Forest Knolls Neighborhood – Staying connected on the Internet

computerBy request, I am reprising this post that lets everyone know how to stay connected with our neighborhood on the Internet. It’s been slightly edited and updated.

There are several ways to connect to what’s happening in our neighborhood.

1. NextDoor Forest Knolls

Right now, Nextdoor is probably the most active platform (which I wrote about HERE). It’s different from the Yahoo Group in that you need to give your actual name and address (and NextDoor will verify the address). It’s the opposite of anonymity. The idea is to facilitate the building of community and trust. There are group leaders who can act if someone seems to be violating community norms. I’m one for Forest Knolls. So far, there’ve been no problems.

It’s relatively private, in that only others on NextDoor will see it. It won’t show up on a Google Search, for instance. But I’d warn that it’s private, not confidential. There’s no way of knowing who might copy or forward your post to someone else. Also, over time people who move away might not bother to change the details on their Nextdoor account unless they want to set up a new account where they’ve moved.

If you use the “Nearby Neighborhoods” feature, it gives access to neighborhood-housesNextdoor in 10 other neighborhoods. That means when you post something on Nextdoor, you can decide whether to post it just to Forest Knolls, or to the whole bunch of neighborhoods. (If you post to all the nearby neighborhoods as well, around 4800 people could see your post.)

You can turn off some of the neighborhoods if they are not really of interest. People have been using it for things like recommendations for contractors, baby-sitters, household stuff for sale, announcements of neighborhood or commercial events – and warnings about crime and other safety issues. It’s a good way to meet up with others who have similar interests, say, for instance, small kids.

If you’d like to join, that link is HERE

2. This website and blog, www.ForestKnolls.info (not dot com or dot org ! dot INFO)

This runs stuff of general interest, occasional pictures and articles, and announcements. It’s a good place for laying out or updating any neighborhood issues. It’s completely public – anyone anywhere with internet access can read it (should they want to).

It’s got a Pets page, so if you’d like to add a picture of any Forest Knolls pet to it, send it in to fk94131@yahoo.com – with the name of the animal if you want it included. So far, we only have dogs and cats, but I’m completely open to pictures of iguanas or macaws or even the odd tarantula. Send them in!

If you want to stay updated whenever there’s a new post, you can subscribe to the site for emails. (Go HERE and enter your email address in the box on the right side.) Your email does not become public, but the Webmaster can see it.

3. The Forest_Knolls_Neighborhood Yahoo Group.

Anyone can join, though it’s really of interest to people within the Forest Knolls neighborhood. It’s managed by Mary Allen. You can give your actual name or not as you prefer. Your email address will be visible. It’s also public, but people are unlikely to search it out. They could if they wanted, though.

Here’s what I wrote about it with instructions for joining:

“This is a free group. Anyone can join, though of course its greatest value is to people in the neighborhood. And, as groups go, it’s civilized. I’ve seen groups where participants forget they’re in a public space, and start flame-wars or post overly personal information. This is not that kind of group.”

If you’d like to join that, the link is HERE. Look for the button that says “Join This Group!”

4. Forest Knolls Group on Facebook

Anyone who’s on Facebook can join, but you have to ask the administrator (right now, that would be me). I’d love for more people to join and post stuff. It’s a good place to share pictures or anything you like. It’s public to anyone on Facebook.

Here’s the link:

Join us on Facebook

WHAT SHOULD I JOIN?

What you decide to join really depends on how you want to use it.

  • The ForestKnolls.info website is intended to keep you informed, but it’s really dependent on the Webmaster. Stuff can slip by me. If there’s something you think the neighborhood should know, email me.  It’s pretty easy reading. It also has neighborhood information.
  • Nextdoor is good if it’s important to know who you’re talking to. Real names, real addresses. I think it’s pretty practical for the kind of thing you’d like to do in person. As of now, it’s got about 230 neighbors in Forest Knolls, and around 4,800 including the 10 nearby neighborhoods.
  • The Yahoo Group has around 100 members, though all of them may not be from the neighborhood. (There’s no requirement they should be.) It’s relatively quiet now; I think many of the functions it served have been overtaken by Nextdoor. But it does exist and is functioning.
  • Facebook is neat if you tend to go there anyway. It has the advantage that anyone in the group can post there – pictures, issues, just comments – it’s all welcome.

For myself – I’m on all of them. It’s neat that our neighborhood can be connected on the web. I hope more people join in – spread the word!

The Tranquility of Forest Knolls

Recently, Danh Tran of  the web-based real estate company Trulia (acquired earlier this year by Zillow) reached out to me with an interesting map. It showed noise complaints across San Francisco for 2010-2013 as an animation. Would I care to share it with our readers?

San Francisco noise complaints map dec 2013

This is a screenshot for December 2013, the latest data they have. What this shows is where people call the police to complain about noise. The color coding is self-evident – green shades to yellow shades to red as the density of noise complaints rises.

The animation is available at this link on the Trulia website. It starts with Feb 2010 and cycles to December 2013 and back.

San Francisco’s noise complaint levels vary a lot: Here’s a screen-shot from October 2013. There’s a lot more red in this one!

San Francisco noise complaints map oct 2013

Trulia’s Peter Black has made a similar analysis of several cities, including New York and Seattle. But the methodology he’s used for San Francisco is slightly different.

Why does San Francisco only have data through 2013? I asked.  Simply – it looks like no one is compiling the data any more. Or if they are, it’s not easily available.

In regards to the date, the reason for that is Peter couldn’t find any data for SF from the normal, open sources (311 calls) like he did for NYC and Seattle. Instead, he pulled it from our (Trulia) crime database. Unfortunately, and for no known explained reason, the noise complaints simply disappear from the data in 2014.”

Regardless, the data clearly show what we know already: We live in a tranquil neighborhood. Here’s the [December 2013] noise complaints map for Forest Knolls (thanks, Danh Tran). Not a spot of red in sight.

 

forest knolls noise complaints map

 

Forest Knolls Keeps Its Bus!

I just got an email from the SFMTA with updates to proposed route changes. “Your participation has made a difference!” it said. It continued with an explanation of the changes proposed by the Policy and Governance Committee (PAG).

Among them:  “36 Teresita: The PAG supports maintaining the entirety of the existing 36 alignment.”

Thanks, everyone who spoke up, commented, and wrote in against the original plan and particularly to those who spearheaded this effort. Clearly, our voices were heard.

[Special thanks also to our District 7 Supervisor, Norman Yee, for his assistance.]

Here’s the text of the whole message, in case you’re interested in other routes. There’ll be a meeting on March 28th, 8 a.m. at City Hall during which the final decision will be made. It’s expected to be in line with the recommendations.

 

sfmta-transit-update_originalYour participation has made a difference!

The service change proposals of the Transit Effectiveness Project, an ongoing project to make Muni more reliable for its customers, were reviewed by the SFMTA Policy and Governance Committee (PAG) on Friday, March 21. Based on their input, staff is recommending the following proposal modifications outlined below. Staff will present the following recommendations to the SFMTA Board on Friday, March 28. These modifications aim to retain the benefits of the initial proposals, while addressing key community concerns.

Here’s what we proposed, what we modified based on what we heard, and what we will be recommending to the SFMTA Board:

2 Clement: The PAG supports the recommended proposal of using existing overhead wires to implement 2 Clement trolley service on the entire Sutter/Post Street corridor, adding service on the Sutter Street route segment, and realigning the 2 line to operate on California Street to Eighth Avenue, on Eighth Avenue south to Clement Street, on Clement Street between Eighth and Sixth Avenues, and to California via Sixth Avenue. Service will be discontinued on Clement Street; between Arguello Boulevard and 6th Avenue, and 8th and 15th Avenues.

3 Jackson: The PAG supports maintaining service on the 3 Jackson with reduced frequency to better match customer demand.

6 Parnassus: The PAG supported maintaining the 6 Parnassus in the line’s current alignment through Ashbury Heights to UCSF and Golden Gate Heights and to reduce the frequency of the line to better match customer demand west of Masonic Avenue. Service will be further increased on the 71L Haight/Noriega Limited.

8X Bayshore Express: The PAG supports the continuation of 8X service north of Broadway for every other trip.

10 Townsend: The PAG supports the current 10 Townsend (Sansome) proposal to reroute through Mission Bay.

17 Parkmerced: The PAG supports the revised 17 realignment proposal, which shifts service to portions of Lake Merced Boulevard and Brotherhood Way to access the Daly City BART Station.

22 Fillmore and 33 Stanyan: The PAG supports the original realignment proposals for these routes, which include realigning the 22 along 16th Street to provide a direct transit connection to Mission Bay and realigning the 33 Stanyan off of Potrero Avenue and along the former 22 Fillmore alignment into the Dogpatch neighborhood. The PAG also supports increasing 33 service from 15 minute service to 12 minute service all day.

27 Bryant: The PAG supports maintaining the entirety of the existing 27 alignment.

28/28L 19th Avenue: The PAG supports the revised proposal for the 28 and 28L, which calls for the termination of the 28L in the Richmond District to Park Presidio and California Street and extension to the Balboa Park BART Station and the Mission corridor, as well as the continuation of the 28 to the Marina District via the Golden Gate Bridge to a new terminal at Van Ness Avenue and North Point Street.

35 Eureka: The PAG supports the revised proposal for the 35, which includes the continuation of service on Moffitt, Farnum, Addison, and Bemis Streets, and the extension of service to the Glen Park BART Station via Miguel and Chenery Streets.

36 Teresita: The PAG supports maintaining the entirety of the existing 36 alignment.

43 Masonic: The PAG supports connecting the route with the Presidio Transit Center while maintaining the existing route segment on Letterman Drive and Lombard Street.

47 Van Ness: The PAG supports maintaining 47 line service on 11th Street between Mission and Bryant Streets, rather than on 13th Street as originally proposed.

48 Quintara/24th Street: The PAG supports the original 48 service change proposal to remove service in the vicinity of Hoffman and Grandview Streets and instead straighten service along Clipper and Douglass Streets. However, the PAG supports maintaining the 48’s current alignment until the new 58 24th Street route is introduced, which is proposed to serve the former 48 alignment along Douglass Street, 21st Street, and Grandview Avenue.

56 Rutland: The PAG supports maintaining the entirety of the existing 56 alignment.

What’s next? See your input in action!

Proposed service and route changes to be reviewed by SFMTA Board of Directors at the following upcoming public hearings at City Hall Room 400, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlet Place

Friday March 28, 2014 at 8am

TEP Service change recommendations will be presented. (SFMTA board will make decisions at this meeting)

311-text-for-flyer-email_original

Help Save our 36 Teresita Bus Route!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about SF MTA’s plans to leave our steep and hilly area without public transportation by dropping the Forest Knolls loop of the 36-Teresita bus. (And this is after the previous battle to save this line, which ended with frequency being reduced from 20 minutes to 30.) Neighbors have been fighting this plan.  The Forest Knolls Neighborhood Organization has joined the battle to save the bus route, and has some great suggestions about how you can help. Here’s their flyer:

FOREST KNOLLS NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATION

MUNI plans to eliminate the Forest Knolls loop of our 36 Teresita bus.

Proposed service and route changes will be reviewed by SFMTA Board of Directors at a public hearing this Friday March 14, 2014 at 9am in City Hall, room 400.

TEP Informational Hearing – staff will present proposals from feedback gathered at recently held community meetings. The SFMTA Board will then take additional testimony from the public on proposed route changes.

It is important that Forest Knolls residents appear at this hearing to make known their strong objection to the proposed elimination of MUNI service to our Forest Knolls neighborhood.

Please plan to attend the meeting this Friday March 14 at 9 am in City Hall, room 400.

The SFMTA Board responds to community participation – we must be present in large numbers to voice our objections. Plan to attend this important hearing if at all possible.
36 teresita sm

E-mail your opposition to http://www.tellmuni.com and tweet SFMTA (@sfmta_muni) to make your opposition known. Also e-mail your opposition to the Planning Manager of MTA’s “Transit Effectiveness Project” Sean Kennedy: sean.kennedy@sfmta.com and call our supervisor (Norman Yee) at 415-554-6516 to seek his assistance.

Meanwhile, neighbors have been talking to the SF MTA – which seemed responsive, but has not published any planned changes (which it has made to its plans for other routes). Here’s what Joe Humphreys wrote to update us:

The SFMTA had a public meeting on February 25th at San Francisco State.  Forest Knolls was well represented with a number of neighborhood residents raising substantial protest to  rerouting the 36 line to no longer include Warren Drive.  It appeared at the meeting that the SFMTA staff understood and were sympathetic to the concerns raised.  However, they announced today a number of changes that they had made to the staff’s proposed  “Transit Effectiveness Plan”  Apparently, however, what they are recommending does not include keeping bus service in Forest Knolls as the 36 line is not one of those where they indicated some accommodation to public concerns.  This announcment is here : http://sfmta.com/news/project-updates/tep-service-change-proposals-revised-based-community-feedback .

The West of Twin Peaks Central Council – which is a “Council of councils” comprising twenty different neighborhood organizations, passed a Resolution in Support of the 36-Teresita.

A Resolution in Support of the 36-Teresita
By: The West of Twin Peaks Central Council

PASSED UNOPPOSED

WHEREAS, It is clear that the San Francisco Muni is looking to cut or severely curtail service on the 36-Teresita Bus line in their upcoming budget meeting: and
WHEREAS, there have 6 independent West of Twin Peaks Central Council Member Neighborhoods [The Woods, Galewood Circle, Forest Knolls, Midtown Terrace, Mount Sutro Woods and Sherwood Forest] on steep hillsides that depend exclusively on the 36-Teresita as the only Muni connection to the rest of the city and the Bay Area: and
WHEREAS, these neighborhoods are filling up with new families with children that need the 36-Teresita to get them to and from school: and
WHEREAS, the elderly residents of these neighborhood depend on the home health care workers that come to them via the 36-Teresita Bus to make it possible for them to stay in their homes for as long as is possible:
Now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED: that the West of Twin Peaks Central Council assembled this 24th
day of February, 2014, in the City of San Francisco, California, urges the Muni to see the immense value that the 36-Teresita Muni bus line contributes to the residents, visitors, commerce, and children of the above mentioned neighborhoods and the city as a whole: and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Muni should keep the current 36-Teresita service available to these taxpayers who crowd this line at commute times and depend on it as a lifeline in this increasing congested city.

We hope that SFMTA is listening. Please attend the meeting if you can, and also send in your comments to tellmuni.com, to sean.kennedy@sfmta.com, and to our District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee.

Forest Knolls to Lose its Bus?

36 teresita sm

About a year ago, Joe Humphrys warned us that the SFMTA was planning to abandon the Forest Knolls section of the 36 Teresita bus service.  I wrote about that HERE, and Joe contributed a post HERE.

So, it’s happening, unless the neighborhood manages to get SFMTA to re-think this. The public hearing is on Feb 25th, 2014. (I got another message from Joe, with a link to the public hearing notice.)

Date: Feb 25th,
Time: 6 p.m.
Where: San Francisco State University,
Seven Hills Conference Center,
800 Font Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94132

And then Sara Lu wrote a note. This is important, because clearly if anything is going to change, it will need to come from neighborhood pressure. Otherwise, our bus is gone. Here’s her note (with minor edits and added emphasis):

Dear Web Master,

The posted route 36 notice at the bus stop caught my attention; and I looked into the details. Here is what I found: http://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/projects/rte_036_BW.pdf

[Webmaster: This is similar to the map at the top of this post, available as a PDF here: rte_036_BW]

Muni proposed to change route 36 by eliminating stops include Clarendon Avenue between Panorama and Oak Park drives, Oak Park and Warren drives, Lawton and Seventh avenues to Clarendon Avenue. This means no bus will come through Forest Knoll at all, which is completely unacceptable.

I sent in my objections on Muni’s website (http://tellmuni.com); but a singular post is not going to make the difference – we will need as much neighborhood support as possible. I strongly recommend posting the subject on the Forest Knoll website and throughout the neighborhood, encouraging as many residents to attend the public hiring on Feb 25 (6pm) and post on tellmuni feed back as possible.

(public hearing details: http://www.sfmta.com/zh-hant/calendar/meetings/community-meeting-proposed-service-changes-routes-17-18-28-28l-36-and-43)

I am a daily rider on the 36 bus from Devonshire and Warren drive. Route 36 is the only form of public transit through the Forest Knoll neighborhood. For daily commuters like myself and the many elderly residents in the neighborhood, it is the only form of connection to Forest Hill Muni station. A 30-minute bus frequency is already inconvenient enough; eliminating the route through Forest Knoll is completely unacceptable. It will leave the entire community stranded, without any feasible form of public transportation.

The proposed alternative is not at all realistic. Walking to 7th and Lawton or Clarendon may not seem terribly far on flat map; but anyone who knows the area topography would know, the Forest Knoll neighborhood is on a very steep hill. In fact, it is one of the highest points in San Francisco. It is impossible for any elderly resident to talk from the proposed alternative stops (20-30 minutes straight uphill); and completely impractical for daily rider like myself. I, as well as most residents, cannot afford to drive and park in downtown San Francisco, and have no intention to add to the congestion on the road.

I am trained as an urban planning, and fully support public transportation. Leaving a whole neighborhood/community without any form of accessible public transportation is not acceptable.

What would you propose we can do to make sure our neighborhood is not overlooked?

The only way to stop this is to protest. As Sara Lu points out, a few posts will not make a difference, but a whole lot will.

  • Please go to tellmuni.com and explain that there’s a lot of difference between a healthy young person strolling on a level street, and forcing elderly people to climb 30 minutes up one of the steepest slopes in San Francisco.
  • Please attend the hearing if you can and make your voices heard.

Season’s Greetings, and Happy New 2014!

four reindeerSeason’s Greetings to everyone who’s reading this, and a Happy New Year in 2014!

This website and blog is just over four years and 300 posts old. It was partly meant to give Forest Knolls a web presence; partly to give it a public voice.

I’ve found that writing about this neighborhood really makes me appreciate it. Please feel free to join in – send photographs, make comments, write about things you’d like to share. Onward to Year Five!

Nearing Halloween

My evening walks are getting deliciously Halloween-flavored.

What better phase of the moon for an eerie picture than a waxing crescent?

crescent moon

(I found out quite late that if the moon is ‘D’ shaped, it’s waxing, and if it’s ‘C’-shaped, it’s waning. The mnemonic is ‘Dogs advance, Cats retreat.’ But it only works in the Northern hemisphere; Down Under, it’s the other way.)

Here’s the moon and Venus, taken a night or two later. [Edited to Add: Looking closely at this picture again, I can just see the Old Moon in the New Moon’s arms – the earthshine on the non-illuminated part of the moon. The Wikipedia says it’s light reflected from earth onto the moon.]

moon and venus

I was on Tank Hill recently, where I always take photographs even though very few actually come out. This time, though, with a little brightening of the image and upping the contrast, I got these Halloween trees.

halloween trees on tank hillLast night, I didn’t encounter a single dog-walker – but, appropriately, there were two cats. Here’s one:

cat 1And here’s the other – don’t miss the Halloween eyes. (Okay, it’s normal eyeshine, but it looked cool!)

cat 2

And some neighbors have started putting up their Halloween decorations, like this happy family of jack o’ lanterns. Looking forward to seeing more decorations as we get closer to the date!

halloween pumpkins 1