By Bonnee Waldstein
Glen Park said “Fie!” to term limits last Thursday, January 19, as the incumbent officers of the Glen Park Association were swept back into office by unanimous vote. For President Michael Rice, it will be his seventh term. No superpacs, debates or direct mail hit-pieces were to be found on this campaign trail either.
The other officers elected on Rice’s coattails are Carolyn Deacy, vice president; Dennis Mullen, treasurer; Heather World, recording secretary; Mic Ames, corresponding secretary; and Sally Ross, membership secretary.
Karen Mauney-Brodek of the San Francisco Rec and Park Department brought residents up-to-date on future plans for parks improvement. She recapped the improvements that are about to begin in the Glen Canyon Park playground and the trails within the park, with funds from the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood bond act.
There was a 14-month process of community meetings in which residents prioritized the projects that would be undertaken with the available bond money. In addition to the trails and playground, they include basic upgrades to the Rec Center, including accessible restroom facilities; a welcoming entry plaza; relocation of the tennis courts; and improvement of the Elk Street entrance with a vehicle drop off point, among others.
The renovation design will be completed this spring and construction will begin in the fall. The construction area will be off limits for ten months while the work is being done. Completion is expected in May 2013.
Mauney-Brodek gave an overview of the projects Rec and Park is undertaking this year. Parks slated for renovation in District 8 are Mission Dolores-Helen Diller playground and Mission Dolores Park. Trails will be improved on Twin Peaks. There will also be landscape and restroom improvements in Noe Courts and construction of a dog park in Upper Douglass playground.
Looking beyond the current projects, Rec and Park is planning for a 2012 bond. They are doing community outreach now for feedback on a new wish list. By June they hope to bring a proposal before the Board of Supervisors for approval to go on the November ballot. Eighteen parks and playgrounds were selected for inclusion in the proposal. Closest to Glen Park are George Christopher Playground, Balboa Park and Pool, and Douglas Playground.
We will need to rely on grants and matching funds in order for continuing (Phase 2) improvements in Glen Canyon Park.
Park/playground renovation: http://sfrecpark.org/glenParkProject.aspx
Trails project: http://sfrecpark.org/GlenParkUrbanTrailsProgram.aspx
For a total change of pace, Richard Brandi, architectural historian and San Francisco native, presented a slide show about the “lost” Southern Pacific Railroad Line, which connected San Francisco and San Jose, and whose route took it through the Mission and Glen Park.
The original rail line ran from 1863 until 1907, and then continued as a branch line until 1942. It went along the Bernal Cut, which is today’s San Jose Avenue. It crossed Dolores Street at 28th Street, meandering through houses and backyards, coal fired steam engines belching black soot all along the way.
Brandi traced a fascinating journey along the old route, finding remnants and reminders of the tracks, with houses and other structures placed strategically and sometimes awkwardly to make way for the trains to pass.
With the rise of the auto and truck and the decline of the train, there were large lots of land vacated by the train car barns. This is where many of our present-day supermarkets are located, such as the Safeway on Mission near 30th Street.
More information on San Francisco train history, including a current project to save the only standing brick roundhouse in California, in Brisbane: www.sftrains.org.