June 2016 at HANC: Better Transportation Through Smarter Thinking

  • PDF

The focus of HANC’s June 2016 meeting was an examination of what real change in transportation might look like for the Haight Ashbury and for our city more broadly. HANC’s guide for this exploration was Jason Henderson, a professor of geography at San Francisco State University.

Our journey started at the global level. As other countries plan for prosperity and mobility we cannot afford the environmental cost of them emulating the US love affair with the automobile. The US has 0.786 vehicles per person, more than 10 times the rate in China, which is already experiencing gridlock and alarming pollution. Both the US and developing countries need transportation solutions beyond the personal automobile.

Partly because of its urban nature, the Haight Ashbury already has a low rate of car ownership at 0.48 vehicles per capita, close to San Francisco’s average of 0.47, and more frugal than the auto-besotted Marina at 0.65. 3,360 households in the Haight have no vehicle at all; that’s 41% of renters, but just 9% of homeowners.

A common measure of car use for urban planning is daily vehicle miles travelled (VMT). In San Francisco, this rises pretty evenly from a low of 1-3 VMT among downtown residents, to a high of around 45 VMT along the San Mateo county line and near Ocean Beach. The Haight comes in at a little under 20 VMT, which like much of San Francisco is driven greatly by people commuting to jobs outside the city.


Last Month at HANC: March Meet Sounds Positive Note for Homeless Youth

  • PDF

With presentations by Leah Filler of Lava Mae and Christian Calinsky of Taking It to the Streets (T2S), and additional input from Shira Noel, Homeless Youth Alliance, and Matt Bartek of Larkin Street Youth Services, those braving a rainy evening to attend the March general meeting got a real education on some services that are making a difference for homeless youth in our neighborhood.

Lava Mae is a bus-based movable shower/bathroom facility built into old MUNI buses. The first destination close to the Haight Ashbury is to be on the sidewalk outside the DMV building on Baker Street across from the Panhandle. It should begin operation in a couple of weeks, with a once-a-week schedule. The buses are staffed, to monitor usage, with each user allowed 15-20 minutes of private time to bathe. Each shower unit (there are two on each bus) is serviced with current technological appliances (like electronic water managers) and is cleaned thoroughly after each use. For more information on the program, visit Lava Mae’s website at and consider donating to this innovative and impressive effort.


January at HANC: Members Oppose Mayor Lee’s “Developers s Density Plan” and Support Community Planning

  • PDF

By Calvin Welch, Housing and Land Use Member, HANC Board

Some 90 folks turned out at HANC’s January meeting on Mayor Lee’s proposed (and wildly misnamed) “Affordable Housing Density Program.”  They heard Dean Preston and Gus Hernandez of the “Affordable Divisadero” Coalition (of which HANC is a member) present the “Affordable Divis Plan,” a community based alternative to Supervisor Breed's massive “up zoning” of Divisadero street last year. Unlike Breed's original plan, the community plan couples density increases with a requirement of 50% of the units being affordable to residents earning area median income and below. The plan also calls for developers paying for MUNI service and other infrastructural costs to meet the demand they generate as well as a ban on demolition of rent controlled units and the displacement of existing merchants.


Last Month at HANC: Effective Approaches to Homelessness

  • PDF

At our November 12th general meeting, HANC once again delivered on its promise to provide information you don’t get anywhere else.  Bevan Dufty described how his job as “Homeless Czar” had helped change the way he saw homeless people.  He described successes with the Navigation Center, but reminded us that it could only help a small number of the over 7,500 (combined general and supplemental youth count) homeless people in San Francisco.  The Navigation Center is a short-term solution, and most have transitioned out and remain housed.  Because of its success, the City plans for more Navigation Centers, but has not determined where they will be or how they will be funded.

Jennifer Friedenbach spoke about how police responses to homelessness cannot address the problem.  The City Jail has replaced General Hospital as housing the most mentally ill homeless.  Even without mental issues, homeless people are stressed about having to do in public--and possibly being cited or arrested—what housed people are able to do privately:  sit, sleep, use the bathroom, wash up.  Both speakers agreed that Pit Stops (staffed portable toilets, which are moved and cleaned every night) and Lava Mae (staffed portable showers) have been positive steps.  Taking It To the Streets has helped some of our “street kids” with housing and employment, and has support from all sides.

HANC members and other neighbors addressed questions to the speakers.   Although there were disagreements, dialogue was respectful and constructive.  At the end of the discussion, HANC members voted to support a Navigation Center in our neighborhood.

Earlier in the evening, HANC members elected the HANC Board for the next year.  The new Board list can be found at

September at HANC: A Visit With Captain Sanford

  • PDF

By Bruce Wolfe, HANC Vice President

At our September 10th meeting, Captain John Sanford, Jr., the new Park Station Commanding Officer, joined us. A calm guy presented his vision of policing for our neighborhood. He explained the recent roadway traps focusing on bicycle riders, that got plenty of press, was to help protect pedestrians and reduce dangerous altercations with motorists. He received a lot of complaints about bikers and since there is law about bike riding on open roadways, specifically, rolling stops at traffic control devices and signage, he felt it prudent to monitor and then act if the issue was credible. It appeared it was.


You are here: Meetings