The street I live on is only two blocks long, lined with Victorian houses. It’s in about the geographic center of San Francisco, There are street trees and front yards (unusual for San Francisco) and in the spring it smells of Jasmine. The neighbors are a mix of old-timers and gentry, gay and not, with lots of kids. Across the street, three households have joined their backyards so the kids have more play space.
Every year there’s a block party and some of the guys on the block play in a band. A neighbor supplies beer he makes in his garage.
We even have an e-newsletter. We let each other know of the need for volunteers for the street fair, about our current crime wave, and referrals for tree trimmers or handymen.
Lately the big topic has been the street itself. The City recently dug up a trench to replace the century-old water pipes. Then they graded and laid asphalt down half the surface.
Some of the neighbors are upset that only half the street was repaved.
From the newsletter, emails, and Facebook:
- It’s the City of San Francisco that is to blame for this total balls up of a result.
- Never heard of such a thing. Bizarre. God bless government.
- The new paving looks ridiculous.
- It’s this kind of bureaucratic SNAFU that makes no sense. Could no one even conceive of the whole picture?
- I am speechless, this is the worst repaving work I have ever seen.
- You don’t see 1/2 the streets paved in Pacific Heights or the Marina!
Our local representative wrote back that the other half will be paved. So maybe it’s temporary.
Honestly, in the 20 years I’ve lived on this block I never paid any attention to the surface of the street. Until now.
It’s got some great splats.
Plants can survive. Amazing.
Something’s under there.
There is cryptic text.
I love my street. But this isn’t about the geography or the architecture or the landscaping or the people of my street. It’s about the street: pitted, scarred, faded, pocked, scratched and patched.
And yours? Take a look.
“The City recently dug up a trench to replace the century-old water pipes. ” – when did they do that? It happens all the time in NYC (happened last week outside my window). The paving and repair depts in NYC are different depts. Usually it takes 6-9 months before the repair dept gets around to re-black topping the street. Maybe they want to be sure that the repair was good? More likely they are just behind. They’ll black top your street this summer I’ll bet.
Perhaps worse than the 1/2 patch strategy is the open-fix-close-open again-fix again-
close again-again-again strategy, often used on the SF Peninsula. It usually comes
with surveying crew street art intended to remain for 3-4 millennia – just in case!
If you look down from the top of the Moraga Street steps, you can see a bunch of streets patched up similarly in some sort of incomprehensible pattern. It’s quite common. On one street, new asphalt in a long rectangle on the left side, then another rectangle on the right side, or a random strip in the middle.
At least your street the new repaved portion is all on one side, so cyclists don’t have to swerve back and forth to stay on smooth pavement.