Friday, June 18, 2010

Noe Valley Plaza. My meeting with Supervisor Dufty and Andres Power, and the June 30 Meeting.

Hi all -

I had the pleasure to meet with Supervisor Bevan Dufty and Andres
Power from planning, among other people last night. I left the meeting
reasonably optimistic that this project can proceed as planned, though
it will take some time and effort, to show them that there are people
who really do want to try out this project. I definitely got the
message that both Bevan and Andres think that this project is a GOOD

Andres Power from planning is a tireless worker, very bright, and very
smart. But he, like anyone else, wants to think that what he is doing
matters and makes a difference in people's lives. And I trust his
judgement implicitly. This project has been difficult for him in many
ways. We have good rules in our governmental system to ensure
transparency about what the government does. And some people opposed
to the project don't necessarily trust the process, so they have filed
numerous requests for all sorts of documents, and will almost
certainly exhaust the appeals process to make sure the i's are dotted
and t's are crossed. This is fine, but it means more work for Andres.
And as the primary point man for Pavement to Parks, he will eventually
be making decisions as to whether this project makes sense. Part of
that decision making is based on how much work it is, and part of that
is on how much benefit is gained. That's where we come in - to show
that there are many people who believe this trial project will benefit
our community.

The first thing that came up when I entered the meeting was "How can
we get more people, and more younger people with families who will
really benefit from a space like this, to the meeting!" I said I would
get the word out - basically if we show up to the June 30th meeting
with enthusiastic support, we can do this thing. That is exactly how I
am looking at this - we show up, we get to have our trial plaza.

We discussed the agenda of the meeting. I am 99% certain there will
not be a long drawn out session of public comment - we have done that
already and people can still send emails to Bevan and Andres (and
Gavin Newsom!). This meeting will be more of an informative session
where the City can go over the other alternatives that were
considered, why they were determined to be inadequate or
inappropriate, and how the current plan was selected. They will go
over the traffic measurements that were done, and how they will be
evaluated during a trial. There will be a Q&A session at the end,
hopefully not resulting in a series of rhetorical statements. So I
really hope this will be a meeting that will be informative and

Now - we can use some help to show Andres and Bevan our support.

This weekend is the Noe Valley Midsummer Fair, from 3 PM - 6 PM on
24th Street. There will be a hayride, face painting, bands, games,
etc... A family friendly event. We would like to get a few volunteers
to stand out there for an hour or two to pass out flyers and talk
about the possibilities with this project, and spread the word that we
need to show support if we want to have a space for people to utilize
on 24th Street the 363 days of the year that we aren't having a
Festival. If you can give us just an hour or two on Saturday, please
send me an email at or call me (John Murphy)
at 415-515-1095.

Second: Sunday Streets is in the Mission District at 24th/Valencia on
Sunday. We have someone going there in the AM, he could use some help
and we could use some people in the later part of it. There will be
1000's of people there enjoying open pedestrian space and seeing the
same possibilities we can have in Noe Valley. Many of them will be
from Noe Valley, some will be from nearby areas whom our merchants
would love to have visit. If you can help out there, please let me

Finally. The meeting is June 30th. We really need to have a good
turnout. Please try to mark out your calendars. I personally have a 16
month old son and the meeting is at 7:30, past his bedtime. I know
many of you have the same issue. If you can send one person as a
representative, we'll put a sticker on your shirt to show how many
others in your family you are representing. Tell your friends. There
will not be a vote - P2P will make decisions, but we can influence
that decision with our friendly faces in the audience.

Thanks for listening.