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Sunday Streets is back! Enjoy a car-free GGP and Great Highway

This Sunday marks the second and final Sunday Streets for our neighborhood. Come out to JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park and along the Great Highway from 10am to 3pm to enjoy car free streets and fun activities (view map).

Join other San Franciscans as they bike, walk, skate, hula hoop, jog, dance, yoga and more along the car-free streets; pretty much anything goes. Check out the video above to get a taste from one of last year’s Sunday Streets.

The theme for this year is “Penguin to Penguin”, with Sunday Streets area beginning at the Academy of Sciences. The Academy even has a special offer for Sunday Street bikers. The first 100 people to valet their bikes with the SF Bicycle Coalition at the Academy on Sunday will get a free ticket to the Academy for that day (thanks to Clif Bar). Park your bike, check out the Academy, then hop back on and join the fun along the Great Highway. SFCitizen’s got all the details.

Our first Sunday Streets in April was, well, wet. Even the dogs were in foul weather gear. But despite the miserable weather we’ve been having, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some sunshine to welcome everyone to the west side. Weather.com is predicting sunny and 57°… Come on Mother Nature, I know you can do it!!

Sarah B.

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 6:15 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park, Kids | 1 comment

Show your Richmond District pride – on your head

With this weather we’re having, I should really be offering wool beanies!

I’ve had these in my RichmondSFBlog store for awhile now, but thought I’d mention them since people usually say something when I wear mine around the neighborhood.

There are all sorts of colors to choose from and various styles – flexfit wool cap, adjustable cap, and even a distressed twill cap for that “This old thing? I’ve had it forever!” look.

Shop for a RichmondSFBlog hat

Prices range from $19.95 to $23.95. I went for an orange one – what’s your color?

Sarah B.

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 5:53 pm | Posted under Blog news | Comments Off

Coyote sightings near Mt. Lake Park dog run area

Beth of the Friends of Mt. Lake Park told me today that some coyotes have been seen recently near the Mt. Lake Park dog run area.

It’s believed that they may be keeping a den up behind the dog run where there are some dense area of brush that look almost cave like, and that there may be some coyote pups afoot as well. Some dog owners are concerned because their den is alongside the back stairs that lead to the dog run from the Presidio wall. Correction: The coyotes have been seen along the back road that leads up to the golf course, mostly on the side of the fence that is in the Presidio. But some have been spotted on the back road closer to the underpass. (Thanks Beth for clarifying!)

So far, there have been no incidents with the coyotes and they haven’t bothered anyone. I asked a few dog owners in the park last night if they’d seen any around; none of them had.

One owner said she’s seen them on the other side of the fence on the golf course side, but never in the park itself. But she quickly leashed up her pup, saying he likes to “walk himself” to the dog run up the back stairs, so she preferred to play it safe.

Beth tells me the Friends of Mountain Lake Park are discussing some signage with the Presidio Trust to put up around the dog run area and back wall. I’ll keep you posted if I hear anything more, but pass the word onto dog owners in the area you may know.

If you do come across a coyote, the Littleton, CO police department has this advice:

If humans come across coyotes while walking or hiking, they should make themselves as “big and loud” as possible. Using noisemakers like an air horn, or yelling and clapping can aid in deterring a coyote from investigating your presence. Humans are advised not to turn their backs on coyotes. You should face them and back away slowly if they exhibit aggressive behavior.

Sarah B.

The Presidio wall that runs alongside Mountain Lake Park on the north side of the park.
Coyotes have been seen near the fence area on the left.

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 6:39 am | Posted under Parks, Pets | 13 comments

Fog over Mountain Lake

Yeah, I’m griping as much as everybody about our lousy weather. But sometimes, the fog has its moments. And the birds at Mt. Lake Park don’t seem to mind it.

Sarah B.

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 8:15 pm | Posted under Photos | 1 comment

Why the Presidio shouldn’t close Battery Caulfield road at the 15th Ave. gate

A lot of activity is happening in the Public Health Service District in the Presidio, more commonly known as the part of the Presidio just inside the 15th Avenue gate off Lake Street. It includes the new 154-unit Presidio Landmark apartment building (formerly a hospital), the Wyman Avenue historic homes, and a building occupied by businesses.

With the influx of Landmark and Wyman residents into this area, there are concerns about how the traffic will impact the Presidio as well as the surrounding arteries of the Richmond District, specifically along 14th and 15th Avenues. For the last decade or so, the gate at 14th Avenue has been closed, so all traffic in and out of the district has gone through the 15th Avenue gate.

But that will change in September, when the Presidio Trust plans to re-open the 14th Avenue gate, allowing one-way traffic inbound to the Presidio. They’ll also modify access on 15th Avenue, changing it to only allow one-way traffic out of the Presidio. So to get into the Presdio, you’ll only be able to use 14th Avenue. To exit it, you’ll use 15th Avenue (traffic on the actual city blocks of 14th and 15th Avenue will remain two-way).

Another change up for debate is how to temper traffic along two-way Battery Caulfield Road, which runs alongside the Presidio Landmark building, allowing traffic to reach the other side of the Presidio. Similarly, it is the only outlet that runs to the 15th Avenue gate, allowing for traffic to exit the Presidio (see map).

The Presidio Trust is considering two options to reduce vehicle traffic on Battery Caulfield Road (read the full proposal here):

1) Limiting vehicle usage during weekday peak AM and PM hours, 7 to 9am and 5 to 7pm, as well as on weekends. How the traffic would actually be controlled has not yet been decided.


2) Limit vehicular use at all times, e.g. closing the road completely, in both directions, to cars.

However the issue is not just about what happens within the Presidio. The Battery Caulfield changes are also meant to appease residents on 14th and 15th Avenues who will contend with traffic that goes in and out of the Public Health Service District. At a recent neighborhood meeting, these residents challenged representatives from the Landmark, claiming that to NOT close Battery Caulfield Road completely would be a violation of a previous agreement they had made with the Presidio Trust in 2007.

As a resident of the Central Richmond District, I believe it’s a huge, short-sighted mistake to close Battery Caulfield Road (B.C.R.) completely for a few reasons:

1) This would cause an unnecessarily heavy burden of traffic on 14th Avenue. Closing B.C.R. would force any and all inbound traffic to the District through 14th Avenue. Returning Landmark residents and any others accessing the Public Health Service District from the north would always have to enter in 14th Avenue. Imagine you live at the Landmark and are returning from Marin. Rather than exiting at the toll plaza and winding through the Presidio and down B.C.R. to get home, you’d have to go to Highway 1, turn right on Lake and come in 14th Avenue.

2) The Central Richmond District would lose in an important alternate route through the Presidio and to the Golden Gate Bridge. At this point, no one has taken the Doyle Drive construction into account. As construction on the new roadway progresses, there will be more closures, slowdowns and residents looking for alternate ways to reach the Golden Gate Bridge and the north side of San Francisco. By closing B.C.R., you cut off an important artery for the Central Richmond District. This will drive more traffic onto Arguello and 25th Avenue when residents are looking for alternate routes through the Presidio.

3) Closing B.C.R. would be an overreaction to a situation that has not been thoroughly studied. The Presidio Trust did one traffic study in March 2009, counting cars during the week and on Saturdays that qualified as “cut-through traffic” at the 15th Avenue gate. But this was before the Presidio Landmark opened and before any Doyle Drive construction began.

It’s too early to tell how the Presidio Landmark will affect traffic patterns; the Landmark’s own staff says traffic will ramp up slowly over time as they are nowhere near full occupancy. Nor has the 14th Avenue gate been open the last 10 years. Re-opening it may be more than enough to alleviate traffic issues on 15th Avenue which neighbors are so concerned about.

The Presidio Trust is taking comments and feedback on the Battery Caulfield Road proposal until September 1 October 15 (the deadline was extended). To send in your comments, email batterycaulfield@presidiotrust.gov or mail a letter to: Planning Department, Presidio Trust, 34 Graham Street, P.O. Box 29052, San Francisco, CA 94129-0052 by October 15.

What would you like to see happen with Battery Caulfield Road?

Sarah B.

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 6:05 am | Posted under Traffic | 34 comments

Thank you sun

In honor of the first real sun we had today. Photo by Butters.photo.

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 4:12 pm | Posted under Photos | 3 comments

Impressionist art lecture at the Richmond Library, Wed. night

The Impressionist exhibit at the de Young Museum is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still interesting programs taking place in support of it.

This Wednesday night, the Richmond District Branch Library will host “Monet, Pissarro and the Impressionist Movement”, a slide presentation by Marlene Aron that presents over one hundred works of art by Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Morisot, Lautrec, Sisley, Degas, Pissarro and Van Gogh—artists who experienced and expressed the world about them, each in their own unique and personal way.

The effect of light on nature. Joyous use of color. Expressive use of line. Dance hall girls, ballet dancers, water lilies, peasants, gardens laborers. They gathered together in studios, cafes, bars and on the streets to talk and argue about art, its meaning, and how and what to paint. Together they shaped the Avant-garde world of Impressionism, and opened the doors to the Modern Art Movement of the 20th Century and beyond.

This free event takes place at the Richmond Branch Library, 351 9th Avenue at 6:30pm. And don’t forget to stop by the de Young to see many of these great works in person at the Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay exhibition, which runs until September 6, 2010.

Sarah B.

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 3:57 pm | Posted under Art, Events | 1 comment

Author Matt Stewart, first published on Twitter, at Green Apple Aug. 18

Getting published in today’s world isn’t easy. Even harder is doing it in a way that captures you some attention.

Last July, author Matt Stewart begin publishing his first novel, The French Revolution, in 140 character chunks on Twitter. Stewart’s tactic got him published and brought him national media attention, so rather than having to scroll through his Twitter page to read his imaginative story of a San Francisco family forging its place in history, you can now enjoy it in traditional book form.

The Chronicle elaborates:

Stewart’s long sentences don’t lend themselves to the micro-blogging format; most of them were guillotined on both ends by his machine. But the format of the printed book is as arbitrary a container for narrative as a computer is, and different stories flourish in different venues. Despite the Twitter contortions “The French Revolution” endured through, Stewart’s self-publishing gambit received national media attention and ultimately caught the eye of Soft Skull Press, which, on Bastille Day this year, is publishing “The French Revolution” in print, where the novel’s lines will be broken only by the margins of the page.

Stewart will be at Green Apple Books (506 Clement Street) on Wednesday night, August 18, to talk about his book and “celebrate the City, the combined power of social networking and good old fashioned publishing, and of course, la revolution.” The event is free and begins at 7pm.

Sarah B.

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 6:27 am | Posted under Events | Comments Off