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West Portal station
One proposal seeks to transform the planted area adjacent to the West Portal station.

The Game is On!

Applications for Participatory Budget funding are closed and the ranking discussions are scheduled to begin on May 30th — voting starts June 12th!

• • • • • • • • • • May 26, 2023 • • • • • • • • • •

The Participatory Budget application period that began March 15th is over. It concluded on April 14th and the 20 proposals are being evaluated by the Community Review Committee, which is scoring them based on their appropriateness, feasibility, and benefits for the D7 community. The projects that they select to go forward will be on the public ballot beginning June 12. Stay tuned so you can participate in the process. Projects range from stop signs and speed bumps to murals and seating in public areas.

What is Participatory Budgeting?

For those who haven't been paying attention, it's designed to engage members of the community who can propose improvements to their neighborhoods. Yes, you can spend your own tax money. It will be paid for by the City. And it's been that way since District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee came up with the idea in 2013.

How much are we talking about?

All projects are one-time grants, and estimated costs are usually not from professional economists. They are not audited. For general projects, $377,000 will be available. For the category of Vision Zero projects, however, $422,000 will be available. Proposals for funding estimates for the 20 projects total $629,198. All the projects cannot be funded. Thus, the Community Review Committee steps in.

The Community Review Committee

The committee is composed of District 7 residents, including Park Merced, Twin Peaks, St. Francis Wood, Westwood Park, Balboa Terrace, Parkside, Sunnyside, Midtown Terrace, Miraloma, Inner Sunset, Golden Gate Heights, Westwood Highlands, Ingleside Terraces, and Forest Knolls. These residents who have "subject-matter expertise" will review and score the proposals.

Committee members are:
Colleen Carrigan, Ingleside Terraces
Pratibha Tekkey, Miraloma
Sofia Perel, Golden Gate Heights
Steve Roditi, Westwood Heights
Susan Suval, Park Merced
Dona Crowder, Twin Peaks
Lee Hsu, St Francis Wood
Kate Favetti, Westwood Park
Mary Jung, Balboa Terrace
Manish Champsee, Inner Sunset
Alice Guidry, Sunnyside
David Cuadro, Midtown Terrace
Denise LaPoint, Twin Peaks
Jim Salinas, Miraloma
Brenda Wright, Sunnyside
Dennis Antenore, Inner Sunset
Molly Sterkel, Miraloma
Naomi Laguana, Sunnyside
Mary Travis-Allen, Merced Extension Triangle
Walter Caplan, Forest Knolls
Gregangelo Herrera, Balboa Terrace

The committee will meet to discuss the proposals on May 30th at 5:30 pm. The public may attend this meeting but must contact Supervisor Melgar's Aide, Emma Heiken at Inquiries regarding the place where the meeting will be held have not been answered as of press time.

Members of the committee may not be applicants for funding.

Criteria priorities are defined on Supervisor Melgar's webpage, and the committee will determine the projects that most closely reflect the criteria and that can be completed within the budgeted allocation.

Voting on the projects will begin on June 12th and ballots will be accepted until June 26th. The winning projects will be announced from July 3rd to July 6th. The funds will be released to the project managers in various City departments in the fall.

The projects proposed are listed below, presumably in the order received.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 1 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Crosswalk lights at Holloway & Ashton

The intersection at Holloway and Ashton is an atypical 4-way stop with a parallelogram shape which hinders drivers' views of the crosswalks. And because of the parallelogram shape of the intersection and decreased diver visibility of the crosswalks, increasing the visibility of pedestrians using the crosswalks is needed to enhance pedestrian safety. Installing crosswalk lights that signal when pedestrians are using the crosswalks will help increase the visibility of pedestrian-use of the crosswalks to help minimize the risk of pedestrian injuries from traffic.

Estimated Project Cost 44,838 plus freight/shipping.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 2 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Design for community space at West Portal station

Goal: Reimagine and redesign the planted space adjacent to the West Portal (WP) SFMTA Station on Lenox Way and Ulloa; WP is a major transit hub for the West Side (3 streetcar lines and 2 bus lines) and is lacking (1) a proper transit waiting area outside of the tunnel and (2) community space.

Estimated Project Cost $50,000.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 3 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Emergency preparedness training and capacity building

Vision: To build community resiliency and recovery in times of local disaster. Goals: To train 100+ neighborhood residents in basic emergency response skills and be able to provide community services in times of sister.

Estimated Project Cost $10,000

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 4 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Irrigation system at Dewey Circle

Over 4 years ago, the city partnered with a group of neighbors to restore Dewey Circle, a large 90-foot traffic circle at the apex of two neighborhoods - West Portal and Forest Hill. Today Dewey Circle is a source of pride for our residents, the children who attend West Portal Elementary School, merchants on the nearby commercial corridor, the commuters who drive into the city every day, and the staff at San Francisco Department of Public Works. The design - with its 5 cement/brick walkways and 5 small urns, the large inner circle of river rocks with a large center urn, and the outer circumference filled with hundreds of colorful, low-maintenance plants - makes an impressive statement.

Estimated Project Cost $30,000-$40,000.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 5 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Mural on Clarendon pedestrian bridge

Vision: The Clarendon pedestrian footbridge has become old and ugly. The bridge spans Clarendon Avenue from Clarendon School to Midtown Terrace Park. The bridge should be a place that makes neighborhoods beautiful - and makes residents proud. Goals: To paint a mural using art created by the Clarendon School students. To memorialize children's art and neighborhood art and provide a welcoming gateway to the community.

Estimated Project Cost $35,000.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 6 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Mural on Laguna Honda Blvd.

Woodside Avenue is a historically-rich corridor. It is flanked by Forest Hill Muni station, which is known as one of the oldest stations on the West Coast, and Laguna Honda Hospital, which is recognized as the last almshouse in the country. A short walk leads to a network of historic multi-use trails, recently restored, under ongoing care, and available for public access. These structures deserve to be city landmarks in their own right. And yet, the green, bare, peeling, and vandalism-prone wall that is the backdrop for much of Woodside Avenue is lacking. Residential neighbors surrounding the area have frequently complained about the wall's appearance. Further, the wall is an attractor of unwanted behaviors including littering and vandalism. Without intervention, the wall is a false indicator of neglect. With support from the community, the Woodside Avenue wall can reflect the intersection of three vibrant neighborhoods enjoyed by residents, families, workers and students of all ages and stages.

Estimated Project Cost $50,000.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 7 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Merced Extension Mural

Requesting an artistic mural to be sponsored in the Merced Extension Triangle district. This is the first time this item has been requested in this neighborhood. It is said that beautiful spaces foster good behavior. This is why this location needs a mural. Presently, this location is a dump site for garbage, food and household items. To eliminate this behavior, we hope a mural could rescue this location. In writing this request, the idea of a City trash container here is appropriate. It could be a new container or one moved from another location.

Estimated Project Cost $15,000

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 8 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Rainy day fund for small businesses

The pandemic reshaped the way shoppers interact with local small businesses by negatively impacting foot traffic and in-person shopping habits, leading to a dramatic reduction in revenue to these vital merchants. In addition, businesses still face difficulties hiring and retaining employees, pressure on their bottom line due to rapid inflation, as well costs related to severe weather damage and the increasing prevalence of property crime and vandalism. Our merchants - which we believe are central to the vitality of our neighborhoods - are dealing with the increasing costs and frequency of these types of events, making it incredibly difficult for them to continue operations. Resilient West Portal's vision is to provide support to our local businesses to ensure the continued health and vibrancy of our merchant corridors, which act as central hubs necessary to build community within our neighborhoods.

Estimated Project Cost $50,000

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 9 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Remove storm damage and hazardous trees from Mt. Sutro

Recovery, Preparedness and Restoration in Woodland Canyon Creek is a partnership between Sutro Stewards and San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department (SFRPD) to remove immediate tree hazards to the community surrounding Mount Sutro, aiding recovery from the winter 2023 storms. We will follow this with habitat restoration work in the Woodland Canyon Creek lower watershed which will build resilience in the face of the next major storm.

Estimated Project Cost $50,000

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 10 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Seating area with trees in Sunnyside

Installation of a bench, native sidewalk garden and two trees on Foerster Street and Monterey Boulevard. The locations fronts of the Kwik & Convenient parking lot, on a wide sidewalk near the El Gran Taco Loco taco truck parked in the Kwik and Convenient parking lot. This project will not only provide greenery and increase water permeability on this barren stretch of sidewalk, but will also provide seating for patrons of the taco truck and Kwik and Convenient. The dual benefit of helping local businesses survive and greening of the area has the potential to increase pedestrian engagement in Sunnyside's central business corridor. Aesthetically, it helps to beautify a long neglected portion of Monterey Boulevard's central business district.

Estimated Project Cost $30,030

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 11 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Series of murals in the Inner Sunset

The vision of the Inner Sunset Mural Project is to inaugurate a program to create public art throughout the Inner Sunset, located predominantly along the merchant corridor to help drive economic recovery through beautification. The Inner Sunset Mural Project would fund 5-10 local art projects (size dependent) within the Inner Sunset. The process to implement these art projects will be used as a means for community engagement, blight remediation, beautification strategy, and demonstration of civic pride. In collaboration with the SF Arts Commission, the program will build on the Art@Work initiative already established in D4. The goal of the Inner Sunset Mural Project is to create murals of enduring value while actively engaging local artists and promoting their professional development.

Estimated Project Cost $50,000

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 12 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Speed humps near Slow Hearst

Please provide a full, detailed project description (vision, goals, and expected outcomes)
We propose the following:
Speed hump on Hearst between Edna and Detroit
Speed hump on Hearst between Detroit and Congo
Speed hump on Flood between Congo and Detroit

Estimated Project Cost $45,000

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 13 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Stairway access to Melrose-Detroit Botanical Garden

This project seeks to construct a stairway at the Melrose-Detroit Botanical Garden to allow safe access between Miraloma and Sunnyside. Presently, the Garden is accessible from the North [Detroit at Melrose], while the access from the South [Detroit above Joost] is impassable due to a 8 foot wall and railing. Despite this, the Melrose-Detroit Botanical Garden sees regular foot traffic of visitors who pass through the Garden over-the-wall to access inter-neighborhood travel and utilize the Garden, and receives visits, enthusiasm, and admiration from Southern neighbors who face difficulty accessing the Garden from below [South].

Estimated Project Cost $50,000

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 14 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Stop signs at 12th Ave & Taraval

The goal of this project is to improve children, pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle safety on Taraval Street by installing stop signs in both directions on Taraval Street at 12th Avenue. This intersection is within two school zones, West Portal Elementary School and Herbert Hoover Middle School, and many children walk in this area on a daily basis.

Estimated Project Cost $10,500.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 15 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Street mural and sidewalk cleaning in Lakeside

Safe streets and sidewalks are critical in preventing deaths and injuries. It shouldn't be a life or death decision to use a crosswalk! Every day at the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Woodacre Drive, we see cars plow through the oversized stop signs, completely missing (or ignoring) them. Additionally, we frequently hear about residents including seniors and shoppers who encounter litter or broken sidewalks in the commercial corridor. There are many health hazards from litter whether this is seniors who trip and fall or young children exposed to disease and other harm.

Estimated Project Cost $48,730

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 16 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Traffic cameras in the Inner Sunset

License plate readers at three street locations in the vicinity of 1) Lawton and 8th Avenue; 2)15th Avenue/Quintara/Fanning and 3) 10th Ave and Quintara. This will enable neighborhood and law enforcement with tools to investigate crimes such as home invasions, home/retail/ garage burglaries, car thefts and auto break-ins. One goal is to deter crime in the area and assist police with evidence of crimes committed in the area. We expect a reduction in crime in the area, including higher clearance rates.

Estimated Project Cost $11,500

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 17 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Trees and plants on medians at Junipero Serra & Ocean Ave

Plant 40 trees and cover crops in the 600-foot by 30-foot median between Junipero Serra and Junipero Serra Access Road and between Ocean Ave and Monterey Blvd adjacent to Commodore Sloat Elementary School.

Estimated Project Cost $29,300

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 18 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Upgrade playground at Sloat Elementary

Upgrade the Kindergarten section of the schoolyard at Commodore Sloat Elementary School. Years of use and irregular upkeep have led to areas full of mud or just unable to use. The vision would be to have a budget whereby we could rehabilitate existing structures (light fencing, fairy garden figurines), renovate rundown spaces (sandbox, planter boxes, basketball hoops), and add new structures (trellises for planter boxes to add privacy). Collectively, these improvements would activate an area of the schoolyard that is declining. The hoped-for outcome is that both students and neighbors use this space to exercise and enjoy the outdoors.

Estimated Project Cost $25,000

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 19 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Upgrade playground at Sunnyside Elementary

Our public school and community play structure is in need of updating and modernization. Not only do our 350 students use this structure during the school day, our community and neighborhood also uses the play structure during the weekend and when school is not in session. Our play structure takes on a lot during the week and weekend! The current play structure is old and requires constant maintenance and repairing. Given that the play structure is used by the neighborhood and larger community during the weekends, the play structure gets heavy usage, making this a community project that would benefit the community. We also need the play structure modernized to be more inclusive for students who need support to access. Our current play structure is not designed for students who have mobility challenges.

Estimated Project Cost $50,000

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Proposal 20 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Youth nutrition education and food security

City Youth Now's vision for the food supplement program is that youth will have access to nutritious and healthy food during school breaks and holidays. Achievement of the following goals will help us to realize this vision:
• Provide resources for students who need healthy food options while school is not in session.
• Educate youth and young adults on how to make healthy food choices, despite the lack of availability of food in their immediate neighborhoods.
• Address barriers that prevent students of all socioeconomic backgrounds from having access to healthy and nutritious food while school is not in session.

Estimated Project Cost $23,000

Stay tuned to Supervisor Melgar's Participatory Budget site for instructions regarding the voting process for these projects — only District 7 residents may vote.

Doug Comstock is the editor of the Westside Observer

May 26, 2023

Doug Comstock
Doug Comstock

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