News & Issues

Give Us Ideas for Improving Gloomy Washington Street

washingtonst_garageGateway residents: Our stretch of Washington Street needs your ideas to improve its gloomy appearance.

Walking down Washington Street on the two blocks between Battery and Davis is a bleak visual experience because of high blank walls on both sides for parking garages at One Maritime Plaza and the Gateway.

washingtonst_gateway

The next two blocks of Washington between Davis and the Embarcadero are just as bad on the north side, including the black fence for the Bay Club tennis court. Why does the street look like this?

washingtonst_bayclub

Probably because Washington was an off-ramp for the Embarcadero Freeway when One Maritime Plaza and the Gateway were built in the 1960s. Now the freeway is gone, and times have changed. This street needs to look better. What can be done?

GGTA is looking for creative ideas to improve these four blocks.  One possibility is to ask the Bay Club to decorate the tennis club fence along Washington Street the same way it has already decorated the west side of the fence facing the Golden Gateway Commons condos.

The Bay Club fence facing the Golden Gateway Commons has been decorated.
The Bay Club fence facing the Golden Gateway Commons has been decorated.

Please let us have your opinions. Our GGTA board will talk over the ideas to come up with specific proposals to discuss with the well established civic organization San Francisco Beautiful. We will then open discussions with Gateway management, One Maritime Plaza, and the Bay Club, who would need to agree to suggested improvements.

Let’s hear from you! Please use our online contact form, which goes to our president and other board members, or come and talk to us at one of our First Tuesday socials, which are announced in our member emails and on Nextdoor.com.

Please Help Us Keep Laundry Rooms Safe & Working

Using the wrong soap can flood the laundry room floor and cause a safety hazard. Photo: GGTA
Using the wrong soap can flood the laundry room floor and cause a safety hazard. Photo: GGTA

While the laundry rooms at the Gateway are a convenience that tenants appreciate, we all know they can be a source of frustration. Machines break, and worse: the drain lines back up and flood the floor, causing a safety hazard.

We recently contacted Gateway management and a manager with WASH Laundry to inform them of the frequent broken machines and flooded floors. A slip-and-fall can result in serious injury, particularly for our older residents.

We were pleased to find out that WASH Laundry and the Gateway are working on finalizing a contract to upgrade the machines. We were told this could possibly include reworking/redesigning the drains, which could alleviate some of the drain backups.

Continue reading “Please Help Us Keep Laundry Rooms Safe & Working”

Take an Early Peek at Planned Affordable Apartments on Broadway

broadway_front-street

Neighbors recently got more preliminary details about an affordable housing rental complex for low- and moderate-income residents and seniors planned for our neighborhood.

A slide presentation at a public meeting of the Northeast Waterfront Advisory Group (NEWAG) at the Port of San Francisco on April 6 showed early designs for the buildings, which will take up most of the block between Vallejo, Broadway, Front and Davis. The slides showing renderings are below.

The number and type of units as well as the various levels of affordability have changed over time, and could be altered again. A representative for BRIDGE Housing told us the Mayor’s Office of Housing asked for more three-bedroom family units, which has slightly decreased the total number of units in the family building.

Continue reading “Take an Early Peek at Planned Affordable Apartments on Broadway”

Brace Yourself for Noise & Congestion During Sewer Work (UPDATED)

ssip_embarcaderrojacksondrumm_large

 

 

 

 

UPDATE, 10/11/2017: This sewer work is being delayed into 2018 and we will post another article when a firmer timeline is given. The Drumm & Jackson Streets Sewer Improvement, a separate project, is slated to start in the first quarter of 2018. A Request for Proposals has been released, but no contract has been awarded yet, so details are forthcoming. One lane of traffic on Drumm Street between Jackson and Clay streets is expected to be closed for roughly seven months. We are working with SFPUC on minimizing impacts to neighborhood. We will post an article on that when more details are provided.

Starting this fall, Gateway residents, their neighbors and anyone who drives on the Embarcadero will be inconvenienced by 16 months of on-and-off construction and lane closures due to much-needed sewer improvements on the North Shore Force Main. Loud noise is expected throughout the project as well.

We reported in January that these repairs shouldn’t be as disruptive as the work we endured in 2014-15, but it turns out that’s not quite true. (Click here for the earlier article.) At the April 6 meeting of the Northeast Waterfront Advisory Group (NEWAG), a volunteer citizen advisory group to the Port of San Francisco, representatives from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) outlined the upcoming plan, which held a few surprises.

Keep in mind that the North Shore Force Main serves 350,000 residents throughout the city, and this project is absolutely mandatory to keep our sewers working properly. Also, we are grateful to SFPUC for overseeing a project of this scope and for being communicative and responsive. But we want to warn residents, area workers and visitors that they’ll be in for some unpleasant months ahead.

Continue reading “Brace Yourself for Noise & Congestion During Sewer Work (UPDATED)”

Sunday Streets in Bayview/Dogpatch April 9

Sunday Streets is coming to Bayview and Dogpatch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday, April 9, and it’s a short jaunt via bicycle or from the Embarcadero station on the Muni down Third Street to access it.

Three miles of the Third Street corridor will be shut to vehicles so you can enjoy the neighborhood and its businesses at a leisurely pace on foot. If you haven’t been to Dogpatch, it has numerous charming shops and cafes.

Continue reading “Sunday Streets in Bayview/Dogpatch April 9”

Volunteer and/or Participate in Annual Egg Hunt April 8

All neighborhood children are warmly invited to participate in the annual neighborhood Egg Hunt at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 8 in Sydney G. Walton Square. 

Meet at the fountain shortly before 10:30 a.m. This is an opportunity to meet and socialize with neighbors and to build community spirit. The Egg Hunt is sponsored by the Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association. 

Please reply to Julia Bergman with the names and ages of your children if you would like to attend. Remember to bring your Easter baskets with you.

Continue reading “Volunteer and/or Participate in Annual Egg Hunt April 8”

Pier 29 “Makers’ Market” Clears Hurdle

Pier 29. Photo: Wikipedia Commons.
Pier 29. Photo: Wikipedia Commons.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently gave the green light to a proposal for a retail market of locally made goods at Pier 29. This allows the developer to pursue a final deal with the Port Commission.

Jamestown has proposed filling only the 22,000-square-foot bulkhead, or front space, with retail items by nonprofit SFMade and an “urban brewery and/or winery and/or coffee roastery.”  The exterior of the building won’t be altered, as was indicated in very preliminary plans. The goal as they’ve outlined it is to offer a marketplace for cruise passengers and an amenity for residents. Jamestown also operates Ghirardelli Square, Chelsea Market in New York City and Ponce City Market in Atlanta.

The plan has gotten pushback from some community groups, including the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, which has characterized it as a “mini-mall” and not a wise use of waterfront space. It’s advocated for more recreation on Port parcels, including Pier 29, and has voiced concerns that if Jamestown is given the 15-year lease, it’ll try to co-opt more space in the larger shed building.

However, the Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Finance Committee in support of the market, which will occupy about 20 percent of the space in the Pier 29 building. The letter stipulates that the group supports recreational use for the rest of the pier, but also notes that the plan “would also provide our neighborhood with another attractive option in place of an empty building.”

The Golden Gateway Tenants Association hasn’t taken a position on this issue, but wanted to share what’s happening with our members.

Please read more background about the plan in these articles:

Pier 29 Will Likely Become Home To New Local Maker Showcase (Hoodline, April 26, 2016)

City Hall gives thumbs up to Pier 29 retail (Curbed San Francisco, March 17, 2017)

Community Reps Weigh in on D3 Streets Concerns

Looking north on the Embarcadero. (Photo: Geri Koeppel)
Looking north on the Embarcadero. (Photo: Geri Koeppel)

Supervisor Aaron Peskin has assembled a D3 Street Outreach Team of community representatives to work with MTA in identifying major areas of concern regarding streets and transit.

GGTA President Bill Hannan attended the first meeting on Jan. 12, 2017, and GGTA board member Geri Koeppel attended the second meeting on Feb. 23, 2017. Other attendees included representatives from community benefit districts and neighborhood associations as well as MTA staff.

At the first meeting, attendees participated in a “card-storming” exercise to identify concerns in categories such as transit, parking, coordination and outreach, pedestrian safety, economic impacts and project-specific interests. Bill reported that each person was able to recommend only two main areas of concern, so he brought up restoration of the full 10-Townsend Muni line and pedestrian safety on the Embarcadero. (Note: Since that meeting, MTA announced the elimination of the 10-Townsend bus stop at Folsom and Second streets.)

In the second meeting, participants worked in three teams, with each homing in on two of the categories and discussing them in further detail. Geri was included in a group that talked about safety and street conditions. Each group then reported their discussion, and an MTA employee wrote them all on easel paper.

Following that, every person was able to vote for three issues they believed were the most important. The votes were ranked by first, second and third priority according to blue, red and yellow stickers placed on the easel paper.

The items with the most votes were suggestions to build the Central Subway and to improve traffic signals and timing, with four votes each. After that, three stars were give for three topics: bulb-outs to calm traffic and shorten the distance from curb to curb for pedestrians, more MTA outreach to the public before approving projects, and more enforcement for private shuttle buses, tour buses and TNCs, commonly known as ride sharing companies.

Four items also received two stars, and several received one star. But as one attendee pointed out, a theme emerged:

  • Participants in general wanted to see better regulation and enforcement in several areas ranging from private shuttles and ride sharing to jaywalking and residential parking permits, and
  • Participants were frustrated by the lack of outreach from MTA about projects.

In closing, Peskin’s aide Lee Hepner thanked everyone for their participation and said if anyone has specific concerns they’d like to raise outside of the meeting, he’s available via email. GGTA is going to follow up on this with concerns about the 10-Townsend line and near-term solutions to congestion and safety on the Embarcadero. Also, Deanna Desedas of the MTA thanked everyone and said these meetings will help shape outreach and engagement in other districts. We were told another meeting will be scheduled for about six weeks from this one.

You’re Invited: GGTA Annual Membership Meeting Feb. 25

L'Olivier Restaurant. (Photo: Geri Koeppel)
L’Olivier Restaurant. (Photo: Geri Koeppel)

We hope to see all Golden Gateway Tenants Association members (and those wishing to join GGTA) at the annual membership meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at L’Olivier Restaurant, 465 Davis Court.

This year, we’ll meet in the restaurant’s main dining room rather than the annex, so there should be more space for everyone to fit comfortably. We will have membership sign-up forms on site for anyone who is not a member but would like to join and attend the meeting. Please remember, you can also join online.

District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin will speak about current events at City Hall and issues expected to arise in 2017. Gateway resident and longtime activist Lee Radner will report on the State Lands Commission lawsuit, set for decision in the near future, that seeks to abolish our voter-approved height limits along the waterfront. 

Outgoing GGTA president Bill Hannan will summarize the proposed affordable housing development at 88 Broadway, the proposed Teatro ZinZanni hotel and dinner theater at Broadway and the Embarcadero, the condominiums under construction at Battery and Pacific, and the proposed hotel and condominiums at 447 Battery where Cort Furniture is now. He’ll also speak on security issues and ask for a volunteer to serve as security liaison.

GGTA nominating committee chair Desa Belyea will announce the slate of officers and directors for the coming year (please see below). Also, social chair Kim Breeden will report on our schedule of social events, which, thanks to energetic new board members, should be prolific and diverse this year. 

2017 GGTA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President: Geri Koeppel

First vice president: Tom Gilligan

Second vice president: Bill Hannan

 Secretary: Michele McLaughlin

Treasurer: Bob Demchick

Membership chair: Kim Breeden

Member at large: Natalie Jones

New board members: Ron Fisher, Irene Glassgold, Martin Hardee, Tatjana Eggert-Reich, Cristina Riboni and Benay von Husen

Neighbors Share Concerns at SFMTA Meeting Jan. 12

Looking north on the Embarcadero. (Photo: Geri Koeppel)
Looking north on the Embarcadero. (Photo: Geri Koeppel)

By Bill Hannan, GGTA President

On January 12, 2017, I represented the Golden Gateway Tenants Association (GGTA) and Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association (BCNA) at a District 3 meeting at City Hall of neighborhood group representatives with SFMTA staff members. 

The two-hour meeting was called by Supervisor Aaron Peskin’s aide Lee Hepner. Present were five MTA staffers and about 25 representatives of neighborhood or merchant groups, including Stan Hayes and Howard Wong for Telegraph Hill Dwellers, and a representative of a Russian Hill neighborhood group. Aaron made opening remarks and attended throughout. Continue reading “Neighbors Share Concerns at SFMTA Meeting Jan. 12”