Carmen Chu Newsletter for July and August 2011
July marks the month when the Board of Supervisors adopts the City’s spending plan for the new fiscal year. As the Chair of the Budget Committee, I spent the months leading up to July meeting with many community members and organizations, and listened to their concerns as we worked to close a $306 million budget deficit. As each year in recent times has proven true, balancing the City’s budget is no easy endeavor as we strive to preserve important services for our residents while maintaining fiscal responsibility. As Budget Chair, I have made it a priority to foster a fair and transparent budget process and to produce a budget that will ensure financial viability for our city in future years. I would like to thank everyone who provided their feedback during this process, whether it was through attending a budget town hall meeting in the neighborhood, contacting our office directly, or by speaking in front of the Budget Committee at City Hall.
Pedestrian Safety Improvements
Those of you who frequent our local Java Beach Café or live near La Playa and Judah Street may have noticed a few changes to the intersection recently. The intersection is a unique one in our city, where a two-car Muni Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) is often parked in the middle of the street. This situation has contributed to safety hazards for pedestrians, bikers and drivers. I worked with neighbors through a series of community meetings to discuss ideas for improving safety at the intersection, and we explored alternatives such as relocating the rest area for the N-Judah train and installing crosswalks with flashing lights when pedestrians are in the intersection. What resulted were ideas for initial improvements we could make, given limits in resources and feasible ideas.
Thanks to the generosity of two companies who decided to contribute during these tough economic times and the Department of Public Works, we were able to make two improvements to the intersection. Flint Trading and Chrisp Company donated supplies and labor to create a high-visibility pedestrian crosswalk in front of Java Beach Café. The in-laid brick pattern within the reflective crosswalk provides drivers a more clear delineation of a pedestrian’s path of travel. Additionally, next to the median area by the newly created La Playa Park (south west of intersection), the Department of Public Works installed two large planter boxes to prevent vehicles from squeezing by and making dangerous maneuvers when an N-Judah train is parked in the intersection. We hope to build upon these changes over time to improve safety for everyone.
Throughout the years, our office has pursued many pedestrian safety improvements for our district. These have included the installation of median gardens at Yorba Street and 35th & 36th Ave, speed radar signs, newly striped crosswalks by schools, and traffic medians along Noriega Street. Coming soon, there will be a change in the driving speed limit around all schools in the City. A new policy was passed by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, which requires the driving speed to be 15 mph around all school areas in San Francisco. Signs will be installed around schools in two phases in July and March.
South Sunset Playground Mural and Mosaic Project
Thanks to Sunset District artist Renee McKenna for taking the lead on the South Sunset Playground community art project! Renee has already beautified walls at Playmates Preschool and St. Gabriel School, and has taken on the South Sunset Playground as her next challenge.
This project will have three components: a mosaic tile design of nature and animals, a collage mosaic of found or donated toys and kid related objects, and a mural of the word “PLAY” written in the many languages of the families who use South Sunset Playground. She needs your support and creativity to make this happen. If you would like to participate with this fun community project, contact our office at 415-554-7460 or Renee at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Carmen Chu’s website to see the full newsletter.