Wednesday Guest Blogger: Greening the N Route
One of my absolute favorite streets in San Francisco is Noe between Duboce and Market. Step off of the N at Noe, just East of the East Portal of the Sunset Tunnel, and within a block or two, you start to feel like you’ve entered a secret special world.
From above, mature trees shade the street with graceful branches. At ground level there are planters with flowers and herbs running up and down the sidewalk. Every block or so, there are even little dedicated garden areas with more plants and benches where you can take a moment to sit and chat with a friend or just revel in all of the greenery. Not to mention there’s also a friendly guy who sells flowers out of a garage. I find just walking this little stretch of Noe on the way to run an errand in the Castro can have an incredibly soothing effect.
Well, get ready, Inner Sunset, you’re getting a greenified block of your own. I recently had brunch with Lisa Gelfand, principal in Gelfand Partners architecture firm and a longtime Inner Sunset resident. Lisa told me that a number of her 8th Avenue neighbors have gotten together and developed a proposal for a beautified block between Lincoln and Irving. With Lisa’s firm drawing up the plans pro bono, the group applied for a City matching grant; those funds are going to pay for extensive tree planting and concrete removal to create little square garden areas.
Residents on the block agree to care for the trees or any other planting in front of their house. If I understood correctly, a separate traffic calming project will create a “bulb-out” part of the sidewalk jutting into the street. I don’t know if there are plans for seating areas like they have on Noe Street (but I hope so!). In any case, they should break ground on this project sometime in the next month—I’ll definitely be watching to see how it all comes together.
Debra Solomon lives in the Inner Sunset with her husband and baby girl.