve and California Audubon host a lecture and field trip to learn about endangered species in San Mateo County. Ask local experts questions and share insights about the possible changes to the Endangered Species Act. Then come along on a field trip to Edgewood Natural Preserve to observe critical habits first hand. Learn about what you can do. Where: At Woodside Town Hall near the corner or Woodside Road and Whisky Hill Road. With a field trip to follow the presentation at Edgewood Natural PreserveSpeakers will include:

  • Julia Bott, Executive Director the San Mateo County Parks and Recreation Foundation
  • Sarah Matsomoto, Field Director, Endangered Species Coalition
  • Claudia Eyzaguirre, Chapter Coordinator for California Audubon
  • Lee Franks, Founder/Program Director Sequoia Audubon Bird Conservation Program
  • Stuart B. Weiss Ph.D., Consulting Ecologist, Creekside Center for Earth Observations
  • Toni Corelli, Rare Plants Member at Large, California Native Plant Society

Why: After 30 years of serving as the safety net for wild birds, plants and animals on the brink of extinction, the Endangered Species Act is under attack. What is at stake in our community? Learn about the importance of the ESA and what you can do to help prevent extinction.

For more information contact

Friends of Edgewood Natural Preserve (866) GO-EDGEWOOD or 

Sequoia Audubon Society (650) 529-1454 or