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San Francisco

Concerned Upper Haight Merchants Considering Protest Of Infrastructure Project

You've probably noticed that the Upper Haight's troubled infrastructure project, which resumed in March and continued east down the hill, has made its way back up to the 1300 block of Haight. 

As you recall, we reported back in February and March that preliminary work was resuming on the project, namely inspecting the water lines and sewer mains and laterals to assess the quality of the work that had already been done. Work started at Masonic and moved east.

That inspection phase has been completed ahead of schedule, and next week, infrastructure work will return to the block of Haight between Central and Masonic. It's expected to start on August 8th and go through the 11th, when it will pause through the 15th for the filming of Netflix series "Girlboss." Later in the month, sewer work is expected to commence.

Haight Street's retail shops were hit particularly hard by last year's work on the infrastructure project, which caused a string of gas leaks that repeatedly forced businesses to unexpectedly close. The new work is starting during the summer months, typically the busiest time of the year for merchants on Haight, and many are worried it will once again impact their bottom line.

Though the Haight Ashbury Merchants Association (HAMA) has expressed its concerns to SF Public Works, there's currently only one firm moratorium on construction in place, from Thanksgiving to Christmas. 

"I find it deplorable that we as merchants of this wonderful community have to pay for the incapability of the city being able to do their job," Sunshine Powers, co-owner of Jammin' on Haight, told us via email.

She expects about half of Jammin's customers will avoid the shop due to parking and traffic issues. "No business should have to suffer in August, after we suffered through the gas leaks." 

Powers and other concerned merchants are meeting on Friday to discuss the situation. They're considering a protest to stop the work, and asking HAMA to support it. We'll let you know what they decide.

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