Changes Coming for Masonic, Oak, Fell, and Haight Streets

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November at HANC

Join us at our general meeting on Thursday, November 8, beginning at 7:00 pm, at the Park Branch Library, 1833 Page Street, as we discuss the changes coming for Masonic, Oak, Fell, and Haight Streets.

2013 will be year of significant changes for the major streets in our neighborhood.  Oak and Fell Streets are slated to have new bulb outs, medians and a bike lane. On September 18th the MTA approved a series of bulb outs and a raised median strip for Masonic from Geary to Fell. Work is expected to be well underway by next year.

Last month Supervisor Olague and the Planning Department announced a year long planning process for Haight Street, officially called the “ Haight Ashbury Public Realm Plan”. The year long planning process was set in motion by the two year old Haight Ashbury Merchants Association (HAMA), led by Christin Evans, who came up with some concepts to make Haight Street more compelling to the neighborhood's residents.

With all of this in motion HANC has asked James Shahamiri from the MTA and Alexis Smith from the Planning Department to present as well as Ms. Evans from HAMA.

How these three efforts will fit together and work for the residents and businesses of the Haight Ashbury is of keen interest. There seems to be a rather large “gap.” for example, in the Masonic street plan which ends at Fell while major issues of car, bicycle, pedestrian and transit connections and conflicts at Haight and Masonic goes unaddressed. Moreover, how the Planning Department enforces existing codes and policies on Haight Street has come under criticism from HANC, with the violation of permit requirements occurring at Whole Foods, which is now using Page and Haight Streets for unloading large trucks when such use was banned by their permit.

Haight Street is officially designated as a “neighborhood shopping district” yet tens of thousands visitors from the world come each year. It is also a “transit preferential street” in formal plans, yet cars, trucks and bicycles conflict with buses and pedestrians on a daily basis. Finally, Haight Street has more homes than shops and is a residential street as well as a commercial street. How these multi-uses are merged with what physical “improvements” are no simple matter and if all of us are to benefit, it must be done with all of our participation. So please come, Thursday, November 8 at 7 PM at 1833 Page street.

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