Monday, April 28, 2008

Confused robins?

This handsome robin has been visiting our backyard for the past week. Unfortunately, he/she and his/her mate have a strange habit of ramming into the sliding glass window. We're not quite sure what's going on with that. And they poop a lot on the deck.
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In the Palm Canyon

Thick with wild palms
Originally uploaded by Dale331
Our hike in the palm canyon was the highlight of our trip to Palm Springs at the end of March.

"Cracking the Maya Code"

This show is great. What amazing art and a fascinating culture. And these linguists and archaeologists were really smart. I'm so happy that I visited Tikal in northern Guatemala, and watching the show makes me yearn to visit other Mayan cities.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Valdes sculptures at Civic Center Plaza

The new bronze sculptures by Spanish artist Manolo Vald├ęs at Civic Center Plaza are awesome. This one looks like a woman in a Velazquez painting while others remind me of the Darth Vader mask. I gather from Blather from Brooklyn that they came to us after a stay in New York.
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Polk Gulch gets housing boost

New housing is going up in Polk Gulch, one of San Francisco's most culturally, racially, and economically diverse neighborhoods. The project comes from nonprofit housing developers and will fill a once-desolate lot at Polk and Geary (I have distant memories from the mid-1990s of a laundromat with a parking shut down and was ugly and empty since then). Developments like this one bolster the findings of a new analysis (reported in today's Chronicle) by New York University's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, which found that inclusionary zoning policies did not slow housing production in the Bay Area.
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Traffic calming on Cathedral Hill

I stopped on the way to the gym today to check out this recent expansion of the sidewalk on Cathedral Hill. There is a new sliver of sidewalk space on Post St between Gough and Franklin, running for about 50 feet. Building out the sidewalk apparently required the removal of several parking spaces, and the space markers are still visible on the pavement. This change may help smooth the run of the inbound 2-Clement.
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Masonic Ave neighbors support speed reduction

25 MPH hearing notice
Originally uploaded by Dale331
Notices were posted earlier this month to alert the community about a proposed change to the speed limit on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Oak. At the April 18 public hearing, neighbors came out to support the change, and it was approved.

We're hoping for a quick final approval, and effective implementation. Changing to 25 mph is not a huge difference from the current speed limit of 30 mph. There are only a few speed limit signs, though, and many cars travel way over that speed limit, leading to many crashes and injuries, and a bad community environment.

So far, I've found speed limit signs at Fulton (southbound) and approaching Geary (northbound).

Crater Invaders continues on Masonic Ave

Last Saturday, the Attack of the Crater Invaders drew about 50 volunteers to SF streets to mark potholes and raise awareness that our streets need to be fixed.

Michael is a lane steward for the Bike Coalition, and he has kept up the street-fixing work this week. Early Sunday morning was a good time to target Masonic Ave, where the street is wide and the traffic runs fast. We found this deep pothole at the intersection of Anza/O'Farrell with Masonic. This picture shows conditions in the right hand lane - supposedly where bikes are supposed to ride as they travel on Bicycle Route 55, heading toward the Presidio.

Circling the pothole is the easy part. Michael also notes the location, calls it in to the city, logs it in with the lane steward tracking system, and watches for the city to repair it.
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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Crater Invaders

The Page St. stencil team @ Golden Gate Park entry

Today's Crater Invaders event organized by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition brought a lot of attention to fixing our streets so cyclists can enjoy a smoother ride on SF's key bike routes. The winds were fierce but we persevered!