On Monday night, the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association (HVNA) held their monthly public safety meeting. The evening’s agenda focused on specific concerns for three groups within Hayes Valley – youth, seniors, and the LGBT community.
The evening's most discussed issue was about the crossing at Laguna and Ivy near the AgeSong assisted living center. For years, the center has been trying to get the city to add clearer markings and signage to warn speeding drivers about crossing pedestrians.
As evidence, Dr. Sally Gelardin, a director at AgeSong told the meeting that the center had emailed the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency back in June 2013 to ask about improving the crosswalk. She provided a print-out of it, and quoted from the request at the time.
"To facilitate the crossing of staff and escorted residents," she read, "an eight-foot wide, reflectorized paint striping with raised edge delineators and crosswalk signage is requested."
The SFMTA was also made aware of the crossing at previous HVNA public safety meetings, she added, where a “Slow down for Seniors” sign was the center's suggested solution.
Pointing out dangerous intersections in Hayes Valley is nothing new, given the neighborhood's central location – you can read more about AgeSong's discussion of the situation on their site. But it has become a growing concern around the neighborhood following the death of city worker Priscilla Moreto last year in Civic Center.
Vallie Brown, legislative aid to Supervisor Breed, attempted to calm the nerves of senior community members present with assurance that she'd look into the sign.
She warned, however, that boxing has become a serious issue due to increased construction in the area (where cars block intersections or crosswalks) and told Gelardin that for now the best option would be to walk to a designated nearby crosswalk.
Also present were Spencer Tolliver, Director of Educational Services at the newly-opened Don Fisher Clubhouse Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco, and Evan Knopf, Executive Assistant for the SF LGBT Center. Both provided updates about their efforts.
“Our motto is to be a safe place for kids,” said Tolliver. He explained that the center is focused on helping kids get to and from school safely, the overall problems of youth violence in the neighborhood, and the longstanding conflicts between people residential housing complexes.
Knopf, in turn, discussed the “San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Intersex Violence Prevention Needs Assessment” that was put together by his team, Learning for Action and the city of San Francisco. The report comes as the city grapples with the violent deaths of a number of trans people around the city. It advocates for more trans-oriented social services, police training, and general access to economic opportunities.