Photo: There was an uptick in instances of graffiti from 5/29 through 6/2. The East Cut Street Services team members removed graffiti when permitted by property managers and the City.
Dog Owners: Please remember to not let dogs relieve themselves on plants and trees. The urine kills the plants and some parts of the district have empty planters on the sidewalks because the foliage can't handle the acidity. Light poles, trashcans, and other non-living objects are acceptable spots for dog relief. Greenspace is precious space!
June Mask Event: Building on the success of the Masks for D6 campaign, and given the recent Health Order requiring San Francisco residents to wear face coverings outdoors when within thirty-feet of another person, the CBD will host another mask give-away event. This latest event will include East Cut-branded face coverings! Join us at 300 Folsom on Wednesday, June 17th from 8:30am-10:30am to pick up a mask.
For those new to our neighborhood, The East Cut previously collaborated with D6 Supervisor Matt Haney via the Masks for D6 fundraiser hosting a mask event on May 8th. Over $22,000 has been raised to-date so that everyone in our district has access to a face covering.
Updates on the Temporary Transbay Terminal
The East Cut CBD is regularly updating our website with information regarding use of the Temporary Transbay Terminal as a Safe Sleeping Site. The latest update was made on June 3rd, 2020. You can find the latest updates via the link below.
With shelter-in-place restrictions still in effect, most restaurants and shops have maintained their adjusted business hours, custom menus, and online-only orders. San Francisco has entered Phase 2b of reopening! You may now enjoy outdoor dining, outdoor fitness, extended curbside retail, and small gatherings.
News coverage featuring our storied neighborhood from the people who live and work here to the public spaces and merchants that attract visitors near and far.
Peregrine Falcon Atop PG&E
The East Cut will soon have a few more neighbors! The peregrine falcon that has nested annually atop the PG&E building on Beale Street is expecting hatchlings any day now. Want daily updates on the hatchlings? Yeah, us too! You can monitor the peregrine falcon via PG&E's webcam here.
Big Belly Art Theft and New Can PlacementSurvey
We're adding more Big Belly trashcans to The East Cut and need your feedback! Add your input on where the next installment of Big Belly trashcans should be via this online survey.
What is not being added-back are the art decals from our collaboration with local street artist, fnnch. Theft of fnnch's decals has increased dramatically since March, with many cans now missing their art completely. We are holding off on replacing them, for now, to increase public awareness on the issue.
Muni Service Increase, Street Cleaning Enforcement Resumes
The SFMTA announced that it is set to increase bus service on a number of lines including the 14R Mission Line frequency. In addition, beginning Monday June 15th, parking violations for street sweeping will be enforced. Read the full SFMTA blog post here.
Socially Distanced Portraits
In cased you missed last month's newsletter, check out work done by a Bold Italic writer who was able to get out and take some socially distanced photos - including one featuring an East Cut resident! Check out the article.
Articles from around the Bay, the state, and all over the world representing topics of interest to East Cut businesses, residents, and visitors.
Founder of The Black Urbanist Examines Street Safety in the Time of COVID and Protest
StreetsBlog author Kea Wilson interviews The Black Urbanist founder Kristen Jeffers on looking beyond the traditional metrics to measure street safety when it comes to the black community. Established in 2007, The Black Urbanist is a multimedia platform that offers a variety of opportunities for learning and information sharing, with Jeffers noting that her written works center on, “[d]esign, urban planning, transportation architecture, and life as a black woman in the modern world.”
Kea and Jeffers discuss a variety of topics including how, during COVID-19, the conversations around race and equality in public transportation have shifted. They also discuss how access to public spaces is experienced differently by black citizens and black workers, and even what it means to be a Black Urbanist and “friend of the city.”
As San Francisco's first truly dense neighborhood, with a mix of market-rate and affordable housing, what can we learn to ensure that The East Cut is accessible, diverse, and promotes what we all want - safety, community, and the unexpected vibrancy that only a city can provide.
If you are interested in further reading on how we might rethink urbanism, President and CEO of SPUR, Alicia Jean-Baptiste, shared an open letter addressed to White Urbanists. The letter centered on two key areas of responsibility White Urbanists have as planning and policy professionals in becoming effective allies in order to end racism.
Mark Zabaneh, who took over as Director of the TJPA in 2016, announced last week that he was stepping down for an unnamed position. Zabaneh, who will leave the TJPA this September, joined the agency in 2013 after a nearly three-decade stint at Caltrans.
Zabaneh's tenure at the TJPA is marked by great accomplishments but also by controversy. The TJPA Director is best known for overseeing the construction of the 2.2 billion-dollar Salesforce Transit Center in addition to negotiating the naming of the center with Salesforce, which resulted in 110 million dollars of revenue towards the TJPA operating budget. Some criticized the deal made with Salesforce as commercializing a public building.
The transit center originally opened in 2018 only to close six weeks later when fissures in a support beam were discovered. Director Zabaneh steered the TJPA through the necessary repairs, reopening the Center in July of 2019.
Zabaneh shared that his central focus over the next three months will be helping the Transit Center recover in the face of COVID-19. Regardless of where San Francisco residents stand on these projects, it is certain that Zabaneh's stewardship helped get the Transit Center project back on track.
Phase 2 of the project, the Downtown Extension (DTX), must now move forward to fully realize the transit network necessary to support the entire Bay Area.
The East Cut CBD staff and board thank Mark for his leadership and partnership, in particular for his attention to Salesforce Park. We wish him all the best in his future endeavor.
Access to Green Spaces Varies Greatly by Socio-Economic Status
The East Cut CBD has shared a number of articles over the past two months discussing the vital importance of access to public spaces, particularly green spaces, in relation to mental and physical health. However, what has received less coverage until now is the class divide between those who live near these types of spaces, and those who do not.
In this article published by The Guardian, journalist Nina Lakhani examines how low-income households and people of color living in urban environments are less likely to live near green open spaces and furthermore, are less likely to benefit from programs designed to promote social distancing and physical activities, such as San Francisco's Slow Streets Program. San Franciscans can relate to one unfortunate reality uncovered by Lakhani in that large urban centers where Slow Streets Programs are being rolled out, black and brown neighborhoods are much less likely to experience street closures (despite often being the neighborhoods with fewer parks per capita).
At present, The East Cut, along with other central San Francisco neighborhoods, have little to no streets "closed" as part of the SFMTA's Slow Streets Program. However, we have been working with Supervisor Haney's office to hopefully close some of our streets to vehicular traffic, so keep an eye out for future details.
As shelter in place lifts, citizens adapt to new normals. For many, that includes reducing or eliminating altogether the use of rideshare or public transit for inner-city transportation. So how are some people getting efficiently from Point A to Point B? Enter the era of the electric bike.
Sales of e-bikes jumped 85 percent in March compared to March 2019. Despite an early stigma, many e-bike makers anticipated this new mode of transport would become a mainstay in urban transit over the next decade. They were wrong. Instead this shift looks to be happening over the next quarter of 2020.
In this article published June 3rd in The New York Times, author Brian Chen examines the pros and cons of e-bike ownership, testing out various models and features of several popular models. Chen then lays out the pluses and minuses of each model so those looking to purchase can optimize (and perhaps justify) the rather large expense as much as possible.