Oct 13, 2010

October Work day wrap up

The redwoods clustered near Oak and Baker, with their massive trunks, cast deep shadows on the Panhandle's south path. The darkness and boggy conditions here have made this the spookiest corner of the Panhandle, making it a fitting site for our October work day. And since it was a hot day it was a relief to work in the shade.

Redwoods sprout new trunks from burls, which are located around their trunk collar. Sprouts tend to emerge from burls when trees are burned or harmed - and these redwoods had thick clusters of sprouts, some growing several feet tall. Because the thick growth impeded views into and out of the park, volunteers were asked to lend a hand cutting it back. Working on this was our way of making the Panhandle more accessible to everyone in the community by increasing visibility and a feeling of security.  

SFPD was out in the park Saturday morning, using their motorbikes. They checked in with us a couple of times and let us know about the enforcement they were conducting in the park, such as drinking alcohol.  
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Oct 12, 2010

"Connecting the City" proposes a fix for Panhandle Path friction

 Today's bulletin from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition announces a Treehouse Talk that Panhandle Park users should note:
The SF Bicycle Coalition's 2010 Fall Tube Times newsletter is hot off the presses. The cover story showcases our boldest initiative to date:Connecting the City. Read the story and ogle the renderings showing our designs for bikeways that are physically separated from vehicles to the fullest extent possible. Download the Tube Times today....

Get a sneak peek at what Connecting the City has in store at our Treehouse Talk tonight, Tuesday October 12th, 6:30 pm, at the SF Bicycle Coalition Office, 833 Market Street, 10th Floor. Free to SF Bicycle Coalition members (a $5 donation from non-members is appreciated); bring your bike upstairs.
The Fell St space in question (on street cleaning day)
The first route up in Connecting the City is "Bay to the Beach," and that one includes the Panhandle. You can find in the newsletter a specific suggestion for transforming Fell and Oak Streets between Scott and Golden Gate Park (the majority of that stretch is alongside the Panhandle). The vision is to "move car parking 10 feet away from the curb and use this new space as a buffered, protected bikeway for faster bike traffic." That change would give a safe commuting route "while improving the walking experience on the Panhandle mixed use path."

Friction between the growing numbers of people cycling and walking on the multi-use path was the top complaint I have heard from park neighbors. In July, I wrote about the problem and suggested approaches to fixing it so that we have a park more suitable to today's needs. I'm not able to attend tonight's SFBC talk, but I hope some of you will be able to go to learn about the proposal and raise up any Panhandle issues that need to be addressed.