The other day, I was sitting in my living room watching the 5:30 news. There was a story on that I really wanted to see, in fact, I had waited all day to see it. Problem was, I had the windows open due to the heat and because of that, I couldn’t hear a thing on the television. The volume was up to 42 (I usually listen to it at about 19) and still, I had to put on closed captioning to fill in the blanks. Between the trucks slamming over the uneven pavement, the cars flying past my home way over the speed limit, the roar of the buses coupled with the overhead stop announcement the PA system on the #23 blurts out every time it stops in front of my driveway, it had become impossible to hear my blasting television just 7 feet away from me! I gave up.
I first moved to Monterey Blvd. in 1993. Having lived on Guerrero street for many years, Monterey seemed relatively quiet. Sixteen years later, the noise has increased, the traffic has increased, the impact of the highway nature of Monterey has increased. Lately, I have noticed an increasing amount of it bleeding onto Yerba Buena and Congo streets with people looking for short cuts around the mess. Every day I hear cars screech to emergency stops in front of my home to avoid hitting pedestrians trying to cross Monterey at Detroit (one skid mark was 70 feet long!). Just today, a man driving too fast lost control of his vehicle, flipping it over, crossing the median and hitting a tree at Edna St.
With the changes coming to Glen Park, Balboa Park and CCSF, we can expect all of it to just get worse as more and more people discover the extended freeway off ramp that Monterey Blvd. has become.
There is no way that I am the only one who thinks it is time for a conversation about these issues. While Monterey Blvd. is a part of many neighborhoods it is in many ways, a neighborhood in and if itself. Those of us who live and work here know that what we experience on our street is very different from what most of our neighbors deal with on the side streets that are fed by Monterey.
What do you think about all of this? What do you feel are the greatest issues this street and its residents face? Have you thought of solutions to some of these challenges? Now is the time for all of us to share what we think about how we live here on Monterey Blvd. and what we would like to see happen in its future. Maybe you would like to have a street that is more quiet, or decrease the number of heavy delivery vehicles that pass through after 10 pm. Does being able to hold a conversation with your neighbor in front of your home without having to raise your voice to be heard appeal to you? Or maybe, you would simply like to see those who drive through slow down and stop for those who wish to cross the street.
We hope that this site can be a place to have these conversations. If we can hash out these issues here, bounce ideas off one another and conceive a Monterey Blvd, that meets the needs of those who live here and those who pass through, we will all benefit. So first, download the “Please, Slow Down!” sign here and print it out for your window, then come back here or to the Facebook group and start a conversation!
Then LET’S DO SOMETHING!