In the January and February, 2015 issues of the Voice, we reported on the Panhandle Improvement Project, a coalition that includes HANC, NOPNA (North of the Panhandle Neighborhood Association) and PRO-SF (Panhandle Resident’s Organization / Stanyan-Fulton). The coalition held community meetings to design improvements to the Panhandle and to apply for a Community Opportunity Fund Grant. Although it did not succeed in obtaining a grant, it has continued to meet and advocate for improvements to the Panhandle.
The project to improve the Panhandle was defined with four components: 1) Increase of nighttime lighting by adding lampposts and replacing incandescent bulbs with LED lighting; 2) Addition of signs along the Panhandle paths, for park identity, way-finding, and bike and pedestrian rules of use; 3) Additional amenities, including benches, waste bins, bike racks, and water taps, and 4) Full replacement and enhancement of the south pedestrian path. Component 1 (lighting) was completed in October, 2015. Components 2 and 3 (signs and amenities), together considered phase 2 of the project, is now expected to break ground in early October, and the target for completion is within 60 days. Component 4 (considered phase 3 of the project), replacement and enhancement of the pedestrian path, has been planned, but is still on hold pending funding.
Potential funding sources for the pedestrian path include future Rec and Park budgets (general fund, Prop B set-aside, and supervisor add-ons), PUC irrigation grants (as part of the project to use recycled water in Golden Gate Park), and private donations. The coalition is planning to apply to the Parks Alliance to be its fiscal sponsor. This requires a more formal structure, including the adoption of bylaws. The coalition has tentatively adopted the name “Friends of Panhandle Park” and is developing a website, for the dual purpose of fundraising and of providing information about the project and about the Panhandle.
We will have an update on this project, on the planned renovations to the Panhandle playground, and on the recycled water project at our next general meeting on September 8.