Reply from Supervisor Melgar’s Office regarding Havelock Bridge issue

In a recent post on this website, Bridge over troubled waters: Addressing pedestrian safety and the Havelock Bridge, Sunnyside resident and past SNA board member Estelle Smith detailed the outstanding issues with safety, the promised crosswalk, and graffiti on this important pedestrian link for the neighborhood.

Lila Carrillo, Legislative Aide to D7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar, gave this reply:

“Rest assured that Havelock Pedestrian Bridge and landing is a priority space for us to help improve, and the complexity of it will not deter us. Very shortly after Supervisor Melgar took office, Christine [Weibel, author of The Havelock Street Bridge Beautification and Safety Project] reached out to us to put this on our radar. Since then, we’ve been actively engaged with understanding the nuances of this space and connecting with agencies (especially CalTrans, who’s the most difficult to reach) to solve for: 1) who has jurisdiction over what, 2) who would “own” what project, 3) true costs and implications for every action item, etc. Although we are not yet where we’d like to be, we are firm in our advocacy for resources and improvements needed for the Havelock Bridge and pedestrian area.

“As we work with DPW to fulfill the vision and scope of the PB project, we are working simultaneously with SFMTA to prioritize the crosswalk. The most recent update we received is that funds transfer was initiated early this month to Public Works, they should have the funding in-hand in approximately three weeks. MTA has also asked DPW to provide us with info on how soon they can schedule the work and how long it will take them to complete. I will keep SNA updated on that timeline, once we receive it.”

Bridge over troubled waters: Addressing pedestrian safety and the Havelock Bridge

By Estelle Smith

[Read a response to this post from D7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar’s office here.]

Let’s take a walk through the Sunnyside neighborhood in San Francisco. Head south on Edna Street where it meets Havelock. Straight ahead you’ll see the lush green bushes and the fence for the City College tennis courts. Now look left, and there it is—the Havelock Street Bridge—the main pathway over the freeway, connecting Sunnyside to the wide green lawns, playgrounds, off-leash dog park, swimming pool, and other facilities at Balboa Park in District 11.

What comes to mind is, how does one safely cross? There is no crosswalk to access the bridge and no sidewalk on the south side of Havelock Street. Peering even farther left, at the corner of Circular Avenue, cars and bicycles treat this intersection as a quick yield. With no other traffic entering from the east, cars typically roll through the intersection, even though there is a stop sign.

Once across the street and on the bridge, something else becomes visibly apparent. This bridge is ugly. It is riddled in graffiti and discarded litter ranging from broken glass to dirty diapers. This concrete jungle pathway, connecting two oases, is an eye sore and doesn’t reflect the warmth and beauty of the Sunnyside and Mission Terrace neighborhoods, or the wonderful park on the other side.

  • Havelock Bridge. Photo: Estelle Smith
  • Havelock Bridge. Photo: Estelle Smith
  • Havelock Bridge. Photo: Estelle Smith
  • Havelock Bridge. Photo: Estelle Smith
  • Havelock Bridge. Photo: Estelle Smith
  • Havelock Bridge. Photo: Estelle Smith
  • Havelock Bridge. Photo: Estelle Smith

Why? Why is there no crosswalk? Why is the bridge repeatedly vandalized? This is the crux of this article. All bureaucratic roads lead back to here. So, let’s start with how we got here and how we can move forward.

Continue reading “Bridge over troubled waters: Addressing pedestrian safety and the Havelock Bridge”

June 14: Balboa Reservoir community meeting

The Balboa Reservoir Community Advisory Committee meets Monday, June 14th, 2021, at 6 PM on Zoom. Public comment always welcome.

The two main agenda items are a discussion of a proposal for a task force on Balboa Park, Ocean Avenue Transportation and Street Safety, and Community Engagement During Project Implementation.

The agenda is here. The Zoom link is here.

Image of planned Balboa Reservoir Project, from the Design Standards and Guidelines.

Sat Oct 13: Balboa Park Kid’s Harvest Carnival and Movie Night

Balboa Park Movie Night — with Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, and kids’ carnival activities!

Saturday, October 13th at Balboa Park Lawn

Carnival Activities 3-6PM — Movie begins at dusk; all ages welcome

Free Family-Friendly Fun!

Kids’ Harvest Carnival 3-6pm:
~Costume Contest w/prizes
~Carnival Games
~Arts & Crafts Activities (pumpkin painting, photo booth & more)
~Bounce House

Movie @ dusk (~7pm):
~Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG)
~Free popcorn donated by The Dark Horse Inn

Register at Eventbrite