The Mission Streetscape Plan held its fifth workshop Wednesday at the Women’s Building to update the community on the Mission Streetscape Plan and discuss priority projects, including a well-received proposal for a Thursday night market on Bartlett between 21st and 22nd streets. Officials also gave an update on Dolores Park.
Drawings for the playground at Dolores Park are 75 percent complete and construction on the 10-month undertaking is estimated to begin in October. Design meetings for other Dolores Park improvements will begin over the summer. Planning officials dismissed earlier statements that the park would be closed during the second phase of construction.
“Seventy-five percent of the construction is revamping the irrigation system,” said Jake Gilchrist of the Recreation and Parks department. “So it will not be visibly noticeable.”
The proposed Mission Community Market on Bartlett near 22nd Street would feature a farmers market and vendor slots for emerging food businesses, street musicians, outdoor seating, art displays and after school activities for children.
“The challenge is not necessarily finding interest but getting the logistics in mind and finding funding,” said Jeremy Shaw, an urban planner who lives a block away from the proposed site and presented his ideas at the meeting.
“I’m going to volunteer with the community market,” said city arborist James Devinny, who attended the meeting out of personal interest. “I’ve never heard of it before. It’s close to my house and I love the idea of an outdoor evening market. It’s such a fun atmosphere when the weather’s nice.”
Paul Geffner, owner of Escape from New York Pizza, said his business, Revolution Café and Lolo, both nearby on 22nd Street, will hold a fundraiser during the June 20 Sunday Streets event in the Mission. The audience cheered when he announced that the proceeds will be donated to this project.
The workshop also discussed proposals to reduce the number of lanes on Folsom and Bryant streets.
Nearly four dozen people attended the meeting, including members of the Planning Department, Parks and Recreation Department, the Municipal Transportation Agency and Bay Area Rapid Transit, as well as neighbors who are interested in the projects.
“We’ve had amazing community involvement and we don’t want people to think [the plans] have disappeared,” said key organizer and Planning Department member Amnon Ben-Pazi, referring to the eight-month period since the last community workshop.
The grant for the Mission Streetscape Plan will end in June, and one of the objectives Wednesday night was to get community members involved in the projects, said Ilaria Salvadori of the Planning Department.
“I’m hoping the community will take on the different projects and push them forward,” said Salvadori, manager of the Mission Streetscape Plan.
Various ideas for the use of extra space created by fewer lanes on Bryant and Folsom streets were proposed, including the building of a median to make the street more pleasant, a green gutter, wider sidewalks, the installation of bus zones so stopped buses would be out of the way of traffic and the construction of bulbouts on street corners. The idea of perpendicular parking to narrow the roadway was also added to the Bryant Street suggestions.
Many community members stressed the importance of using the extra space for bike lanes, reasoning that bike lanes would be more useful than medians.
The Bryant Street project currently has $75,000 to spend, which is enough to renovate one block, said meeting organizer Adam Varat. The project is looking to renovate four blocks.
The other priority projects discussed included the proposed park on 17th and Folsom streets, a plaza at the 24th Street BART to transform it into a ‘living room for the community,” and updates on the Mission Playground.
The Mission Playground renovation plan is now 95 percent complete. The playground’s biggest feature is a low three and a half foot fence covered in art.
The next step for the Mission Streetscape Plan is to draft a formal plan describing the vision, policies, design, and framework of the specific projects and go through an environmental review, said Varat, a member of the Planning Department. All of the projects within this plan are going to have a life of their own.
“These are exciting meetings to find out new stuff, find challenges and opportunities and lend some thoughts,” said Rob Thomson, an architectural preservationist in the Presidio who has been involved in the Bryant Street project. “There’s a lot of potential in the Mission and it’s clear that we’re suffering from planning during the automobile era.”