This month, Supervisor Mark Farrell is turning over his column to you, his readers and constituents and neighbors, to answer questions that concern you about the neighborhood and the city at large.
If you would like to submit a question for a future question-and-answer column, please send your questions to [email protected] and include “Supervisor question” in the subject line.
Have there been any developments in the effort to create an earthquake memorial on the Marina Green?
The Marina Earthquake Memorial project is continuing to move forward toward installation. The artists of Merge Conceptual Design are working hard on the final concept to recognize and commemorate the San Francisco Fire Department and their efforts around the Loma Prieta Earthquake that struck the city in 1989 and severely impacted the Marina neighborhood.
The design is expected to be considered at the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Visual Arts Committee in September 2015. Following the Arts Commission, the design will be on public display in the Marina for public comment, with an expected project completion and unveiling in spring 2017.
I truly believe this memorial will be a historical icon and project for the Marina neighborhood. I will be sure to be back in touch to inform the community about the exact date of the public input meetings, so that the the final Marina Earthquake Memorial is a project the whole neighborhood and city can be proud of.
What is being done about the increase in crime? The car break-ins and home burglaries are scary.
While violent crime is down in San Francisco, property crime has seen a staggering increase over the past year that is rightfully causing concern throughout our neighborhoods. With the governor’s recently implemented “realignment” of the state’s prison system, and the recent passage of Prop 47 on last year’s state ballot, more lower-level offenders are out of jails and on our city streets.
I hosted two separate public safety community town halls in the past months with the captains of our district police stations and the district attorney’s neighborhood prosecutors to discuss neighborhood safety best practices and how both agencies are working together to keep our neighborhoods safe and catch those who are committing crimes. During my time on the Board of Supervisors, I have led efforts to increase funding for our police department and extra academy classes in order to have appropriate staffing levels that can keep up with our city’s population growth. Community involvement, being aware of your surroundings, and more officers in our neighborhoods will be key to addressing this issue.
Is the Alcatraz Ferry going to move to Fort Mason, or is that just a negotiating tactic?
There is no doubt in my mind that if the National Park Service moves forward with Fort Mason’s Pier 3 as the new site for the Alcatraz Ferry Service that it will have disastrous impacts for the Marina neighborhood and the Fisherman’s Wharf commercial corridor. Whether the National Park Service is using Fort Mason’s Pier 3 as a negotiating tactic with the Port of San Francisco — we have to take their proposed option seriously. The National Park Service would not include Fort Mason’s Pier 3 in their recently release environmental information statement if the location was not a serious part of their considerations for the relocation of the ferry service.
The Marina Community Association and the Fisherman’s Wharf Commercial Business District both oppose the move to Fort Mason — as do I — because we know that the Marina can not support the additional 1.7 million visitors annually that Alcatraz brings. I have been actively working with our congressional delegation to urge them to work with the National Park Service to educate them on the impacts this move would have for the Marina neighborhood and the city as whole. And I encourage you to actively contact the National Parks Service to let them know why the Fort Mason option is such a terrible idea.
I was surprised by the big changes proposed for Chestnut Street by the SFMTA. Are these changes really necessary? Why?
The proposed changes to Chestnut Street to improve the 30 Stockton line came as a complete surprise to me and my office. While I understand that the SFMTA is trying to improve service on the 30 Stockton and to implement pedestrian safety enhancements across the city, to do that in a vacuum without the input of the community is a process that is absolutely flawed.
I’ve had several follow-up meetings with Ed Reiskin, the director of the SFMTA, to discuss this and to really understand what they are trying to accomplish. As a result, they have gone back to the drawing board and have significantly scaled back their plans. They have eliminated the idea of a transit-only lane and are no longer proposing stop lights anywhere on Chestnut between Divisadero and Fillmore. Furthermore, their proposal to remove more than 40 parking spaces on Chestnut has been significantly reduced to approximately 8 spaces.
This is not a done deal, however. I am taking the plan to the community to get buy-in from our merchants and neighbors, so that the SFMTA proceeds with a plan that improves service without drastically changing the character of Chestnut Street.