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Hayes Valley Leftovers: Transit Changes, Tree Drama, And More

It's been a busy week for Hayes Valley, with eviction drama, a homicide arrest, and a local cake boss all making headlines. But there's more afoot in the neighborhood, from transit and tree changes to meetings and awards. 

Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit Project Approved

First up, the SFMTA has approved the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project, which we outlined back in July. The plan, designed to "create efficient and more reliable transit service along the Van Ness Avenue corridor between Mission and Lombard streets," will make one of the thoroughfare's three lanes transit-only, do away with most left turns on Van Ness Avenue, and remove parking spots in areas where center bus boarding platforms are planned (new parking spots will be added to the former curbside bus stops to compensate). 

"The transit service and infrastructure changes are expected to reduce transit travel times by over 30 percent," according to the SFMTA. "By 2035, with the implementation of BRT, ridership is projected to be greater than 60,000 passengers per day."

Construction will begin sometime in late 2015 with service to start in 2018, so you'll be adding Van Ness to your mental list of city streets under construction soon. 

Tree Drama at 580 Hayes

There's some dendrological drama going down at 580 Hayes (pictured above), which was recently vacated by Hayes & Kebab to make way for the construction of a new mixed-use building. According to a hearing notice posted around the neighborhood, the applicant's initial request to remove the two mature trees outside the building was denied by the city. The applicant, who is the building's owner, has appealed the decision.

"We must oppose the removal of these two beautiful trees," Russell Pritchard, of next-door shop Zonal, wrote on Facebook. He urged neighbors to attend the upcoming hearing, which will he held on Monday, November 24th at 5:30pm in Room 416 of City Hall. If you've got opinions on the matter, stop by and make your voice heard. 

Public Safety Meeting on December 1st

Robert Barnwell of the the HVNA's Public Safety Committee has announced that the next public safety meeting will be held at 7pm on Monday, December 1st at the Korean American Center (745 Buchanan). The theme of the evening will be homeless issues in Hayes Valley and the Western Addition, and guests will include Rann Parker of the San Francisco Homeless Coalition, as well as officers from Northern Station.

Hayes Valley Scores Eater Awards

And finally, in food news: neighborhood newcomer Monsieur Benjamin has scored some more media love, with chef Jason Berthold awarded the coveted Chef of the Year title on Eater SF's 2014 awards list. Bar star Ashley Miller of Mid-Market's nearby Alta CA nabbed the Bartender of the Year award. Congratulations, local culinary stars!

Did we miss any leftover news or neighborhood events? Let us know in the comments. 

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