This past Saturday, the neighbors who banded together to turn a great swath of concrete into something a bit more inviting and interesting passed a milestone in their quest to make things a bit nicer here in our neighborhood. One of our Guest Bloggers covered this earlier in the year, and as I happen to live on said block, have been watching its progress since then.
After only a couple of weeks of concrete cutting and debris removal, they planted native species plants, trees and other refinements that turned an ordinary street into something everyone can enjoy.
What’s most amazing to me was that this wasn’t something that some bureaucrat came up with in a rare moment of brilliance. Instead this was a project that the neighbors came up with, organized together, applied for the permits and grants together, and shared in the work to fill in the empty spaces one grey Saturday afternoon. The result is that it was much easier to do all the work at once, as part of a unified plan, instead of having each person have to go through all the steps alone.
We live in a city that has many problems, and it’s all too easy to simply dash off annoying comments on SFGate.com and give up, but nothing ever changed that way. Here you have one of what I’m finding are many examples of people in an area deciding they’d like something better, and finding a way to make it happen, instead of waiting for City Hall to do something. (The folks who live at Judah and La Playa have a similar plan for that area, but I can’t find the link just yet).
Anyway, here’s some more pictures from Saturday. The point of all this isn’t that one street is better than the others – instead it should be that there are ways to make things happen, and any street in this neighborhood, or anywhere in the City, can make the choice to clean things up and make things a little better, without having to wait for City Hall to get its act together.
Amazingly, I happened upon the scene – it was really wonderful to see all the planting activity!
Now if we could just do something about the idiot motorists who insist on using 8th Avenue as their no-speed-limit cut-through, we’d have paradise…
@Micheal: TOTALLY! I’m just amazed at how people step on the gas and blast through there like they’re at the Indy 500 and then screech to a stop at the stop signs….a little speed bump sure would be fun.
Yes I used to have the same complaint when I lived on 8th Ave! The problem is people who figure out they can turn left off Lincoln at 8th but not 9th use that as their default left turn and treat 8th like it’s 7th (a speedway.) Your next block improvement project should be traffic circles! 🙂
I can already tell these landscape patches are going to be very popular with the neighborhood dog-walking population. Let it be said that the dark haired girl walking the border collie ALWAYS PICKS UP AFTER THE DOG LIKE A RESPONSIBLE NEIGHBOR SHOULD, AHEM.
@megan: argh my own blog ate my comment…anyway, I wouldn’t mind some speed bumps or something – some of those drivers are really scary.
overall this is a nice improvement to the street. it’s unfortunate we have so many curb cuts on one side of the street (for all the garages) that it was not easy to do the same on our side, but I’m just happy with what we have and am proud of my neighbors for working hard on this project!
You must live in the same building as me!
The work has improved the street, but the stone cutting noise was driving me a bit crazy!
We are just down the block as well, on the other side of the street. Kudos to our neighbors for organizing and following through on these local improvements.