Monday, April 13, 2009

Planned Market/Buchanan monstrosity

Click on this link from Curbed, the real estate blog, to see what the city wants to do at Market and Buchanan.
The Planning Commission is hearing an appeal on its Negative Declaration---a finding of no impacts!---for this 10-story monstrosity on Thursday, April 16. The thing is higher and glaringly incompatible with everything behind it, i.e., old victorian houses and apartment buildings in edwardian/deco styles. Their views, light and air will be blocked as the building will only be 11 feet from their windows that now overlook an open view. The lack of setbacks and backyards is courtesy of the Market/Octavia rezoning. It will also block all public views of the Mint from the south and east. There has been no analysis of impacts on parking, growth, transit, traffic, etc. A complete environmental impact report is what's needed for this massive development.

URGENT CALL TO ACTION:


Proposed development of 1960-1998 Market Street at Buchanan (site of former 76 Gas station)

Dear friends and neighbors,

We write to ask for your support in reducing the negative impact of the 8½ story building proposed for Market at Buchanan. The current design calls for an 85-foot structure to envelope the entire lot of the gas station and adjacent parking lot and to include air space above the Mint Karaoke Bar at 1942 Market. This new glass sheet will drastically alter the character of our neighborhood and will obstruct views of and from the Federal Mint. For at least 30 units in the surrounding residential buildings, it will create a dim lightwell that will greatly restrict natural air flow, light and views. If your current home overlooks this site, your own quality of life will be affected.

We understand and support the city's need to create new housing. We are simply asking for a reduction in bulk/height of the proposed project to preserve liveability and enjoyment of our residences and the neighborhood. We strongly believe the project as currently proposed alters the character of the area and presents an unfair burden on those who would be forced to live in its shadow.

We need your help.

The City must hear from as many concerned residents as possible. Thus far there has been little official resistance to the project. On Thursday, April 16, the Planning Commission will review and potentially approve the first step in advancing the project in its current form. To support a more reasonably scaled version of this project, please:

1) Voice your concerns in person on Thursday, April 16 at Commission Chambers, Room 400, City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, 1:30 PM.

2) Write a letter or email to the Planning Commission and ask that it be included in the official comments for the April 16 meeting.

We cannot stress enough that the more individuals who write and personally speak to the Commission the greater our impact. Please consider joining our efforts to achieve a more balanced design that takes into account the human impact. Remember, this project will permanently alter the landscape of the neighborhood, as well as set the tone for future development along Market Street. Time is of the essence. Please act now.

If you share our concerns and wish to join forces, please contact us ASAP. If you do nothing else, please send a letter to the Planning Commission prior to next Thursday's meeting. Indicate that you wish it to be included in the official comments for Case No.2006.1431E: 1960-1998 Market Street.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Email: FriendsOfMintHill@gmail.com

You can email us for an electronic version of the sample letter and more details on the proposed project.

Planning Commission Link:

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48 Comments:

At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scare, scare, scare. More fear-mongering NIMBYism. You live in the middle of a city. Everyone always claims to support greater density and infill development. The rub is when it's next to you. What's wrong with increased density along the busy Market Street corridor with the best public transportation in the City? What's wrong with something different than more Victorian facsimiles? Do we need bay windows on everything? Who cares about views of the Mint? I personally couldn't care less. That is a huge waste of space. You have to remember than the Octavia Market plan was in the works for years. You can't complain about it now. You had your chance. You probably oppose the Laguna/Hayes redevelopment, the Whole Foods and the Trader Joes (which is now going to be a bank - yeah!!!). Please leave us alone!

 
At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't we settle this all with the 20 year public stroking process on the Octavia Market plan? It's so disappointing how backward this city become. Even my 94 year old grandfather, born south of market gets it. This city has never been more stagnant than it was in the late 1980's until recently. the only consolation is hopefully the old school NIMBYS will be dying off soon.

Because of elevation the apartment on the corner (among others) appears taller so what is the issue? It is pathetic that the tallest buildings in this area appear to be built in the 1920's.

Get out of your mom's basement loser and have sex with a woman

 
At 1:14 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No, "everyone" doesn't in fact support the push for greater density. The building is massive and will negatively impact the whole neighborhood. The Mint is a national landmark and shouldn't be obscured. Giving this development nothing but a negative declaration is ridiculous, since that obviates the need to do any traffic studies on the impact of the development.

Yes, the Market/Octavia Plan has been in the works for years; I've written a lot about this stupid, destructive, pro-development plan for years (click on Market and Octavia below to see my previous posts). So why, after all this time, hasn't the city completed its landmark study of the M/O Plan as required by CEQA? And, by the way, the Market/Octavia Plan is now being litigated and hence is not a done deal, which means that I and many others can continue to complain.

The "Laguna/Hayes redevelopment"? You mean UC's ripoff of the old extension property for a massive, for-profit housing development? Yes, I oppose that. Putting a

Trader Joes on upper Market Street was a stupid idea given the existing heavy traffic in the area; even Bevan Dufty finally understood that.

Leave "us" alone? You stupid twit, do you think that part of the city is your special preserve for huge development projects as part your bogus "vision" for the city? What you really hate is that the people in that part of town are beginning to wise up about what you are trying to do: the M/O Plan will bring in 10,000 more residents to that part of town by rezoning more than 4,000 properties, including 40-story highrises at Market and Van Ness. There not only isn't a landmark study for the M/O Plan, the traffic studies are grossly inadequate. On top of all that, you morons want to restrict the number of parking spaces for all the grotesquely large buildings you're encouraging. Let them ride bikes! Great planning!

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger Joe said...

Rob,
You're so obsessed with preventing development that you dont even notice your own mistakes.
You start off by screaming hysterically about a 10 story building - and then post an article which quotes the correct height of 8.5 stories.
You've frequently pushed the boundaries of truth in your broken record approach to opposing any change anywhere.

And btw, another factual inaccuracy you posted. There is qa 70 foot tall building on the corner of buchanan and hermann - UPHILL from this proposed building.
So, you may have to think about this for a while, but this means the building at buchanan and hermann is going to be TALLER than the proposed building AT THE BOTTOM OF THE HILL.
Kind of similar to when you said there were "no 40 story buildings anywhere by market and van ness"

 
At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see both points, but i don't side with you as much as I do with the first Anonymous. I have to say i like this look and compared to the other buildings around it as well as where it is, busy corner...

That corner is unfortunate that it will never be developed unless you have an ambitious development there such as the proposed. We deserve to have better designed buildings that make us proud to live here. Not these safe ugly stucco Victorian Lookalikes that have popped up all around the city inorder to speedily pass city groups, they do nothing to inspire the city or the people.

Put a Victorian on that corner and it would be completely out of scale and no one would want to live in it as its a busy corner dominated by a rock. In the end it would just end up looking dirty and grimy from the exhaust of the existing traffic against its stucco.

I love the city for being so progressive in thought but when it comes to aesthetics the city and its people don't like change or progressive thought. Good story about these people, same ones that wouldn't let me cut down my tree in my backyard due to a complaint from the neighbor, unfortunately i ended up having to cover an expensive bill when the tree came a tumbling down on their house, irony! Damned if you do Damed if you don't.

Bets are, you'll be vocal enough and we'll be looking at a polluted contaminated empty spot for the next 10 years. That should make everyone happy. Here's to progress.

 
At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be refreshing to get some actual architecture in our neighborhood for once. I can't wait for that garbage heap of the gas station at this site to be gone and there be some actual density along market street instead of parking lots. It's time for San Francisco to grow up already, literally and figuratively. Cities change, neighborhoods change - that's what is good. Change is good. Stasis is death.

 
At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am puzzled as to why are so against this building, it is appropriately scaled for size of the street, it is similar in size to buildings like the one that houses "The Orbit Room". It is near Mecca, Safeway and plenty of other examples of modern Architecture and it is on a major street. Moreover the notion that a new building should somehow mimic stylistic elements of the past is a woefully uninformed for someone who wants to insert themselves into the public discourse on Architecture. Look at the guidelines for building near Historic properties. They universally discourage architectural elements that could be construed to historic.

I live in District 5 by the way so I will be supporting this project... and i don't ride a bike.

 
At 4:36 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The folks who wrote the public appeal for support are immediate neighbors of the proposed building, which will cut off sunlight and views from their housing. By issuing a negative declaration for the development, the city is saying that the project doesn't need to do an EIR to study its impacts on traffic, landmarks, and views. It's too big to be allowed without a lot more study of its impacts. I think it's also ugly, but that's not the main objection of the neighbors.

Who cares what district you live in? We all live in San Francisco and as such have an interest in projects that degrade a city neighborhood. The first commenter seems to assume that he and others in the area have a right to do whatever they want unimpeded by either their neighbors (the Mint group) or anyone else who lives in the city.

And who cares if you ride a bike or not? There's nothing in this post or the message from the Mint neighbors about bikes.

 
At 4:46 PM, Anonymous rjw said...

This building is fine. It will be a welcome addition and replacement for the gas station that currently blights that intersection. I do agree that urgent action is needed: please urgently stop the fear-mongering. By the way, the Mint sits on a giant hill, above pretty much everything else. Blocking the light to the Mint is pretty darned impossible. I do ride a bike, I do like in district 5, and I will support this building.

 
At 5:31 PM, Anonymous George said...

Where do I start. At the end of the day we all need to think about what is reasonable and quit focusing on our individual needs, this is the issue locally, statewide and at federal level. Everyone is so focused on what they want versus what is good for community and the world. Although with nimbys they are so focused they believe that they are doing what is right for all, the problem is that the average person working does not have time to wade into all of these issues because they work to try and make it.

Now that I have said that...

The site has always been a 80 foot height limit, No Change. The EIR for Market Octavia has been done as well as numerous other reports. Now, as usual people want to use the enviormental process to kill a building because some do not like it, what are we doing. What about the poor guy who bought this years ago and has gone through the gauntlet of SF development, isnt this a local native san franciscan who actually is reasonable and not some out of towner idiot, that is what I read on another blog.

I live in SF, it is a dense urban enviorment, Hello, that is where we live. Go outside and look at other buildings that are built. Are windows close, YES, again, hi density urban enviorment. The real issue is that people do not want change. 10,000 new homes, WHEN, it will be a century for that at least.

You want to see a monstrosity, go look at THE BEACON, big ugly and already showing wear and tear.

Lets look at the big picture. Someone is actually trying to build a cool building that some love and some hate, at least it gets a reaction versus another stuco box with bays, if I see another of those I will puke.

Breath, have fun.

Peace

George

 
At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob
While I in the past have agreed with some of your stances including how far the proposed bike plan was going I disagree with you on this. This project has been around for three years. The sponsor apparently originally wanted one to one parking. This was always an 80ft height limit. Its currently a failing beat up gas station. Despite the fact that the MOP did a full EIR this project did its own traffic study, hazardous materials study, soil mitigation plan, air quality survey, wind assessment and the neg dec shows the mitigation measures. Its the same studies as would be done for an EIR. I am a real estate professional who has been involved in similar projects.
the mint building towers over this site and will continue to do so after it is built if that ever happens. the project does help the bike community by eliminating huge curb cuts on both market street and buchan street. that is a good thing. cities are always evolving, unfortunatley the views of a few units should not prevent that. the end result would be a winner for the community.

 
At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh. Why to people who think they have a legitimate point squander their credibility with distortions, if not outright lies?

Yes, windows and views will be "blocked" (if that's the right word for having an 11-foot distance to the next building), but those are BATHROOM and STAIRWAY windows, aren't they? I suppose a few could be bedroom windows.

Pity the poor residents who have to schlep all the way to their living rooms for nice views to the south, west, and north.

 
At 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also the "views of the Mint" that will be blocked extend for an entire half block down Market Street. Past that and the view is ALREADY blocked.

Check out street views on Google.

 
At 11:19 PM, Blogger NoeValleyJim said...

Wow, thanks for letting me know about this. I will make sure and write the planning commission and Bevan Dufty and let them know that the developers have my 100% support on this construction. It is really sad how a few obstructionists are trying to block all progress in San Francisco.

 
At 12:14 AM, Anonymous citicritter said...

This building design is far from a "monster" -- it is easily superior to the mediocre stucco 'fake-history' developer specials that usually go up in this provincial town; those are the real monsters. Grow up SF! accept the new, accept density and get over your smug Victoarian-loving self; or be bypassed by places like Chicago, which are sadly acting far more 'progressive' than SF of late when it comes to architecture.

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger Michael Baehr said...

Please allow me to summarize Rob's disagreements:
Something will change, somewhere, in San Francisco.
A building will actually be built up to its lot lines and height (like the other large buildings around). This is unconscionable, since Rob would prefer for San Francisco to adopt the zoning codes of somewhere like Pleasanton, which allow for the sort of ample parking and setbacks that would let him sleep at night.
One view of the Mint will be obscured. This wasn't a problem previously when a corner lot on the city's main street was occupied by a decrepit gas station. Actually putting a building where a building belongs is apparently an offense to the blessed view corridors of people on the F Market or something.
The building isn't some cheap, contextualized ripoff of nearby buildings that were built 100 years ago. It has actually been designed. This, as well, is absolutely unconscionable, since there's no way to say "quality building" like "I couldn't come up with any ideas other than to copy the ones the neighbor did a century ago".

In conclusion, this structure fails the Rob Anderson test on every point. I predict a lawsuit followed by its eventual construction, with a total time-frame of about 5 years, which is what it takes for anything to get built in San Francisco thanks to the inevitable flurry of legal activity by obstructionist NIMBYs like Rob and the onerous planning process, thus ensuring that only the richest, most well-connected companies ever build anything here, and likewise ensuring that they only sell for the highest market-rate, since anything else would be a failed return on their 5-year-old investment.

Congratulations, Rob, you're an agent of gentrification and high real estate prices.

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

As usual, Michael, you don't know what you're talking about. This development is a result of the Market/Octavia Plan, which rezones more than 4,000 parcels to encourage population density in the heart of the city. The rezoning involves eliminating set-backs and backyards so that developers can build up to the property line. Height limits are also raised so buildings can be bigger, which includes at least four 40-story highrises at Market and Van Ness. Before the M/O Plan, the zoning for that area, like the rest of the city's neighborhoods, required set-backs and backyards for new residential construction, along with limits on height and the density allowed. And of course the M/O Plan limits the amount of parking that developers can include for new residental construction, which is why the Bicycle Coalition supports it.

In short, normal zoning regs that pertain to other city neighborhoods have been radically changed under the M/O Plan to encourage population density---10,000 more people in the area---under the false "transit corridors" theory, which holds that we can build as much housing as we want as long as it's near a major Muni line.

The Mint is a national landmark, which points up another problem with the M/O Plan, under which this project is allowable: the city hasn't completed the required landmark study supposed to be done before it okays the EIR on the Plan. It's not just the Mint; there are thousands of old buildings in the area that can be affected by constructing huge structures like this.

Yes, the building is oh-so-modern in design, but why not just make it smaller? Your snotty remarks about people's views that will be obstructed by this behemoth are just that, since views are also issues under CEQA.

It's the city's Planning Dept., the mayor, and the Board of Supervisors that are the radicals here, since the M/O Plan, UC's ripoff of the old extension property, and the Rincon Hill luxury highrise condos are accelerating gentrification in SF, not people who oppose radically increasing population density in their neighborhoods.

You will be more informed and your comments better if you click on "Market and Octavia" at the end of the post to learn some of the backstory and my ongoing critique of the M/O Plan and the assumptions underlying it. I in fact support smaller housing developments in the neighborhoods, like the Harding Theater property on Divisadero, which has been obstructed not by me but by misguided progressives like Ross Mirkarimi and Dave Tornheim.

 
At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This really says it all:
"It's the city's Planning Dept., the mayor, and the Board of Supervisors that are the radicals here, since the M/O Plan, UC's ripoff of the old extension property, and the Rincon Hill luxury highrise condos are accelerating gentrification in SF, not people who oppose radically increasing population density in their neighborhoods."


So people building housing where there had previously been none are exacerbating the housing shortage and people who oppose denser housing and sue to stop developments are NOT.

Welcome to the world of opposites.

 
At 12:18 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

It's really a question of size and scale, since this building will have more than 100 housing units. Why not make it smaller and shorter so that there's no conflict with neighborhing buildings? I'm not opposed to more housing, but the M/O Plan---which is what makes this project possible---rezones thousands of parcels in the area to make this sort of grotesquely large project possible.

 
At 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The development approval process will be tainted as long as San Francisco funds the Planning Department with a strategy other than developer fees. One reason that we have so many EIRs in the first place is so that the development community will continue to fund the department with their fees. Reading an EIR in San Francisco is like reading a cut-and-paste lip service document too; I've seen almost no significant mitigation come from a development EIR in San Francisco. We've created this parasitic relationship of the Planning Department wanting development to fund their salaries.

Of course, there is this really migsuided belief that the place that "deserves" the high density housing is the Market/Octavia neighborhood. Ironically, the neighborhood has overcrowded Muni trains and buses, and congested roadways. Getting on a Muni train in the morning at Church Street inbound, or in the evenings at Van Ness Avenue or Civic Center outbound is pretty darned tough.

The City really should be tying our development policies to our transportation system and quit pointing at like "evil cars" as a lame excuse for lazy, reactive planning. If Market/Octavia is to be much higher density, then those Market/Octavia supporters should be working on a second high capacity transit option (without reducing street capacity) into downtown in tandem with it. Similarly, we should be discouraging growth in areas where we aren't adding transit capacity (and not decreasing street capacity), and encouraging it where we are.

In sum: If someone believes the Market/Octavia should be 10 to 40 story buildings, then they should be pushing for a Market Street monorail or some major transit capacity enhancement. Otherwise, they are promoting bad planning (while calling it "Smart Growth" ironically) and giving developers a free ride (except of course for those high fees to pay the Planning Department salaries).

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, indeed. This is the most intelligent comment I've ever had on the Market/Octavia Plan and development in SF in general. The folks in the Planning Dept.---and of course the dull-normal lemmings on the Board of Supervisors and a mayor who, with the important exception of his policy initiatives on homelessness, has never had an original thought on anything---adhere uncritically to the dubious "transit corridors" theory as applied to SF. They seem to think that the "transit" part of the theory will just take care of itself, though even they must be worried about the impending cuts to Muni service.

There is a determined group of activists in that part of town, who, when they aren't congratulating themselves for tearing down the Central Freeway, are pushing this transit corridor/density crap, along with the anti-car crap. They seem to be impervious to the reality that they've already wrought, in particular the desolation that's the result of 45,000 cars a day that are now going through the heart of Hayes Valley on Octavia Blvd.

They want to compound that horror with the M/O Plan bringing in another 10,000 people to the area, and the proposed UC atrocity on the old extension property, which will bring in another 1,000 new residents to the area. They seem to think that all these people will ride bikes or a soon-to-be truncated and even more crowded Muni system.

That the Planning Dept., the Planning Commission, the BOS, and the Mayor's office all believe this bullshit is a remarkable instance of GroupThink. But they are going to do more damage to this part of the city than the 1906earthquake and fire. 40-story highrises at Market and Van Ness! Those who like the hideous Fox Plaza and the equally awful 100 Van Ness building, are going to love that area when these dolts are through "improving" the shit out of it.

The building---a grotesque, hideous, modernist monstrosity--- that is the subject of this post is what they envision all up and down Market Street, our main "transit corridor."

 
At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob
Will you at least recognize that this site was always an 80ft B height and bulk zoning. the only difference in the proposed size is the 5ft bump in commercial space height. In fact the building sits back from the corner close to 900ft off of property line. There is more allowed density which means smaller units which does make sense in this neighborhood. This exact building could've been built prior to MOP minus the 5ft, and the unit size would've been larger.

 
At 12:40 AM, Blogger Michael Baehr said...

Rob Anderson bingo: "in particular the desolation that's the result of 45,000 cars a day that are now going through the heart of Hayes Valley on Octavia Blvd."

Care comparing what Hayes Valley was like before the freeway came down to after, and get back to me on that? Why don't you ask any landowner in the area what happened to their property values when the double-decker structure (which housed a giant bum encampment below) came down? How about the people who live around there? When did all those nice restaurants open on Gough?

Oh, and where did those 45,000 cars go before they went "through the heart of Hayes Valley"? Oh right, they went onto Fell (or came off of Oak), which are the same exact streets which the new Octavia boulevard feeds onto, except at surface level.

You're so tiring.

 
At 1:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with this project isn't the size of the building, in my opinion. As previously pointed out, this lot has always been zoned for 80-foot height, and the neighbors who are complaining know that. The folks in those buildings should be happy that they've enjoyed a view for so many years, when a tall building could have been on the Market/Buchanan site years ago.

The problem for me is the design of the building. Modern architecture is great, and this building would look fine in Soma, in LA, in Miami. But it's completely insensitive to the context and character of the neighborhood where they want to put it.

The Market Octavia plan includes design guidelines which are supposed to ensure that new development doesn't clash with the character of the neighborhood. This project basically ignores those guidelines... it lacks the fine-grained design called for, it doesn't recognize the topography of the site and "step down" the hill on Buchanan, and it doesn't have a distinctive bottom, a middle, and a top as required by the design guidelines. It's a nice, iconic building that is completely out of place at Market and Buchanan.

I hope there will be lots of opposition to the current design at the Planning Commission on Thursday. I'm all for the density but it needs to fit into the neighborhood.

 
At 8:54 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, Michael, I remember very well what that part of town was like before the Central Freeway ramps came down. The overpass shadowed the neighborhood, and the homeless and hookers congregated beneath it. But what we have now, with much of the freeway traffic coming through the middle of Hayes Valley, isn't pretty, which official San Francisco, the SFBC, and the activists in the area refuse to admit. The assumption seems to be that whatever happened in that area after the freeway came down was bound to be better, which isn't necessarily so. I'm simply saying Octavia Blvd. from Hayes to Market is awful. There aren't any botiques or restaraunts lining Octavia Blvd. because that would be like doing business on a freeway.

Which brings us to the city's Market/Octavia Plan, which will bring 10,000 new residents to the area. And UC's proposed development a block off Octavia, which will bring another 1,000 new residents to the area. Think traffic in the area is bad now? When the city gets done with the area, people might begin to wish they still had the Central Freeway.

 
At 10:30 AM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"There aren't any botiques or restaraunts lining Octavia Blvd. because that would be like doing business on a freeway."

I find this comment very amusing in the context of several Rob Anderson meandering thoughts...

The right turn off Market at Octavia to the 101 should be allowed. Of course this would turn Market into a freeway, which of course no boutiques and restaurants would want to be on. But it is very important that we NOT remove parking from Market because of the boutiques and restaurants on Market.

Rob, you are a contradiction wrapped in an oxymoron covered with bacon.

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Remarkable how consistently stupid your comments are, Murph. Allowing the right turn onto the freeway at Market and Octavia would not involve any changes to Market Street at all. In fact it would get freeway-bound traffic off the city's surface streets quickly and efficiently. Recall that the on-ramp to allow this to happen was already in place before the city began building its obstructions.

 
At 11:35 AM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"Remarkable how consistently stupid your comments are, Murph. Allowing the right turn onto the freeway at Market and Octavia would not involve any changes to Market Street at all. In fact it would get freeway-bound traffic off the city's surface streets quickly and efficiently."

Ah yes the Rob Anderson universe where a second order effect does not exist. Putting in that turn would attract traffic to Market that currently gets to the freeway in other ways.

 
At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi all! Can we calm down a minute? Great! Rob, I'm your neighbor, a homeowner a few houses down from the proposed project. Yes, in a Victorian. Yes, I own a car. Love the Market/Octavia Plan. Love less parking. Love the building design. Love love love the idea of change and vibrancy in our neighborhood. I didn't move to the Lower Haight for stucco boxes and views of the Mint--I moved here because the place feels on the verge of change. That means both the tag-art (which I love), the DJ vinyl shops (which I love) and buildings like this. This is where the Lower Haight is going, this is where we want it to go, and I think it's time to take a good look at whether it's actually a bad idea or if you're simply being left behind. Consider without rage--we're all going to have to live together, and the rule isn't that the angriest person wins.

 
At 1:28 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, you sound like the perfect "progressive" asshole who's determined to screw up that part of town. The post you're commenting on is a message from some of your neighbors who disagree with your vulgar, destructive vision of what that are should look like.

 
At 3:55 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"Putting in that turn would attract traffic to Market that currently gets to the freeway in other ways."

Yes, Murph, this was claimed a lot during the kerfuffle over that intersection, but there are no facts to back it up. Most of the freeway-bound traffic at that intersection comes right across Market from Octavia, and a lot goes down Duboce on the other side of Market to get on the freeway at 13th and South Van Ness. Still, why allowing freeway-bound traffic to get on the freeway easily and quickly is a bad idea has never been rationally explained.

 
At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...Most of the freeway-bound traffic at that intersection comes right across Market from Octavia, and a lot goes down Duboce on the other side of Market to get on the freeway at 13th and South Van Ness."

If traffic is light, I will come down Market, turn north up Laguna, cut through the Hayes Valley neighborhood, left on Haight, then right onto Octavia and then the freeway. If traffic is heavy, I use 14th Street, Folsom Street and 8th Street to get to the on-ramp to the Bay Bridge. I never use Duboce because it's one lane and the Mission Street light is too long.

Making that right turn legal would help my life alot! I will quit cutting through the Hayes Valley or Inner Mission residential areas to reach the freeway. I see lots of other people doing this too. I've been wondering when the neighbors will figure out that the right-turn ban increases traffic on their street!

 
At 2:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's wrong with keeping the gas station? Where else will these temporary residents of San Francisco put air in their bicycle tires. Go back to Kansas and take your stupid glass building with you. Can't wait for the shards of glass raining down on the bike lane after the next good shaker. I will be on the corner selling tire patch kits.

 
At 12:32 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"If traffic is light, I will come down Market, turn north up Laguna, cut through the Hayes Valley neighborhood, left on Haight, then right onto Octavia and then the freeway. If traffic is heavy, I use 14th Street, Folsom Street and 8th Street to get to the on-ramp to the Bay Bridge. I never use Duboce because it's one lane and the Mission Street light is too long."

Anonymous just proved my point.

 
At 12:54 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No, he didn't. He simply described several different ways to get on the freeway. Allowing the easy right turn onto the freeway from Market Street is still the simplest way for motorists on Market Street heading downtown.

 
At 1:45 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"No, he didn't. He simply described several different ways to get on the freeway. Allowing the easy right turn onto the freeway from Market Street is still the simplest way for motorists on Market Street heading downtown."

You just proved my point. Currently there is not a clear best way to get to the freeway. Allowing that right turn would - for better or for worse - attract a lot of traffic onto Market Street because - to quote Rob Anderson - "Allowing the easy right turn onto the freeway from Market Street is still the simplest way for motorists on Market Street heading downtown."

Reference: Cesar Chavez to 101S. Unlike Chavez, Market St is also a business corridor - Chavez is unpleasant but that's not costing any businesses money.

I'm not saying that if the safety issue were non-existent (imagine the pedestrians and bikes had an underground tunnel) that prohibiting the right turn would be a good thing. I am saying that it would increase traffic on this section of Market. Denying that would be like the creators of Octavia saying the current design would not increase traffic on Octavia compared to before the freeway came down.

 
At 2:53 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Again you have no evidence for that assumption, since most motorists get on the freeway by crossing Market Street at Octavia
Blvd. directly onto the freeway. Why would anyone who didn't have to be on that position on Market Street go out of their way to do that? Anyhow, the tradeoff now is that motorists have to continue down Market Street to Van Ness, make a right turn and continue to 13th and South Van Ness, which means keeping that traffic on the city's surface streets for many more blocks. Instead, it's more sensible to simply allow drivers to get quickly off Market Street and onto the freeway.

 
At 3:11 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

Rob writes...

"Anyhow, the tradeoff now is that motorists have to continue down Market Street to Van Ness, make a right turn and continue to 13th and South Van Ness, which means keeping that traffic on the city's surface streets for many more blocks."

Anonymous wrote...

"If traffic is light, I will come down Market, turn north up Laguna, cut through the Hayes Valley neighborhood, left on Haight, then right onto Octavia and then the freeway. If traffic is heavy, I use 14th Street, Folsom Street and 8th Street to get to the on-ramp to the Bay Bridge."

Do you get it yet? The commuters are not going down Market to Van Ness, they are diverting off of Market earlier, on 14th if there is traffic and on Laguna if not. Make that right turn legal and they will stay on Market and increase traffic on Market. I'm not making a traffic engineering judgement on whether this is good or not.

You don't drive, so you don't know how drivers behave. This is only one example proving it.

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Who says I don't drive, Mr. Know-it-all? As a matter of fact, I do, though I don't own a car. Whether a lot of people do what this guy does is doubtful---recall my request for evidence?---and for those that do it would be better for the city and the neighborhood if we simply let them make that right turn onto the freeway.

 
At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'd prefer an abandoned gas station? Wise up...

 
At 3:55 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

It takes a particular kind of stupidity to think that the real choice is between the old gas station or this neighborhood destroying monstrosity.

 
At 5:15 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"Anyhow, the tradeoff now is that motorists have to continue down Market Street to Van Ness, make a right turn and continue to 13th and South Van Ness, which means keeping that traffic on the city's surface streets for many more blocks."

Whether a lot of people do what this guy does is doubtful - do you have evidence?

 
At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Still, why allowing freeway-bound traffic to get on the freeway easily and quickly is a bad idea has never been rationally explained."

There is the little problem of the bicyclists getting run over when that is allowed. But cyclists aren't human in your definition of the world, so I can see how that is not a problem for you.

 
At 7:25 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You seem to have forgotten the point, that the nearest entrance to the freeway after Market/Octavia is at 13th and South Van Ness. Unless you know of some traffic studies that tell us what motorists are doing, we don't know exactly who's doing what. My point: that the city should make it easy for people in the Market/Octavia area to get on the freeway by making the right turn off Market Street.

 
At 4:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I would prefer a gas station than an ugly building. There are a lot more ugly buildings in the city than gas stations. There has been a steady decline of independent gas stations in San Francisco brought on by the monopoly oil companies, that I am sure you hate as well. So you wise up!

 
At 10:38 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"There is the little problem of the bicyclists getting run over when that is allowed. But cyclists aren't human in your definition of the world, so I can see how that is not a problem for you."

No, I acknowledge that cyclists are human, more or less. But my question about the Market/Octavia interesection is, Why didn't the city do the same thing there that it did at Fell/Masonic, which is redesign the light system so that cyclists and motorists don't share a green light? By insisting that the right turn be banned regardless of all other considerations, the city and the bike people have made traffic in that part of town a lot worse than it needs to be.

 
At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

looks like most people disagree with rob. therefore we must all be wrong.

 
At 3:26 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Your logic is impeccable.

 

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