RVs on Circular Avenue – Letter from Supervisor Melgar’s office

The following message is from D7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar’s office.

Dear Sunnyside Neighbors,

We have been receiving numerous phone calls from Sunnyside neighbors about the RVs parked on Circular Avenue. So I would like to address you publicly as a group. 

As soon as we heard the complaint, we reached out to the Homeless Services Department to make contact with the RV dwellers and also the Dept of Public Works to check on the cleanliness of the area. We just learned that they overlooked our email back in early February, but scheduled an outreach visit as of 2/24/22 and would keep us updated. We are awaiting a status report of what both departments experienced. During the pandemic, the SFMTA Board of Directors voted to suspend overnight parking rules in reaction to the hardships that the pandemic caused as people lost their jobs and housing. The shelter system was also stressed due to a need for social distancing and limited options.

Our district has the second highest population of residents living in cars behind District 10.  For perspective there are 140 vehicles near Lake Merced that we need to find permanent solutions for along with RVs also scattered in more residential neighborhoods. Simply pushing the RVs to another neighborhood does not solve the crisis.You may have read about the Vehicle Stabilization Center in Bayview, but that site filled up instantly and still left out many of D10’s RV population. Our office has been desperately trying to establish a similar site in our district that could host RV dwellers and connect them with more permanent services. The logistics of finding unused space large enough and with infrastructure that can support the community has been a difficult one. We must coordinate many different departments each with their own concerns in making it viable. But rest assured our office will not give up.

Living in your vehicle is different from what we classically think of as “homelessness.” Our current homeless service system is not designed to address this growing population. Many of the folks living in vehicles in District 7 are families with children. If your vehicle is your transportation, your shelter, and your child’s home, you aren’t going to want to readily give it up to accept entry into an emergency shelter where you will sleep on the floor with your children. Your RV is your most important asset and is what is keeping you and/or your family from sleeping on the street. Many roads have led people to where they are, and there is no one solution will fit all, but I acknowledge that this is a dilemma which affects us all. 

It is the goal of the D7 office to find permanent housing for RV dwellers, to free up the right-of-way and support the health of the neighborhoods.  Two years ago, the voters of San Francisco approved additional funding to include this population, and we are optimistic that these resources will lead to programming and resources that are specifically targeted and effective. 


Myrna Melgar

If you need assistance with anything, please contact our office at melgarstaff@sfgov.org and we will try our very best to assist you.

Feb 7: SNA Quarterly Meeting

You are invited to Sunnyside Neighborhood Association’s February 2022 Quarterly Meeting.

Monday February 7th, 2022, 6:30 to 8:00 PM via Zoom. Link at the bottom of this post.

On the agenda: Update from President Ken Hollenbeck on the new trees for Sunnyside. Adrian Leung, Bikeshare & Bike Parking Program Manager, SFMTA, will speak about possible locations for third bike-share station in Sunnyside (more below). The Detroit Steps Project team will report the latest news on the Steps. Then SNA will hold its biennial election (details below). Meeting ends with the our customary raffle. Meeting slides here (PDF 16mb)

Continue reading “Feb 7: SNA Quarterly Meeting”

Photos from the 2021 Holiday Party and Concert

Last Saturday SNA held its first in-person event in the Covid era, the Third Annual(ish) Holiday Party and Concert at Sunnyside Conservatory. Photos below.

The event featured locally sourced entertainment: the Sunnyside Winds performed Dvorak Wind Serenade by Dvorak, brought to us by Carol Yarbrough; Ian Ratzer’s Hearst Avenue All-Stars, a jazz quartet, played seasonal numbers; and local performer Valerie Façhman, sang and played fiddle with Madeleine Muzio.

Special thanks to Richard Goldman who graciously volunteered to check vax cards at the door; Andrea O’Leary for delicious tarts in absentia; Claudia O’Callaghan for her Sunnyside Squares, Bill Wilson for being the official press photog; and many others who pitched in in different ways to help make it an enjoyable event.

Fixed! A follow-up on Havelock Bridge safety

Although this repair only addresses one aspect of the outstanding issues for the Havelock Pedestrian Bridge, SNA extends a big thanks to D7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar’s office, especially Sunnyside liaison Lila Carrillo, for following up, and to the SFMTA painting department for fixing the problem.

The badly worn-off traffic markings at the intersection of Havelock and Circular were just repainted. At this blind corner, many cars slide through without a stop, endangering people walking and cycling who are entering or exiting the bridge. It’s a great start on completing the project!

Havelock and Circular Ave, Nov. 8, 2021. Photo: Sunnyside Neighborhood Association.
One month ago at Havelock and Circular Ave, Nov. 8, 2021. Photo: Sunnyside Neighborhood Association.
Havelock and Circular Ave, Dec. 4, 2021. Photo: Sunnyside Neighborhood Association.
Havelock and Circular Ave, Dec. 4, 2021. Photo: Sunnyside Neighborhood Association.
Havelock and Circular Ave, Dec. 4, 2021. Photo: Sunnyside Neighborhood Association.
A clear message now. Havelock and Circular Ave, Dec. 4, 2021. Photo: Sunnyside Neighborhood Association.

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.”