Friday, February 03, 2006

We write letters...

I'm rarely moved to write politicians letters. But not that I have a blog, I may as well post a copy when I do, right?

There are pending plans to eliminate access to the dead end spur at the end of Bernal Heights Boulevard where most car-born visitors park their cars. Apparently there have been objections by some neighbors to late night visitors who park on the dead end. Personally, I've walked my dog up on the hill at night for years now, visiting at all hours of the night, and rarely see anyone up there. Seriously, in eight years of visiting, conservatively, twice weekly (800 visits?) I've run into maybe 50 parked cars and maybe a dozen groups in the park. The park is empty at night. And the visitors who do show are %99 problem free. A few locals drinking a beer while walking their dog have been the only times I've felt any discomfort whatsoever. The rest of the time it's kids making out.

But, because some neighbors don't like having anyone parking on the dead end near their homes, Park and Rec is poised to close off the dead end. This will displace a lot of heavily used parking and push those people onto nearby residential streets. To me, it's nuts. So when I heard of efforts to revisit the plan, along with a request to write to Supervisor Amiano, this is what I come up with:

Supervisor Amiano,

As a Bernal resident and frequent visitor to the Bernal Heights park -- and as a long time Amiano voter -- I urge you to help the community make their concerns and ideas heard concerning proposed changes to Bernal Heights Boulevard.

Please attend the community meeting to be held at the Bernal Heights Library on February 8th, 6:45pm to listen to our concerns about the pending plans to change the most heavily used access point for the park.

I have many objections to the current plan:
  • There is no significant problem with late night visitors. A few isolated incidents are no justification for scarring the park and disrupting other legitimate park usage
  • It does nothing to address late night visitors / loitering in the park
  • It will inconvenience most car driving visitors to the park
  • It will, by displacing the most heavily used parking, push visitors onto residential streets where they will negatively impact the neighborhood
What I think is less important than the fact that current plans were put in place without adequate notice and input from significant stakeholders. Please attend the meeting to listen, and please facilitate our neighbors' efforts to develop a more reasonable plan. There is no urgent need to complete this project any time soon. (I would argue there is no need for any change whatsoever.) Why not take the time to do it right?

If you're a neighbor with an opinion on this project, feel free to comment here. Or show up at a community meeting and speak up.

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